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THOMAS BLANEY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (04/03/81)

decided: April 3, 1981.

THOMAS BLANEY, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of Thomas Blaney, No. B-175253.

COUNSEL

Stewart A. Burnstein, with him Patricia L. Smith, for petitioner.

Stephen B. Lipson, Assistant Attorney General, with him Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, and Harvey Bartle, III, Attorney General, for respondent.

Judges Rogers, MacPhail and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers. This decision was reached prior to the expiration of the term of office of Judge Wilkinson.

Author: Rogers

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 261]

Thomas Blaney seeks review of a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review holding him ineligible for benefits because he was

[ 58 Pa. Commw. Page 262]

    discharged from his employment for his wilful misconduct. 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).

This is another matter in which the employer failed to produce evidence at the referee's hearing and in which crucial compensation authorities' findings unfavorable to the claimant were based on hearsay in the form of written statements provided by the employer. There had been a rumor, false it seems, spreading through the employer's company that an employee, apparently a friend of the claimant, was going to be discharged for theft. This finding is not contested.

The crucial findings in this case, and the evidence, were:

3. The claimant was questioned as to his knowledge of the rumor and where it started. Claimant had a position of responsibility with the company and was expected to cooperate in the investigation since the false rumor was hurting personnel relationships.

The second sentence of this finding is lifted almost verbatim from the written statement of one Joseph Pilgrim, the employer's vice president for administration, to which the claimant objected as hearsay and which therefore should not have been used as the basis of any finding.

4. The claimant would not give the names of employees who supposedly spread the rumor and refused to ...


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