If the Department of Employment and Training (DETR) denies your claim for Nevada unemployment benefits, you have the right to appeal their decision to the Appeals Office. You may have an administrative hearing on your case in front of an impartial judge called a Referee. The hearings are held either by conference call or in person.
When the DETR denies a claim for benefits, the office mails a Notice of Determination explaining why the examiner denied your claim and your rights to appeal. You will have 11 calendar days from the date the DETR mails the notice to file an appeal.
How to File an Unemployment Appeal in NV
You must file your appeal in writing and mail it to the address found on your determination letter (you may also fax the request). Include your social security number and the reason for filing the appeal. Sign the letter; unsigned appeal requests will not be processed.
If you have to file your request for the appeal after the 11-day deadline, you may request an extension of the deadline from the Appeals Office. You must be able to show a “good cause” why you are filing late. A good cause will be some a substantial and compelling reason why you were late; a situation you could not avoid.
When the Appeals Office processes the appeal, the office will mail a Notice of Hearing. The Notice will include the date and time of the hearing, and the place if the hearing is in-person. Check the date carefully and look for possible scheduling conflicts. If you have a problem with the scheduled date, request a rescheduling of the hearing as soon as possible. The Referee will decide whether to reschedule the hearing, and will reschedule only for compelling circumstances, like a pre-existing legal obligation or serious emergency.
Your former employer will receive notice of the hearing as well. They have the right to participate in the hearing and present evidence to support their position.
Preparing for the Unemployment Appeal Hearing in NV
You will be able to exercise your legal rights when you appeal a DETR denial of benefits. You have the right to present your case using the same tools you would use in a court trial. The hearing will be similar to a court trial, but less formal.
You have the right to have someone represent you at the hearing. You can hire an attorney, ask a union rep or a friend. However, many people successfully represent themselves at the hearing. If you ask a friend, be aware your friend may not offer testimony on your behalf if they are representing you.
The Appeals Office will not help you secure representation. However, you can seek out the same resources available to those in court trials. You may call your local legal aid office or the bar association to find a pro bono lawyer.
You have the right to bring a witness to testify on your behalf at the hearing. The witness should have first-hand knowledge about what happened regarding your separation from work. In most cases, it isn’t enough that they only heard about what happened. Character witnesses are usually not helpful in unemployment appeal hearings.
You have the right to present any relevant evidence that can help you prove your case. You may need to have the person who created the documents present to verify the document. Some types of documents don’t need verification, like some kinds of medical records or things ordinarily produced in a business (e.g. time sheets).
You must submit copies of all evidence you will present to the Appeals Office 48 hours prior to the start time of your hearing. You may not be allowed to present your evidence if you fail to do this.
Audio and visual recordings may present special problems, especially for telephone hearings. You may need to request an in-person hearing if you have such evidence. Notify the Referee about such evidence as soon as possible.
You may want someone to testify at your hearing who may not want to get involved. You may encounter an employee who does not allow you to use certain business records as evidence. In these cases, you may ask the Referee to issue a subpoena to compel cooperation with the hearing. You must do this as soon as possible. The Referee will decide whether to issue the subpoena.
If you need assistance (other than legal) with the hearing, such as a language interpreter or services for the deaf, the Office of Appeals will provide the help. You must request the assistance no later than 24 hours prior to the start of your hearing. You may not bring your own interpreter.
At the Hearing
You should call in (or arrive) prior to the scheduled start time of your hearing. If you are significantly late, the Referee may proceed without you. If you have some emergency, you should call and inform the Referee or the Appeals Office. You must show a good cause as to why you are late.
If you do not appear for the hearing, the Referee may reschedule or dismiss your appeal. You may request a reopening of the hearing if you show good cause for missing the hearing.
The Referee will take sworn testimony from both parties, giving each the opportunity to present evidence and testimony. Both parties will have an opportunity to cross-examine the other party’s evidence and witnesses.
If the issue is whether you quit for good cause, you will go first and will have the burden to prove that you did in fact have a good reason to quit. If the issue is whether you were discharged for misconduct, the employer carries the burden of proof. The Referee will decide whether either party carried their burden based on the facts presented.
You will receive the Referee’s decision several days after the hearing concludes. You may appeal this hearing to the Board of Review if you disagree with the outcome. The Referee’s decision will include instructions on how to appeal.