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EDWARD LEONARD v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/06/81)

decided: July 6, 1981.

EDWARD LEONARD, 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 Edward Leonard, No. B-186643.

COUNSEL

Eugene J. Doud, for petitioner.

Richard Wagner, Chief Counsel, Joel G. Cavicchia, Associate Counsel, and LeRoy S. Zimmerman, Attorney General, for respondent.

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

Author: Craig

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 336]

Edward Leonard appeals from the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review which affirmed the

[ 60 Pa. Commw. Page 337]

    referee's denial of benefits on the ground that his unemployment was due to willful misconduct.*fn1

The claimant applied for employment with Affiliated Foods on July 6, 1979. The application contained the question, "Are you related to anyone in our employ? (Who and How)," which the claimant answered, "No." In April 1980, upon becoming aware that the claimant's stepfather, with whom he resides, was an employee of Affiliated Foods and had been so employed since before the time of claimant's application, the employer discharged the claimant for having falsified his application.

The claimant does not contest those facts, but contends that his negative answer cannot be considered willful misconduct because (1) it was not deliberate falsification in that he believed the word "relative" to encompass only blood relatives, and (2) the underlying policy of not hiring employees' relatives was not uniformly applied.

We find no merit in either contention. The record fully supports the referee's*fn2 conclusion that the claimant, who sought advice from his friends but not from the employer, was aware of the significance of the question. The claimant's failure to inquire of the logical source demonstrated a conscious indifference to his duty to provide accurate information to the employer, indifference which constituted willful misconduct.

MacFarlane v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 12 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 550, 317 A.2d 324 (1974) is readily distinguished; there, claimant had fully and ...


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