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KNOUSE FOODS COOPERATIVE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/25/88)

decided: April 25, 1988.

KNOUSE FOODS COOPERATIVE, INC., 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 In Re: Aletta C. Freeman, No. B-252271; Cheryl Richwine, No. B-252272; Emma L. Whitmoyer, No. B-252273; Bonnie L. Shaffer, No. B-252274, and Lottie E. Bittinger, No. B-254912.

COUNSEL

Bruce D. Bagley, with him, Norman I. White, McNees, Wallace & Nurick, for petitioner.

Peter V. Marks, Sr., with him, Ira H. Weinstock and Gerard M. Mackarevich, Ira H. Weinstock, P.C., for intervenor, United Food and Commercial Workers.

Donald Marritz, for intervenors.

No appearance for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Barry, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Barry.

Author: Barry

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 443]

Knouse Foods Cooperative, Inc. (Knouse) appeals from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a decision of a referee which reversed determinations by the Office of Employment Security (OES) that Knouse was engaged in seasonal apple, cherry and/or peach processing operations at its five plants for the purposes of Section 402.5 of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1 It also appeals from orders of the Board affirming decisions of the referee that reversed determinations made by the OES and awarded claimants who had performed services for those operations unemployment compensation benefits.

[ 115 Pa. Commw. Page 444]

Section 402.5 was enacted on July 1, 1985 and was to become effective in sixty days; i.e. on August 30, 1985. On September 18, 1985, Knouse filed applications with the OES in order to have its apple, cherry and/or peach processing operations at its plants in Biglerville, Chambersburg, Gardner, Orrtanna and Peach Glen designated as seasonal operations under Section 402. Employees performing services for those operations would as a result be ineligible to collect unemployment compensation benefits during the offseason periods for those operations based on wages earned from performing services therefor if they had reasonable assurances of employment during the next season. Knouse posted on the bulletin boards of each plant a copy of the publication seeking the seasonal designation for the fruit processing operations being conducted at that particular plant.

On November 7, 1985, the OES issued a notice of determination for each of Knouse's five plants, designating the apple, cherry and/or peach processing operations conducted at those plants as seasonal operations, with the seasons for those operations running as follows: apple processing -- September 18, 1985 to March 31, 1986; cherry processing -- July 5, 1985 to August 16, 1985; peach processing -- August 19, 1985 to September 13, 1985. Knouse then promptly and conspicuously posted on the bulletin boards of each plant a copy of the notice of determination which announced the designation of the fruit processing operations conducted at that particular plant as seasonal operations.

Aletta Freeman, an employee at Knouse's Peach Glen plant and a member of Local 1537, of the United Food and Commercial Workers (Union), after having seen the posted notice of determination regarding that plant, contacted a representative of the OES ...


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