Stezzi v. UCBR - Cmwlth. Court - Novembwer 20, 2008 - unreported memorandum decisionhttp://origin-www.courts.state.pa.us/OpPosting/Cwealth/out/913CD08_11-20-08.pdf
Claimant, a bank tell/manager, was held to be guilty of willful misconduct for putting four night deposit bags in a waste basket, in violation of employer procedures about processing money bags, and causing a monetary loss to employer of about $6275.00.
The court found "no merit in Claimant’s contention that the Board held her to a higher standard of conduct in violation of Grieb v. UCBR
, 573 Pa. 594, 827 A.2d 422 (2003), that she was held to a higher standard than a management employee who must inspect teller areas for items of value left unprotected at the end of the day.
Contrary to Claimant’s assertion, the Board’s statement simply recognizes every employer may rightfully expect its employees will not place bags of money in trash cans. The statement represents an alternate legal theory for its decision to deny benefits. See Tongel v. UCBR
, 501 A.2d 716 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1985) (work rule violation need not be shown where the behavior standard is obvious, and the employee's conduct is so inimical to the employer's best interests that discharge is a natural result).
The court rejected tha argument that "the Board’s conclusion that her conduct fell below the standards of behavior an employer may rightfully expect of its employees is ludicrous because her trash can was in a secured area.....It does not matter the general area may have been secure. Employer has specific rules in place for handling night deposit bags, which Claimant admittedly violated."
The court has "repeatedly held a bank employee’s failure to follow an employer’s procedure may constitute willful misconduct so as to disqualify the employee from receiving benefits. See Fusaro v. UCBR
, 483 A.2d 1013 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1984) (teller discharged for intentionally failing to follow employer’s check cashing policies ineligible for benefits); Adolphus v. UCBR
, 471 A.2d 152 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1984) (teller discharged for intentionally failing to follow check cashing, money order, and cash counting procedures ineligible for benefits); Schmutz v. UCBR
, 459 A.2d 1378 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1983) (teller discharged for intentionally failing to enter all transactions into computer in violation of bank procedures ineligible for benefits).