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Virola v. Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

Superior Court of Delaware, Kent

November 10, 2014

JULIE VIROLA, Appellant,
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEAL BOARD, Appellee.

Submitted: January 24, 2014

Julie Virola, Pro Se.

Catherine C. Damavandi, Esq., Department of Justice, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Appellee.

ORDER

VAUGHN, President Judge

Upon consideration of the appellant's opening brief and the record of the case, it appears that:

1. The claimant, Julie Virola, appeals from a decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board denying her application for unemployment compensation benefits. The Board affirmed the decision of the Appeals Referee, which held the claimant voluntarily left her employment without good cause connected to her work and therefore, the claimant was disqualified from the receipt of unemployment benefits pursuant to 19 Del. C. § 3314(1).

2. The claimant was hired by Quality Management Associates as a Residential Counselor on June 6, 2013.[1] Following her first day of orientation on June 18, 2013, the claimant decided she was no longer interested, or capable of performing the job, and elected not to return.[2] In doing so, the claimant failed to inform the employer of her decision.[3]

3. Pursuant to 19 Del. C. § 3314, unemployment benefits are not available for an individual who leaves work "voluntarily without good cause attributed to such work..."[4] "The phrase 'voluntary quitting' means leaving on one's own motion, as opposed to being discharged."[5] When a claimant voluntarily quits a position, he or she has the burden to prove good cause by a preponderance of the evidence.[6] Good cause is "such cause as would justify one in voluntarily leaving the ranks of the employed and joining the ranks of the unemployed."[7] It requires a claimant's basis for voluntarily quitting be connected with the employment rather than for personal reasons.[8]

4. Ultimately, after reviewing the record and conducting an administrative hearing, the Board affirmed the Referee and Claims Deputy decisions, finding the claimant voluntarily quit her position with employer and subsequently failed to establish a good cause reason for doing so within the meaning 19 Del. C. § 3314(1).[9]As such, the Board determined the claimant was properly disqualified from receipt of unemployment benefits under the statute.[10]

5. On January 15, 2014, the claimant filed a timely appeal with this Court.[11]In her notice of appeal and opening brief, the claimant makes a number of contentions challenging the validity of the Board's aforementioned "good cause" determination.[12]

6. The limited function of the reviewing court is to determine whether substantial evidence supports the Board's findings, and whether they are free from legal error.[13] Substantial evidence is "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion."[14] "The appellate court does not weigh the evidence, determine questions of credibility, or make its own factual findings."[15] If there is substantial evidence and no mistake of law, the Board's decision must be affirmed.[16]

7. The record indicates the claimant voluntarily quit her job after only one day of orientation. As the Board pointed out, rather than discuss her concerns with management, like her perceived inability to perform, the claimant simply stopped showing up. While her reasons for leaving may have been in good faith, the record supports the Board's finding that they were personal to the claimant, and did not amount to "good cause" within the meaning of 19 Del. C. § 3314(1). Therefore, I find there was substantial evidence to support the Board's decision that, the claimant was disqualified from unemployment benefits pursuant to 19 Del. C. §3314(1).

8. The decision below is affirmed.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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