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Conflict of interest at Unemployment Hearing

by Nicole
(Nashua, NH USA)

Hi,

I am now in the process of appealing my determination with unemployment, I had written a previous question on this site about quitting due to medical issues in Mass. My hearing was yesterday but due to the hearing before mine requiring an interpreter my hearing is to be continued on 9/10/10. The person representing my employer at the hearing worked as a hearing officer in the same office that my hearing is being held in. I was wondering if that would be considered a conflict of interest? It just seems my employer has an unfair advantage against me by having someone that is so experienced with the unemployment rules and regulations. I have my own legal assistance (free lawyer) but she does not seem familiar with these hearings and I believe I am her first one. Also, when I received my unemployment folder at the regional office the statement from my employer was blank and stated "reasonable attempts made to get statement." I was under the impression that if my employer did not respond to unemployment they could not speak or ask questions during the hearing. Two people from my company showed up as witnesses and when my lawyer questioned this she was told by the hearing officer they did not need to complete their statement to speak. Although the information I found appears to be different. My final concern is I gave my side of the story and my employer know has a month to pick apart everything I said, again an unfair advantage. Just wondering if this is normal in hearings or if its time for me to get a real lawyer that specializes in these hearings.



Hi Nicole,

I don't think their is a conflict of interest. I happened to know of many former hearing officers who went to work for the company I used to work for and that's all they represented .. the company's employer clients.

I believe I make clear what I think should be considered when choosing the right lawyer for an unemployment hearing.


Statements .. that sounds like a part of the adjudication process. Just because they didn't provide a statement doesn't mean they didn't respond to the claim which might cause a loss of appeal rights.

You quit, it's your burden to prove .. out of curiosity .. what was the hearing rep's name .. I'm familiar with some retired Mass hearing officers now working as independent reps for cost control companies in Mass.

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Sep 30, 2010
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Update
by: Anonymous

Just found out about a week ago I won my hearing and it was ALL retroactive!!!!! The hearing officer determined that my employer did nothing to resolve a hostile situation and that it was impacting my health. The person representing my company, former hearing officer, was named Dorothy. I'm glad I didn't listen to all the people that told me I would not win.



That's terrific!! And you are correct. Don't listen to the naysayers .. even if I happen to be one of them .. fight back when you know you are right to fight back.

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