Iris Podesta-Mireles, a licensed exotic dancer, and Amethyst Payne, a licensed massage therapist, are suing the state of Nevada for its failure to provide a system that could allow the self-employed to apply for new unemployment benefits.
Both women have been out of gigs and steady income ever since all nonessential businesses were ordered to temporarily close because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES relief bill, which took effect in March, is currently offering financial aid for those unemployed due to the lockdown. But most of the gig workers in Nevada have been having a hard time applying for it.
Leah Jones, the lawyer representing both Podesta-Mireles and Payne, wants to certify the complaint as a class-action lawsuit representing all of Nevada’s gig workers and independent contractors, reports the USA Today.
“The purpose of this lawsuit is not to fix blame but to expedite the federally mandated payment of unemployment compensation to many tens of thousands of Nevada citizens who lawfully earn their living as self-employed individuals,” the lawsuit reads “These people, including many lower-paid, marginalized, and vulnerable workers, therefore, they are in desperate need of money to feed themselves and their families and to provide for the necessities of life in this time of crisis.”