Written Information about Video Hearings
VIDEO HEARING INFORMATION
The California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board conducts some hearings by video. The video hearing process allows for case presentation that includes the opportunity to present witnesses, exhibits, and arguments. Video hearings follow the typical hearing format which affords parties the opportunity to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. Video hearings are conducted by administrative law judges via Zoom and, as with in-person hearings, the administrative law judge controls the proceedings to ensure that the parties’ due process rights are protected.
There is no charge to the parties to make their appearances by video conference. Participants may use a variety of devices, including a desktop or laptop computer, tablet, or smartphone. The device must have a camera, microphone, and access to high-speed internet. Please call the Appeals Board at (916) 274-5751 with any concerns regarding these requirements.
The parties will be served with a Notice of Video Hearing setting forth additional information regarding the hearing and the requirements involved in the hearing process. Additionally, the administrative law judge assigned to the case will schedule a video prehearing conference with the parties prior to the hearing to discuss the particular details of the hearing and to address questions or concerns regarding protocols and guidelines.
YOUR GUIDE TO VIDEO HEARINGS
This guide is for you if your case is scheduled for a video hearing.
Please contact the Appeals Board at (916) 274-5751 if:
- Your contact phone number, address, or email address changes.
- You need an interpreter or ADA accommodations.
- You do not have access to a private, quiet location with reliable internet or phone service.
- You do not have coverage for caregiver responsibilities.
- Other issues arise that will impede you or your witnesses from appearing for the hearing.
BEFORE THE VIDEO HEARING
The Appeals Board will notify you that you have a video hearing. The notice will come to you by email or postal mail and will let you know the date and time of the hearing. The notice will provide the meeting identification number, called a “Meeting ID.”
You will have a video prehearing conference with the administrative law judge and the other party to prepare for the video hearing. If you have evidence or exhibits you want to talk about during the hearing, please let your administrative law judge know during this conference. You will be required to submit any exhibits you intend to use at the hearing with the Appeals Board in advance of the hearing.
GET READY FOR THE VIDEO HEARING
- You do not need a Zoom account to join the video hearing, but if you will be using a smart phone or tablet, you will need to download the Zoom app.
- You should test your equipment at least one week in advance. Practice using Zoom here: https://zoom.us/test
- Make sure your equipment is fully charged or plugged in to a power source. Be sure to have a power cord nearby.
- Dress as if you were going to court.
- Arrange a place to sit in the most private and quiet place you have available so you can hear and be heard during the video hearing.
- Check your lighting. Avoid very bright or very dark rooms, and avoid having a bright light behind you.
- Place the camera at face-level, or slightly above face-level.
- Close all other programs on your computer.
- Use headphones or earbuds if you can; this will improve sound quality.
- Make sure you have all the paperwork to which you might need to refer during the hearing.
DURING THE VIDEO HEARING
- Log in to the hearing on the Zoom website or application at least 15 minutes before the scheduled start time.
- Even if you are not using your phone for the hearing, keep it near you with the call-in number and Appeals Board office phone number [(916) 274-5751] readily available. Make sure your phone is in silent mode.
- When speaking, look directly at the camera, not the screen.
- Keep yourself on “mute” when not speaking.
- If you want to have a witness testify, let the administrative law judge know by saying, “I would now like to ask for [name of witness] to testify.”
- If you want to talk about an exhibit or evidence, let the administrative law judge know by saying “I would now like to show [exhibit].”
- Do not record or broadcast the hearing. A copy of the official recording will be available upon request after the hearing.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
How do I know if I have a video hearing?
The Appeals Board will contact you with the date, time, and Meeting ID for the video hearing. To prepare for the hearing, the Appeals Board will schedule a video prehearing conference before the video hearing to discuss the details of that hearing.
What happens if I miss the video hearing?
If you do not log in and join the hearing at your scheduled time, it is possible that your appeal will be denied.
How long is a video hearing?
Each hearing will vary in length. Although some hearings are completed in a few hours, a hearing may last several hours each day over several days. Plan to be in a stationary location where you can sit during your video hearing. There will be a break for lunch and shorter breaks during the day.
How do I join a video hearing?
The Appeals Board will send you a notice by email or postal mail. The notice will contain your meeting identification number, called “Meeting ID.”
i. Go to: https://zoom.us/join.
ii. Type in the Meeting ID number.
iii. Click on “Join” to join your video hearing.
What should I expect during a video hearing?
When you first join the hearing, you will be placed in a virtual “waiting room” before the hearing starts. Once the hearing starts, you will be able to see the administrative law judge and the other parties on your screen and they will be able to see you. The administrative law judge will take attendance and make sure you can hear and be heard.
Will the video hearing be recorded?
Yes, the hearing will be recorded, which will be the official record of the case. This means that all the audio will be recorded, so please be sure to place yourself on “mute” when you are not speaking.
What if I suddenly can’t hear or see anyone during the video hearing?
Leave the meeting and close the Zoom window. Now, join the meeting again by using your Meeting ID (see question number 4 above for details on how to join a video hearing). If this does not reconnect you to the video hearing, email the administrative law judge or call the Appeals Board at (916) 274-5751.
What if my internet or phone data or battery runs out during the video hearing?
If you sense that you are running out of data or battery, let the administrative law judge know as soon as possible during the hearing. If your data or battery runs out before you can tell the administrative law judge, email the administrative law judge or call the Appeals Board at (916) 274-5751.
Can other people join the video hearing?
Yes. The video hearings are open to the public. However, the administrative law judge always controls the video hearing and can place restrictions and even remove people from the hearing if they are being disruptive or not following instructions.
What if I have more questions?
The Appeals Board schedules a video prehearing conference for the parties and the administrative law judge before any video hearing. This conference will be your chance to bring up additional questions and concerns about your video hearing. You may also contact the Appeals Board at (916) 274-5751.
- How to use Zoom for a video hearing - Video Presentation
- Watch a Mock Hearing - Video Presentation
- Links to Learn More About Zoom: