DETR Unemployment Benefits for Gig Workers

PAYNE adv DETR Case Update July 2020


Amethyst Payne v State of Nevada ex rel Nevada Department of Employment Training and Rehabilitation, Case No. CV20-0075 (filed Second Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada in and for the County of Washoe, May 13, 2020)

Haga clic para leer en español: CARTA A LOS DEMANDANTES DE DETR

Case Update

If you continue to have payment problems, we are providing a status update below.  However, due to the interest in this case, the volume of calls and emails, we cannot return individual inquiries.

If you HAVE been paid, and have NO issues, please drop us a quick note with your name and the status of your claim.

Thierman Buck LLP Representation Reminders

  • We cannot represent individuals in cases against DETR. 
  • We cannot represent individuals in any appeal proceedings.  It is our understanding that the appeals process is sporadic at best with appeals not being scheduled until end of September per the latest DETR statements. 
  • We do not represent people in any form of eviction proceedings.  The Governor has extended the moratorium on residential evictions for 45 additional days, with some exceptions.  You can find Governor Sisolak’s August 31, 2020 announcement here. 
  • If you have questions specific to evictions contact:
    • Southern Nevada Legal Services, 725 E. Charleston Blvd., Las Vegas, NV 89104 (702) 386-1070
    • Washoe Legal Services, 299 S. Arlington Ave., Reno, NV 89501 (775) 329-2727

Second Judicial District Court Timeline

July 22, 2020 Hearing

After the hearing, the Honorable Judge Barry L. Breslow of the Second Judicial District Court entered a written order mandating three specific actions DETR must take: (1) once payments have started, payments cannot be withheld and must be reinstated UNLESS: (a) the applicant did not file a weekly claim; or (b) the applicant has earnings in excess of that which would otherwise qualify the applicant for benefits; or (c) there is clear and convincing evidence of fraud by the applicant; or (d) until such time as the applicant is afforded an opportunity to be heard. (2) Payments to the above individuals must commence on or before Tuesday, July 28, 2020. And, (3) a covered individual for the purpose of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance includes individuals with reportable income, and is either unemployed, partially employed, or unable or unavailable to work because the COVID-19 public health emergency has severely limited his or her ability to continue performing work activities and has therefore caused substantial interference with his or her work activities, payments are required.

July 30, 2020 Hearing

This hearing was set to determine if DETR had complied with the above Order.  In preparation, Plaintiffs filed a motion for contempt (failure to obey a court order) based on the hundreds of emails from you indicating DETR has not complied with Judge Breslow’s Order.  Another hearing was set for August 20, 2020, giving DETR yet another chance to prove compliance.  The Court also asked the Special Master for an updated report.

August 20, 2020 Hearing

In preparation for the August 20, 2020 hearing Plaintiffs filed their second motion for contempt, again based on communications from you that DETR: (1) had not started payments back up, (2) had not provided a means of appeal, (3) was still claiming fraud even though individuals had provided all information requested (in some cases, providing information multiple times), (4) was still denying people based on lack of work prior to Governor Sisolak’s March Stay At Home Executive Order, and (5) still had not reconciled the UI/PUA loop. 

During the August 20, 2020 hearing the Special Master reported that DETR was not in full compliance, but that “they had made progress” asserting some 3,500 claimants who had been flagged for fraud had been released for payment.  The Court did grant the Parties’ request to issue a final order paving the way for appeals to the Supreme Court of Nevada.  The Court refused to review Plaintiffs’ motion for contempt, asked the Special Master to provide a bill for his services, and set a hearing for September 10, 2020. 

