Appeal from the Order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, in case of Judy Eckenrode, No. B-250862.
Joseph S. Britton, Begley, Carlin & Mandio, for appellant.
Patricia Krise Bilzi, Assistant Counsel, with her, Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel, for respondent.
President Judge Crumlish, Jr., Judge Doyle, and Senior Judge Kalish, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Doyle.
[ 111 Pa. Commw. Page 290]
Judy W. Eckenrode (Claimant) petitions for review of an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) affirming a referee's decision denying her benefits on the basis of willful misconduct under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law).*fn1 We affirm.
Claimant was employed by Doylestown Hospital (Employer) as a medical technologist from February 9, 1981 to March 7, 1986. As part of her regular duties, Claimant performed phlebotomies (blood tests) on patients at the hospital. On February 6, 1986, Claimant, along with Employer's other medical technologists, was informed that she temporarily would be required on an occasional basis to perform phlebotomies on patients at Pleasant Manor, a facility for mentally retarded children located in Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania, approximately fifteen miles from the hospital. Claimant would have been required to use her personal automobile and be
[ 111 Pa. Commw. Page 291]
reimbursed at a rate of $.26 per mile. At the time, Claimant indicated to her supervisor her dissatisfaction with the assignment because it would require her to work outside of the hospital and use her personal automobile, and because of a concern that she would increase her risk of exposure to respiratory diseases.
On February 26, 1986, Claimant was informed that she was expected to perform phlebotomies at Pleasant Manor on March 3. When Claimant refused to do so for the above-noted reasons, Employer suspended her for three days. Upon her return to work on March 7, after her suspension, Claimant again refused to perform phlebotomies at Pleasant Manor scheduled for March 10. At this time, Employer discharged Claimant.
The referee denied Claimant benefits on the basis of willful misconduct, and the Board affirmed. Claimant petitions this Court for review.*fn2
It is clear that an employee's refusal of an employer's reasonable work request will constitute disqualifying willful misconduct, unless the employee can show good cause for the refusal. Jackim v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 63 Pa. Commonwealth Ct. 5, 437 A.2d 775 (1981). Claimant advances two arguments in support of reversal of the Board's order. First, she argues that because she reasonably believed she was entitled to refuse the work assignment, she cannot be guilty of willful misconduct, and in support cites Hughes v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 40 Pa. ...