The Appellate Group

Millet v. Dep’t Workforce Serv.

Millet v. Dep’t Workforce Serv., 2023 UT App 129 (Harris, J.)

Employment Law

Employee obtained unemployment benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Later, the Utah Department of Workforce Services determined that she was not entitled to those benefits and had obtained some of them fraudulently. Based on that determination, the Department ordered Employee to pay approximately $14,000. Employee appealed the Department’s determination to an administrative law judge (ALJ) and to the Department’s Appeals Board. However, both bodies determined that Employee’s appeal was untimely. The Utah Court of Appeals set aside the Board’s timeliness determination and remanded, holding:

  • The Board erred in its timeliness analysis when it improperly factored the capabilities of a volunteer neighbor who had helped Employee fill out the required unemployment forms and when it failed to meaningfully engage with Employee’s claim that her cognitive impairments were severe enough to constitute compelling and reasonable grounds for an untimely appeal.
  • On remand, if the Board finds good cause for Employee’s untimely appeal, it should also factor Employee’s cognitive impairments into its assessment of her challenge to the Department’s determination that she committed fraud.

Read the full court opinion