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BARRY J. WERNER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/01/82)

decided: September 1, 1982.

BARRY J. WERNER, 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 Barry J. Werner, No. B-198733.

COUNSEL

Anthony C. Santore, for petitioner.

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

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

Author: Williams

[ 68 Pa. Commw. Page 546]

Barry J. Werner (claimant) has appealed from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying him benefits for the weeks ending May 30, 1981 and June 6, 1981. The Board determined that the claimant had, without "good cause", failed to pursue a referral to suitable employment. On that basis, the Board concluded that Section 402(a) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law)*fn1 rendered the claimant ineligible for benefits for the weeks in question.

On April 5, 1981, the claimant applied for unemployment compensation, after being separated from his previous employment for non-disqualifying reasons. On May 15, 1981, the Office of Employment Security (Office) referred him to a suitable job opening, and directed him to report to the prospective employer on Monday, May 18, 1981. However, the claimant did not keep that appointment; nor did he attempt to contract the prospective employer to arrange a new meeting.

The claimant did not keep the May 18 appointment because, on that date, he learned that a warrant for his arrest had been issued. Being anxious about the possibility of incarceration, the claimant devoted his efforts to obtaining legal representation and arranging for the posting of bail. By May 21, 1981 the claimant had completed his legal arrangements. But it was not until that date that he informed the Office of his failure to pursue the job referral and the reasons for the failure. By May 21, the once-prospective employer had given the job to another person.

On June 9, 1981, the Office determined that, by the terms of Section 402(a) of the Law, the claimant had

[ 68 Pa. Commw. Page 547]

    disqualified himself from receiving benefits for the weeks in question. When that determination was affirmed, first by a referee and then by the Board, the appeal to this Court followed.*fn2

Section 402 of the Law, in part here pertinent, reads as follows:

An employe shall be ineligible for compensation ...


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