Social Security worker finds Ebola display offensive

Employee says she complained about it, got no response

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

LAKE MARY, Fla. - Someone got into the Halloween spirit at work, but it's not a co-worker's treat. An employee at the Social Security Administration office in Lake Mary said she's offended by decorations that transformed a cubicle into a fake Ebola hospital ward.

The decorations include signs that read, "Ebola: The scariest character this Halloween."

Other signs that read "recovery room" and "patient's name undetermined" led to an area where a fake body is underneath a blanket, with a work computer decorated to look like a heart monitor.

"I thought this was way over the top," the worker told Local 6. "They're very detailed -- there's a hazmat suit and goggles and bloody plastic gloves."

The display is out of the view of the public, but the worker said that doesn't make it any less offensive. She said the timing just isn't right.

"I do know it's Halloween, but this is a very serious subject. I thought, 'People are dying from this,' and I don't find death very funny," she said.

She said she complained to her bosses, but no one responded and the decorations stayed up.

Local 6 contacted Patti Patterson, the regional communications director for the Social Security Administration, based in Atlanta. She said the decorations were put up in "bad judgment" and that they should be taken down by Thursday morning. She said Washington doesn't set rules when it comes to office decor. That is usually left up to each individual office.

In this case, she said the decision will be made for the office.

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