Finally, California's Unemployment System Adds More Language Support

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 (Beth LaBerge/KQED)

For the last 2 years California’s unemployment system has been completely overwhelmed. One of the biggest issues? The lack of language access for people who don’t speak English or Spanish.

Now, the Employment Development Department — the agency that runs this system — is finally turning a corner. Late last month, EDD committed to adding critical multilingual support. But it wouldn’t have happened without constant pressure from advocates, who point out that the agency has always been legally obligated to do this.

Guest: Mary Franklin Harvin, KQED reporter and producer for The California Report

Episode Transcript 

If you’re seeking help with unemployment insurance claims, you can call EDD’s Unemployment Customer Service Center (open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday). English and Spanish: (800) 300-5616

  • Cantonese: (800) 547-3506
  • Mandarin: (866) 303-0706
  • Vietnamese: (800) 547-2058
  • California Relay Service (711): Provide the UI number — (800) 300-5616 — to the operator
  • TTY: (800) 815-9387