Submitted: June 8, 2018
Below-Superior Court of the State of Delaware C.A. No.
STRINE, Chief Justice; SEITZ and TRAYNOR, Justices.
F. TRAYNOR JUSTICE.
30th day of July 2018, upon consideration of the
appellant's opening brief and the record below, it
appears to the Court that:
appellant, Yolanda Bouyer-Bello, filed this appeal from the
Superior Court's March 12, 2018 order affirming the
decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
("UIAB"). We find no merit to the appeal and,
therefore, affirm the Superior Court's judgment.
Bouyer-Bello was an employee of Tricell Communications, LLC
between June 2016 and April 2017. She was terminated for
violating Tricell's policy against working while under
the influence of drugs or alcohol. On May 18, 2017, a
Department of Labor claims deputy found that Bouyer-Bello was
eligible for unemployment benefits because she was not
discharged for just cause. Tricell appealed the decision.
June 14, 2017, the appeals referee held a telephonic hearing
on Tricell's appeal. The appeals referee heard testimony
from Bouyer-Bello and her manager. The appeals referee found
that Tricell fired Bouyer-Bello for just cause, and, more
particularly, because she left the store unmanned to smoke in
the back and admitted to being high. Bouyer-Bello appealed
the appeals referee's decision to the UIAB.
September 13, 2017, the UIAB held a hearing on
Bouyer-Bello's appeal. The UIAB heard testimony from
Bouyer-Bello, her manager, and the store owner. The UIAB
affirmed the appeals referee's decision, finding the
manager's testimony more credible than Bouyer-Bello's
and that Tricell had just cause to terminate Bouyer-Bello.
Bouyer-Bello appealed the UIAB's decision to the Superior
an order dated March 12, 2018, the Superior Court affirmed
the UIAB's decision. The Superior Court found that there was
substantial evidence to support the UIAB's conclusion
that Tricell terminated Bouyer-Bello for just
cause.This appeal followed.
This Court's review of an appeal from the UIAB to the
Superior Court is limited to a determination of whether there
is substantial evidence in the record to support the
UIAB's findings and whether such findings are free from
legal error.Substantial evidence is such relevant
evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to
support a conclusion. Like the Superior Court, this Court
considers the record in the light most favorable to the party
prevailing on the UIAB appeal. We do not weigh the evidence,
determine questions of credibility, or make our own factual
employee who is discharged for just cause is disqualified
from receiving unemployment benefits. Generally, there is just
cause if an employee commits a "willful or wanton act or
pattern of conduct in violation of the employer's
interest, the employee's duties, or the employee's
expected standard of conduct." The employer bears the
burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that the
employee was terminated for just cause.
appeal, Bouyer-Bello argues that there was no evidence to
support the manager's testimony and that the manager made
false statements. We have carefully reviewed the record in
this case, including the transcripts of the hearings before
the appeals referee and the UIAB. There was substantial
evidence to support the UIAB's finding that Bouyer-Bello
was terminated for just cause.
This evidence included Tricell's policy against working
while under the influence of drugs and the manager's
testimony that (i) there was a strong odor of burning fluid
in the store, (ii) Bouyer-Bello left the store unattended to
smoke in the back, (iii) she had a strange smile and glassy
eyes, (iv) she appeared to be intoxicated and in no condition
to deal with customers, and (v) she admitted to being high.
Bouyer-Bello herself testified before the appeals referee
that she nodded yes when the manager asked her if she was
high. Bouyer-Bello subsequently claimed that she was nodding
sarcastically, but the UIAB found the manager's testimony
more credible. "The credibility of witnesses, the weight
of their testimony, and the reasonable inferences to be drawn
therefrom are for the ...