Function of California's Employment Development Department

Instructor: Millicent Kelly

Millicent has been teaching at the university level since 2004. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a Master's degree in Human Resources.

This lesson will review the primary functions and branches of California's Employment Development Department. The actions that are being taken by the department to deter fraudulent practices will also be discussed.

What is the EDD?

A friend of yours calls from Los Angeles and tells you they suddenly found themselves unemployed. You try to offer support and encouragement because you know this is a difficult time for them. Your friend tells you they have an appointment with the California EDD next week for help with finding employment. You don't want to sound ignorant, but you wonder, what is the California EDD? Keep reading and you'll learn all about them.

Primary Functions of the EDD

The EDD stands for the California Employment Development Department which is the largest tax collecting agency in the State of California, and offers a wide variety of services for both employers and employees. The Employment Development Department, or EDD for short, provides a large number of important services including:

  • Helping employers fill required positions
  • Helping unemployed residents secure employment
  • Overseeing workplace investment programs
  • Providing assistance for the disadvantaged so they can become independent
  • Overseeing unemployment and disability insurance programs
  • Collecting and overseeing employment taxes

Within the EDD, there are nine different branches. Let's take a look at them now and read a brief description of their assigned responsibilities.

EDD Branches

The California EDD is divided into 9 different branches. Let's take a look at each of these branches and their responsibilities.

  1. The Administration Branch is an internal branch of the EDD which provides services such as support services, human resource services and keeping track of the department's annual budget.
  2. The Directorate Office consists of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office and Legal Office. This branch handles things like discrimination complaints and provides support with legal issues facing the department.
  3. The Disability Insurance Branch oversees state disability insurance programs and provides disability compensation to employees who can't work because of illness, injury, or pregnancy.
  4. The Information Technology Branch provides data and technical support for the entire department and oversees one of the largest IT units in the State.
  5. The Policy, Accountability, and Compliance Branch is responsible for audit and investigation of all programs offered through the EDD. It is the primary liaison with state and federal government officials to provide guidelines and information on legal matters.
  6. Public Affairs Branch provides marketing, outreach, and training in support of EDD programs and also manages social media.
  7. Tax Branch is responsible for the collection of disability insurance tax, unemployment tax, employment training tax, and personal income tax. The branch maintains tax records for an estimated 17 million people and is one of the largest tax collection branches in the nation.
  8. Unemployment Insurance Branch provides unemployment benefits to unemployed individuals who are willing and able to work, but have become unemployed due to circumstances beyond their control.
  9. Workforce Services Branch connects job-seekers with employers and they do so approximately one million times each year. The branch provides employee referrals, employment workshops, placement and other services.


EDD Website

The California EDD's website contains useful tools for both employees and employers. Some of the things you can do as an employee from the website include:

  • Search for jobs
  • Obtain occupational information
  • Get information on local job fairs and workshops
  • Find out about apprenticeships
  • Learn how to file an unemployment, family leave, or disability claim

The EDD website offers resources for employers as well including:

  • Providing payroll tax information
  • Posting job information
  • Getting information about layoffs
  • Responding to unemployment, family leave, and disability claims

Detecting Fraudulent Practices

The EDD actively investigates and fully prosecutes any cases of fraud or potential fraud brought to their attention in order to ensure that legal business practices on the part of the employee and employer are followed. On their website, the EDD lists recent cases of successfully prosecuted fraud as a deterrent to those who are considering committing fraudulent acts. Fraud can occur in a variety of ways. The following offer some examples of fraud cases typically prosecuted by the EDD:

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