CHANTEL A. CHRISTIAN, Appellant,
NEW CASTLE COUNTY HEAD START, WENDY MARSILLI and ROBIN BROWN, Appellees.
Submitted: January 24, 2018
Appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
HONORABLE ANDREA L. ROCANELLI JUDGE.
an appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
("Board"). Upon consideration of the facts,
arguments, and legal authority set forth by the parties;
statutory and decisional law; and the entire record in this
case, the Court hereby finds as follows:
Appellant Chantel A. Christian ("Employee") worked
as a Head Teacher at New Castle County Head Start
("Employer") from March 2015 until her termination
on April 21, 2017.
Employer has a Social Media Policy and a Disciplinary Action
for Cause Policy. The Disciplinary Action for Cause Policy
provides, "Any employee who uses a personal website or
other form of social media to disparage the name or
reputation of [Employer], its practices, its governing
bodies, officers, employees, volunteers or partners will be
subject to serious disciplinary action, up to and including
termination of employment." Employee acknowledged
receipt of the Social Media Policy and the Disciplinary
Action for Cause Policy in March 2015.
February 7, 2017, Employee made a negative post on her
Facebook account regarding Employer and her co-workers.
Employee identified herself as a Teacher with Employer on her
Facebook account. In addition, Employee's post
specifically identified Employer by the acronym
Employer was informed about Employee's negative social
media posts and began an investigation. During the
investigation, Employer discovered another negative social
media post on Employee's Facebook account regarding her
position with Employer.
Employer terminated Employee on April 21, 2017 for violating
Employer's Social Media Policy.
Employee filed a claim for unemployment benefits with the
Division of Unemployment Insurance. By decision dated May 12,
2017, a Claims Deputy found that Employee was terminated for
just cause and disqualified from receiving benefits pursuant
to 19 Del. C. § 3314(2) ("Section
May 17, 2017, Employee appealed the Claim Deputy's
decision to an Appeals Referee. The Appeals Referee held a
hearing on June 6, 2017. At the hearing, the Appeals Referee
heard testimony from Employer's representatives and
Employee. The Appeals Referee also admitted several documents
into evidence, including Employee's Facebook posts and
Employer's Social Media and Disciplinary Cause for Action
June 19, 2017, the Appeals Referee affirmed the Claims
Deputy's decision disqualifying Employee from benefits
pursuant to Section 3314(2). The Appeals Referee concluded
that there was just cause for termination because
Employee's violation of Employer's Social Media
Policy constituted willful and wanton misconduct.
June 22, 2017, Employee appealed the Appeals Referee's
decision to the Board. The Board held a hearing on July 5,
2017. By decision dated August 7, 2017, the Board affirmed
the Appeals Referee's decision disqualifying Employee