UIA CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT-WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  

UIA CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT-WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW  

Improper Collections: Saunders et al. v. Michigan Unemployment Agency et al.

Status: Class Action Settlement Notice Sent 

As of June 10, 2024, Class Notice was sent to eligible claimants. Look for postcard notice and email, you can follow the instructions provided to make a claim or opt-out.  Go to www.bwclassactions.com for complete claims administration information.  If you are eligible to submit a claim, you will also see a web alert in your MiWAM portal with the title “Saunders v. UIA Improper Collections Alert” letting you know if you may qualify to be part of the settlement. The deadline to file a claim, object to the settlement, or opt out is Nov. 4, 2024. A final approval hearing is scheduled for March 20, 2025.

Saunders Case Summary:      The Saunders litigation challenges improper collection by the Agency without providing basic due process first.  The Court of Claims granted preliminary approval for a class action settlement that would resolve this lawsuit. All Agency collection activity was suspended as a result of a preliminary injunction motion granted in 2022. The settlement will provide new notice and rights to people who filed for benefits since March 1, 2020, and provide for reforms of Agency processes to protect rights to appropriate notice and opportunity to appeal before any Agency collection will be allowed to resume. UI claimants who had money taken from them without due process will qualify to submit a claim for monetary relief.  Go to bwclassactions.com now for details and contact information for additional questions. To stay up to date, sign up for the Blanchard & Walker Firm newsletter or follow the Firm’s facebook @michiganemploymentlawyers .

Indefinite Stop Payment: Kreps et al. v. Michigan Unemployment Agency et al.

Status: Litigation in Progress

Summary: The Kreps litigation challenges UIA practices of indefinitely suspending benefits for eligible claimants who were waiting for pandemic financial relief promised to them.  Hundreds of thousands of UI claimants still have their benefits suspended without notice or opportunity to request a hearing on the Agency’s decision.   In a July 2023 ruling, the federal court ruled that Plaintiffs have “plausibly alleged a procedural due process claim by pleading that their UI benefits were ‘terminated’ before they received ‘an opportunity to be heard.’”  Plaintiffs allege that Agency computer programming put hundreds of thousands of claim files on indefinite hold.

If you were subject to indefinite holds on benefits, or maybe still waiting for pandemic era benefits, you can stay up to date by signing up for the Blanchard & Walker Firm newsletter or following the Firm’s facebook @michiganemploymentlawyers. As the case progresses, impacted UI claimants can help us by filling out a quick survey to report their experience.

Since the first lawsuit against the Unemployment Agency (UIA), the biggest question we get is “how do I join?“. Potentially hundreds of thousands of Michiganders have been subject to illegal collection activity or had payments suspended as alleged in the Saunders and Kreps lawsuits. The short answer is that those potentially impacted must wait for court approval and will receive notice explain their options to submit a claim or opt-out (read more on how the process works at how to join a class action).

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How do I get help with my UI claim?

Depending on your location and income level, you may qualify for representation or counseling from one or more of the following groups offering UI representation:

Saunders Pleadings and Orders:

Plaintiffs’ Motion for Preliminary Injunction Pleadings:

Michigan Unemployment Agency Motion to Dismiss the Class Action Lawsuit Pleadings:

Saunders Case Motion for Class Certification: