keepcalm_boxIn most cases, the hearing itself can be the most nerve-racking and difficult part of the unemployment process for the employer. The witness presented in this matter likely has little to no experience in conducting unemployment hearing which makes preparation paramount.

A witness is typically at his or her best when they are calm, relaxed, and understand the hearing in its entirety. Below are some strategies we can use to achieve that:

KNOWING THE HEARING PROCESS:

Simply knowing how a hearing is conducted can ease the mind of a witness. Often they have visions of a courtroom and judges with black robes. Once they realize it is a somewhat informal and simple process, a lot of stress is alleviated. I usually begin a preparation going through all the steps of the hearing and when they will have to participate.

THE FACTS OF THE CASE ARE ON OUR SIDE:

By the time we have made it to a hearing, it is clear the facts of the case are on our side, and we should win if relayed properly to the judge. It is important to remind witnesses that they are simply telling the truth to the best of their ability. They do not need to concern themselves with manipulating or packaging the truth, simply to repeat it as discussed in the preparation.

Additionally, the witness should know that it is not their responsibility to speak at length and have a presentation prepared. The job of the judge and representative is to ask the right questions to get everything on the table to make the right decision. If the judge fails to extrapolate the whole truth, it is my duty as the representative to ask questions to do so. During preparation, the witness and I would have already discussed the questions the judge, and I will likely ask.

CLAIMANT QUESTIONING OF THE EMPLOYER:

During the course of a hearing, the claimant may cross-examine the employer witnesses. This does not happen as often as one would think, but it is crucial to let your witness know that it is not a free for all and that the judge and representative are listening carefully. I, the representative, make sure all questions asked are relevant to the facts of the case and not personal. If this is violated, the judge or I may object. Theoretically, any question allowed should be a continuation of the simple line of questioning displayed before by the judge and myself. The witness should be aware they have every right to respond “I don’t know” or “I don’t recall.” This same thought process should apply to any claimant representation cross-examining the witness.

A number of witnesses have concerns their participation may seem as them trying to slight the claimant or “ruin their lives.” I remind them they are being asked by their employer to assist in a hearing and nothing more. In no way during my representation do I create the appearance the witness is intentionally trying to fault the claimant in any way; just simply doing their job. This removes concerns of action taken outside hearings or hateful feelings between participants.

A CCC hearing representative knows these steps and takes care to prepare each witness for the upcoming hearing.  If you are not a CCC client and would like to know more about how our service can assist you. Contact CCC at contact@corporatecostcontrol.com.

 

 


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