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HAROLD F. HUFF v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/17/79)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: January 17, 1979.

HAROLD F. HUFF, SR., 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 Harold F. Huff, Sr., No. B-147592.

COUNSEL

George Price, with him Warren R. Baldys, Jr., for petitioner.

Michael D. Klein, with him James K. Bradley, Assistant Attorney General, Daniel R. Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, and Gerald Gornish, Acting Attorney General, for respondent.

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

Author: Blatt

[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 12]

Harold F. Huff (claimant) appeals from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review that he was ineligible for benefits under Section 3 of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Act)*fn1 because his unemployment did not result "through no fault of [his] own."

The claimant was employed as a truck driver for Maislin Transportation of Delaware, Inc. (employer), when his driver's license was suspended for one year as a result of his driving while not in the course of

[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 13]

    his employment but under the influence of intoxicants. Because his employer had no work for him other than that which would require having a valid driver's license, he was discharged. He then applied to the Bureau of Employment Security for unemployment compensation benefits which were denied on the basis that he was ineligible under Section 402(e) of the Act, 43 P.S. ยง 802(e) because his discharge was due to his own willful misconduct. On appeal, the referee concluded that the claimant was not disqualified under Section 402(e) because the conduct which led to his discharge was not connected with his work, but the referee did deny benefits on the ground that the claimant's unemployment was not "through no fault of his own" as required by Section 3 of the Act.

Our scope of review in an unemployment compensation case is limited to questions of law and, absent fraud, to a determination of whether or not the findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence. Owen v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 26 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 278, 363 A.2d 852 (1976).

It is uncontroverted here that the claimant lost his job solely through his own fault. The issue, therefore, is whether or not Section 3 provides an independent substantive basis upon which to deny benefits under the Act. And, because we have previously held in Unemployment Compensation Board of Review v. Ostander, 21 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 583, 347 A.2d 351 (1975) that it does, we are bound to affirm the decision of the Board.

The claimant's contention that Section 3 used as a disqualifying provision is unconstitutionally vague has also been refuted by this Court in Strokes v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 29 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 584, 372 A.2d 485 (1977).

Accordingly, we affirm.

[ 40 Pa. Commw. Page 14]

Order

And Now, this 17th day of January, 1979, the decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the above-captioned matter is affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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