A lawsuit filed last week on behalf of 13 jobless Oregonians seeks a series of reforms at the Oregon Employment Department to address months of unpaid benefits and assist claimants who don’t speak English.
Separately, the union representing the department’s claims processors said Monday the state will now allow at least 20 workers to do their jobs from home – a step the employment department had resisted for months. The pilot program follows a coronavirus outbreak last week that infected five workers at the department’s Gresham office, prompting its closure.
And state lawmakers are scheduled to vote Tuesday on a proposal to set aside $35 million in federal relief funds to make $500 payments to Oregonians who have not received unemployment benefits during pandemic. Some have been waiting for months.