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Cannon v. BesTemps

Superior Court of Delaware

January 7, 2019

Cannon
v.
BesTemps,

          Date Submitted: December 17, 2018

         On Appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board: AFFIRMED

         Dear Mr. Cannon and Counsel:

         Alfred Cannon appeals the decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board ("the Board") to dismiss his appeal from an Appeals Referee's determination that Mr. Cannon is not entitled to unemployment insurance benefits. The Board's decision is affirmed for the reasons stated below.

         I. Factual and Procedural Background

         Mr. Cannon was employed by BesTemps ("Employer") until December 5, 2017. Mr. Cannon filed for unemployment insurance benefits effective February 4, 2018. A Claims Deputy concluded Mr. Cannon had voluntarily left his employment because he failed to maintain contact with Employer as required by the terms of his employment. The Claims Deputy's decision was mailed March 12, 2018. Mr. Cannon appealed this decision and a hearing was held before an Appeals Referee on April 12, 2018. The Appeals Referee affirmed the Claims Deputy's denial of benefits, finding Mr. Cannon had voluntarily terminated his relationship with Employer. The Appeals Referee's decision was mailed April 20, 2018. Mr. Cannon appealed to the Board. A hearing, originally scheduled for June 27, 2018, was rescheduled at Employer's request. Mr. Cannon failed to appear at the rescheduled hearing on August 8, 2018. Accordingly, the Board dismissed his appeal.

         Mr. Cannon now appeals the Board's dismissal to this Court. Briefing is complete and the matter is ripe for decision.

         II. Standard of Review

         When reviewing a decision of the Board, this Court must determine whether the Board's findings and conclusions of law are free from legal error and are supported by substantial evidence in the record.[1] "Substantial evidence" is "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion."[2] The Court's review is limited: "It is not the appellate court's role to weigh the evidence, determine credibility questions or make its own factual findings, but merely to decide if the evidence is legally adequate to support the agency's factual findings."[3]

         III. Discussion

         Employer is a "temporary help firm" as defined by Delaware law. Title 19 of the Delaware Code provides:

(a) For the purposes of this section, "temporary help firm" means a firm that hires its own employees and assigns them to clients to support or supplement the client's work force in work situations such as employee absences, temporary skill shortages, seasonal workloads and special assignments and projects. "Temporary employee" means an employee assigned to work for the clients of a temporary help firm.
(b) A temporary employee of a temporary help firm will be deemed to have voluntarily quit employment if the employee does not contact the temporary help firm for reassignment upon completion of an assignment. Failure to contact the temporary help firm will not be deemed a voluntary quit unless the claimant has been advised of the obligation to contact the firm upon completion of assignments and that unemployment benefits may be denied for failure to do so.[4]

         On September 14, 2017, Mr. Cannon signed an agreement with Employer ("the Policy") that ...


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