Tuesday, February 09, 2016

UC - severance pay not "wages"

Ward v. UCBR – Cmwlth. Court – Febgruary 9, 2016


Severance pay not earned.  Held not to be “wages.”

Section 401(c) of the Law provides that “[c]ompensation shall be payable to any employe who is or becomes unemployed, and who . . . [h]as made a valid application for benefits with respect to the benefit year for which compensation is claimed.” 43 P.S. §801(c).

Section 4(w)(2) of the Law provides that: [a]n application for benefits filed after the termination of a preceding benefit year by an individual shall not be considered a Valid Application for Benefits within the meaning of this subsection, unless such individual has, subsequent to the beginning of such preceding benefit year and prior to the filing of such application, worked and earned wages in “employment” as defined in this act in an amount equal to or in excess of six (6) times his weekly benefit rate in effect during such preceding benefit year. 43 P.S. §753(w)(2) (emphasis added).

In Joyce v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 548 A.2d 387, 388 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1988), this court determined that severance pay was not earned and, thus, may not be used to calculate a claimant’s earnings under section 4(w)(2) of the Law. Here, Claimant’s only income during the preceding benefit year came from his severance payments. Because severance payments are not earned, Claimant did not “work[] and earn[] wages in ‘employment’ . . . during such preceding benefit year.” 43 P.S. §753(w)(2). Therefore, the UCBR correctly applied section 4(w)(2) of the Law.

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An unreported Commonwealth Court case may not be cited binding precedent but can be cited for its persuasive value.  See 210 Pa. Code § 69.414(b) and Pa. R.A.P.  3716

If the case is old, the link may have become stale and may not work, but you can use the case name, court, and date to find the opinion in another source (e.g., Westlaw, Lexis, Google Scholar)

  

Monday, February 08, 2016

custody agreement - $10,000 penalty for asking for change - public policy

Huss v. Weaver – Superior Court – en banc – February 5, 2016





The majority refused to hold that a contact which set a $10,000 penalty if lawyer-father asked to change custody agreement was void as against public policy, reversing the trial court. 
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Friday, February 05, 2016

tax sale - owner-occupied property - personal service - waiver - good cause

Consolidated Reports and Return of TCB of Northumberland Co. – Appeal of Neff – Commonwealth Court – en banc (6-1) – January 21, 2016


The majority upheld the tax sale in this case, in which

  -the resident property owner did not get service by certified mail, as required by RETSL, 72 P.S. 5860.101 et seq.
  - because of lack of such service, tax claim bureau (TCB) had to attempt personal service
  - 3 attempts at person service made (August 5th, 8th, 9th) – all during the normal work day
  - personal service not successful
  - trial court granted TCB petitions court for waiver of personal service

The majority held that the property owner had actual notice of the tax sale, thus obviating strict compliance with the notice provisions of RETSL.   Strict compliance with the notice requirements of Section 5860.602 is not required when the Bureau proves that a property owner received actual notice of a pending tax sale. Sabbeth v. TCB of Fulton County, 714 A.2d 514, 517 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998).

In addition to the notice requirements of Section 602, if the property is, as here, occupied by the owner, Section 601(a)(3) of the Law requires that each owner-occupant receive additional notice of a tax sale by personal service by the sheriff, a deputy or other person appointed by the country commissioners. 72 P.S. § 5860.601(a)(3). The requirements of Section 601(a)(3) are cumulative and apply in addition to the tax claim bureaus’ obligations to provide notice through publications, posting, and mail.  This provision shows the General Assembly’s “heightened concern for owner[-]occupants being divested of the very property in which they are residing.” Matter of Tax Sales by Tax Claim Bureau of Dauphin County, 651 A.2d 1157, 1159 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1994).   

However, the requirement of personal service can be waived “for good cause shown.”   “In sum, in the absence of actual notice, the Bureau must prove strict compliance with the notice requirements of Section 602 of the Law. Further, and notwithstanding whether a taxpayer received actual notice, the Bureau must demonstrate that it personally served notice on any owner-occupant of the Property subject to the upset tax sale or obtained a waiver of personal service from the trial court.”

The trial and appellate courts held that a waiver was appropriate, since the TCB had shown “good cause” for it.  The appellate court held that the trial court’s finding of “good cause” was a “factual-based inquiry...entrust to the trial court’s discretion” and thus subject to only very limited appellate review for abuse of discretion  (slip opinion at 19-21).

