Newsom announces new California EDD director

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — The director of California’s Employment Development Department, Rita Saenz, will be replaced by Nancy Farias, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday afternoon.

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Farias served as the EDD’s Chief Deputy Director of External Affairs, Legislation and Policy since 2020. She will be sworn in her new role as director by Newsom on Tuesday Feb. 1.

“Nancy Farias has played an invaluable role in the Department’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the state’s unemployment system and implement improvements to better support hardworking Californians when they need it most,” Newsom said in a statement. “I look forward to her partnership in this all-important work to help California’s families, businesses and communities continue to recover and thrive.”

Saenz was EDD director since Dec. 2020. She will move into the role of the state’s Commissioner on the California Commission on Aging.

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Last November, the EDD granted assistance for roughly 100,000 seeking pandemic unemployment assistance.

These included workers who refused to work for an employer that violated COVID-19 safety standards, were laid off, or had hours reduced as a direct result of COVID-19.

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