Monday, April 18, 2011

UC - voluntary quit - good cause - emotional health - improper Board reversal of referee - Treon

Fiedler v. UCBR - Cmwlth. Court - April 18, 2011

Claimant had good cause to quit his job. He was suffering emotional difficulties due to the death of one of his children and needed to be nearer to the rest of his family for support.. Beachem v. UCBR, 760 A.2d 68, 71 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2000).

Claimant took reasonable measures to preserve his employment. Based on his testimony, the referee found that “[t]he claimant shared with the employer the emotional difficulties he was having trying to cope with the loss of his child.” However, the UCBR, without comment, disregarded this referee’s finding.

In Treon v. UCBR, 499 Pa. 455, 461, 453 A.2d 960, 962 (1982), our Supreme Court stated that if the UCBR determines that particular findings of the referee are inconsistent, incredible or unsupported by the evidence, then the UCBR must indicate such finding. “The [UCBR] may not, however, simply disregard findings made by the referee which are based upon consistent and uncontradicted testimony without stating its reasons for doing so.” Id. When the UCBR does so, the appellate court may reinstate the finding. Id. Thus, we reinstate the referee’s finding that Claimant shared his difficulties with Employer, and we conclude that Claimant took reasonable efforts to preserve his employment.