Back to News

When Retirement Isn’t Really Retirement: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Finds Early Retirees Eligible for Unemployment Compensation Benefits

Published on

February 23, 2013

In Diehl v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently ruled that early retirees are eligible for unemployment compensation benefits, reversing over 30 years of case law on the subject. In this case, Howard Diehl, a 63 year-old shipping clerk, accepted an early retirement package his employer offered as part of a program to avoid layoffs. The package included continuation of health insurance benefits and payment of unused vacation leave. Subsequently, Diehl filed for unemployment compensation benefits, but his claim was denied because Diehl voluntarily resigned without a necessitous and compelling reason. The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review and the Commonwealth Court upheld the denial.

On appeal, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Unemployment Compensation Law’s definition of “layoff” could be interpreted to include the voluntary acceptance of an early retirement package. Consequently, employers considering early retirement programs should now factor in the costs of unemployment compensation claims. Employers can no longer defend claims by early retirees on the basis that they voluntarily left employment.

Barley Snyder’s Employment Law Group frequently counsels employers on early retirement programs and incentives. Please contact a member of our Employment Law Group if you would like assistance in structuring legally compliant retirement programs and incentives.

Related News

View More News
February 28, 2023

Barley Snyder 2022 Year In Review

Check out what the professionals of Barley Snyder have been up to in 2022 a...

Learn More
News Alert
February 27, 2023

Third Circuit Expands Harassment Liability to Company Proxies and Alter Egos

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which has authori...

Learn More
Press Release
February 24, 2023

Barley Snyder Attorneys Recognized in Lawyers of Color “Law Firm Leaders” 2022 Edition

For Immediate Release Lancaster, Pa. – Barley Snyder is proud to announce...

Learn More

Other Upcoming Events

View All Upcoming Events
12:00 pm
1:00 pm

Bank Regulation & Failure: A Discussion on Current Events in the Banking Industry

Learn More
12:00 pm
6:00 pm

LendiCon 2023

Learn More
8:00 am
4:45 pm

40th Annual Employment Law Seminar

Learn More

Get in Touch

Our attorneys, paralegals and staff look forward to hearing from you. Please reach out to let us know how we can help.

Get In Touch
Super Lawyers
Best Law Firms US News
Best Lawyers