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JACOB KUTCHERA v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (03/29/83)

COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA


decided: March 29, 1983.

JACOB KUTCHERA, 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 Jacob Kutchera, No. B-195585.

COUNSEL

David Cohen, for petitioner.

Francine Ostrovsky, Associate Counsel, with her Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Blatt

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 180]

Jacob Kutchera (claimant) appeals here from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which reversed a referee's decision and held that, because of his willful misconduct, he was not entitled to benefits under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1

While employed as a machinist, the claimant was working on an order for 32 production pieces, (16-inch stainless steel rings). In machining one of these rings, he noted that the coolant came off of the drill, producing a defective piece, but instead of reporting this defective piece to his supervisor as the employer's rules required, he decided to lock it in his assigned locker and attempt to fix it later. Ten days passed, however, during which time the part remained in the claimant's locker. The employer, upon receiving information that a production piece belonging to the company was secured in the claimant's locker, began an investigation which revealed that only 31 of the 32 rings ordered had been sent to the subcontractor, and that the missing ring was locked in the claimant's locker.*fn2 The claimant was then discharged.

The burden of proof in willful misconduct cases rests on the employer. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review v. Bacon, 25 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 583, 361 A.2d 505 (1976). And where, as here, the party with the burden of proof prevailed below, our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether or not the record, taken as a whole, contains substantial evidence to support the Board's conclusion.

[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 181]

    order was short. Furthermore, the testimony indicated that to make one ring individually would cost the employer between $500 and $600, as opposed to the cost of $225 per piece which it would have cost to make the ring in the required quantity of 32 pieces.

After a careful review of the record, which, we believe, clearly contains substantial evidence to support the Board's conclusion that the claimant was discharged because of his willful misconduct, we will affirm the order of the Board.

Order

And Now, this 29th day of March, 1983, the order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the above-captioned matter is hereby affirmed.

Disposition

Affirmed.


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