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Mars v. Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board

Superior Court of Delaware

October 8, 2019

OGBONYA MARS, Appellant,
v.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE APPEAL BOARD and DOVER DOWNS, Appellees.

          Submitted: July 2, 2019

         Upon an Appeal of the Decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board Affirmed.

          Ms. Ogbonya Mars, pro se Appellant.

          Daniel C. Mulveny, Esquire of the Department of Justice, Civil Division, Wilmington, Delaware; attorney for the Delaware Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board.

          ORDER

          William L. Witham Jr. Resident Judge.

         This is an appeal filed by the Employee-Appellant, Ogbonya Mars, from a decision of the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board (hereinafter, the "Board"), affirming the Appeal Referee's determination that Ms. Mars was discharged from her employment with "just cause." For the reasons set forth below, the decision of the Board is AFFIRMED.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         1. Ms. Mars was employed by Dover Downs (hereinafter the "Employer") as a supervisor of retail operations from March 7, 2018 until November 1, 2018.[1] One of Ms. Mars' duties was to sign off on the closing checklists for each of the Employer's stores at the end of her shift.[2] Ms. Mars was coached on several occasions because she was not performing her duties satisfactorily.[3] Employer also had a policy in place that prohibited carelessness or negligence, and Ms. Mars was aware of the policy.[4] On October 12, 2018, Ms. Mars was given a final warning.[5]Employer warned her that further violations may result in termination.[6] On October 31, 2018, Employer terminated Ms. Mars for failing to sign off on the store checklists.[7] A hearing was held on January 14, 2019, and the Appeals Referee (hereinafter the "Referee") determined that Ms. Mars was properly terminated for cause.[8] The Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board affirmed the decision.[9]

         PARTIES' CONTENTIONS

         2. Ms. Mars contends that another manager was supposed to sign the closing AM checklists on October 21, 2018.[10] Ms. Mars also admits that she was supposed to sign the PM checklists, and argues that there may have been some mistake or confusion which led to them not being signed.[11] She further argues that she did not see evidence considered in determining her final notice.[12] Ms. Mars also restates her argument that five stores all close around the same time, which makes her job impossible to perform properly, and contends that her supervisor lied about the closing times.[13]

         3. The Board determined that the Employer had shown sufficient evidence that there was just cause to terminate Ms. Mars. The evidence showed that Ms. Mars received a final warning, and that she was informed that further misconduct may result in termination.[14] The Board also agreed with the Referee who found that Ms. Mars did not sign off on the closing checklists, which resulted in the termination of her employment.[15] The Board found the Employer's version of events more credible - i.e. that the closing of the stores was staggered to allow for the closing process to be properly completed, and that Ms. Mars had to sign the checklists and failed to do so.[16]

         STANDARD OF REVIEW

         4. The Superior Court is limited in its review to "a determination of whether the Board's decision is supported by substantial evidence and free from legal error." Substantial evidence is "relevant evidence that a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion."[17] In reviewing the record for substantial evidence, the Court will consider the record in the light most favorable to the party prevailing below.[18] However, the "[C]ourt is not authorized to make its own factual findings, assess credibility of witnesses or weigh the evidence."[ ...


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