I Recieved a Notice of Hearing, What Do I Do Next?

If you have received notice from the NC Employment Security Commission (ESC) notifying you that you have been scheduled for a hearing, you should first determine whether the hearing is scheduled by phone or in person. A hearing scheduled by phone will state "Notice of Telephone Hearing" at the top left hand side of the notice. A hearing scheduled in person will simply note the time and location of the hearing at the bottom of the notice.


What Should I Do If I Want An In Person Hearing?

It is your right under ESC rules, and law, to request an in person hearing if you have been scheduled for a telephone hearing. However, if you are scheduled for an in person hearing, the ESC will not change it to a telephone hearing without the approval of the other party and the Hearings Officer or Appeals Referee.


Why Should I Request An In Person Hearing?

In most cases, a telephone hearing is an acceptable way to conduct your hearing. However, there may be times that you should request an in person hearing. One time that you want to request a hearing is if there is a substantial amount of paperwork that is in the ESC file or will be introduced by the parties. It is very difficult to deal with multiple exhibits during a telephone hearing. Another time you want to request an in person hearing is when you believe that the other party or its witnesses will not be truthful during testimony. In those cases, it is usually better to have the hearing in person so that the Appeals Referee can better judge truthfulness and credibility of the witnesses. Finally, there may be times that requesting an in person hearing serves a strategic purpose.


What Generally I Should Do To Prepare For The Telephone Hearing?

You should do a number of things to prepare for your telephone hearing. First, you should determine whether there are documents that you have in your possession that you need to offer into evidence at the hearing. If so, you must provide those documents to both the other party and the Hearings Officer/Appeals Referee prior to the beginning of the hearing. Second, you should determine whether there are documents that you need to offer at the hearing that are not in your possession. If so, you should contact the Hearings Officer/ Appeals Referee and request that a subpoena issue for those documents. You can also request a subpoena to require a witness to attend the hearing. Finally, you should review through all the documents that you were provided by the ESC or the other party as these documents are likely to be discussed or referred to during the hearing.


Is There Anything Different About The Procedure At An In Person Hearing?

The primary difference with the in person hearing is that you are not provided a copy of the file before the hearing unless the hearing was previously scheduled as a telephone hearing. You should arrive early at the ESC office and the Appeals Referee will give you the opportunity to review through the file.


What Happens After The Hearing?

After the hearing, the Hearings Officer/Appeals Referee will issue a written decision and will mail it to the parties at the addresses listed on the hearings notice. If you disagree with the decision, you only have 10 days (13 days if the decision was mailed to you) to appeal the decision.