Unemployment Compensation Clinic has two cases before Commonwealth Court

The Unemployment Compensation Clinic has two cases on appeal before the Commonwealth Court. In one case, students in the clinic seek to have the court review the circumstances under which teachers at a local community college can receive unemployment benefits during their "summer semester." In the second, the students ask whether a transit authority bus driver's resumed use of a customary route after a road was reopened (following a posted detour) constitutes willful misconduct, thus barring him from receipt of unemployment insurance.

The clinic has handled a multitude of Commonwealth Court cases during the program's 20-year history at Duquesne - from the legalities of using chemical testing of hair and other bodily substance to detect illicit drug use, to a worker's right to quit work and receive benefits when faced with a so-called "toxic" work environment.

"My work in the clinic has brought abstract classroom concepts to life," says second-year evening student Lydia Wardi, who currently serves the clinic. "In addition to gaining exposure to Pennsylvania unemployment compensation law, I am refining my written and oral advocacy skills and developing professional judgement each time I prepare for and participate in a hearing.

"The instructors are phenomenal," Wardi continued. "They are invested in the learning process and offer an experience that is both challenging and supportive."

"Duquesne's Unemployment Compensation Clinic continues to make an imprint on the law in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania," said Michael Simon, the attorney who helped to establish the clinical program.

Simon is joined by Professor Tracey McCants Lewis and Adjunct Professor Justin T. Romano, a former student in the program, in overseeing the law students' work.

Duquesne University

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