Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of Pamela I. Brillhart, No. B-184687.
Leonard R. Price, Jr., with him George R. Price, Jr., and Danna Rich-Collins, for petitioner.
John T. Kupchinsky, Associate Counsel, with him Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Blatt, Williams, Jr. and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr. Judge Mencer did not participate in the decision in this case.
[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 438]
Pamela Brillhart (claimant) has appealed from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying her benefits. The Board concluded that the claimant had been discharged from her employment for an act that constituted willful misconduct, and that she was thus ineligible for benefits by mandate of Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1
The claimant was last employed as a banquet waitress by the Genetti Lycoming Hotel. The employer had a rule that required a waiter or waitress to secure a replacement if he or she was to be absent from work. The rule further provided for the discharge of any such employee who failed to comply with the requirement.
On February 26, 1980, the claimant did not report for work; nor did she secure a replacement for herself as her employer's rule required. As a result, she was discharged. When the claimant applied for unemployment
[ 67 Pa. Commw. Page 439]
compensation, the Office of Employment Security determined that she had been discharged for an act that constituted willful misconduct, and denied her benefits on that ground.
When the matter was heard by a referee, the claimant testified that she missed work on February 26, 1980 because she was ill, indicating that she had contracted influenza and was in a feverish condition that day. The claimant's husband testified that he telephoned the employer a few hours before the beginning of his wife's scheduled work shift, to report that his wife was ill and would not be coming to work. According to the husband's testimony, he was not aware of the replacement rule when he undertook to call his wife's employer on February 26th, and was not told of the requirement when he spoke with the employer on that occasion.
The claimant herself acknowledged to the referee that she had full prior knowledge of the replacement rule; and she admitted that she did not comply with the rule when she missed work on February 26th. The claimant added, however, that her feverish condition that day caused her to forget about the rule. When the referee sustained the determination of the Office of Employment Security, the claimant appealed to the Board.
The Board found that the claimant was, in fact, ill on the day in question, February 26, 1980; and that she absented herself from work for that reason. That finding notwithstanding, the Board concluded that the claimant's noncompliance with the employer's replacement rule constituted willful ...