Tuesday, May 18, 2010

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE - REOPENING OF HEARING

A recent consultation revealed Claimant quit the job and the DOL found no compelling reason and thus denied benefits. In fact, Claimant quit the job because Claimant did not like the job. Claimant requested a hearing and the Employer defaulted. At the hearing, Claimant testified that Claimant quit for other reasons that did in fact exist but were not the primary reasons for quitting. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) held for the Claimant. The Employer then applied to reopen the hearing and a new hearing is being held where Employer is being represented by counsel. Claimant consults with Claimant's own counsel for the first time and is advised that Employer testimony and cross-examination of the Claimant may be a problem as a new hearing will bring in new evidence that the ALJ did not hear at the first hearing. A Claimant should not assume that since the Claimant was able to get an ALJ to overturn a DOL determination after a default by the Employer that the ALJ will maintain the earlier decision favorable to the Claimant. New evidence will be introduced to refute the allegations of the Claimant and the ALJ must consider the new evidence. This consultation revealed that if the Employer testified, evidence would be introduced, directly and through cross-examination, that Claimant may not be entitled to benefits.

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