Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, in case of In Re: Claim of Anthony Lombardo, No. B-241798.
Charles J. Bufalino, Jr., for petitioner.
James K. Bradley, Assistant Counsel, with him, Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Colins, and Senior Judge Blatt, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by President Judge Crumlish, Jr.
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 279]
An unemployment compensation referee's decision granted Anthony Lombardo benefits. The Board of Review reversed. Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Act).*fn1 Lombardo appeals;*fn2 we reverse.
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 280]
Lombardo, a bakery driver/salesman, was discharged for falsifying company records.*fn3 After receiving a customer complaint about Lombardo's service, the employer conducted an investigation and discovered delivery discrepancies.*fn4
The referee concluded that the investigation did not adequately prove that Lombardo was responsible for the shortages.*fn5 The Board, however, disagreed and concluded that Lombardo did not have good cause for violating a work rule.*fn6
Lombardo contends that the record lacks substantial evidence to support the Board's finding that he willfully falsified records. We agree.
The Board found that the employer conducted an investigation by taking inventory before and after Lombardo's deliveries. The employer would subtract the delivered loaves from the total number on the shelf; any difference between the first count and the result of the second procedure would be charged against Lombardo.
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 281]
At first blush, these findings appear sufficient to support the conclusion that Lombardo was falsifying records. However, upon a careful examination of the record, the validity of the employer's investigation is seriously questioned. For example: (1) the employer would take the first inventory between forty-five minutes to two hours before Lombardo made his delivery; (2) during the interval between inventory and delivery, the employer would not have a clear view of the entranceways to the customer's storage area; and further (3) the intermingling ...