Oregon Lawsuit Demands Reforms for Delayed Unemployment Compensation

July 14, 2020

The Oregon Employment Department faces a lawsuit alleging it broke state and federal law in its handling of unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The lawsuit was filed by the Oregon Law Center and Legal Aid Services of Oregon on behalf of 13 claimants who have yet to receive either unemployment insurance (UI) payments or pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) benefits. 

It seeks an order from the Multnomah County Circuit Court to compel OED to process unemployment claims within four weeks of filing.

The suit argues the department’s actions violate Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination based on national origin in the provision of public benefits such as unemployment insurance. 

Among the demands listed in the lawsuit is a court order requiring that unemployment claims be processed by at least four weeks from the date of application.

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