Iowa Unemployment Fact-Finding Interviews

In Iowa, the first step in an unemployment benefits claim is the fact-finding interview.  Here, a representative from the Iowa Workforce Development conducts a telephone interview of the claimant and someone from the employer.  The Iowa Workforce Development representative is not an attorney or a judge and frequently does not understand the complexities in the Iowa unemployment security law such that they make errors in deciding whether the claimant is entitled to unemployment benefits.  These interviews are not recorded and when a claimant appeals the fact-finder's decision, there is no audio or written transcript to refer to.  A claimant may record the interview with a recording device upon notice to the interviewer and employer.  There will then be a record if the claimant is denied benefits and there were errors in the fact-finder's decision making.  If the fact-finder does deny benefits, the claimant may then appeal to an administrative law judge and submit exhibits (such as a recording from the fact-finding interview if necessary) to support their claim.  The judge at this stage is required to understand the unemployment law and (should) be able to accurately apply the law to the facts to make the proper determination.

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