Right of appeal

Employers and claimants have the right to appeal all notices, determinations, and decisions made by Job Service. The hearing is your opportunity to offer evidence and provide testimony in your case.

How do I file an appeal?

You may file your appeal online at UI ICE (claimant) or UI EASY (employer) by submitting a detailed appeal in writing. All requests must be filed with the Appeals Section of Job Service North Dakota on or prior to the deadline date listed in your notice, determination or decision.

Written requests for appeal or bureau review may be delivered in person to any Job Service office, faxed to 701-328-2728 (claimant) or 701-328-1882 (employers), or mailed to: Appeals Section, P.O. Box 5507, Bismarck, North Dakota 58506-5507.

Scheduling a hearing

After filing your appeal you will receive written notification of the date and time of the hearing. You will also receive a Guide to Unemployment Insurance Appeals brochure explaining the appeals process and how to prepare for the hearing.

How are hearings conducted?

Hearings are typically conducted by telephone. This is for the convenience of the claimant, employer, and any witnesses who may participate in the hearing. You may request that the hearing be conducted in person. You must make your request known at the time you file your appeal or, at the earliest possible time, prior to the hearing. The appeals referee will review the case file and determine if the request for an in-person hearing will be granted.

Participants in a telephone hearing will be instructed to call the Appeals Section any time before 3:00 p.m. CDT the work day before the date of the hearing. A toll-free telephone number to be used for this call is listed on your notice of hearing. Be prepared to give the telephone number where you can be reached and to give the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the witnesses who will testify on your behalf. The appeals referee will call all participants and conference these parties in for the hearing.

If your hearing is being conducted in person, be sure to report to the designated location at least ten minutes prior to the start of the hearing. The hearing notice will state the location of the hearing.

How to prepare

Use the time before the hearing to prepare to tell your side of the story. Be sure to review all documents sent to you that will used in the hearing. You may view the documents online using the UI ICE system (claimants) or the UI EASY system (employers).

If you wish, you may have an attorney represent you. If you choose to have an attorney represent you, please notify Job Service as soon as possible with the name of the attorney.

You may have documents that will support your testimony such as statements of separation, attendance records, written warnings, work searches, etc.  Submit documents that support your testimony to the appeals referee as far in advance of the hearing date as possible.  You must send copies of these documents to Job Service and the opposing party.  Failure to provide copies to the opposing party may result in the document not being permitted at the hearing.  Documents submitted too close to the date of the hearing may not be received in time for the hearing, and therefore may not be allowed by the referee.

You may also want to have witness(es) testify on your behalf. Witnesses should have direct, firsthand knowledge of the facts of your case. An employer should have someone testify who was actually present or was a participant in the actions or events that caused the claimant's separation from employment or, in the case of employer liability, should have firsthand knowledge of the employer's business. If a witness is unavailable at the scheduled hearing time, immediately notify the appeals referee.

You may request that the referee issue a subpoena to compel a witness to attend if he or she is reluctant to testify, but you must make at least one attempt to contact any potential witness and request their testimony at the hearing prior to requesting a subpoena. Documents pertaining to the case may also be subpoenaed, but you must make at least one attempt to contact your former employer or other entity and request the documents prior to requesting a subpoena. Subpoena requests must be submitted in writing and clearly identify who/what you are requesting be subpoenaed; contact information for the person you are requesting be subpoenaed or for the person/entity possessing the document you wish to be subpoenaed; and a description of what the person or document is intended to show or establish.  The referee will determine whether the request is significant to the case. If a subpoena is necessary, you will not be charged the cost associated with issuing the subpoena.

The day of the hearing

The appeals referee typically schedules several hearings throughout the day so you must be on time. Hearings are informal but are conducted in an organized manner and typically last 30 to 45 minutes. The referee will ask questions designed to bring out the basic facts of the issue under appeal.

The hearing is conducted with all parties of interest. When necessary, witnesses may also participate in the hearing process. The employee, employer, and witnesses give testimony relevant to the case under oath. Each party has the opportunity to ask questions of the other party. Documents that are relevant to the case and support your testimony may be submitted into evidence for the referee to consider in making a decision. When all testimony is on the record, the hearing is closed and the referee will issue a decision.

What if I need to postpone the hearing?

You are expected to arrange time off from your everyday affairs including work, vacation, doctor appointments, etc., in order to participate in the hearing. Postponement requests must be submitted in writing and are only granted for extenuating and extraordinary circumstances. Requests for postponement must be in writing.  The original hearing date and time will remain in effect unless the appeals referee has granted a postponement verbally or in writing. Do not submit a postponement request and assume your request will be granted.

If you do not make yourself available at the scheduled time, testimony will be taken from those who do respond. The referee will base the decision on the testimony and evidence given at the hearing. Because your testimony is very important, if you do not respond, you are jeopardizing your opportunity to present testimony and evidence regarding your case and, as a result, risk losing your benefits and incurring an overpayment. 

What if I do not want to proceed with my hearing?

To withdraw your appeal, you must submit your request in writing.

Written decision

Following the conclusion of the hearing, the referee will issue a written decision within 7 to 10 calendar days. Take special notice that your rights to further appeal are outlined in the cover page of the referee's decision.

Further appeal rights

If you find the referee's decision unfavorable, you may request a bureau review of the decision. A bureau review is a review of the record as it currently stands.

In the case of an unemployment insurance benefits appeal, the review must be filed within 12 days of the date of mailing of the referee's decision. In cases involving an unemployment insurance tax matter, the request for review must be filed within 15 days of mailing of the referee's decision.