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THOMAS PATTERSON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (06/16/81)

decided: June 16, 1981.

THOMAS PATTERSON, 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 Thomas Patterson, No. B-180865.

COUNSEL

Lee Moses, with him Ada J. Guyton, for petitioner.

Karen Durkin, Associate Counsel, with her Richard Wagner, Counsel, and Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Mencer, MacPhail and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 54]

Thomas Patterson (Patterson) appeals an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) dated February 14, 1980 which affirmed a referee's order denying Patterson unemployment compensation benefits pursuant to Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1

Patterson was last employed by Breakway Glass Company (Employer) as a palletizer. His last day of work was June 8, 1979. Patterson's duties included,

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 55]

    violation of rules, (3) the disregard of standards of behavior which an employer can rightfully expect from his employe, or (4) negligence which manifests culpability, wrongful intent, evil design, or intentional and substantial disregard for the employer's interests or the employee's duties and obligations.

Kentucky Fried Chicken of Altoona v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 10 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 90, 97, 309 A.2d 165, 168-69 (1973).

It is only when the alleged misconduct of an employee is justifiable and reasonable under the circumstances that it will not be considered willful misconduct. Frumento v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 466 Pa. 81, 351 A.2d 631 (1976). The employee bears the burden of proving good cause. Gane v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 41 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 292, 398 A.2d 1110 (1979).

In his appeal to this Court Patterson argues that the evidence shows he was discharged only for his act of insubordination on June 8, 1979, and that the referee erred in finding that the Employer had considered Patterson's prior employment history as well as the act of insubordination in making the decision to discharge him. We disagree.

At the hearing the Employer testified that while insubordination alone can result in discharge, there was a progressive disciplinary system at the plant. He further testified that Patterson had received 16 warnings for various incidents including, inter alia, excessive tardiness, absenteeism, and poor job performance and that the Employer had considered all of this history prior to its decision to terminate Patterson. Clearly, the act of insubordination was ...


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