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An Unemployment Hearing - Do you need an Appeal Attorney?

By Edited Jul 14, 2016 1 4

Unemployment Hearing

Unemployment benefits are afforded to those that are discharged from work due to no fault of their own such as the company cutting back staff or hours to save costs as well as discrimination, a hostile working environment and lack of work.


The first necessary steps are to file an unemployment claim to have a determination made as to whether or not you are eligible to receive benefits.


Both employees and employers alike are able to appeal a state unemployment decision made by an officer of the state agency if either party disagrees with the facts stated at the initial determination through the process of an unemployment hearing.


Each state has their own set of rules governing eligibility requirements of employees as well as rules that employers must follow. These are the general guidelines for an unemployment hearing.


Read on to find out what to expect at the hearing and decide if you need an appeal attorney to help you litigate your case.


Unemployment Hearing Tips for Employees

  • When you receive your unemployment decision in the mail, open and read it completely immediately.
  • Find the section that lists the determining factors that the state local unemployment office used to make their decision to deny worker’s comp benefits.
  • If you have proof that you were wrongfully discharged or discharged by no fault of your own, you’ll want to read the section that tells you your rights for a hearing.
  • Fill in the area that states you want to request a hearing in front of a referee and return it by the date provided.
  • While you wait for a hearing date, gather any and all evidence that you have that can prove your case.
  • Arrive 15-20 minutes before the scheduled hearing to review the file.
  • All proceedings will be recorded by the referee.
  • The party that is appealing the unemployment decision has the burden of proof and is the party that speaks first. The referee has everyone present take an oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
  • The appealing party asks questions to the other party and then each of the witnesses.
  • The referee will intervene if questions are not properly composed or if any questions are inappropriate or do not pertain to the issues at hand and can also ask questions to clarify any points not fully understood.
  • The referee will end the hearing after all parties are questioned and will write a determination and mail it to all parties within one week.


Unemployment Hearing Tip for employees – Do you need an Appeal Attorney?

  • If you are unsure if you can state your claim properly, you may want to consider hiring an appeal attorney.
  • An appeal attorney has experience in litigation and cross examination and can help you to win your case, especially if you were wrongfully discharged or discharged by no fault of your own and still your unemployment benefits were denied.
  • An appeal attorney will cost anywhere from $200 - $400 and could be worth obtaining if you are entitled to receive unemployment benefits. The wages you earn could help you to afford an appeal attorney.
  • An appeal attorney will know and understand the state laws and can cross examine you, the employer and any witnesses to the events leading to your job loss.
  • Call and meet with an appeal attorney to present your case and discuss how he or she can help you. Bring any evidence you have to the meeting along with all of your unemployment paperwork.
  • If you feel that you would be unable to cross examine witnesses or the employer with confidence, you very well may benefit from an appeal attorney.


Unemployment Hearing – Appeal Attorney Tips for Employers

  • Often companies and managers hire an appeal attorney to handle employee unemployment cases if they have all the evidence they need to present their case and to give the company the best chance of success.
  • An appeal attorney can be hired by a company if the company feels that the decision in favor of the employee was unwarranted.
  • Appeal attorneys are beneficial to companies and employers when a high ranking position or high paid position employee is involved.
  • Companies that do not have additional time or managers will also often hire an appeal attorney to be present during the hearing.
  • Companies that have little experience handling unemployment hearings on their own will often hire an appeal attorney.
  • Employers that are unfamiliar with cross examining witnesses may benefit from utilizing an appeal attorney for an unemployment hearing.
  • Companies that desire to keep their employment insurance from rising will often utilize an appeal attorney to make sure that all the state laws are followed and that all the available information is noted during the hearing.

Both sides are still permitted one more opportunity to file an appeal of the decision from the hearing. Fill out the form received with the decision on it by the date required and all hearing information and the tapes will be forwarded to the state office in your capital city for a board to review everything and make one final decision.


These tips should help you know what to expect at an unemployment hearing and give you enough information to help you know if you would benefit from hiring an appeal attorney.

  Read more on how to get unemployment here



Mar 1, 2011 3:37pm
VERY good detail on this article. I have had to represent the employer at these and you have done a good job covering the details.
Mar 10, 2011 6:23pm
Thanks westernmom, there's alot people need to know about unemployment and appeal hearings:)
Mar 17, 2011 8:51am
This is a very detailed article, that could save a lot of people from confusion and frustration. Well done!
May 26, 2011 10:29am
I hope you're right Deborah!
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