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ROBERT WILLIAMS v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/23/83)

decided: June 23, 1983.

ROBERT WILLIAMS, 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 Robert Williams, No. B-192215.

COUNSEL

Jerome L. Munford, Canty and Munford, for petitioner.

Francine Ostrovsky, Associate Counsel, with her Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Barbieri

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 173]

The claimant, Robert Williams, appeals here from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board), dismissing his appeal to that Board, and from a referee's decision denying him unemployment benefits, as being untimely filed under Section 502 of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law), Act of December 5, 1936, P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 822.

On October 22, 1980, an unemployment referee issued a decision denying the claimant unemployment benefits under Sections 401(d)(1) and 402(a) of the Law, 43 P.S. §§ 801(d)(1) and 802(a). A copy of this decision was mailed to the claimant, and was accompanied by a notice informing him that unless he filed

[ 75 Pa. Commw. Page 174]

    an appeal within 15 days of the referee's decision, the referee's decision would become final. Since the last day of the 15 day appeal period was on a holiday, November 11, 1980, the claimant had until the next business day, November 12, 1980, to file his appeal.

Counsel for the claimant sent a letter of appeal to the Board bearing a private postage meter mark dated November 11, 1980, and a postmark dated November 13, 1980 by the post office authorities. Thereafter, counsel for the claimant received a letter from the Board informing him that his appeal appeared to be untimely, and offered him the opportunity for a hearing on the timeliness of his appeal. A hearing was held, and on February 11, 1981, the Board issued a decision finding that the claimant did not timely file his appeal under Section 502 of the Law. Section 502 provides in part that unless an appeal is filed within 15 days after a referee's decision, the referee's decision shall be deemed final.

It is the appellant's contention that the record in this case is insufficient and inadequate as a matter of law and fact to support the finding and conclusion of the Board that his appeal was untimely filed. In order to address this contention by the claimant, we must review the record in this case, and determine whether or not the Board's findings are supported by substantial evidence and, if so, whether the facts as found by the Board, can sustain the conclusion, as a matter of law, that the claimant's appeal was untimely filed. See Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. § 704.

The findings of fact made by the Board pertinent to the filing of the claimant's ...


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