Thursday, March 28, 2013

Pennsylvania's Unemployment Compensation Board of Review - Philadelphia Lawyer Who Files Appeals With Unemployment Board of Review

What You Need to Know:  Appealing the Decision of an Unemployment Referee to the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Board of Review - Need an Experienced Attorney to Help With Your Appeal of a Referee's Unemployment Decision?


UCBOR: Very Fair, in my Experience
The Pa Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (“UCBOR”) is the first level of appeal from Decisions rendered by Referees.  I believe it is fair to say that UCBOR considers and decides thousands of appeals per year.  

Winning before the UCBOR is critical, because, among other things, it is a simple and relatively easy process.  After the UCBOR, the next step is an appeal to the court system, and specifically to the Commonwealth Court.  Filing appeals tot he Commonwealth is a complicated and thus much more expensive process.

Our Pennsylvania Willful Misconduct Video:

It is a Really Good Idea to Consider Hiring an Attorney to Represent You if You Want to Appeal a Referee's Decision to Pennsylvania's Unemployment Compensation Board of Review - Chester County Who Files many Appeals to the UCBOR on Behalf of Employees for a Fee That is Less Than $1,000

I have filed many appeals to the UCBOR, understand exactly how the process works and have all of the controlling case law at my fingertips.  Therefore, I can file a very professional Brief on behalf of claimants at a relatively small amount of money.  

Given that I charge 5-7 times as much to file an appeal with the Commonwealth Court (thus putting such appeals well out of the reach of the ordinary citizen), if you want to hire a lawyer to help you with your appeal of a Referee Decision, hiring one to appeal to the UCBOR is probably the best course of action.

What are the Chances That I Can Win on an Appeal to the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Board of Review?  Need a Lawyer to Appeal a Referee Decision After a Pennsylvania Unemployment Hearing?


The UCBOR is comprised by three people who are appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania to 5 year terms.  In 2013, those three people are: 

Richard W. Bloomingdale - Chairperson
Eileen B. Melvin - Member
Larry Dunn - Member

These 3 have been the UCBOR since at least 2006, so they have a lot of experience – they have seen it all!  Their appeal decisions are not published anywhere (there would be tens of thousands, I am sure), so there is no way to track “precedent” where UCBOR decisions are concerned.

I have filed many appeals to UCBOR, and I have found them to be quite intelligent and fair.

Now, let's examine the credentials of the Board Members themselves.  

Richard W. Bloomingdale - Chairperson is an interesting person, a labor union activist who has served as President of the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO since 2010.  I believe he is from the Carlisle, since he lectures at the War College there.  He was appointed to the UCBOR by Governor Rendell(R).  He has been the Chairman of the UCBOR since 2005.  One would think he is liberal where employee rights are concerned.

Eileen B. Melvin - Member has served on UCBOR since 2002.  She identifies herself as a businesswoman and President and CEO of UMF Medical since 2009.  This company is located in the Johnstown area, and makes medical equipment for health care facilities.  It does well, apparently

She was appointed to UCBOR by Governor Schweiker(R) in 2002 and reappointed by Governor Rendell in 2007. It has been reported that in 2012, Governor Tom Corbett(R) appointed her as Chairman of the UCBOR, but as of this date (12/5/12), Mr. Bloomingdale serves in that capacity.

In 1996, Melvin was unanimously elected Vice-Chair, and later Chair of the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, serving a total of 10 years through numerous victories, including the election of Governor Ridge, U.S. Senators Rick Santorum and Arlen Specter, and winning majorities of the PA Congressional delegation, State Legislature, and Appellate Courts. She was appointed by Senators Specter and Santorum to the Federal Judicial Nominating Committing and served for 12 years.

Given her career arc, status as business owner and political affiliations, it may be fair to assume that Ms. Melvin leans towards employers.

Larry Dunn is from Delaware County and, like Mr. Bloomingdale, is an employee advocate who has been involved with unions.  He was appointed to UCBOR by Governor Rendell in 2006; at that time, he was president of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Regional Council of Carpenters, was secretary of the Philadelphia Joint Apprenticeship Committee and served as an alternate delegate to Team Pennsylvania Foundation's Executive Committee, which fosters public-private collaboration for building a business-friendly economic environment in the commonwealth.  Presumably, Mr. Dunn was subsequent to 2011 reappointed to an additional 5 year term on UCBOR by Governor Corbett.

