Patricia L. Boon
Jolly Smiles, P.A., and Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board
Margaret M. DiBianca, Esquire Lauren E. M. Russell, Esquire
Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, LLP.
Ms. Boon and Counsel:
an appeal from a split decision of the Unemployment Insurance
Appeals Board in which the majority of the Board held that
Ms. Boon was not eligible for benefits because she
voluntarily left her employment without good cause. In her
appeal Ms. Boon makes the factual argument that the majority
of the UIAB was wrong when it found that she voluntarily left
her employment without good cause.
settled law that the scope of this court's review of UIAB
decisions is a narrow one. Section 3323 of title 19 of the
Delaware Code provides that in appeals from the UIAB to this
court "the findings of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal
Board as to the facts, if supported by evidence and in the
absence of fraud, shall be conclusive, and the jurisdiction
of the Court shall be confined to questions of
law." This court owes considerable deference to
the factual findings of the UIAB and may not disturb them if
they are supported by substantial evidence. The term
"substantial evidence" means "such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion." In determining whether there is
substantial evidence to support the UIAB's finding
"[t]he appellate court does not weigh the evidence,
determine questions of credibility, or make its own factual
findings. It is within the exclusive purview of the [UIAB] to
judge witness credibility and resolve conflicts in
testimony." The court realizes that the Board was
divided 3 to 2. But section 3323 draws no distinction between
a unanimous board and one which is divided. Therefore the
decision of a divided board is entitled to the same deference
as is that of one which was unanimous.
factual issue presented in Ms. Boon's case is whether
there was substantial evidence to support the Board's
finding that she quit her job without good cause. Delaware
law provides that an employee is not eligible for
unemployment benefits if the employee "left work
voluntarily without good cause attributable to such
work." "Good cause" in this context is
"established where: (i) an employee voluntarily leaves
employment for reasons attributable to issues within the
employer's control and under circumstances in which no
reasonably prudent employee would have remained employed; and
(ii) the employee first exhausts all reasonable alternatives
to resolve the issues before voluntarily terminating his or
court has reviewed the evidence presented to the UIAB and
finds that there is substantial evidence in the record to
support its finding. The main bone of contention here seems
to be whether Ms. Boon voluntarily quit or whether she was
terminated. The UIAB after reviewing the "credibility of
the witnesses, the weight to be given to their testimony and
the inferences to be drawn therefrom" concluded that Ms.
Boon voluntarily quit. This conclusion was drawn primarily
from the testimony of Joe Jolly, the employer's
representative at the hearings and an eyewitness to the
critical events in this matter. Notwithstanding Ms.
Boon's urgings to the contrary, this court is not free to
substitute its assessment of Mr. Jolly's testimony for
that of the Board. Accordingly, there is substantial evidence
in the record to support the Board's finding.
3323 permits this court to disregard the Board's factual
findings if the appellant can show fraud. In her submittal to
this court Ms. Boon contends that the employer defrauded
patients or third-party payers by billing for work which was
never done. This is not the sort of fraud envisioned in
section 3323. That section contemplates situations in which
the administrative decision was procured by fraud. No such
allegation is made here.
judgment of the UIAB is AFFIRMED.
A. PARKINS, JR. JUDGE
 19 Del. C. §
Unemployment Ins. Appeal Bd. v.
337 A.2d 308, 308 (Del. ...