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Belisle v. Farms

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

October 2, 2013

LAVELLE BELISLE, Appellant,
v.
PERDUE FARMS, Appellee.

Submitted: July 1, 2013

Upon Consideration of Appellant's Appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

Lavelle Belisle, pro se.

Lori A. Brewington, Esq., Richards, Layton & Finger, Wilmington, Delaware for Appellee.

ORDER

Young, J.

SUMMARY

Lavelle Belisle ("Claimant") was discharged because she acquired four active disciplinary records within six months. Perdue Farms ("Perdue" or "Employer") asserts that this is the maximum allowed by policy. The issue in this case is whether Perdue established just cause for the Claimant's discharge. For the reasons stated below, this Court, finding no error, AFFIRMS the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board's ("Board") decision to deny Appellant Belisle's unemployment insurance benefits.

PROCEDURAL POSTURE

On August 3, 2012, Claimant appealed an Incident Review Board ("IRB") decision discharging her from employment, which denied her unemployment insurance benefits. After a hearing on September 5, 2012, the Appeals Referee reversed the IRB's decision. The Appeals Referee found that Claimant was discharged by her Employer without just cause in connection with her work. Therefore, the Claimant was qualified for the receipt of unemployment benefits pursuant to Section 3314(2), Title 19, Delaware Code. She was found eligible to receive benefits for each week of unemployment insurance benefits claimed for which the division determines she meets the eligibility requirements of Section 3315, Title 19, Delaware Code.

On January 2, 2013, Perdue appealed the decision to the Board. The Board considered the evidence presented by the Appeals Referee, reversing the decision of the Referee. The Board found that Claimant was discharged for just cause in connection with her work, thereby disqualifying her from the receipt of unemployment benefits. On February 18, 2013, Claimant requested an appeal of the Board's decision.

FACTS

Claimant worked as the Deboning Team Leader for Perdue from November 14, 2008 until July 13, 2012, when she was discharged on the basis of having accumulated multiple disciplinary violations. Claimant received her first disciplinary action on February 3, 2012. On February 14, 2012, Claimant received a second written discipline for policy violations. On February 21, 2012, Claimant received an extraordinary offense discipline for continued poor attendance and failure to follow instructions. On July 5, 2012, Claimant was issued a five day suspension pending termination, as she had accrued her fourth discipline. Claimant's final discipline was determined to have been the result of her failure to complete tasks that were assigned to her on June 13, 2012.

In an email, she was directed to execute an assignment by the IRB. Claimant was to retrain her floor associates on June 15, 2012. Claimant admitted that she failed to follow that directive, because, she stated, she failed to read the email. Claimant had failed to complete the task assigned to her on June 13, 2012, though she was on notice through the Employer's policies and handbook, for which she signed a receipt, that she could be terminated on a fourth offense. Claimant had reached four active disciplinary records within six months, ...


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