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Georgia labor agency sued over delays in jobless benefits

The lawsuit claims delays in processing, paying and hearing appeals for unemployment violates state and federal law.

ATLANTA — Four Georgia residents are suing the state Department of Labor, saying delays in processing, paying and hearing appeals on unemployment claims violate state and federal law. 

The suit was filed last week in Fulton County Superior Court. 

The plaintiffs are asking a judge to certify the suit as a class action on behalf of other people who have suffered delays. 

The plaintiffs demand that the judge order the department to follow the law and that the state pay people money damages. 

Elected Republican Labor Commissioner Mark Butler has acknowledged that the department was deluged with applications and has blamed earlier underfunding by state lawmakers for sapping of agency capacity. However, Butler says the agency has caught up.