Dissent
Judge Leavitt filed a strong dissent.  She argued that  the “process followed by the Tax Claim Bureau...turned the statutory scheme on its head” and that the required “good cause” for waiver of personal service had not been shown.    She noted that the TCB’s attempt at service were not a “practical effort,” since the attempts at service were made during a single week and at times when the taxpayer “was not there and not likely to be there.”   She also noted that service was not made by sheriff, a deputy, or a person properly appointed by the county commissioners, as required by the statute

Judge Leavitt also decisively and at length rejected the notion that the issue of good cause was a fact-based inquiry.  “Whether a trial court reaches the proper legal conclusion on the evidence presented is a question of law....[citations omitted] Likewise, a question of statutory interpretation is a question of law. Navickas v. UCBR, 787 A.2d 284, 288 (Pa. 2001). As our Supreme Court has explained, the proper interpretation and application of language [in a contract] … presents a question of law over which our scope of review is plenary and standard of review de novo.Pennsylvania National Mutual Ins. Co. v. St. John, 106 A.3d 1 (Pa. 2014). Likewise, the interpretation and application of language in a statute presents a question of law; accordingly, the trial court is afforded no deference and its decision “will instead be reviewed de novo.Id.  A tribunal lacks discretion to construe a statute incorrectly. The application of the law to facts is a legal conclusion, and the appellate standard of review is de novo; no deference is owed to the tribunal below. See, e.g., Bowling v. Office of Open Records, 75 A.3d 453, 466 (Pa. 2013)....See also In re Doe, 33 A.3d 615.

The dissent argued that “by affirming the trial court, this Court has established the paradigm for a waiver of personal service in all 67 counties: three property visits (i) in a single week in August (when owner-occupants often vacation), (ii) between the hours of 9:19 a.m. and 4:10 p.m., and (iii) by any person, whether or not qualified by virtue of being a member of the sheriff’s office or having been appointed by the county commissioners. Effectively, this replaces the personal service requirement with three visits to an owner-occupied property by anyone who can read and operate a vehicle.

"At stake is a family home scheduled for a tax sale. It was the legislature’s intent that the sheriff, or server appointed by the county, notify the owner of that sale, at least ten days before its occurrence, by placing a notice into the hands of the owner-occupant. The Tax Claim Bureau made three visits to Taxpayer’s property. It did not make a practical effort at personal service upon Taxpayer herself. It did not designate a server qualified to make personal service."
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The link may have become stale if the case of old.  You can use the case name, court, and date to find the opinion in another source (e.g., Westlaw, Lexis, Google Scholar)


Monday, January 18, 2016

UC - willful misconduct - negligent failure to follow employer policy

Clark v. UCBR – Cmwlth. Court – January 6, 2016 – unreported memorandum opinion*


UCBR finding of willful misconduct reversed, since employer evidence failed to show that claimant, a liquor store manager, sough to wrongfully manipulated store records and steal money.  Employer did not show that claimant’s conduct was anything more than negligence.  Weighing in favor of claimant was the fact that the store inventory match the bottles on the shelf.

The issue was whether Claimant’s departure from Employer’s directions on record keeping constitutes willful misconduct.   Rung v. UCBR, 689 A.2d 999 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1997), is instructive in this regard. In Rung, the claimant was a bank teller who inexplicably came up $600 short when cashing out her till at the end of the day.   The court held that inadvertent, nonintentional violations of an employer’s policies do not constitute willful misconduct. Rung, 689 A.2d at 1001. Furthermore, we explained: [A]n employer cannot demonstrate willful misconduct by ‘merely showing that an employee committed a negligent act, but instead must present evidence indicating that the conduct was of an intentional and deliberate nature. Id. (emphasis added) (quoting Myers v. UCBR, 625 A.2d 622, 625 (Pa. 1993)). Because the claimant’s error was the result of nothing more than mere negligence, the claimant had not committed willful misconduct. Therefore, the claimant was entitled to unemployment benefits. Here, Claimant’s actions are analogous to the actions of the claimant in Rung.

