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UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. WILLIAM HOLLEY (03/12/76)

decided: March 12, 1976.

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



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of William Holley, No. B-122822-B.

COUNSEL

Thomas J. Innes, III, with him David T. Rammler, for appellant.

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

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

Author: Kramer

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 17]

This is an appeal by William Holley from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review dated March 6, 1975, which reversed a referee's award of benefits. Holley raises two issues concerning (1) the Board's conclusion that he is guilty of willful misconduct, and (2) the propriety of the Board's acting on the employer's request for reconsideration of its decision without notifying him of the existence of the request. We find no error and affirm the Board.

Holley was employed by Metalstand Company for ten years. Because he was involved in an automobile accident over the preceding weekend, Holley called Metalstand on March 25, 1974, and informed the company that he would be off sick. On March 26 and March 27, 1974, Holley again called with the same message. On March 29, 1974,

[ 24 Pa. Commw. Page 18]

    he called and informed the personnel department of the accident and resulting illness and he requested that his paycheck be sent to his home. Holley made no further effort to communicate with Metalstand, and, on April 4, 1974, he received a telegram from Metalstand which informed him that his employment had been terminated for failure to contact the company during a three-day absence.

The Bureau of Employment Security denied benefits on the basis of 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 renders ineligible claimants who are discharged for willful misconduct. On June 13, 1974, a referee reversed the Bureau's determination. An appeal to the Board resulted in an affirmance of the referee on August 23, 1974.

Thereafter Metalstand requested reconsideration of the Board's order. Without notifying Holley or his counsel of this request, the Board, on September 25, 1974, vacated its prior order, declared the case "reopened," and directed that further evidence be taken by a referee acting as hearing officer for the Board. Notice of this new hearing was given to Holley and evidence was taken. On March 5, 1975, the Board issued a new adjudication denying benefits on the basis of Section 402(e). Holley now appeals to this Court.

Our scope of review is limited to determining questions of law, and, absent fraud, whether the Board's findings are supported by the evidence. Kentucky Fried Chicken of Altoona, Inc. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 10 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 90, 309 A.2d 165 (1973).

Holley first questions whether the findings of the Board support a conclusion of willful misconduct. Specifically, Holley argues that Metalstand's rule relating to ...


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