Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Reginald Kriebel, No. B-170990-B.
William J. Fries, with him Mark S. Sedley, for petitioner.
William J. Kennedy, Assistant Attorney General, with him Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, and Harvey Bartle, III, Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Wilkinson, Jr., Williams, Jr. and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 556]
Reginald Kriebel, a claimant for unemployment compensation, appeals from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying him such benefits. The Board affirmed a referee's decision that the claimant had been discharged from his employment for "willful misconduct" and was, therefore, ineligible for benefits by force of Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1
For about four years prior to November 16, 1978, claimant Kriebel had been employed as a truck driver by Don Martin Trucking. On that date the claimant committed certain acts deemed by his employer to be violations of company instructions and policies, which resulted in his being discharged.
[ 57 Pa. Commw. Page 557]
On November 16, pursuant to his duties, Kriebel drove a truck loaded with salt from the employer's terminal to an appointed destination. After making his delivery the claimant drove to a restaurant for lunch, without reporting to the company dispatcher that the delivery had been completed. When the claimant went into the restaurant he left the truck unattended with the motor running and the "maxi" (parking) brakes on.
While the claimant was in the restaurant the owner of Don Martin Trucking happened to go by the restaurant and observed his unattended truck. Upon inspection the owner ascertained that the truck had been left running and that the "maxi" brakes were on. The owner stationed himself by the truck, waiting for Kriebel to emerge from the restaurant. After over thirty minutes had elapsed without the claimant returning, the owner decided to personally drive the truck back to the company terminal. As the owner started to drive the truck away the claimant emerged from the restaurant; and the owner told him that the truck was being returned to the terminal.
As a result of the above events, testified to by the employer, the claimant was fired for failing to report to the dispatcher upon completion of the delivery, for leaving the truck parked with the motor running and "maxi" brakes on, and for taking more than twenty minutes for lunch.
According to the testimony of the company dispatcher, there was a standing company instruction for all drivers to report to the dispatcher upon completion of a delivery, and that he specifically repeated that instruction to the claimant when the claimant left on his last trip. The claimant conceded before the referee that he did not honor that instruction upon completion of his ...