Social Security Administration:

Employment of and Service to Hispanics

HRD-89-35: Published: Jan 30, 1989. Publicly Released: Jan 30, 1989.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO assessed the Social Security Administration's (SSA) compliance with the equal employment opportunity guidelines in its hiring of Hispanics and its services to Hispanics nationwide, focusing on whether SSA had adequate: (1) Spanish-speaking employees to effectively and efficiently deal with Hispanics; and (2) printed materials in Spanish.

GAO found that: (1) SSA employed 4,346 Hispanics nationwide as of September 30, 1987, which equalled the national labor force availability of Hispanics; (2) SSA employment of Hispanic women exceeded the national availability rate, but SSA employment of Hispanic men was less than their national availability rate; (3) SSA employed 70 percent of its Hispanic employees in the social insurance administration, contract representative, and claims clerical job series; and (4) SSA has not implemented the required affirmative employment plan to address the underrepresentation of Hispanics in certain jobs in its regional offices. GAO also found that: (1) approximately 8.2 percent of all SSA field employees spoke fluent Spanish; (2) SSA planned to recruit more bilingual employees from local colleges and universities; (3) SSA published and distributed materials and public information in Spanish; and (4) SSA has no mechanism to identify its clientele by race, ethnicity, or linguistic preference because it believes that it provides professional, effective, and courteous service to all segments of the general public.

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