Lansing — A legal advocacy group and the United Auto Workers union have sued the Michigan Unemployment Agency, saying it’s using an automated system to file unjustified fraud charges and penalties against people applying for aid.

The Sugar Law Center filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Detroit on behalf of the UAW and seven individuals it says were wrongly denied benefits or threatened with fines because of the automated system.

Tuesday’s complaint says nursing assistant Amanda Balma received a notice of $20,000 in fines “based on her employer’s mischaracterization” of the reason she stopped working at an Okemos nursing home last year after becoming pregnant.

The suit says Michigan’s “robo-adjudication system” violates applicants’ due process rights.

The Associated Press left messages Wednesday afternoon seeking comment from the state.

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