Temporary restraining order granted in Maryland unemployment lawsuit

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UPDATE: A Baltimore judge on Saturday granted a temporary restraining order preventing the state of Maryland from ending federal unemployment benefits. but for the anticipated end of state participation in these programs. The tribunal wrote: “The tribunal concludes that the plaintiffs satisfied the four preliminary injunction factors and also demonstrated a threat of ‘immediate, substantial and irreparable harm’. As part of the temporary restraining order, “It is further ordered that the defendants, Governor Larry Hogan and Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson, shall immediately, and no later than 11:59 p.m. on the 3rd July 2021, rescind their notice to the U.S. Department of Labor of the State of Maryland of the termination of its participation in receipt of any ex full and / or additional unemployment benefits available to residents of Maryland under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES”), the US Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”), or any other existing federal source of unemployment benefits. ordinance further states that the Governor and Secretary of Labor “shall immediately take all necessary steps to ensure that Maryland residents continue to receive all available expanded and / or additional unemployment benefits. for residents of Maryland under the CARES Act, ARPA, or any other existing federal source of unemployment benefits to the fullest extent permitted by Title 8 of the Labor and Employment section of the Maryland Code . “ORIGINAL STORY: Baltimore judge heard two lawsuits against governor and Secretary of State for Labor over unemployment benefits said he will rule on Saturday. Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill heard arguments on Friday to prevent Gov. Larry Hogan from ending the extra $ 300 in federal unemployment assistance. The hearing is a combination of two lawsuits filed this week by unemployed residents of Maryland. There is a lot of interest in the case as more than 500 people called the Zoom courtroom on Friday afternoon. The judge wanted more time to consider dueling interpretations of state law. Earlier last month, Hogan announced that Maryland would put end strengthened federal unemployment benefits in the event of a pandemic and would reinstate job search requirements from July 3. The judge said he would issue a written decision at 10 a.m. Sam edi. Benefits in Maryland expire at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday. “We obviously want to win this lawsuit. We think we are on the right side of the law, but we have to keep this fight on the streets,” said Alec Summerfield, lawyer for the Unemployed Union. “I believe the law is on our side, but if we lose tomorrow, and we could, we cannot be discouraged, and we must continue the fight.” Lawyers for the unemployed have argued that the additional $ 300 in federal benefits has served as a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people during a time of unprecedented economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “The termination of CARES law benefits will have a particularly devastating effect on plaintiffs. Some are at risk of losing their homes, facing food insecurity and the ability to pay for prescription drugs,” said the Complainants’ lawyer, Meghan Casey. “Our lawsuit is a little different because we’re not just filing in terms of $ 300 that could be cut tomorrow. We’re filing reimbursement for people who haven’t… received their benefits in the past year or so. whether all or part of it, “Summerfield said. Lawyers for the unemployed argued that the action of the governor and the secretary of labor violated the law and the law. Unemployment for eligible Marylanders. They cited emergency legislation passed by the General Assembly that requires the Secretary of Labor to accept federal funds and reduce bureaucratic hurdles to get the money. Lawyers have submitted several studies who found no evidence that benefit expansion depressed growth or slowed rehiring. Complainants argued that a decision in their favor is not unprecedented, citing a court ruling last week in Indiana that required the state to accept federal benefits. The plaintiffs are seeking a temporary restraining order that would require the governor to rescind his June 21 letter advising the federal government that Maryland is no longer participating in the funding, preventing the Secretary of Labor from withdrawing from the program, and requiring the governor to notify the federal government. Maryland government continued to participate in the program. The Hogan administration’s private lawyers countered all of these arguments. They argue that Indiana law is very different from Maryland law and has no merit in this case. They called the complainants’ argument that the governor and the secretary of labor violated state law a stretch. “There is no violation. The law is a standard of cooperation. It orders the Secretary of Labor to cooperate with the federal government. It does not say that you must accept all the benefits offered,” said the lawyer defense Christopher Mellot. The defense told the judge that Maryland’s top leader can, through politics, make decisions to get the state economy back on track and, in this case, get on board. focus on getting people back to work.

UPDATE: A Baltimore judge on Saturday granted a temporary injunction preventing the state of Maryland from ending federal unemployment benefits.

