K. S. v. Canada Employment Insurance Commission

Institution:
Social Security Tribunal decision - Appeal Division
Member:
Pierre Lafontaine
Hearing date:
N/A
Hearing type:
N/A
Between:
K. S. and Canada Employment Insurance Commission
Decision:
Application for leave to appeal is refused
Decision date:
October 23, 2018
Reference number:
AD-18-574
Citation:
K. S. v. Canada Employment Insurance Commission, 2018 SST 1092

Decision and Reasons

Decision

[1] The Tribunal refuses leave to appeal to the Appeal Division.

Overview

[2] The Applicant, K. S. (Claimant), made an initial claim for regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, stating that she had quit her employment. The Respondent, the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (Commission), informed the Claimant that it was unable to pay her regular EI benefits because she had voluntarily left her employment without just cause, within the meaning of the Employment Insurance Act (EI Act). The Claimant requested that the Commission reconsider its decision; however, it maintained its original decision. The Claimant appealed the Commission decision to the General Division.

[3] The General Division found that the Claimant had quit her job and that she had reasonable alternatives to quitting her employment, which included having discussions with her employer about accommodating her stress levels, consulting a doctor about her stress issues, and looking for and securing alternate employment before leaving.

[4] The Claimant now seeks leave to appeal of the General Division’s decision to the Appeal Division. She essentially reiterates the facts that she presented to the General Division. She feels the General Division decision was unfair and that the General Division refused to exercise its authority. She submits that there appears to be a twisting of words in the General Division decision regarding the background of and reasoning behind her resignation.

[5] On September 18, 2018, the Tribunal sent a letter to the Claimant asking that she explain in detail her grounds of appeal. The Claimant did not reply to the Tribunal’s request within the time provided.

[6] The Tribunal must decide whether the General Division has made a reviewable error based on which the appeal might succeed.

[7] The Tribunal refuses leave to appeal because the Claimant’s appeal has no reasonable chance of success.

Issue

[8] Does the Claimant’s appeal have a reasonable chance of success based on a reviewable error made by the General Division?

Analysis

[9] Subsection 58(1) of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act (DESD Act) specifies the only grounds of appeal of a General Division decision. These reviewable errors are that the General Division failed to observe a principle of natural justice or otherwise acted beyond or refused to exercise its jurisdiction; erred in law in making its decision, whether or not the error appears on the face of the record; or based its decision on an erroneous finding of fact that it had made in a perverse or capricious manner or without regard for the material before it.

[10] An application for leave to appeal is a preliminary step to a hearing on the merits. It is an initial hurdle for the Claimant to meet, but it is lower than the one that must be met on the hearing of the appeal on the merits. At the leave to appeal stage, the Claimant does not have to prove her case; she must instead establish that the appeal has a reasonable chance of success based on a reviewable error. In other words, the Claimant must show that there is arguably some reviewable error based on which the appeal might succeed.

[11] Therefore, before leave can be granted, the Tribunal must be satisfied that the reasons for appeal fall within any of the above-mentioned grounds of appeal and that at least one of the reasons has a reasonable chance of success.

[12] This means that the Tribunal must be in a position to determine, in accordance with s. 58(1) of the DESD Act, whether there is an issue of natural justice, jurisdiction, law, or fact that may lead to the setting aside of the General Division decision under review.

Issue: Does the Claimant’s appeal have a reasonable chance of success based on a reviewable error made by the General Division?

[13] In her application for leave to appeal, the Claimant essentially reiterates the facts that she presented to the General Division, including that, hoping for change, she gave the employer five weeks’ notice, but to no avail. She feels the General Division decision was unfair and that the General Division refused to exercise its authority. She submits that there appears to be a twisting of words in the General Division decision regarding the background of and reasoning behind her resignation.

[14] In her application for benefits, the Claimant stated that she had left her job because it was a stressful initial position, at minimum wage, and that she was looking for a more suitable position for herself.Footnote 1

[15] The General Division concluded that the Claimant had quit her job and that she had reasonable alternatives to quitting her employment, which included having discussions with her employer about accommodating her stress levels, consulting a doctor about her stress issues, and looking for alternate employment before leaving.

[16] The General Division found that the Claimant created her own unemployment by quitting because the employment was “just not the job for her.”

[17] Unfortunately for the Claimant, an appeal to the Tribunal’s Appeal Division is not a new hearing, where a party can re-present their evidence and hope for a new favourable outcome.

[18] Furthermore, as stated by the General Division in its decision, the EI scheme is not intended to benefit those who lose their employment through their own actions. The Claimant chose to end her employment, which may have been a good personal choice for her at that time. However, a good personal choice is not synonymous with the requirements to prove just cause for leaving employment in s. 29 of the EI Act.

[19] In her application for leave to appeal, the Claimant has not identified any reviewable errors such as a refusal to exercise jurisdiction or any failure by the General Division to observe a principle of natural justice. She has not identified errors in law, nor has she identified any erroneous findings of fact that the General Division may have made in a perverse or capricious manner or without regard for the material before it when coming to its decision.

[20] For the above-mentioned reasons, after reviewing the docket of appeal and the General Division decision, and considering the Claimant’s arguments in support of her request for leave to appeal, the Tribunal finds that the appeal has no reasonable chance of success.

Conclusion

[21] The Tribunal refuses leave to appeal to the Appeal Division.

 

Representative:

K. S., self-represented

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