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Alla v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

June 25, 2015

Appi Alla, Petitioner
v.
Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Respondent

Submitted April 10, 2015

Appealed from No. B-571399. State Agency: Unemployment Compensation Board of Review.

Christi Wallace, Pittsburgh, for petitioner.

Janet M. Tarczy, Assistant Chief Counsel, Harrisburg, for respondent.

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Judge, HONORABLE RENÉ E COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, Judge.

OPINION

Page 435

PATRICIA A. McCULLOUGH, JUDGE

Appi Alla (Claimant) petitions for review of the October 31, 2014 order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a referee's determination that Claimant is ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits pursuant to sections 401(a) and 404 of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).[1] We affirm.

Claimant was employed by Edinboro University (Employer) as the Director of Campus Design and Construction from February 1991 until July 2013. Claimant filed an application for unemployment compensation benefits with an effective date of June 29, 2014, establishing a base year period of the first through fourth quarters of 2013.[2] During the base year, Claimant received wages from Employer in the amount of $17,462 in the first quarter; $22,555 in the second quarter; $20,985 in the third quarter; and $0 in the fourth quarter. Additionally, upon his separation from employment in the third quarter of 2013, Claimant received a payout of accrued sick, annual, and personal leave in the amount of $30,728. (Findings of Fact Nos. 1-4.)

The local service center determined that Claimant was financially ineligible for benefits because he did not receive at least 49.5% of his wages outside the calendar quarter in which he received his highest wages. The Notice of Determination sent to Claimant reflected that Claimant's highest earning quarter in his base year was the third quarter of 2013, in which Claimant received $51,713 in wages. Claimant appealed, and the case was assigned to a referee who held a hearing on September 2, 2014.

Claimant testified that the $51,713 figure does not accurately reflect the wages he earned during the third quarter of 2013. Claimant stated that he actually earned only $20,984.05 in the third quarter of 2013, and he explained that the $30,728 payout was for accrued vacation and sick leave that he earned over time, beginning in 1991. (Notes of Testimony (N.T.) at 4-6.)

The referee concluded that the $30,728 payout of accrued vacation and sick leave constitutes wages for unemployment purposes. Thus, the referee found that Claimant's wages for the third quarter amounted to $51,713 and that Claimant's total base year wages amounted to $91,731. The referee held that Claimant was financially

Page 436

ineligible for benefits pursuant to sections 401(a) and ...


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