The plaintiffs allege that about 300,000 Maryland residents are currently receiving the enhanced federal pandemic unemployment benefits, which continue until September 6, but for the state’s early termination of its participation in these programs.

The tribunal wrote: “The tribunal finds that the plaintiffs satisfied the four preliminary injunction factors and also showed a threat of ‘immediate, substantial and irreparable harm’.”

As part of the temporary restraining order, “It is further ordered that the defendants, Governor Larry Hogan and Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson, shall immediately, and no later than 11:59 p.m. on July 3, 2021, rescind their notice to the U.S. Department of Labor of the State of Maryland of ending its participation in receipt of all expanded and / or additional unemployment benefits available to Maryland residents under the ‘Coronavirus Help, Aid and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”), or any other existing federal source of unemployment benefits. “

The ordinance further states that the Governor and Secretary of Labor “will immediately take all necessary steps to ensure that Maryland residents continue to receive all of the expanded and / or additional unemployment benefits available to Maryland residents under CARES, ARPA or any other existing federal source of unemployment benefits to the fullest extent permitted by Title 8 of the Labor and Employment section of the Maryland Code.


ORIGINAL STORY: A Baltimore judge who has heard two lawsuits against the governor and the Secretary of State for Labor over unemployment benefits said he would rule on Saturday.

Baltimore Circuit Court Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill on Friday heard arguments to prevent Governor Larry Hogan from ending the additional $ 300 in federal unemployment assistance. The hearing is a combination of two lawsuits filed this week by unemployed Maryland residents.

The case is generating a lot of interest as more than 500 people called the Zoom Appeal courtroom on Friday afternoon. The judge wanted more time to consider the dual interpretations of state law.

Earlier last month, Hogan announced that Maryland would end enhanced federal unemployment benefits in the event of a pandemic and reinstate job search requirements from July 3.

The judge said he would issue a written decision at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Benefits in Maryland will expire at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday

“We obviously want to win this lawsuit. We think we are on the right side of the law, but we have to keep this fight on the streets,” said Alec Summerfield, lawyer for the Unemployed Union. “I believe the law is on our side, but if we lose tomorrow, and we could do it, we cannot be discouraged, and we must continue the fight.”

Lawyers for the unemployed have argued that the additional $ 300 in federal benefits has served as a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people during a time of unprecedented economic hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The termination of CARES law benefits will have a particularly devastating effect on plaintiffs. Some risk losing their homes, facing food insecurity and the possibility of purchasing prescription drugs,” he said. lawyer for the plaintiffs, Meghan Casey.

“Our lawsuit is a little different because we’re not just filing in terms of $ 300 that could be cut tomorrow. We’re filing reimbursement for people who haven’t… received their benefits in the past year, whether they’re missing all or part of it, ”Summerfield said.

Lawyers for the unemployed argued that the governor’s and Secretary of Labor’s action violated statutory and constitutional obligations to secure federal unemployment benefits to eligible Marylanders.

They cited emergency legislation passed by the General Assembly that requires the Secretary of Labor to accept federal funds and reduce bureaucratic hurdles to get the money.

Lawyers submitted several studies that found no evidence that benefit expansion slowed growth or slowed rehiring.

The plaintiffs argued that a ruling in their favor is not unprecedented, citing a court ruling last week in Indiana that required the state to accept federal benefits. The plaintiffs are seeking a temporary restraining order that would require the governor to rescind his June 21 letter advising the federal government that Maryland is no longer participating in the funding, preventing the Secretary of Labor from withdrawing from the program, and requiring the governor to notify the federal government. the continued involvement of the Government of Maryland in the program.

The Hogan administration’s private lawyers countered all of these arguments. They argue that Indiana law is very different from Maryland law and has no merit in this case. They called the complainants’ argument that the governor and the labor secretary violated state law exaggerated.

“There is no violation. The law is a standard of cooperation. It orders the Secretary of Labor to cooperate with the federal government. It does not say that you have to accept all the benefits offered,” the lawyer said. of the defense Christopher Mellot.

The defense told the judge that Maryland’s top leader can, through policy, make decisions to get the state’s economy back on track and, in this case, focus on getting back to life. people work.


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