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SHARON S. STANKIEWICZ v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (09/29/88)

decided: September 29, 1988.

SHARON S. STANKIEWICZ, 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 Sharon S. Stankiewicz, No. B-244285-A.

COUNSEL

David B. Marateck, Lark, Makowski, Marateck & Konopka, for petitioner.

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

President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as panel of three. Opinion by Senior Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 120 Pa. Commw. Page 158]

Sharon S. Stankiewicz (petitioner) petitions for our review of the decision and order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying benefits pursuant to Section 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 Pa. C.S. ยง 802(b) (voluntary termination without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature). We will reverse.

The petitioner was employed by Geisinger Medical Center (employer) as a radiologic technologist beginning December 26, 1976. She took a maternity leave from October 7, 1984 to December 10, 1984. Shortly after her return, she requested a personal leave of absence of six months duration beginning January 2, 1985 and ending July 2, 1985. The employer granted this leave.

The employer's policy is stated within its letter to the petitioner in response to her request for leave. The relevant paragraph reads as follows:

Although we cannot guarantee a position for you at the end of your leave, you will be given preferential consideration over new applicants for positions in your former department. You are responsible for notifying the Human Resources Department in writing of your interest to return two weeks before the end of your leave. Reinstatement procedures will not begin until written notification is received. Please note that if you should fail to contact the Human Resources Department before the end of your leave, you will be considered to have resigned without notice as of the last day worked.

[ 120 Pa. Commw. Page 159]

Exhibit C-2. The petitioner complied with this policy by notifying the employer by letter dated June 17, 1985 that she did intend to return at the end of her leave period. The employer answered by informing the petitioner that there were no positions available in her department. The employer also notified her that it would extend her leave for one year beginning August 2, 1985 and ending August 2, 1986.*fn1

The petitioner applied for unemployment compensation benefits on June 30, 1985. The Office of Employment Security granted benefits, but the referee reversed this determination of eligibility. The Board adopted the referee's findings and affirmed. After an appeal was taken to this Court, we vacated and remanded for additional findings of fact. Stankiewicz v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 108 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 340, 529 A.2d 614 (1987). Specifically, we requested findings as to whether the petitioner attempted to return to work and whether the employer unilaterally extended the leave of absence.

Upon remand, the Board issued a new order and decision including additional findings, but came to the same conclusion. An appeal from this decision, dated ...


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