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RICKY A. MEALS v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (12/17/82)

decided: December 17, 1982.

RICKY A. MEALS, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of Ricky A. Meals, No. B-185752.

COUNSEL

David M. Axinn, for petitioner.

Richard Lengler, Law Student Intern, with him, Michael Klein, Acting Appeals System Administrator, and Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr. and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.

Author: Williams

[ 70 Pa. Commw. Page 413]

Claimant appeals a determination of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) that he is ineligible for benefits under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law)*fn1 because his excessive absenteeism and failure to properly report off constitute willful misconduct. We affirm.

Claimant, who had a history of improperly reported absences, was discharged in connection with an extensive absence commencing February 12, 1980. On February 6, he fell at work, hurt his back, and was taken to the hospital, where he was advised to rest for three days and then visit the company doctor. He returned to work on February 11 and worked the entire shift, but declined to work overtime because he was experiencing back pain. He reported off daily, following

[ 70 Pa. Commw. Page 414]

    company procedures, until February 19, when he was treated by the company doctor, and discussed the possibility of seeing another doctor with a supervisor. There is no evidence in the record that claimant informed the supervisor that his absence would be extended.

After several days passed without further communication from claimant, the employer called his mother on February 25, and requested that she tell him that his job would be in jeopardy if he were not under a doctor's care. Claimant, who did not have a telephone, did not get the message until March 2, some six days later. He apparently made arrangements at that point to see a doctor, but he still didn't contact the employer. He received notice of his termination on March 5.

The Board, affirming the referee, concluded that claimant's conduct constituted willful misconduct, and violated the provisions of the Labor-Management agreement relating to absences and reporting off, specifically the section which reads: "Failure to report off within a period of three consecutive working days . . . may subject the employee to termination."

Our scope of review in unemployment compensation appeals is restricted to an examination of the record to ascertain whether any error of law has been committed, and whether all findings of fact are supported by substantial evidence. Schiazza v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 54 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 110, 420 A.2d 33 (1980). Claimant here does not challenge the findings; he asserts in the alternative that his actions did not violate the employer's rules pertinent to reporting off, or, if they did, they were neither deliberate nor intentional, and therefore do not rise to the level of willful misconduct.

In Kentucky Fried Chicken of Altoona, Inc. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 10 Pa. ...


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