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WELDED TUBE COMPANY AMERICA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/06/79)

decided: June 6, 1979.

WELDED TUBE COMPANY OF AMERICA, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT; LAWRENCE JETTER, INTERVENOR



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Lawrence Jetter, No. B-155664.

COUNSEL

Jeffrey Ivan Pasek, with him Cohen, Shapiro, Polisher, Shiekman & Cohen, for appellant.

Charles G. Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Gerald Gornish, Attorney General, for appellee.

Andrew F. Erba, for intervenor.

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

Author: Mencer

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 232]

Welded Tube Company of America (Welded Tube) has appealed an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) granting benefits to Lawrence Jetter (claimant). We affirm.

On the evening of March 9, 1977, claimant injured his back while taking a shower. The next day, claimant, instead of reporting to work as scheduled, sought and received medical attention for his injury. It is undisputed that, on March 10, 1977, because of the pain and medication, claimant failed to notify Welded Tube

[ 43 Pa. Commw. Page 233]

    of his absence. Claimant, however, testified that, on March 11, 1977, his wife called Welded Tube, informed them of her husband's accident, and requested that Welded Tube forward the appropriate insurance forms to her husband. Because of the severity of claimant's injury, he did not report to work until April 19, 1977. Although claimant had a doctor's excuse for his extended absence, claimant was refused admittance to the plant.

The Bureau of Employment Security denied claimant's application for benefits on the basis that claimant's absenteeism without proper notice constituted willful misconduct pursuant to 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). Upon claimant's appeal, the referee, finding that claimant had given proper notice of his absence to Welded Tube, reversed the Bureau and was affirmed by the Board. Welded Tube's appeal to this Court followed.

Welded Tube argues that an employer's requirement of a reliable work force dictates that, when an employee with a record of excessive but excused absences has been warned concerning such absences and yet continues to be absent from work, even for good cause, his actions amount to willful ...


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