Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of Marguerite W. Scott, No. B-188010.
Marianna M. Perkins, for appellant.
Francine Ostrovsky, Associate Counsel, with her Richard Wagner, Counsel, and Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Mencer, Williams, Jr. and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.
[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 347]
This is an appeal by Marguerite W. Scott (Claimant) from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a referee's denial of benefits pursuant to Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1 We affirm.
Claimant, who was employed as a bus driver by the Wissahickon School District (Employer), was involved in an accident which she attributed to wet brakes. Claimant's supervisors expressed dissatisfaction with her explanation of the accident and suspended
[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 348]
her without pay pending an investigation by an independent expert. Claimant was told she faced possible dismissal if the investigation showed her version of the accident was incorrect. Claimant, without waiting for the outcome of the investigation, announced she was quitting her job and submitted a written resignation.
Claimant contends that the Board erred in denying her unemployment compensation benefits because Claimant resigned in the face of imminent discharge and therefore her termination was not voluntary.*fn2
"Whether a termination of services is a voluntary quit or a discharge is a question of law to be determined by this Court based upon the findings of fact made by the Board." Goffi v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 58 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 422, 424, 427 A.2d 1273, 1274 (1981). It is well settled that where an employee resigns to avoid the chance of being fired, that employee will be treated as having voluntarily quit for the purposes of determining eligibility for unemployment compensation. Goffi; Small v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 53 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 375, 417 A.2d 1301 (1980); Smith v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 41 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 57, 398 A.2d 256 (1979); Hill v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 35 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 252, 385 A.2d 1032 (1978); Rizzitano v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 32 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 59, 377 A.2d 1060 (1977).
[ 63 Pa. Commw. Page 349]
In the instant case, the determination of Claimant's employment status hinged entirely on the outcome of an investigation of the accident by an independent expert. Claimant admits that she was told by her supervisors that she might be fired if the findings of the investigation were adverse. The Board was ...