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DEBORAH C. RITCHIE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/20/77)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: December 20, 1977.

DEBORAH C. RITCHIE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT

Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Deborah G. Ritchie, No. B-135212.

COUNSEL

Walton F. Hill, and Douds & Hill, for petitioner.

Charles G. Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for respondent.

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

Author: Wilkinson

[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 87]

This is an appeal from an order of the Pennsylvania Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying benefits to the claimant on the

[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 88]

    grounds of wilful misconduct. Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law), Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 802(e). We affirm.

The claimant was employed as a file clerk by the United States Civil Service Commission (Commission) until her discharge on October 17, 1975. The claimant had last worked for the Commission on September 3, 1975, having been absent due to illness during the interim period.

On September 30, 1975, the Chief, Records Division of the Bureau of Retirement, Insurance and Occupational Health of the United States Civil Service Commission, sent a letter requesting her to furnish a statement from her doctor covering the illness, and also to submit a written request to the Bureau Director for an extension beyond thirty days of her leave without pay. Without such a written request, she was advised that her continued absence could not be authorized. The claimant did not comply with either request. The issue which arises is whether the claimant's failure to comply with her employer's instructions constitutes wilful misconduct. We affirm the finding that it does and benefits must be denied.

The term wilful misconduct has been dealt with on a number of occasions by this Court. See Unemployment Compensation Board of Review v. Glenn, 23 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 240, 350 A.2d 890 (1976); Kentucky Fried Chicken of Altoona, Inc. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 10 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 90, 309 A.2d 165 (1973). One of the rules which has been developed is that an employee's failure to follow the reasonable instructions of his or her employer constitutes wilful misconduct. Horn v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 26 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 566, 364 A.2d 991 (1976). We find the record in this case supports the Board's conclusion that the

[ 33 Pa. Commw. Page 89]

    claimant failed to follow the reasonable instructions of her employer with regard to her continued absence from work, and that the Board properly concluded that as a result she was ineligible for benefits.

Accordingly, we will enter the following

Order

Now, December 20, 1977, the decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, No. B-135212, dated September 28, 1976, is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.

19771220

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