Appeals from the Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the cases of In Re: Claim of Anthony Brennan, No. B-209546; Claim of Thomas Revello, No. B-209547; Claim of Audrey P. Peterson, et al., No. B-215921; Claim of Renee S. Ouslander, No. B-215922; Claim of Helen Plattenberger, et al., No. B-215923; Claim of Lorraine Walls, No. B-215924; Claim of Florence Sacks, No. B-215925; and Claim of Wayne Hettinger, No. B-215926.
Bruce M. Ludwig, Stephen A. Sheller & Associates, for petitioners.
Richard F. Faux, Associate Counsel, with him, Charles Hasson, Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Rogers, Doyle and Colins, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 231]
Anthony Brennan, Audrey P. Peterson and Renee S. Ouslander, representative claimants*fn1 of Intermittent Intake Interviewers of the Office of Employment Security (OES), appeal from orders by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, which, granting unemployment benefits based the amount of benefits on the claimants' highest quarterly wages. The claimants contend that, according to Section 404(a)(1) of
[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 232]
the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law,*fn2 their unemployment benefits should be calculated instead at fifty per cent of their full-time weekly wages.
Because the petitions for review raise identical legal issues and concern claimants with the same employment status, we have consolidated their appeals in the present proceedings.
Intermittent Intake Interviewers process claims for unemployment benefits and perform other clerical duties related to unemployment compensation services. They are civil service employees, selected from the ranks of applicants who pass a civil service examination. After six months' probation, they become regular employees accorded permanent status. As the title of the job classification denotes, they work whenever unemployment compensation claims peak. When they are called into work, they perform duties which are identical to the duties of full-time OES compensation interviewers, and they work 37.5 hours a week, the full-time hours of OES employees. When the work load decreases and the claimants are placed in a no-pay status, each remains an OES employee, subject to recall at any time. When the work load increases, they are recalled to active pay status on the basis of seniority.
The controlling statute in this case, Section 404 of the Unemployment Compensation Law, provides two methods for computing an employee's weekly benefit rate. The statute is pertinently the following:
Compensation shall be paid to each eligible employee in accordance with the following provisions of this section except that compensation payable with respect to weeks ending in benefit ...