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EDNA SLAYTON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/27/81)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: March 27, 1981.

EDNA SLAYTON, 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 Edna Slayton, No. B-172403.

COUNSEL

J. St. Girard Jordan, for petitioner.

Steven Marcuse, Assistant Attorney General, with him Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, and Harvey Bartle, III, Acting Attorney General, for respondent.

President Judge Crumlish and Judges Blatt and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Craig. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Author: Craig

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 121]

In this unemployment compensation appeal, the claimant*fn1 questions a denial of compensation by the board,*fn2 affirming a referee's decision denying compensation to claimant, a licensed practical nurse, on the basis of the voluntary quit provision of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn3

The following chronology of events preceded February 5, 1979, which was the claimant's last day of work for the employer.*fn4 On January 28, 1979, after claimant and two co-workers had worked the 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift, claimant discovered that $20 was missing from her purse. After the claimant had informed the director of nursing about the missing money, and had also told one co-worker who in turn informed the other, hostility developed between the claimant and her co-workers, who felt that claimant was accusing them of stealing. On February 5, the director of nursing met with claimant and her co-workers in an attempt to resolve their differences.

The referee and board, resolving conflicting testimony, found that, at the February 5, 1979 meeting, the claimant refused to apologize to her co-workers as requested by her supervisor and voluntarily terminated her employment by leaving work.

The claimant argues that she was discharged*fn5 and that the board capriciously disregarded competent

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 122]

    testimony by finding that she voluntarily terminated her employment.*fn6

Here the referee and the board, in the proper exercise of their discretion,*fn7 found the version of the director of nursing, as to what occurred on February 5, 1979, to be more credible than the claimant's version. We therefore cannot hold that the board capriciously disregarded competent evidence, even though our own conclusions as to credibility might have differed from those of the board.

The supervisor's request that claimant apologize may have been unreasonable under the circumstances, but there was evidence permitting the board to view it as only a request, not an order. If there were findings that the claimant had been ordered to apologize or be discharged, we could reach a different result. See Season All Industries, Inc. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 41 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 269, 398 A.2d 1092 (1979). However, the board could, and did, disbelieve claimant's contention that she was forced to make such a choice.

Accordingly, we affirm the decision of the board.

Order

And Now, March 27, 1981, the order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review is affirmed.

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 123]

This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge Wilkinson, Jr.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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