Salas Requests Emergency Audit of Employment Development Department (EDD)

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

SACRAMENTO, CA – As Chair of the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC), Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) officially submitted an emergency request to audit the Employment Development Department (EDD), the state agency responsible for providing unemployment insurance benefits to Californians. Assemblymember Salas was joined by a bipartisan group of 37 legislators.

“Californians are hurting and need immediate relief from EDD,” said Assemblymember Salas. “I am calling for an emergency audit within the legislature’s rules for more transparency and accountability with EDD’s operations, ensuring economic assistance is going to families that are continuing to suffer during the pandemic. An emergency audit of EDD will shine light on the department's shortcomings and help us chart a path forward to more effectively help thousands of families throughout the state who are struggling during this crisis.”

Approximately 1 to 1.2 million potentially eligible applicants, including those that filed in March, are still waiting on payments for unemployment insurance. EDD’s actions or lack thereof have had real consequences: people depleting their life savings, going into debt, and are unable to pay rent and feed their families.

Assemblymember Salas’ emergency audit seeks to do the following:

  • Assess the reasons for backlogged unemployment insurance claims (claims) and the effectiveness of EDD’s efforts and timeframes for eliminating the backlog, including, but not limited to technological issues, and state or federal laws that have contributed to the delay or prevent EDD from processing claims faster.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of EDD’s actions to improve call center performance and response time. This evaluation should also include EDD’s hiring, on- boarding, and training efforts to increase call center staffing levels.
  • Determine the magnitude of EDD’s claims workload, including the number and percentage of claims that were approved, denied, pending, and backlogged since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Assess EDD’s call center capacity and determine trends in the volume of calls received, the time it takes EDD to respond to callers, the percentage of callers connected to a representative, and the number of calls during which the caller was disconnected from the call

The full copy of the emergency audit request has been included with this release.

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Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Hanford, Corcoran, Delano, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Avenal, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.


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