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24.7.301    POLICY

(1) The board of labor appeals adopts the following general statement as the policy for the board:

(a) The "fair hearing" provisions in Section 303(a) (3) of the Social Security Act requires a reasonable opportunity for workers whose claims are denied to be heard by an impartial tribunal in an adjudicatory proceeding which assures them of elementary fairness. Likewise, Section 39-51-1109 MCA of the Montana Unemployment Compensation Law provides for a fair hearing of a deputy's determination of an employer's contribution liability and rate. The "methods of administration" provision in Section 303(a) (1) requires that procedures for appeals and hearings be reasonably calculated to pay benefits promptly when due. This board recognizes that appeal and hearing procedures take account of the circumstances of unemployed works and the special needs of the program.

(b) It is the intent of this board insofar as is practical to keep appeal and hearings procedures as simple, speedy and inexpensive as possible. Simplicity assures that parties may know and understand their rights; it precludes formal and technical procedures which place undue burdens on parties which tend to impair their ability to protect their




rights. Speed assures the prompt payment of benefits when due. Low expense means that no individual may be deprived of his rights merely because he cannot afford to retain representation or to incur other expense in the pursuit of these rights.

(c) Hearings must be fair and such hearings will be conducted in accordance with procedural safeguards. The essential requisites of fairness include but are not limited to the following elements:

(i) Timely notice to all claimants of every material step in the proceedings.

(ii) Full opportunity to be heard in respect of all that bears upon the validity, extent, and priority of claims on appeal.

(iii) That every claimant be availed of the opportunity to hear the evidence introduced against him and to know the claims of his opponent.

(iv) To produce evidence and witnesses and to permit the offering of evidence in explanation or rebuttal.

(v) To permit the cross-examination of witnesses and to make argument.

(vi) To rely on evidence only which is adequate to support pertinent and necessary findings of fact.

(vii) That the decision the board shall be based solely on substantial evidence as revealed by the files, records, and evidence taken at the hearing to support it.

History: Sec. 2-4-201 MCA; IMP, 2-4-201 MCA; Eff. 12/31/72; AMD, 1985 MAR p. 1562, Eff. 10/18/85.

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