History of Missing Work Enough to Deny Benefits, Court Rules

November 13, 2012 – In The News
Pennsylvania Law Weekly

The Commonwealth Court has ruled that a man’s history of unexcused absences from work and tardy arrivals is enough reason to deny unemployment benefits.

The man’s final absence, in which he missed an additional two days of work due to being rebooked on his honeymoon return flight, would have been justifiable had it not been for his long history. Over seven months the employee accumulated 19 unexcused absences and several cases of tardiness in his vehicle detailer job.

He applied for benefits and was originally awarded unemployment compensation before the board concluded that is pattern of habitual tardiness and absences fell below the standard of behavior expected of him and therefore rendered him ineligible for benefits under Section 402(e) of the law.

“The Commonwealth Court was looking to clarify the situation where an employee has a lengthy history of unexcused absences and tardiness and who is terminated in a situation that, by itself may not be clearly willful misconduct, and then ends up getting benefits,” Randy C. Schauer, of Fox Rothschild’s Exton, Pa office said.

Schauer noted the court decided to hear the case en banc on its own volition.