Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Harry R. Thompson, No. B-129859.
John M. Humphrey, for appellant.
David Bianco, Assistant Attorney General, with him, Sydney 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.
[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 592]
The issue presented in this unemployment compensation case is whether Harry R. Thompson's notification to his employer on November 18, 1975 that he was not going to work because he had to get a replacement car was sufficient notice for his absence the following day. We find, when viewed in the light of all the facts pertinent to this case, that it was not and affirm the denial of benefits by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board), pursuant to Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation
[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 593]
Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(e).*fn1
Thompson's employment with Grumman Allied (Grumman) had been tarnished by 10 days of absence during the period from August 12 to November 6, 1975. In fact, after an unexcused absence on August 22, Thompson had been warned that his job was in jeopardy.*fn2 Sometime over the weekend of November 14, Thompson's car became inoperable. On Monday, November 17, Thompson worked; however, the next day, November 18, he borrowed a car and went to Grumman to explain that he needed another car. After being excused, he left and next reported for work on Friday, November 21, the day he was discharged.
Before the referee, Grumman's representative testified that, although he excused Thompson's absence on November 18 so that he could look for a car, he expected him back the next day. Thompson testified that on November 19 and 20 he had been attempting to find a car or to prepare the car he found for inspection. Thompson further testified that he called Grumman on November 20, knowledge of which Grumman's representative denied.*fn3
[ 28 Pa. Commw. Page 594]
Initially we note that, where there is sufficient evidence in the record to substantiate factual findings of the Board or the referee, such findings are binding on this Court. However, we must still determine the correctness of the Board's legal conclusions and final adjudication based on those facts. Ferko v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 9 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 597, 309 A.2d 72 (1973).
The Board's final adjudication incorporated the referee's decision which concluded that Thompson was guilty of willful misconduct by reason of his unexcused absences of November 19 and 20. We have often defined willful misconduct as the wanton and willful disregard of the employer's interest, a deliberate violation of the employer's rules, a disregard of the standards of behavior which the employer has a right to expect from his employee, or negligence which manifests culpability, wrongful intent, or evil design which shows an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer's interest or the employee's duties and obligations to the employer. E.g., Collins v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 25 ...