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Social Security workers accuse agency of discrimination and retaliation

When most people in the state of Indiana think about the Social Security Administration, we think of a government agency that not only provides benefits to elderly people but to those suffering from severe mental or physical disabilities as well. But according to many current and former employees of the agency, this well-to-do exterior hides a cornucopia of employment law violations.

In February 2011, fifteen workers from the New Mexico state's Disability Determination Services filed a mass grievance with the state claiming that there was "a pattern of unfair claims processing and non-equitable treatment" towards workers and that many of the employees who had complained were discriminated and retaliated against. In some cases, employees have been terminated for speaking out against the agency.

In another case out of New Mexico, another worker claims that she was retaliated against after taking medical leave to take care of her husband. She says when she returned to work she was placed on performance review plans and faced hostility from management and her coworkers. Feeling like she was being discriminated against for having taken time off to care for her husband, she voiced her concerns to the EEOC in 2011. Last month she says she was suddenly fired from her job; a move she feels was in retaliation to notifying the EEOC.

Although a story such as this doesn't appear in every state, if an occurrence such as this is happening in one government run facility, it makes you wonder if it could be happening here as well.

Source: The Santa Fe Reporter, "SOS: Can anyone fix Social Security's broken benefits system?" Joey Peters, Feb. 26, 2013

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