Wednesday, June 27, 2012

UC - voluntary quit - 42% decrease in pay

New Castle Area Transit Authority v. UCBR - June 27, 2012 - unpublished memorandum opinion

Claimant had good cause to quit when his work assignment changed because of medical issues and his wages decreased from $18.75 per hour to $10.85 per hour.

"[A] substantial reduction in pay can constitute a ‘necessitous and compelling’ cause for voluntarily terminating one’s employment. It is true that there is no talismanic percentage figure that separates a substantial reduction from one that is not. Each case must be measured by its own circumstances." Ship Inn, Inc. v. UCBR, 412 A.2d 913, 915 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1980).

While this Court has found "a 3.1[%] pay cut is not a substantial figure sufficient to establish necessitous and compelling cause[,]" Pacini v. UCBR, 518 A.2d 606, 608 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1986), this Court in Ship Inn found that a 22% cut in salary was a necessitous and compelling cause for voluntary employment termination. Similarly, this Court in Morysville Body Works, Inc. v. UCBR, 430 A.2d 376 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1981) affirmed the UCBR’s award of benefits where the Claimant voluntarily terminated his employment due to a 25% wage reduction.

In the instant case, Claimant was offered a job at a wage rate of 42% less his final hourly wage. Clearly, this wage reduction is a substantial cut, thereby, establishing a necessitous and compelling cause for Claimant to voluntarily terminate his employment. Accordingly, the UCBR did not err in concluding the same.


The opinion, though not reported, may be cited "for its persuasive value, but not as binding precedent." 210 Pa. Code § 67.55. Citing Judicial Opinions.