Complaints have poured in from desperate Californians not receiving their unemployment benefits, or having their bank accounts drained.
The California Legislature has approved an emergency audit of the Employment Development Department (EDD) amid concerns over its backlog of unemployment claims and reports of fraud and abuse.
On Wednesday, 40 state legislators requested the emergency audit, calling for the employment agency to disclose exactly how big the backlog and fraud problems are.
Among the lawmakers calling for the audit, Assm. Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) has been perhaps the most vocal, saying on Wednesday that the EDD has failed to "provide basic customer care to millions of desperate jobless workers."
The announcement of the audit came days after the State Auditor designated the state's management of COVID-19 funds, including unemployment benefits, a high-risk issue.
In the past six months, COVID-19 forced businesses to shut down or furlough employees, leaving millions out of jobs. Since then complaints have poured in from desperate Californians not receiving their unemployment benefits, or unable to register to receive benefits.
Others have shared stories of their bank accounts being drained or receiving letters and debit cards addressed to someone else.