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          APPEAL HEARINGS                   Date Issued:  June 29, 1994


Number:   XXII.4.





To define eligibility requirements for Unemployment Insurance Benefits;

to outline claim handling procedures; and to describe the Appeal Hearing process and how to prepare when attending as a witness for the County.





California Unemployment Insurance Code





It is the policy of the County of Santa Cruz to review all UI claims; to protect or reduce the County's liability and individual departments' experience rate by responding to the State of California's Employment Development Department (EDD) on protestable claims; and to defend the County's position at Appeal Hearings.





California employers are required by law to set aside funds for unemployment insurance to provide benefits for persons unemployed through no fault of their own.  Persons claiming benefits must make reasonable efforts to secure employment.  They must be physically and mentally able to work and be available for work.  Benefits may be denied to a person who voluntarily leaves his or her most recent work without good cause, was discharged as a result of misconduct, or is not able and available for work.  EDD determines eligibility for benefits.  However, the burden of proof in showing a disqualification is on the employer.



I.    Claim Handling


A.    Any UI claim received by a department should be immediately hand-carried to the Risk Management Division of the Personnel Department for processing, since the County has only ten days from the mailing date to respond on protestable claims.


B.    Risk Management evaluates the separation paperwork to determine circumstances surrounding the employee's termination from the County, and if the claim is potentially protestable, may contact the department personnel liaison for more information.


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          APPEAL HEARINGS                   Date Issued:  June 29, 1994


Number:   XXII.4.






C.    If the claim is determined to be non-protestable (i.e., the employee was laid off due to lack of work or budgetary constraints, or otherwise became unemployed through no fault of his/her own), EDD is notified of the reason the employee is no longer employed by the County.


D.    If the claim is determined to be protestable (i.e., the employee quit to go skiing for the winter, to go to school full-time and is not available for work, or was discharged for misconduct) Risk Management sends a notice of protest outlining the reasons for the termination to the EDD office in which the employee filed, within the ten-day response period.


f.    EDD then sends Risk Management a "Notice of Determination" which acknowledges that the County questioned the claimant's right to benefits.  If the determination is favorable to the County (the claimant is found ineligible), no further action is taken unless the claimant appeals the determination made by EDD.  In the event of an unfavorable determination (the claimant is found eligible for

benefits), Risk Management may request, on behalf of the County, an appeal hearing to have the facts surrounding the separation heard before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).  (Either party - the County or the claimant - has the right to appeal any determination issued by EDD.)




A.    Process and Preparation - Appeal Hearings are usually held at the EDD office nearest the appellant.  However, a telephone hearing can be arranged if it is

not convenient for all parties to attend the same hearing location.  Both parties can testify on their own behalf, present documents and records, have their witnesses testify, question opposing parties and witnesses and make a closing statement.  Hearings are usually allotted one hour.


B.    Risk Management will determine the witness(es) to appear on behalf of the County, often the employee's supervisor.  Risk Management will interview witness(es) prior to the hearing date discuss testimony and preparation of documents and prepare a closing statement.


C.    At the hearing, the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will advise all parties of their rights and conduct most of the questioning. The Judge determines the manner in which

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          APPEAL HEARINGS                   Date Issued:  June 29, 1994


Number:   XXII.4.





testimony is provided. (Not much weight is given to hearsay, so it is important that circumstances surrounding all voluntary quits or discharges be fully documented at the time of the event as it may be necessary to prove the County's action at a UI Appeal Hearing.)


D.    The ALJ will make his decision normally within 10 days of the hearing and will notify all parties in writing.  The decision is final unless either party initiates further appeal within 20 days to the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board.  Risk Management will initiate such an appeal on the County's behalf, after consultation with appropriate staff.




















































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