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KENNETH A. HARWOOD v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/29/87)

decided: September 29, 1987.

KENNETH A. HARWOOD, 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 Kenneth Harwood, No. B-245723.

COUNSEL

Kenneth A. Harwood, petitioner, for himself.

James K. Bradley, Assistant Counsel, with him, 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. Judge Palladino dissents.

Author: Barbieri

[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 560]

Kenneth A. Harwood (Claimant) appeals an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying him benefits pursuant to Section 401(d)(1) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1

Claimant was employed as a case worker for the Department of Public Welfare (Employer) for approximately one year. Claimant's last day of work was December 20, 1984, after which he took a voluntary leave of absence due to the fact that he was suffering from severe depression.

On June 4, 1985, Claimant sent a letter*fn2 to the Employer, requesting an immediate return to work at a position with less responsibility, and suggesting various positions he felt he was qualified for. Claimant applied for benefits on June 9, 1985. The Employer failed to

[ 109 Pa. Commw. Page 561]

    offer Claimant any other positions and his leave of absence was extended several times.

The Office of Employment Security (OES) granted benefits pursuant to Section 401(d)(1) of the Law and the Employer appealed. At the August 1, 1985, hearing before the referee, Claimant testified that he neither resigned nor was terminated from his position as a case worker and that his leave of absence had been extended through September 30, 1985. The referee denied benefits pursuant to Section 401(d)(1) and the Board affirmed, adopting the findings of the referee.

Claimant contends on appeal that the Board erred by failing to analyze the voluntariness of his separation under Section 402(b) of the Law,*fn3 rather than Section 401(d). In the alternative Claimant maintains that if the Board properly analyzed his case under Section 401(d), it erred in concluding he was not able and available for suitable work.

Pursuant to Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. ยง 704, our scope of review is limited to determining whether there has been a violation of constitutional rights, an error of law has been committed or necessary findings of fact are not supported by substantial evidence. Estate of ...


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