(1) The board hearing on an appeal of a hearing officer's decision shall be conducted informally, and in such manner as to ascertain the substantial rights of the parties. All issues relevant to an appeal shall be considered and passed upon.
(2) The board may hear argument concerning the findings of fact and the conclusions of law reached by the hearing officer.
(3) An interested party to an appeal before the board may appear at any conference or hearing held in such appeal, either on the party's own behalf, by an attorney at law, or through an authorized lay representative as prescribed by (4).
(4) Authorized lay representatives may be permitted to appear in proceedings before the board on behalf of interested parties so long as the lay representative does not charge a fee to represent the interested party's interests and is not otherwise compensated for representation except:
(a) A claimant may be represented by a person employed by the claimant's labor union if the person's duties include handling unemployment insurance matters for the union;
(b) An employer may be represented by:
(i) an employee of the employing unit that is subject to a benefit charge or the owner of that employing unit as long as employee's or owner's typical duties include handling unemployment insurance matters for the employing unit and the employee or owner is not receiving separate remuneration; or
(ii) a person employed by a not-for-profit organization to which an employing unit pays a membership due or fee; and
(c) The department may be represented by an employee of the department.
(5) At any time prior to the issuance of the board's decision, the board may at its discretion continue a hearing in order to secure evidence or argument that is necessary and to be fair to the parties, but in no case may the hearing be continued without review for more than 60 days beyond the date originally set for hearing. In the event that a scheduled hearing is continued, the hearing shall be rescheduled with due notice to all interested parties.