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Department Of Labor Tells NC To Stop Providing Confidential Jobless Information

Dale Folwell, Assistant Commerce Secretary for Employment Security, wants job seekers to verify more work searches per week.
NC Commerce

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.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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