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September 16, 1997


Appealed From No. B-358641. State Agency Unemployment Compensation Board of Review.

Before: Honorable Dan Pellegrini, Judge, Honorable James Flaherty, Judge, Honorable Charles P. Mirarchi, Jr., Senior Judge. Opinion BY Senior Judge Mirarchi. Judge Pellegrini Dissents.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Mirarchi



FILED: September 16, 1997

David J. Warwick (Claimant) appeals from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed a decision of a referee denying him benefits pursuant to Section 402(b) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law). *fn1

Claimant was employed part-time by Adia Temps (Employer) from January, 1996 to August 21, 1996. Claimant was assigned by Employer to various utilities and municipal services as a flagman at a rate of pay ranging from $6 to $9 per hour.

On October 27, 1996, Claimant filed an application for benefits alleging that he left his employment with Employer because of payroll problems. His application was denied by the York County Job Center on the basis that Claimant was getting a regular paycheck and Employer eventually corrected the payroll problem. Claimant appealed the Job Center's determination and a hearing was held before a referee.

Claimant testified that for eight weeks his paychecks were in an incorrect amount. The amount of the shortages ranged from $16 to $160. Claimant testified that after the fourth week, he complained about the errors and he was told that the problem had been corrected. Claimant told Employer on August 21st that he would accept no further assignments until his payroll problems were corrected. Claimant denied that he had submitted a resignation.

Witnesses for Employer admitted that continuing problems existed with Claimant's paychecks. Time cards for Claimant were faxed to Employer's pay-bill center in California and checks were issued from this location. On four occasions, June 28, July 1, August 22 and August 30, checks were written on Employer's local account to cover shortages in Claimant's paychecks. On other occasions, the local office contacted the pay-bill center requesting that missing or supplemental checks be issued.

Vicki Wynegar, Employer's senior placement specialist, testified that she spoke to Claimant on August 21st when he questioned the amount of a check he had received. Claimant asked the employee for the telephone number of the pay-bill center in California and the employee explained that Employer has a strict policy against giving out the number. The employee testified that Claimant stated that if he was not given the number, he would quit. The employee testified that she then deactivated Claimant's file so that he would not be called with job offers. Wendy Roth, Employer's customer service manager, testified that she spoke to Claimant on August 22nd and told him that she understood that he told Vicki Wynegar that he voluntarily resigned and that his resignation had been accepted. Roth testified that Claimant did not deny at that time that he had voluntarily quit.

On December 31, 1996, the referee issued a decision affirming the determination of the Job Center. Claimant then appealed to the Board which affirmed the denial of benefits. The Board concluded that although there were problems with Claimant's paychecks, the local office made responsible efforts to correct the errors. The Board also concluded that Employer ultimately paid Claimant all money owed to him and that he had no reason to believe that Employer would not do so. *fn2 Claimant now appeals to this Court.

On appeal, Claimant argues that (1) there is no evidence in the record that he voluntarily terminated his employment and, in the alternative, (2) that there was sufficient evidence that he quit his job for cause of a necessitous and compelling nature. Our scope of review of an order of the Board is limited to determining whether constitutional rights were violated, whether an error was committed or whether necessary findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence. Arbster v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 690 A.2d 805 (Pa. Commw. 1997).

We first consider Claimant's argument that there was no evidence that he voluntarily terminated his employment. Claimant contends that he was exercising his option to not accept work, an option which he has exercised in the past. The testimony of Employer's witnesses, Vicki Wynegar and Wendy Roth, is ...

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