Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review in the case of In Re: Claim of Raymond J. Bobchock, No. B-205345.
Carol Kowall, for petitioner.
Charles D. Donahue, 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 Judge Colins.
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 646]
Raymond Bobchock (petitioner) appeals a decision and order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a referee's denial of unemployment compensation benefits. The Board's denial of benefits was predicated on the finding that petitioner's conduct amounted to willful misconduct under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law.*fn1 We reverse.
Petitioner was employed by Photo Hut, Inc., which specialized in film developing. Petitioner's primary duties at Photo Hut were to mount slides and to develop
[ 105 Pa. Commw. Page 647]
film. In addition to his primary duties, petitioner would perform other tasks during the busy periods at Photo Hut. Likewise, other Photo Hut employees would operate the slide mounting machine during these busy periods. Petitioner's dismissal was a result of a customer complaint regarding the quality of certain slides mounted at Photo Hut. In January, 1982, which is a busy period for film developing, a customer brought in three rolls of slide film for developing and mounting. Upon receipt of this film, the customer complained that approximately one-third of the slides were mismounted. When the customer complained, the manager dismissed petitioner on the assumption that petitioner was the one responsible for this error.
Petitioner's application for benefits was denied by the local Office of Employment Security (OES) on the basis of willful misconduct. At a hearing before the referee held on March 4, 1982, petitioner was not represented by counsel. The referee determined that petitioner's conduct constituted willful misconduct and petitioner was, therefore, disqualified from receiving unemployment compensation benefits. This decision was affirmed by a Board order on May 6, 1982, and it is from this order that petitioner appeals.
Initially, we note that our scope of review is limited to a determination of whether constitutional rights have been violated, an error of law has been committed, or whether any necessary findings of fact made by the agency are not supported by substantial evidence. Estate of McGovern v. State Employees' Retirement Board, 512 Pa. 377, 517 A.2d 523 (1986). Additionally, willful misconduct is a question of law subject to our review. Browning-Ferris Industries of Pa., Inc. v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 93 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 460, 501 A.2d 711 (1985).
Petitioner's first argument is that the referee erred in failing to advise petitioner, ...