Must Court Follow Agency Guidance Letter In Ruling on Workers' Eligibility for Federal Wage Supplement Program?
Where Court Finds Non-Statutory Guideline Conflicts With Statutory Language
James A. Lang [et al.] v. Director, Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Case no. 2011-1740
Third District Court of Appeals (Seneca County)
ISSUE: When the state government agency that administers a federal program in Ohio is sued in state court by an Ohio applicant who was denied benefits under that program, may the court decide the case by analyzing the applicable federal law under established rules of statutory interpretation, or must the court follow an informal guidance letter from the federal agency that administers the program nationally despite the court’s finding that the guidance letter conflicts with the plain language of the statute?