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Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Don't Use the Handicapped Stall--Really


Some Social Security Administration employees apparently can't take a hint. Even after an agency manager at the agency's Baltimore headquarters posted several signs on a restroom urging workers to be considerate and make sure that the handicapped stall was available to an employee who was actually disabled, on three different occasions the employee was denied access to the stall and ended up urinating in his pants.

Now, the Baltimore Sun reports, an administrative judge has ordered the agency to pay the employee $6,500 in damages.

The problem, the judge said, was that managers had not directly ordered employees to "refrain from using the wheelchair-accessible stalls if they were not disabled, or did not have a compelling reason to do so."

Update: I changed the sentence above because, as the alert commenter below notes, it should have said that managers had not issued direct orders to employees.

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

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