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JOHN Y. HILL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/11/80)

decided: June 11, 1980.

JOHN Y. HILL, 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 John Y. Hill, No. B-168647.

COUNSEL

John Y. Hill, Pro Se, petitioner.

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

Judges Mencer, Craig and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 142]

John Y. Hill (claimant) appeals an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying him benefits for refusing suitable work without good cause, pursuant to Section 402(a) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Act), Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 802(a). We affirm.

On August 18, 1978, claimant completed his last day as a part-time driving instructor for Ridley Senior High School. As an instructor, claimant worked 30 hours a week for 9 weeks and earned approximately $1,500. After filing for unemployment benefits, claimant was offered a position by Hennessy's Driving School (Hennessy) as a driving instructor with the Pottstown School District (Pottstown), to commence on September 7, 1978.*fn1 Claimant, whose status with Pottstown was to be that of an independent contractor, would be compensated at rates ranging from $5 to $6.50 an hour, depending upon whether claimant was driving or performing classroom duties. Although claimant had accepted similar positions from Hennessy over a period of several years, he refused the

[ 52 Pa. Commw. Page 143]

    offered employment. As a result, claimant was denied benefits by all levels of the compensation authorities. This appeal followed.

Claimant argues that, since he had necessitous and compelling reasons to refuse the job offer, the Board erred in deciding his case under Section 402(a) instead of Section 402(b)(1). We disagree.

Claimant, who proceeded pro se, has misconstrued the purposes of the two provisions. Section 402(b)(1) clearly applies only to those situations in which a claimant who is employed decides to voluntarily end his employment. To be eligible for benefits, the claimant's decision must have been motivated by compelling and necessitous reasons. See, e.g., Arufo v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 37 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 555, 391 A.2d 43 (1978). Section 402(a), on the other hand, applies to those situations in which a claimant, who is already unemployed, refuses a suitable job referral or offer without good cause. See, e.g., Barillaro v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 36 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 325, 387 A.2d 1324 (1978). Since claimant's circumstances plainly fall within the ambit of Section 402(a), the Board did not err in utilizing it as the basis for disqualifying claimant from receiving benefits.*fn2

Claimant next contends that the Board erred in finding that he refused the proffered position because (1) he considered the 60-mile round trip commuting ...


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