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Torres-Rodriguez v. Young Leader Summer Camp (Manna Academy)

Superior Court of Delaware, New Castle

May 22, 2015

LYMARIE TORRES-RODRIGUEZ, Appellant,
v.
YOUNG LEADER SUMMER CAMP (MANNA ACADEMY) & UNEMPLOYENT INSURANCE APPEALS BOARD, Appellees.

Submitted: April 8, 2015

Upon Appellant's Appeal of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board's Decision:

Lymarie Torres-Rodriguez, pro se, 618-A N. Harrison St., Wilmington, Delaware 19805; Appellant.

Paige Schmittinger, Esquire and Victoria Counihan, Esquire, Delaware Department of Justice, 820 N. French St., Wilmington, Delaware 19801; Attorneys for Appellee Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.

Young Leader Summer Camp (Manna Academy), 1200 Northeast Blvd., Wilmington, Delaware 19805; Appellee Young Leader Summer Camp (Manna Academy).

OPINION AND ORDER

FERRIS W. WHARTON, JUDGE.

I. INTRODUCTION

Lymarie Torres-Rodriguez ("Appellant") filed a Notice of Appeal on October 17, 2014 requesting judicial review of the October 13, 2014 decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board ("UIAB"). Appellant contends that the UIAB erred in dismissing her appeal on jurisdictional grounds.

In considering the appeal, the Court must determine whether the UIAB's decision to dismiss Appellant's appeal is supported by substantial evidence and free from legal error. Upon consideration of the pleadings before the Court and the record below, the Court finds that there is substantial evidence to support the UIAB's ruling and the UIAB did not err in dismissing Appellant's appeal on jurisdictional grounds. Accordingly, the UIAB's decision is AFFIRMED.

II. FACTUALANDPROCEDURALCONTEXT

Appellant was employed as a full-time teacher by Young Leader Summer Camp ("Manna Academy") from December 18, 2013 until June 17, 2014.[1]Appellant applied for unemployment insurance through the Department of Labor ("DOL") and was notified on August 11, 2014 that she was disqualified from receiving benefits under 19 Del. C. § 3314(1) because she left work voluntarily without good cause.[2] Appellant appealed the determination and a hearing was scheduled before an Appeals Referee ("Referee").

At the September 4, 2014 hearing before the Referee, representatives of Manna Academy and Appellant testified. Appellant testified that she was terminated from her job supervising the infant classroom at Manna Academy on June 17, 2014.[3] Appellant asserted that she did not voluntarily quit but was fired.[4]Appellant explained that she believed she had been terminated because she was asked to move from the infant group classroom to supervise another classroom.[5]

Representatives of Manna Academy disagreed and asserted that Appellant voluntarily quit her job. The director of Manna Academy, Anne Forde, testified that on June 17, 2014, Forde asked Appellant to supervise a different Manna Academy classroom based upon staffing needs at the time.[6] Forde asserted that Appellant refused to move from the infant classroom[7] and that Appellant's refusal to be reassigned resulted in an argument between Forde and Appellant after which Appellant left the Manna Academy premises and did not return.[8] Forde testified that Appellant was not terminated by Manna Academy but that Appellant left voluntarily following the argument.[9]

By letter dated September 10, 2014, the Referee notified Appellant that Appellant was ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits under 19 Del. C. § 3314(1) because the Referee found that Appellant voluntarily quit her job.[10] The Referee noted that "[d]uring the hearing, Claimant conceded that the Employer did not inform her that her employment was to be terminated."[11] Additionally, the cover page of the Referee's letter decision designates "9/20/2014" ...


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