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DELORES LEGARE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/10/79)

decided: May 10, 1979.

DELORES LEGARE, 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 Delores LeGare, No. B-152742.

COUNSEL

Taylor Aspinwall, for appellant.

Elsa Newman, Assistant Attorney General, with her James Bradley, Assistant Attorney General, Daniel R. Schuckers, Assistant Attorney General, Richard Wagner, Assistant Attorney General, and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for appellee.

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

Author: Wilkinson

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 538]

The Bureau of Employment Security, the referee, and the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) all have ruled that claimant was disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits by reason of her separation being due to willful misconduct. The willful misconduct was determined to be claimant's refusal to report to the employer's Health Evaluation Center for a physical examination. We affirm.

Since willful misconduct under 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. ยง 802(e) when involving a willful disregard of the employer's instructions, depends upon the reasonableness of the instructions and the reasonableness of the refusal, under all the circumstances, it is necessary to go into the facts in some detail.

Claimant had been a secretary in the Hemotology Department of the University of Pennsylvania for 11 years. From June 13, 1977 until July 25, 1977 she was on sick leave with pay. On July 20, 1977, she was notified that as of July 25, 1977 she would be placed on suspension without pay. She was advised that this would remain in effect for three weeks, until August 15, 1977, during which time she was expected to report to the Health Evaluation Center of the University of Pennsylvania for a physical examination to determine the status of her health. She was asked to call and set up an appointment. The letter stated: "This action has been necessitated by

[ 42 Pa. Commw. Page 539]

    your excessive rude and crude responses to our numerous requests for physical certification of your illness and expected duration of same."

Claimant stated:

I refused to be examined by their physicians which is against my benefits as I was under the care of a surgeon and a doctor for physical and a nervous condition. My doctor had sent 2 notices to Dr. Cooper [the physician for whom she did secretarial work] stating I was under his professional care and would be unable to work for an indefinite period at that time.

It is claimant's position that her employer's policy was to require only a doctor's certificate when drawing sick pay.

It is the employer's position that the claimant's doctor's certificates were inadequate to identify the nature of claimant's ...


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