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Matthews v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

March 5, 2014

Michelle V. Matthews, Petitioner
v.
Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, Respondent

Argued February 10, 2014.

Page 323

Appealed from No. B-550030. State Agency: Unemployment Compensation Board of Review.

Nicholas J. Renzi, Philadelphia, for petitioner.

Maribeth Wilt-Seibert, Assistant Counsel, Harrisburg, for respondent.

Donald B. Veix, Jr., Doylestown, for intervenor Michelle Matthews Day Spa.

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Judge, HONORABLE ROBERT SIMPSON, Judge, HONORABLE P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge (P.).

OPINION

Page 324

P. KEVIN BROBSON, Judge

Petitioner Michelle V. Matthews (Claimant) petitions for review of an order of the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review (Board). The Board reversed a decision of a Referee, which granted Claimant unemployment compensation benefits. Instead, the Board denied Claimant benefits pursuant to Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation Law (Law),[1] based on willful misconduct. For the reasons set forth below, we now affirm.

Claimant filed for unemployment compensation benefits after being discharged from employment as a manager with Michelle Matthews Day Spa (Employer) on October 13, 2012. The Scranton UC Service Center (Service Center) issued a notice of determination finding Claimant ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits. (Certified Record (C.R.), Item No. 5.) Claimant appealed the Service Center's determination, and a Referee conducted an evidentiary hearing. Following the hearing, the Referee issued a decision, in which the Referee reversed the Service Center's determination and found Claimant eligible for benefits. (Reproduced Record (R.R.) at R8a.)

Employer appealed the Referee's decision to the Board, which reversed. In so doing, the Board issued its own findings of fact and conclusions of law. The Board made the following findings of fact:

1. The claimant founded the business where she worked in 2001 and owned it through the end of May 2011.
2. Effective June 1, 2011, the claimant sold the business but stayed on as manager. She was paid $1,059.00 per week and generally worked about 40 hours a week until October 13, 2012.
3. When the employer purchased the business, the employer had no business experience.
4. The employer wanted the claimant to stay on as manager and run the business with the employer essentially playing a passive role.
5. The employer was unaware that the claimant had failed to pay any vendors until after her termination.

Page 325

6. After her termination, the claimant told the employer there was an unpaid invoice on advertising and an unpaid telephone bill.
7. In November 2011, the employer acquired a license to use a business software package known as " Millennium" .
8. Millennium is a complete accounting package for use at spas that allows a business to track ...

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