Michael S. Bernick

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Related Practices

Michael S. Bernick joined Sedgwick after serving for nearly five years (1999-2004) as director of the California Employment Development Department (EDD), the 10,000-person state department of labor. As EDD Director, Mr. Bernick oversaw the administration of the state’s employer tax collection system, unemployment insurance system and disability insurance system.

Michael S. Bernick joined Sedgwick after serving for nearly five years (1999-2004) as director of the California Employment Development Department (EDD), the 10,000-person state department of labor. As EDD Director, Mr. Bernick oversaw the administration of the state’s employer tax collection system, unemployment insurance system and disability insurance system.

Mr. Bernick advises employers on issues related to employer taxes, unemployment insurance and disability insurance. In recent years, he has worked with some of the nation’s major professional employer organizations, staffing companies and payroll companies.

Prior to being appointed EDD director in 1999, Mr. Bernick was a member of the Board of Directors of the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system, the regional rail system, for eight years, and served as Board President in 1995. Among his main initiatives as a BART Director was the development of new communities linked to rail transit stations. He was a co-founder of the National Transit Access Center at U.C. Berkeley, specializing in public-private partnerships for land development, and worked with municipalities, transit agencies and developers throughout the United States on early transit village and transit-oriented development projects. He continues to be involved in transit-oriented developments in Northern California.

Affiliations, Activities and Accomplishments

Mr. Bernick has held several academic and research appointments, and during the 1980s and 1990s was on the adjunct faculty at U.C. Berkeley. Current affiliations include:

  • Milken Institute, research fellow
  • Growth Sector, board chair
  • AASCEND autism employment, board member
  • The Specialists Guild, board member
  • Positive Resource Center, advisory board

While attending law school, Mr. Bernick was a member of the Law Review.

Publications & Presentations

Mr. Bernick frequently publishes articles and presents on a variety of topics related to employment law in California. Since 2009, he has shared his insights on the California business and politics blog, Fox & Hounds and on the Milken Institute blog, The Currency of Ideas and Zocalo Public Square.

In October 2015, the California State Library opened a collection of Mr. Bernick’s writings and papers. The Collection includes over 200 articles covering 35 years, as well as background material on his five books and two additional book projects, The Jobs Perplex and Real Work. The main section focuses on job training and employment strategies. The collection also includes sections on the transit village movement in California, autism employment and inclusion, California government, and the long distance running sub-culture of Southern California.

  • Co-author, Transit Villages in the 21st Century (McGraw Hill 1996), which continues to be widely used in university-level classes.
  • Author of four books on employment: The Dreams of Jobs (Olympus 1984), Urban Illusions (Praeger, 1987), Job Training That Gets Results: 10 Principles of Effective Employment Programs (Upjohn, 2006) and The Autism Job Club (2015).

Areas of Concentration

Employer Taxes/Unemployment Insurance; Transit-Based Land Use; Transportation

Admissions

California

Education

J.D. (1979) University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall)
B. Phil. (1976) Balliol College University of Oxford
B.A. (1974) Harvard College