August 19, 2020

USA: On Friday, August 14th, CA Governor Newsom Announced EDD Reforms And New Advisor At Labor And Workforce Development Agency. He Also Said CA Would Get Enhanced Unemployment Out ASAP

CLICK HERE to track every state's implementation of the FEMA LWA President Trump's executive order providing up to $400 per week additional unemployment benefits.

Orange County Breeze
written by Staff
Monday August 17, 2020

Building on the Governor’s actions to implement needed reforms at the Employment Development Department (EDD) to better serve Californians, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the appointment of new executive team members at the Department, and a senior advisor at the Labor and Workforce Development Agency.

The Governor last month announced the formation of an EDD Strike Team to create a blueprint to modernize information technology programs at the Department and transform the customer experience. Work to address the backlog of unpaid claims to those that have experienced job loss during the pandemic and to streamline the call center experience is underway, and EDD is collaborating with legislators and staff to improve communication with claimants. Additional information on efforts to strengthen the state’s unemployment insurance delivery system can be found here.

The Governor announced the following appointments [on Friday, August 14]:

Maurice Emsellem, 61, of Berkeley, has been appointed senior advisor at the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Emsellem has been program director at the National Employment Law Project since 2015, where he has held several positions since 1990, including policy director, program director and staff attorney. He was a Soros Justice senior fellow for the Open Society Foundations from 2004 to 2005, an associate appellate counsel for the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Appeals Bureau from 1987 to 1990 and staff attorney at the U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit from 1986 to 1987. Emsellem earned a Juris Doctor degree from the Northeastern University School of Law. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $165,000. Emsellem is a Democrat.

Nancy Farias, 47, of Thousand Oaks, has been appointed chief deputy director of external affairs, legislation and policy at the California Employment Development Department. Farias has served as director of government relations at SEIU Local 1000 since 2017. She was deputy chief of staff at the Office of California State Senator Henry Stern from 2016 to 2017. Farias was district director at the Office of California State Assemblymember Mike Gatto from 2015 to 2017. She was deputy secretary of legislation at the Government Operations Agency from 2013 to 2015. Farias was deputy director of legislative affairs at the California Department of Human Resources from 2012 to 2013. She was legislative director at SEIU Local 1000 from 2009 to 2012 and senior vice president at Smith, Ruddock & Hayes from 2008 to 2009. She was an associate at Wolkon Pascucci from 2002 to 2008. Farias earned a Master of Science degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts and a Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University Law School. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $180,600. Farias is a Democrat.

Kevin Matulich, 32, of Sacramento, has been appointed deputy director of legislative affairs at the California Employment Development Department. Matulich has been assistant director at the California Employment Development Department since 2019, where he served as assistant director of policy and external affairs from 2017 to 2019 and special assistant to the director from 2014 to 2017. He served in several positions in the Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. from 2011 to 2014, including special assistant for appointments and constituent affairs representative. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $133,308. Matulich is a Democrat.

Carole Vigne, 41, of San Francisco, has been appointed general counsel and deputy director at the California Employment Development Department. Vigne has been senior staff attorney and program director of the Wage Protection Program for Legal Aid at Work since 2014, where she was a staff attorney from 2011 to 2014 and a Skadden fellow from 2007 to 2009. She was an associate attorney at Rukin, Hyland, Doria & Tindall LLP from 2009 to 2011. Vigne is a board member of Mujeres Unidas y Activas, and a member of the Coalition of Low-Wage and Immigrant Worker Advocates and the Freedom Network. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. This position requires Senate confirmation and the compensation is $170,772. Vigne is registered without party preference.

Carol D. Williams, 52, of Davis, has been appointed chief deputy director of operations at the California Employment Development Department. Williams has served as chief of the Filing Division at the California Franchise Tax Board since 2015, and was chief of the Accounts Receivable Management Division from 2011 to 2015 and director of the Revenue Recovery Services Bureau from 2006 to 2011. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $180,600. Williams is a Democrat.

The article above was released by the office of the Governor of the State of California.

CBS13 New, Sacramento local
written by Julie Watts
Friday August 14, 2020

SACRAMENTO — Now that the $600 federal unemployment extension has ended, many Americans are wondering when they’ll get the $400 extension that was ordered by the president.

Millions of people have relied on the $600 federal unemployment contribution to survive, amid pandemic business closures. Without it, some say they are getting as little as $54 a week in state benefits.

When Congress could not come to an agreement to extend the $600, the president stepped in with a Presidential Memoranda, promising a $400-per-week federal extension.

