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Jobless Benefits May Be Had When Parent Quits Work to Care for Disturbed Child
Description Under Pennsylvania law, one may quit work and receive unemployment compensation benefits if there is a problem of necessitous and compelling nature. That applies where a single parent quit work to deal with the problems of his emotionally disturbed eleven-year-old son.
Topic Employment Law
Key Words Unemployment Compensation; Child Care
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Beachem, from Pennsylvania, began work in August 1998, for Eagle as a welder at a company facility in Alabama. He has sole custody of his 11-year-old son who lives with Beachem's mother in Pennsylvania. While Beachem was in Alabama, his older son began having emotional and behavioral problems. In November 1998, Beachem quit work to return to Pennsylvania to be with his son to help with his problems. He found employment there, but was laid off after a month. He filed for unemployment compensation but was denied benefits because he had voluntarily quit work in Alabama and was in his other job for such a short time that he did not meet the minimum requirements. He appealed the denial of benefits.
Decision Reversed. "A cause of 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." This applies if one has exhausted all reasonable alternative babysitting arrangements and would also apply to a situation such as this, where "a claimant voluntarily terminates his employment in order to care for his emotionally or behaviorally disturbed child."
Citation Beachem v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 2000 WL 1357484 (Cmwlth. Ct., Pa., 2000)

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