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Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review

May 23, 2012

PENNSYLVANIA GAMING CONTROL BOARD, PETITIONER
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: P. Kevin Brobson, Judge

Submitted: November 18, 2011

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, President Judge*fn1 HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge

OPINION BY JUDGE BROBSON

Petitioner Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (Employer) petitions for review of an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board). The Board reversed a decision of an Unemployment Compensation Referee (Referee) and determined Liane B. Wyatte (Claimant)*fn2 to be eligible for unemployment compensation. For the reasons set forth below, we affirm the Board's order.

Claimant applied for unemployment compensation benefits after voluntarily terminating her employment with Employer as an administrative assistant. The Erie UC Service Center (Service Center) issued a determination, finding Claimant to be ineligible for benefits under Section 402(b) of the Law,*fn3 pertaining to voluntary termination without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature. (Service Center determination, attached to Petitioner's Brief at Appendix A, Page 1.) Claimant appealed the Service Center's determination.

During a hearing before the Referee, Claimant testified that she met Zachary Wyatte in May 2008 and that the couple began dating a few weeks after they met. (Reproduced Record (R.R.) at 24a). Claimant also stated that Mr. Wyatte joined the United States Coast Guard in August 2008, and he was relocated from Pennsylvania to be stationed in Louisiana. (Id. at 24a, 27a). The couple dated continuously until they married on May 29, 2010. (Id.) Claimant noted that prior to their marriage, she and Mr. Wyatte maintained their long-distance relationship by visiting each other whenever possible. (Id. at 24a-25a). At the time of Claimant's marriage to Mr. Wyatte, Claimant lived in Pennsylvania and Mr. Wyatte lived in Louisiana. (Id. at 23a-24a, 27a).

Claimant stated that she left her employment so that she could relocate to where her husband is currently stationed. (Id. at 29a.) Although the record does not indicate the exact date of Claimant's move, it is clear that she moved shortly after her voluntary separation from Employer on August 6, 2010. (Id. at 25a, 28a.)

Claimant made several attempts to find substantial employment in Louisiana before and after her move, including applying "for six different administrative assistant clerical positions that were in the area." (Id. at 25a-26a). Mr. Wyatte was obligated to fulfill his commitment to the Coast Guard until August 14, 2011, and, at the time of the hearing, Mr. Wyatte had "already put in for his reenlistment extension." (Id. at 24a, 27a, and 30.) The evidence of record demonstrates that Claimant lived at home with her parents in Pennsylvania prior to her move to Louisiana and that she had attempted to advance her career with Employer by applying for other positions to no avail. (Id. at 25a-26a, 30a.)

Following the hearing, the Referee issued a decision, in which he affirmed the Service Center's determination and found Claimant to be ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits. (Referee's decision, attached to Petitioner's Brief at Appendix B, Page 2.)

Claimant appealed the Referee's decision to the Board, and the Board made the following findings on appeal:

1. For purposes of this appeal, the claimant was last employed on August 6, 2010, as a full-time administrative assistant for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, earnings [sic] $30,000 annually.

2. The claimant began dating her future spouse in May of 2008.

3. In August of 2008, her future spouse enlisted in the United States Coast Guard.

4. The claimant's future spouse was relocated by the United States Coast Guard to Louisiana where he was ...


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