Frustrations over DEO lead to class action lawsuit

State officials say they made changes to  The Department of Economic Opportunity system so more...
State officials say they made changes to  The Department of Economic Opportunity system so more people can file online.(WWSB)
Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 2:35 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WWSB) - Frustrations over the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s website has led to a class action lawsuit being filed last week in Leon County.

The suit names the FDEO, Deloitte Consulting and Gov. Ron DeSantis, as defendants. Deloitte is the creator of the state’s unemployment website which has been a major source of frustration for Floridians who have found themselves without a job during the coronavirus pandemic.

The frustration is something that Gov. DeSantis himself has acknowledged, saying the website had not been a good investment on behalf of the state. He even called it a “jalopy.”

“With the onset of the coronavirus/COVID-19, hundreds of thousands of workers in the State of Florida became displaced/unemployed with the massive closures of businesses statewide. The workers began using the RA system (the unemployment website) to obtain unemployment compensation but the system is a colossal failure,” reads the suit.

Two Tallahassee attorneys filed the suit on behalf of three Floridians whose unemployment approvals are still pending or rejected. One plaintiff, Mike Latner, alleges that his application was ruled ineligible due to not making enough money in the previous year. Attorneys say this was false and that Latner has not been able to get a hold of a DEO employee to counter the rejection.

As of Thursday, the Department of Economic Opportunity says they have paid out $579,350,328 in claims.

The suit is asking for punitive and compensatory damages.

You can read the complaint in its entirety below:

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