Major Setbacks Continue in Class Action Against DETR Over PUA Payments


by Steve Wolford th 2020: Original Article can be found here.

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In the words of a frustrated Reno attorney, “We are back to where we were approximately a month ago.”

Mark Thierman says the latest efforts to secure Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments in his class action lawsuit against the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), received another setback in the form of failed mediation to reach a resolution.

Thierman has had the case in front of the Nevada 2nd Judicial District Court and the Nevada Supreme Court, and hoped mediation would lead to ways for DETR to expedite its adjudication process. Unfortunately, he says it was unsuccessful.

“It’s not unusual or unfathomable that mediations don’t always work,” Thierman said. “You just kind of hope they do. You keep trying.” Thierman said he couldn’t offer specific details about the mediation, but the sticking points remain the same.

According to an email received by News 3 from DETR as of several weeks ago, 26,000 PUA claims are identified by DETR in need of intervention. DETR reports 5,400 had been adjudicated, but Thierman doesn’t believe the process of moving quickly enough.

“Their last publicly announced rate, I think it turned out to be 6,000 in two months. That’s 300 a day. We’ll be here 288 days, assuming no new cases are filed,” adding, “So, 288 days to rack up backlog? Who can go to 288 days without a paycheck Additional days? We are already eight months into this thing. That’s crazy!”

Thierman said he plans to work through the weekend to prepare a new motion to file with the Nevada Supreme Court. “Plans are to get an emergency motion, to get an expedited hearing by the first part of next week, depending on how fast we can get the papers together,” Thierman said. “Then, it’s up to the Supreme Court whether they will hear it in the normal course of months and months and months or earlier, in which case there should be an expedited hearing schedule, and they’ll decide what it is.”

Thierman says, even in a best case scenario, that will likely be at least three weeks.

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