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KENNETH CRAWFORD v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/07/83)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: February 7, 1983.

KENNETH CRAWFORD, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT

Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Kenneth Crawford, No. B-196287.

COUNSEL

Marian B. Cocose, 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 Blatt.

Author: Blatt

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 593]

The petitioner, Kenneth Crawford, was denied unemployment compensation benefits on the ground that he had been discharged for willful misconduct*fn1 in disobeying the employer's rules regarding reporting

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 594]

    absences. He argues that he had good cause for not reporting off directly to his employer on three consecutive days, because he had reported his absence to the employer's workmen's compensation insurance representative. The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) held that his reliance on the employer's insurance representative to notify the employer of his absence did not relieve him of his own duty to notify the employer.

The burden of proving willful misconduct is on the employer, who established here that the claimant had failed to report his absence as required by the employer's rules and thus met this burden. Donahue v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 42 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 139, 400 A.2d 251 (1979). The employee, however, may attempt to justify his conduct by demonstrating good cause for his actions, and it is then his burden to establish good cause.*fn2 Holomshek v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 39 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 503, 395 A.2d 708 (1979). And where, as here, the claimant fails to sustain his burden of proof before the Board, our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether or not the Board's findings of fact are consistent with each other and with the conclusions of law and whether or not the findings can be sustained without a capricious disregard of competent evidence. Gwin v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 58 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 69, 427 A.2d 295 (1981).

[ 71 Pa. Commw. Page 595]

In our opinion, the claimant's own testimony supports the Board's finding that he neither reported to work nor reported his absence to his employer on the days in question, although he was aware that he "could get disciplinary action or discharge" for failure to call in for three days when absent from work. He testified that he had notified the employer's insurance representative; he added that he assumed that she would notify the employer.*fn3

Clearly he did not establish good cause for his admitted failure to abide by his employer's rules and the Board properly denied compensation.

Order

And Now, this 7th day of February, 1983, the order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the above-captioned matter is hereby affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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