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DONNA G. FENK v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/22/79)

decided: August 22, 1979.

DONNA G. FENK, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Donna G. Fenk, No. B-151454.

COUNSEL

Richard J. Federowicz, for petitioner.

Charles G. Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Blatt, DiSalle and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 214]

Donna Fenk (Claimant) appeals to this Court from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a Referee's decision denying her unemployment compensation benefits. The sole issue raised by Claimant is whether the Board's decision was based on substantial evidence. For the reasons which follow, we affirm.*fn1

Claimant had been employed by Charles Lawrence Casuals (Employer) as the head of the Sportswear Department for 10 months at a wage of $2.60 per hour. Prior to July 5, 1977, Claimant worked 40 1/2 hours per week. On that date, she informed Employer that she could not work her scheduled hours, but that she would be able to work Monday through Friday, 10:00 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.*fn2 Claimant testified that she requested a reduction in her hours because she was pregnant.

[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 215]

Employer's representatives testified that the reasons given by Claimant for her request were her pregnancy and her desire to spend time with her husband. Claimant also testified that she requested that her hours be reduced from 40 1/2 to 32 per week. Janice L. Gash, Employer's vice-president, stated that Claimant asked for a reduced work week, but did not specify the number of hours she would work. Finally, Gash testified that she told Claimant she would try to help her but that she could make no promises as to the amount of time she would be offered. Claimant had presented a doctor's certificate to the Bureau of Employment Security (Bureau) which stated that Claimant was pregnant, that her delivery date was November 15, 1977, that Claimant would be permitted to work until mid-October, 1977, and that Claimant had no limitations "at this time." The certificate was dated August 15, 1977, more than a month after Claimant originally asked for reduced hours because of her pregnancy.

The Bureau denied Claimant's application for benefits on the basis that she was unavailable for suitable work as required by Section 401(d) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 801(d) (Law). The Referee affirmed the Bureau's determination on the basis that Claimant was not unemployed as that term is defined in Section 4(u) of the Law, 43 P.S. § 753(u),*fn3 and that she

[ 45 Pa. Commw. Page 216]

    was absent from available work at her own request. The Board affirmed the Referee's decision.

In unemployment compensation cases, the credibility of witnesses, the weight to be given the testimony, and the reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom are for the Board to determine. The findings of the Referee or Board, if supported by substantial evidence and in the absence of fraud are conclusive and are binding on this Court. Yasgur v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 16 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 33, 35, 328 A.2d 908, 910 (1974). Substantial evidence is relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Balaschak v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 39 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 313, 316, 395 A.2d 638, 640 (1978). Each week of unemployment is subject to a separate claim the validity of which is determined by the conditions existing during that week. See Hunt v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 8 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 577 582 n. ...


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