Monday, October 24, 2005

UC - willful misconduct - decision of another agency is not WM per se

Woods Services v. UCBR - Commonwealth Court - October 2, 4 2005

Held, determination of county child/youth services (CYS) agency that an employee of a residential treatment facility "abused" one of his clients "does not constitute willful misconduct per se." The finding is enough to terminate a claimant's employment, which the employer had to do to retain its DPW license to run the facility. Without more, however, the CYS determination does not support a finding of willful misconduct. The employer "failed to present any admissible testimony or evidence, independent of the…. determination, to support a finding of willful misconduct."

The employer did only a cursory investigation. Its proffered testimony was hearsay and rejected. Claimant and an eyewitness testified. The Board resolved all credibility issues in favor of the claimant and his witness. "Our review of the record supports the Board's finding the Employer failed to directly link the CYS finding of child abuse to Claimant for purposes of establishing willful misconduct….."

Donald Marritz
MidPenn Legal Services