Many Californians lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For over nine months, those affected have depended on unemployment benefits to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. The California Employment Development Department (EDD) is the government agency responsible for serving millions of Californians in several capacities, including providing unemployment benefits.
The EDD contracted with Bank of America to get unemployment benefits to those who need it.
Recently, thousands of people receiving benefits reported funds stolen from their Bank of America EDD accounts. According to several reports, Bank of America failed to handle these claims properly, leaving thousands without access to their unemployment benefits.
In addition to the bank’s failure to act, security experts claim that the method of payment is the reason that so many accounts were affected.
When an individual files for unemployment, a Bank of America EDD account is created, and a debit card is assigned. Monies are made available through the Bank of America-EDD debit card. Despite experts’ warnings on the use of magnetic strips on bank cards, Bank of America has failed to implement chip cards. Magnetic strips do not provide adequate protection against criminals and is in fact, one of the most prevalent ways bank information is stolen.
As a long-standing financial institution, Bank of America is aware of the risks associated with magnetic strips and yet, has refused to provide chip cards.
Although magnetic cards may be one aspect of this unfortunate incident experienced by thousands of California already facing challenges, the bigger tragedy is the complete disregard and unprofessionalism shown by Bank of America to those they are tasked with serving.
CaseyGerry is representing those whose unemployment benefits were stolen and did not receive adequate action from Bank of America. If you have been impacted by the inability of Bank of America to protect your unemployment benefits, contact our experienced attorneys at (619)238-1811 to explore your legal options.