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JAMES S. STURNIOLO v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/04/75)

decided: June 4, 1975.

JAMES S. STURNIOLO, APPELLANT,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of James S. Sturniolo, No. B-120914.

COUNSEL

Stephen F. Ritner, for appellant.

Charles G. Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Rogers and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 19 Pa. Commw. Page 476]

Under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law,*fn1 43 P.S. ยง 802(e), an employee is ineligible for compensation where his unemployment is due to his discharge from work for willful misconduct connected with his work. In this action, after a hearing at which James Sturniolo (claimant) was unrepresented by counsel, benefits were denied by the referee, who made five numbered findings of fact concluding that the claimant was ineligible because of such misconduct. The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review affirmed without opinion and the claimant now appeals to this Court.

[ 19 Pa. Commw. Page 477]

In reviewing an unemployment compensation case, this Court is confined to questions of law and to a determination as to whether or not the findings of the compensation authorities are supported by substantial evidence. Warminster Fiberglass Co. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 15 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 385, 327 A.2d 219 (1974). The question as to whether or not an employee's actions constitute willful misconduct is, of course, one of law and subject to our review. Food Fair Stores, Inc. v. Unemployment Compensation Board Page 477} of Review, 11 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 535, 314 A.2d 528 (1974).

In this case the referee made the following findings:

"1. The claimant was last employed by Serv-A-Store, Inc., for nine (9) months as a driver-salesman at $150 a week plus commission; his last day of work was September 21, 1973.

"2. The claimant, on his last day of work was ordered by his supervisor to attend a meeting that evening at six o'clock for all driver-salesmen; the claimant replied he saw no reason why he should attend as he didn't think anything new would be brought out.

"3. The claimant was informed that if he did not attend the planned meeting he may be discharged; the claimant did not attend the meeting.

"4. The employer called the claimant on Monday, September 24, 1973, and told him he could continue his employment if he agreed to follow all future ...


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