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RUTH RIPKA ABEL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (11/14/86)

decided: November 14, 1986.

RUTH RIPKA ABEL, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT. TREDYFFRIN-EASTTOWN SCHOOL DISTRICT, PETITIONER V. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeals from the Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the cases of Ruth Ripka Abel, Nos. B-242050 and B-242051.

COUNSEL

Leonard V. Tenaglia, with him, Lyn B. Schoenfeld, Richard, DiSanti, Hamilton, Gallagher & Paul, for petitioner, Ruth Ripka Abel.

Edward Griffith, with him, Catherine Hill Kunda, Duane, Morris & Heckscher, for petitioner, Tredyffrin-Easttown School District.

No appearance for respondent.

William Fearen, with him, Richard C. Lengler, Cleckner and Fearen, for Amicus Curiae, Pennsylvania School Boards Association.

Judges Craig and Barry, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Barry

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 210]

These appeals result from orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board), the first of which granted benefits to the claimant for the weeks ending July 14, 1984, through September 1, 1984, and the second of which denied benefits for the weeks ending September 8, 1984 through November 24, 1984. The claimant, Ruth Ripka Abel, appeals the latter order (2305 C.D. 1985), while the employer, Tredyffrin-Easttown School District (school district or employer), appeals the former (2312 C.D. 1985).

The facts are not in dispute. Claimant was last employed, before her resignation on July 11, 1984, as a

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 211]

    substitute teacher for the employer. This employment had lasted eleven years, with the final three years as a long-term substitute, an employment position governed by contract.

On June 18, 1984, however, at the end of the 1983-1984 school year, claimant was placed on the per diem substitute list, under the terms of which she would be called when needed to substitute on a day-to-day basis during the 1984-1985 school year. In response, claimant, on July 11, 1984, "because of the uncertainty of her working schedule associated with the per diem substitute arrangement, requested that she be removed from the per diem list . . . ."*fn1 Claimant's request to be removed was also made "in order [for her] to seek other full-time employment and to establish her eligibility for unemployment compensation benefits during the summer months."*fn2

Claimant's summer attempts at seeking new employment were, however, unsuccessful. Thus, on September 11, 1984, she asked to be returned to the per diem list. From that point through November 24, 1984, claimant did in fact work as a per diem substitute, earning $960.00 during that period. Claimant asserted claims for benefits for these periods.

The Office of Employment Security denied claimant's application for benefits for both (1) the initial, summer period and (2) for the post-restoration autumnal period. The former denial was premised on the notion that claimant did not have good cause for her resignation. Section 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law),*fn3 43 P.S. § 802(b). The latter denial,

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 212]

    meanwhile, was premised on her failure to earn, after her restoration and return to part-time work, a compurgative amount equal to or in excess of six times her benefit rate. Section 401(f) of the Law, 43 P.S. § 801(f). The referee, however, reversed, reasoning (1) that claimant possessed, by virtue of her self-removal from the per diem list, no "reasonable assurance" of continuing employment with the school district; and (2) that, by virtue of the latter determination of qualification for benefits, ...


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