The state Division of Employment Security has the OK from the U.S. Department of Labor to stop providing attorneys with hearing notices of unemployed workers.
Attorneys say that having access to notices of jobless workers who are preparing to face-off with their former employer over benefits helps both parties. It’s business for the attorney and counsel for the claimant.
But word from the the Department of Labor calls on DES to cease the practice of providing such confidential information.
Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dale Folwell has always wanted an end to the practice.
“The US Dept of Labor has not only communicated with us but they have actually sent an affidavit in here talking about the fact that this agency had been violating federal law for the last six to eight years," said Folwell.
But, Folwell said he will not stop the practice just yet. After a lawsuit by Attorney Monica Wilson, a Wake County Superior Court Judge issued a preliminary injunction, ordering DES to continue providing the notices until trial.
Since 2004, attorneys like Wilson paid the division a $300 monthly processing fee to have access to daily hearing notices. Two months ago, Folwell's office attempted to change the agreement, increasing the fee to $600 a month and limiting access to notices to three times a month.