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Fredrick Pasour v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review

October 3, 2012

FREDRICK PASOUR, PETITIONER
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Renee Cohn Jubelirer, Judge

Submitted: August 17, 2012

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Judge

HONORABLE RENEE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge HONORABLE ANNE E. COVEY, Judge

OPINION BY JUDGE COHN JUBELIRER

Fredrick Pasour (Claimant) petitions for review of the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) that found that Claimant was an independent contractor and, therefore, ineligible for unemployment compensation (UC) benefits pursuant to Sections 4(l)(2)(B) and 402(h) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law),*fn1 43 P.S. §§ 753(l)(2)(B), 802(h). Claimant argues that the Board erred in its determination because the purported employer, Abelson Legal Search (Abelson), failed to show that Claimant was free from direction and control in performing his work duties and was customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession, or business. Because we discern no error in the Board's determination, we affirm.

Claimant worked from June 2003 to May 27, 2011, for the Philadelphia Housing Authority (PHA) as a full-time attorney. Thereafter, Claimant applied to Abelson, an attorney referral company. Beginning in May 2011, Claimant performed six or seven weeks of work reviewing subrogation files for an Abelson client (Client). After Claimant's work ended, Claimant filed for UC benefits. The Altoona UC Service Center found Claimant eligible for benefits pursuant to Section 402(h) based on its determination that Claimant was not free from direction and control in the performance of his job. (Notice of Determination, R. Item at 5.) Abelson appealed, arguing that Claimant was an independent contractor of both it and Client and, therefore, was ineligible for benefits as someone engaged in self-employment. The Unemployment Compensation Referee (Referee) held a hearing at which Claimant and Abelson's legal recruiter/systems manager (Recruiter) testified. Abelson also introduced documentary evidence, including an Independent Contractor Agreement that Claimant had signed. The Referee made the following findings of fact:

1. For the purpose of this appeal, [C]laimant was last employed by [PHA] as a full time Attorney at a pay rate of $126,000.00 per year.

[C]laimant was employed from June 2003 and his last day of work was May 27, 2011.[*fn2 ]

2. [Beginning i]n May 2011, [C]laimant performed six or seven weeks of work for Abelson . . . reviewing subrogation files for a client of Abelson. . . .

3. Abelson . . . is a referral company that refers Attorneys to clients.

4. Abelson did not supervise [C]laimant's work.

5. Abelson did not require [C]laimant to complete any status reports.

6. Abelson provided no training or tools to [C]laimant to ...


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