Monday, February 13, 2012

UC - educational employee - commencement of unemployment during holiday/vacation

Garnet Valley School District v. UCBR - February 13, 2012 - unreported memorandum decision

Claimant was a substitute paraprofessional who was called on an as-needed basis to replace or fill in for regular fulltime paraprofessionals. Claimant had a long-term substitute assignment that ended on January 6, 2011. There was no work available for Claimant from January 6, 2011, until the pay period ending March 25, 2011, when she worked for four hours. The school was closed for students and paraprofessionals on February 21, 2011, for President‟s Day. Claimant is not paid for holidays. Claimant filed an application for benefits for the claim week ending February 26, 2011.

The court upheld the UCBR decision that claimant was not disqualified by sec. 402.1 of the UC Law, which prohibits employees of educational institutions from receiving benefits during summer and holiday breaks, provided that they have a reasonable assurance of employment following the break. Employer argued that Claimant had reasonable assurance of continuing work in this case but the court did not reach that question.

Rather, it held that the issue of reasonable assurance because, by its own terms, section 402.1(3) does not apply to the week in question, which was not an "established and customary vacation period or holiday recess" -- as the UC Law specifies. Section 402.1(3) precludes benefits only for "any week which commences during an established and customary vacation period or holiday recess…. 43 P.S. §802.1(3). The week in question that included the President's Day holiday did not commence on that day so section 402.1(3) is facially inapplicable. North Penn School District v. UCBR, 662 A.2d 1161, 1163 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995).


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.