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UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM H. WILLIAMS (02/03/76)

decided: February 3, 1976.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
WILLIAM H. WILLIAMS, APPELLANT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of William H. Williams, No. B-124724.

COUNSEL

Peter J. Pinnola, for appellant.

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

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

Author: Mencer

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 189]

This is an appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 190]

    affirmed an order of the referee denying benefits to William H. Williams (claimant). The basis of the Board's decision was that claimant had been discharged because of his willful misconduct*fn1 in absenting himself from work.

Claimant was last employed as a night-shift taxicab driver by the Yellow Cab Company. While absent from work because of illness, he was involved in an accident on January 26, 1974, in which he received a blow to the head. He advised the night superintendent that he would be unable to work for an indefinite period as a result of the injury. Approximately one month later claimant again advised the employer that he would have to remain absent until he had fully recovered. On March 30, 1974, after receiving a release from his doctor, claimant returned to his employer and was informed that his time card had been removed from the card rack. In effect, claimant had been discharged.

In an unemployment compensation case, this Court may review the decision of the Board to decide only whether the necessary findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence or whether there has been an error of law. O'Keefe v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 18 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 151, 333 A.2d 815 (1975). Whether the facts properly found by the Board are sufficient to constitute willful misconduct is a question of law. Horace W. Longacre, Inc. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 12 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 176, 316 A.2d 110 (1974).

[ 23 Pa. Commw. Page 191]

Claimant contends that there was no substantial evidence to support the Board's fourth finding of fact:

"4. Five days before March 12, 1974, the claimant had notified the employer that he would return to work and he did not report there on March 12, 1974. When he failed ...


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