Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In re: Claim of Robert F. Comp, Jr., No. B-209982.
Michael Goldberg, for petitioner.
Richard F. Faux, Associate Counsel, with him, Richard L. Cole, Jr., Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Williams, Jr., Doyle and Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Williams, Jr.
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 578]
Robert F. Comp, Jr., (claimant) appeals from the decision and order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying his claim for benefits pursuant to Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1 We reverse.
Claimant was employed as an automatic machine screw operator by the National Bearings Company (employer) from January 1974 until his termination on April 14, 1982. On April 14, 1982 claimant was discharged for breaking the tool of another employee which claimant was using without the owner's permission and for claimant's failure to report the incident to his supervisor.
Claimant was found eligible for benefits by the Office of Employment Security (OES) and the employer appealed. After a hearing, the referee reversed the OES determination and found claimant's conduct rose to the level of willful misconduct rendering him ineligible for benefits. Claimant appealed the referee's decision to the Board which affirmed the referee and petition for review to this Court followed.
Before this Court, claimant argues the referee's findings are not supported by substantial evidence
[ 83 Pa. Commw. Page 579]
and that the Board committed errors of law.*fn2 While "willful misconduct" is not defined by Section 402(e) of the Law, we have held it to be conduct which is a wanton or willful disregard of the employer's interests, a deliberate violation of the employer's rules, a disregard of the standards of behavior which the employer has the right to expect of an employee, or culpable negligence showing an intentional and substantial disregard of the employer's interests or of the employee's duties and obligations to the employer. Kentucky Fried Chicken of Altoona, Inc. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 10 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 90, 309 A.2d 165 (1973). Where an employee has been discharged, the burden is upon the employer to establish the willful misconduct of the employee so as to render the employee ineligible for benefits. Coulter v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 16 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 462, 332 A.2d 876 (1975).
We look first to claimant's contention that the referee erred in considering claimant's attendance history where the employer did not initially cite absenteeism as a cause for discharge. In Lecker v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 71 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 266, 455 A.2d 234 (1983), we held that a referee on appeal must consider only those charges of willful misconduct as delineated in the OES determination notice. To allow a critique of ...