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HARRY F. STIFFLER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/08/82)

decided: January 8, 1982.

HARRY F. STIFFLER, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of Harry F. Stiffler, No. B-183976.

COUNSEL

Martin Nadorlik, with him Edward R. Schellhammer, John D. Gibson and Stephen E. DiNovis, for petitioner.

Charles Hasson, Associate Counsel, with him Joseph F. Bewick, Associate 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 Williams, Jr. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of Judge Palladino.

Author: Williams

[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 45]

This is an appeal by claimant from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying him benefits under Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1 The Board reversed a referee's decision awarding benefits.

Claimant, Harry Stiffler, was last employed as a truck driver by Cambria Transport Company. He severed the employment relationship on August 19, 1979. On that date, claimant notified his employer that

[ 64 Pa. Commw. Page 46]

    he was terminating his employment to go to work for his uncle. Claimant alleged that his termination was, in fact, induced by his dissatisfaction with his wages, work conditions, and health benefits. Prior to terminating his employment, however, claimant did not inform his employer of his displeasure with his job.

Subsequent to quitting his job, claimant applied for unemployment compensation benefits. The Office of Employment Security denied benefits to the claimant. The claimant filed an appeal from that determination and, after a referee's hearing, a determination was issued reversing that of the Office and granting benefits to the claimant. Upon the employer's appeal, the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review issued an order remanding the case to the referee to allow the employer to present his testimony. A second hearing in this matter was held, and, in May, 1980, the Board reversed the referee's decision, thereby denying benefits to the claimant. This appeal followed.

The instant claimant contends that the Board erred in finding an absence of compelling and necessitous reasons for his voluntary cessation of employment. He asserts that he left his job because he did not receive the wages and hospitalization plan which he had been promised, and that he was forced to drive an unsafe truck under conditions which were in violation of the law.*fn2

We must begin by noting that a claimant who voluntarily terminates his employment bears the burden of proving that his decision was motivated by compelling and necessitous reasons in order to be eligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Hill v. Unemployment Compensation Board of ...


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