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FRANK E. ARRINGTON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/30/80)

decided: April 30, 1980.

FRANK E. ARRINGTON, 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 Frank E. Arrington, No. B-165899.

COUNSEL

Michael S. Bomstein, for petitioner.

Stephen B. Lipson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel and Edward G. Biester, Jr., Attorney General, for respondent.

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

Author: Wilkinson

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 101]

Petitioner (claimant) appeals from a denial of unemployment compensation benefits pursuant to 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). We affirm.

Claimant was employed by the Philadelphia Housing Authority (Authority) as a maintenance mechanic at Southwark Plaza (Southwark), an Authority housing project. Claimant was informed of his termination by a letter dated April 7, 1978, which explained that "[t]he reason for this action is the disruption and interference with the operations of the Authority by engaging in a work stoppage at Southwark Plaza and attempting to cause an Authority-wide illegal strike by entering upon Authority property at various projects and encouraging other employes to join you."

The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) made the following crucial findings of fact:

2. On April 4, 1978 a wildcat strike occurred at the Southwark Plaza project causing disruption and interference with the operations of the Philadelphia Housing Authority.

3. Claimant and two other employes left the Southwark Plaza project and went to the Tasker Homes (another Philadelphia Housing Authority project) and attempted to cause an authority wide wildcat strike; the claimant entered upon Authority property and encouraged other employes to join the wildcat strike.

4. Work was available to the claimant on April 4, 1978; the claimant, however, chose to voluntarily participate in the wildcat strike.

[ 51 Pa. Commw. Page 102]

There is no question that the activities ascribed to the claimant by the Board's findings if properly found as facts would support a conclusion of willful misconduct. Employer bears the burden of proving willful misconduct, Montanez v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Pa. Commonwealth Ct. , 413 A.2d 16 (1980); and where, as here, the party with the burden of proof prevailed before the Board its findings of fact are binding on this Court if supported by ...


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