Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Philip D. Eddinger, No. B-168112.
Craig S. Boyd, for petitioner.
Elsa D. Newman-Silverstine, Assistant Attorney General, with her, Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel and Philip D. Eddinger, for respondent.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., MacPhail and Williams, Jr., sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
This is an appeal by Morysville Body Works, Inc. (employer) from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a referee's decision to grant benefits to claimant Philip D. Eddinger. The employer asserts that Eddinger was discharged for conduct constituting "willful misconduct"
under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law,*fn1 and was ineligible for benefits by force of that Section.
On September 22, 1978 the employer discharged Eddinger for violating a shop rule against punching another employee's time card. At the hearing before the referee, the employer's only witness, the company president testified that on September 22nd he observed the claimant punch two time cards after the lunch break: the claimant's own and that of a co-worker named Heydt. According to the employer's witness, Eddinger removed both cards from their rack at the same time and punched them in succession.
The claimant, in his testimony, admitted punching both cards but said he had done so inadvertently. He denied that he removed both cards at once, and indicated that he had taken them out of the rack one at a time. According to the claimant he had removed the first card without looking, and punching it thinking it to be his own. When he realized the mistake, he returned that card to the rack and proceeded to remove and punch his own card.
The evidence was undisputed that both cards were kept in the same rack, and that they were the only two cards in that rack. It was also undisputed that the other employee, whose card was punched, was not tardy in returning to work from the lunch break.
In awarding benefits to claimant Eddinger, the Board, as had the referee, made the following finding:
3. The claimant, on returning to work from his 12 Noon to 12:30 P.M. lunch break, mistakenly clocked in his co-worker's time card, and when he realized his error he proceeded to ...