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CHESTER C. PACINI v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/04/86)

decided: December 4, 1986.

CHESTER C. PACINI, 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 Chester C. Pacini, No. B-239525.

COUNSEL

Carlene R. Gallo, for petitioner.

Samuel H. Lewis, Associate Counsel, with him, Paul E. Baker, Acting Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Craig, Colins and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Colins.

Author: Colins

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 356]

Chester C. Pacini (petitioner) appeals an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed a referee's decision finding him ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits on account of his voluntary termination.*fn1

Petitioner had been employed by A & P Tea Company as a clerk for thirty-nine and one-quarter (39 1/4) years when he terminated his employment. Petitioner

[ 102 Pa. Commw. Page 357]

    felt that he had no choice but to terminate his employment since, under the soon-to-be-ratified collective bargaining agreement which would control the terms of his employment, petitioner believed that he faced yearly reductions from his pension plan, as well as reductions in pay and vacation time. Under these circumstances, petitioner accepted an offer from his employer and retired at age fifty-eight (58) in order to preserve his pension plan.

After a hearing,*fn2 the referee determined that petitioner had voluntarily retired from his employment and was ineligible for benefits. The Board affirmed the decision of the referee, and this appeal followed.

The issue before this Court is whether the Board erred in concluding that petitioner had voluntarily terminated his position without necessitous and compelling cause.

In unemployment compensation cases, the claimant has the burden of proving eligibility for benefits. Hughes v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 51 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 448, 450, 414 A.2d 757, 758 (1980). Where a claimant has voluntarily terminated his work, the claimant bears the burden of proving that such termination was with cause of a necessitous and compelling nature. Borman v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 12 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 241, 316 A.2d 679 (1974).

In light of our Supreme Court's recent decision in Estate of McGovern v. State Employes' Retirement Board, 512 Pa. 377, 517 A.2d 523 (1986), our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether ...


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