An appeal is your written notice that you disagree with a Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) decision and want your case decided through the appeal process. A career school or college may appeal denial of licensure (Certificate of Approval), revocation of license, denial of renewal, penalties or any other TWC sanctions. State law gives TWC sole authority in disputed TWC career school and college regulation decisions; no other state agency or official can affect the outcome of an appeal. To participate in an appeal you must meet submission deadlines.
The appeal process is structured so that you do not need an attorney. You may choose to have an attorney or other person represent you at your own expense.
There are two levels of appeal. You start with the first level, and if you disagree with that decision, you may proceed to the other level.
- Appeal to TWC Special Hearings Officer.
- Motion for Rehearing or Appeal to a Civil Court.
Career schools or colleges that wish to dispute any sanction determination issued by TWC’s Career Schools & Colleges Department may appeal within 15 days from receipt of that determination, as mandated by the Career Schools and Colleges Act, Texas Education Code, Chapter 132.
The hearings are conducted in person, in Austin, Texas, unless the parties agree to a telephone hearing or a different location. Hearings are conducted under the procedures provided in Subchapter U, Chapter 807, Title 40 of the Texas Administrative Code (40 T.A.C. §§ 807.381-395).
An appeal to a sanction determination must be in writing and submitted no later than 15 days from receipt of that determination. The appeal must be mailed or faxed:
TWC Special Hearings Department
Attn: Career School Hearing Request
101 E 15th St
Austin, TX 78778-0001
- Fax: 512-463-9318
If you submit your appeal by fax, then the appeal date shall be the date and time the appeal is received by TWC. Please keep a copy of the fax confirmation.
Our Special Hearings department will respond promptly to your letter with notice of a hearing that will be held within 30 days. The hearing notice will include the following:
- The date, time, place and nature of the hearing
- A statement of the legal authority under which the hearing is to be held
- A statement of the issues to be considered
- Directions regarding the evidence you will present
- Practice and decorum standards
- A copy of the Texas Administrative Code rules for Career Schools Hearings
Upon receipt of a timely appeal, we will schedule a hearing within 30 days. We will mail the school a notice of hearing stating the date, time, place and nature of the hearing, and including a short statement of the issues to be considered during the hearing.
Accommodations for Your Hearing
If a party needs special accommodations, such as an interpreter or a telephone hearing, make the request as soon as possible before the hearing, preferably in the appeal letter.
Documentary Evidence You Want to Present at Your Hearing
For an in-person hearing, any documentary evidence will be exchanged at the hearing.
For a telephone hearing, any documentary evidence must be provided in advance to all parties in the appeal and the hearing officer.
The parties, with the consent of the hearing officer, may agree in writing to relevant facts. The hearing officer may decide the appeal based on these stipulations or, at the hearing officer's discretion, may take any further evidence that the hearing officer deems necessary.
Calling Witnesses & Notifying the Hearing Officer
If you wish to call witnesses, they should have personal (first-hand) knowledge about the background, policies, incidents or events regarding the issues on the hearing notice. For example, they either saw the incident, heard a person say something directly, or saw the paperwork connected to the event.
Contact your witnesses before the hearing and have them arrange their schedules so they can participate in the hearing.
If your hearing is in person, simply have your witnesses appear at the hearing location at the time and date for the hearing, or they may participate by phone as stated above.
In a phone hearing, you must give the hearing officer your list of witnesses and the contact phone numbers. Have your witnesses remain available for the call until the hearing officer or you release them from the hearing.
If You Need to Subpoena Witnesses
A subpoena is a written legal order that requires a person to appear at a hearing to testify or produce documents for a hearing.
Subpoenas may be issued at the discretion of the hearing officer. A request for a subpoena will be granted only after the hearing officer determines that the records or witnesses requested to be subpoenaed are relevant to the issues on appeal.
TWC pays the applicable fees for issuing a subpoena.
The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer from TWC’s Special Hearings department. After placing the witnesses under oath, the hearing officer will examine parties and any witnesses and will allow cross-examination to the extent the hearing officer deems necessary to afford the parties due process. The parties to an appeal may present evidence, either verbal or documentary, that is material and relevant, as determined by the hearing officer.
The hearing officer may grant a postponement of a hearing for good cause, at a party’s request. The hearing officer also may continue a hearing in order to obtain further evidence.
What to Do if You Did Not Participate in the Hearing
If you did not participate in the appeal hearing and disagree with the appeal decision, you can submit a written request to reopen your case. Your request must be submitted by fax or mail within 30 calendar days after the mailing date of the appeal hearing decision, and in it you must show that you had a good reason for missing the prior hearing.
Following the hearing, the hearing officer will issue a written decision which we will mail to the school by certified mail, return receipt requested, usually within five to ten working days.
If you participate in the hearing but disagree with the appeal decision, you may submit a Motion for Rehearing with our Special Hearings department, by fax or mail, within 30 calendar days after the date TWC mailed you the decision. If you choose to fax the information, keep the paperwork that indicates successful transmission of your Motion for Rehearing.
TWC will grant the Motion for Rehearing only if you show these three things:
- Important new information about your case
- A compelling reason why you did not present the new information earlier
- Why you think the new information could change the appeal decision
If the hearing officer determines that the new evidence warrants a rehearing, a new hearing will be scheduled. In any event, the hearing officer will issue a written decision in response to the Motion for Rehearing. If you ask for a rehearing and TWC denies it, you can still appeal that decision to a civil court.
Appeal to a Civil Court
The final TWC decision may be appealed to a district court in Travis County, pursuant to section 132.102 of the Texas Education Code.
Withdrawing Your Appeal
If you no longer want to proceed with the hearing, you have the option to withdraw your appeal. Only the individual who filed the appeal can withdraw or cancel the appeal.
The withdrawal of your appeal must be done in writing or recorded by contacting the hearing officer and also must contain the specific words that you wish to "withdraw your appeal." The appeal can be withdrawn either before or during the hearing.