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GREGORY NUNLEY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/15/80)

decided: September 15, 1980.

GREGORY NUNLEY, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT. WARREN EVANS, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WELFARE, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Orders of the Department of Public Welfare in case of Gregory Nunley v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare, dated December 6, 1978, and in case of Warren Evans v. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Public Welfare, dated January 31, 1979.

COUNSEL

Louis Lessem, with him Julia K. Johnson, for petitioners.

Carol A. Genduso, Assistant Attorney General, with her, Amy Zapp, Deputy Attorney General, and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 11]

Gregory Nunley (Nunley) and Warren Evans (Evans) appeal from fair-hearing decisions of the Department of Public Welfare (DPW), which denied them benefits because they had failed to retain bona fide employment without good cause. We affirm both decisions.

Nunley, who was receiving general assistance benefits through the Allegheny County Board of Assistance (ACBA), accepted a job on September 8, 1978, at a wage rate of $4 per hour. On September 21, 1978, his employer told him that his wages would be reduced

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 12]

    to $3.50 per hour*fn1 because his work product was insufficient. Nunley refused to accept this reduction in pay, and his employment was consequently terminated. When ACBA learned of Nunley's employment and subsequent departure, it concluded that he had left his employment without good cause and terminated his benefits. This termination was affirmed at all levels by the welfare authorities, and Nunley's appeal followed.

Evans, also a recipient of benefits through ACBA, began working on September 30, 1978 but left his employment on October 5, 1978, allegedly because he was afraid of a co-worker. As in Nunley's case, ACBA determined that Evans did not have good cause to leave the employment and terminated his benefits. His termination was similarly affirmed at all levels and appealed to this Court, where it was consolidated with Nunley's appeal.

Nunley and Evans (petitioners) argue that they did not willfully and without cause terminate their employment for the purpose of qualifying for assistance and thus were not subject to termination of assistance under 55 Pa. Code ยง 165.23(e)(3).*fn2

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 13]

We begin by noting that both parties have improperly argued that the standard on review is whether there is substantial evidence to support the ...


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