Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

White v. Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware

Superior Court of Delaware

December 13, 2018

DONNA WHITE, Claimant-Below/Appellant,
v.
THE COURT OF CHANCERY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE, Employer-Below/Appellee, and the UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEAL BOARD, Appellee.

          Submitted: September 24, 2018

          On Appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

          ORDER

          The Honorable Andrea L. Rocanelli

         This is an appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board ("UIAB"). Upon consideration of the facts, arguments, and legal authorities set forth by the parties; statutory and decisional law; and the entire record in this case, the Court hereby finds as follows:

         1. Appellant Donna White ("Employee") was employed by the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware ("Court of Chancery") from August 9, 2010 until her termination on November 11, 2017.

          2. Court of Chancery enforces a Code of Conduct for Judicial Branch Employees which prohibits use of an employee's official position to obtain personal privileges. The Code of Conduct permits disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Employee conceded that she received a copy of the Code of Conduct when she was hired by Court of Chancery.

         3. On October 6, 2017, Employee sent an e-mail message to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook CEO"), using the State of Delaware e-mail system. At the time, Facebook was a party in active litigation pending before the Court of Chancery, and Facebook CEO was expected to testify as a witness. Employee's e-mail message to Facebook CEO sought to solicit assistance and guidance regarding Employee's personal business venture. Concerned for the integrity of the Court of Chancery, Facebook CEO's attorney alerted the presiding Chancellor that Facebook CEO had received an e-mail message from Employee.

         4. Court of Chancery conducted an investigation. Following a period of suspension with pay and a pre-termination hearing, Employee was terminated for violating the Code of Conduct. Although Court of Chancery has a progressive discipline policy, Employee's conduct was considered by Court of Chancery to be so egregious that Employee was terminated immediately.

         5. Employee filed a claim for unemployment benefits with the Division of Unemployment. By decision dated November 12, 2017, a Claims Deputy found that Employee was terminated for just cause in connection with her employment and was therefore disqualified from the receipt of unemployment benefits pursuant to 19 Del. C. §3314(2).

         6. Employee appealed the Claims Deputy's decision to an Appeals Referee. By decision dated February 14, 2018, the Appeals Referee affirmed the decision of the Claims Deputy that Employee was disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits on the grounds that Employee was terminated for just cause.

         7. Employee appealed the Appeals Referee's decision to the UIAB. By decision dated April 25, 2018, the UIAB affirmed the Appeals Referee's decision disqualifying Employee from unemployment benefits ("UIAB Decision").

         8. Employee filed a timely appeal of the UIAB Decision to this Court.

         9. This Court reviews the UIAB Decision for an abuse of discretion.[1] This Court's review is limited to determining whether the UIAB's findings and conclusions are free from legal error and supported by substantial evidence on the record.[2] Substantial evidence is relevant evidence that a reasonable person could accept as adequate to support a conclusion.[3] If the record contains substantial evidence to support the UIAB's conclusion, the decision will not be disturbed.[4]

         10. Delaware's unemployment statute provides for "the compulsory setting aside of an unemployment reserve to be used for the benefit of persons unemployed through no fault of their own."[5] An employee who is discharged for "just cause" is disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.[6] "Just cause" is "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."[7] In the context of unemployment benefits, the Court has held that "'wilful' [sic] implies actual, specific, or evil intent, while 'wanton' implies needless, malicious or reckless conduct, but does not require actual intent to cause harm."[8] A single incident of misconduct can be sufficient to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.