LANSING, MICH. – Leaders at the embattled Unemployment Insurance Agency in Michigan announced Wednesday they are reassigning close to two dozen managers to try to improve customer service in the field.
The state’s Talent Investment Agency oversees the UIA. The TIA’s director Wanda Stokes says the changes are being made “to expand the number of experienced people working in the field directly with its customers.” Most of the moves we are told involve Workforce Development Agency employees.
Stokes told the 13 Watchdog team back in January she was going to do a “top to bottom” review of the agency. She reassigned former UIA director Sharon Moffett-Massey and intends to hire a new leader over the next couple of months.
The Unemployment Insurance Agency recently indicated it reviewed more than 20,000 fraud cases and more than 90 percent of them had been overturned in favor of the claimant. Millions of dollars are expected to be returned because of that suggesting all of these changes needed to be made.
The lead attorney on the lawsuits, Jennifer Lord of Pitt McGehee Palmer and Rivers, says there are approximately 60,000 people as part of the class action lawsuits against the UIA. Many of those claimants were the ones complaining that money was wrongly confiscated through the garnishment process. They are now having to wait through a lengthy court process to get their money back.
“It was not (the state’s) money to take,” Lord said.