Lawyers who practice in the area of unemployment appeals will no longer be able to obtain copies of appeal notices from the Division of Employment Security, at least pending resolution by the Court of Appeals of a case pitting Durham unemployment attorney Monica Wilson against the division.
Wilson, who had been picking up copies of those notices on a daily basis for years, argued before Wake County Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway that those records constituted public records to which she was entitled. Getting them as they were issued enabled her to reach out to claimants and offer legal representation in a timely fashion.
But the division, which had recently restricted the practice, said that continuing the practice would be a violation of a recent U.S. Department of Labor cease and desist letter. The Department expressed concerns that by releasing the appeal notices DES may have been disclosing confidential information.
Judge Ridgeway agreed with Wilson and in an order issued in March blocked enforcement of any new DES restriction, allowing the practice to continue.
Yesterday, though, the Court of Appeals halted the practice, pending a resolution of an appeal by DES.
Read more about the case here.