Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Virginia A. Ferko, No. B-71-2-G-141.
Lawrence Sager, with him Sager & Sager Associates, for appellant.
Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, with him Israel Packel, Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
Virginia A. Ferko (appellant), last employed by the West Company, of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, was discharged for failure to obtain a required medical leave of absence following an extended period of absenteeism. On the basis that such failure constituted willful misconduct connected with her work, appellant was thereafter denied unemployment compensation benefits pursuant to Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(e). This is an appeal from the determination and order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming the decisions of the Bureau of Employment Security and the Board's referee denying compensation.
Section 510 of the Unemployment Compensation Law, 43 P.S. § 830, sets forth our scope of review in appeals of this nature and provides, in pertinent part:
"In any appeal to the [Commonwealth] Court the findings of the board or referee, as the case may be, as to the facts, if supported by the evidence and in the absence of fraud, shall be conclusive, and in such cases the jurisdiction of the court shall be confined to questions of law . . . ." In other words, where there is sufficient evidence in the record to substantiate factual findings of the Board or its referee, such findings are binding upon this Court. Loder v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 6 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 484, 296 A.2d 297 (1972). However, we must still determine the correctness of the Board's legal conclusions and final adjudication based on those facts.
After careful review of the record, we conclude that the factual determinations of the referee, adopted by the Board, are supported by substantial evidence. Such findings of fact are as follows:
"1. The claimant was last employed by the West Company in Phoenixville, Pa., on March 25th, 1971, when she worked for eight hours. She had been employed as an electric press operator at $3.54 per hour and her employment had extended from 1964.
"2. The claimant had reported her absence subsequent to March 25th, 1971 and produced medical evidence to the effect that her illness would require a medical leave of absence.
"3. The claimant had been on a medical leave of absence from December 21st, 1970 to January 7th, 1971, because of an acute respiratory infection. Her next medical leave began on January 7th, 1971 due to a whiplash and expired on January 21st, 1971. Following this the claimant was on a ...