IN THE COMMONWEALTH COURT OF PENNSYLVANIA 


Mihai Veres, : 
Petitioner : 
: 
v. : No. 1630 C.D. 2007 
: SUBMITTED: December 14, 2007 
Unemployment Compensation 
Board of Review, 
: 
: 
Respondent : 

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, President Judge 

HONORABLE DAN PELLEGRINI, Judge 

HONORABLE JOSEPH F. McCLOSKEY, Senior Judge 

OPINION NOT REPORTED 

MEMORANDUM OPINION BY 
PRESIDENT JUDGE LEADBETTER FILED: January 30, 2008 

Mihai Veres petitions for review of the order of the Unemployment 
Compensation Board of Review (Board) which affirmed the referee’s denial of 
unemployment benefits under Section 402(e) of the Unemployment Compensation 
Law1 due to his discharge for willful misconduct. After review, we affirm. 

Veres was employed by James Craft & Son, Inc., as a full-time 
plumber and pipe fitter. Veres was discharged on April 5, 2007, on the basis of 
insubordination and disrespect toward his supervisor. Veres’ subsequent 
application for unemployment benefits was denied, after which he appealed and a 
hearing was held before a referee. 

At the hearing, Employer’s Human Resources Director, Melissa 
Bowman, testified that Veres signed an acknowledgment that he received a copy of 
Employer’s personnel policy manual, which specifically stated that, “[t]he 
following actions may result in immediate dismissal: . . . 13. Insubordination or 
disrespect to supervisor or management employee.” Original Record, Exhibit 10. 
Jason Glatfelter, a supervisor with Employer, testified that on the day in question, 
he was asked by another foreman to find work for Veres, which he did. Glatfelter 
testified that when he saw Veres talking with another employee, he asked him why 
he wasn’t up on the third floor working. According to Glatfelter, Veres “got in his 
face” yelling at him and using profanities and threatening language. Glatfelter 
stated that he asked Veres three times to walk away and return to work. Glatfelter 
later called his superior, Alan Jordan, to report the incident. Veres countered that 
he was not aware that Glatfelter was his supervisor that day and that he was getting 
supplies for an employee on the third floor when Glatfelter saw him talking with 
another employee. Veres testified that it was Glatfelter who jumped up and got in 
his face and threatened him. Veres stated that he was just talking to Glatfelter but 
he admitted that after Glatfelter kept yelling, he “snapped back for a few minutes” 
and used several profane words. Veres denied threatening Glatfelter, however. 

Based on the testimony at the hearing, the referee made the following 
findings of fact: 

1. The claimant was last employed on April 5, 2007, as a 
full-time plumber/pipe fitter for James Craft & Son, 
earning $21.75 per hour. 

2. On April 5, 2007, the claimant was being given 
direction by the employer’s project foreman. 

3. The project foreman assigned the claimant to work 
with a heating and ventilation issue on the third floor of 
the job site. 

4. The project foreman caught the claimant on the first 
floor talking on two occasions that day. 

5. The project foreman determined that the claimant was 
doing little to no work on the third floor assisting with 
the project. 

6. He advised the claimant that if he needed something 
to do, he would get him other work. 

7. The claimant responded by getting in the project 
foreman’s face and verbally attacking him. 

8. The supervisor asked the claimant to calm down and 
leave the situation on at least three occasions. The 
claimant refused to do so and proceeded to call the 
supervisor a backstabber, a c**ksu**er, and 
motherf**ker, and advised the supervisor that he would 
kick his ass. 

9. On April 5, 2007, the claimant was discharged for 
insubordination and disrespect toward his supervisor. 

Referee’s Decision and Order, (No. 07-09-F-2750, mailed June 13, 2007). The 
referee concluded that Veres’ conduct rose to the level of willful misconduct and 
denied benefits. Veres appealed to the Board, which, after consideration of the 
entire record, adopted the findings of facts and conclusions of the referee and 
affirmed the referee’s decision denying benefits. The present pro se appeal 
followed. 

On appeal, Veres argues that the Board erred in affirming the referee’s 
decision because the referee completely ignored his testimony and credited instead 
the testimony of Employer’s witness, Jason Glatfelter, who, Veres contends, not 
only altered and omitted certain facts, but had an obvious personal vendetta against 
him. Secondly, Veres argues that Employer did not meet its burden of proving that 
his actions that day rose to the level of willful misconduct and, therefore, it was an 
error of law for the Board to affirm the referee’s decision. 

Willful misconduct has been defined as: 

(a) wanton or willful disregard for an employer’s 
interests; (b) deliberate violation of an employer’s rules; 
(c) disregard for standards of behavior which an 
employer can rightfully expect of an employee; or (d) 
negligence indicating an intentional disregard of the 
employer’s interest or an employee’s duties or 
obligations. 

Grieb v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 573 Pa. 594, 600, 827 A.2d 422, 
425 (2003) [quoting Navickas v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 567 Pa. 
298, 787 A.2d 284, 288 (2001)]. Employer bears the burden of proving willful 
misconduct. Caterpillar, Inc. v. Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 550 Pa. 115, 
703 A.2d 452 (1997). Whether a claimant’s actions rise to the level of willful 
misconduct is a question of law subject to this court’s plenary review. Frazier v. 
Unemployment Comp. Bd. of Review, 833 A.2d 1181 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2003). 

However, credibility and evidentiary weight are determined by the Board and the 
Board’s findings of fact are conclusive on appeal when the record, in its entirety, 
contains substantial evidence to support those findings. Guthrie v. Unemployment 
Comp. Bd. of Review, 738 A.2d 518 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1999). 

Veres argues that he was not allowed to tell his version of what 
happened to Employer and that on the day he was discharged, while he admittedly 
“used verbal expressions [often used] on construction job sites by most workers 
but classified as profanities,” that it was Glatfelter who became “verbally 
aggressive, walked in the claimants[sic] face and threatened him with more actions 
of the same kind he did that day.” Petitioner’s Brief at 10. However, the referee 
clearly credited the testimony of Employer’s witness, Glatfelter, and the Board 
resolved the conflicting testimony in favor of the Employer. Inasmuch as we are 
not permitted to overturn the Board’s credibility determinations, Guthrie, 738 A.2d 
518, and the Board’s findings are supported by the testimony of Employer’s 
witness, we conclude that this contention has no merit. 

Finally, we reach Veres’ assertion that Employer did not meet its 
burden of proving that his conduct that day amounted to willful misconduct, thus 
disqualifying him from receiving unemployment benefits. In particular, Veres 
asserts that his behavior was in no way disrespectful and, therefore, not 
insubordinate. The only thing Employer proved was that he used profanity, which, 
standing alone, would not have warranted his discharge.2 Employer’s witness 
Melissa Bowman testified that it was not the profanity alone which caused Veres’ 
discharge, but the fact that he was disrespectful in confronting Glatfelter. In 
addition, Employer presented evidence that Veres was or should have been aware 
of Employer’s rule that insubordination and disrespect toward a supervisor may 
result in immediate dismissal, as stated in the company’s personnel policy manual, 
which Veres signed. Furthermore, Veres admitted to using profanities when 
addressing Glatfelter. Glatfelter also testified that in addition to being verbally 
abusive towards him, Veres also threatened to “kick his ass,” which the Board 
found as a fact. Because the Board rejected Veres’ testimony, he failed to establish 
good cause for his conduct. Accordingly, we believe that the Board had ample 
evidence to support its finding that Veres’ conduct rose to the level of willful 
misconduct and, therefore, affirm the order of the Board. 

BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, 

President Judge