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Are you an Employer with an upcoming Unemployment Insurance hearing at the DC Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH)?

We Represent Employers.

Why would an Employer Participate in an Unemployment Insurance (UI) Hearing?

  • Employers pay UI taxes, sometimes called state unemployment taxes (SUTA), at a rate based on the employer’s “experience.” Experience is measured by successful unemployment claims against the employer.
  • Employers pay UI taxes based on the wages paid to their employees in a quarter and their experience rating. Nonprofits may elect to pay UI claims on a per claim basis instead of the tax.
  • With certain exceptions, most UI claims are paid out of an employer’s UI account, and only employers contribute to these accounts.

What can employers do to increase their chances of “winning” their UI hearing?

  • Keep good records. Accurate, contemporaneous documentation of employee conduct beats conversation.
  • Have an employee handbook. Employers should have reasonable and consistently enforced policies in a handbook that employees acknowledge receipt of in writing.
  • Retain written resignations. This documents the employee’s stated reason for separating.

How can an employee be granted unemployment insurance benefits?

  • To be “eligible” he/she needs sufficient wages in his/her base period of employment; and be able and available to work.
  • To be “qualified” in the District of Columbia, the law assumes that all Claimants are qualified to receive UI benefits.
  • For a Claimant to be disqualified from receiving benefits at a DC UI hearing, the Employer has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that Claimant engaged in either:
    • Gross misconduct;
    • Misconduct other than gross (simple misconduct); or
    • Left the job without good cause connected to the work.


If you are an Employer with a UI hearing at OAH, have questions about an UI claim that have been filed against your organization, or need any other assistance with a UI claim or UI tax issue, contact Thomas B. Martin 202-795-9999 or tmartin@gmpllp.com for a free consultation. Download our flyer here.


Disclaimer: This does not constitute legal advice, nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.  Contact an attorney for legal advice about your matter or case.