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SONAT MARINE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/24/85)

decided: October 24, 1985.

SONAT MARINE, INC., PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in case of In Re: Claim of Gregory Moore, No. B-227541.

COUNSEL

Anthony B. Haller, with him, J. Anthony Messina, Pepper, Hamilton and Scheetz, for petitioner.

Charles G. Hasson, Acting Deputy Chief Counsel, with him, James K. Bradley, Associate Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Doyle and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.

Author: Doyle

[ 92 Pa. Commw. Page 405]

This is an appeal by Sonat Marine, Inc. (Employer) from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) reversing a referee's determination that Gregory Moore (Claimant) was ineligible for benefits pursuant to Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law),*fn1 43 P.S. ยง 802(e), (willful misconduct).

[ 92 Pa. Commw. Page 406]

The referee found that Claimant had been employed as the only cook aboard one of Employer's vessels. At approximately 4:00 a.m. on April 11, 1983, one of the crew members of the Tug Ranger, aboard which Claimant had been currently serving, approached Claimant and demanded that Claimant bake biscuits for every meal. As a result of this remark a heated discussion ensued between Claimant and the crew member, which discussion involved an exchange of foul and abusive language. The referee specifically found that Claimant was not threatened with bodily harm. Claimant became emotionally upset as a result of the altercation and left the vessel at 6:30 a.m. when it docked in Philadelphia. Claimant, according to the referee's findings, did not request permission or authorization from the captain or the personnel officer to leave. The referee found that pursuant to company policy (of which the referee determined Claimant was aware) crew members must remain aboard the vessel to which they are assigned until they are relieved or until the personnel department grants permission to leave. Claimant, after disembarking, went home. At approximately 9:00 a.m. he telephoned Employer's personnel office and spoke to one of the representatives. At that time, according to the referee's findings, Claimant was asked if he wanted to return to the vessel to which he responded in the negative. Accordingly, Employer was required to obtain a replacement for Claimant. Claimant was discharged for failing to finish his tour of duty and leaving the vessel without authorization, the latter of which the referee found to be a violation of company policy.

The Board, in reviewing the referee's decision,*fn2 omitted several findings only four of which are at

[ 92 Pa. Commw. Page 407]

    issue here. Specifically, the Board disregarded the referee's findings 1) that under company policy crew members must remain aboard a vessel until relieved unless permission to leave has been granted by the personnel department, 2) that Claimant was not threatened with harm or bodily injury during the altercation, 3) that Claimant did not request permission to leave the vessel, and 4) that Claimant replied in the negative when asked by a personnel representative whether he wanted to return to the vessel.

In addition the Board made six additional findings as follows:*fn3

4. The claimant complained to the captain of the vessel ...


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