Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Michael Zavagansky, et al., No. B-129309.
Marc L. Silverman, with him Thomas R. Lisella, for appellant.
Daniel R. Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
Elliot A. Strokoff, with him Ira H. Weinstock, and Handler, Gerber and Weinstock, for intervening appellee.
Judges Crumlish, Jr., Kramer and Rogers, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Kramer. Judge Rogers concurs in the result only.
[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 622]
This is an appeal by Kai-Jay Pants Company, a Division of Philip Gurian Sons, Inc. (Appellant), from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board), dated January 2, 1976. The order grants unemployment benefits to six former employes of Appellant.
Michael Zavagansky, Joseph G. Beshock, Michael Beshock, Sam Citrano, Edward S. Martin, and Robert J. Pastucha (employes) worked for Appellant as pressers. In the afternoon of Friday, January 31, 1975, the employes were instructed to repress a particular shipment of clothing. They were informed that as the shipment was a priority order, the repressing must be completed before going on to any
[ 29 Pa. Commw. Page 623]
new work. The employes followed these instructions for the remainder of that Friday.
On Monday morning February 3, 1975, the employes came into work and began pressing a new shipment of clothes. They were quickly informed by a supervisor, however, that a portion of the garments which required repressing the previous Friday still remained. They were instructed to finish repressing these garments before continuing with their new work. The employes then asked the supervisor what they were being paid for the repressing. Under the labor agreement between the parties, the testimony indicates that the compensation paid the employes for their work varied according to the particular circumstances. After consulting with the manager of labor relations for Appellant, the supervisor informed them that they would not be paid for the repressing as they had already received compensation on a piecework basis when the clothes were originally pressed. The supervisor further informed the employes that they could "repress the clothes or go home." The employes thereupon refused to repress the clothes and left the plant to consult with their union representatives. Approximately two hours later they received a telegram from Appellant's manager of labor relations informing the employes that they had been terminated for refusing to follow instructions and walking off the job.
At issue is the application of Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Act), Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(e), which renders a claimant ineligible for benefits if his unemployment is due to a discharge for willful misconduct. This Commonwealth's Supreme Court stated in Frumento v. ...