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WILLIAM R. SHAFFER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/17/87)

decided: September 17, 1987.

WILLIAM R. SHAFFER, 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 William R. Shaffer, No. B-250150.

COUNSEL

Veronica Giel Wright, Neighborhood Legal Services Association, for petitioner.

Patricia Krise Bilzi, Assistant Counsel, with her, Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Barbieri

[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 412]

William R. Shaffer (Claimant) appeals an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying him benefits pursuant to Section 402(a) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1

Claimant was employed as a janitor by Quality Building Services, Inc. (Employer) for approximately eight months at a final rate of pay of $3.45 per hour. Claimant worked 30 hours per week for the Employer at the Jamesway store in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, until May 31, 1985, when the store was destroyed by a tornado. The Jamesway store was located eleven miles from Claimant's residence.

[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 413]

On June 1, 1985, the Employer's District Manager offered Claimant similar employment at a store in Greentree, Pennsylvania, which was located approximately forty miles from his home. The new position was to be at the same rate of pay*fn2 and Claimant was given the option of working six or seven days per week for four hours per day. Claimant refused the offer of the new position because there was no public transportation available and he felt the distance to Greentree, Pennsylvania, was too far to drive. On or about June 4, 1985, the District Manager suggested that Claimant form a car-pool with two other employees and offered ten dollars per day to the driver in an attempt to defray transportation expenses.*fn3 Claimant still refused to accept the new position.

The Office of Employment Security found that the distance to Greentree, Pennsylvania, was not a suitable distance to drive and granted Claimant benefits. The Employer appealed and the referee reversed, denying benefits pursuant to Section 402(a). The Board affirmed and adopted the findings of the referee.

Our analysis of a claimant's eligibility under Section 402(a) requires a two prong inquiry. We must determine first whether the proffered work was suitable and second whether the failure to accept such work was

[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 414]

    without good cause. Claimant contends that the offer of employment was not suitable and that he had good cause for refusal, as Greentree, Pennsylvania, ...


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