Justia Labor & Employment Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Delaware Supreme Court

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Linda Thompson appealed from a Superior Court judgment reversing the determination of the Unemployment Appeals Board (UIAB) that good cause existed for Thompson's voluntary resignation and granting her unemployment benefits. Thompson contended that good cause existed for voluntarily terminating her employment, that she exhausted her administrative remedies, and that substantial evidence in the record supported the UIAB's decision. The court affirmed the judgment of the Superior Court and held that substantial evidence did not support the UIAB's decision and the UIAB erred as a matter of law by concluding that Thompson was entitled to benefits pursuant to 19 Del. C. 3314(1).

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Sally Jackson appealed from a Superior Court order affirming the judgment of the Industrial Accident Board (IAB) denying her claim for total disability compensation. She claimed that both the IAB and the Superior Court erroneously denied her claim because her retirement did not bar her ability to receive workers' compensation benefits. The court held that the record contained sufficient evidence to support the IAB's decision to deny her total disability benefits where Jackson voluntarily retired for a reason other than her work-related knee injury, had removed herself from the job market without seeking reemployment or contemplating seeking it, and was enjoying her retirement lifestyle with her husband. Accordingly, the court affirmed the Superior Court's order.

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Appellant appealed a termination decision by appellees (collectively, "Panel") after the Panel unanimously voted at a public hearing to terminate appellant's employment as Chief of Police. At issue was whether the Superior Court erred in holding that the votes of the remaining Panel members could cure the Panel's unlawful failure to recuse a biased member; whether the Superior Court erred in affirming the Panel's failure to provide appellant with the protections of Chapter 48 of the Police Department's rules and Regulations; and whether the Superior Court erred in concluding that the Panel provided appellant with sufficient notice of the grounds for the charges against him at the public hearing. The court held that appellant's testimony established a prima facie case of bias by a Councilman and the Panel's failure to recuse him could not be cured by votes of the remaining Panel members. Therefore, appellant's due process rights were violated. The court also held that because this ground for reversal was independently sufficient, the court declined to address appellant's other arguments. Accordingly, the judgment of the Superior Court was reversed and the case remanded for further proceedings.