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October 14, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Marc Lifsher
The California Assembly plans to hold a hearing as early as next month to probe the causes of a snafu at the Employment Development Department that caused tens of thousands of unemployment claim payments to be delayed. Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), who chairs the Assembly Insurance Committee, which oversees the unemployment insurance program, said Monday in an interview with The Times that his committee plans a postmortem on computer problems that have plagued the EDD. A hearing is tentatively set for November or December, Perea said.
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BUSINESS
April 1, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - They're finally answering phones at California's beleaguered unemployment benefits agency. Four months ago, 9 out of 10 callers couldn't reach a live staffer at the Employment Development Department, according to official call logs. The system still was robotically hanging up on 80% of frustrated callers as recently as mid-February. But in March, EDD phone staffers suddenly picked up the pace, responding to a Feb. 7 call for action from the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown.
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BUSINESS
April 1, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - They're finally answering phones at California's beleaguered unemployment benefits agency. Four months ago, 9 out of 10 callers couldn't reach a live staffer at the Employment Development Department, according to official call logs. The system still was robotically hanging up on 80% of frustrated callers as recently as mid-February. But in March, EDD phone staffers suddenly picked up the pace, responding to a Feb. 7 call for action from the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown.
BUSINESS
March 21, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - A member of Gov. Jerry Brown's inner circle and a veteran labor union lobbyist has been recruited to run California's troubled Employment Development Department. Patrick William Henning has been serving as the governor's chief deputy appointments secretary since 2011. Now he faces a bigger challenge: turning around a massive 8,800-person bureaucracy that runs the state's unemployment and disability insurance programs and labor statistics services. The vast department also collects a variety of payroll taxes, making it one of the largest tax collection agencies in the nation.
BUSINESS
February 7, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Citing "unacceptable levels of of payment delays and unanswered calls," Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has ordered the Employment Development Department to hire additional staff, overhaul its phone system and add IT staff to fix problems with its unemployment insurance program.  In a letter to the EDD's chief deputy director Sharon Hilliard, Labor Secretary David Lanier said that despite the EDD's best efforts, technical problems with a...
BUSINESS
January 27, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
A California lawmaker Monday asked for additional funding and an audit intended to ease problems with the state's unemployment insurance program, which has been hampered after a botched technology upgrade implemented by the beleaguered Employment Development Department. Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), chairman of the Insurance Committee, which oversees the unemployment insurance program, is requesting $12 million from the state's general fund to add an additional 200 workers to answer calls.
BUSINESS
October 23, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez and Marc Lifsher
The state Assembly has set an oversight hearing for Nov. 6 that will look into what went wrong when the state Employment Development Department launched a computer system upgrade that backfired, delaying unemployment checks to thousands of state residents. The EDD has been contending with a backlog of claims stemming from a Labor Day upgrade to its 30-year-old system that processes standing jobless claims. The trouble began when old data was transferred to the new software and halted as many as 300,000 claims for payment.  State workers have been working overtime to clear the backlog of claims.
BUSINESS
October 25, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Weeks after a computer malfunction interrupted unemployment benefits for as many as 300,000 unemployed Californians, many say they're still struggling to get help from the Employment Development Department. Some people have gone more than a month without receiving their twice-monthly jobless benefits. And they're reporting difficulty contacting the EDD; jobless workers say their phone calls and emails are going unanswered. These complaints come despite assurances this week from the agency that the problems are under control.
BUSINESS
November 6, 2013 | By Ricardo Lopez
Underway in Sacramento, an Assembly panel is questioning officials about the botched rollout of an upgrade to the California unemployment benefits system. It took two weeks for officials at California's Employment Development Department to realize there were problems with their software upgrade, according to testimony at the oversight hearing Wednesday. UPDATES: Follow real-time updates on hearing below Sabrina Reed, head of the EDD's unemployment insurance program, said that, following the Labor Day launch, officials heard from many workers that the new system to distribute unemployment checks was working.
BUSINESS
November 6, 2013 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - Officials in charge of California's troubled unemployment insurance program said they underestimated the gravity of a computer meltdown that has left thousands of jobless workers scrambling to pay bills and feed their families. Testifying in front of state lawmakers at a hearing in the Capitol on Wednesday, top brass from the Employment Development Department said it took two weeks for them to grasp the problem's severity following the troubled launch of a systems upgrade over Labor Day weekend.
