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MARTINA H. SOFIS v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (08/18/82)

decided: August 18, 1982.

MARTINA H. SOFIS, 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 Martina H. Sofis, No. B-179891.

COUNSEL

Martin W. Sheerer, for petitioner.

Charles G. Hasson, Associate Counsel, with him Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 68 Pa. Commw. Page 367]

This is an appeal from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board). The Board affirmed a referee's decision denying benefits to claimant Martina H. Sofis.

From March, 1975 to October 4, 1979 claimant was employed by the Viking Motor Hotel as a bartender and hostess. On the latter date, claimant approached the hotel manager, Elmer Falavolito, and asked permission

[ 68 Pa. Commw. Page 368]

    to borrow a serving dish. When claimant explained that she planned to use the dish at a party in her home, Mr. Falavolito reminded her of the hotel's long-standing policy against fraternization with customers. In response to this admonishment, claimant stated that she could no longer tolerate the rule prohibiting private association with customers, and informed Mr. Falavolito that she would not remain in his employ.

Subsequent to quitting her job, claimant applied for unemployment compensation benefits, which were denied by the Office of Employment Security. Following a hearing on appeal, the referee affirmed, finding that claimant had voluntarily terminated her employment without cause of a "necessitous and compelling nature," and thus was ineligible for benefits by virtue of Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1 The Board affirmed the referee's decision, and the instant appeal followed.

A claimant who becomes unemployed by voluntarily quitting his or her job assumes the burden of showing that such termination was for cause of a "necessitous and compelling nature." Cowls v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 58 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 150, 427 A.2d 722 (1981). In essence, a claimant who willingly resigns from his job must demonstrate that he had no real choice but to leave his employment. Stiffler v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 64 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 44, 438 A.2d 1058 (1982).

The claimant herein contends that the referee capriciously disregarded competent testimony which established that ...


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