The Center for Workers’ Rights and Altshuler Berzon LLP reached an agreement with the Employment Development Department (EDD) to pay unemployment insurance benefits (UI) to claimants whose continued eligibility EDD is unable to resolve within two weeks. The complaint and proposed settlement were filed today in Alameda County Superior Court.
“This is a monumental change by EDD that will allow more claimants to be paid on time,” said Daniela Urban, Executive Director of the Center for Workers’ Rights. “EDD has worked with us to ensure claimants are properly advised of the impact of these conditional payments and are able to respond to eligibility issues.”
The Center for Workers’ Rights has spoken to thousands of UI claimants since March 2020 and has resolved hundreds of cases for claimants who did not receive benefits for which they were eligible.
“We believe this a major step in resolving other issues identified by advocates in EDD’s processing of UI claims and we look forward to continuing to work with EDD,” said Urban.
“Timely payment of benefits is essential to achieving the purposes of the UI program, and UI recipients in continuing claims status have statutory and constitutional rights to the continued payment of their benefits,” said Michael Rubin of Altshuler Berzon LLP, counsel for the Center for Workers’ Rights. “We are pleased that EDD is implementing these new procedures to ensure every claimant is treated fairly and their claims are processed efficiently,” furthered Rubin. Altshuler Berzon’s founding partner, Stephen Berzon, served as lead counsel in California Department of Human Resources Development v. Java (402 U.S. 121) in 1971, which first established that UI benefits must be paid “when due.”
Due to the high volume of claims each week during the pandemic, the backlog of determinations EDD needed to make on continued claims for benefits caused many claimants to go weeks without payment. With many claimants relying on their benefit payments for everyday necessities of life, EDD’s implementation of this new process, called “conditional pay,” will have a profound effect on claimants previously struggling to get by.
The settlement agreement brought substantial media attention to CWR. Check out the YouTube videos our Executive Director, Daniela Urban.