Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Lonnie P. Blose, No. B-194074.
Bradford E. Landon, for petitioner.
Francine Ostrovsky, Associate Counsel, with her Frayda Kamber, Associate Counsel, and Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish and Judges Rogers and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 68 Pa. Commw. Page 320]
This is an appeal of Lonnie P. Blose (claimant) from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying benefits to the claimant on the ground that he was discharged for willful misconduct and was therefore ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1 The decision of the Board reversed a referee's award of benefits. We affirm the Board.
The claimant was employed as a clerk at a Seven-Eleven convenience store. He was discharged by the store's owner, Samuel Claypoole (employer) for permitting a friend who was not an employee to assist him behind the counter of the store.
The referee grounded his award on the asserted failure of the employer to establish that the claimant's discharge was for willful misconduct. The Board reversed the referee, based on the finding that the claimant had permitted a friend to assist him
[ 68 Pa. Commw. Page 321]
behind the store counter monitoring self-service gasoline sales after and in spite of having been told by the employer to discontinue this practice, acts of willful misconduct rendering him ineligible for benefits.
The claimant contends that the Board erred in holding that the employer had carried his burden of proving willful misconduct. The claimant testified to the effect that it was only suggested, not directed, by his employer that he not allow his friend behind the counter. The claimant's friend also testified that on those occasions when the employer encountered him at the store, the employer was always cordial and never indicated any displeasure at his (the friend's) presence. The employer, however, testified:
AE: . . . In the meantime the night shift employee . . . informed me that Mr. Blose had [his friend] ...