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ELSIE AND RUSSELL WOROBEC T/D/B/A MEADOWOOD FARM v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/21/88)

decided: January 21, 1988.

ELSIE AND RUSSELL WOROBEC T/D/B/A MEADOWOOD FARM, PETITIONERS
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 Ellen R. Korsack, No. B-252570, and William A. Korsack, No. B-252571.

COUNSEL

C. Edward S. Mitchell, with him, Gary L. Weber, Mitchell, Mitchell & Gray, for petitioners.

James K. Bradley, Assistant Counsel, with him, Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Colins

[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 644]

Meadowood Farm petitions for review of the Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which reversed a referee's denial of unemployment compensation benefits to William and Ellen Korsack. The Korsacks filed their claims for benefits on February 16, 1986. On February 24, 1986, the Office of Employment Security (OES) issued its decision, finding

[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 645]

    the Korsacks to be ineligible for benefits. On appeal, a hearing on both claims was held before Referee Jean Warwick. On April 4, 1986, she issued decisions affirming the OES's denial of benefits in both claims. The Korsacks appealed to the Board and on September 3, 1986, the Board issued orders reversing the referee's denial of benefits.

The Korsacks, husband and wife, worked for Meadowood Farm and its owner, Elise Worobec (Worobec) from on or about October 31, 1982, until February 17, 1986. Meadowood Farm is a farm, a portion of which is leased to a neighbor for farming and agricultural purposes. The remainder of the farm is utilized for the breeding, raising, showing and sale of horses. The Korsacks performed duties solely in connection with the horse-raising aspect of the farm. Mr. Korsack was responsible for the care, maintenance, breeding, training and showing of horses at the farm. Mrs. Korsack was hired to assist her husband and was in charge of maintaining expense, breeding and show records. In March of 1984, Mrs. Korsack ceased maintenance of financial records but continued to maintain the breeding and show records.

The issue before this Court is whether the Board erred in concluding that the Korsacks' employment on the Meadowood Farm which included the care, maintenance, breeding, training and showing of horses, as well as the bookkeeping pertaining thereto, constituted covered employment under Section 4 of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Act), Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 753.

In unemployment compensation cases, the burden of proving eligibility for benefits lies with the claimant. Pacini v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 102 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 355, 518 A.2d 606

[ 112 Pa. Commw. Page 646]

(1986). Here, the Korsacks had the burden of proving that they were "employed" within the meaning of the Act. They prevailed before the Board. Our scope of review of the Board's order is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights have been violated, an error of law has been committed, or whether any necessary findings of fact are not ...


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