* An unreported Commonwealth Court case may not be cited binding precedent but can be cited for its persuasive value.  See 210 Pa. Code § 69.414(b) and Pa. R.A.P.  3716

If the case is old, the link may have become stale and may not work, but you can use the case name, court, and date to find the opinion in another source (e.g., Westlaw, Lexis, Google Scholar)


Sunday, January 17, 2016

Personnel Files Act - 43 P.S. 1321 - 1324 - "currently employed"

Thomas Jefferson Univ. Hospital v. Dept. of Labor and Industry – Cmwlth. Court – January 6, 2016


The purpose of the Personnel Files Act (PFA), 43 P.S. 1321 – 1324, “is to acknowledge the right of both public and private employees to review files held by their employers that contain information about themselves[.]” Bangor Area Educ. Ass’n v. Angle, 720 A.2d 198, 202 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998).  Section 2 of the Act provides in relevant part: “An employer shall, at reasonable times, upon request of an employee, permit that employee . . . to inspect his or her own personnel files used to determine his or her own qualifications for employment, promotion, additional compensation, termination or disciplinary action.” 43 P.S. § 1322 (emphasis added). Section 1 of the Act, defines an “[e]mployee]” as “[a]ny person currently employed, laid off with reemployment rights or on leave of absence.   [emphasis added) The term ‘employee’ shall not include applicants for employment or any other person.” 43 P.S. § 1321.

The court rejected all of the employer’s several arguments that the terminated employee was not “currently employed” and thus had no rights under the PFA.  The court discussed rules of statutory interpretation, legislative history, et al.
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Saturday, January 16, 2016

UC - employee v. independent contractor

Weaver Hauling & Excavating,LLC v. Dept. of Labor and Industry, Office of UC Tax Services –


Weaver Hauling’s petition for reassessment of UC tax rejected.    Employees were neither self-employed partners nor independent contractors, but, in fact, employees under the UC Law.

Weaver set up scheme under which employees had to buy into company, for modest fee.  However, Weaver was set up as an LLC, not a partnership. 

Presumption of that a person is an “employee”
Section 4(l)(2)(B) of the Law “presumes that an individual is an employee.” Beacon Flag Car Co., Inc. (Doris Weyant) v. UCBR, 910 A.2d 103, 107 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006).   Section 4(l)(2)(B) of the law provides: Services performed by an individual for wages shall be deemed to be employment subject to this act, unless and until it is shown to the satisfaction of the department that--(a) such individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of such services both under his contract of service and in fact; and (b) as to such services such individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business.

Wages are defined as “all remuneration . . . paid by an employer to an individual with respect to his employment.” Section 4(x) of the Law, 43 P.S. § 753(x). If the (continued…) whether the entity in question is a partnership or an LLC. See Watson v. UCBR, 491 A.2d 293, 295-96 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1985). 20 Department shows that an individual has performed services for wages, an employer may thus rebut the presumption of employment by demonstrating that the individual meets the criteria listed in Section 4(l)(2)(B) of the Law. CE Credits Online v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 946 A.2d 1162, 1167 (Pa. Cmwlth.), appeal denied, 971 A.2d 493 (Pa. 2009). “Unless both of these showings are made, the presumption stands that one who performs services for wages is an employee.” Beacon Flag Car Co., Inc., 910 A.2d at 107.

Employee v. independent contractor – burden  and burden shifting
After the Department demonstrated that Weaver’s members received wages, the burden shifted to Weaver to show that “the [individual]’s services are performed free of the employer’s control and the [individual]’s services are the type performed in an independent trade or business.” CE Credits Online, 946 A.2d at 1167. As to the control prong of this test, the court Court has explained:

In analyzing the issue of control, courts consider factors such as: whether there was a fixed rate of remuneration; whether taxes were withheld from the [individual]’s pay; whether the employer supplied the tools necessary to carry out the services; whether the employer provided on-the-job training; whether the employer set the time and location for work; and, whether the employer had the right to monitor the [individual]’s work and review performance.

Quality Care Options v. UCBR, 57 A.3d 655, 660 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2012).  “No single factor is controlling; therefore, the ultimate conclusion must be based on the totality of the circumstances.” Id.   We agree with the Department that Weaver did not satisfy its burden to show that its members were free from its control and direction.  There was “insufficient evidence presented overall indicating that the member and not the firm controlled the means and methods of how work was done.” Payments were largely based on services performed. There was no evidence presented relating to whether Weaver supplied the tools necessary for its members’ work, whether Weaver provided on-the-job training, whether Weaver set the time and location of work, or whether Weaver monitored its members’ work.  Based on the totality of the circumstances, Weaver did not satisfy its burden.   The court therefore rejected Weaver’s argument that the Department erred in concluding that the members of Weaver were employees rather than independent contractors.

