Friday, January 27, 2006

UC- suitable work - refusal of temporary work w/pay cut

Department of Education v. UCBR - Commonwealth Court - January 27, 2006

Held, that claimant (CL) did not refuse suitable work, 43 PS 753(t), and was not disqualified under 43 PS 802(a) where:

a) she had only been unemployed two weeks at the time of the employer's job offer;
b) the offer was for temporary work;
c) CL had "favorable prospects of obtaining new [permanent] employment" ;
d) CL had just been placed on a civil service list for a permanent position;
e) the offer would have involved a 26% reduction in pay and loss of benefits;
f) ER did not inform the OES [sic] of the job offer, as required by 43 P.S.sec. 802(a)*

Pennsylvania courts "have developed a balancing test, considering the reduction in pay on one hand against he duration of unemployment on the other, with the weight of the former decreasing as the latter increases." The "'most important factor in this type of case is the length of time that the claimant has been unemployed.' "

The court said that our "supreme court has repeatedly recognized that a claimant is entitled to a 'reasonable opportunity' to find employment commensurate with her training and experience" and held that, under all of the above circumstances, CL had good cause for refusing the ER's offer.

Donald Marritz
MidPenn Legal Services

* This is footnote to say that this apparently dispositive issue was only mentioned in a footnote.