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BILL BAILEY v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/26/83)

decided: January 26, 1983.

BILL BAILEY, 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 Bill Bailey, No. B-190262.

COUNSEL

Stephen F. Gold, for petitioner.

William J. Kennedy, 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.

Author: Williams

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 386]

Bill Bailey (claimant) has appealed from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying him benefits. The Board concluded that the claimant had been discharged from his employment for an act constituting willful misconduct under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1

The claimant was last employed as a route technician for Terminix International, Inc. On July 9, 1980, the claimant was discharged following the employer's discovery of a modified straight-razor among the claimant's effects in the company truck that was assigned to him.

At the hearing before the referee, the employer testified, without contest from the claimant, that the company had a rule against employees having deadly

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 387]

    weapons while working. The employer further testified that it had promulgated that rule to its workers in the employee training program. It was also the employer's testimony that the discovery of the straight-razor was the event that brought about the claimant's discharge on July 9, 1980, even though the claimant was already, as of that time, on the verge of being discharged for other reasons.

The claimant testified that he had missed the company training program and hence was not aware of the employer's rule against deadly weapons. He further testified that he had put the razor in the truck sometime previous to July 1980, and had forgotten about it. The claimant also contended, to the referee, that the actual reason for the discharge was hearsay complaints from customers, and not the discovery of the straight-razor.

Based on the testimony adduced before the referee, the Board concluded that the claimant had violated a company rule against deadly weapons. The Board also concluded that the claimant knew or should have known of the rule; that the rule violation constituted an act of willful misconduct under Section 402(e) of the Law; and that the rule violation was the reason for the claimant's discharge. The claimant's contentions were rejected by the Board as not being credible. Having made the foregoing determinations, the Board entered the order denying benefits. The instant appeal followed.

The claimant's first argument goes to the meaning and effect of the employer's record evidence. According to the claimant, the employer's own testimony shows that the discharge resulted from customer complaints about the claimant's on-the-job behavior. Based on that reading of the testimony, the claimant further argues that ...


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