Submitted: June 26, 2019
Appellant Seaford Internal Medicine, LLC's Appeal Granted
Jennifer G. Brady, Esquire, Potter Anderson & Corroon
LLP, Hercules Plaza -Sixth Floor, Attorney for Appellant.
C. Mulveny, Esquire, State of Delaware Department of Justice,
Carvel State Office Building, Attorney for Unemployment
Insurance Appeal Board
Maria Sandoval, Pro Se,
this appeal from a decision of the Unemployment Insurance
Appeal Board ("the Board") the dispositive issue is
what is good cause justifying an employee's voluntarily
leaving her job, but still retaining the right to
unemployment benefits. Appellee, Maria Sandoval quit her job
because she was not given the raise she claimed was promised
her at her ten year anniversary. The Board found Ms.
Sandoval's complaints legitimate, and ample evidence in
the record supports that finding. I am sympathetic to Ms.
Sandoval's circumstance. However, the controlling
Delaware Supreme Court precedent requires that the reason for
voluntarily leaving employment must be such that"... no
reasonably prudent employee would have remained
employed;" to constitute good cause, and allowing the
employee to remain eligible for unemployment compensation.
Using that high standard, and with some reluctance I reverse
the decision of the Board.
Sandoval was employed by Seaford Internal Medicine, LLC
("Seaford Medicine") or a related entity from March
2008 until she voluntarily left in October of 2018. The
essence of her dispute with her employer was her contention
that it had promised her an all expenses paid for trip and
$1.00 per hour raise on her tenth year work anniversary. The
parties had no written agreement, and the employer disputed
Ms. Sandoval's claims.
surprising over ten years things change. According to the
employer it had financial difficulties which prevented it
from giving Ms. Sandoval the raise she asked for and which
she believed she had been promised. By the ten year
anniversary Ms. Sandoval had received other raises and was
earning $17.00 per hour.
Medicine's managing partner, Jona Gorra, M.D. tried to
resolve the issues, eventually paying $3, 000.00 to Sandoval
in lieu of a trip, and offering a $.25 per hour raise. The
raise was effective in Sandoval's paycheck for the week
of September 19, 2018. Shortly after receiving the check
November, 2018 a Claims Deputy denied Sandoval's claim
for unemployment benefits, finding she voluntarily resigned
without good cause. In January, 2019 an Appeals Referee
reversed the decision, finding that a substantial reduction
in compensation from the original agreement of hire had
occurred. In March, 2019 a majority of the Board concluded
that Seaford Medicine made a substantial deviation from the
terms of employment giving Sandoval "good cause to
Board mailed its decision to the parties on March 21, 2019.
19 Del. C. §3322(a) dictates that the decision
would be final March 31, 2019 (a Sunday). 19 Del. C.
§3323(a) gives parties 10 days to appeal a Board
decision. The appeal was filed by Seaford Medicine on April
11, 2019. I have received as part of this case file a letter
from an attorney for the Board in which he contends the
appeal is untimely, having been filed 11 days from March
response Seaford Medicine argues that Superior Court Civil
Rule 6(a) controls and because the appeal period is less than
11 days, intervening weekends and holidays are not to be
counted in calculating the 10 day period. Counting to 10
should not be difficult. On the other hand Rule 6(a)
recognizes that when short periods of time are allotted
intervening periods where traditionally government agencies,
and people in general, are not working justifies not counting
the days of leisure. Superior Court Civil Rule 6(a) reads in
"Computation. In computing any period of time
prescribed or allowed by these Rules, by order of court, or
by statute, the day of the act, event or default after which
the designated period of time begins to run shall not be
included. The last day of the period so computed shall be
included, unless it is a Saturday or Sunday, or other legal
holiday, or other day of which the office of the Prothonotary
is closed, in which the office of the Prothonotary is open.
When the period of time prescribed or allowed is less than 11
days, intermediate Saturdays, Sundays, and other legal
holidays shall be excluded in the computation. As used in
this rule, ...