(1) The board review 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 review written argument and hear oral argument from any interested party concerning the findings of fact and the conclusions of law reached by the hearing officer. The board does not hear cross-examination by any opposing interested parties and any new material introduced for the board review must be introduced in accordance with ARM 24.7.312.
(3) An interested party to an appeal before the board may appear at any proceeding 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 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 the scheduled date and time of the board proceeding, the board will make two attempts to reach each interested party at the telephone number(s) provided. If the board is unable to reach a party and/or the party fails to appear or make a request to continue, the board will make a determination pursuant to ARM 24.7.306.
(6) At any time prior to the issuance of the board's decision, the board may at its discretion continue a proceeding in order to secure evidence or argument that is necessary and to be fair to the parties, but in no case may the board's review be continued without board action for more than 60 days beyond the date originally set for the board proceeding. In the event that a scheduled board proceeding is continued, the board review shall be rescheduled with due notice to all interested parties.