In case you’ve been out of the loop — which we hope you are since it likely means you’ve managed to stay gainfully employed throughout this past dumpster fire of a year — Deloitte has gotten quite a bit of hate of late over their handling of certain state unemployment systems.
The most notorious has been Florida, a system which Deloitte Consulting built years ago before anyone had ever even heard of the Rona and one that was not equipped to handle the stresses of the pandemic (yikes, I mean who or what was) according to testimony they gave recently:
When questioned by state legislators, Deloitte officials said the system was working well when it first launched in 2013 and was stress-tested to handle hurricanes and a financial crisis. But the pandemic caused a drastic spike in demand.
Deloitte leaders said they fulfilled their contractual obligations with the state.
Deloitte and the state of Florida recently won a brief and probably toothless battle in court that could have led to a class-action suit against the dynamic duo of unemployment disasters. It didn’t, though, and life goes on. Sorry, unemployed Floridians.
Well now unemployed Californians can join the list of people who wish Deloitte would be covered in honey and bitten by fire ants according to this recent piece from Sacramento public radio:
Multinational consulting firm Deloitte earned up to $55 million for running a call center that has left millions of unemployed Californians on hold for hours — often with no answer — struggling to access their benefits.
A CapRadio review of data from the Employment Development Department (EDD) shows the department failed to answer over 73 million calls to its unemployment insurance call centers since late September. In that same time, it answered only 5.5 million calls.
This all started last April when the newly-overburdened unemployment department (EDD in CA) “entered into a no-bid contract with Deloitte to run a call center,” wrote CapRadio. The $11 million contract ran through June, but was extended “multiple times and the cost quintupled, according to recently disclosed contracts. With each million added to the contract, millions more calls went unanswered.”
There are currently a little fewer than 1 million backlogged unemployment claims.
Frustration on the part of jobless Californians searching for just a little relief and a single person to answer the phone at EDD has led to some reaching out to their representatives, the modern-day equivalent of saying “I’m gonna tell mom.” One such representative, David Chiu of San Francisco, said Deloitte is being a huge pain in his ass due to the sheer number of people calling his office about it. Maybe he should hire Deloitte to manage his office calls, then no one has to pick up.
“Deloitte has continued to underperform,” he said. “The call centers that they’ve been in charge of during this pandemic have been a mess.”
You know how in this day and age you do a little Googling before a Tinder date? Well let’s just hope if there’s another state out there about to make a date with Deloitte to talk about managing their unemployment system they Google first. It’s not quite the same as finding out your date is a known panty thief seven states over but it’s something I guess.