Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of David A. Becker, No. B-131283.
Graham C. Showalter, for appellant.
Susan Shinkman, Assistant Attorney General, with her Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Mencer.
[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 489]
This appeal has been taken in accord with the Unemployment Compensation Law*fn1 (Act) from a denial of benefits by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board). David A. Becker (claimant) has argued here that (1) the employer's appeal from the referee to the Board was untimely and (2) the Board's finding of willful misconduct was improper. We reject both contentions and affirm the Board.
During 1975, the claimant worked for 10 months as a mechanic for A.W. Logan, Inc. (employer). From the time he was hired, his duties included checking and repairing automotive vehicles in preparation for state inspection. His employer arranged for the claimant to attend two 4-hour classes so that he would become a certified state inspector of such vehicles. The claimant was compensated for his travel expenses in attending the class and was allowed to leave work early when the class was to meet. After attending the first class, the claimant decided that he would not continue
[ 30 Pa. Commw. Page 490]
with the class, and the employer eventually became aware of this decision. The claimant's stated reasons for his refusal were that he thought inspections were done improperly by the employer, that if he became licensed he might be pressured into performing illegal inspections, and that he did not want to assume the responsibility. He was discharged on November 21, 1975 for this refusal to attend classes.
After a hearing before a referee, the claimant was awarded unemployment compensation benefits in a decision dated February 9, 1976. Although the employer's petition for appeal was not mailed until February 25, 1976, the record contains a copy of a letter from the Bureau of Employment Security dated February 17, 1976. This letter is addressed to the employer, acknowledges his "written communication protesting the decision on the unemployment compensation claim," and states: "In accordance with the rules of procedure of the Board of Review, the Petition for Appeal should be filed or postmarked within ten (10) days of the date of this letter." (Emphasis in original.)
Finding willful misconduct under Section 402(e) of the Act, 43 P.S. § 802(e), the Board reversed the referee and denied benefits. In its discussion, the Board indicated that the employer's request that the claimant attend the school was reasonable and that it could not conclude that improper inspections occurred at the employer's station.
In our consideration of whether the appeal to the Board here was timely, we must be mindful that statutory time limitations on appeals are mandatory, and an untimely appeal raises a jurisdictional issue. Strawley v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 25 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 34, 358 A.2d 145 (1976). At the ...