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WALTER M. SANKEY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/30/81)

decided: January 30, 1981.

WALTER M. SANKEY, 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 Walter M. Sankey, No. B-171978.

COUNSEL

Dorean D. Nelson, for petitioner.

John Kupchinsky, Assistant Attorney General, with him James Bradley, Assistant Attorney General, Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, and Harvey Bartle, III, Acting Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr. Judge Mencer concurs in the result only.

Author: Williams

[ 56 Pa. Commw. Page 396]

Claimant, Walter Sankey, seeks reversal of a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying him benefits under Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1

The claimant had been employed by Montgomery Ward as manager of the Home Improvement Department when he retired in 1978 for medical reasons. He suffered from hypertensive cardiovascular disease; and he was informed by his physician that the stress and pressure caused by his job aggravated his condition. The doctor advised Sankey to leave his position as department manager. As a result, the claimant notified his employer of his intent to leave his job. However, following that notice, claimant spoke to the store manager about alternative work. At that time, claimant was informed that work as a commissioned salesman was available and was offered a job in that capacity. The claimant's employer felt that the offered position was compatible with claimant's condition, in that the stress and pressure claimant experienced as department manager would be alleviated. However, claimant rejected the offer, stating that such work would continue to irritate his medical problem. Feeling that he was unable to obtain suitable work, claimant voluntarily retired from his employment.

Claimant Sankey then applied for unemployment benefits, which were denied by the Referee upon a

[ 56 Pa. Commw. Page 397]

    finding that the claimant voluntarily terminated his employment without "cause of a necessitous and compelling nature."*fn2 The Board upheld the Referee's decision; and the claimant has appealed that decision to this Court.

Claimant's first contention is that the findings of the Board are not supported by substantial evidence. Specifically, claimant challenges finding of fact no. 4 which states: "On September 18, 1978, the claimant was offered a position as a commission salesman either full time or part time in an unrelated department." (Emphasis added.) It is claimant's contention that the underlined portion of that finding is supported solely by hearsay evidence, and that such evidence, standing alone, is not competent to support a finding of fact. The Board responds to that contention by asserting that "the unsupported portion of the above finding is not necessary to support the adjudication of the matter and has no effect upon the ultimate resolution of the case." We are in agreement with the Board.

In an unemployment compensation case, this Court is charged with the duty of reviewing the record to insure that any necessary findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence. Myers v. Unemployment Compensation Board of ...


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