Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Gerard M. Snyder, No. B-172089.
Wayne A. Graver, for petitioner.
Steven Marcuse, Assistant Attorney General, with him James K. Bradley, Assistant Attorney General, Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, and Harvey Bartle, III, Acting Attorney General, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges MacPhail and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 427]
This is an appeal by Gerard M. Snyder (Claimant) from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) dated May 14, 1979, denying the Claimant unemployment compensation benefits. The Board affirmed the referee's determination that the Claimant voluntarily terminated his employment without cause of a "necessitous and compelling nature" and was, therefore, ineligible for benefits under § 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1
Claimant was employed as an insurance agent for the Prudential Insurance Company (Employer) from September 5, 1978 to March 6, 1979. He was hired with the agreement that he would be paid $200 per week during a sixteen week training period while he studied to obtain a state insurance license. Subsequent to the training period, the Claimant would be paid a salary based on service commissions plus all previously accrued new business commissions. Once he received his license, new business commissions would be pro-rated over the following thirteen week pay period. The Claimant failed to register for the November 8, 1978 license examination and failed to pass the complete examination given on December 10, 1978. He did pass the complete examination on January 13, 1979. Although the Claimant received notice on January 20, 1979 that he had passed, he did not send the necessary notification to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department until February 2, 1979. The Employer did not receive official notice that the Claimant was licensed until February 22, 1979.
Subsequent to his first sixteen weeks of employment which ended on December 26, 1978, the Claimant
[ 54 Pa. Commw. Page 428]
was paid $117 per week based on service commissions. At the time he left his employment on March 6, 1979, Claimant had not received an adjustment in his pay for the new business commissions.
Claimant filed a claim for unemployment compensation benefits alleging cause of a necessitous and compelling nature. At the referee's hearing the Claimant argued that he was promised a pay increase as soon as he passed the license examination and that the Employer had not fulfilled his promises. The Claimant's supervisor testified, however, that the Claimant had been informed that he could not under the law*fn2 receive new business commissions until he was officially licensed by the state. The supervisor further testified that the Claimant was informed on the day he announced his resignation, that his pay would be adjusted that week. The referee gave credence to the testimony of the Employer and found that Claimant had voluntarily left his employment because he was dissatisfied with his wages and was, therefore, disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits under the provisions of Section 402(b)(1) of the Law. Claimant filed an appeal to the Board of Review. The Board concluded the determination of the referee was proper. Claimant appealed to this Court.
It is well settled that mere dissatisfaction with wages and working assignments does not constitute cause of necessitous and compelling nature and that the claimant has the burden to show reason of a necessitous and compelling nature for his voluntary separation. Owen v. ...