Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Mrs. Aleykutty Chacko, No. B-154501.
John A. Wessel, with him Alan S. Carpel, of Wessel & Carpel, for appellant-Petitioner.
Charles Hasson, Assistant Attorney General, for respondent.
Doreen S. Davis Rosenfeld, with her James T. Lynn, Obermayer, Rebmann, Maxwell & Hippel, for Intervenor.
Judges Blatt, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt. Judge DiSalle did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 149]
Aleykutty Chacko (claimant) appeals from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which denied her benefits 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. § 802(e) for willful misconduct in connection with her employment.
The claimant, a graduate of a foreign nursing school, was employed as a graduate nurse by St. Luke's and Children's Medical Center (employer) in Philadelphia from November 26, 1975 to September 25, 1977. At the time she was hired she was informed that she would have to obtain a letter of permission from the state which would enable her to work for one year as a graduate nurse and that she would then have to take and pass the examination for state licensure as a registered nurse. On July 23, 1976, she obtained an application for the letter of permission, but it was never returned to the state board, although she was
[ 49 Pa. Commw. Page 150]
reminded on August 5, 1976, of her noncompliance. On September 30, 1976, the employer received a letter from the State Board of Nurse Examiners indicating that the claimant was not in compliance with state licensing standards. On June 15, 1977, the employer again informed the claimant that she would have to comply with state licensing standards. Finally, the claimant was discharged on September 25, 1977, for failing both to secure a letter of permission and to take and pass the licensing examination.
In Hicks v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 34 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 352, 383 A.2d 577 (1978), we considered the case of a nurse who failed to take the examination required for licensure and whose services were therefore terminated by her employer. We upheld the Board's determination of willful misconduct, observing:
In light of the statutory requirement which would have made it illegal for the employer to have retained the claimant as a nurse beyond the one-year period without her having passed the examination and received notification of the results, we agree with the Board that claimant's action in failing to take the examination within that time constitutes a breach of duty and obligation inimical to the employer's interest. This is not a case where claimant took the examination and failed it. Here she did not even take it. As we said in Millersville State College v. Unemployment Board of Review, 18 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 238, 242, 335 A.2d 857, 859-60 (1975), '[t]his is an important distinction, for we ...