Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of James Jackim, No. B-183700.
Carol S. Mills McCarthy, with her Frances A. Frederick, for petitioner.
Karen Durkin, Associate Counsel, with her Steven Marcuse, Assistant Attorney General, Richard Wagner, Counsel, Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, and Harvey Bartle, III, Attorney General, for respondent.
Judges Mencer, MacPhail and Palladino, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.
James J. Jackim (Petitioner) brings this appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed a referee's order denying him unemployment compensation benefits. The referee concluded and the Board agreed that Petitioner was discharged from Ascot Imported Cars (Employer) because of willful misconduct, rendering him ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits pursuant to 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. § 802(e). We affirm.
Petitioner was hired as a lube and "go-for" man. By his own testimony,*fn1 he was to "perform lube, ile
[sic] and filter . . . , change tires, balance them, clean them, sweep floor, paint, anything to do but drive customers . . . , whatever came along." On February 20, 1979, Claimant was asked by his supervisor, Bob Riley, to go watch another employee do rustproofing on cars. At this point the record is extremely unclear as to whether Petitioner refused this order to watch or whether he refused an order to do rustproofing.*fn2 Petitioner was thereafter fired. The Board found that Petitioner had refused two requests to go watch rustproofing and that the reason for the refusal was because Petitioner assumed he would have to work after hours, although Petitioner did not ask for any explanation of the job hours. This reason was held not to be good cause for a refusal of the request by his supervisor.
The crux of Petitioner's argument here is that Employer failed to meet its burden of proving willful misconduct, in that a request to do rustproofing would be an unreasonable change in work assignments. Petitioner also takes issue with the Board's finding that
the dismissal was for refusing to watch rustproofing. In light of the fact that we believe that a refusal either to watch or to learn to do rustproofing would be willful misconduct, we need not determine if the Board's finding of a refusal to watch was proper.
The law concerning an employer's right to alter job assignments as it concerns unemployment compensation is succinctly stated in Tucker v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 14 Pa. ...