Submitted: January 8, 2018
Consideration of Appeal from Decision of the Unemployment
Insurance Appeal Board.
Zavala, pro se, Appellant.
E.M. Russell, Esquire, YOUNG CONAWAY STARGATT & TAYLOR,
LLP, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorney for Appellee Port to Port
Jarosz, Esquire and Victoria W. Counihan, Esquire, DELAWARE
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, Wilmington, Delaware. Attorneys for
Appellee Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.
an appeal from a decision of the Delaware Unemployment
Insurance Appeal Board ("UIAB" or
"Board"). Suendy Zavala, the Claimant, urges that
the UIAB incorrectly ruled that her separation from
employment with Port to Port International Corp. ("Port
to Port") was for cause. Finding substantial supporting
evidence and no legal error in the proceedings below, the
UIAB's decision is AFFIRMED.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
the record, it appears that Ms. Zavala began her tenure at
Port to Port in January of 2014 working in the "Towing
Department." Apparently Port to Port is involved in the
transit of automobiles into or off of ships at the Port of
Wilmington. While all of the work processes in the towing
department take us far afield of the issues in dispute, Ms.
Zavala believes she was very much responsible for their
to pass that more employees were added to the towing
department, some of whom found Ms. Zavala abrasive and
unpleasant to work with. In addition, the department had
direct interactions with clients in various Central American
countries, some of whom also found her interactions
disagreeable. Finally, Ms. Zavala clashed with her immediate
supervisor, whom she accused of engaging in deliberate
sabotage of her work. All of this was fleshed out in some
detail at the hearings below.
various less drastic measures had failed to convince Ms.
Zavala to adopt a more workmanlike attitude in the office,
Port to Port suspended her for a brief period and moved her
assignment to the Operations Department, where it was hoped
she would have a fresh start. But that move did little to
improve things. Ms. Zavala spent much of her time back in the
Towing Department or otherwise outside of her now more
limited "lane" of responsibilities in the
Operations Department. After a brief trial run of a few weeks
at this job, Port to Port decided to terminate Ms.
Zavala's employment on April 18, 2017.
Zavala filed for unemployment compensation benefits. The
first hearing, before an Appeals Referee, was attended by Ms.
Zavala, her Towing Department Supervisor, and her Operations
Department Supervisor. After hearing the evidence, the
Referee sided with the employer, ruling that Ms. Zavala was
precluded from receiving benefits because her termination was
for just cause.
Ms. Zavala appealed to the full Board where further testimony
was taken, now from some of Ms. Zavala's coworkers, both
for and against. After considering all of the testimony, the
Board concluded that Ms. Zavala's termination was for