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JEFFREY T. HINE v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (01/20/87)

decided: January 20, 1987.

JEFFREY T. HINE, PETITIONER
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of Jeffrey T. Hine, No. B-241984.

COUNSEL

Frederic G. Antoun, for petitioner.

Jonathan Zorach, Associate Counsel, with him, Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Doyle

[ 103 Pa. Commw. Page 268]

Jeffrey T. Hine (Claimant) petitions for review of a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying him benefits under Section 3 of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1 We affirm.

[ 103 Pa. Commw. Page 269]

Claimant was employed by Hoffman Ford (Employer) as an auto mechanic in the service department of that company. Claimant's usual duties involved repairing and rebuilding automobile engines. One of Employer's policies required that its auto mechanics possess a valid Pennsylvania driver's license at all times. This policy of Employer was necessary for insurance purposes, since its mechanics were required in the course of their work to drive automobiles around and about Employer's premises and Claimant was aware of this policy.

Sometime around March 21, 1985, Claimant's driver's license was suspended due to a series of motor vehicle violations.*fn2 Claimant made no effort to begin serving his suspension, and, therefore, on April 12, 1985, a Pennsylvania State Police officer arrived at Employer's premises and confiscated Claimant's driver's license. Claimant was discharged the same day for being in violation of Employer's policy.

Claimant applied for unemployment compensation benefits and the Office of Employment Security (OES) determined Claimant was ineligible for benefits under Section 402(e) of the Law (willful misconduct), 43 P.S. ยง 802(e), because of his violation of Employer's policy. Claimant appealed this determination and although the notice of hearing sent to Claimant listed Section 402(e), willful misconduct, as the specific issue to be considered by the referee, the notice also stated that Section 3 of the law might also be considered.*fn3 Section 3 is a substantive provision of the law which disqualifies unemployment

[ 103 Pa. Commw. Page 270]

    claimants from benefits when they become unemployed through their own fault. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review v. Ostrander, 21 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 583, 347 A.2d 351 (1975); Evans v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 86 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 297, 484 A.2d 822 (1984). After the hearing,*fn4 the referee determined that Claimant was ineligible for benefits under Section 3, and the Board affirmed the referee's determination. This appeal followed.

There are two issues presented on this appeal. First, a question of fact, whether Claimant needed to possess a valid Pennsylvania driver's license as a requirement for his continued employment, and second, whether the referee acted improperly in basing his ...


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