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Monday, January 11, 2016

UC - voluntary quit - increase of 66 miles/day in daily commute

Intermediate Unit 1 v. UCBR – Cmwlth. Court – January 6, 2016 – unreported memorandum opinion


Court upheld UCBR finding of good cause for claimant to quit her job where

            - claimant’s work was part-time
            - employer relocated her workplace
            - claimant commute increased 66 miles per day
            - no public transportation
            - claimant suggested several changes that would allow her to keep her job, including working more hours on fewer days

no capricious disregard
Court rejected employer argument that UCBR capriciously disregarded evidence that claimant’s proferred reason for resignation was pretextual.   It held that the board was free to accept claimant’s testimony and reject employer’s.   “Disturbing an agency’s adjudication for a capricious disregard of evidence is appropriate only where the factfinder has refused to resolve conflicts in the evidence, has not made essential credibility determinations or has completely ignored overwhelming evidence without comment,” neither of which was true in this case.   Wise v. UCBR, 111 A.3d 1256, 1263 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2015).

good cause established
Generally, in order to establish cause of a necessitous and compelling nature, a claimant must establish that: (1) circumstances existed that produced real and substantial pressure to terminate employment; (2) like circumstances would compel a reasonable person to act in the same manner; (3) the claimant acted with ordinary common sense; and (4) the claimant made a reasonable effort to preserve her employment. Procito v. UCBR, 945 A.2d 261, 264 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2008). “Cause of a necessitous and compelling nature may arise from domestic circumstances and need not be connected with or arise out of the claimant’s employment.” Green v. UCBRw, 529 A.2d 597, 598-99 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1987). Transportation problems may constitute cause of a necessitous and compelling nature. Lee v. UCBR, 401 A.2d 12, 13 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1979). A claimant’s transportation problems,  however, “must be so serious and unreasonable as to present a virtually insurmountable problem and the claimant must demonstrate that he or she took reasonable steps to remedy or overcome the transportation problems prior to severing the employment relationship.” Id.

reasonableness of employer action in changing claimant’s work condition is not relevant
Employer’s focus on the reasonableness of its actions and whether Claimant was aware of the possibility that her job could be relocated is “misplaced” and not relevant to the inquiry. Employer may have been entirely reasonable in its decision, and it may have informed Claimant of the possibility that her job may be moved. The focus, however, is on whether, following the relocation of her job, Claimant had necessitous and compelling reasons to resign voluntarily her employment.    The reasons for the change in employment terms and conditions are irrelevant, as “[i]t is not a defense for the employer to merely establish that it had good reasons for the unilateral change.” Chavez (Token) v. UCBR, 738 A.2d 77, 82 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999), appeal denied, 761 A.2d 551 (Pa. 2000). 
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This case is also reported in the PLAN Legal Update  http://planupdate.blogspot.com/ , which is searchable and can be accessed without a password.

An unreported Commonwealth Court case may not be cited binding precedent but can be cited for its persuasive value.  See 210 Pa. Code § 69.414(b) and Pa. R.A.P.  3716

If the case is old, the link may have become stale and may not work, but you can use the case name, court, and date to find the opinion in another source (e.g., Westlaw, Lexis, Google Scholar)


UC - wages - lack of W-2 not dispositive

Clark v. UCBR - Cmwlth. Court – December 23, 2015


In a case involving amount of qualifying wages and indpt. contractor v. employee, the court held that the claimant did earn sufficient “wages” to qualify for benefits under sec. 4(w)(2) of the UC Law, 43 P.S. 753(w)(2), and was an “employee” rather than an independent contractor.  The claimant had received benefits during a preceding year and had to show receipt of wages in excess of six times his WBR, under sec. 753 (w)(2) in order to establish eligibility.  The claimant furnished documentation in the form of payment logs but no W-2s.

The court reversed the UCBR and held that
            - the claimant had established his status as an employee rather than an independent contractor (IC), and
            - the lack of W-2s from the employer was not alone enough to show that he was an IC.   
            - claimant earned sufficient wages in employment to establish eligibility.
            - He worked on an as-needed basis for several different employers, none of whom furnished him with W-2s.

