Adminstrative Law Judge Hearings
Unemployment Compensation appeals hearing is conducted by an impartial
administrative law judge. The purpose of the hearing is to decide
whether unemployment benefits should be granted or denied. Anyone
with an interest in the outcome of the hearing is a "party"
to the hearing. The parties associated with most hearings include
the claimant and the employer.
It is the Judge's job to make sure all parties receive a fair hearing. A fair hearing means an impartial judge will decide your case after considering the testimony of all witnesses and other evidence. He or she will make sure you understand the proceeding and that you have the time you need to present any information relevant to your case.
The hearing will result in a written decision by the Judge that either affirms, modifies, or dismisses the initial decision from the UC Deputy.
Your Scheduled Hearing
You will receive a Notice of Hearing. This will state when and where the appeal hearing is to take place. Your hearing may be held by telephone. Carefully note the DATE, TIME, and LOCATION of the hearing. If it is a telephone hearing, you will receive a copy of all documents in your file.
You must make every effort to attend the hearing. Only if you have a very important commitment that absolutely cannot be changed should you request a postponement. Generally, hearings will not be postponed for personal reasons, vacations, plant shut downs or business appointments.
Prepare for Your Hearing and Gather Evidence
This appeal hearing may be your last opportunity to present your case, so be thoroughly prepared.
Unemployment Compensation appeal hearings are called "de novo," which is Latin for "from the beginning." This means your hearing will be truly impartial and independent of the initial decision that granted or denied your benefits. The Judge who conducts the hearing is not bound by the initial decision and will base his/her decision only on the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing.
letters, statements, or any other type of evidence were previously
presented to the unemployment office, and could be helpful to your
case, you are responsible for making sure they are presented again
at your appeal hearing. Decide who your witnesses will be, if any,
and make sure they will attend your hearing. You may request subpoenas
by contacting the Board of Review.
It is important that you are present at your appeal and that you arrive promptly. You are advised to arrive at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time of your hearing. If you do not appear and you are the appealing party, your appeal will be dismissed. If you do not appear and you are the non-appealing party, the hearing will continue without you, and facts favorable to you may not be considered. Failure to appear may result in a denial of rights of further appeal.
The Hearing Process
is a fact-finding process. It can be thought of as a trial, but
not as formal. The appeal hearing is carefully controlled by the
Judge. This is done to insure each person has an equal opportunity
to present his/her case.
Evidence for Consideration
Only evidence which has been presented at the hearing will be considered, therefore you should bring with you any documents or witnesses that can directly help your case. Carefully think through your case. Ask yourself what information, documents or witnesses will help to establish the facts in your favor.
You have the right to have an attorney represent you at your hearing. However, most parties come without an attorney. As always, the Judge will make sure all parties are given an opportunity to present their case. It is the Judge's job to make sure each party receives a fair and unbiased hearing, whether or not he or she chooses to have representation. If you believe your case is complicated or are uncomfortable presenting it yourself, then you have the right to have a lawyer, of your choice, present. Your legal representative will be given an opportunity to question the witnesses.
If you choose to have legal representation, contact your attorney immediately so as to allow ample time for them to prepare for the hearing. It is your responsibility to notify him or her of the time and place of the hearing and to discuss any fees associated with that representation. The Board of Review will review the amount the attorney charges you to make certain the fee is not excessive.
If you need special services, such as accommodations for persons with disabilities or an interpreter to present your facts at the hearing, contact the Board of Review in advance so the necessary arrangements can be made in time for your hearing, (304)558-2636 or (800)635-0189.