But like other states, California could not afford it. Gov. Newsom pushed back on the president’s order Monday. The memorandum required states to contribute a quarter of that federal benefit, $100 per week of the total $400 payment.

Newsom showed a slide specifying that the White House proposal would cost the state at least $700 million per week. He added that cost could also threaten the state’s eligibility for other federal funding, “If the state of California was to absorb those costs, you’re looking at 2.8 billion dollars every week of state resources that we would have to find, programs we would otherwise have to cut, or revenue we would have to generate.

Gov. Newsom was one of many to raise concerns. In response, White House officials revised the order Tuesday. It now exempts states that already provide at least $100 a week in unemployment from having to contribute to the federal extension.

That means people in most states, like California, would likely get an extra $300 per week instead of the initially-proposed $400 in federal aid.

However, it’s still not clear when — or if — Californians will get any of that federal money.

On Wednesday, the governor said the state would get the $300 out to Californians as quickly as possible.

We had hoped to ask the governor for an update to his Wednesday statements, following the White House revisions, but CBS13 Investigates was not called on to ask a question at his Friday press conference.

On Friday, CBS13 did ask the Employment Development Department for an update on when Californians may get the $300 in federal aid.

EDD provided the following statement:
“The EDD is working closely with state and federal partners to assess the implementation of the Presidential Memoranda on lost wage assistance for eligible claimants. We will be providing details just as soon as they are available and we encourage our customers to watch our EDD website for updates.”
White House officials say checks should go out in a couple of weeks, but keep in mind, it took the EDD more than six weeks to program their computers for some federal aid last time around, so it’s not clear when – or if – people will see that money.

If they do, it will likely be $300 a week, not $400. However, it is possible that Congress could pass legislation that extends or alters the federal benefits before, or soon after, EDD actually implements the $300 extension from the Presidential Memoranda. Congress is now on recess until after Labor Day.

To ease the economic burden for those struggling with lost wages due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, President Donald J. Trump authorized FEMA to expend up to $44 billion from the Disaster Relief Fund for lost wage payments.

FEMA will provide grants to participating states, territories, and the District of Columbia (hereinafter “states”) to administer delivery of lost wages assistance for which they will receive an additional amount up to 5% of the total grant award to cover their administrative costs, subject to the cost share.

The President's authorization for FEMA to use the Disaster Relief Fund (DRF) to supplement the payment of lost wages as a result of COVID-19 is in addition to the $8.8 billion FEMA has already obligated to date in the fight against COVID-19.

The President has authorized the FEMA Administrator to provide grants to the states to make supplemental lost wages payments to those receiving unemployment insurance compensation, in accordance with section 408(e)(2) and (f) of the Stafford Act (42 U.S.C. §§§ 5174(e)(2), (f)).


A state may provide supplemental lost wages payments from the week of unemployment ending August 1, 2020, to individuals (“claimants”) currently eligible for at least $100 per week in unemployment insurance compensation from any of the following:
  • Unemployment compensation, including regular State Unemployment Compensation, Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees (UCFE) and Unemployment Compensation for Ex-Service members (UCX)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Extended Benefits (EB)
  • Short-Time Compensation (STC)
  • Trade Readjustment Allowance (TRA)
  • Payments under the Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) program
Claimants will be required to self-certify that they are unemployed or partially unemployed due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic as part of the initial unemployment insurance claims process and or required weekly recertifications.

States may provide claimants a lost wages supplement of up to $400, composed of a $300 federal contribution from the Disaster Relief Fund and an additional amount up to $100 from state funds. The state-funded portion may be sourced from the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security fund allocation. The total lost wages supplemental payment may not exceed $400.

States may instead provide claimants the lost wages supplement of $300 paid entirely from the $300 federal contribution and satisfy the match, with no additional state payout, by leveraging existing state funding used to pay regular state unemployment benefits. In this case, the state must demonstrate at the aggregate level that the total of its state-funded unemployment benefits to claimants receiving the lost wages supplement were at least 25 percent of the total lost wages assistance benefits paid in conjunction with all of the unemployment programs listed above.

States must apply for this grant through the portal. To access application forms and instructions, from the portal homepage, select “Applicants” then “Apply for Grants.” Enter funding opportunity ID DHS-20-ONA-050-00- 99, select “Download Package,” and then follow the prompts to download the application package, which will include the required standard forms. FEMA Form 010-0-11 and the State Administrative Plan should be included as attachments. provides applicants 24/7 technical support via the toll-free number 1-800-518-4726 and email at

States with questions about the grant and how to administer the program can contact the FEMA Individuals and Households Help Desk at

States with questions regarding the intersection of this grant with state unemployment benefit programs can contact the Department of Labor at

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