Is a Father Entitled to Benefits If He Quits His Job In Another State to Care for His Child ?
In Beachem v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 760 A.2d 68 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2000), a case concerning whether a father who voluntarily terminated his employment in another state to return to Pennsylvania to care for his emotionally and behaviorally disturbed child was eligible for benefits.
In holding that he was eligible for benefits, we set forth the standard that a claimant must meet to be eligible for benefits when he or she voluntarily left employment for domestic reasons:
A cause of a necessitous and compelling nature exists where there are circumstances that force one to terminate his employment that are real and substantial and would compel a reasonable person under those circumstances to act in the same manner. Livingston v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 702 A.2d 20 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1997).
As stated by the Supreme Court in Taylor v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 474 Pa. 351, 359, 378 A.2d 829, 833 (1977), quoting from the Sturdevant Unemployment Compensation Case, 158 Pa. Super. 548, 557, 45 A.2d 898, 903 (1946):
A worker's physical and mental condition, his personal and family problems, the authoritative demand of legal duties--these are circumstances that exert pressure upon him and imperiously call for decision and action.
When therefore the pressure of real not imaginary, substantial not trifling, reasonable not whimsical, circumstances compel the decision to leave employment, the decision is voluntary in the sense that the worker has willed it, but involuntary because outward pressures have compelled it.
Or to state it differently, if a worker leaves his employment when he is compelled to do so by necessitous circumstances or because of legal or family obligations, his leaving is voluntary with good cause, and under the act he is entitled to benefits. 760 A.2d at 71.