Chapter 4141-28 Labor Dispute Cases
Whenever the director has reason to believe that the unemployment of twenty-five or more individuals relates to a labor dispute, and twenty-five or more claims are filed, a hearing officer shall be assigned to conduct a hearing and prepare a decision on the case. Any case assigned to a hearing officer for hearing and decision may be transferred by the director to another hearing officer at any stage of the proceedings prior to the issuance of the hearing officer decision.
Every hearing which is held pursuant to division (A) of section 4141.283 of the Revised Code shall be scheduled at a time and place reasonably convenient for the interested parties. A proceeding in any case may be rescheduled at the request of an interested party to the hearing officer. However, such a request will not be granted unless good cause is shown and the request is made immediately upon learning the need for the change. A notice of all scheduled hearings shall be mailed to the last known post office address of each interested party at least ten calendar days prior to the date of any hearing, specifying the time and place of the proceedings, and setting forth, in brief, the issues to be heard and the proceedings to be held. In the event of postponement of a scheduled hearing or other proceeding, the interested parties shall be given written notice of such postponement and shall be notified of the rescheduled proceeding in the manner set forth above.
All testimony in any case heard under section 4141.283 of the Revised Code shall be given under oath or by affirmation. The proceedings shall be recorded by mechanical means or otherwise as may be prescribed by the director, and no other formal record of the proceedings by manual, mechanical, or electronic device shall be permitted.
The hearing officer shall conduct hearings and other proceedings and take any steps consistent with the impartial discharge of his or her duties which appear reasonable and necessary to ascertain all relevant facts and to render a fair and complete decision on all issues. The proceedings shall be informal, and the hearing officer shall not be bound by common law or statutory rules of evidence or by technical or formal rules of procedure. The hearing officer conducting a proceeding may examine the interested parties and other witnesses. Each interested party and his or her representative shall have all rights of fair hearing, including the right of examination and cross-examination of witnesses, the right to present testimony and other evidence, the right to inspect and examine documents, files, reports and records received in evidence, the right to present testimony and other evidence in explanation and rebuttal, the right to subpoenas for witnesses and documentary evidence and the right to present argument.
(A) Stipulations by the parties.
Interested parties may submit stipulations or any other agreed statement respecting all or any part of the facts involved in the case and may also waive the hearing. The hearing officer conducting such proceeding shall require or obtain such additional evidence as may be necessary to render a fair and complete decision.
(B) Securing witnesses and documents; special investigations.
The attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers and other documents, files and records may be required by the hearing officer as deemed necessary to present fully and adequately any issue to be determined. Whenever an investigation, payroll audit or other examination is necessary to present fully and adequately any issue to be determined in a case, the hearing officer shall require or authorize that such examination, audit or investigation be performed and submitted in evidence.
(C) Public hearings.
All hearings under division (A) of section 4141.283 of the Revised Code shall be open to the public, but the hearing officer conducting a hearing may close the hearing as to other than interested parties to the extent necessary to protect the interests and rights of the claimants or employers to a fair hearing.
(D) Adjournment or continuance.
On his or her own motion, or upon the showing of good cause by an interested party, or whenever it appears that such action is necessary to afford the claimant or employer a reasonable opportunity for a fair hearing, the hearing officer may adjourn or continue a hearing to another time or place.
(E) Failure of party to appear.
If a party in any case fails to appear personally or by authorized representative at the hearing scheduled and such party has been duly notified of the hearing, and if good cause for such failure to appear is not shown to the hearing officer, the hearing will be conducted as scheduled and a decision by the hearing officer will be issued within ten days after the hearing.
In the event there is a showing of good cause for failure to appear prior to the issuance of the decision of the hearing officer, the hearing may be rescheduled with due notice to all interested parties.
(F) Oral argument and briefs.
At the conclusion of any hearing, the interested parties shall be granted a reasonable opportunity to present argument on all issues of fact and law to be decided. The hearing officer to whom the case is assigned shall afford the interested parties an opportunity to present oral argument and may permit the filing of briefs. However, time provided to file briefs shall be limited so as to afford the hearing officer time to prepare a decision to be issued within ten calendar days after the conclusion of the hearing.
Exhibits shall be properly marked, identified and placed in the case folder. Those exhibits that cannot be placed in the case folder shall be retained by the hearing officer pending further proceedings.
The director shall issue the hearing officer decision and reasons therefore within ten calendar days after the hearing. The decision shall be based upon evidence in the record, and consideration of arguments on the record, and shall set forth findings of fact and the reasons for the legal conclusions reached on the issues.
(A) Mailing to interested parties; notice of appeal rights.
Copies of decisions of the hearing officer shall be mailed to the last known post office address of each interested party, and shall set forth the date of mailing to such party and a clear statement of statutory appeal rights.
(B) Copies of decisions on file.
Copies of decisions of hearing officers shall be kept on file by the director.
(A) The hearing officer may, upon the request of an interested party, or upon his or her own motion and within his or her discretion, at any time, issue subpoenas to compel the attendance and testimony of witnesses and production of books, records, documents and other written evidence at any hearing. If an interested party desires the issuance of subpoenas in order to compel the attendance of witnesses or the production of evidence at a scheduled hearing, the request must be received in writing by the hearing officer at least five workdays in advance of the date of the hearing in order to allow sufficient time for preparation and service of the subpoenas. In the event that the number of subpoenas requested by any party appears to be unreasonable, the hearing officer may require a showing of necessity therefor, and, in the absence of such showing, may limit the number of subpoenas.
(B) Service of subpoenas shall be made by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested or by personal service of an authorized agent. Proof of service shall be evidenced by the return of such receipt or by affidavit of service.
Any individual who refuses to testify or fails to appear or testify at any proceeding in response to a subpoena duly issued and served, or fails to produce books, records, documents, or other written evidence in his or her possession or under his or her control as to any matter regarding which he or she may be lawfully interrogated, shall be subject to contempt proceedings as authorized under section 4141.17 of the Revised Code.
Witness fees shall be allowed to those witnesses who were duly subpoenaed and pursuant thereto appeared in person at a hearing. For each day of attendance each of such witnesses shall be allowed the amount prescribed by law in civil cases.
When an interested party or his or her representative requests information from the files of the director in order to present and maintain the issues at a labor dispute hearing before a hearing officer of the director, such information, including the transcript where the record has been transcribed, shall be made available to such party and his or her representative for examination, copying, and making notations therefrom. Any examination of the file shall be permitted for purposes relating to the Ohio unemployment compensation act, and for no other proceeding or purpose. The director shall charge a fee to cover the costs of photocopying records within the files of the director.
The director shall remove a disqualification from eligibility to serve a waiting week or be paid benefits which has been imposed on a claimant who has been disqualified because his unemployment is due to a labor dispute other than a lockout if the director finds that:
(A) The claimant obtained employment as defined under Chapter 4141. of the Revised Code while the labor dispute was still in progress; and
(B) The employment obtained was of at least four weeks in duration; and
(C) The employment was not arranged with the object of obtaining unemployment compensation benefits for the claimant to which he would otherwise not be entitled; and
(D) The employment was entered into in good faith.