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HOSPITAL SERVICE ASSOCIATION NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/08/84)

decided: June 8, 1984.

HOSPITAL SERVICE ASSOCIATION OF NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in cases of Elizabeth Willison, No. B-200314; Joyce Stachniewicz, No. B-200315; Beverly A. Froncek, No. B-203334; Geraldine I. Glushefski, No. B-203335; Gloria Yarnal, No. B-203336; Rose Bohonko, No. 203337 and Shirley A. Cavanaugh, No. B-203338.

COUNSEL

Richard W. Harris, for petitioner.

Richard F. Faux, Associate Counsel, with him Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Doyle, Palladino and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 166]

Before us are the consolidated appeals of the Hospital Service Association of Northeastern Pennsylvania (Employer) from separate orders of the Uneemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed the referees' awards of benefits to seven former employees*fn1 on the basis of Section 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law*fn2 (Act), 43 P.S. ยง 802(b) (voluntary quit for cause of necessitous and compelling nature).

Claimants were employed as claim processors, and worked for the Employer during the night shift, from 5:00 until 10:00 p.m. each evening. In March of 1981, Employer informed Claimants that the night shift would be eliminated in May of that year, but that each Claimant could continue employment after that date by accepting a position on the day shift. Each Claimant refused the offer of daytime employment, citing her conflicting obligation to care for her small children during the day while her husband worked. Employer again offered Claimants daytime employment in May, shortly before the elimination of the Claimants' night shift, but again, each Claimant refused. Claimants left work upon the elimination of the night shift on May 22, 1981, and applied for unemployment compensation. After an initial determination by the

[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 167]

Office of Employment Security,*fn3 the referees granted benefits in each case under Section 402(b) of the Law, finding that each Claimant had voluntarily quit her employment for cause of a necessitous and compelling nature. The referees' findings in each case indicated that the Claimant quit work because of her obligation to care for her children, after having made a good faith effort to find a babysitter.*fn4 Further, it was found that each Claimant was available for part-time night work, and that such work was readily available in the community. The referees' decisions were affirmed by separate decisions of the Board.

Before this Court, Employer argues that the referees and the Board erred in applying Section 402(b) of the Law, and urges that Section 402(a) and Section 402(a)(1) of the Law*fn5 control. Sections 402(a) and 402(a)(1) state, in pertinent part:

Ineligibility for compensation

An employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week --

(a) In which his unemployment is due to failure, without good cause, either to apply for suitable work . . . or to accept suitable work when ...


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