Class action lawsuit against unemployment agency moves forward

Posted at 4:27 PM, May 11, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-11 16:28:09-04

DETROIT, Mich. — Another lawsuit against the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency will move forward.

Judge Cynthia Stephens’ ruled that the Michigan Court of Claims will hear the tentative class action suit in Bauserman v. Michigan UIA. The plaintiffs accuse the state of intercepting tax refunds and garnishing wages without due process after accusing people of unemployment fraud. The plaintiffs also accuse the agency of violating federal law by failing to give claimants the legally prescribed time to respond to fact-finding forms.

The state Attorney General filed to dismiss the case, claiming state courts have no jurisdiction to hear the case and that no harm has been done.

A separate lawsuit is also moving forward in federal court. The AG had also filed to dismiss that suit, but that motion was also denied.

The unemployment agency said its hosting informational seminars.

To help its customers better understand the unemployment insurance system, Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) is hosting free Unemployed Worker Seminars at locations around the state.   

Participants will have the opportunity to learn some of the ins and outs of the claims process, how to use MiWAM, the UIA’s system for managing benefit accounts online, and much more. The first seminar will be held May 23 in Ann Arbor, with others scheduled through August from Detroit to Marquette.

“The seminars will cover the areas of Michigan’s unemployment insurance system that people most often have questions about,” said Sharon Moffett-Massey, director of the Unemployment Insurance Agency.  “We want to make sure that our customers have every opportunity to understand the UI system and know how to get assistance with their claim if they need it.”
The day will consist of brief presentations, with adequate time for questions and answers on various topics including filing claims, certification, understanding determinations, the collections process, eligibility requirements, and more.
Attendance is free, but participants are encouraged to register online. Unemployed workers can link toonline registration via the UIA website at  Customers without Internet access who wish to register should call the UIA Customer Service hotline at 1-866-500-0017 or visit at a local UIA Problem Resolution Office (PRO).