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WILLARD E. MAINES v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (10/30/87)

decided: October 30, 1987.

WILLARD E. MAINES, 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 Willard E. Maines, No. B-251117.

COUNSEL

James P. Johnson, for petitioner.

James K. Bradley, Assistant Counsel, with him, Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.

Judges Craig and Palladino, and Senior Judge Barbieri, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Palladino.

Author: Palladino

[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 603]

Willard E. Maines (Petitioner) appeals from an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review which affirmed a referee's determination denying benefits to Petitioner. For the reasons set forth below, we reverse.

The facts in this matter are not in dispute. Petitioner worked for M. G. Industries (Employer) as a truck driver until September 16, 1985. During the summer of 1985, Petitioner was having a problem maintaining validity of his driver's license and, because of work schedule conflicts, was unable to take a driver's examination by August 16, 1985. Petitioner's license nevertheless remained valid up to the time of his separation.

On September 4, 1985, Employer gave Petitioner time off through September 9, 1985 in order to verify the validity of Petitioner's license. On September 9, 1985, Petitioner was called to work and ordered to sign a "counseling report" containing Employer's version of the events leading to Petitioner's inability to take the driver's test by August 16, 1985. The report also contained the reason for his temporary separation from September 4-9, 1985. Petitioner disputed the allegations in the counseling report and refused to sign it.*fn1 Employer told Petitioner that he would not be permitted to continue working unless he signed the report.

On September 13, 1985, Employer sent a letter to Petitioner requesting that he contact Employer within three days regarding his employment status. Petitioner

[ 110 Pa. Commw. Page 604]

    telephoned on September 16, 1985 and was again told that he would have to sign the counseling report or else face discharge. Because he continued to object to the report's accuracy, Petitioner still refused to sign it. Petitioner never stated, however, that he wished to resign his position, nor is there any dispute that he was fully licensed, willing, and able to perform his duties.

Employer thereafter sent a letter to Petitioner stating that because he refused to sign the report, "the Company would assume that you have abandoned your job. Therefore, I have initiated all necessary paperwork to remove you from our payroll records."*fn2

Based on these facts, the referee and Board both determined that Petitioner had voluntarily terminated his employment without cause of a necessitous and compelling nature and therefore was ineligible for benefits pursuant to ...


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