Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of Edward J. Wright, Jr., No. B-190593.
Michael Anthony De Fino, for petitioner.
Charles G. Hasson, Associate Counsel, with him Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Rogers, Craig and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail. Judge Mencer did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 66 Pa. Commw. Page 507]
Edward J. Wright, Jr. (Claimant) appeals a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming the referee's denial of benefits on the basis of willful misconduct. See Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937), as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(e).
Claimant was last employed by The Bulletin Co.*fn1 (Employer), as a district manager from November 21, 1979 until May 30, 1980. One of Claimant's many
[ 66 Pa. Commw. Page 508]
duties was to collect money from agencies and newspaper carriers in his district and then deposit it into the Employer's bank account. On Sunday, May 25, 1980, as Claimant collected the carriers' money he placed it in a money bag. Upon arriving at his last stop, he placed the money bag in the trunk of his car for safe keeping and went into the carrier's home to collect his money. When Claimant returned to his car he found the money bag was missing, as well as some of his personal belongings. Since this incident occurred on Memorial Day weekend, it was not until Tuesday, May 27, 1980, that Claimant informed his Employer that the newspaper money had been stolen.
A company rule mandated that monies collected by district managers be deposited as soon as possible after collection even if making multiple bank deposits was necessary. Claimant contends he was unable to make these deposits because the bank was closed on Sunday and he didn't have a key to the night depository. Claimant also stated he was never told "exactly what to do" concerning banking procedures. He alleges he was following the same procedure he always used and his Employer never corrected him before. The Employer contended contra, that Claimant had been given a night deposit key and, if for any reason he did not have one, he could readily have obtained an extra key from the bank. Employer also introduced evidence that Claimant was instructed on proper banking procedures.
Upon learning of the loss, Employer advised Claimant that he was required to replace the stolen money. The Claimant told the Employer he would try to borrow the money. He was instructed to call the Employer that same afternoon*fn2 when he learned
[ 66 Pa. Commw. Page 509]
whether he could get a loan. Claimant was also told that he would be terminated if he did not repay the money. Finally, Claimant was placed on vacation status while the ...