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ERIC W. FETTERMAN v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/07/83)

decided: November 7, 1983.

ERIC W. FETTERMAN, 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 Eric Fetterman, No. B-198931.

COUNSEL

Lenore M. Urbano, with her Danna Rich-Collins, for petitioner.

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

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

Author: Blatt

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 234]

This case comes here on appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying benefits to Eric W. Fetterman (claimant).

The claimant was employed by the Lycoming County Juvenile Probation Office (employer) as a juvenile probation aide for approximately one and one-half years until his voluntary resignation for health-related reasons*fn1 on April 20, 1981. The Office of Employment Security (OES) denied his application for benefits holding that benefits here were precluded by Section 402(b)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(b)(1). The referee, on appeal, reversed this decision but he was, in turn, reversed by the Board, which agreed with the OES concluding that the claimant had failed to show cause of a necessitous and compelling nature to justify his voluntary termination.

Where the party with the burden of proof in an unemployment compensation case does not prevail before the Board, our scope of review is limited to determining whether or not the findings of fact are consistent with each other and with conclusions of law and

[ 78 Pa. Commw. Page 235]

    can be sustained without a capricious disregard of competent evidence. Querry v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 63 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 170, 437 A.2d 1048 (1981). And, of course, whether or not a voluntary termination of employment was for cause of a necessitous and compelling nature is a legal conclusion, always subject to appellate review. Eduardo v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 61 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 424, 434 A.2d 215 (1981).

Section 402(b)(1) of the Act, 43 P.S. § 802(b)(1) provides in pertinent part as follows:

     an employee shall be ineligible for compensation for any week . . . in which his unemployment is due to voluntarily leaving work without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature.

And, it is the claimant's burden to prove that the cause for his voluntary quit was of a necessitous and compelling nature. Reid v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 38 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 355, 393 A.2d 51 (1978). When related to health reasons, furthermore, a claimant must (1) introduce competent testimony that at the time of termination adequate health reasons existed to justify termination, and (2) inform the employer of the health problems. Southard v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, ...


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