Henry Leone, Northwestern Legal Services, Erie, for petitioner.
Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel, James K. Bradley, Asst. Counsel, Harrisburg, for respondent.
Crumlish, Jr., President Judge, and Colins, J., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.
[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 365]
Geraldine Fulton appeals an Unemployment Compensation Board of Review order upholding a referee's decision to deny benefits. Section 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1 We reverse.
Fulton married her husband while he was incarcerated at the State Correctional Institute at Huntingdon. Fulton's husband was accepted into a parole "pre-release program," in which a prospective parolee is placed in a supervised
[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 366]
community setting and is given progressive credits. An accumulation of credits entitles participants to home furloughs of increasing length. When her husband was accepted at the Erie Community Service Center, approximately 250 miles from Huntingdon, Fulton quit her job as a waitress to accompany her husband and establish a residence there.
The single issue we are called upon to address in this case is whether Fulton's relocation to join her husband in a prison pre-release program constitutes a necessitous and compelling reason to voluntarily terminate her employment. For the reasons which follow, we hold that compelling cause exists.
When a claimant quits a job to join a relocating spouse, this Court has analyzed the circumstances of that spouse's relocation. If the transition is caused by circumstances beyond the spouse's control, there may be compelling reasons for the following spouse to voluntarily terminate his or her employment. Wheeler v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 69 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 201, 450 A.2d 775 (1982).
Fulton maintains that such circumstances exist here. The Board counters that her husband's assignment to a pre-parole program was not beyond his control because the circumstance which led to his relocation to the Erie Center in the first place -- namely, his ...