Major Delays, Outdated Technology, Incompetence at EDD Prompt Assemblyman Patterson to Request Audit

SACRAMENTO | Assemblyman Jim Patterson submitted an official request to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) Thursday to audit California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) following months of frustrating delays for hundreds of thousands of people waiting for unemployment checks.

While the economic shutdown due to COVID-19 undoubtedly caused significant workload challenges, the EDD has a well-documented history of prolonged poor performance that has impacted California workers for nearly two decades.

The audit request letter reads in part:

“My office and those of every member of the Senate and Assembly have worked tirelessly to help tens of thousands of our constituents. In that time, my office has uncovered several disturbing facts that demand additional investigation.

According to data from Deloitte Consulting, during one week in May, out of 1.5 million total phone calls from 600,000 unique calls, only 150,000 were able to speak to a live person. This means 75 percent of people calling didn’t get the attention they so desperately needed. These numbers do not include the recurring hang-ups that have been widely described by callers who get through to a representative, only to be disconnected mid-conversation – an issue that has been commonplace since before the pandemic.”

Assemblyman Patterson’s request will be considered by the JLAC at their upcoming hearing on August 5. Patterson sits on JLAC and has authored previous audit requests of California’s High Speed Rail Authority and the Department of Motor Vehicles. He is also the Vice Chair of the Accountability and Administrative Review Committee.