Submitted: March 26, 2019
Appeal from the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board
L. ROCANELLI, JUDGE
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:
Appellant Ka-Dadra Dye ("Employee") was terminated
from employment on March 6, 2018 for not returning to work
after a leave of absence.
June 6, 2018, a Claims Deputy issued a Determination finding
that Employee was terminated for just cause and was therefore
disqualified from the receipt of unemployment benefits. The
Claims Deputy's Determination was mailed to Employee on
June 6, 2018 at the Employee's address of record with
notice that the Determination would become final on June 16,
2018 unless a written appeal was filed.
Determination became final and binding on June 16, 2018 in
the absence of a timely-filed appeal.
July 9, 2018, Employee filed an untimely request for appeal
of the Claims Deputy's Determination.
July 25, 2018, an Appeals Referee held a hearing on the sole
issue of the timeliness of Employee's appeal. The Appeals
Referee affirmed the Claims Deputy's Determination
because Employee failed to file a timely appeal within the
jurisdictional timeframe set by 19 Del. C. §
3318(b) ("Referee's Decision").
Employee filed a timely appeal of the Referee's Decision
with the UIAB. By decision dated September 28, 2018, the UIAB
affirmed the Referee's Decision concluding that
Employee's request for appeal was untimely and thus not
reviewable ("UIAB Decision").
Employee filed a timely appeal of the UIAB Decision to this
Court reviews the UIAB Decision for an abuse of
discretion. 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. Substantial evidence is relevant
evidence that a reasonable person could accept as adequate to
support a conclusion. If the record contains substantial
evidence to support the UIAB's conclusion, the decision
will not be disturbed.
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." An employee who is discharged for
"just cause" is disqualified from receiving
unemployment benefits. "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." 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." A single incident of misconduct can be
sufficient to establish just cause for
termination. An employer bears the burden of proving by
a preponderance of the evidence that an employee was
terminated for just cause.
Upon receipt of a claim for unemployment benefits, a Claims
Deputy reviews the claim and issues a determination of the
claimant's eligibility for benefits. Unless a
claimant files an appeal of a Claims Deputy's
determination within ten calendar days after such
determination was mailed to the ...