BUSINESS
March 13, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - California's deficit-plagued unemployment insurance program missed out on more than half a billion dollars in federal money in recent years when state officials failed to take advantage of a new federal program. The California state auditor said Thursday that all the Employment Development Department needed to do was invest about $323,000 in computer software modifications to recoup $516 million in money overpaid to people getting jobless benefits between February 2011 and September 2014.
BUSINESS
March 11, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO -- A Republican state senator has put on hold his request for a formal audit of the state's troubled unemployment insurance program. Sen. Anthony Cannella of Ceres said he took the action after meeting with representatives of the administration of Gov. Jerry Brown. "I have been assured that the EDD (Employment Development Department) has the resources to remedy the problems the people of California experienced in receiving unemployment insurance payments over the past year," Cannella said.
BUSINESS
February 26, 2014 | Marc Lifsher
Hundreds of thousands of jobless Californians last year appealed decisions of the troubled Employment Development Department, adding to months of delays in getting unemployment benefits. After holding hearings, administrative law judges at the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board rejected many of the EDD's cursory, highly technical decisions. They threw out or revised more than half of the earlier denials, belatedly awarding long-sought assistance of up to $450 per week.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Jean Merl
California Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez (D-Los Angeles) has added his name to a growing list of endorsements of state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), who is running for Congress. "Ted's smarts, skills, tenacity and record make him the best choice for Congress," Pérez said in a statement released by the Lieu campaign Friday. Lieu and former L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel are the leading Democrats so far in the race to replace Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), who announced last week that he would retire at the end of his term.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Anthony York
Gov. Jerry Brown is taking steps to boost the state's unemployment insurance program, which has been paralyzed by backlogs and funding shortages that have kept thousands of Californians from receiving jobless benefits.   In a letter to Employment Development Department Director Sharon Hilliard, the head of Brown's labor agency cited “unacceptable levels of payment delays and unanswered phone calls” for those seeking unemployment benefits from the state. “It's clear that to improve service we must retain skilled staff and hire additional workers,” wrote Labor Secretary David Lanier.
BUSINESS
February 7, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher and Ricardo Lopez
SACRAMENTO - California has announced a sweeping overhaul of its troubled Employment Development Department, following months of turmoil that left thousands of Californians struggling to get their unemployment benefits. A top aide to Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday ordered the agency to hire hundreds of new workers and pay overtime to staffers to beef up the EDD's woeful customer service. In recent months, jobless workers have found it nearly impossible to reach agents at EDD for assistance after a computer glitch interrupted payments.
BUSINESS
February 7, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher and Ricardo Lopez
SACRAMENTO - California has announced a sweeping overhaul of its troubled Employment Development Department, following months of turmoil that left thousands of Californians struggling to get their unemployment benefits. A top aide to Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday ordered the agency to hire hundreds of new workers and pay overtime to staffers to beef up the EDD's woeful customer service. In recent months, jobless workers have found it nearly impossible to reach agents at EDD for assistance after a computer glitch interrupted payments.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 25, 1993
The Oxnard Job Service Office of the California Employment Development Department (EDD) has reopened after the tragic shooting incident on Dec. 2, in which five persons, including the gunman, were killed and another four wounded. The employees of EDD have expressed to me their appreciation for the kindness and caring that local citizens and organizations have extended to our staff. Your consideration has helped us to cope with a traumatic situation and its aftermath. Please be assured that the safety of our employees and all EDD customers is foremost in our concern, and the department is taking steps to provide a safe environment for all who make use of EDD facilities.
BUSINESS
February 7, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
Citing "unacceptable levels of of payment delays and unanswered calls," Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has ordered the Employment Development Department to hire additional staff, overhaul its phone system and add IT staff to fix problems with its unemployment insurance program.  In a letter to the EDD's chief deputy director Sharon Hilliard, Labor Secretary David Lanier said that despite the EDD's best efforts, technical problems with a...
BUSINESS
January 30, 2014 | By Ricardo Lopez
A group seeking to reform the state's unemployment insurance system kicked off its campaign Thursday outside an Employment Development Department office in South Los Angeles. Backed by the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, the group was formed in response to a troubled computer upgrade at the EDD that delayed unemployment checks to 150,000 Californians. The computer glitch snared payments to the state's unemployed, leading to a November oversight hearing, and most recently, a request by a lawmaker for additional state funding and an audit to ease problems with the beleaguered state agency.
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