 “A claimant has the burden of proving financial eligibility for UC benefits.” Logan v. UCBR, 103 A.3d 451, 453 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014).   Here, Claimant did provide evidence of payment for work, but the question remains, however, whether those  earnings were “wages [from] ‘employment.’” 43 P.S. § 753(w)(2).   The Law defines “[w]ages” as “all remuneration . . . paid by an employer to an individual with respect to his employment . . . . ” 43 P.S. § 753(x). “Employment” is defined therein as “all personal service performed for remuneration by an individual under any contract of hire, express or implied, written or oral[.]” 43 P.S. § 753(l)(1).   

The UCBR determined that Claimant was self-employed because he did not receive W-2 Forms and, thus, he “earned no wages in employment.”    “The term ‘self-employment’ is not defined in the Law; however, the courts have relied upon [S]ection 4(l)(2)(B) of the Law, 43 P.S. § 753(l)(2)(B), to fill the void . . . .” Beacon Flag Car Co., Inc. v. UCBR,  910 A.2d 103, 107 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2006).  Section 4(l)(2)(B) of the Law states, in pertinent part:  Services performed by an individual for wages shall be deemed to be employment subject to this act, unless and until it is shown to the satisfaction of the [D]epartment that- -(a) such individual has been and will continue to be free from control or direction over the performance of such services both under his contract of service and in fact; and (b) as to such services such individual is customarily engaged in an independently[-]established trade, occupation, profession or business. 43 P.S. § 753(l)(2)(B) (emphasis added). 10 “[T]he existence of an employer/employee relationship is a question of law that depends upon the unique facts of each case.” Res. Staffing, Inc. v. UCBR, 961 A.2d 261, 263 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2008).

However, “there is a presumption in the . . . Law  that an individual receiving wages is an employee and not . . . engaged in selfemployment.” Training Assocs. Corp. v. UCBR, 101 A.3d 1225, 1233 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014) Self-employment requires a positive act of establishing a private enterprise or independent business. See Staffmore, LLC v. UCBR, 92 A.3d 844 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2014); see also Kirk v. UCBR, 425 A.2d 1188 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1981); Miller v. UCBR  (Pa. Cmwlth. 1979). “[T]he fact that an unemployed person . . . accept[s] an occasional offer of work is simply not enough to demonstrate that said individual is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, profession or business[]” and, therefore, self-employed.11 Minelli v. UCBR,, 39 A.3d 593, 598 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2012).

The evidence in this case “the evidence in this case did not overcome the strong presumption that Claimant was an employee of the various concerns that he worked for.  There is no evidence that Claimant had established a private enterprise or independent business through which he provided services.  The mere fact that Claimant did not receive W-2 Forms from those entities is not conclusive of self-employment. In fact, in concluding whether an employment relationship exists, “[n]o single factor is controlling, [] therefore, the ultimate conclusion must be based on the totality of the circumstances.”  Res. Staffing, Inc., 961 A.2d at 264. Thus, although a W-2 Form may be one type of evidence that an individual earned wages in employment and was not self-employed, this Court has found no precedent under which such documentation was the only conclusive evidence of earnings sufficient to satisfy Section 4(w)(2) of the Law. 

Lack of a W-2 Form cannot alone be sufficient to establish independent contractor relationship, especially because a W-2 Form is an employer-issued form.   The Department did not offer any evidence to overcome the “strong presumption” that an employment relationship existed.   The lack of W-2 forms is not dispositive.
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UC - online registration for job search services - good cause for late compliance

Office of UC Benefits Policy v. UCBR – January 7, 2016 – Cmwlth. Court – en banc.


Held:  The claimant demonstrated “good cause” for not complying with the statutory requirement that he register on-line for employment search services within 30 days of applying for UC benefits,43 P.S. sec. 801(b), 34 Pa. Code 65.11(c).

Good cause for late registration
A failure of a claimant to register timely in accordance with Section 401(b)(1)(i) of the Law is not a per se violation that automatically disqualifies a claimant from unemployment compensation.   Section 401(b)(6) of the Law provides that “[t]he [D]epartment may waive or alter the requirements of this subsection in cases or situations with respect to which the secretary finds that compliance with such requirements would be oppressive or which would be  inconsistent with the purposes of this act.” 43 P.S. §801(b)(6).  

