Thursday, December 10, 2009

admin. law - appeal - final adjudication

NHS Human Services v. DPW - December 8, 2009 - Commonwealth Court

In holding a warning was not a final adjudiction under the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa. C.S. §§ 501-508, 701-704, the Court said that an "An adjudication is defined as 'Any final order, decree, decision, determination or ruling by an agency affecting personal or property rights, privileges, immunities, duties, liabilities, or obligations of any or all of the parties to the proceeding in which the adjudication is made.' 2 Pa. C.S. §101.

A letter or an email message can constitute an adjudication, requiring notice and a hearing, if a two-prong test is met: 1) the letter must be an agency’s final order, decree, decision, determination or ruling; and 2) it must impact on a party’s personal or property rights, privileges, immunities, duties, liabilities or obligations. Guthrie v. Borough of Wilkinsburg, 505 Pa. 249, 478 A.2d 1279 (1984), Benson Lincoln Mercury, Inc. v. DOT, 602 A.2d 496 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1992), and Fiore v. DER, 510 A.2d 880 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1986).

UC - voluntary quit - racial discrimination

Atlas Machining and Welding v. UCBR - December 8, 2009 - Cmwlth. Court - unreported memorandum opinion

The court affirmed a Board decision finding that an African-American claimant had good cause to quit because of racial harassment, including racial slurs by a co-worker and foreman and several instances of his finding a rope fashioned in the shape of a noose.

"There is no question that racial discrimination may constitute necessitous and compelling cause to terminate one’s employment. Taylor; Brown v. UCBR, 780 A.2d 885 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2001); McIntyre v. UCBR, 420 A.2d 34 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1980); Watts v. UCBR, 410 A.2d 976 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1980)."

Given the employer's "ineffectual" attempts to address these problems, it would have been futile for claimant to pursue things further with the employer. Claimant thus had good cause to quit.