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Virginia officials ask to delay lawsuit over unemployment insurance delays

Ned Oliver/ Virginia Mercury
Ned Oliver/ Virginia Mercury
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 12:43 PM EDT
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The Virginia Employment Commission is asking a judge for three extra weeks to respond to a class-action lawsuit over months-long delays processing jobless claims.

The request drew a mocking response from the plaintiffs’ lawyers.

“In defense of a lawsuit premised on the allegation that the VEC cannot timely respond to Virginians seeking federal insured unemployment, the VEC suggests that it also cannot timely respond to them here,” they wrote in a motion opposing the delay.

“If this defendant, with all its resources and what should be both a legal and political motivation to avoid delay, cannot answer a fairly simple complaint 30 days after first receiving a copy, the VEC has bigger problems still.”

Virginia has struggled to keep with a surge of unemployment insurance claims since the pandemic began, continuing to rank last in the country in key federal performance benchmarks.

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The Virginia Mercury is a new, nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization covering Virginia government and policy.