A federal agency's decision might lead to thousands of Georgia bus drivers, cafeteria workers and private school teachers getting summer unemployment benefits after the state denied them the money.
Officials say the payments could amount to millions of dollars.
State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler had instituted a benefits change earlier this year, saying it was unfair to pay the seasonal benefits when public school system employees don't get them.
But U.S. Department of Labor officials determined that Georgia violated workplace laws by refusing to pay the benefits.
A letter obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says federal officials have ordered Butler to rescind the ruling and pay the teachers and contract workers.
State labor officials have sought legal guidance on the matter from Georgia's attorney general.