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PHYLLIS K. PORTER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/02/81)

decided: September 2, 1981.

PHYLLIS K. PORTER, 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 Phyllis K. Porter, No. B-177968.

COUNSEL

Marian E. Frankston, with her, David Pauline, for petitioner.

Karen Durkin, Assistant Attorney General, with her, James K. Bradley, Associate Counsel, Richard Wagner, Counsel, and Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Mencer, Craig and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 507]

Claimant appeals an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed a referee's denial of benefits pursuant to Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1 We affirm.

On July 12, 1979, after being admonished for poor work performance, Claimant left her badge with the company personnel director, announced her resignation, and departed. On July 13, 1979, Claimant attempted to return to work but was informed that the company considered Claimant's resignation to be final.

"In unemployment compensation cases, the claimant has the burden of proving eligibility for benefits." Hughes v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 51 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 448, 450, 414 A.2d 757, 758 (1980). Because the party with the burden of proof (Claimant) did not prevail before the Board, this Court's scope of review consists

[ 61 Pa. Commw. Page 508]

    of determining whether the findings of fact can be sustained without a capricious disregard of competent evidence and are consistent with each other and with the conclusions of law. Helsel v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 54 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 320, 421 A.2d 496 (1980).

Initially, Claimant asserts that she is eligibile for benefits because she did not willingly relinquish her job. Whether an employee has voluntarily terminated employment depends upon whether the termination was self-initiated or was initated by action of the employer. Helsel. Despite the Board's finding, here, that "claimant over-reacted to . . . admonitions . . . from her immediate supervisor," Claimant does not allege that her supervisor's reproof constituted a dismissal or justification for quitting. Rather, Claimant maintains that her refusal to sign a resignation form precludes the Board's determination that Claimant voluntarily left employment. However, "[a]n express resignation is not necessary to constitute a voluntary termination; conduct which is tantamount to a voluntary termination of employment is sufficient." Sears, Roebuck & Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 39 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 170, 174, 394 A.2d 1329, 1332 (1978). Claimant's departure from the company premises, without reclaiming her badge, evidences Claimant's immediate resignation. Moreover, the company personnel director testified that when Claimant left her badge, she orally proclaimed her resignation.

Claimant next contends that even if she voluntarily left her job, she is eligible for compensation because she quit for "cause of a necessitous and compelling nature." Section 402(b)(1) of the Law. "In voluntary termination cases, the ...


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