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Pennsylvania House of Representatives
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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: October 7, 2020 04:21 PM
From: Representative Jim Cox
To: All House members
Subject: Unemployment Compensation Appeal Hearings Procedure
I am preparing to introduce legislation to amend the Unemployment Compensation Law to make telephone hearings the default procedure for UC appeals.
During the pandemic, the UC Board of Review has switched to telephone hearings for UC appeals.  While there have been many points of frustration with the UC system during the pandemic, appeal hearings have been a relative bright spot.  Conducting these hearings by phone has been safer and more efficient for all involved, and telephone hearings have been more convenient for claimants and employers alike. 
My bill will continue this best practice after the pandemic has abated.  Under my legislation, UC appeal hearings will be conducted via telephone, unless a UC referee determines that good cause exists to hold an in-person hearing.  Parties would be allowed to request an in-person hearing, and the process to make a request would be included in the hearing notice.
Despite the current problems and delays in the UC system, this pandemic can lead to some longer-term innovations and opportunities to improve the system.  I believe that the relative success of telephone hearings is one of these opportunities, and I hope you will join me by cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB1992