Barsky v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Rev

Barsky sells diamonds on Jeweler’s Row in Philadelphia and won an appeal in the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court, too. Barsky Diamonds (“Employer”) employed Barsky (“Claimant”) until March 2020, when Governor Wolf mandated the closure of non-essential businesses because of the pandemic, which temporarily shuttered Employer. Claimant applied for and was granted unemployment compensation benefits. However, one month later, the Service Center mailed Claimant a Notice of Determination, concluding that Claimant was self-employed and, therefore, ineligible for benefits. The Notice of Determination of Overpayment provided that June 3, 2020, was the final day to file a timely appeal. Claimant appealed, but the Service Center did not receive the letter containing the appeal until June 4, 2020. The Referee dismissed the appeal as untimely. Claimant appealed the Referee’s decision to the Board, which adopted and incorporated the Referee’s findings as well as conclusions and affirmed. Claimant appealed again, and the Commonwealth Court reversed. The Court concluded that, while the evidence presented was insufficient to establish that Claimant’s appeal was timely, the Board capriciously disregarded evidence of a postal service tracking number as it related to nunc pro tunc relief. The Court held that “clearly, the factual setting surrounding Claimant’s application for unemployment benefits and the filing of Claimant’s appeal was anything but ordinary, and it warranted a detailed review of all the evidence of record”.

Barsky