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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Ind. Courts - "State unemployment agency sued: Appeals process taking too long, ACLU suit alleges"

Niki Kelly reports in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:

The Indiana Department of Workforce Development is taking too long to process unemployment appeals, according to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana.

The suit was filed in Marion Superior Court in June on behalf of John Gorman of Indianapolis who worked for the same company for 31 years before being terminated in December. He has been waiting for a decision on his unemployment appeal for at least 100 days.

But Gorman isn’t the only one being affected. Ken Falk, legal director for the ACLU of Indiana, said the group is asking that the litigation be certified as a class-action suit for all similarly situated Hoosiers.

“As a result of the defendants’ practices or policies, the plaintiff and the class are suffering irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law,” the lawsuit said.

Federal law requires that 60 percent of all first-level unemployment appeals must be decided within 30 days; and 80 percent of them have to be decided within 45 days.

These decisions are made by an administrative law judge.

“Indiana falls far, far short of that,” Falk said. “It’s just outrageous.”

According to the suit, the agency routinely issues fewer than 5 percent of first-level appeal decisions within 30 days, and routinely issues fewer than 15 percent of first-level appeal decisions within 45 days.

About 25 percent of all first-level appeal decisions are issued more than 120 days after the appeal request, the suit alleges.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 4, 2010 07:36 PM
Posted to Indiana Courts