The Center for Workers’ is often introduced to the workers we assist during community events where we do outreach. While tabling at a community job fair, CWR met Audrey Eaton, who was a temp worker, contracting out to various employment opportunities in the Sacramento region. During the conversation Audrey expressed that she was having an issue accessing unemployment insurance benefits and it was causing her great anxiety because she had no current income to pay her bills.
When CWR reviewed the details of Ms. Eaton’s case, it was clear that her disqualification from unemployment insurance benefits was due to EDD’s misunderstanding of her employment history. As a temp worker, Ms. Eaton worked for many different employers, some for a very short period of time. Between jobs, she may access unemployment insurance benefits. However, when the temp staffing agency let her go and she expected to be unemployed for a longer period of time, EDD did not look at her most recent posting to assess her eligibility for benefits and instead looked back to a very short employment after which she did not seek benefits.
This error resulted from EDD failing to proceed with its scheduled eligibility interview. CWR alerted EDD to this error in hopes they would correct their mistake and find Ms. Eaton was eligible without the need to appeal, but EDD took no action. Instead, CWR worked with CUIAB to expedite the hearing on her disqualification from benefits to avoid the 26 week wait time. At the hearing, the administrative law judge determined that Audrey was eligible for the benefits she had received and cleared the disqualification on the prior employment history, which allowed her current request for benefits to proceed.
Since the start of the pandemic thousands of workers have been denied their UI benefits or had them rescinded after the fact due to misunderstandings, false accusations of fraudulent behavior, or a lack of communication on behalf of the EDD. CWR has won several significant victories for workers in regards to unemployment insurance such as conditional payments, and our recent successful settlement which has eliminated the need for thousands of workers to pay back the benefits they received. Ms. Eaton’s case is not unique, but because of her ability to meet with our UI experts at the Center for Workers’ Rights she more quickly proceed to hearing and access her unemployment insurance benefits. Our outreach efforts continue to be an important part of our daily work to ensure that all workers have access to correct information about their rights in the workplace and protections afforded them. If you have any concern about your Unemployment benefits, or have questions regarding your rights in the workplace, please call us at 916-905-5857 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to book an appointment today!