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How to Present Your Case to the Texas Workforce Commission


 

What happens at an unemployment compensation hearing?

Usually, the hearing takes place by phone. The hearing officer will explain how the hearing works and will start by questioning your employer, then you and any witnesses. You and your employer can question each witness after the hearing officer is done. You can get a translator if you need one.

Here is the Hearing Offcier's handbook
(Learn it and know it because they have to follow it):

The Introduction
Prehearing
The Hearing
Evidence
Interstate Appeals
Special Hearings
Special Programs
Performance Criteria
Departmental Policies

 

The whole hearing is recorded on a cassette tape(CD now). You have the right to a copy of this recording. To get a copy, ask for it in a letter to the hearing officer.

To get a copy of your hearing, you will need to write to:
Texas Workforce Commission
Tape\Document Duplication
TWC Bldg., Austin, TX 78778

Certification of tapes is optional but would be recommended. You will want to send it certified mail to make sure they receive it as someone must sugn for your request.

If you will have trouble taking part in a phone hearing, write to the hearing officer as soon as possible and ask for an "in-person" hearing.

A few days after the hearing ends, the hearing officer will mail you a decision. Either side can appeal this decision by writing a letter to the Commission, but that may or may not work. Try to win at the tribunals as that is your best shot.


What can I do to help my chances at an unemployment compensation hearing?

1. Get someone to represent you.
If you can't find a lawyer but you need help presenting your case, a friend or union representative can represent you in the hearing. If you represent yourself, practice ahead of time with a friend.

2. Find out what your employer said about you.
You have the right to one free copy of everything in your TWC file, including a printout of the computer records of the phone conversations between your employer and the TWC.

3. Get witnesses to back you up.
Any witness who has "personal knowledge" about your situation can help your case. "Personal knowledge" means the person saw or heard something rather than relying on second-hand information. Good witnesses can include people who saw part of an incident for which you were disciplined, people who were present when you were fired, or people who know you had a good reason for doing something for which you were punished. The witness simply has to be available by phone during the hearing. The TWC has the power to "subpoena" (order) a witness to appear. You cannot object to a witness, you just have to figure how to discredit that witness.

4. Use documents to prove what you say.
If you have anything in writing that would prove your story (such as time sheets, schedules, or letters), use it at the hearing. If you cannot get witnesses to testify for you at the hearing, try to get them to put their testimony in writing and have them sign and date it. You can use this written statement at the hearing, even though it is not as good as live testimony. If the termination had anything to do with your health, get a letter from your doctor about the problem.

If you want to use any document at the hearing, you must mail, hand-deliver, or fax a copy to your employer and to the Hearing Officer before the hearing begins. (If your employer tries to use documents that it did not send to you before the hearing, tell the Hearing Officer and object to using the documents.) If your employer raises a new issue at the hearing, and you need more documents or testimony to respond to the new issue, ask for a "continuance" and explain why you need the other documents or testimony. If the hearing officer will not reschedule the rest of the hearing, object.

5. Learn how the Commission works.
Carefully read all the rules that are included in the official notice of your hearing, and be sure to follow them. Also, look at the "TWC Appeals Policy and Precedent Manual" to learn what facts the Hearing Officer will use to decide your claim. (You may find this book at the Commission, at Legal Aid, or on the Internet, which you can access at any public library.) The cases that apply are usually found in "MC - Misconduct" or "VL - Voluntary Leaving." If you find a case that supports your claim, write down the case number and tell the Hearing Officer about the case.

6. Stick to the point.
The Commission only wants to know whether you were fired for misconduct or voluntarily quit without good cause. Even if your employer discriminated against you or did something else wrong, you still have to prove that you didn't commit misconduct or that you quit for a good reason.

7. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
If a witness doesn't tell the whole story, politely ask questions about what the witness left out. Try to show that your employer's witness did not have first-hand knowledge of the facts. Or show that the witness said different things at different times.

8. Be consistent.
Always tell the truth and don't contradict yourself. Don't hesitate to give the hearing officer new information, if you just learned it or if you forgot to say something or didn't know it was important when you first filed your claim. If your employer then claims you have changed your story, be sure to explain why you waited to bring up the new information.

9. Be sure the Commission knows the whole story.
The following facts, if true, will increase your chances of winning:

• You had no reason to know that your job was in jeopardy until you got fired.
• Other employees did the same things but were not punished as severely.
• Your employer did not follow its own policies when it terminated or disciplined you.
• You were never given a chance to tell your side of the story before you were fired.
• Your employer said you were fired for one reason, but now gives some other reason.
• You were fired for "disloyalty", "insubordination" or "bad attitude," but there was no specific incident of misconduct on your part.
• You were given a "correction plan" and you followed it, but your employer did not take this into account when you were fired.
• Your supervisor did something wrong that provoked you to do what got you fired.
• You did quit voluntarily, but only to avoid being fired for a reason other than misconduct.

