Overview of the Division of Adjudication

The Division of Adjudication contains the Fair Hearing Unit, the Appeals Unit, the Workforce Appeals Board, the Information Release Unit, the Department's Legal Counsel and the Constituent Affairs Specialist.

Initial Appeal

The Appeals Unit conducts the initial appeal hearings for unemployment insurance, public assistance and training services. At the initial appeal all parties to the appeal are provided an opportunity to participate at a hearing with an independent administrative law judge (ALJ) who takes evidence and sworn testimony regarding the issue being appealed. The parties have the right to have representation at the hearing and also to have witnesses testify to relevant facts concerning the case.

The original decision of the Department of Workforce Services is made part of the appeals hearing record. However, the judge hears the case without being obligated to make the same decision as found by the Department initially. The appeal hearing is recorded. The recording, together with documents entered into evidence, becomes the official record of the appeal hearing. After the hearing the judge issues a written decision, which contains the judge's findings of fact, reasoning and conclusions, and decision based on law. The judge may affirm, reverse or modify the Department's decision.

Further Appeal

If a party to the hearing disagrees with the decision of the judge, the decision may be further appealed. The further appeal must be received within 30 days of the date of the judge's decision. Unemployment insurance appeals of the judge’s decision go to the Workforce Appeals Board. Public assistance and training service related appeals of the judge’s decision can be appealed to the Director of the Division of Adjudication or District Court setting forth the grounds under which the appeal is made.

Workforce Appeals Board

The Workforce Appeals Board is made up of individuals appointed by the governor who sit in three-person panels to determine whether the decision of the judge is correct.

The Board does not hold another hearing. Instead, it issues its decision based on a review of the entire record created at the initial hearing. The Board may affirm, reverse or modify the judge's decision. The Board may also send the case back to the judge for further proceedings if the record is inadequate.

If a party is unsatisfied with the Board’s decision, the unemployment insurance related matter can be appealed to the Utah Court of Appeals for further consideration.