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AttorneyTom, Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 9176
Experience:  Attorney
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Can a citizen sue the Department of Labor (in any state)

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Can a citizen sue the Department of Labor (in any state)?
What would the basis for the suit be?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
A discrepancy made by the DOL stating that my appeal letter was late which in fact a previous letter was sent in on time during the 10 day deadline. The DOL did send me a response regarding that previous letter which they cannot recognize at this time, and claim that my most recent one was for that time. Sorry if this sounds confusing.

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Thank you for your question.

What follows may or may not be what you want to read. However, please do not shoot the messenger. While I can control the quality of an answer, my control over the content of an answer is restrained by the truth.

It's possible to sue a state or federal agency. However, the concept of sovereign immunity protects the state from lawsuits pertaining to the state's actions in carrying out its responsibilities to the public. You can read more about sovereign immunity at the following link (as it's too complex to explain properly here).

Now, that said, it doesn't mean your issue is done. Your best bet is to take the denial, along with documentation that you submitted your appeal in a timely fashion, to your attorney. Your attorney may be able to work with the Department to put the confusion to rest and help you to obtain the appeal that was timely demanded. Assuming you're dealing with unemployment or disability benefits, a new filing, combined with a proper explanation of what happened and documentation may even resolve the matter (see 1 below), as the confusion may constitute good cause for a "late" appeal.
However, you will want to let your attorney handle the matter to ensure your interests are protected.

1. "If the appeal is not filed within the appeal periods, an explanation of why it was not filed within that time limit should accompany the appeal."

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