"They like to say that they notified everyone and their employers," says contracted Warrick County bus driver Amy Baker. "If they had the sense to supposedly notify everyone, then when those claims came to them, they should have had the sense to not pay them."
Problems started after the Department of Workforce Development still gave benefits to thousands of Hoosiers after the law made them ineligible. Now the state wants that money back. The DWD is trying to collect payments from Hoosiers -- after it previously approved them for benefits. Local workers like Baker are now fighting back, and will soon file a class action lawsuit against the state.
The group has hired Rick Martin to handle the case. Martin is an attorney with Martin & Martin Attorneys At Law in Boonville. "I feel that they've been treated unfairly and I think that they need representation," Martin tells Eyewitness News. "Individually they really don't stand much of a chance, but I think collectively and with representation they have a good chance at succeeding in these cases."
Martin is still in the early planning stages of the case, but says multiple class action suits could be filed based on similar occupation. For example, contracted bus drivers could be grouped into a single class action lawsuit, and university food service employees into another. Hundreds of southwestern Indiana workers are already on-board with the lawsuit. Others who have been affected by the changes to the unemployment requirements, and are interested in joining the lawsuit, are asked to contact Martin's law firm. The lawsuit is expected to be filed sometime after the first of the year.