A former Cover Oregon employee is blowing the whistle on her working environment, claiming that employees were encouraged to push paper applications through the process despite obvious problems such as missing Social Security numbers.
The whistleblower appeared in an interview with KATU investigators which was published Thursday. She said when she questioned whether it was appropriate to process some of the claims she was seeing a manager told her to “quit stressing and go take a walk.” Another anonymous source told KATU “I’m not sure when it started but then eventually we were told, if theydon’t have a social just go ahead and enter it, just push it on through.”
Employees also say there was a two tier system for processing the paper applications. Applications coming from the Governor’s office or from state legislators were put in line ahead of those of regular people.
The office also was careless disposing of applications. On a tip, KATU investigated the dumpster behind the processing center, which was unlocked and located in a public parking lot. They quickly found a piece of paper with a name and Social Security number written next to it.
Apparently stress was an issue on the job. On another occasion an entire office was interrupted to play a game of rock, paper, scissors. A manager broke people into groups of three and had them compete. The winner for the office was given a certificate for their achievement. Though the game only lasted 15-20 minutes, one of KATU’s sources felt it was wrong, saying “I know that it’s a night shift and they need some morale boosters, butthey really pushed the limits with some of the stuff that they did.”
Whistle blowers also claim they saw paper applications from undocumented immigrants and even some which included dependent children living in Mexico. The latter allegations were denied by Cover Oregon staff.