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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. PENNSYLVANIA ENGINEERING CORPORATION (10/28/80)

decided: October 28, 1980.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF LABOR & INDUSTRY, BUREAU OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY, PLAINTIFF
v.
PENNSYLVANIA ENGINEERING CORPORATION, DEFENDANT



Original jurisdiction in case of Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Employment Security v. Pennsylvania Engineering Corporation.

COUNSEL

John R. Falcone, Assistant Attorney General, for plaintiff.

Eugene K. Connors, with him James S. Cheslock and Walter G. Bleil, Reed, Smith, Shaw & McClay, for defendant.

President Judge Crumlish and Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer, Rogers, Blatt, Craig and Williams, Jr. Judge MacPhail did not participate. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 377]

Directed to this Court's original jurisdiction under Section 761(a)(2) of the Judicial Code,*fn1 the Pennsylvania

[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 378]

Department of Labor and Industry, Bureau of Employment Security (plaintiff),*fn2 commenced an action in assumpsit against the Pennsylvania Engineering Corporation (defendant) to recover $14,115.00. The sum sued for represents moneys, which the defendant allegedly owes the Unemployment Compensation Fund by mandate of Section 704 of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn3

The defendant filed an answer and new matter, which brought a reply from plaintiff. Thereafter both parties filed a motion for summary judgment; and those motions are the matter instantly before us.

Section 704 of the Unemployment Compensation Law was added by the Act of July 6, 1977, and became effective on January 1, 1978. Section 704 provides as follows:

Any employer who makes a deduction from a back wage award to a claimant because of the claimant's receipt of unemployment compensation benefits, for which he has become ineligible by reason of such award, shall be liable to pay into the Unemployment Compensation Fund an amount equal to the amount of such deduction. When the employer has made such payment into the Unemployment Compensation Fund, his reserve account shall be appropriately credited. (Emphasis added.)

Because some of the facts underlying the plaintiff's claim preceded the effective date of Section 704, January 1, 1978, it is the defendant's contention that liability can be imposed only by giving the Section an unlawful retroactive ...


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