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ARLENE FRABLE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/21/80)

decided: July 21, 1980.

ARLENE FRABLE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT. ANNA P. O'DONNELL ET AL., PETITIONERS V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Arlene Frable, No. B-163211 and in case of In Re: Claim of Anna P. O'Donnell et al., No. B-163260.

COUNSEL

John J. Collins, for petitioners.

Elsa D. Newman-Silverstine, Assistant Attorney General, with her Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.

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

Author: Williams

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 138]

Before the Court in this matter are two distinct petitions for review. One petition (No. 1242 C.D. 1979) is a joint appeal by ten unemployment claimants*fn1 from orders of the Unemployment Compensation

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 139]

Board of Review (Board) denying them benefits. The other petition (No. 2199 C.D. 1978) is a separate appeal by a single claimant*fn2 from an identical order of the Board; and it has been consolidated with the first for purposes of disposition. As to each of the eleven claimants, the Board affirmed the referee's decision that the claimant had voluntarily quit her employment and had not shown "cause of a necessitous and compelling nature" for doing so. The referee, therefore, ruled each of the claimants ineligible for benefits by force of Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(b)(1).

All of the eleven claimants were employed by the Bell Telephone Company of Pennsylvania (Bell) as telephone operators at its Tullytown office, located in Levittown, Pennsylvania. The claimants had worked for Bell for periods ranging from seven to almost twenty-one years.

In late 1977, Bell advised the claimants that it planned to close the Tullytown office where they worked, but offered them comparable employment, at the same salary, in its Philadelphia, Fort Washington and Allentown offices. Each of the claimants rejected the offered new assignments on the ground that the work schedule offered by Bell would present difficult transportation problems.

In each of the three proposed offices Bell operated on an "open end" schedule. Under that kind of schedule an employee could work different hours a day, and different days each week. However, Bell could not give the claimants an advance guarantee

[ 53 Pa. Commw. Page 140]

    that they would work set hours. Based on that the claimants assert in the instant appeal that uncertainties as to the availability of public transportation, at the times they might have ...


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