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PAULETTE PAIGE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/11/78)

decided: December 11, 1978.

PAULETTE PAIGE, 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 Paulette Paige, No. B-143237.

COUNSEL

Marian E. Frankston, with her, counsel, William Botts, III, for appellant.

Reese F. Couch, Assistant Attorney General, with him James Bradley, Assistant Attorney General, Daniel R. Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, and Robert P. Kane, Attorney General, for appellee.

Judges Mencer, DiSalle and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 39 Pa. Commw. Page 142]

This is an appeal from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board), reversing the decision of the referee, and denying unemployment compensation benefits to Paulette Paige (Claimant).

[ 39 Pa. Commw. Page 143]

Claimant was employed by the Olivetti Corporation, as a fitter and adjustor in the assembly of business machines for a period of two (2) years preceding her discharge on June 10, 1976. After her discharge, Claimant filed an application for benefits which was denied by the Bureau of Employment Security (Bureau) on the basis that her discharge was due to willful misconduct as defined in 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). On appeal and after a hearing, the referee reversed the Bureau's decision and granted benefits. The referee premised this decision on the conclusion that Claimant's actions giving rise to her dismissal were not sufficiently work connected, and ruled that "[t]here is nothing in the record on which a conclusion of either defiant or deliberate inattention to the duties of her job or her responsibilities to her employer can be predicated." Claimant's employer appealed, and in an order dated April 4, 1977, the Board reversed the decision of the referee.

Our scope of review here is limited to questions of law and, in the absence of fraud, to a determination of whether the Board's finding of willful misconduct was based upon substantial evidence. Holtzman v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 29 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 525, 372 A.2d 31 (1977); Barnett v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 29 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 581, 372 A.2d 48 (1977).

In the instant appeal the record discloses substantial evidence to support the findings of fact. The issue then is whether those findings will support the Board's legal conclusions. It is well settled that an error of law is reviewable by this Court and as emphasized in Roebuck v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 33 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 491, 382

[ 39 Pa. Commw. Page 144]

A.2d 482 (1978), whether or not an employee's action resulting in his or her dismissal is one of willful misconduct is an issue of law and subject to review by this Court. See also O'Keefe v. Unemployment Compensation Board of ...


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