Chapter 8. Hearing Procedure of California Unemployment Insurance Code >> Division 1. >> Part 1. >> Chapter 8.

The manner in which disputed claims, appeals and petitions shall be presented, the reports required thereon from the claimant and from any employing unit and the conduct of hearings and appeals shall be in accordance with rules prescribed by the appeals board. The appeals board shall require administrative law judges to consolidate for hearing cases with respect to which the alleged facts and the points of law are the same. The appeals board shall permit a party or representative to participate in a hearing by telephone upon the party's or representative's request and showing a good cause, in accordance with regulations adopted by the board.
The appeals board and its representatives and administrative law judges are not bound by common law or statutory rules of evidence or by technical or formal rules of procedure but may conduct the hearings and appeals in such manner as to ascertain the substantial rights of the parties. A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings in connection with disputed claims. All testimony at any hearing held in this state upon a disputed claim arising under this division shall be recorded and, when feasible, by a reporter in shorthand or by machine writing. The testimony need not be transcribed unless the disputed claim is further appealed.
In any proceeding, hearing, investigation or in the discharge of any duties imposed under this division any member of the appeals board, an administrative law judge and any authorized employee designated by it may administer oaths, take depositions, certify to official acts and issue subpoenas to compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books, papers, correspondence, memoranda and other records.
The presiding officer may conduct all or part of a hearing by telephone, television, or other electronic means, notwithstanding a party's objection pursuant to Section 11440.30 of the Government Code, on a showing of good cause by the party requesting the hearing by telephone, television, or other electronic means.
Obedience to subpenas issued in accordance with this chapter may be enforced by application to the superior court as set forth in Article 2, Chapter 2, Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.
No person shall be excused from attending and testifying or from producing books, papers, correspondence, memoranda and other records as required by a subpena issued pursuant to this chapter on the ground that the testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to a penalty or forfeiture. No individual shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he is compelled, after having claimed his privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise. Nothing in this section exempts any individual from prosecution and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.
Witnesses subpoenaed pursuant to this division shall be allowed the same fees which are prescribed in Section 68093 of the Government Code relative to proceedings in the superior court. Such fees and all expenses incurred in any proceeding, hearing, review or investigation by the director or the Appeals Board or the representative of either, except charges for services by counsel or other agent representing claimant, employer, or other interested person, shall be part of the expenses of administering this division, and no individual claiming benefits shall be charged by the Appeals Board, or its representative, fees of any kind in any procedure under this division.
Any individual claiming benefits in any proceedings before the appeals board or its authorized representative may be represented by counsel or agent but no such counsel or agent shall charge or receive for such services more than an amount approved by the appeals board. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall for each such violation be fined not less than fifty dollars ($50) nor more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or be imprisoned not more than six months or both.
The department shall make available without charge printed forms for the use of any individual claiming benefits to authorize a counsel or an agent to represent him in any proceedings before the appeals board or its administrative law judges or authorized representatives. If any claimant files an authorization for such representation with the appeals board or its administrative law judges, the appeals board or its administrative law judges shall, upon request by the claimant, serve copies of all notices and transcript pertinent to such proceedings on the claimant and his counsel or agent.
No cost shall be awarded in hearings on appeal by the Appeals Board, but if in the opinion of the Appeals Board, the claimant or an employer has acted in bad faith and without reasonable basis for appeal, a penalty not exceeding 10 percent of the amount finally awarded on the appeal may be taxed against and deducted from the award by the Appeals Board and shall be placed in the Unemployment Fund. In those cases where a penalty is assessed against an employer his account, as maintained under this act, shall be debited with the amount of the penalty so assessed.
For the purpose of any investigation, hearing or proceeding under this division, the appeals board may delegate its power in relation thereto to any deputy, administrative law judge, or other person properly authorized in writing by it.
Any finding of fact or law, judgment, conclusion, or final order made by a hearing officer, administrative law judge, or any person with the authority to make findings of fact or law in any action or proceeding before the appeals board, shall not be conclusive or binding in any separate or subsequent action or proceeding, and shall not be used as evidence in any separate or subsequent action or proceeding, between an individual and his or her present or prior employer brought before an arbitrator, court, or judge of this state or the United States, regardless of whether the prior action was between the same or related parties or involved the same facts.