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MAX M. RUSSELL v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/11/78)

decided: July 11, 1978.

MAX M. RUSSELL, JR., 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 Max M. Russell, Jr., No. B-140197.

COUNSEL

Jeffrey A. Ernico, for appellant.

Charles G. Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Sydney Reuben, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Crumlish, Jr., Blatt and DiSalle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge DiSalle.

Author: Disalle

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 500]

Max M. Russell, Jr., (Russell) filed this petition for review of an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) dated January 26, 1977. The order affirmed a referee's determination that Russell had been properly discharged under 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. ยง 802(e), for wilful

[ 36 Pa. Commw. Page 501]

    misconduct and was therefore ineligible to receive unemployment benefits. We affirm.

Russell was employed by the Bureau of Employment Security (Bureau) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. For the three months immediately preceding his discharge, he worked in the position of intermittent intake interviewer in the Harrisburg local office. Previous to this, Russell had worked for fourteen months in the Bureau's Interstate Claims office. During the period spent in the Interstate Claims office, Russell had been warned verbally and in writing on numerous occasions about insubordination and his failing to adhere to the directives of his superiors. He had also received a three day disciplinary suspension. He was transferred from the Interstate Claims office to the Harrisburg local office in lieu of dismissal for his failure to heed these warnings. Following his transfer to the position of intermittent intake interviewer, Russell persisted in ignoring superiors' directives and, after several warnings, was discharged on June 4, 1976.

Russell filed an application for benefits on June 6, 1976. The Bureau of Employment Security denied his claim under Section 402(e) and he appealed. After conducting a hearing on the claim, during which extensive testimony was given, the referee affirmed the Bureau's determination. Upon appeal to the Board the referee's decision was affirmed and Russell thereafter filed the petition for review now before us.

Russell advances two arguments on appeal: (1) the record fails to contain substantial evidence to support a finding that he was guilty of wilful misconduct; and (2) he was improperly held to a higher standard of conduct than that of the Bureau's other employes.

The record shows that after Russell was transferred from his position in the ...


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