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UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. SUSAN K. HOUP (07/02/75)

decided: July 2, 1975.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
SUSAN K. HOUP, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Susan K. Houp, No. B-123320.

COUNSEL

E. David Harr, for appellant.

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

Judges Kramer, Mencer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.

Author: Mencer

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 112]

This is an appeal by Susan K. Houp (claimant) from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying her application for unemployment compensation benefits. This order was predicated on an allegation by Miscellaneous Ltd. (employer) that claimant was discharged for stealing clothing and other merchandise from the employer's premises.

The employer and the Board have therefore invoked 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. ยง 802(e), which provides in part:

"An employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week --

"(e) In which his unemployment is due to his discharge or temporary suspension from work for willful misconduct connected with his work. . . ."

[ 20 Pa. Commw. Page 113]

This concept of willful misconduct has been examined in Loder v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 6 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 484, 296 A.2d 297 (1972), wherein Judge Kramer stated:

"Unfortunately, the Legislature has not defined the phrase 'willful misconduct.' The appellate courts of this Commonwealth have endeavored to establish the standards to be applied in willful misconduct cases. As a general principle in order to deny unemployment compensation benefits to an employee, his or her action must involve a wanton or willful disregard of the employer's interest, a deliberate violation of the employer's rules, a disregard of standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of his employees, or negligence in such degree or recurrence as to manifest culpability, wrongful intent, or evil design, or show an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer's interests or of the employee's duties and obligations to the employer." 6 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. at 488, 296 A.2d at 299-300.

In addition, we note that the employer has the burden of establishing that a claimant is not eligible for benefits because of willful misconduct. Kentucky Fried Chicken of Altoona, Inc. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of ...


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