Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of Barbara Janicki, No. B-204482.
John W. Murtagh, Jr., Greenfield & Murtagh, for petitioner.
No appearance for respondent.
John S. Brendel, Buchanan, Ingersoll, Rodewald, Kyle & Buerger, for intervenor.
Judges Williams, Jr., Craig and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Blatt.
[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 412]
Barbara Janicki (claimant) appeals here an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) finding her ineligible for benefits under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law)*fn1 (willful misconduct).
The Board's findings of fact included the following: that the claimant was discharged from her employment as head cashier at Harold Friedman, Inc. (employer) on October 20, 1981; that she had requested permission on both October 13, 1981 and October 17, 1981 to take October 19, 1981 off from work; that both requests were denied by the employer's store manager who alone had the authority to approve days
[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 413]
off during the week; that on October 17, after the store manager had left for the day, the claimant sought permission to take off October 19 from the assistant store manager who told her "to do what she wanted to do, but it was not going to be him in trouble"; and that, despite the store manager's refusal to allow her to take off October 19, she failed to report to work on that day. The Board concluded that the claimant's behavior amounted to willful misconduct and reversed the referee's decision which had awarded benefits. The present appeal ensued.
In an unemployment compensation case where the claimant is denied benefits because of allegedly willful misconduct, the employer bears the burden of proving that the claimant's behavior amounted to willful misconduct. Gane v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 41 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 292, 398 A.2d 1110 (1979). And, where the party with the burden of proof prevails below, as the employer did here, our scope of review is limited to determining whether or not the factual findings are supported by substantial evidence and whether or not an error of law has been committed. Wright v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 66 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 506, 445 A.2d 556 (1982). In deciding whether or not substantial evidence exists to support the Board's findings, of course, we must examine the testimony in the light most favorable to the prevailing party, giving that party the benefit of any inference which can be drawn logically and reasonably from the evidence. Whisner v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 67 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 137, 446 A.2d 336 (1982). And, if we find that the record contains substantial supporting evidence, the Board's factual findings must be conclusive. Taylor v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 474 Pa. 351, 378 A.2d 829 (1977).
[ 79 Pa. Commw. Page 414]
The claimant argues first that her behavior did not amount to willful misconduct. Although she admits that the store manager had previously denied her request for time off on October 19, she contends that she made a new and different request of the assistant store manager when she approached him with the idea to switch schedules with another employee in order to have the day off. She ...