In Sharpe v. UCBR (Pa. Cmwlth., No. 431 C.D. 2014, filed October 21, 2014), the Court addressed the Department’s ability to waive the registration requirement. We observed as follows: During the promulgation of the Department’s regulations implementing Section 401(b), a commenter asked whether a “good cause” standard should be incorporated into the regulations. 43 Pa. B. 4730, 4735 (2013). The Department replied that in most cases where a “good cause” standard is applied, it is because it is directed by statute and that it would not adopt one on its own initiative. Id. However, the Department noted that, “if a claimant’s ‘good cause’ for noncompliance with the regulation also constitutes a reason why compliance ‘would be oppressive or ... inconsistent with the purposes of’ the law, the claimant’s circumstances could be addressed under the waiver provision in [S]ection 401(b)(6) of the [L]aw and [the regulation, 34 Pa. Code §65.11(f)(6)].”    In short, where a claimant can show “good cause” for not registering on time, the Department may waive the time requirement of Section 401(b)(1)(i) of the Law.

What is “good cause” ?
The Law does not define “good cause. ”   The Supreme Court has established that it “must be determined in each case from the facts of that case.”  Barclay White Co. v. UCBR, 50 A.2d 336, 340 (Pa. 1947). In each case, “good cause” must be “so interpreted that the fundamental purpose of the [Law] shall not be destroyed.” Id. The central purpose of Section 401(b) of the Law is to require claimants to make “an active search for suitable employment” while collecting benefits.  43 P.S. §801(b). 

In Sharpe, Commonweealth Court questioned the Board’s proposed use of the strict “nunc pro tunc standard” that is used in deciding questions of jurisdiction.  The Court suggested, and the Board has since adopted, the more relaxed “good cause” standard.   The Board notes here that not every claimant can be expected to be “computer savvy” and that a single keystroke mistake can fail to effect a registration. Further, registration cannot be done by letter or by phone call.

The Board rejects the argument of the Office of UC Benefits in favor of a strict liability standard.  The Board believes, instead, that a case-by-case examination of “good cause” is appropriate and consistent with the remedial and humanitarian  objectives of the Law set out in Section 3, which should not be frustrated “by slavish adherence to technical and artificial rules.” Lehr v. UCBR, 625 A.2d 173, 175 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1993) (quoting UCBR  v. Jolliffe, 379 A.2d 109, 110 (Pa. 1977)).   The Board explains that in on-line registration waiver cases, “good cause” should be considered in the same way it is used to mitigate willful misconduct. In that context, good cause has been explained as follows: [W]e must evaluate both the reasonableness of the employer’s request in light of all the circumstances, and the employee’s reasons for noncompliance. The employee’s behavior cannot fall within “wilful misconduct” if it was justifiable or reasonable under the circumstances, since it cannot then be considered to be in wilful disregard of conduct the employer “has a right to expect.” In other words, if there was “good cause” for the employee’s action, it cannot be charged as wilful misconduct.   The UC authorities and the court “must evaluate both the reasonableness of the employer’s request in light of all the circumstances, and the employee’s reasons for noncompliance.”  McLean v. UCBR, 383 A.2d 533, 535 (Pa. 1978).

The Board concluded that, here, using a reasonableness test, Claimant had good cause for his action, or non-action, to wit.   The claimant testified without contradiction that he believed that he had properly registered, since he got several communications from “Beyond.com,” which he believed was affiliated with jobgateway.pa.gov.  The evidence shows that “[p]lainly, Claimant was not ducking registration.  As soon as he learned from the Referee that he was not registered, he responded. That very day. Because Claimant was receiving job referrals, it is clear that he was complying with the real purpose of Section 401(b), which is to ensure that a claimant “[i]s making an active search for suitable employment.” 43 P.S. §801(b). We agree with the Board’s case-by-case approach to evaluating whether a claimant had good cause for failing to timely register for employment search services under Section 401(b)(l)(i) of the Law, 43 P.S. §801(b)(l)(i). The Board reviewed the facts and exercised its judgment to conclude that good cause existed to waive the 30-day deadline for Claimant’s on-line registration. We agree and affirm its adjudication.”
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This case is also reported in the PLAN Legal Update  http://planupdate.blogspot.com/ , which is searchable and can be accessed without a password.
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