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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/07/88)

decided: September 7, 1988.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, STATE CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION AT GRATERFORD, 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 In Re: Claim of Richard T. Wills, No. B-257750.

COUNSEL

David L. Horwitz, Assistant Counsel, for petitioner.

Peter C. Layman, Deputy Chief 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 Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 119 Pa. Commw. Page 298]

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, State Correctional Institution at Graterford (Employer) appeals from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a referee's grant of unemployment compensation benefits to Richard T. Wills (Claimant) based on the conclusion he had cause of a necessitous and compelling nature for voluntarily terminating his employment. Section 402(b)(1) of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Law (Act), Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 802(b)(1).

The referee made the following findings of fact:

1. The claimant was last employed by Pennsylvania Department of Corrections for nine years and three months, his final job assignment having been as a Correction Officer III (Sergeant) at a final rate of pay of $12.48 per hour. His last day of work was August 17, 1986.

2. The claimant was employed as a Correctional Officer at the State Correctional Institution in Graterford, Pennsylvania.

3. Effective August 17, 1986, the claimant requested and was granted a leave of absence due to medical reasons after he had been repeatedly threatened with physical harm by his shift commander, a superior officer.

4. The claimant was on a leave of absence with pay until November 23, 1986 at which time he was placed on a leave without pay after exhausting all of his accumulated leave.

[ 119 Pa. Commw. Page 2995]

. The claimant sought a transfer to employment at another State Correctional Institution but his request for a transfer was denied.

6. On October 10, 1986, the employer offered the claimant an alternate work shift or an alternate post at the Graterford Correctional Institution in an attempt to alleviate the problem the claimant had with his shift commander.

7. The claimant was unable to accept that offer because he fears for his personal safety if he works in any position on any shift at the Graterford Correctional Institution as a result of the physical threats made by a superior officer who remains employed at that institution.

8. The claimant has presented medical certification substantiating his medical contentions.

9. The claimant's doctor had advised him to leave his employment.

10. Claimant was able and available for suitable employment during the period involved in this appeal.

Based on the above findings of fact, the referee awarded benefits, concluding that Claimant had cause of a necessitous and compelling nature for voluntarily leaving his employment. Section 402(b)(1) of the Act. The Board ...


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