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STERLING BREININGER v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (02/05/87)

decided: February 5, 1987.

STERLING BREININGER, 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 Sterling J. Breininger, No. B-242390.

COUNSEL

J. Palmer Lockard, for petitioner.

Jonathan Zorach, Associate Counsel, with him, Samuel H. Lewis, Associate Counsel, and Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.

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

Author: Colins

[ 103 Pa. Commw. Page 503]

Sterling Breininger (petitioner) appeals from a determination by the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) denying unemployment compensation benefits due to petitioner's willful misconduct.*fn1

Petitioner was employed by Felty, Inc. (employer) as a heavy truck driver paid on a load basis. In October, 1984, while working for employer, petitioner was ticketed for passing a school bus while it was stopped with lights flashing. Subsequent to receiving this ticket, petitioner was convicted of violating the Vehicle Code (Code).*fn2 As a result, on approximately May 20, 1985, petitioner's license was suspended as a matter of course.*fn3 On this same date, petitioner was terminated from his employment for lacking a driver's license, as such was necessary for the performance of his job.

Petitioner applied for unemployment compensation benefits to the Office of Employment Security (OES) which denied his application pursuant to Section 402(b) of the Act (voluntary quit). Thereafter, petitioner took an appeal and a hearing was held before a referee at which time testimony was presented and exhibits entered into evidence. The referee affirmed the OES' denial of benefits under a modified ruling, holding that

[ 103 Pa. Commw. Page 504]

    petitioner's action constituted willful misconduct under Section 402(e) of the Act. The Board affirmed the referee's determination, and this appeal followed.

On appeal, we are presented with the issue of whether or not petitioner's actions constituted grounds for willful misconduct. After reviewing the record, we find as a matter of law that petitioner's actions do not rise to the level of willful misconduct. Consequently, we reverse.

Our scope of review in unemployment compensation cases is limited to a determination of whether or not there is substantial evidence to support the order of the Board. This Court has followed the exposition of this standard as set forth by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in Taylor v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 474 Pa. 351, 378 A.2d 829 (1977).

Substantial evidence is, of course, such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Rabinowitz v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, ...


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