Hi, thanks for submitting your question today. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I’m happy to assist you with your question today.
To best answer your question I'll break it down into the several parts.
Do I have the right to object to the hearing because of these issues, and request that the judge evaluate the issues and reschedule the hearing? -- ANSWER --Absolutely you have that right, but I suspect the judge will go through with the hearing in any event unless you have compelling legal authority that the evidence should not be heard. I'm not aware of any authority that merely calling patients as a witness is a violation of HIPAA - what of their protected health information has been exposed, especially if they voluntarily are making themselves available (they can waive their HIPAA rights in any event)? How is calling patients to testify a breach of the employment agreement.? If you have clear legal authority for these you will have the opportunity to explain them at the hearing.
Should the judge allow the patients to testify? - ANSWER -- If they have information relevant to the proceeding and are not otherwise in violation of HIPAA (i.e., they are not being forced to reveal their protected health information).
If the judge refuses and wants to go forward with the hearing, I will probably choose not to participate. The judge would then likely award unemployment benefits to the employee because it will be a one-sided hearing. In that case, it is likely that MN Unemployment would allow me to appeal the decision? -- ANSWER-- You always have the right to appeal. But you have to be aware that an appeal will only address whether the evidence on the record was substantiated by material evidence. Basically if you do not present your side of the matter in the hearing, then you cannot present any alternate facts in appeal. You'd be left with only your legal argument that these patients should not have been allowed to testify.
I wouldn't recommend you refuse to participate in the hearing even if you think it unfair. Most likely this judge will allow the hearing to occur. Address the factual and legal matters the best you can and preserve any right to appeal you have. That's the best you can do.
I believe this answers your question. However, if you need clarification or have follow-up questions regarding this matter, I will be happy to continue our conversation – simply reply to this answer. If you are otherwise satisfied with my response, please leave a positive rating as it is the only way I am able to get credit for my answers. Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX wish you all the best with this matter.