September 10, 2020 Hearing

The September 10, 2020 hearing can viewed here or by clicking on the video below. Judge Breslow apportioned 100% of the Special Master’s initial billing to DETR as opposed to Plaintiffs.  Based on the Parties request to stay (halting of proceedings for a specified time) pending mediation Judge Breslow did not hear Plaintiffs’ motion for contempt but set a status hearing for October 20, 2020 at 2:00 p.m.  Four issues will be addressed at that hearing: (1) the outcome of any mediation, (2) whether DETR has paid the Special Master, (3) if the mediation was unsuccessful the court will set a hearing schedule for Plaintiffs’ motion for contempt, and (4) the status of the Parties respective appeals to the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada.

Watch September 10, 2020 Hearing Below

Play Video

Supreme Court of Nevada Appeals

First Appeal Rejected

In between the July 30 and Aug 20, 2020 hearings, Plaintiffs filed a writ request (request for Supreme Court of Nevada to review the Second Judicial District Court’s decisions).  Plaintiffs filed their writ on August 5 and DETR cross-appealed on August 6, 2020.  The Court rejected both appeals based on jurisdictional grounds in that the July 22, 2020 Order by Judge Breslow was not a final appealable order.  Accordingly, as described above, during the August 20 hearing, and at the Parties’ request, Judge Breslow issued a final appealable Order.

Second Appeal Pending

Plaintiffs filed their appeal notice on September 4 and DETR filed their cross-appeal on September 9, 2020.  Plaintiffs are seeking a ruling from the Supreme Court of Nevada asking for a judicial determination that DETR’s failure to pay eligible claimants is unlawful, while DETR seeks a ruling that the Second Judicial District Court’s Order for DETR to take action is unlawful.  A briefing schedule has not been set, but Plaintiffs are seeking emergency, expedited briefing and hearing.

Stay and Mediation

The Parties have agreed to mediation through the Supreme Court of Nevada’s settlement program and have agreed to stay (halt all other proceedings) pending mediation.  The Parties have agreed that getting all eligible claimants paid sooner as opposed to later is a common goal that will form the basis of settlement discussions.  The Parties jointly requested a mediation through the Supreme Court’s Settlement Program and the Court assigned mediator Lansford Levitt who is working on setting a date for mediation within the next thirty (30) days.


  • Do not lose hope!  We continue to fight for you through the judicial process.  We are encouraged that Ms. Barbara Buckley has accepted the task of getting people paid and  fixing DETR, as the head of the Rapid Response Team.  Ms. Buckley has a long history of service to the State of Nevada and its citizens as a member of the State Legislature and as the Executive Director of Southern Nevada Legal Services and Clark County Legal Services. 
  • You do not need to take any affirmative action to be part of the putative class.  As an independent contractor in the State of Nevada, regardless of location, who has yet to receive the full amount of unemployment benefits due and owing, you are automatically considered a member of the putative class and do not need to apply or join through our office.
  • Regularly check your email and claim portal for requests for additional information.  At this time, the call center is the only option to make corrections.  Take screen shots if you are able and keep them in case you need to appeal any decisions, note your call efforts, and make sure to get the name of any person with whom you speak. 
  • Even if your appeal date has passed, note the appeal date (hard copy, screen shots, or email receipts), when you received the denial (hard copy, screen shots, or email receipts), and if nothing works on the website, then simply write a letter with a copy of the determination indicating: 

“Because the website appeal process is/was not working, I hereby appeal the attached determination and request immediate adjudication for inter alia, (among other things) the following reasons, including but not limited to: [add your reasons here].” Date and sign.

Save a copy. If you have been given any sort of approval, and DETR stops paying your benefits, or never started, add: 

“The conduct of DETR constitutes a taking of property without due process see, e.g. California Department of Human Resources Development v. Java, 402 U.S. 121 (1971). Since I am unemployed, I further ask that DETR pay all my legal expenses in this appeal.”

Send to: 

Employment Security Division – Adjudication Center

500 East Third Street
Carson City, NV 89713-0038

Northern Nevada Office (Carson City): Phone: (775) 684-0350 Fax: (775) 684-0338

Southern Nevada Office (Las Vegas): (702) 486-0350 Fax: (702) 486-7987

Attached Files:

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