The Labor Board Pre-Trial Hearing: Everything You Need To Know
Pre-Trial Hearing & Notice of Claim and Conference
Typically the Deputy Labor Commissioner handling your claim will set up an informal meeting between the parties following the filing of the Initial Report or Claim. You generally may find the Deputy Labor Commissioner’s contact information on the Notice of Claim and Conference form that is sent to you and your employer prior to the informal hearing. The Notice that you will receive by mail will also include the date you filed your Initial Report or Claim and the date for the informal hearing, otherwise known as the “Pre-Hearing Conference.” The employee (you) are required to attend this meeting in person. NOTE – if you do not attend this meeting, the Labor Board may very likely dismiss your claim altogether. For this reason, it is highly advised that you show up timely, or even early to the conference. The employer, on the other hand, is not required to attend this meeting, or generally can attend this meeting telephonically. If you are unable to attend the meeting due to a scheduling conflict, you may attempt to contact the Deputy Labor Commissioner to reschedule, but there are under no obligation to do so. If both the employee and employer attend the informal meeting, the Deputy Labor Commissioner will likely attempt to encourage both parties to resolve the claim.
Evidence To Bring To The Pre-Trial Hearing
If the parties are unable to resolve the claim during the Pre-Hearing Conference, then the Labor Commissioner will determine if the case should continue or be dismissed. Considering the Deputy Commissioner has the ability to dismiss cases at this stage, it is pivotal that you have a strong understanding of your claims and come ready to discuss them in detail. Be ready to answer questions about your job such as how much you worked, what kind of work you performed and which specific hours or days you were not paid for. You should also gather all your evidence prior to the informal meeting. Evidence may include your pay stubs, any time sheets or other time-keeping records, commission/bonus, salary or severance agreements that were not honored, non-compliant compensation or meal/rest policies, employee handbooks demonstrating the employer’s breach of a written or implied contractual agreement, etc. You may also want to bring a list of witness names and be ready to explain the relevance of each witness to your claims. You could also bring affidavits signed under penalty of perjury by your witnesses as evidence in support of your claims.