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MARY V. SOUTHARD v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/13/83)

decided: January 13, 1983.

MARY V. SOUTHARD, 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 Mary V. Southard, No. B-175282-B.

COUNSEL

Kenneth P. Walsh, for petitioner.

Steven J. Neary, Associate Counsel, with him Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges MacPhail and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 179]

Mary V. Southard (Claimant) has appealed from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which determined that she voluntarily terminated her employment without cause of a

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 180]

    necessitous and compelling nature and was therefore ineligible for benefits under Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1

Claimant was employed by Honeywell, Inc. (Employer) as a clerical worker on March 28, 1979, the date of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island. Upon hearing of the nuclear accident, Claimant obtained permission to leave her work place, which was located within ten miles of the nuclear power plant. She subsequently moved from the Harrisburg area and was placed on a personal leave of absence without pay with the understanding that her Employer would attempt to relocate her to another work location not near a nuclear power plant.*fn2 Claimant alleges that her decision to leave her employment was based upon special health considerations involving her particular sensitivity to low levels of radiation. This sensitivity allegedly developed following a severe viral illness which Claimant contracted in 1955.

Following a hearing at which Claimant appeared without counsel, a referee denied benefits concluding that Claimant had not met her burden of proving adequate health reasons to justify her termination. On

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 181]

    appeal, the Board affirmed. Claimant subsequently obtained legal counsel and petitioned for reconsideration to allow the introduction of medical evidence. The Board granted the petition and following a hearing before a referee acting as hearing officer for ...


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