Five new bills related to the Employment Development Department were signed into law by California Governor Gavin Newsom in an attempt to fix a system that had some major mishaps during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. An audit earlier this year blamed the EDD for “significant missteps and inaction” that cost taxpayers billions of dollars.
Leaders of the state’s EDD have admitted they were overwhelmed by the flood of nearly 24 million claims for benefits since the start of the pandemic. While the agency acknowledged they paid out more than $175 billion in benefits, it later discovered at least $11 billion in payments went to fraudulent claims. Meanwhile, thousands of legitimate claimants waited months for benefits to be approved.
The Governor hopes these new laws will tighten security and decrease delays in California’s unemployment system. Here’s a breakdown of the new laws according to the Los Angeles Times.
- Assembly Bill 56: Requires the agency to implement recommendations of recent state audits that include creation of a plan to speed up the payment of benefits and assist claimants who are victims of identity theft.
- Assembly Bill 110: Requires the state prison agency to provide the EDD with personal identifying information on inmates so it can be matched against claims for unemployment.
- Senate Bill 390: Mandates the EDD develop and update plans to respond quickly to future economic recessions like the pandemic.
- Assembly Bill 397: Requires the EDD to give unemployment applicants advanced notice when they are denying a claim and the reason for the rejection. This will allow the person involved to contest the decision.
- Assembly Bill 12: Requires the EDD to halt its practice of sending Social Security numbers to claimants in the mail no later than 2023. This will ensure they cannot be intercepted and used for identity theft.
Experienced Employment Law Attorney, Mediator, Arbitrator, Investigator, Legal and Media Commentator
Twice-named a U.S. News Best Lawyer in America for employment and labor law, Angela Reddock-Wright is an employment and labor law attorney, mediator, arbitrator, and certified workplace and Title IX investigator (AWI-CH) in Los Angeles, CA. Known as the “Workplace Guru,” Angela is an influencer and leading authority on employment, workplace/HR, Title IX, hazing, and bullying issues.
Angela is a regular legal and media commentator and analyst and has appeared on such media outlets as Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight, Law and Crime with Brian Ross, Court TV, CNN, NewsNation, ABC News, CBS News, Fox 11 News, KTLA-5, the Black News Channel, Fox Soul – The Black Report, NPR, KPCC, Airtalk-89.3, KJLH Front Page with Dominique DiPrima, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the LA Times, Forbes.com, Yahoo! Entertainment, People Magazine, Essence Magazine, the Los Angeles Sentinel, LA Focus, Daily Journal, Our Weekly and the Wave Newspapers.
Angela is a member of the panel of distinguished mediators and arbitrators with Judicate West, a California dispute resolution company. She also owns her own dispute resolution law firm, the Reddock Law Group of Los Angeles, specializing in the mediation, arbitration, and investigation of employment discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and other workplace claims, along with Title IX, sexual harassment, assault, and misconduct conduct cases, along with hazing and bullying cases in K-12 schools, colleges and universities, fraternities and sororities; fire, police and other public safety agencies and departments; and other private and public sector workplaces.
For more information regarding resources for employers, businesses, and employees during this time, connect with her on LinkedIn for new updates, or contact her here. You may also follow her on Instagram.
This communication is not legal advice. It is educational only. For legal advice, consult with an experienced employment law attorney in your state or city.