Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Employees with Disabilities Allege Bias at SSA

See this article by that title. It begins:

Barbara Penny, a former supervisor at the Social Security Administration, says employees with disabilities at the agency are passed over for training and are viewed as a costly burden because they often require special accommodations, such as interpreters or electronic readers. As a result, they aren’t promoted as often as other employees.

In at least one instance, Penny, who lives in Auburn, Wash., said she and other members of a panel charged with reviewing top candidates for a job opening at the agency were provided details on each candidate’s race, gender and disabilities — factors that shouldn’t be considered in personnel decisions. The list was shredded after the selection panel made its decision, she said.

“There is no doubt in my mind that disability was a factor in decision-making because it was more convenient for SSA not to pick the disabled person who needed an expensive accommodation,” she said. Penny’s account is laid out in a new discrimination complaint that charges Social Security with systemic discrimination against employees with disabilities. More than 40 current and former employees who say they were denied promotions at the agency have provided statements in support of the complaint, which was filed June 27 before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

If these allegations are true, this is outrageous.



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