Three Dems urge changes to Social Security Administration's discrimination policies

Three Maryland Democrats are urging the Social Security Administration (SSA) to quickly implement changes to improve its discrimination and harassment complaints process. 

Rep. Elijah Cummings and Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin recently sent a letter to the SSA expressing “deep concern” about a report issued last week by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that showed the agency falling well short of federal requirements. 

"These findings — and the EEOC’s recommendations to provide efficient and effective services to SSA employees — require immediate attention,” the lawmakers wrote.

The report found that the SSA failed to effectively manage discrimination complaints in a timely manner or implement anti-harassment policies.  

The report also found that SSA did not take the steps necessary to bring its Equal Employment Opportunity program into compliance with federal regulations and EEOC guidance.

They called on SSA to “provide a timeline with the specific dates by which SSA will fully comply with each recommendation made by EEOC."

They also requested documents from the agency, including copies of materials used for any anti-discrimination employee training.

The EEOC evaluation came in response to repeated complaints in the past few years regarding “the agency’s failure to comply with laws, regulations and other EEOC directives and the high rate of complaints alleging workplace harassment.”

The EEOC made 12 findings relating to the agency's failure to efficiently handle the complaint process, provide proper training and implement anti-harassment policies.

The agency made more than 60 recommendations for changes.

The lawmakers are arguing that the SSA has refused to implement several of the changes, including failing to have the head of its EEOC program report to the SSA.