Once a person files a claim for unemployment benefits, this Department investigates whether he or she is entitled to benefits. A person who files a claim is called a "claimant." Once the Department has made its determination, it issues a written decision. That decision may involve the claimant’s current employer or a former employer. If either the claimant or the employer doesn’t agree with the decision, that party may file an appeal to the Appeals Tribunal. To file an appeal, the party must notify the Appeals Tribunal in writing within fifteen (15) calendar days of the mailing date of the Department’s decision.
In order to file an appeal of an agency decision, complete the Appeal of Agency Decision form and send to our Agency by mail or fax.
Mail to: Appeals Tribunal
Department of Labor and Workforce Development
220 French Landing Drive
Nashville, TN 37243-1002
Fax to: (615) 741-8933
Scheduling A Hearing
When the Appeals Tribunal receives a notice of appeal, it schedules a hearing and mails all parties a hearing notice that states the date and time of the hearing, the issue(s) that will be addressed and whether the hearing officer will conduct it by telephone or in person. In-person hearings are conducted at various locations across the State. With a telephone hearing, the hearing officer calls both parties at the telephone number listed on the notice.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR APPEALS TRIBUNAL HEARINGS
Appeals hearings are conducted either in person or by telephone. The "Notice of Hearing" will tell you how your hearing will be conducted. Read it carefully.
If you have a significant conflict with the time for the hearing that cannot be rearranged or can only be rearranged with substantial inconvenience, such as a job interview, a legal proceeding, an illness or a death in the family, you may request that the hearing be rescheduled for another date. The request must be in writing and may be mailed or faxed to the Appeals Tribunal. Please be specific as to why you cannot appear for the hearing. Absent an emergency, a party requesting a reschedule must make its request at least 48 hours before the date and time of the hearing.
Include the claimant’s name and social security number on all correspondence to the Appeals Tribunal.
The Hearing Process
During the hearing, the appeals hearing officer will take testimony and other evidence such as documents from the parties and their witnesses. Hearings are structured but are not as formal as court proceedings. The hearing officer will assist both parties by explaining the procedures and helping them present their cases. The hearing officer will make his or her decision based on this evidence. During a hearing, each party has the following rights:
- To testify in his or her own behalf.
- To have witnesses testify.
- To present documents as evidence.
- To question opposing parties and witnesses.
- To examine all documents that are submitted as evidence.
- To be represented by an attorney or other representative.
After the hearing, the Appeals Tribunal will mail its decision to all parties. If a party disagrees with the decision, that party has the right to appeal to the Office of Administrative Review. To file an appeal, the party must notify the Office of Administrative Review in writing within fifteen (15) calendar days of the mailing date of the Appeals Tribunal’s decision.
When a decision is appealed to the Office of Administrative Review, a hearing is not automatically scheduled. All parties are given the opportunity to offer additional evidence. If the additional evidence is relevant to the issue under appeal, the Office of Administrative Review may schedule another hearing. If no additional evidence is offered, the Office of Administrative Review will review the evidence presented to the Appeals Tribunal without another hearing. In either case, the Office of Administrative Review will issue a decision. That decision will be mailed to all interested parties and may affirm, modify or reverse the Appeals Tribunal’s decision.
If a party does not agree with the Office of Administrative Review’s decision, he or she may file a petition for judicial review in the Chancery Court of the Tennessee county in which he or she lives. Out-of-state parties may file in Davidson County (Nashville) Chancery Court.