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W. R. GRACE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/10/83)

decided: January 10, 1983.

W. R. GRACE, 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 Peggy R. Gottschall, No. B-195297.

COUNSEL

William W. Runyeon, with him Richard L. Orwig, Edelman, O'Pake, Malsnee & Orwig, for petitioner.

Charles Hasson, Associate Counsel, with him Richard C. Lengler, Associate Counsel, and Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Craig

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 87]

In this unemployment compensation case, the petitioner, W. R. Grace & Co., appeals from a decision by the board which, affirming the referee's decision below, granted benefits to Peggy R. Gottschall under the voluntary layoff and necessitous and compelling cause provisions of the Unemployment Compensation Act, Section 402(b),*fn1 and which also found her available for suitable work under Section 401(d).*fn2 We affirm.

The facts are not in dispute. The petitioner employed Mrs. Gottschall as a "packer/stacker" for approximately three and one-half years. Because sales

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 88]

    did not justify running company machinery fulltime and because Mrs. Gottschall did not have sufficient seniority, the petitioner bumped the claimant from her first shift duties on January 16, 1981, offering her the same type of employment for the second and third shifts, or the option of taking a voluntary layoff with recall rights under an oral agreement between Grace and its employees.

Mrs. Gottschall exercised her voluntary layoff option apparently because she was having difficulty finding someone to care for her small school-age children and because she was reluctant to transport them to a babysitter late at night.*fn3

The petitioner contends (1) that Mrs. Gottschall's quitting was not necessary in that her attempt to secure care for her children was inadequate and (2) that, because she declined work on the second or third shifts, she so limited her availability for suitable work that she removed herself from the labor market. We disagree.

In 1980, the legislature modified Section 402(b) to include the ...


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