Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of Roy A. Glenn, No. B-188305.
Lee Moses, for petitioner.
Charles G. Hasson, Associate Counsel, with him Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Blatt and Doyle, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 551]
Roy A. Glenn appeals an Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denial of benefits. We affirm.
Glenn was hired by Mon Valley Health and Welfare Council (Mon Valley) as a caseworker aide through the CETA program.*fn1 His work record, a review of which is necessary to dispose of this appeal, is as follows: Glenn reported fifteen minutes late on his first workday, July 1, 1980. On July 3rd, he took one-half day's vacation to meet with his insurance agent to discuss his claim regarding the theft of his $16,000 automobile. Glenn then reported sick on the following workday, July 7th.*fn2 He was off July 8th and requested that the time be credited equally between sick leave and vacation leave; eo die, Glenn requested an indefinite leave of absence for health reasons. He was absent again on July 9th.
The following day, Mon Valley terminated Glenn for excessive absenteeism. The referee reversed an award of benefits by the Office of Employment Security by finding that Glenn's excessive absenteeism constituted willful misconduct*fn3 and that he had failed to establish good cause. The Board affirmed.
[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 552]
It is the employer's burden to prove willful misconduct. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 55 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 10, 11, 422 A.2d 905, 906 (1980). Excessive and unjustifiable absenteeism can constitute willful misconduct. Keefer v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 47 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 281, 407 A.2d 934 (1979).*fn4 When, however, "an employee has good cause for his conduct and can show that his actions were justifiable and reasonable under the circumstances, he may not be charged with willful misconduct." Adept Corp. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 62 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 566, 569, 437 A.2d 109, 110 (1981). We are mindful that the fact findings of the Board, if supported by evidence and absent fraud, are conclusive on appeal and that our jurisdiction is confined to questions of law.*fn5
Glenn admits that he was absent three and one-half of his first six days of employment. The only evidence submitted to prove good cause (other than Glenn's own testimony, the credibility of which is for the referee and the Board to determine*fn6) consisted of two undated physicians' statements which failed to delineate any specific physical disability, the type of medication prescribed, or the projected duration of the alleged illness.*fn7 Even though Glenn informed Mon Valley of
[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 553]
his absences, he clearly has failed to justify such absences. In view of his short work record and his failure to justify the excessive ...