All in all, an evaluation of the UCBOR suggests that it is at a minimum fair to employees.  That has been my experience as well.

How Do I Know What the Odds are of My Winning and Appeal Before the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Board of Review?  You Need to Hire an Attorney Who Really Knows the Unemployment Laws, and the Cases That Have Been Decided by the Courts on Willful Misconduct, Voluntary Quit and Self-Employment Appeals

The only way to determine what one’s odds are for winning a case is to examine decisions from Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court, which decides all appeals taken from UCBOR decisions. Considering this precedent in tandem with the facts of your case, and what happened at your Hearing, leads to a fairly accurate prognostication as to your odds of winning your appeal.

I Evaluate Your Chances of Winning an Appeal of a Referee's Decision During a 5 Minute Telephone Conversation - Charge You Nothing for this Discussion - Experienced Pennsylvania Lawyer Who Provides a Free Analysis of Your Chances of Winning an Unemployment Appeal

When I am asked if an appeal has a chance of winning, I listen to the client tell me about the facts of the case, and what happened at the Hearing.  Then, since I know the case law, I can evaluate the odds of winning the appeal.  

With this donet, you will have the opportunity to make an informed decision as to whether filing the appeal is worth your emotional and financial commitment.  


It seems apparent, given their locations and vocations, that the members of the UCBOR do not gather together in Harrisburg to decide appeals.  I am under the impression that they have a staff of paralegals/clerks/assistants who review appeals in Harrisburg and make recommendations to the Board Members about how cases should be decided, which are then approved by the Board, or subject to further analysis and discussion among Board Members.  

That is how the 3 Members of the UCBOR can make thousands of decisions per year while gainfully employed in their own careers.


First thing that you must understand is that the UCBOR's appellate review is a paper review.  That is, the UCBOR never, ever conducts a Hearing, and always bases its decision on 1) what was said at the Referee Hearing; 2) the evidence presented at the Referee Hearing; and, 3) the law as decided by the Pennsylvania’s appellate courts on cases involving similar facts and evidence.  

The Board must follow the law – the law established by its higher authorities, the Commonwealth Court and, above that, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  

So, the best way to determine your chances for winning an appeal from a Referee’s Decision are to find and examine cases dealing with similar facts decided by the Commonwealth Court.  Of course, while this may be like finding a needle in a haystack for the average Claimant, this is precisely the type of research that lawyers conduct on a regular basis.


There are two ways to appeal a Referee Decision to the UCBOR. 

The first is to simply file an Appeal and do nothing more.  In that case, the UCBOR will review the transcript and exhibits from the Referee Decision and make a decision as to whether to uphold the Referee without any further input from you.

The second is to file an Appeal, request a copy of the transcript and exhibits, and then file a Brief after review of same, citing relevant evidence presented at the Hearing and applicable precedent in your favor.  This is what I do.

               Philadelphia Unemployment Lawyer Who Files Appeals From Referee Decisions With                                  Pennsylvania's Unemployment Compensation Board of Review

Representing Pennsylvania Workers Since 1991
Philadelphia Are Employment Attorney Representing Employees

John A. Gallagher is an employment lawyer who represents employees in Pennsylvania. 

John typically represents employees who need an employment lawyer in Philadelphia County, Chester County, Delaware County, Bucks County, Berks County, Lancaster County and Montgomery County.

Pennsylvania Employment Attorney Provides Free Telephone Consultations

If you are looking for an employment lawyer, and live in Malvern, Wayne, King of Prussia, Downingtown, Glenside, Doylestown, Radnor, Newtown Square, Exton, Philadelphia, West Chester, Skippack, Langhorne, Haverford, Nether Providence, Broomall, Drexel Hill, Reading or any of their surrounding towns, feel free to send me an e-mail or give me a call.  I am always glad to spend some time with people via a free telephone consultation.

Need an Employment Labor Lawyer Near Philadelphia?

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of employment law, from wrongful termination, to wage and overtime claims, to discrimination and retaliation laws, to Family and Medical Leave

Click Here if you have questions about any aspect of Pennsylvania Unemployment Law, from willful misconduct, to voluntary quit, to Referee Hearings, to severance issues

Click Here to e-mail John directly.

Thanks for checking in with us.

No comments: