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DAVID L. ROSENBERG v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/15/89)

decided: June 15, 1989.

DAVID L. ROSENBERG, PETITIONER,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



PETITION FOR REVIEW (UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION)

COUNSEL

John Stember, Neighborhood Legal Services Assoc., Pittsburgh, for petitioner.

No appearance for respondent.

Joseph Mack, III, Thorp, Reed & Armstrong, Robert H. Shoop, Jr., Pittsburgh, for intervenor, Washington & Jefferson College, employer.

Crumlish, Jr., President Judge, Colins, J., and Barbieri, Senior Judge.

Author: Crumlish

[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 517]

OPINION

David Rosenberg appeals an Unemployment Compensation Board of Review order upholding a referee's denial of benefits under Section 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law*fn1 (voluntary separation). We affirm.

Rosenberg resigned from his assistant professorship at Washington and Jefferson College pursuant to a mutual agreement providing that he forebear a threatened tort claim against the College in exchange for the College's payment of one year's salary and its promise to give favorable recommendations to prospective employers. This agreement was the culmination of Rosenberg's dispute with the College over the propriety of his public protesting activities for which he was twice arrested.

Rosenberg initially contends*fn2 that his separation was involuntary because he resigned only to avoid imminent discharge. We disagree.

Whether a separation constitutes a voluntary quit or a discharge is a question of law dependent on the Board's findings of fact. Scott v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 63 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 346, 437 A.2d 1304 (1981). Here, the Board's finding that Rosenberg was under no threat of discharge when he submitted his resignation is supported by evidence that his employment contract was renewed for the following year and that the College at no time initiated any discharge procedures. Despite a contractual entitlement to continued employment, Rosenberg,

[ 126 Pa. Commw. Page 518]

    with legal counsel, decided to negotiate his resignation. Finding of Fact No. 19. These facts establish that Rosenberg ...


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