BALTIMORE (WJZ) – The Unemployed Workers Union (UWU) has fought back in circuit court for a new attempt to claim unpaid benefits to the Marylanders.
“People need this money to feed their families, people need this money to pay bills, people need this money while they look for work,” said UWU attorney Alec Summerfield.
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On Monday, the group filed another lawsuit against the Maryland Department of Labor. The union wants the circuit court to review the agency’s handling of unpaid benefits.
“Our lawsuit argues that we need the courts to step in because they are authorized by law to consider administrative actions that violate the law,” Summerfield alleges.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Maryland Department of Labor says it has spent nearly $14.5 billion in unemployment benefits.
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At this point, more than 99 percent of requests that are not fraudulent and are properly completed have been processed.
The agency explained that the backlog of claims is also nearing completion while a final series of “very complex cases” still need to be scrutinized.
The Maryland Department of Labor said in a statement that unemployment fraud has been a significant challenge since the beginning of the pandemic.
“To date, our fraud prevention team has flagged nearly 1.8 million complainants — and 2.3 million in total — as potentially fraudulent,” the statement said. “We have received more fraud claims than we deserve and just last week the Maryland legislature introduced legislation that doubles the penalties for Unemployment Insurance fraud. , which hasn’t been updated in over 35 years.”
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UWU first filed a lawsuit against the Maryland Department of Labor in July. A circuit judge later dismissed their petition.
https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/03/07/unemployed-workers-union-squares-off-with-maryland-department-of-labor/ Unemployed Workers Union Disputes With Maryland Department of Labor – CBS Baltimore