Court Ruling Change for DES Confidential Materials
RALEIGH — The Division of Employment Security (DES) now has the legal authority to cease providing Ap- peals Hearing Notices to attorneys who pay for that information.
On June 12, 2014, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ordered that the Preliminary Injunction that was entered on March 13, 2014 in Wake County Superior Court, be stayed pending the outcome of DES’s appeal of that same Preliminary Injunction, which was filed on April 10, 2014.
The Preliminary Injunction had prohibited DES “from terminating the long-standing policy of DES to provide copies of hearing notices on a daily basis.” This meant that DES was forced to disclose daily copies of hearing notices that contained sensitive information about claimants, including their addresses, phone numbers, truncated social security numbers and the reason for their employment determination to any individual who requested them. This DES practice dated back to 2004 and was established in part by the Plaintiff and former employee in this case, Monica Wilson.
The Stay issued by the North Carolina Court of Appeals means that DES for the time-being, will be able to discon- tinue releasing copies of hearing notices on a daily basis which were in violation of federal regulations. USDOL had issued warnings, which demanded that DES immediately cease providing copies of hearing notices to third parties. USDOL had cautioned that failure to cease this practice, which had been going on for over eight years, risked jeopardizing DES’s administrative grants, which is the primary funding source for the administration of unemployment benefits for jobless citizens in North Carolina.
“Our agency always tries to respect authority and now the North Carolina Court of Appeals removes DES from between a legal rock and a hard place,” said DES Assistant Secretary of Commerce Dale Folwell.
Beginning June 16, 2014, DES will cease the practice of providing copies of hearing notices on a daily basis to anyone other than those who already are a party to an appeal or their designated attorney(s) who are representing them. This practice will remain in place indefinitely unless ordered otherwise by appropriate court order. Both parties are anticipated to appear in Wake County Superior Court again on this matter in August. http://www.ncesc.com