Wednesday, November 12, 2008

UC - vol. quit - sexual harassment

Willow Valley Retirement Community v. UCBR - Cmwlth. Court - 11-12-08 - unreported memorandum decision

Claimant testified that the ER vice-president/COO told her that she "needed to show more emotion and use the feminine side of her personality in order to improve her business relationships." This evidence was unchallenged by the employer.

The court held that these comments "are sexually discriminatory and degrading on their face. Claimant reasonably understood his comments to mean that she should be less strong and play up her sexuality in the performance of her job." The comments "went beyond conduct that must be tolerated in a work place and produced circumstances which would compel a reasonable person to terminate employment."

Claimant acted reasonably in resigning, without going through regular complaint channels. She "believed that there was no recourse to remedy the situation," since the vice president/COO was the second highest person in the organization.

Her attempt to rescind her resignation after the employer took steps to replace her is irrelevant, because this was a voluntary quit with cause of a necessitous and compelling reason. Because "Claimant has demonstrated circumstances which produced real and substantial pressure to terminate employment, Claimant only needed to show that she made a reasonable attempt to preserve her employment relationship or show that such action was futile to remain eligible for benefits."

real property - tax sale - notice

Popple v. Luzerne Co. Tax Claim Bureau - Cmwlth. Court - November 12, 2008

Former owners (F/O) objected to tax sale nearly four years after it took place. The court held that due process was satisfied and F/Os were "personally served" and had actual notice of tax sale under 72 P.S. ยง5860.602 where

- the notice was sent to the "care of" address listed on the deed and
- the address was the same as two businesses (including a realty co.) which they owned
- was signed for by a person with the same last name, as their agent, who had many times signed for mail for the F/Os

"[A]ctual notice of a pending tax sale waives strict compliance with statutory notice require-ments, and technical deficiencies in those notice requirements do not invalidate a tax sale." Stanford-Gale v. Tax Claim Bureau, 816 A.2d 1214, 1217 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003) "[A]ctual notice is such notice as is positively proved to have been given to a party directly and personally, or such as he is presumed to have received personally because the evidence within his knowledge was sufficient to put him upon inquiry." Sabbeth v. Tax Claim Bureau, 714 A.2d 514, 517 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1998).

Here, the court considered the "totality of the circumstances," including that that"Bureau sent notice to the address for the grantees indicated on the deed, and it was signed for by someone with the same last name who was permitted by the Post Office to receive certified mail at this post office box, who indicated his capacity as 'Agent' and who signed for certified mail addressed to the [F/Os] on other occasions. As a result, the Court concludes that the Bureau followed common sense business practices and that the [former owners] had implied actual notice...."