Wednesday, April 29, 2015

UC - willful misconduct - employer rule on off-duty misconduct - mistaken advice of union not "good cause"

Rothstein v. UCBR   - Cmwlth. Court – February 11, 2015 – ordered to be reported 4-29-2015





Held: Claimant committed willful misconduct by violating an employer rule requiring him to report certain off-duty misconduct, to wit, criminal arrests or convictions.  In this case, claimant, whose job required him to enter customers’ homes, had been arrested for, charged with and convicted of indecent exposure.


Misconduct was proven even though there was no evidence about the underlying acts, since “the very nature of the charges” could affect claimant’s ability to do his job. 


The fact that claimant’s union advised him not to report his arrest did not establish “good cause” for not complying with the employer rule.   The union had no responsibility under the employer rule.  Cf. Link v. UCBR, 446 A.2d 999 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1982).   The rule put the responsibility to report on the individual employee.  “Violating the policy by following the poor advice from the union does not relieve an employee of the consequences of his violation, nor provide just cause for the violation.”




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