20 CFR 625.30 - Appeal Procedures for Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
(a) Designation of referee. The Director of the Unemployment Insurance Service shall designate a referee of a State agency to hear and decide appeals under this section from determinations and redeterminations by the State agencies of the Territory of Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands.
(b) Appeals to referee. (1) A DUA applicant may appeal from a determination or redetermination issued by the State agency of the Territory of Guam, American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Republic of the Marshall Islands, or the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands within 60 days after the mailing of notice and a copy of such determination or redetermination to such applicant's last known address, or in the absence of mailing within 60 days after delivery in person thereof to such applicant. The appeal shall be in writing and may be filed with any office of the State agency.
(2) Notice that an appeal has been filed may be given or mailed, in the discretion of the referee, to any person who has offered or is believed to have evidence with respect to the claim.
(3) An appeal shall be promptly scheduled and heard, in order that a decision on the appeal can be issued within 30 days after receipt of the appeal by the State agency. Written notice of hearing, specifying the time and place thereof and those questions known to be in dispute, shall be given or mailed to the applicant, the State agency, and any person who has offered or is believed to have evidence with respect to the claim 7 days or more before the hearing, except that a shorter notice period may be used with the consent of the applicant.
(c) Conduct of hearings. Hearings before the referee shall be informal, fair, and impartial, and shall be conducted in such manner as may be best suited to determine the DUA applicants' right to compensation. Hearings shall be open to the public unless sufficient cause for a closed hearing is shown. The referee shall open a hearing by ascertaining and summarizing the issue or issues involved in the appeal. The applicant may examine and cross-examine witnesses, inspect documents, and explain or rebut any evidence. An opportunity to present argument shall be afforded such applicant, and such argument shall be made part of the record. The referee shall give such applicant, if not represented by counsel or other representative, every assistance that does not interfere with the impartial discharge of the referee's duties. The referee may examine such applicant and other witnesses to such extent as the referee deems necessary. Any issue involved in the claim shall be considered and passed upon even though such issue was not set forth as a ground of appeal.
(d) Evidence. Oral or written evidence of any nature, whether or not conforming to the legal rules of evidence, may be accepted. Any official record of the State agency, including reports submitted in connection with administration of the DUA program, may be included in the record if the applicant is given an opportunity to examine and rebut the same. A written statement under oath or affirmation may be accepted when it appears impossible or unduly burdensome to require the attendance of a witness, but a DUA applicant adversely affected by such a statement must be given the opportunity to examine such statement, to comment on or rebut any or all portions thereof, and whenever possible to cross-examine a witness whose testimony has been introduced in written form by submitting written questions to be answered in writing.
(e) Record. All oral testimony before the referee shall be taken under oath or affirmation and a transcript thereof shall be made and kept. Such transcript together with all exhibits, papers, and requests filed in the proceeding shall constitute the record for decision.
(f) Withdrawal of appeal. A DUA applicant who has filed an appeal may withdraw such appeal with the approval of the referee.
(g) Nonappearance of DUA applicant. Failure of a DUA applicant to appear at a hearing shall not result in a decision being automatically rendered against such applicant. The referee shall render a decision on the basis of whatever evidence is properly before him/her unless there appears to be a good reason for continuing the hearing. An applicant who fails to appear at a hearing with respect to his/her appeal may within seven days thereafter petition for a reopening of the hearing. Such petition shall be granted if it appears to the referee that such applicant has shown good cause for his/her failure to attend.
(h) Notice of referee's decision and further review - (1) Decision. A copy of the referee's decision, which shall include findings and conclusions, shall promptly be given or mailed to the applicant, the State agency, and to the Regional Administrator, Employment and Training Administration, for Region VI (San Francisco). The decision of the referee shall be accompanied by an explanation of the right of such applicant or State agency to request review by the Regional Administrator and the time and manner in which such review may be instituted, as provided in paragraph (a)(2) of § 625.10.
(2) Time limit for decision. A decision on an appeal to a referee under this section shall be made and issued by the referee not later than 30 days after receipt of the appeal by the State agency.
(3) Further review. Further review by the Regional Administrator or the Assistant Secretary with respect to an appeal under this section shall be in accordance with paragraphs (c) and (d) of § 625.10.
(i) Consolidation of appeals. The referee may consolidate appeals and conduct joint hearings thereon where the same or substantially similar evidence is relevant and material to the matters in issue. Reasonable notice of consolidation and the time and place of hearing shall be given or mailed to the applicants or their representatives, the State agency, and to persons who have offered or are believed to have evidence with respect to the DUA claims.
(j) Representation. A DUA applicant may be represented by counsel or other representative in any proceedings before the referee or the Regional Administrator. Any such representative may appear at any hearing or take any other action which such applicant may take under this part. The referee, for cause, may bar any person from representing an applicant, in which event such action shall be set forth in the record. No representative shall charge an applicant more than an amount fixed by the referee for representing the applicant in any proceeding under this section.
(k) Postponement, continuance, and adjournment of hearings. A hearing before the referee shall be postponed, continued, or adjourned when such action is necessary to afford a DUA applicant reasonable opportunity for a fair hearing. In such case notice of the subsequent hearing shall be given to any person who received notice of the prior hearing.
(l) Information from agency records. Information shall be available to a DUA applicant, either from the records of the State agency or as obtained in any proceeding herein provided for, to the extent necessary for proper presentation of his/her case. All requests for information shall state the nature of the information desired as clearly as possible and shall be in writing unless made at a hearing.
(m) Filing of decisions. Copies of all decisions of the referee shall be kept on file at his/her office or agency for at least 3 years.