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GERALD F. WHITLING v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/07/86)

decided: March 7, 1986.

GERALD F. WHITLING, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Gerald F. Whitling, No. 233529.

COUNSEL

Robert B. McGuiness, with him, James Bukac, for petitioner.

Donna M. Stanek, with her, Charles G. Hasson, Acting Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges MacPhail and Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 501]

Gerald F. Whitling (petitioner) petitions for review of the order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed a referee's decision ruling him financially ineligible to receive benefits, pursuant to Section 404 of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Act).*fn1

The facts in this case are not in dispute. The petitioner was last employed with Wade E. Simons (Simons), and that employment ended on October 1, 1983.*fn2 He filed an Application for Benefits, effective April 29, 1984, thereby establishing the calendar year of 1983 as his base year.*fn3 During his base year, he

[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 502]

    worked only for Simons, earning total base year wages of $5646.00, with high quarterly earnings of $3690.00. During that base year he had also received $331.84 in suppplemental unemployment benefits (SUB pay) under a plan established by agreement between the Oilwell Division, United States Steel Corporation (Oilwell Division), a former employer, and the United Steelworkers of America (union).

The administrative authorities ruled that the petitioner's SUB pay did not constitute wages under the Act and, therefore, could not be utilized in the determination of his financial eligibility. Without the SUB pay, however, the petitioner's total base year wages would be insufficient to establish financial eligibility.*fn4

On review, the petitioner alleges that the Board erred legally in excluding SUB pay from his base year wages and, alternatively, that, if the Act is interpreted to so exclude SUB pay, his due process and equal protection rights have been thereby denied. We will address these questions in the order presented.

[ 95 Pa. Commw. Page 503]

In reviewing the pertinent statutory language, we find that Section 4(x) of the Act*fn5 defines "wages" as "all remuneration . . . paid by an employer to an individual with respect to his employment. . . ." Section 4(l)(1) of the Act*fn6 defines "employment" as "all personal service performed for remuneration. . . ." And, although the Act does not define "remuneration," that term has been judicially defined to mean "payment for services performed." Gianfelice Unemployment Compensation Case, 396 Pa. 545, 555, 153 A.2d 906, 911 (1959), ...


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