After the conference, if the Deputy schedules a hearing, the parties involved will be notified with a Notice of Hearing by mail or personal service of the date, time and place for the hearing. Even though hearings are in an informal setting, they are still formal proceedings where the parties and witnesses will testify under oath and be recorded.
Basic rights of each party at the hearing:
- Representation by a lawyer or another form of counsel
- Presentation of evidence
- Testify on own behalf
- To have witnesses
- Cross-examination of opposite party and witnesses
- Explain evidence and counter any opposition evidence
- Right to a translator
The officer at the hearing is the authority and may:
- Explain terms and issues that may not be understood
- Set the order of presentations
- Assist in cross-examination
- Seek out necessary facts
- Consider documents and testimonies of the parties involved
- Take notice of common knowledge or public records
For the hearing, you should bring everything that supports your claim, such as original documents and records. If business records are presented, someone who can clearly explain the documents should be present.
If you would like to have witnesses testify, you can arrange for them to attend voluntarily, or you may request a personal subpoena to ensure their presence at the hearing.
The Labor Commissioner or an attorney of record will issue subpoenas for witnesses, documents, or records for the hearing. If you wish to issue subpoenas, you must submit applications to the Labor Commissioner at least fifteen business days in advance of the hearing. The application for subpoenas consists of a written request stating the reasons why witnesses, records, or documents are necessary for the hearing. Any costs, such as witness fees or mileage are the responsibility of the requesting party.
Any changes in the location, date or time of the hearing won’t be allowed unless there are extraordinary circumstances. The hearing officer or senior deputy has the authority to grant a request to change the time, place or date of the hearing, but the granting of such requests are very rare.
The case will be dismissed if the plaintiff does not show up. If the defendant is given notice of the hearing and doesn’t attend, the hearing officer will make a decision on the matter based on the evidence presented by the plaintiff.
The hearing officer can accept a variety of evidence. The hearing officer also decides what penalties are appropriate for each particular case.
An Order, Decision or Award (ODA) will be filed with the Labor Commissioner and served to each party by the Labor Commissioner within fifteen days after the hearing. The Labor Commissioner’s decision and award will state the decision made and what amount is awarded, if there is an award. (Click here to see what happens if the employer does not pay the Order, Decision, or Award.)