Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of Jean Eichman, No. B-161452.
David L. Hill, for appellant.
Charles G. Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Rogers, DiSalle and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge DiSalle.
Claimant Jean Eichman appeals from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review denying benefits to her under Section 402(a) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, (Law) Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(a), for having refused suitable work.
Claimant had worked as an assembler for the Nicholson File Company for 3 1/2 years before her valid separation on April 15, 1977, when Nicholson ceased operation. Her average gross pay had been approximately $246.00 per week. Upon application, she received a total of $127.00 per week in unemployment compensation and dependent's allowance.
On April 25, 1978, claimant was referred to the Web Silver Company to investigate a position as a
polisher at the rate of $2.75 per hour, or $110.00 gross per 40-hour week. After an interview with the prospective employer, she declined the offer because she calculated that union dues, taxes and other deductions would leave a net pay of only $60-$70 per week.
Section 402(a) of the Law, 43 P.S. § 802(a), makes compensation unavailable to an employee when his unemployment is due "to failure, without good cause . . . to accept suitable work when offered to him." Suitable work is defined in Section 4(t) of the Act, 43 P.S. § 753(t), as being:
[A]ll work which the employe is capable of performing. In determining whether or not any work is suitable for an individual, the department shall consider . . . his physical fitness, prior training and experience, and the distance of the available work from his residence. The department shall also consider among other factors, the length of time he has been unemployed and the reasons therefor, the prospect of obtaining local work in his customary occupation, his previous earnings, the prevailing condition of the labor market . . . [and] prevailing wage rates in his usual trade or occupation. . . .
Here, the precise issue is: May a claimant, after being unemployed for a year, receive unemployment compensation benefits if a job offer is rejected as unsuitable solely because it pays ...