Using Documents in Your Appeal Hearing
Documents can be compelling evidence in your Unemployment appeal.
The appeal hearing is your opportunity to make your case. In the appeal hearing you will create a record by offering testimony, argument, and in some cases, documentary evidence. Documents often become critical items of evidence in an unemployment case, and you can win or lose a case on documents. If you wish to submit and rely on documents in your hearing, you must follow certain basic rules.
Let’s talk about what the main rules are for using documents in unemployment hearings:
- Documents must be submitted to the Opposing Party 48 hours in advance
If you want the Appeal Tribunal to consider your documents at the hearing, you must assure that the opposing party receives the documents at least 48 hours before the scheduled hearing. Even if you have already sent the documents to the claims adjudicator, you must still send the documents to the opposing party. If you do not disclose your documents at least 48 hours in advance, you run the risk that the Appeal Judge will exclude them from the hearing.
- Documents must be submitted to the Appeal Tribunal at least 48 hours in advance
In addition to sending any documents you wish to rely on to the opposing party, you must submit those same documents to the Appeal Tribunal at least 48hours before the scheduled hearing. Again, failure to properly disclose these documents may lead to them being excluded.
To be clear, you must send any documents you want to rely on to two different parties: First, you must get the documents to the opposing party at least 48 hours before the hearing. Second, you must send the documents to the Appeal Tribunal at least 48 hours before the hearing. If you fail to do either, you run the risk of having the documents excluded from the hearing.
- Documents must be properly marked and labeled
Even if your documents are submitted on time, they may be excluded if they are not properly labeled and organized. At a minimum, you should make sure that every document you submit contains:
1) The claimant’s name
2) The appeal (issue ID) number
3) The date and time of the hearing
4) The assigned administrative law judge’s name
You must also number each page of your document or documents. Claimants should number their pages C1, C2, C3, etc…., and employers should label their document pages E1, E2, E3, etc…. Remember, these are not exhibit numbers. They are page numbers that will help all parties in identifying and reviewing documents together over the telephone.
- Be selective when submitting documents
You should evaluate the critical facts of your case to determine whether you need documents or not. The Department will not be able to give you advice regarding what documents you should use for your case. Generally, however, you should limit the documents you submit to those that are relevant to the issues being discussed in the appeal hearing. You are permitted to submit as many pages as you need, but usually you should not need more than 20 pages. In any event, if you choose to fax documents to the Tribunal, you may not send more than 10 pages. If you have more than 10 pages to submit, you should send those in by mail.