Your Unemployment Hearing is the most important stage of the unemployment compensation appeal process. In all likelihood, it will be the final decision regarding your unemployment compensation. No further hearings, and no further evidence, will be permitted after your unemployment hearing. Here is an overview of what to expect during your unemployment hearing to help you be fully prepared.
The unemployment benefit appeal process does provide opportunities to obtain a determination in your favor, but you must have knowledge of the laws, the rules, and have the required tools to obtain and present evidence on your behalf.
The fact is, ODJFS does not operate based on what you know to be true, unless that truth can be shown to them, proven to them, and explained in a way that they can understand that Ohio statutes and rules require them to give you benefits.
The Ohio Unemployment Lawyers at Smith's Law Offices have the expertise and experience to navigate through the Unemployment Appeal process and to present the best case possible to obtain the benefits you deserve. It is a simple decision: If you want to increase your chances of obtaining benefits, take advantage of a free consultation with the Ohio Unemployment Lawyers at Smith's Law Offices.
If your unemployment claim proceeds to a hearing, you will receive a notice that the case is being transferred to the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC). This notice provides important information about your hearing, including (a) how to request your file; (b) how to subpoena witnesses and documents; and (c) how to submit documents for the hearing.
This is important, because the file will include more than the notices you have received, but also everything that has been submitted to ODJFS by you and your former employer, as well as responses to questionnaires, notes of telephone conversations with ODJFS, and perhaps a more detailed explanation of why ODJFS is making the decisions that it is. Additionally, the Hearing Officer will have this file and may refer to it during the hearing, so you will want to have it to follow what is being referred to. Request your file immediately.
Subpoenas can compel witnesses to attend the hearing and can be used to obtain documents from your former employer. If there is a witness or document that you KNOW will help you, this is a valuable tool. However, do not use it to fish. Whatever documents you subpoena will be provided to the Hearing Officer, so if you are uncertain whether they will help you, you take a risk by requesting them. Also, be careful when deciding whether to have current employees as witnesses, because they may become concerned about their own job security and clam up during the actual hearing while their boss is on the line. Subpoenas can be requested up to 5 days before the hearing, but they should be requested as early as possible.
If you have already submitted documents, they will already be included in the file. However, if you have other documents that you want to submit, follow the instructions to do so. You may do so up within 14 days of receiving this notice.
Once your ODJFS file is transferred to the UCRC and they schedule your hearing, you will receive another notice with the date and time of the hearing and the telephone number to call. Do NOT miss your hearing, as there are only very limited reasons ODJFS will excuse your failure to attend.
You may request to hold the hearing in person. Generally, this should only be done when there is an important reason to do so. For example, the case may depend upon a video or visual exhibit that all parties should view together.
On the day of your hearing, call in 15 minutes early. You will provide your name and number. Once the Hearing Officer is ready to begin, she will call you and all other parties and place you into a conference call. The Hearing Officer will begin the hearing with a brief introduction. The hearing will be scheduled for 45 minutes, and the Hearing Officer will do what she can to keep it within that time limit. However, if it needs to run over it may be scheduled for a second hearing.
In most cases, if you were terminated, the Hearing Officer will start with the employer and their witnesses. If you resigned, the Hearing Officer will start with you instead. Based on what she sees in the file, she will ask each witness questions. The witness will then be given the opportunity to add more, or if they are represented their representative will ask them further questions. The other side will then be given the opportunity to cross examine each witness.
At the end of the hearing, each party will be given a brief amount of time (e.g., 2 minutes) to give a closing statement – summarizing their position.
You will not receive a decision on the day of the hearing. Rather, the Hearing Officer will close the hearing and draft their decision. In most cases, we find decisions are issued within a week, though it is not unusual for it to take a few weeks for the decision to be issued.
Smith's Law Offices prides itself by its thorough representation during hearings. We take care of requesting the hearing, requesting a copy of the ODJFS file, making strategic decisions about subpoenas and witnesses and request them when appropriate, and we submit exhibits in the proper format for the hearing. We review the evidence, talk with you, and come to decisions about what are the main issues, what are the main points in contention, and what the Hearing Officer needs to be convinced of to rule in your favor.
We give you guidance regarding how to conduct yourself during the hearing and we call into the hearing with you – so we may cross examine the employer’s witnesses, help you to explain your position to the hearing officer, and we provide the closing statement. By becoming fully prepared for the hearing, and focusing on the important issues, you will find yourself comfortable and able to have your case presented in a compelling manner that will increase your likelihood of success.
Smith's Law Offices offers Free Initial Consultations. We additionally offer contingency agreements whenever possible, with no up-front fee.
We collect a fee ONLY if we are successful in obtaining your unemployment benefits for you.
You have nothing to risk or lose by calling Smith's Law Offices for your free consultation, so call us today before any of your unemployment appeal rights are lost. Whether you just received an unemployment denial and need to appeal or are about to have an unemployment hearing, we can help.
Because unemployment determinations are appealed in writing, and the hearings are conducted by telephone, Smith's Law Offices successfully represents clients throughout the State of Ohio.
"Professional, upfront, knowledgeable, made the whole appeals process way less stressful, made me feel comfortable at the hearing, and won my appeal! Highly recommend using!"
"Brian is a very good attorney and I am very happy with the way that he handled my unemployment case. He is very professional and informative and easy to talk to and he explains concerns very well. I would recommend him to anyone. He is very thorough and made me feel very confident with him handling my case. Thank you very much for your hard work in my case."
"Thank you Brian for representing me with my unemployment case. I was over whelmed and devastated at the loss of my job after 27 years of employment. You was my rock that helped me through this nightmare, I couldn't have done it without you. You are very professional and easy to talk to, I appreciate all you did for me."
"Excellent service, not only did I win my case but the level of customer service was phenomenal!! Anytime i had a question it was answered so that i could understand it.
I was also extremely prepared and ready before we went to court.
It was such a nice process. I would recommend this company to anyone i know!!"
"Beat Walmart unemployment case! Took the time to help me think this case through. Helped me prioritize the events that happened. Came up with a winning strategy that ultimately won my appeal hearing against the retail giant Walmart!" Brian
"Brian and John are the best .They go all out for you. Thank you John and Brian u guys are awesome"
"Brian is very responsive and very thorough. I was very nervous throughout the process, and he made me feel relaxed and confident. I would highly recommend Brian to all my friends and family because I am confident he will not let them down, he is very trustworthy and personable. Thanks so much Brian for your professionalism and you eagerness to go the extra mile. You are an excellent attorney." Sonya
"Mr. Smith is an amazing lawyer who listens and takes his time to make sure he understands every detail of your particular case. I would recommend him to my family/friends if ever needed. Mr. Smith helped me understand the procedure which helped me better prepare myself for my hearing. The outcome was exactly what we were looking for. Thank you!" Tiffinie
"I was extremely happy working Brian & John on my case. They were very thorough & easy to talk with. I would highly recommend them to anyone!"
"Great law firm. My attorney help me immensely. My job fired me unjustly and they help me get my unemployment back. They help file everything and keep you updated on what going on. Very friendly and helpful. Wish these guys the best in the future!"
"Brian and his colleague John were incredibly helpful and supportive. Not only did they make me feel secure, I felt represented and heard. I won my case with their help and hard work! I highly recommend them for anyone who is having to fight their employer for unemployment. I can not thank them enough!"
"Brian Smith is the best! He handled my claim in a most timely manner an professional manner. Could not have done this by myself. Bravo!!!"