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MARY GORALSKI v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/14/79)

decided: December 14, 1979.

MARY GORALSKI, 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 Mary Goralski, No. B-164399.

COUNSEL

Christopher T. Powell, Sr., with him Powell, Powell and Powell, for appellant.

William Kennedy, Assistant Attorney General, with him Michael D. Klein, Assistant Attorney General, Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Wilkinson, Jr. and Mencer, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 48 Pa. Commw. Page 40]

Mary Goralski appeals from a determination by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed a referee and ruled her ineligible for benefits under the disqualifying provisions of Section 402.1(1)*fn1 and 401(d)*fn2 of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Act). We affirm.*fn3

For purposes of this appeal, Mary Goralski (Claimant) was last employed by the Mid-Valley School District as a per diem substitute teacher from March, 1977, until June, 1978. Goralski had also been employed by the Valley View School District in the same capacity since 1975 and by the Lakeland School District since 1976. Accordingly, during the 1978-79 school term, Claimant worked 39 days -- 17 days in the Mid-Valley District; 12 days in Valley View District; and 10 days in Lakeland District.

Goralski's last day of work was June 13, 1978, at the Mid-Valley School. Subsequently, she was unemployed because of the annual summer vacation. Goralski sought unemployment benefits for the duration of this period, June 18, 1978, through September 9, 1978.

[ 48 Pa. Commw. Page 41]

The Board denied benefits finding that Goralski had a "reasonable assurance" of employment at the start of the next academic year and hence was disqualified under Section 402.1(1). The Board further found that Claimant intended to resume such employment and therefore was unavailable for work under Section 401(d).

Section 402.1(1) of the Act provides in pertinent part:

(1) With respect to service performed after December 31, 1977, in an instructional, research, or principal administrative capacity for an educational institution, benefits shall not be paid based on such services for any week of unemployment commencing during the period between two successive academic years, or during a similar period between two regular terms whether or not successive or during a period of paid sabbatical leave provided for in the individual's contract, to any individual if such individual performs such services in the first of such academic years or terms and if there is a contract or a reasonable assurance that such individual will perform services in any such capacity for any educational institution in the second of such academic years or terms.

The term "reasonable assurance" is not specifically defined in the statute. However, in cases dealing with analogous statutes*fn4 we have held that there need not be a formal written or oral agreement to rehire and where there is objective evidence of mutual commitment between the teacher and employer to recall the former or where ...


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