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Unemployment Insurance Appeal Hearings and Meeting, or Rebutting a Burden of Proof 

Collecting and retaining Unemployment Insurance Benefits means you may need to meet, or rebut a burden of proof, if an appeal is made to request a tribunal (lower level) unemployment appeal hearing.


Whether you must prove, or rebut a burden, is dependent on the issue being appealed from a claim determination.   Yet, if you're the unemployed party to an appeal, you're still expected to know you need to work to attain a standard of law called, a preponderance.   

It is my opinion that it is important to understand both the burden that should be proven or rebutted and the standard of law a preponderance calls for, as this is what applies to how unemployment appeal hearing officer do their job and decide which unemployment story, told through testimony, evidence, cross examinations and witnesses with direct first hand knowledge of relevant facts, becomes a more credible version of events leading to seeing where the fault existed at the time of separation, when the employment relationship was ended.

The problem for claimants and employers, is you may know you had good cause to end a relationship, but the question asked at lower level hearings .. is can you prove what you know .. to meet the standard of law for proving, or rebutting.  This question, from the perspective of a former hearing coordinator .. was whether a claimant representing themselves .. and they did most of the time, would have the ability to meet, or rebut the burden to the standard of law needed to do the job.

Basically,  a voluntary quit puts the onus of proving the burden of fault on the employee to show it was the employer's fault. You may of quit for a good cause reason, but proving this is difficult for employees who didn't document, document, document as an employee, to prove their burden after they quit. 

discharge for misconduct, places the burden squarely on the employer to prove your actions as an employee equate to what a reasonable person would also consider misconduct.  But employers have been taking the advice to document to heart for years .. as well as a question. 

If it isn't written .. did it really happen? (For instance, you quit in lieu of being fired .. but then submit a resignation letter thanking the employer for the opportunities, instead of detailing why you are not guilty of misconduct, and learn later your resignation letter is proof you quit .. for reason unrelated to any fault of the employer.

A lower level tribunal unemployment hearing, is initiated with a simple unemployment appeal letter sent by the aggrieved party, regardless, of which party may be assigned the burden of proof for being the moving party. 

An unemployment letter of appeal should of course be submitted timely to avoid another potential issue and good cause for a late appeal.  


There are Ways to Lose Unemployment Appeal Hearings .. Even if I Think You Can Win

I know how everyone likes to avoid all those free explanatory unemployment resources .. but

The California EDD offers a free downloadable resource, I sincerely recommend anyone, in any state read. It's free and may advance your understanding of what I know may need to go into meeting, or rebutting a burden of proof and possibly why board appeals often fail when a party loses an unemployment hearing .. due to not being prepared for the first hearing.

Not ironic it's named ..  27 Ways to Avoid Losing Your Unemployment Appeal

Of course 27 ways, cannot cover all the reasons claimants think they lose winnable hearings, but for that reason I offer referrals to professional Unemployment Appeal Representatives. 


What is Good Evidence to Win an Unemployment Appeal?

What is good evidence to use at an unemployment hearing.

I can't really say, but generally, good evidence is always relevant to the issue and the plan for what you intend to prove, or rebut the CORRECT burden of proof. 

A common example of why people lose voluntary quit hearings, is because they didn't know what they were trying to prove.

Did the claimant quit their job with good cause attributable to the employer ... or did they just not give the employer an opportunity to fix a problem within with the employment relationship before they quit, to have exhausted alternatives to quitting?

As I've said many times in many Q&As, document, document, document, or at least know your limitations when quitting.. also a reason why I prefer to coach employees.

Source: Twenty Seven Ways to Avoid Losing Your Unemployment Appeal

Parties to appeals, particularly claimants, often focus their attention only on the separation (discharge or voluntary quit) issue and overlook such additional issues as: alleged false statements, overpayments, availability or claim filing requirements. 

"You may be astonished to hear what the other side has to say when they get before an ALJ. If you approach preparation of the case as if it were your own appeal, you will be better prepared to meet whatever contentions the other side raises."

Parties to appeals often misconceive the issues. For some unknown reason, the claimant who has been disqualified for quitting without good cause spends time and energy producing such things as favorable performance reports to prove he or she was a good worker or, in a case of a discharge for alleged misconduct, comes to the hearing with a long list of complaints about the employing company and job conditions.

Articles  and Q&A Related to Unemployment's Burden of Proof

Working on the Burden While You're Still an Employee  - It surprises many to hear what I know caused their inability  to prove good cause to quit, or lack of any if they end up fired.  It's frequently nothing more than what they didn't choose to do save and preserve their job .. while they still had a job.

What is the Burden of Misconduct to Fire an Employee - The fortunate thing about the burden of proof for an employer, is that work misconduct has been condensed into a definition by a court decision dating back to 1941.   It's been adopted, all, or in part, by many other states over the years and can  help even an employee who got fired, understand what misconduct is .. and what it isn't.

Q&As about the Burden of Quitting a JobAlthough the burden of proving fault is supposed to be connected to and attributable to the work, or employer, some state unemployment laws also special provisions that create exceptions to this rule when/if certain conditions are met .. but the point is those who quit, even for a reason covered by a special provision to create an exception to the rule, must meet some conditions to prove they still had good cause to quit.

Q&As about Rebutting the Burden of Misconduct -  Tell me a story that explains, or just claims, why you don't think you're guilty of breaking employers rules and standards and expectations of behavior and or performance an employer has a right to expect, may be good enough for me, but I'm still going to ask you questions relevant now to whether you possess the ability to rebut why the employer can't prove your guilt.

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