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HIGHLAND PARK CENTER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/28/86)

decided: January 28, 1986.

HIGHLAND PARK CENTER, 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 Jessie Hughes, No. B-235380.

COUNSEL

Arthur D. Feldman, with him, Stanley M. Stein, for petitioner.

Samuel Lewis, Associate Counsel, with him, Barry M. Hartman, Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges MacPhail, Doyle and Barry, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge MacPhail.

Author: Macphail

[ 94 Pa. Commw. Page 391]

Highland Park Center (Employer) appeals from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which reversed a referee's decision denying unemployment compensation benefits to Jessie R. Hughes (Claimant) pursuant to Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law), Act of December 5, 1936, Second Ex. Sess., P.L. (1937) 2897, as amended, 43 P.S. § 802(e). We affirm.

Claimant, a rehabilitation worker, was discharged for violating Employer's written policy prohibiting employees from sleeping while on duty. At the referee's hearing, Employer's personnel director submitted into evidence, over Claimant's hearsay objections, a report by a former supervisor stating that

[ 94 Pa. Commw. Page 392]

Claimant was found asleep in a resident's room. The referee found that Claimant had violated Employer's policy and denied benefits. The Board reversed on the ground that the supervisor's report was inadmissible and since that was the only evidence of Claimant's misconduct, the Employer had failed to provide competent evidence to sustain its burden of proving willful misconduct.

Employer contends that the Board erred in refusing to consider the report, which, it argues, qualifies as a business record exception to the hearsay rule. Section 2 of the Uniform Business Records Act (Act), 42 Pa. C.S. § 6108(b) provides:

(b) General Rule. -- A record of an act, condition or event shall, insofar as relevant, be competent evidence if the custodian or other qualified witness testified to its identity and the mode of its preparation, and if it was made in the regular course of business at or near the time of the act, condition or event, and if, in the opinion of the tribunal, the sources of information were such as to justify its admission.

Our review of the record indicates that Employer's witness failed to demonstrate that he was presenting evidence either as a custodian or a qualified witness under the Act. It is not sufficient for a person presenting a business record merely to state that the record was prepared in the ordinary course of business; he must also demonstrate that he is familiar with the procedures used and able to guarantee the accuracy of the information or trustworthiness of the individuals responsible for the information. See Appeal of Chartiers Valley School District, 67 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 121, 447 A.2d 317 (1982), ...


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