It has generally been the practice for staff members from the campus employee services office to appear at unemployment insurance hearings and present testimony even when they had no personal knowledge concerning the events leading up to the employee’s termination. The Appellate Division has ruled that such hearsay evidence is insufficient to permit a hearing officer to render a decision in favor of an employer. As a result, it will now be necessary for individuals with direct knowledge of the reason for employee termination to appear at hearings if the Research Foundation (RF) is to successfully contest an unwarranted claim for unemployment insurance benefits.
Effective immediately, arrangements must be made for a Research Foundation representative with direct knowledge of the unemployment insurance hearings to give evidence. In order to ensure effective representation of the RF’s position, witnesses should be appropriately prepared for the presentation of their testimony by campus employee services staff or others with knowledge of unemployment hearing procedures.
Where unemployment insurance hearings are likely to raise issues of a legal nature, the campus must notify the Research Foundation’s Office of General Counsel and Secretary sufficiently in advance of a hearing so that, where necessary, legal counsel may appear on behalf of the Research Foundation.
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