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UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JOHN C. HOMSHER (11/12/75)

decided: November 12, 1975.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JOHN C. HOMSHER, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of John C. Homsher, No. B-123033.

COUNSEL

John A. Kenneff, for appellant.

Daniel R. Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, with him Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 577]

John C. Homsher (claimant) appeals to this Court from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed a referee's decision reversing the Bureau of Employment Security, thereby denying claimant unemployment benefits on his discharge from work. The Board's denial was based on a conclusion that claimant was rightfully discharged because of willful misconduct connected with his work. The Board 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).*fn1

The claimant, who has correctly recognized our scope of review and the burden placed upon an employer in willful misconduct cases,*fn2 first contends that the Board erred in its conclusion that Lancaster Press, Inc. (employer) did in fact meet its burden of establishing that the actions of the claimant constituted willful misconduct.

The Board found, in part:

[ 21 Pa. Commw. Page 578]

"2. It was the claimant's responsibility to train the men under him to do their own jobs and also to perform the functions of a first pressman.

"3. The claimant repeatedly refused to train other employees in the functions of a first pressman. As a result, he was discharged by the employer."

After a careful review of the testimony in this case, we hold that these findings of the Board are adequately supported by evidence in the record.*fn3 Additionally, we note that an employee's repeated direct refusals to perform a duty assigned or follow an instruction given by an employer meets the legal test of willful misconduct under the Act.*fn4 Cf. Palmer v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 100, 305 A.2d 402 (1973); Murrin Unemployment Compensation Case, 199 Pa. Superior Ct. 583, 186 A.2d 438 (1962).

Claimant's additional contention that the training of other employees in the function of a first pressman was not part of the job for which he was hired and that he could therefore refuse his employer's orders in that regard is without merit. The law is definite in this Commonwealth that an employee must abide by any reasonable changes that an employer makes in an employee's hours or duties. Tucker v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 14 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 262, 319 A.2d 195 (1974). During the hearing, the employer presented sufficient testimony to ...


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