MOUNT CARMEL - Members got insight into how unemployment compensation claims are processed at Tuesday's luncheon for the Brush Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce (BRVCC), held at Mattucci's Willow Street Cafe.

Vincent G. Negro, a workforce development coordinator with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, discussed the unemployment compensation system. He went through every form employers receive when a former employee opens a claim.

"These forms are the department's first line of defense on the claims, so please look over them closely to make sure all the information is correct," Negro said to members who might encounter such situations.

He focused on the differences in fact-finding and on who has the burden of proof when a claim is disputed.

If the person voluntarily quits, Negro said the employee needs to show they took every measure to fix the problem first.

"Most times, a person will tell everyone but a supervisor that could fix the problem, so they don't meet the burden of proof," Negro said.

Many employers will take a phone hearing if requested, but Negro said that sometimes that isn't a good idea.

"Any documents that you want to present at the hearing have to be presented two weeks before the hearing, so it's better to be there in person," he said.

Tuesday's luncheon was sponsored by Central Susquehanna Opportunities Inc. Community Action Director Gail Zalar presented an overview of the organization and presented a handout on some of the work the organization has done recently.

This was also the first luncheon for new chamber director Whitney Fetterman, who was hired in July to replace Sandy Winhofer, who resigned to take a new job.

"I'm looking forward to working with all of you and working toward the future with the chamber," she said.

Fetterman noted the chamber has several items of memorabilia for sale, including several of the O-gauge model train cars depicting various train stations in the Brush Valley region.

Anyone interested can contact Fetterman at 648-4675 or wfetterman@censop.com for more information.