Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of John Fitzgerald Chobert, No. 216681.
Richard J. Friedman, for petitioner.
James K. Bradley, Associate Counsel, with him, Charles G. Hasson, Acting Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.
Judges Rogers, Craig and Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.
[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 152]
John Fitzgerald Chobert (claimant) appeals from an order by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, which, affirming a referee's decision, denied the claimant benefits on the ground that his unemployment was the result of his willful misconduct in his employment.*fn1
The claimant was a sales person and stock helper for a book merchandising enterprise for about nine months, when on April 23, 1982, the store manager dismissed him.
[ 86 Pa. Commw. Page 153]
The claimant applied for unemployment compensation benefits and the Office of Employment Security issued a determination finding the claimant eligible for benefits. The employer appealed.
Neither party was represented by counsel at the referee's hearing. The employer's only witness present was the vice-president of the enterprise who testified that the principal reason for the claimant's discharge was his unsatisfactory work performance, with specific reference to the claimant's alleged practice of taking frequent, long breaks. The witness admitted not having warned the claimant and that he never heard the store manager warn him.
The claimant testified that the employer had no policy concerning breaks. He testified that he did not loaf on the job and that the manager never reprimanded him for taking breaks.
The referee then called the company president on the telephone, administered the witness's oath and questioned him concerning the claimant's work habits. The claimant had not known that evidence against him would be taken by telephone.
The president stated that the claimant was discharged for unsatisfactory work performance and that the claimant was given paper work and bookkeeping assignments, which the claimant either did incorrectly or incompletely. He said that the claimant failed to record book sales and that it was not he, but the ...