How an Unemployment Hearing is Conducted

May 4, 2015

The Administrative Law Judge sits at a desk, and the parties, their witnesses and representatives sit at a table usually set up in front of the Administrative Law Judge’s desk. The Administrative Law Judge will direct the parties and witnesses where to sit. The Administrative Law Judge begins by introducing him or herself by name, and makes sure he or she has the names of all the parties, witnesses, representatives, and attorneys. Hearings are tape recorded. The Administrative Law Judge asks the parties and witnesses to raise their right hands, and administers an oath or affirmation to each of the parties and witnesses, asking them to swear or affirm that they will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

Witnesses are then questioned by the Administrative Law Judge and the claimant or the claimants’ representative. Most unemployment hearings take approximately one hour to complete, but may take longer depending on the complexity of the case and the style of the Administrative Law Judge.

Each Administrative Law Judge will handle an unemployment hearing in their own way. Some will lead the questioning themselves while others will defer to the representatives for the employer and claimant to begin questions. Some hearings will follow an orderly process and others will not. As each Administrative Law Judge conducts hearings in their own way it is impossible to provide you with an exact description of how each hearing will be conducted.

Excerpted from the Michigan Chamber’s Unemployment Insurance Guide for Michigan Employers authored by F.A.R. Management, Inc.