Attorney Marc Dann Sues DeWine Over Unemployment

(Photo courtesy of Marc Dann)

Attorney Marc Dann, a Lakewood resident, is suing the DeWine administration on behalf of unemployed Ohioans.

The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program provides funds for an extra $300 per week, for eligible unemployed claimants. Governor Mike DeWine terminated Ohio’s participation in the program effective June 26, although the funds remain available.

Dann, a former Ohio Attorney General, filed suit July 6 in Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court, against DeWine and Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder.

Dann’s core argument is that Ohio law requires Damschroder to seek as much benefit as possible from programs like Federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. Ohio Revised Code Section ORC 4141.43(I) requires that he “…cooperate with the United States department of labor to the fullest extent…[and] take such action…as may be necessary to secure to this state and its citizens all advantages available under the provisions of the ‘Social Security Act’ that relate to unemployment compensation…”

Ohioans from across the state have detailed the harm caused by DeWine’s order, in correspondence shared with Dann’s lawfirm. One woman wrote “I am a psych nurse, my husband was a machinist for standard aero. Until planes start flying and families start placing dementia/Alzheimer’s loved ones back in facilities we won’t get our jobs back.” Many others related personal hardship, as well as ongoing problems with Ohio’s unemployment bureaucracy. Several people contacted Dann seeking help from other states where Republican governors have also turned away the additional funds.

Similar lawsuits are underway in some of those states, including Indiana where Indiana Superior Court Judge John Hanley ruled in June that the state must continue paying the benefits.

“Indiana’s statutory language is very similar to Ohio’s,” says Dann. “We believe we are right on the law and absolutely right as it relates to public policy that protects the interests of the people of the state of Ohio.”

Lakewood resident Matt Kuhns is a freelance graphic designer, and occasional author.

Matt Kuhns

Matt Kuhns is a freelance graphic designer, and occasional author.

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Volume 17, Issue 14, Posted 2:16 PM, 07.21.2021