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AMERICAN WATER WORKS SERVICE COMPANY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/06/85)

decided: March 6, 1985.

AMERICAN WATER WORKS SERVICE COMPANY, INC., 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 Cindy D. Ritchie, No. B-225803.

COUNSEL

Michael D. Klein, for petitioner.

James K. Bradley, Associate Counsel, with him, Charles G. Hasson, Acting Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judge Colins and Senior Judges Barbieri and Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins. Judge Williams, Jr. did not participate in the decision in this case.

Author: Colins

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 116]

Petitioner, the American Water Works Service Company, Inc., appeals the reinstatement by the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board), of its decision to award benefits to claimant, Cindy Ritchie.

Claimant was employed by petitioner for eleven months when she voluntarily quit because she alleged that an odor emanating from the air conditioning unit made her so nauseous that she could not eat. Because she was pregnant, she felt that she must leave for "health reasons" and she claimed that her physician had advised her to quit. Claimant, representing herself, did not present any witnesses.

[ 88 Pa. Commw. Page 117]

Claimant was ruled eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits by the Office of Unemployment Security. The petitioner appealed and the referee reversed. Claimant appealed to the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, which reversed the referee and granted benefits. Petitioner then requested that the Board reconsider. The Board vacated its decision, granted oral argument and then reinstated its decision to grant benefits. Hence, this appeal.

Petitioner alleges that the Board erred by disregarding findings by the referee without stating the reasons for doing so; that finding of fact No. 8 is unsupported by substantial evidence; and that claimant failed to have adequate health reasons to justify her voluntary quit.

The Board claims that there is substantial evidence in the record to support all the "necessary and needed" findings of fact made by the Board and that claimant has shown reasons of a necessitous and compelling nature for her voluntary quit.

Claimant must show, in order to be found eligible for benefits when terminating her employment for health reasons, that she is available for suitable work, consistent with her medical condition, and that she has explained her medical problem to her employer and explained her inability to perform the regularly assigned duties. Genetin v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 499 Pa. 125, 451 A.2d 1353 (1982). A reading of the record indicates that claimant has done this.

The claimant need not prove that she was previously advised by her physician to quit if she realized that she is either physically or emotionally unable to continue working and she has offered competent ...


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