Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of Claim of Tracy Ann Lee, No. B-196866.
Gary Lee, for petitioner.
Harry Reagan, with him, William J. Flannery, of counsel: Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, for intervenor.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr. and Judges Rogers and MacPhail, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 265]
The Unemployment Compensation Board of Review denied Tracy Ann Lee benefits. She appeals; we affirm.
Lee, a clerical employee, was discharged for violating company policy by revealing confidential information to a business competitor. The Board found her guilty of willful misconduct and hence ineligible for benefits under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1
At the referee's hearing, Lee, who was unrepresented by counsel, arrived late. The referee who had already concluded the hearing and heard testimony from the employer's witnesses,*fn2 reopened the hearing. Lee was her sole witness and did not cross-examine the employer's witnesses.
[ 73 Pa. Commw. Page 266]
She now argues that she is entitled to a remand because the referee failed to advise her of her right to counsel at the hearing, to cross-examine the employer's witnesses, and to present witnesses on her behalf. Such failure requires us to remand unless we are convinced that the failure was harmless error, resulting in no prejudice to the claimant. Shires v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 71 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 298, 454 A.2d 680 (1983). The employer contends that Lee was not prejudiced and that no remand is necessary. We agree.
The record reveals that Lee admitted that she disclosed this information. The only justification she offered was that she was unaware that the information was confidential and important.*fn3 She was given an opportunity to present her version of the events. It is axiomatic that the Board is the final fact-finder and arbiter of credibility. Before this Court, Lee, in asserting that she is entitled to a remand, merely points to the conflict in testimony as prejudicial. She has offered no other justification nor asserted any offers of proof or witnesses that, on remand, might support her defense that she was not guilty of willful misconduct. Under these facts, we can find no prejudice here.
As to the issue of willful misconduct, violation of an employer rule, if proved by the employer, constitutes such misconduct.*fn4 Bignell v. Unemployment Compensation ...