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Worker fired for lack of wheels is eligible for unemployment

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in Compensation and Benefits,Human Resources

A former employee of Bell Sociali­­zation Services in York has won unemployment compensation benefits after she was fired for not having “reliable transportation.” The woman earned $9 per hour at the company and drove her car to assignments until the car broke down. After that, she drove her mother’s car—until it was damaged in an accident.

Bell Socialization issued an ultimatum: Find transportation or be fired. When she failed to either fix her old car or buy a new one, she was fired.

When the woman filed for unemployment benefits, the employer opposed her, claiming her refusal to obtain a car was “willful misconduct” that rendered her ineligible for unemployment benefits. She countered that she had made every effort to obtain transportation, but couldn’t because of her low income.

The state granted her the benefits and Bell Socialization appealed. An unemployment compensation referee upheld the award, as did Com­monwealth Court following another appeal.

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