Senate File 187 - IntroducedA Bill ForAn Act 1eliminating appeals in claims for unemployment benefits
2to the employment appeal board and including applicability
1   Section 1.  Section 10A.601, subsections 1 and 7, Code 2021,
2are amended to read as follows:
   31.  A full-time employment appeal board is created within
4the department of inspections and appeals to hear and decide
5contested cases under chapter 8A, subchapter IV, and chapters
680, 88, 91C, 96, and 97B.
   77.  An application for rehearing before the appeal board
8shall be filed pursuant to section 17A.16, unless otherwise
9provided in chapter 8A, subchapter IV, or chapter 80, 88, 91C,
1096, or 97B. A petition for judicial review of a decision of the
11appeal board shall be filed pursuant to section 17A.19. The
12appeal board may be represented in any such judicial review
13by an attorney who is a regular salaried employee of the
14appeal board or who has been designated by the appeal board
15for that purpose, or at the appeal board’s request, by the
16attorney general. Notwithstanding the petitioner’s residency
17requirement in section 17A.19, subsection 2, a petition for
18judicial review may be filed in the district court of the
19county in which the petitioner was last employed or resides,
20provided that if the petitioner does not reside in this state,
21the action shall be brought in the district court of Polk
22county, Iowa, and any other party to the proceeding before the
23appeal board shall be named in the petition. Notwithstanding
24the thirty-day requirement in section 17A.19, subsection 6,
25the appeal board shall, within sixty days after filing of the
26petition for judicial review or within a longer period of
27time allowed by the court, transmit to the reviewing court
28the original or a certified copy of the entire records of a
29contested case. The appeal board may also certify to the
30court, questions of law involved in any decision by the appeal
31board. Petitions for judicial review and the questions so
32certified shall be given precedence over all other civil cases
33except cases arising under the workers’ compensation law of
34this state. No bond shall be required for entering an appeal
35from any final order, judgment, or decree of the district court
-1-1to the supreme court.
2   Sec. 2.  Section 96.1A, subsection 1, Code 2021, is amended
3by striking the subsection.
4   Sec. 3.  Section 96.6, subsections 2 and 4, Code 2021, are
5amended to read as follows:
   62.  Initial determination.  A representative designated by
7the director shall promptly notify all interested parties to
8the claim of its filing, and the parties have ten days from
9the date of issuing the notice of the filing of the claim to
10protest payment of benefits to the claimant. All interested
11parties shall select a format as specified by the department
12to receive such notifications. The representative shall
13promptly examine the claim and any protest, take the initiative
14to ascertain relevant information concerning the claim, and,
15on the basis of the facts found by the representative, shall
16determine whether or not the claim is valid, the week with
17respect to which benefits shall commence, the weekly benefit
18amount payable and its maximum duration, and whether any
19disqualification shall be imposed. The claimant has the burden
20of proving that the claimant meets the basic eligibility
21conditions of section 96.4. The employer has the burden of
22proving that the claimant is disqualified for benefits pursuant
23to section 96.5, except as provided by this subsection. The
24claimant has the initial burden to produce evidence showing
25that the claimant is not disqualified for benefits in cases
26involving section 96.5, subsections 10 and 11, and has the
27burden of proving that a voluntary quit pursuant to section
2896.5, subsection 1, was for good cause attributable to the
29employer and that the claimant is not disqualified for benefits
30in cases involving section 96.5, subsection 1, paragraphs
31“a” through “h”. Unless the claimant or other interested
32party, after notification or within ten calendar days after
33notification was issued, files an appeal from the decision,
34the decision is final and benefits shall be paid or denied
35in accordance with the decision. If an administrative law
-2-1judge affirms a decision of the representative, or the appeal
2board affirms a decision of the administrative law judge
3allowing benefits,
the benefits shall be paid regardless of
4any appeal which is thereafter taken, but if the decision is
5finally reversed, no employer’s account shall be charged with
6benefits so paid and this relief from charges shall apply to
7both contributory and reimbursable employers, notwithstanding
8section 96.8, subsection 5.
   94.  Effect of determination.  A finding of fact or law,
10judgment, conclusion, or final order made pursuant to this
11section by an employee or representative of the department, or
administrative law judge, or the employment appeal board,
13 is binding only upon the parties to proceedings brought under
14this chapter, and is not binding upon any other proceedings or
15action involving the same facts brought by the same or related
16parties before the division of labor services, division of
17workers’ compensation, other state agency, arbitrator, court,
18or judge of this state or the United States.
19   Sec. 4.  Section 96.6, subsection 3, paragraph b, Code 2021,
20is amended to read as follows:
   21b.  Appeals from the initial determination shall be heard
22by an administrative law judge employed by the department.
23An administrative law judge’s decision may be appealed by
24any party to the employment appeal board created in section
The decision of the appeal board administrative law
is final agency action and an appeal of the decision by
27any party
shall be made directly to the district court.
28   Sec. 5.  Section 96.11, subsections 7, 9, and 12, Code 2021,
29are amended to read as follows:
   307.  Oaths and witnesses.  In the discharge of the duties
31imposed by this chapter, the chairperson of the appeal board
any duly authorized representative of the department
33shall have power to administer oaths and affirmations, take
34depositions, certify to official acts, and issue subpoenas to
35compel the attendance of witnesses and the production of books,
-3-1papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other records deemed
2necessary as evidence in connection with a disputed claim or
3the administration of this chapter.
   49.  Protection against self-incrimination.  No person shall be
5excused from attending and testifying or from producing books,
6papers, correspondence, memoranda, and other records before the
7department, or the appeal board, or in obedience to a subpoena
8in any cause or proceeding provided for in this chapter, on
9the ground that the testimony or evidence, documentary or
10otherwise, required of the person may tend to incriminate the
11person or subject the person to a penalty for forfeiture; but
12no individual shall be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty
13of forfeiture for or on account of any transaction, matter,
14or thing concerning which the individual is compelled, after
15having claimed privilege against self-incrimination, to testify
16or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, except that such
17individual so testifying shall not be exempt from prosecution
18and punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.
   1912.  Unemployment benefits contested case hearing
  Notwithstanding the provisions of section 17A.12 to
21the contrary, the recording of oral proceedings of a hearing
22conducted before an administrative law judge pursuant to
23section 96.6, subsection 3, in which the decision of the
24administrative law judge is not appealed to the employment
25appeal board
 district court, shall be filed with and maintained
26by the department for at least two years from the date of
28   Sec. 6.  APPLICABILITY.  This Act applies to appeals from
29decisions by administrative law judges regarding claims for
30unemployment benefits pursuant to section 96.6, subsection 3,
31which appeals are initiated on or after the effective date of
32this Act.
34The inclusion of this explanation does not constitute agreement with
35the explanation’s substance by the members of the general assembly.
   1This bill provides that an appeal from a decision by an
2administrative law judge regarding a claim for unemployment
3benefits shall be made to the district court. Under current
4law, such appeals are made to the employment appeal board, and
5the decisions of the board can be appealed to the district
   7The bill applies to appeals from decisions by administrative
8law judges regarding claims for unemployment benefits, which
9appeals are initiated on or after the effective date of the