Date Submitted: May 9, 2014
Angel Hopkins, pro se
James T. Wakley, Esq. Thomas H. Ellis, Esq. Catherine C. Damavandi, Esq. Delaware Department of Justice
Before the Court is the appeal of Angel Hopkins ("Hopkins") of a decision rendered against her by the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (the "Board") regarding her decision to voluntarily quit her job with her former employer, Aculabs, Inc. ("Aculabs"). For the reasons explained below, the Board's decision is AFFIRMED.
FACTS & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Hopkins was employed by Aculabs from March 19, 2011 until quitting her employment on August 6, 2013. During this time she worked as a part-time, mobile phlebotomist, earning $12 per hour. Her job required traveling to patients.
Subsequent to her leaving Aculabs, Hopkins filed for unemployment insurance benefits with the Delaware Department of Labor's Division of Unemployment Insurance (the "Division"). The Claims Deputy/Agency Representative for the Division found that Hopkins had not met her burden of showing that she had quit her job at Aculabs for good cause. Rather, the Claims Deputy determined that Hopkins had voluntarily quit without good cause. Therefore, Hopkins was disqualified from receiving unemployment insurance benefits.
Hopkins filed a timely appeal to an Appeals Referee. The Referee agreed with the Deputy regarding Hopkins' voluntarily quitting her job. The Board affirmed the Referee's decision, finding that Hopkins voluntarily left her job without good cause connected to her work. Therefore, Hopkins was disqualified from the receipt of unemployment benefits pursuant to 19 Del. C. § 3314(1).
In his written opinion, the Referee described the events that transpired on August 6, 2013. While preparing for her afternoon shift, Hopkins was called to go to the Seaford Center to draw blood. Hopkins did not have the correct supplies to complete the job, so she asked permission to obtain supplies from Nanticoke Hospital. However, Hopkins' supervisor at Aculabs, Sherri Stewart ("Stewart"), told her to go to the Milford Center to pick up her supplies, and questioned her as to why she did not have the required supplies on hand. The cultures at Milford were different from the ones at Nanticoke. Hopkins and Stewart argued on the telephone. Shortly after their conversation, Hopkins told Stewart that she was quitting through text message.
Both Hopkins and Stewart largely agree about the events that took place leading up to Hopkins' resignation. However, Hopkins offers a defense for her actions. According to Hopkins, both of her aging parents required high levels of care. This responsibility fell solely on Hopkins. Stewart had been accommodating during Hopkins' father's prior kidney dialysis treatments, allowing her to take time off to take him to various appointments. In doing so, Stewart only required that Hopkins not remain on the clock while caring for her parents. Hopkins and Stewart were making ongoing arrangements to accommodate the situation. Yet, Hopkins was disappointed with the efforts taken by Stewart. On August 5th, Hopkins' mother was taken to the hospital. Therefore, Hopkins stated that she would be unable to work. No documentation was provided to Aculabs or the Appeals Referee regarding Hopkins' need to stay home from work to care for her parents.
After quitting, Hopkins presented information that she suffers from depression. Her doctor stated that, psychologically, Hopkins is able to go back to work, but that she needed to be cleared by a psychiatrist. Hopkins was reluctant to provide Aculabs with this information for fear that it would affect her work. While treating ...