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DOLORES T. TARASCHI v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/06/86)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: June 6, 1986.

DOLORES T. TARASCHI, 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 Dolores T. Taraschi, No. B-229679.

COUNSEL

Allan B. Greenwood, Cremers, Morris, Greenwood & Tunnell, for petitioner.

John W. English, Jr., Associate Counsel, with him, Charles G. Hasson, Acting Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Rogers and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.

Author: Crumlish

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 23]

Dolores T. Taraschi appeals an Unemployment Compensation Board of Review order upholding a referee's decision denying her benefits due to a voluntary quit without necessitous and compelling cause. Section 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1 We affirm.

Taraschi, an accounting clerk, suffered a severe nervous disorder and received an approved leave of absence from her employer. Several weeks later, Taraschi met with members of management to discuss new work accommodations. The employer then by letter notified her that a failure to report to work the following Monday would be deemed a resignation.*fn2 Taraschi did not

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 24]

    return to work nor did she request a second leave of absence.

Where the claimant, who has the burden of proving necessitious and compelling cause for a voluntary quit, does not prevail below, our scope of review is limited to determining whether the Board's findings are consistent with each other and with the conclusions of law and can be sustained without a capricious disregard of competent evidence. Zingler v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 85 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 313, 481 A.2d 994 (1984).

[ 98 Pa. Commw. Page 25]

Taraschi contends that the Board erred as a matter of law denying benefits because she did not agree to return to work at the meeting and was under no duty to return or request a second leave of absence. We disagree.

Although a claimant need only communicate his medical difficulties to his employer, he must stand ready to accept any reasonable accommodation offered by the employer. Evasovich v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 80 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 395, 471 A.2d 921 (1984).

It is undisputed that Taraschi was suffering from a severe phobic condition and that she communicated this disorder to her employer. The burden then shifted to the employer to offer a suitable alternative. Our review of the record discloses that the employer made a good faith effort to ascertain the extent of Taraschi's medical disorder and expressed a willingness to accommodate her condition. Taraschi, however, refused to cooperate. Her failure to respond to the employer's offer of accommodation negated any medical justification for her quit. The mere fact that no agreement on specific accommodation was reached does not change this result. An employee may not reject a proposed accommodation out of hand; repudiation must be grounded upon particularized objections to the work environment.

The Board's order is affirmed.

Order

The order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-229679 dated April 30, 1984, is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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