Submitted: February 11, 2014
Upon the Appeal of a Decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.
Connie L. Miller, pro se
James T. Wakley, Esquire of the Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware; attorney for the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.
William L. Witham, Jr. Resident Judge
The issue before the Court is whether the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board correctly denied Appellant's motion for a new hearing after the Board dismissed Appellant's case due to Appellant's prior failure to appear at his scheduled hearing.
FACTS AND PROCEDURE
This is a pro se appeal by Connie L. Miller (hereinafter "Appellant") from the decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (hereinafter "the UIAB" or "the Board") denying Appellant's motion for a rehearing.
Appellant was employed as a production line worker by BBSI, an employment agency in Dover, from February of 2010 until his termination in April of 2013. Appellant worked at Playtex, but was not considered a Playtex employee; Appellant's employer was BBSI. Appellant's supervisor at BBSI had previously warned Appellant in January of 2013 about going through proper channels at BBSI rather than Playtex concerning any work issues. Appellant was warned that subsequent misconduct could result in termination.
On April 9, 2013 Appellant was suspended by Playtex for leaving his line. Rather than initially contact BBSI about his suspension, Appellant went to Playtex's Human Resources Department to file a complaint. Appellant eventually contacted his supervisor at BBSI later that day, but Appellant also proceeded to contact his immediate supervisor at Playtex (about an outstanding vacation day, according to Appellant) and a coworker at Playtex. When BBSI learned about this, BBSI terminated Appellant for insubordination and improper contact with BBSI's clients.
Appellant filed a claim for unemployment benefits with the Department of Labor. On May 29, 2013, a Claims Deputy disqualified Appellant from the receipt of benefits on the basis that Appellant was terminated for just cause in connection with Appellant's work. An Appeals Referee conducted a telephone hearing on June 19, 2013 in which Appellant and Appellant's supervisor at BBSI participated. By decision dated June 27, 2013, the Appeals Referee affirmed the determination of the Claims Deputy.
Appellant timely appealed the Referee's decision to the Board, and a hearing was scheduled for September 4, 2013. Appellant failed to appear for his hearing, and the Board dismissed the appeal. Nearly one month later, on October 1, 2013 Appellant contacted the Board and requested a new hearing. Appellant claimed that his wife had signed for receipt of the notice of the hearing, and forwarded the notice to another address without Appellant's knowledge.
By decision dated October 2, 2013, the Board denied Appellant's motion for a rehearing on the grounds that the Board's September 4 decision dismissing the appeal had become final. The Board declined to exercise its discretion to hold a ...