DENVER (CBS4) – Frustrated with unemployment holds through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment, one woman is looking to take legal action.
“We need people to talk to, there is no one to talk to, we are fed up with calling and having to wait for 3 months,” Barbara Moriarty said.
Moriarty has been on unemployment. She’s been looking for work, and in the meantime picking up part-time jobs for housekeeping. It’s still not enough to cover her bills.
“As a single mom it was really hard, because I couldn’t get an answer from CDLE,” she said
Last year her account was flagged for fraud. She couldn’t get through to anyone, she estimated, for five months.
Finally, she pleaded with the office of Rep. Diane DeGette, who represents Colorado’s 1st Congressional District. Degette’s office put her in contact with someone who could help.
“I had to submit my ID, and a picture of me holding my ID,” she explained.
Those payments have run out, and she’s now waiting with thousands of people to file for extended compensation benefits, which may not happen until the end of the month or February.
“We’re definitely in the process of contacting lawyers if they would represent us,” she said.
At this point Moriarty feels the only way through to the Labor department is with a class action lawsuit. So, is that even possible?
Colleen Calandra with Ramos Law says it’s possible, however, the requirements for a class action suit are difficult to meet.
“Class actions are only successful if it can be shown, in part, that there are common questions of law and fact as well as the claims and defenses of the parties are typical claims or defenses of the class,” she stated.
Calandra also pointed out, just a week ago, six people in Georgia filed a lawsuit against their department of labor for unprocessed jobless claims.
“We want something done, and we want them to be held accountable for what they’ve done to the general public,” she added.
Moriarty hopes she doesn’t have to do this alone, but she says, she is willing to be a voice for others.