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COLEEN SCHMUTZ v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (05/27/83)

decided: May 27, 1983.

COLEEN SCHMUTZ, 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 Coleen Schmutz, No. B-201-409.

COUNSEL

William W. Shimer, Jr., for petitioner.

Charles G. Hasson, Acting Deputy Chief Counsel, with him, Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Rogers, Williams, Jr. and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 74 Pa. Commw. Page 511]

The unemployment compensation claimant in this case appeals an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, reversing a referee's order, and finding that the claimant's unemployment was due to her willful misconduct and that as a consequence she was not eligible for benefits. Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law, Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. ยง 802(e). We affirm.

The claimant was employed by a savings and loan association as a teller for about one and one-half years. In October and November of 1980, and again in January of 1981, she had shortages in her daily accounts. She was warned orally and in writing to exercise more care in her work. On July 7, 1981, she had another shortage, this time in the amount of $810.00.

[ 74 Pa. Commw. Page 512]

An internal audit was conducted which disclosed that the claimant had cashed checks without recording the transactions on her teller computer terminal and without placing holds against the accounts of the payees. The employer gave her a choice of resigning or being discharged and she accepted the former. It is agreed that this case must be decided under Section 402(e), willful misconduct.

The employer discharged the claimant for violating its rules (1) requiring tellers to put all check cashing transactions into the computer and (2) to place holds on the accounts of persons cashing checks, except in the cases of checks on the United States Treasury or the employer bank.

The referee seems to have had difficulty understanding the employer's rules and what they required the tellers to do. His decision contains no mention of the requirement that all transactions should be entered into the computer. His conclusion that the claimant was not guilty of willful misconduct seems to be the result of his acceptance of the claimant's testimony to the effect that she did not place a hold on the account of every check presented because it was "normal" in busy times not to place the hold on accounts of persons known to the teller. The referee seems to have lost sight entirely of the issue of the claimant's failure to place all transactions on the computer. The Board of Review found that the claimant failed to enter all check cashing transactions into the computer. It concluded that while the procedures for placing holds was "not uniformly enforced" in the branch where the claimant worked, there was no doubt about the requirement of putting all transactions into the computer and that the claimant's failure to do so constituted willful misconduct.

The claimant in the written argument first says, if we understand her, that the ...


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