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RICK W. JONES v. COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA (07/28/89)

decided: July 28, 1989.

RICK W. JONES, PETITIONER,
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA, UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION BOARD OF REVIEW, RESPONDENT



PETITION FOR REVIEW (UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION).

COUNSEL

Christopher C. Straub, Pyfer and Associates Lancaster, for petitioner.

Clifford F. Blaze, Deputy Chief Counsel and Maribeth Wilt-Seibert, Asst. Counsel, Harrisburg, for respondent.

Crumlish, Jr., President Judge, and Craig, Doyle, Colins, Palladino, McGinley and Smith, JJ. Colins and Smith, JJ., dissent.

Author: Doyle

[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 636]

This case is before us on appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board) which held that Rick W. Jones (Claimant) was not entitled

[ 127 Pa. Commw. Page 637]

    to benefits under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law)*fn1 (willful misconduct).

Claimant was last employed as a vice president of Greiner Industries, Inc., (Employer) a welding and fabricating company, at a salary of $45,000 per year plus five percent of the corporation's net profit. Claimant began his employment in January 1982 and continued working there until he was fired on November 26, 1986. Subsequent to losing his job, he filed for unemployment compensation benefits and the Office of Employment Security (OES) issued a determination granting Claimant benefits. Claimant's Employer filed an appeal from that decision. A hearing was held and the referee issued an order affirming the decision of the OES. Employer then appealed that order to the Board, which reversed the referee and denied benefits. This appeal followed.

The Board made the following relevant factual determinations. Claimant, during the course of his employment, "engaged in an intimate personal relationship with the wife of Employer " (finding of fact No. 2). "As a result of this relationship, the work routine at the office was disrupted to the point that it decreased the efficiency of the administrative personnel" (finding of fact No. 3). The Board further found that Claimant knew or should have known that his actions would cause such a disruption, and that he was discharged for engaging in actions which were detrimental to the efficient administration of Employer's business.

On appeal, this Court must determine whether there is substantial evidence in the record to support a finding of willful misconduct. Section 704 of the Administrative Agency Law, 2 Pa.C.S. ยง 704.

We do believe that the Board's implicit finding that Claimant was engaged in an intimate personal relationship with Mrs. Brenda Greiner, the wife of Mr. Franklin Greiner, the president ...


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