Thursday, July 07, 2016

UC - statute v. regulation - registration requirement - exceptions - recall to work

Dept. of Labor & Industry v. UCBR – Cmwlth. Court – June 8, 2016 – unreported* memorandum opinion

The Court upheld that Board’s decision, which found that claimant was exempt from the registration requirement of 401(b)(1)(l), 43 P.S. 801(b)(1)(l), because she had been recalled to work.  The court rejected the Dept.’s argument that its regulation, 34 Pa. Code 65,11(g)(2), which required a recall date in writing, prevailed of the statute, 43 P.S. 801(b)(5), which did not.  The employer notice of recall in this case was oral, not written.

Section 401(b)(6) authorizes the Board to “waive or alter” the registration requirement where “compliance with such requirements would be oppressive or ... would be inconsistent with the purposes of this act.” 43 P.S. §801(b)(6). Stated otherwise, an untimely registration is not “a per se violation that automatically disqualifies a claimant from unemployment.” Department of Labor and Industry, 131 A.3d at 600.   The court agrees with the “the Board’s case-by-case approach to evaluating whether a claimant had good cause for failing to timely register for employment search services under Section 401(b)(1)(i) of the Law” and to exercise its judgment accordingly. Id. at 602.

The Board’s discretion to “waive or alter” the registration requirement “is aligned with the remedial and humanitarian objectives of the Law, as set out in 43 P.S. 752.

*An unreported Commonwealth Court case may not be cited binding precedent but can be cited for its persuasive value.  See 210 Pa. Code § 69.414(b) and Pa. R.A.P.  3716

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