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The Employment Security Appeals Referees’ Office (ESARO) is an administratively attached agency in the Hawaii State Department of Labor and Industrial Relations(DLIR). Its principal function is to hear and decide appeals arising from determinations issued by Hawaii’s Unemployment Insurance Division(UID). Although housed under the same Department, the UID and the Appeals Office perform statutorily independent functions from each other.
A referee, also referred to as a hearing officer, is assigned to conduct the appeal hearing and render a written decision based on all of the relevant information the parties have presented in the case. The referee’s decision is subject to review and adjudication upon an application for reopening of the referee’s decision and by the circuit court upon judicial appeal.
By affording parties a fair opportunity to be heard and deciding to affirm, reverse, or modify UI determinations, these primary functions of the Appeals Office play an integral part in promoting the overall UI program objective of alleviating the financial hardship of qualifying unemployed individuals.