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CLARENCE D. ROBINSON v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/01/81)

decided: July 1, 1981.

CLARENCE D. ROBINSON, 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 Clarence D. Robinson, No. B-179901.

COUNSEL

Judith L. Jones, for petitioner.

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

Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr. Judge MacPhail dissents.

Author: Williams

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 276]

This is an appeal by claimant, Clarence D. Robinson, from an Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed a referee's decision denying claimant benefits, for willful misconduct under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Act).*fn1

Claimant, Robinson, was employed as a shipper by Harvel Plastics, Inc. until October 16, 1979. On that date, claimant was arrested at work and imprisoned due to charges pending against him in New

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 277]

Jersey. On October 17, 1979, claimant contacted his employer notifying the employer of his release from jail and requesting permission to remain absent from work for the balance of the week. The employer granted claimant's request and instructed him to report to work on and no later than October 22, 1979.

On October 22, 1979, claimant neither reported to work nor advised his employer of the reason for his nonattendance. When the claimant failed both to appear for work and to contact his employer by October 24, 1979, he was discharged pursuant to the company's general rules of conduct providing for the automatic termination of any employes absent for three days without notice. Claimant had received a copy of these rules and was extremely familiar with their content.

Subsequent to his discharge, claimant applied for unemployment compensation benefits. The Office of Employment Security denied claimant's application, pursuant to Section 402(e) of the Act. The claimant appealed that determination and a referee's hearing was held at which claimant appeared unrepresented. Thereafter, the referee issued a decision affirming the determination of the Office. Claimant then perfected an appeal with the Board, which affirmed the referee's decision. Following that determination, the claimant requested reconsideration by the Board of its decision. The Board rejected the request and an appeal was filed with this Court.

Claimant appeals the Board's decision on three grounds. First, claimant argues that his employer did not sustain its burden of proving that he was guilty of willful misconduct under the Act. He states that an employer citing the violation of a company rule as a basis for a finding of willful misconduct must show that the rule ...


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