Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board Claims Telecommuting Reduces Costs and Increases Efficiency

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, November 26, 2004
Nearly 25 years ago, California became the first state in the nation to allow state employees to work at home. It found that telecommuting –cut costs while improving productivity and efficiency.   That’s why telecommuting also has become wildly popular in the private sector:  the number of work-at-home employees in the U.S. has more than doubled in the past seven years. According to a recent survey of 14-hundred CFOs, nearly half of respondents said telecommuting is second only to salary as the best way to attract top talent.   So why, then, this suggestion that the only way the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board can get its work done is in the same way Ozzie and Harriet did? Is there some magic in getting in a car and sitting in traffic, being chained to a desk and finishing your work when the clock strikes 5?   Thousands of private sector employers don’t think so. Neither should the state of California.   The question about the Board’s work should be this: are taxpayers getting their moneys worth?  The answer is undeniably yes.   This Board issues 20,000 decisions per year. It has no backlog. And that’s despite a record jump in unemployment claims under the economic policies of the Bush/Schwarzenegger Administrations. It’s even returned a surplus to the state’s coffers.   Eliminating the Board would be pennywise and pound foolish. Cases would likely go straight to Superior Court. That would clog the courts and send costs soaring.   If it ain’t broke, why fix it – particularly when the “fix” would cost taxpayers millions of dollars more and provide less service to California’s employers and unemployed workers.