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WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION v. UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD REVIEW COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA. WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION (12/02/76)

decided: December 2, 1976.

WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA. WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC CORPORATION, APPELLANT. ERNESTINE WEBSTER, INTERVENING APPELLEE



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Ernestine Webster, No. B-130314.

COUNSEL

Lynn E. Wagner, with him Berkman, Ruslander, Pohl, Lieber & Engel, for appellant.

Daniel R. Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Robert A. Berkowitz, for intervening appellee.

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

Author: Wilkinson

[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 74]

In this unusual and difficult unemployment compensation claim, the facts are either admitted or must be considered by this Court in a light most favorable

[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 75]

    to claimant since the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) has found in her favor, albeit the Bureau of Employment Security and the Referee disallowed her claim. The issue is whether claimant is barred by willful misconduct under § 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(e).

The law on what constitutes willful misconduct under this section has been so recently and fully set forth by our Supreme Court in Frumento v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Pa. , 351 A.2d 631 (1976), further general discussion is unnecessary.

The facts, as found by the Board and taken in the most favorable view for the claimant, are that she, a 53 year old black, had worked for this employer for approximately 7 years, performing in at least a satisfactory manner. She started as a copy typist and rose to a general typist with duties as a coder. She was directed to instruct another girl, white, in the duties of a coder. After she declined, her superior conferred with her and impressed upon her the importance of conducting this training. She continued to decline because the designated white trainee had refused to speak to claimant for some months. Claimant stated she would not speak to the trainee, but would merely point. Her supervisor stated that it was not necessary for her to be friendly with the trainee, but it would be necessary to give her the necessary instruction. Claimant continued to refuse based on what the Board has found to be hostility between the claimant and the trainee and "much of this hostility is attributable to racial tension and hostility." Claimant was given a three-day disciplinary suspension.

[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 76]

A few days after claimant returned to work,*fn1 her supervisor called her and the designated trainee to his office and explained that the training must begin. Claimant refused. The uncontradicted testimony of the supervisor is that at that conference claimant again refused to speak to the trainee. The supervisor explained that it was not necessary for the claimant and the trainee to be friends and that the only conversations needed would ...


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