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Dowlin v. Kelly Services

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

August 5, 2014

DEBRA DOWLIN
v.
KELLY SERVICES and UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEAL BOARD

Submitted: July 9, 2014

Upon Petitioner's Appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board's Decision.

Debra Dowlin, pro se, Appellant.

Kelly Services, Appellee.

Catherine Damavandi, Esquire, Deputy Attorney General, Wilmington, Delaware, Attorney for Appellee Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

OPINION

M. Jane Brady Superior Court Judge

I. STATEMENT OF FACTS

Debra Dowlin ("Petitioner") worked for Wilmington Trust[1], through Kelly Services. Her expectation was that the job was that of a trust assistant, an individual who "supports…the trust officers and helps out with customers…and doing paperwork."[2] When she began work, she was assigned the responsibility of "three years of back filing."[3] She acknowledged that she was informed that "when people start there, they usually help out with the filing."[4] She contends she was told the filing duties would last a few weeks, but after a month, she was still assigned to file, and her duties included moving large boxes of files, as a result of which she claimed "[her] back finally went out."[5] Petitioner then approached her supervisor and discussed the difference between her duties and the "agreed upon role...a Trust Administrator with the possibility of full time employment at M&T Trust Associates."[6] The director told Petitioner she would continue to do her job as a filing clerk, at which time Petitioner said that she "did not want to be a full-time file clerk."[7] Petitioner alleges that the director became upset when she told him that she was not interested in full-time employment as a file clerk.[8] Petitioner contends she asked the director if he wanted her to leave, [9] the director said "yes" and Petitioner left.[10]

The Petitioner filed for unemployment benefits, which were denied, and the Appeals Referee affirmed.[11] The Petitioner then appealed to the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board ("U.I.A.B."), which denied Petitioner's request for unemployment benefits, finding that Petitioner voluntarily left her employment.[12] Petitioner appeals the U.I.A.B.'s decision in order to receive unemployment benefits and avoid having to reimburse benefits received prior to the U.I.A.B.'s decision.

II. PETITIONER'S CONTENTIONS

Petitioner asserts that she "did not quit, "[13] but was asked to leave, and should not be denied benefits. Petitioner also presented "new" evidence consisting of email correspondence with Gigi Traynor, an employee of Kelly Services.[14] Petitioner also notes that she is unable to pay back the money she already received prior to the U.I.A.B.'s ruling.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

The standard under which a court reviews a decision of the Board is deferential.[15] The Board's decision is only to be disturbed in very limited circumstances.[16] In reviewing a decision on appeal from the Board, the Court must determine if the decision is supported by substantial evidence and is free from legal error.[17] Substantial evidence means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.[18] Further, a showing of substantial evidence requires less than a preponderance of the evidence, but "more than a mere scintilla."[19] If there is substantial evidence supporting the Board's decision and no error of law exists, the Court must affirm.[20] The court does not weigh evidence, determine ...


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