Appeals from the Orders of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in cases of In Re: Claim of Carroll A. Lippy, No. B-133046; and In Re: Claim of Louella L. Lippy, No. B-133045.
Richard Thrasher, for petitioners.
Daniel Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, with him Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for respondent.
President Judge Bowman and Judges Mencer and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Bowman.
[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 253]
These cases involve appeals from the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) and for the purpose of this opinion the appeals are consolidated since they entail virtually the identical fact situation. The petitioners, Carroll Lippy and Louella Lippy, are husband and wife. Both worked for Hanover Brands, Inc., as inspectors. In both of these cases the Board reversed the referee's decision and held that the petitioners were ineligible for benefits because they were properly discharged for willful misconduct.
The petitioners had duties which required them to inspect cans. If the seams of the cans were damaged, the cans were to be placed into a dumpster and destroyed. The petitioners, while employed as inspectors, removed some 120 damaged cans from the company premises to their home without authorization from their employer. The rules and regulations promulgated by the employer stated that immediate discharge shall result for "removal from the premises of any company property . . . without proper authorization."
The employer was informed that the petitioners had taken damaged cans from the premises. Being concerned about the health hazard caused by exposed food, the employer went to the home of petitioners to recover the damaged food cans. Petitioner-wife denied the employer access to the home. The damaged cans were recovered the next day when petitioner-husband permitted the employer to remove the goods. Both petitioners were discharged for their conduct.
The Board invokes 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. § 802(e), which provides in part:
[ 32 Pa. Commw. Page 254]
An employe shall be ineligible for compensation for any week --
(e) In which his unemployment is due to his discharge or temporary suspension from work for willful misconduct connected with his work. . . .
This concept of willful misconduct has been examined in Loder v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 6 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 484, 488, 296 A.2d 297, ...