Tuesday, August 09, 2016

UC - willful misconduct - delib. violation of ER policy - WM v. rule violation

Employee’s deliberate decision to flout ER email policy on internal mass mailings constituted willful misconduct, despite ER policy for discipline short of discharge, where ER policy gave it discretion to impose greater sanction, and it chose to do so.

When Claimant’s application for religious exemption to ER mandatory flu vaccination was denied, he sent out a series of 13 mini-mass mailings to co-workers, after he was unable to send out single mass mailing because of lack of permission.

The evidence reflects Claimant’s acknowledgement of Employer’s e-mail policies and his deliberate decision to flout Employer’s prohibition against mass e-mails by circumventing the restrictions on the distribution list and sending thirteen e-mails.   Accordingly, we conclude that Claimant’s actions constituted willful misconduct. Furthermore, the fact that Employer’s policies provide for discipline short of discharge does not negate Claimant’s termination for willful misconduct where its policies clearly afford it discretion to impose a different and greater sanction for his actions and it chose to do so. See Johnson v. UCBR, 744 A.2d 817, 821 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2000); Seton Co. v. UCBR, 663 A.2d 296, 299 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1995).
*An unreported Commonwealth Court case may not be cited binding precedent but can be cited for its persuasive value.  See 210 Pa. Code § 69.414(b) and Pa. R.A.P.  3716

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