truck, resulting in damage to the other truck amounting to the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars ($ 150).
There was undisputed testimony that another employee, Ackers, rode with petitioner, and, at the request of the respondent, Ackers directed the petitioner to drive out of the pit and on all grades in first gear. Other testimony was introduced to show that petitioner had ignored the advice and directions given him in this regard and failed and refused to use first gear as directed.
Petitioner testified that the brakes were not in proper condition. This testimony was countered, however, by testimony on the part of the respondent, and there was testimony to the effect that the brakes were in proper condition. Had the petitioner obeyed the directions given him by his employer, it is obvious that the trouble would not have occurred and the damage would not have been sustained. Petitioner's demeanor and testimony upon the witness stand indicated an attitude of disrespect for him employer, the respondent, from which the Court has little difficulty in finding that he wilfully disobeyed the orders of his superior, his employer.
The petitioner, as a discharged veteran, was entitled to be reinstated in his former position and to be secure from discharge for a period of one year, except for cause. Wilful disobedience to an employer's orders and directions, resulting in damage to property, must certainly be held to be valid cause for discharge, if the Court finds as a fact that there was such disobedience. The pertinent section of the Selective Training and Service Act was passed to aid veterans in regaining their former jobs or positions where recalcitrant employers are involved. It was not meant as an absolute guarantee that a veteran would receive one year's wages regardless of his attitude or the quality of his services.
Findings of Fact.
1. The petitioner, Francis P. Pelot, was employed as a truck driver by the respondent, Andrew Schott, prior to his induction into the armed forces.
2. Petitioner was inducted into the armed services of the United States on or about August 29, 1942, and honorably discharged therefrom on December 24, 1945.
3. Petitioner was reemployed February 5, 1946, as a truck driver by the respondent.
4. Petitioner was given specific instructions by his employer as to how to operate the truck he was to operate on the grade to be used, which instructions the petitioner wilfully disobeyed.
5. The operation of the truck by the petitioner, contrary to the instructions and directions of his employer, which instructions and directions were proper and reasonable, resulted in damage to personal property.
6. Petitioner was discharged because of disobedience and wilful, wrongful acts.
Conclusions of Law.
1. Respondent, Andrew Schott, acted with reasonable cause in discharging petitioner, Francis P. Pelot.
2. Petitioner, Francis P. Pelot, is entitled neither to reinstatement to his former position nor to any damages.
3. The petition of Francis P. Pelot should be dismissed.
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