Thursday, July 21, 2005

custody - jurisdiction - UCCJA

O'Gwynn v. Herbert - Pa. Superior Court, June 21, 2005

I haven't had a chance to fully analyze this case, but it involves both abuse and custody. It was decided under the old UCCJA -- which has been replaced with the UCCJEA -- along with the PPKA. So I'm not sure of its current relevance.

Donald Marritz, staff attorney
MidPenn Legal Services
Gettysburg, Pa.

UC- voluntary quit - health - reasonable accommodation

PLCB v. UCBR - No. 83 CD 2005, July 19, 2005

Claimant (CL), a dialysis patient, became too ill to do the lifting required in his state job as a liquor store clerk.

The employer (ER) had no jobs available w/in CL's medical restrictions.

ER sent CL a letter dated June 18 that he had only one option - to resign effective June 15. The letter also said that CL could apply for other work with the state by filling out an application. CL terminated his position but did not submit the application.

Held, Genetin v. UCBR, 451 A2d 1353 (Pa. 1982) controls concerning health issues. A claimant can show necessitous and compelling reasons to quit a job for health reasons if a) there are adequate health reasons to justify a quit, b) the claimant tells the ER about the reasons, and c) the claimant is available to work if reasonable accommodations can be made.

Only the third element was at issue in this case. The ER argued that the CL did not make himself available because he didn’t fill out the application. The referee, UCBR, and court all rejected that. The Court distinguished Nolan v. UCBR, 797 A2d 1042 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2002), because in instant case, the application for employment was not proferred until after CL's employment had been terminated.

Donald Marritz, staff attorney
MidPenn Legal Services - Gettysburg