Nicole Rice

Telephonic hearings for UI appeals

By Nicole Rice, Policy Director, Government Relations

Capitol Update, April 2, 2015

CMTA supports AB 944 by Assembly Member Obernolte (R-Big Bear Lake) that seeks to increase the utilization of telephonic hearings in unemployment insurance appeals hearings, which can make it easier and more convenient for employers to participate in these proceedings.

Employers and employees alike are entitled to an appeal before the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (CUIAB) when questions regarding benefit eligibility arise and the law currently allows for the use of telephonic or “electronic hearings,” but only when requested by a party and upon showing of good cause.  Consequently, most appeals are set as in-person hearings, thereby creating a burden on all parties who will need to take time out the work day to travel to the hearing location, which are spread out across the state.

AB 944 makes it easier and more convenient  to participate by requiring the CUIAB to adopt telephonic hearings as a matter of standard practice, which will bring California in line with the other 48 states that regularly use this method.  Wider application of this procedure will also reduce the issuance of default rulings due to the absence of one party (usually the employer), improve efficiencies and reduce state costs.  The bill will be heard in the Assembly Insurance Committee later this month. 

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