The hearing in front of the Appeals Referee is very important because it is the only place in the appeals process where you will be able to present all your evidence.
You may wish to have witnesses. A witness can be subpoenaed to attend the hearing. You will need to get a home address and telephone number of the witness. Generally, you should only subpoena a witness if (1) you have talked with the potential witness and feel confident that the person will testify in your favor, and (2) the person was present during the events surrounding your discharge or quit.
HOW TO MAKE SURE THAT THE WITNESSES SHOW UP AT THE HEARING
The appeals referee assigned to your case can issue the subpoena. You should give the appeals referee at least one week advance notice of the need for a subpoena. You can locate the appeals referee by calling the ESC in Raleigh at (919) 707-1060 and ask for the location of your particular referee. You will get a phone number for where the referee can be located that day. You will then need to call that number. It is easiest to contact the referee 5-10 minutes before each hour. If the referee is in a hearing, then you will have to leave a message and wait for a return call.
THE DAY OF THE HEARING
You should dress neatly, preferably dress shirt (tie optional) for men and slacks/blouse or dress for women.
You should arrive 15 minutes prior to the time set for the hearing. The appeals referee will give you the opportunity to review the case file prior to the start of the hearing. There will be a written statement from the employer and, possibly, a record of telephone notes between the adjudicator and the employer. You should review both of these documents carefully to determine what allegations the employer has made against you.
When the appeals referee calls the hearing to order, all persons involved will be identified and sworn in. The appeals referee will ask if you had the opportunity to review the case file prior to the hearing. The appeals referee will explain the procedure for the hearing. The hearing is tape recorded. Only one person speaks at a time.
Since you were discharged the employer will testify first. When the employer is done, you may or may not wish to ask questions. Then it will be your turn to testify.
THE EMPLOYERS TESTIMONY
The employer’s representative will tell his side of the story. You should listen and take notes, but do not interrupt. You will have an opportunity to ask questions to any witness for the employer.
You will explain the circumstances surrounding your discharge and respond to any allegations made by the employer. You should be brief, polite, you should answer questions directly and to the point. The appeals referee will not be pleased if you interrupt, give long rambling answers, or become too argumentative.
If you have any documents, be sure to bring a copy for you, a copy for the employer and a copy for the appeals referee. You will offer your documents when you have a chance to testify.
The appeals referee will not give you a decision at the end of the hearing. You will receive a written decision in the mail within 2-3 weeks. The decision will contain a pamphlet explaining how to appeal if you disagree with the decision.
CHECKLIST FOR REPRESENTATION AT HEARING (IN PERSON)
Witness notified or subpoenaed
If subpoenas needed, contacted the appeals referee
Make sure you know what time and where the hearing will be held and how to get there. Be sure to be on time.
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