Michiganders accused of unemployment fraud can sue the state


FILE- In this Feb. 5, 2019, file photo lights illuminate the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington. On Thursday, Feb. 21, the Labor Department reports on the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)

The Michigan Supreme Court says people who were wrongly accused of defrauding the unemployment program can sue the state, a decision that could cover thousands of victims.

The court says victims qualify if they filed a lawsuit within six months of losing wages or tax refunds. The unanimous opinion was released Friday.

People were forced to repay money, along with substantial penalties.

Although refunds were made, the state still is the target of lawsuits by people who claim that their due-process rights were violated during the process.

Attorney Jennifer Lord says 40,000 fraud determinations were ultimately overturned.

A separate but related case is pending in federal court.

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