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Attorneys in unemployment system lawsuit agree to mediation


RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada’s unemployment system and laid-off workers suing over delayed or erroneously denied claims asked a Reno judge Friday to delay their case to allow the parties to enter into mediation.

“All parties agree the purpose of this litigation is to obtain payment of unemployment compensation to as many people who are entitled to such compensation as possible and to make those determinations as quickly as possible,” attorneys representing both the workers and the state wrote in a jointly filed motion.

Decades-old computers and bureaucratic hurdles continue to delay benefit payouts to thousands of Nevada workers who have filed unemployment insurance claims since businesses closed to contain the coronavirus pandemic. The need to constantly defend the system against a rising number of fraud attempts has led to erroneous denials as well.

In July, District Court Judge Barry Breslow ordered the state to pay out denied or delayed claims to certain categories of workers, including independent contractors and gig-economy workers. Breslow is scheduled to revisit the state’s compliance with his order on Sept. 10.

The two parties asked Breslow to grant them 30 days to resolve the case in mediation.

Nevada officials reported Thursday that the state’s unemployment rate fell 0.4% to 16% from a week prior.

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