Guy v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 111319 PACCA, 479 C.D. 2019

Docket Nº:479 C.D. 2019
Opinion Judge:ROBERT SIMPSON, SENIOR JUDGE.
Party Name:Michael Guy, Petitioner v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Respondent
Judge Panel:BEFORE: HONORABLE MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, President Judge HONORABLE MICHAEL H. WOJCIK, Judge HONORABLE ROBERT SIMPSON, Senior Judge
Case Date:November 13, 2019
Court:Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania
 
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Michael Guy, Petitioner

v.

Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Respondent

No. 479 C.D. 2019

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

November 13, 2019

Submitted: September 6, 2019

BEFORE: HONORABLE MARY HANNAH LEAVITT, President Judge HONORABLE MICHAEL H. WOJCIK, Judge HONORABLE ROBERT SIMPSON, Senior Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

ROBERT SIMPSON, SENIOR JUDGE.

Michael Guy (Claimant), representing himself, petitions for review from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) that affirmed a referee's decision dismissing his appeal as untimely under Section 501(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).1 Claimant filed his appeal from two notices of determination a month late. Upon review, we affirm.

I. Background

Claimant was laid off from his seasonal employment with a landscaping business (Employer) at the end of December 2017 for lack of work. He applied for and began receiving unemployment compensation (UC) benefits in January 2018. Employer challenged Claimant's continuing receipt of UC benefits after discovering he received benefits after the date it recalled him to seasonal employment, starting March 1, 2018. Employer asserted Claimant voluntarily quit when he refused its recall to work.

After investigating the matter, on October 22, 2018, the Department of Labor and Industry (Department) issued two notices of determination, one disqualifying Claimant from UC benefits based on a voluntary quit, and the other finding a fault overpayment of benefits from March 17 through June 23, 2018, and imposing penalties (determinations). The determinations were premised on Claimant's failure to return to his prior seasonal employment, beginning in March 2018. Copies of the determinations were mailed to Claimant's last known address and not returned as undeliverable. Relevant here, the determinations stated the final day to appeal was November 6, 2018. Claimant appealed both determinations in the same appeal; however, he did not mail his appeal until a month later, on December 6, 2018.

A referee conducted a hearing. As to the timeliness of his appeal, Claimant testified he appealed the determinations "as soon as [he] realized [he] needed to . . . ." Referee's Hr'g, Notes of Testimony (N.T.), 12/31/18, at 5. He explained his appeal was untimely because he was preoccupied with his current employment and "was already working … just busy." Id. He was also "shock[ed]" to receive the determinations as he believed he was "done with unemployment" since he resumed working. Id. Additionally, Claimant stated his wife opened the determinations. The referee dismissed Claimant's appeal as untimely under Section 501(e) of the Law, 43 P.S. §821(e). Claimant appealed to the Board.

The Board concluded Claimant's explanation did not meet the criteria for an exception to the 15-day appeal period, i.e., the delay was not caused by fraud, a...

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