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Wyden, Neal Urge SSA Commissioner to Reverse Telework Cutbacks Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

March 04,2020

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and House Ways & Means Chairman Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., today urged Social Security Administration (SSA) Commissioner Andrew Saul to return telework options to SSA employees amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

“With the spread and concern about the COVID-19 virus, we urge you to reverse the decision to eliminate or curtail telework options for SSA employees, including frontline field office employees,” the members wrote. “All federal agencies should have contingency plans in place in order to continue serving their customers and fulfilling their mission while keeping their employees and the American public as safe as possible. If SSA had a robust telework program, SSA would be well positioned to continue many public-serving operations while employees worked from home.” 

The letter comes as the nation continues to monitor the spread of COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued interim guidance last month for businesses and employers that reads in part, “for employees who are able to telework, supervisors should encourage employees to telework instead of coming into the workplace until symptoms are completely resolved.”

In November 2019, SSA ended a program that allowed roughly 12,000 employees to telework several days a week. Democrats first called on SSA to reverse this decision in December.

The full letter to Commissioner Saul can be found here.

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