Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of Gregory J. Donaldson, No. B-224518.
Carol A. Teno, for petitioner.
James K. Bradley, Associate Counsel, with him, Charles G. Hasson, Acting Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 367]
Gregory J. Donaldson (claimant) appeals here an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a referee's decision to deny benefits pursuant to Section 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law*fn1 (Law) because the claimant failed to prove that his voluntary quit was for a necessitous and compelling reason.
[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 368]
The facts, which are not in dispute, reveal that the claimant worked as an operator for Schlumberger Wells Services (employer) until August 25, 1983. On that day, the employer informed him that he was to be temporarily reassigned to Paintsville, Kentucky for a minimum of thirty-five (35) days, that room and board would be provided for him in Paintsville and that he would be working for six (6) days at a time separated by three (3) days off. The employer would not provide transportation for the claimant to and from his home in Pennsylvania on his days off. Following the completion of the temporary assignment, the employer would transfer the claimant from Homer City, Pennsylvania to Marietta, Ohio. The claimant quit because his employer could not provide transportation back to Pennsylvania on his days off and because he did not wish to relocate to Marietta following the completion of his temporary assignment. He could not provide his own transportation to and from Kentucky because his wife needed the family car to get to her job at Kroger's in Homer City, Pennsylvania. Following the referee's denial of benefits, the claimant appealed to the Board which affirmed the referee's decision. The present appeal ensued.
The only issue before this Court is whether or not the Board erred as a matter of law when it determined that the claimant had not established a necessitous and compelling cause for his voluntary quit.*fn2 And, of course, our scope of review includes all questions of law. Magazzeni v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 75 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 635, 462 A.2d 961 (1983).
[ 91 Pa. Commw. Page 369]
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court in Taylor v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 474 Pa. 351, 378 A.2d 829 (1977) stated that "good cause", or cause of a necessitous and compelling nature, for which a voluntary quit is justifiable "results from circumstances which produce pressure to terminate employment that is both real and substantial, and which would compel a reasonable person under the circumstances to act in the same manner." Id. at 359, 378 A.2d at 832-833.
In deciding whether or not the claimant's reasons for quitting constitute "good cause" under these circumstances, we must bear in mind that an employer is entitled to modify the time, place and nature of the job originally assigned to an employee if the changes are reasonable. Mosebauer v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 61 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 269, 433 A.2d 599 (1981). Further, an employee must abide by the employer's decision where reasonable at the risk of being found ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits. Id.
If the claimant here had quit only because of the temporary assignment, we believe that he would be ineligible for benefits. See Stratford v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 78 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 54, 466 A.2d 1119 (1983).*fn3 The record indicates, however, that he told the Office of Employment Security (OES) in his ...