Fresno CA (KMJ) – Valley Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) says thousands of new EDD hires are not being trained to actually help customers, but instead are only equipped to send them down a chute to nowhere.
As unemployment claims grow, and the need for state help increases, calls and emails have come in to Assemblyman Patterson’s office, complaining that the EDD system is broken .
In a Zoom meeting on Wednesday, Patterson shared comments received from newly hired state EDD employees.
“I can attest first hand that the training of new claims processers is an epic waste of taxpayer dollars. When the so called training is combined with the antiquated systems it is a recipe for disaster 10 fold. The way EDD is doing things is truly the epitome of gross mismanagement. I came into EDD to be part of the solution – but now like 100’s or possibly 1000’s of other new staff – have been purposely set up to actually be part of the problem through no fault of our own.”
Another EDD newly hired employee told Patterson:
“I was recently hired to work on behalf of the EDD as a customer service agent and I think it is important that people know that many agents who are being mass hired, myself included, are not being given all the necessary tools to solve people’s problems. My supervisor told me that I wasn’t being judged on whether or not I was helping people but rather my ability to clock in and out on time.”
Assemblyman Patterson’s office told KMJ they have heard from additional current and former EDD employees as well, who were not yet comfortable sharing their statements publicly.
In June, the GOP, led by Assemblyman Patterson called for the JLAC to audit the EDD.
In July, a hearing over placing such an audit on the EDD was scheduled for August 11th.
Patterson said the Joint Legislative Audit Committee (JLAC) hearing scheduled for August 11 was cancelled late Monday because Patterson said the Senators on the committee are refusing to meet. This means Assemblyman Patterson’s request to audit the EDD will not be heard.
Assemblyman Patterson said he’s been in close contact with the JLAC Chair Assemblyman Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield).
“Mr Salas and I and other members of the legislature are going to continue to press for the Senate to do its duty and its responsibility and join us in a hearing as soon as we possibly can,” said Patterson.
Click to listen to the report by KMJ’s Liz Kern: