Cummings, Mikulski, and Cardin Urge Immediate Action to Strengthen Social Security's Equal Employment Program

May 19, 2014
Press Release
Cummings, Mikulski, and Cardin Urge Immediate Action to Strengthen Social Security's Equal Employment Program

Report Finds Discrimination Complaints Handled Poorly

Washington, D.C. (May 19, 2014)—Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD) and Senators Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), sent a letter to the Social Security Administration (SSA) on May 15 expressing “deep concern” about a report issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

The report found that SSA failed to ensure timely and efficient management of discrimination complaints and implement effective anti-harassment policies and procedures. 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.

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

They called on SSA to “provide a timeline with the specific dates by which SSA will fully comply with each recommendation made by EEOC,” and they requested documents from SSA, including copies of the agency’s contracts with service providers and copies of materials used to provide anti-discrimination training to employees.

EEOC initiated its evaluation of SSA’s complaint management process in response to a series of concerns raised in the last 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.” 

EEOC made 12 findings relating to SSA’s failure to ensure efficient management of the complaint process; provide uniform training to ensure equal opportunities; implement effective and efficient anti-harassment policies and procedures; and maintain a model EEOC program. 

EEOC made more than 60 recommendations for reform. Although SSA made some important changes, the agency refused to implement several key recommendations, including failing to have the head of its EEOC program report to the head of the agency.

Click here to read the full text of EEOC’s Program Evaluation Report.

Click heret to read the full letter from Cummings, Mikulski, and Cardin.

113th Congress