In a new federal lawsuit, a builder of Michigan’s unemployment site is seeking to recoup more than $3 million it has spent to improve its website, which can sometimes be slow and error-prone.
The Michigan Workforce Commission said Monday it would be paying $3,600 a month for a six-month period for the site to improve.
The commission also is suing to block the company from creating a third-party website to make the Michigan unemployment site faster and easier to navigate.
“We’re not making this a free service.
We’re not charging anyone to do this,” said Scott Gugler, a partner at Gugelman and Co., who helped design the Michigan site.
“There’s an economic benefit to it for companies to have their own web presence, and I think that’s something that people appreciate and would like to see.”
The commission is seeking unspecified damages from Michigan’s contractor, the company that made the state’s online unemployment site.
It sued the company last month for $500,000 and is seeking an injunction preventing the builder from using any other company’s logo on the site.
The builder has said it is trying to make its website more accessible to the general public.
Guglin said he and his team did a lot of work to improve the site and added some “nice enhancements” last year.
They also redesigned the site for the third year in a row, Guglinger said.
The state had to spend $1.2 million to update the website and hire contractors to add features and improve the usability, he said.
GUGELER: ‘I would do anything’ to fix the Michigan Unemployment site’s problems article Gugelson, who is also the general counsel of the Michigan Department of Labor, said the Michigan workforce commission is not the only group of interested parties who are suing over the state job site.
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., last week ordered the builder of the site in Michigan to pay more than a million dollars to the Michigan Employment Security Administration to cover the costs of upgrading the website.
The federal judge said the builder should also be required to pay an additional $2.2 a month to the EEAS to reimburse it for any damages.
Gagelson said the EEAs website is one of the best in the nation and he wants it to be more accessible.
The EEAS is a federal agency that provides employment services to unemployed Americans, including job training.
The contractor that built the Michigan website is also seeking to recover some of that cost, the commission said.
If that happens, Gagelman said he would do whatever it takes to get the Michigan job site online again.
“It’s a public service,” he said, “and I think the American people appreciate that.”
He added that he and Gugeler have been in discussions with both parties about the lawsuit.
GAGELER AND GUGLER’S LAWYER: What can you do?
article Gageler said he has worked for years on improving Michigan’s website and wants the state to be the first state to do so.
“My biggest worry is not just getting the job site fixed, but also having the public be aware of it,” he wrote in an email.
“I think that is the best way to have a positive and productive conversation about how the site works, what its problems are, and what the next steps are.”
The lawsuit also alleges that the state did not consult with Gugeliners team before making the decision to hire the contractor.
The suit alleges that when the commission hired the company, Gags team and his wife were told that the company had previously worked on a website for Michigan, and that Gagels team had “never worked on any Michigan site.”
The suit also claims that Gugels team was told that a Michigan contractor already had done work on the Michigan State University site.
Gags and Guggelers team also were told they could use the Michigan jobs site as a model for their own work.
Guggelman said that was not the case, adding that his team had no knowledge of the previous work that was done on the job-site website.
Gogels team and Gags own team were not aware of any previous work done on their site, he added.
GIGGELERS LAWYERS: Why are you suing?
article In an email, Gogelers attorney, Christopher A. Gager, said he believes the commission is mischaracterizing its decision to approve the contractor for work on its website.
“The commission is claiming that the site has been updated, and we are not making that claim,” he told The Washington Post.
“Our complaint is based on the fact that the commission was not consulted prior to approving the contractor to do the work.”
Gagellers team was hired to help improve the state jobs site, G