Tuesday, November 14, 2017

UC - willful misconduct - social media policy not violated

Waverly Heights Ltd. v. UCBR – Commonwealth Court – November 13, 2017

Held: Tweet of claimant on her personal Twitter page held not to violate ER social media policy.

Tweet of July 2016:  “@realDonaldTrump I am the VP of HR in a comp outside of philly an informal survey of our employees shows 100% AA employees voting Trump!”

Social media policy provided:
[Employer] has an interest in promoting and protecting its reputation[,] as well as the dignity, respect, and confidentiality of its residents, clients, and employees as depicted in social medial, whether through [Employer’s] own postings or that of others. Towards that end, [Employer] will actively manage the content of its social media sites to uphold the mission and values of the company. Also, [Employer] expects employees who identify themselves with [Employer] in either internal or external social media to conduct themselves according to this policy.

Where an employer seeks to deny UC benefits based on a work-rule violation, the employer must prove the existence of a work rule, the reasonableness of the rule and the employee's violation of the rule. Maskerines v. UCBR, 13 A.3d 553, 557 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2011). If the employer meets its burden, the burden then shifts to the claimant to demonstrate good cause for her actions. Johns, 87 A.3d at 1010. Here, Employer terminated Claimant for violating its Social Media Policy because she represented herself as Employer’s Vice President.


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