Kathryn M. Devine, Petitioner
Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Respondent
Submitted August 22, 2014
Appealed from No. B-556340. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review.
Eric J. Stark, Lancaster, for petitioner.
Teresa Heacock DeLeo, Assistant Counsel, Harrisburg, for respondent.
BEFORE: HONORABLE RENÉE COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE ROBERT SIMPSON, Judge, HONORABLE JAMES GARDNER COLINS, Senior Judge.
JAMES GARDNER COLINS,
Kathryn M. Devine (Claimant) petitions for review of the decision and order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board), holding that she is ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits because her base year earnings do not satisfy the financial eligibility requirements of Sections 401(a) and 404 of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law). We affirm.
Claimant was employed by Legends Hospitality, LLC (Employer), which provides catering and food services to the Barnstormers Ballpark in Lancaster, PA. (Record Item (R. Item) 12, Referee's Decision and Order, Findings of Fact (F.F.) ¶ 3; R. Item 16, Board Decision and Order; R. Item 11, Referee's Hearing Transcript (H.T.) at 3-5.) Claimant filed her application for benefits effective April 21, 2013, thereby establishing a base year consisting of the four quarters of 2012. (R. Item 12, F.F. ¶ 1.) Claimant had no earnings during the first quarter of 2012; her compensation during the remainder of the base year consisted of $5,506 during the second quarter, $15,134 during the third quarter, and $1,260 during the fourth quarter, for total base-year wages of $21,900. (R. Item 12, F.F. ¶ 2; R. Item 4, Claimant Wage Information.)
The Unemployment Compensation Service Center denied Claimant's application for benefits on the grounds that she did not satisfy the financial eligibility requirements, stating that " at least 49.5% of your qualifying wages were not paid to you outside the calendar quarter in which you had the highest wages." (R. Item 6, Notice of Financial Determination.) Claimant appealed this denial, and on July 17, 2013, the Referee conducted a hearing at which Claimant was represented by counsel. At this hearing, Claimant testified that the owner of the ballpark leased its suites for entertainment purposes outside the parameters of the regular baseball season, and Employer provided hospitality services for those suites throughout the course of the year. (R. Item 11, H.T. at 4-5.)
On July 19, 2013, the Referee issued a decision affirming the Service Center's determination and finding Claimant financially ineligible for benefits. (R. Item 12, Referee's Decision at 2.) The Referee noted that Claimant did not dispute that under the 2012 amendments to the Law, she did not meet the financial requirement that 49.5% of her qualifying wages be paid outside her highest quarter, and concluded that he had no choice but to find her ineligible for benefits. ( Id.) Claimant appealed the Referee's decision to the Board, asserting that the 2012 amendments to the Law were enacted for the purpose of limiting claims by seasonal workers, and arbitrarily and unfairly preclude Claimant, who is employed on a year-round basis, from benefits to which she is otherwise entitled. (R. Item 13, Petition for Appeal of Referee's Decision.)
The Board affirmed the Referee's decision, adopted and incorporated the Referee's findings, and noted that it had no discretion to alter a financial requirement set by the legislature. (R. Item 16, Board Decision and Order.) Claimant filed the
instant petition for review appealing the Board's order ...