“Hearing Ettiquette”

Unemployment Insurance (UI) hearings can often be a confusing and intimidating for employers. Essentially it is a mini courtroom trial either held in person or by telephone. Either way, it can be a serious headache for employers who enter unprepared – an unprepared employers usually lose. The following tips on UI hearings can make the process a bit easier for you (as an employer) and could also help produce a better outcome.

  • Always be prepared – gather together all of your witnesses (those members of your staff who actually have something to do with the incident in question), documentation, and other evidence. Be sure to go over all of the evidence so that those who will testify have their “stories” straight.
  • Be polite – never let your emotions get the best of you. If you do, your job of winning the case becomes that much more difficult.
  • Don’t speculate or guess when answering a question from either the judge or the claimant (or their advocate). If you don’t know the answer to the question then say so. If asked to speculate or guess, be certain that they understand you are doing so.
  • Be clear and concise – don’t ramble. Answer the question you were asked and then add nothing more (rambling can get you into trouble and give the opposition ammunition with which to work).
  • Write down inconsistencies or improper testimony for use when you get to cross examine the other party or their witnesses. Your job is to catch them in lies and to prove your side of the argument. Use these inconsistencies to strengthen your case.
  • Ensure that you are asking questions and not trying to testify when cross examining the other party. This will put the judge squarely on the oppositions side.

These are just a few tips for making the hearing process a bit less intimidating. Use these and get assistance with your hearings until you feel more comfortable with the process. Winning UI hearings is critical to managing your UI costs and will save you significant money.