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appeals division
employer FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)


Employer Questions

1. Who can file an appeal?
You, your former employee (the claimant), or any other base period employer of your former employee who is affected by a decision of the Administrator.
2. What happens once an appeal is filed?
It is forwarded to the appropriate office of the Appeals Division for the scheduling of a hearing before an Appeals Referee.
3. What happens if one of the parties fails to attend the hearing?
If the party that appealed does not attend, the appeal will probably be dismissed and the Administrator's decision will stay the same. If the claimant appealed and you fail to attend the hearing, the Referee's decision may be based solely on the claimant's testimony. Therefore, it is very important that you attend the hearing unless a postponement is granted.
4. What should I do if I am unable to attend the hearing?
Notify the Appeals Division immediately to request a postponement. The telephone number of the Appeals Division office is printed at the top of the Notice of Hearing. Postponements are granted only for very good reasons. Make sure that you notify the Appeals Division as soon as possible before the hearing if you are unable to attend for any reason.
5. Do I need a lawyer?
Usually not. By carefully following the instructions in this pamphlet, an unrepresented employer should be able to gather the necessary evidence. The Referee will assist you in presenting your case. However, you have the right to be represented by an attorney or other representative of your choice. You may request a list of independent hearing representatives by completing the web form at  If you have a representative, you are responsible for paying your representative's fee. If you do not have a representative at the Referee's hearing and later decide that you should have one, this will not provide good cause for another Referee's hearing. 

If you are represented by an agent representing you for a fee, that agent must register with the Board of Review and comply with the code of conduct promulgated by the Board. The agent may be subject to a penalty for violations of the code. 

If you have other legal disputes with your employee, such as arbitration, workers' compensation, or discrimination cases, and you are represented in those disputes, you should inform your attorney or representative about your unemployment claim. Although an unemployment compensation decision cannot be used against you in any other case, what happens in your unemployment appeal may affect other disputes with your employee.

6. How should I prepare for the hearing?
Start immediately to gather any papers relating to the issues such as correspondence from the claimant, union contracts, warning notices or medical statements. Also, be certain that any witnesses who have direct knowledge of the events in question are available to attend the hearing

If you plan to have a lawyer or other representative, do so as soon as possible, so that your representative will have time to prepare. Notify the Appeals Division of the name and address of your representative so that person can be informed of hearings or other proceedings. You must decide before the hearing whether you need representation. You will not be given a new hearing just because you later decide that you should have been represented. 

It is your responsibility to present evidence and testimony to prove your case. The Referee does not investigate or contact witnesses for you. He or she will act on the basis of information in the file and evidence and testimony presented at the hearing. The Referee will not be able to consider evidence provided after the hearing. 

The hearing before the Referee is the only chance that you will have to tell your story. Be prepared to tell the Referee everything you think is important and to present all witnesses and evidence at the hearing. You will not be allowed another hearing to present evidence which you failed to offer the first time unless you had good cause for your failure.

7. How will the hearing be conducted?
Hearings are informal. The Referee explains the procedure and reads into the record the relevant information on file. This may include the fact finding report and all other documentation from the first hearing at the American Job Center. You are not bound by the statements in the fact finding report and will be given an opportunity to present your version of the facts fully. However, if your testimony differs from your fact finding statement, you should be prepared to explain why. All parties and witnesses must testify under oath.
8. How will I know what to tell the Referee?
The Referee will ask questions designed to obtain the necessary information. Listen carefully, and answer directly and plainly. Give complete and accurate information, without rambling or bringing in unrelated issues. You will be permitted to question the other parties and witnesses. Before the end of the hearing, the Referee will give you an opportunity to add anything you feel is important and to make a closing statement.
9. How will I be informed of the decision?
The Referee will mail a written decision to you, your representative, and other interested parties and their agents, including the Unemployment Compensation Department, as soon as possible. The decision will explain your right of appeal.
10. What can I do if the decision is not in my favor?
If you disagree, you can appeal to the Employment Security Board of Review. If you have new or additional information, you can write to the Referee and ask to have the case reopened. 

Usually, a motion to reopen will be granted only if you give a good reason why you did not present the information at the Referee's hearing. If you did not attend the Referee's hearing, the case will not be reopened unless you prove to the Referee that you had a good reason for not attending. If the case is reopened, another hearing may be held, if needed. A new decision will be issued, which can also be appealed.


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