Nevada DETR ordered to pay PUA claims

Agency had started, then stopped, paying claimants

Mitch Kelly
December 04, 2020 - 8:18 am
A vehicle drives by a sign at the State of Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) as the coronavirus continues to spread on April 28, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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Las Vegas, NV (KXNT) - A judge in Washoe County has found the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation in contempt of court for not obeying an order to resume payments for PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) claims.

Judge James Breslow's order was part of a lawsuit filed in May on behalf of independent contractors and self employed workers seeking immediate payment of pending PUA claims. The July 22 order said DETR cannot stop paying claims, with some exceptions for failing to meet certain eligibility benchmarks and suspected fraud, until a worker has had a hearing or some other means of protest.

The agency had been paying the claims earlier this summer for a period of three weeksm then suddenly stopped, something Breslow ruled that they weren't allowed to do.

The judge's order means that DETR must resume the payments to an estimated 9,000 claimants within the next three weeks. The judge has ordered a follow-up to his order on December 31st. 

In addition to ordering the agency to pay off the PUA claims, Breslow fined DETR $1,000