Additional Information provided by Bexar County Legal Aid Association

 

 

 
 
 
Disclaimer: The information presented in these pages is for educational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice.
Every case is different, and the correct legal answer always depends on the facts of the individual case. If you want a legal opinion
about your own employment law problem, you should seek help from a licensed attorney.
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You are able to file unemployment with the Texas Workforce Commission from any of these cities listed below in the State of Texas:

* Abbott * Abernathy * Abilene * Ackerly * Addison * Adelphi * Adrian * Agua Dulce * Alamo Heights * Alamo * Albany * Aledo * Alice * Allen * Alleyton * Alpine * Alton * Alvarado * Alvin * Amarillo * Ames * Amherst * Anahuac * Anderson * Andrews * Angleton * Angus * Anna * Anson * Antelope * Anton * Appleby * Aquilla * Aransas Pass * Archer City * Arcola * Argyle * Arlington * Arp * Asherton * Athens * Atlanta * Aubrey * Austin * Austwell * Azle * Bailey's Prairie * Bailey * Baird * Balch Springs * Balcones Heights * Ballinger * Balmorhea * Bandera * Bangs * Bardwell * Barrett * Barry * Barstow * Bartlett * Bastrop * Bay City * Baytown * Bayview * Bayou Vista * Baytown * Beach City * Bean Station * Beasley * Beaumont * Beckville * Bedford * Bedias * Bee Cave * Beeville * Bellaire * Bellevue * Bellmead * Bells * Bellville * Belton * Benavides * Benbrook * Benjamin * Bertram * Beverly Hills * Bevil Oaks * Big Lake * Big Spring * Big Wells * Bishop * Black * Blackfoot * Blackwell * Blanco * Blanket * Blossom * Blue Mound * Blue Ridge * Boerne * Bogata * Bolivar Peninsula * Bonham * Boonville * Bootleg * Borger * Bovina * Bowie * Brackettville * Brady * Brazoria * Brazos Bend * Brazos Country * Breckenridge * Bremond * Brenham * Briaroaks * Bridge City * Bridgeport * Brookshire * Brookside Village * Browndell * Brownfield * Brownsboro * Brownsville * Brownwood * Bruceville-Eddy * Bryan * Bryson * Buda * Buffalo * Bulverde * Bullard * Bulverde * Bunker Hill Village * Burkburnett * Burke * Burleson * Burnet * Byers * Cactus * Caddo Mills * Caldwell * Callisburg * Calvert * Cameron * Camp Wood * Campbell * Canadian * Canton * Canyon * Hill * Carmine * Carrizo Springs * Carrollton * Carthage * Cashion Community * Castle Hills * Castroville * Cedar Hill * Cedar Park * Celeste * Center * Center City * Centerville * Chandler * Channelview * Channing * Charlotte * Chapel Hill * Chester * Chico * Childress * Chillicothe * Chilton * China * China Grove * Chireno * Chocolate Bayou * Christoval * Cibolo * Cisco * Cistern * Clarendon * Clarksville City * Clarksville * Claude * Clear Lake Shores * Clear Lake * Cleburne * Cleveland * Clifton * Clint * Clute * Clyde * Cockrell Hill * Coffee City * Coke County * Coldspring * Coleman * Collinsville * College Station * Colleyville * Colmesneil * Colorado City * Columbus * Comanche * Combes * Combine * Comfort * Commerce * Concan * Concepcion * Cone * Conroe * Converse * Cool * Coolidge * Coppell * Copperas Cove * Cooper * Copper Canyon * Corinth * Corpus Christi * Corral City * Corrigan * Corsicana * Cottonwood Shores * Cottonwood, Kaufman County * Cotulla * Cove * Covington * Crandall * Crane * Cranfills Gap * Creedmoor * Cresson * Crockett * Crosby * Crosbyton * Cross Plains * Crowell * Crowley * Crystal Beach * Crystal City * Cuero * Cumby * Cumings * Cummins Crossing * Cuney * Cushing * Cut and Shoot * Cyclone * Cypress * Daingerfield * Daisetta * Dalhart * Dallas * Dalworthington Gardens * Damon * Danbury * Dayton * Dayton Lakes * De Leon * Deadwood * Decatur * DeCordova * Deer Park * DeKalb * Dell City * Del Rio * Denison * Denton * Denver City * Desert * DeSoto * Detroit * Devine * Devers * Diboll * Dickinson * Dike * Dilley * Dime Box * Dimmitt * Ding Dong * DISH * Dodd City * Dodge * Donna * Doss * Dozier * Dripping Springs * Dublin * Dumas * Duncanville * Duster * Eagle Lake * Eagle Pass * East Bernard * East Mountain * East Texas Center * Eastland * Edcouch * Eden * Edgewood * Edinburg * Edna * Edom * Egypt * El Campo * El Paso * Eldorado * Electra * Elevation * Elgin * Elmo * Elsa * Elysian Fields * Emily * Emory * Emhouse * Ennis * Eola * Erin * Escobares * Euless * Eustace * Evadale * Evant * Fairfield * Fairy * Falcon Heights * Falfurrias * Farmers Branch * Farmersville * Farwell * Fate * Flat * Flatonia * Flint * Flomot * Flower Mound * Floresville * Florence * Forney * Fort Davis * Fort Gates * Fort Hood * Fort Stockton * Fort Worth * Franklin * Frankston * Freer * Fredericksburg * Freeport * Friendship * Friendswood * Frisco * Fritch * Frognot * Frost * Fruitvale * Fulshear * Gainesville * Galveston * Garden Ridge * Garden Valley * Garland * Garner * Garwood * Gatesville * Gay Hill * Gaylord * Georgetown * Giddings * Gilmer * Gladewater * Glenn Heights * Glen Rose * Goldthwaite * Goodnight * Goliad * Gonzales * Gordon * Graford * Graham * Granbury * Granjeno * Grand Prairie * Grand Saline * Grape Creek * Grapeland * Grapevine * Greenville * Gresham * Groesbeck * Grow * Groveton * Gruene * Gun Barrel City * Guy City * Hart * Hale Center * Hallettsville * Hallsville * Haltom City * Hamilton * Hamlin * Happy * Hardin * Hargill * Harker Heights * Harleton * Harlingen * Harriett * Haskell * Hawk Cove * Hawkins * Hearne * Hebbronville * Heckville * Heidenheimer * Helotes * Hemphill * Hempstead * Henderson * Henrietta * Hereford * Hewitt * Hico * Hidalgo * Hideaway * Hye * Highland Village * Highlands * Hill Country Village * Hillsboro * Hilshire Village * Hitchcock * Hockley * Hogeye * Hondo * Honey Island * Hoop and Holler * Houston * Howe * Hughes Springs * Humble * Hunter Lankford * Huntington * Huntsville * Hurst * Hutto * Idalou * Ike * Impact * Independence * Indian Lake * Industry * Ingleside on the Bay * Ingleside * Ingram * Inhouse * Iowa Park * Iraan * Iredell * Irving * Italy * Itasca * Ivanhoe * Ivanhoe North * Jacksboro * Jacksonville * Jamaica Beach * Jarrell * Jasper * Jefferson * Jewett * Jones Creek * Johnson City * Josephine * Jourdanton * Junction * Joshua * Karnack * Karnes City * Katy * Kaufman * Keller * Kemah * Kenefick * Kennedale * Kerens * Kermit * Kerrville * Kilgore * Killeen * Kingsbury * Kingston * Kingsville * Kingwood * Kirbyville * Kosse * Kountze * Krugerville * Krum * Kurten * Kyle * La Feria * La Joya * La Grange * La Grulla * La Marque * La Norah * La Porte * La Pryor * La Vernia * Lacy-Lakeview * Laguna Vista * Lajitas * Lake Brownwood * Lake Dallas * Lake Jackson * Lake Worth * Lakeway * Lampasas * Lamesa * Lancaster * Lane City * Laredo * Las Colinas * Latexo * League City * Leander * Leon Valley * Leonard * Levelland * Lewisville * Lechuga * Liberty * Lindale * Little Elm * Littlefield * Live Oak * Livingston * Lockett * Lockhart * Lolita * Lone Oak * Lone Star * Longview * Lorenzo * Los Fresnos * Los Indios * Los Ybanez * Lowake * Lubbock * Lucas * Luckenbach * Lueders * Lufkin * Lumberton * Lyford * Mabank * Madisonville * Mansfield * Manvel * Magnet * Magnolia * Malakoff * Mcallen * McClanahan * McKinney * McLeod * McMahan * Meadow * Meadows Place * Melvin * Menard * Mentone * Mercedes * Merkel * Mesquite * Mexia * Meyersville * Midkiff * Midland * Midlothian * Midway * Miles * Millersview * Millican * Mineola * Mineral Wells * Mission * Missouri City * Mobile City * Monahans * Monterey * Montgomery * Mont Belvieu * Moody * Moore Station * Morgan's Point * Morton * Moscow * Moulton * Mt. Pleasant * Mt. Sylvan * Mt. Vernon * Muenster * Munday * Murphy * Nacogdoches * Naples * Nassau Bay * Navasota * Nederland * Needville * Negro Crossing * Neiderwald * Nesbitt * New Boston * New Braunfels * New Caney * New Falcon * New Harmony * Newcastle * Newton * New Ulm * New Waverly * Neylandville * Nixon * Noonday * North Cleveland * North Richland Hills * North Zulch * Oak Cliff * Oak Leaf * Oak Point * Oatmeal * Odem * Odessa * Old River-Winfree * Olfen * Omaha * Olmito * Olton * Onalaska * Orange * Orangefield * Orange Grove * Ore City * Orient * Overton * Owentown * Ozona * Paducah * Paint Rock * Paige * Palacios * Palmhurst * Palmview * Palm Valley * Pampa * Panna Maria * Pantego * Paradise * Paris * Parker * Pasadena * Pearland * Pecan Gap * Pecos * Perryton * Pflugerville * Pharr * Pilot Point * Pine Forest * Pineland * Pittsburg * Plainview * Plano * Plantersville * Pleasanton * Plum Grove * Ponder * Point Comfort * Port Aransas * Port Arthur * Port Isabel * Port Lavaca * Port Mansfield * Port Neches * Porter * Port O'Connor * Portland * Post * Post Oak Bend City * Poteet * Pottsboro * Prairie View * Prairie Hill (Washington County) * Premont * Presidio * Primera * Princeton * Progreso * Progreso Lakes * Prosper * Quanah * Queen City * Quinlan * Quitaque * Quitman * Raisin * Ralls * Rancho Viejo * Ranger * Rangerville * Rankin * Ravenna * Raymondville * Red Bird * Red Hill * Red Oak * Red Springs (Baylor County) * Red Springs (Smith County) * Refugio * Reklaw * Reno * Rhome * Richardson * Richland * Richmond * Riesel * Rio Grande City * Rio Hondo * Rios * Rising Star * River Oaks * Riviera * Roanoke * Robinson * Roby * Rockdale * Rocket * Rockport * Rockwall * Roma * Ropesville * Rosalie * Rose City * Rose Hill Acres * Rosebud * Rosenberg * Rosharon * Rosser * Rotan * Round Rock * Round Top * Rowena * Rowlett * Royse City * Rucker * Rusk * Sachse * Sacul * Sadler * Saginaw * Saint Jo * Salado * San Angelo * San Antonio * San Benito * San Diego * San Juan * San Marcos * San Perlita * San Saba * Sanco * Sanctuary * Sanderson * Sanger * Santa Anna * Santa Fe * Santa Rosa * Santo * Sarita * Savoy * Schertz * Scottsville * Scroggins * Scurry * Seabrook * Seagoville * Sealy * Sebastian * Seguin * Seminole * Seymour * Shallowater * Shamrock * Shavano Park * Shenandoah * Sheldon * Sherman * Shreveport * Shiner * Shoreacres * Silsbee * Silver * Sinton * Skellytown * Slaton * Smithville * Smyer * Snyder * Somerville * Sonora * Sour Lake * South Padre Island * Southlake * Southmayd * Spearman * Splendora, Texas * Spring * Spring Branch * Spring Valley Village * Springtown * Spur * Stafford * Star * Sterling City * Stephenville * Stinnett * Stowell * Strawn * Study Butte * Sugar Land * Sullivan City * Sulphur Springs * Sunnyvale * Swan * Sweeny * Sweetwater * Taft * Tahoka * Talco * Talty * Taylor * Taylor Landing * Teague * Temple * Tenaha * Tennyson * Terlingua * Terrell * Texarkana * Texas City * Texhoma * The Colony * The Woodlands * Thornton * Thompson (Fake, does not exist) * Throckmorton * Tiki Island * Tilden * Timpson * Tioga * Tito * Toco * Toledo * Tom Bean * Tomball * Tool * Trinidad * Trinity * Trophy Club * Troup * Tulia * Turkey * Tuscola * Turnersville * Tyler * Uhland * Umbarger * Uncertain * Union Grove * Union Valley * Universal City * University Park * Utley * Utopia * Uvalde * Valley Mills * Valley View * Van * Van Alstyne * Vancourt * Vanderbilt * Vanderpool * Van Horn * Van Vleck * Venus * Veribest * Vernon * Vick * Victoria * Vidor * Volente * Von Ormy * Waco * Wall * Waller * Watermelon * Waskom * Watauga * Water Valley * Waterloo * Waxahachie * Weatherford * Webberville * Webster * Weimar * Welch * Weslaco * West * West Columbia * West Lake Hills * West Orange * West Tawakoni * West University Place * Westlake * Westover Hills * Westworth Village * Wharton * Wheeler * Wheelock * White Oak * White Settlement * Whitehouse * Wichita Falls * Willow Park * Wimberley * Windcrest * Wingate * Winnie * Winnsboro * Winona * Winters * Wixon Valley * Wolfe City * Woodlake * Woodlands * Woodlawn * Woodsboro * Woodville * Woodway * Wortham * Wylie * Yancey * Yantis * Yoakum * Yorktown * Zapata * Zavalla * Zephyer