Wednesday, April 04, 2018

UC - Fabric decision - separation from part-time job

Von Dehn v.  UCBR –Cmwlth. Court – April 2, 2018 – to be published

Held:  Claimant who
  - was laid off from his full-time union job, and then
  - worked one 4-hour shift at an intermittent part-time job, and
  - told PT employer not to schedule future work, because it would interfere with being called back for his FT job
was eligible for  benefits, under UCBR v. Fabric, 354 A.2d 905 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1976).

When a claimant who is eligible for UC benefits by reason of separation from full-time employment experiences a subsequent separation from part-time employment, “he is rendered ineligible for further benefits only to the extent that his benefits were decreased by virtue of his part-time earnings.” UCBR v. Fabric, 354 A.2d 905, 908 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1976). It is the Board’s burden to “establish that a claimant’s actual benefits would be increased by virtue of the loss of a part-time job. In other words, the part-time job must have yielded income in excess of the partial benefit credit … before a claimant can be denied any benefits because of a voluntary separation.” Id. at 907.

The reason for the separation from part-time employment is irrelevant to the eligibility analysis.  [emphasis added] Whether the claimant is laid off, quits voluntarily, or is fired for willful misconduct, the analysis is the same. See Richards v. UCBR, 480 A.2d 1338 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1984); Walsh v. UCBR  (Pa. Cmwlth., No. 1248 C.D. 2012, filed May 13, 2013), 2013 Pa. Commw. Unpub. LEXIS 374 (unreported). In such a situation, a determination of whether the claimant had a necessitous and compelling reason for leaving his part-time position has no place in the analysis of his eligibility for UC benefits.

Here,  the Board did not calculate Claimant’s partial benefit credit, nor did it compare that amount to Claimant’s part-time earnings from Camp Bow Wow, the PT employer  Thus, the Board could not and did not sustain its burden of demonstrating that Claimant’s separation from Camp Bow Wow rendered him ineligible for UC benefits. Moreover, the record indicates Claimant’s earnings from Camp Bow Wow in 2016 could not have affected the amount of UC benefits to which he was entitled as a result of his layoff by Full-Time Employer.