My Two Census

Formerly the non-partisan watchdog of the 2010 US Census, and currently an opinion blog that covers all things political, media, foreign policy, globalization, and culture…but sometimes returning to its census/demographics roots.

Posts Tagged ‘fresno’

Update: Former 2010 Census workers speak out in Fresno

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Looks like Fresno is in more and more trouble every day. Thanks to the local CBS affiliate for the following:

By Tony Botti

Former workers of our local US Census Bureau offices banded together on Wednesday at a Fresno park to tell the media their stories of alleged discrimination, not receiving pay and being wrongfully terminated.

The issue goes deeper then the people being fired for questioning the ethics of their superiors; it’s believed that management’s desire to cut corners, could skew the population count that comes out at the end of the year.

Former census worker Craig Baltz was not fired from his job but says he personally witnessed misconduct. “I saw many instances of mistreatment of employees and poor management decisions that lead to a questionable count of the population,” Baltz said.

The accusations go against everything the census is about, to capture our region’s exact population count, so we can compete for federal funds.

The former workers say upper management basically took the critical task of gathering an exact count and turned it into a contest with the goal of speed and not accuracy.

The former employees say this type of environment left them facing a dilemma. “…turn in accurate work not meeting the goal and face termination or falsify work and be praised and rewarded with more work and continued employment,” said Mary Costell. Mary was fired and says she felt she was fighting a losing battle.

The former workers say they are not disgruntled because they never intended to make a career at the Census Bureau and knew the jobs were temporary.

What has them most upset is that by being terminated, they are now eliminated from ever working for the federal government again.

Several departments in Washington D.C. are now investigating these complaints. If evidence is found to back the worker’s stories, they will file a lawsuit.

In response to the allegations, the U.S. Census Bureau issued the following statement: “We immediately took action upon learning about these allegations coming from the Fresno area. It appears that all procedures and protocols have been followed. As the Inspector General and Government Accountability Office are always alerted any time there are questions, concerns or allegations; we are cooperating with them and will keep doing so going forward.”

Census workers call results into question

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Ex-workers in California count allege falsified data, inaccuracy.

Posted at 09:18 PM on Thursday, Aug. 05, 2010

By Michael Doyle / Bee Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — Federal investigators probing discrimination complaints filed by former California census workers also are looking into allegations that management pressure drove some workers to cut corners or even falsify data in the crucial population count.

In one case, a former census worker allegedly tallied residents of a migrant farmworkers’ camp on the San Joaquin Valley’s west side, even though the camp itself was abandoned because of the region’s irrigation water shortage.

“The goals had everything to do with speed, and nothing to do with accuracy,” said Craig Baltz, a former worker in one of the Census Bureau’s two Fresno offices. “Instead of slowing down to ensure accurate data, we sped up.”

Baltz added that in some difficult-to-reach areas, “enumerators had two choices — turn in accurate work [late] and get written up or terminated, or falsify data and keep working.”

Baltz worked for the census between October 2009 and July 2010.



ABC affiliate says Fresno Census Bureau faces discrimination complaints

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) — Federal investigators are looking at the Fresno offices of the U.S. Census Bureau after receiving a number of employee complaints.

Investigators with the Commerce Department have been examining Fresno-area operations for the past several months. The complaints range from discrimination and bad management.

Investigators say two Caucasian workers who were let go say Hispanic employees were routinely favored for assignments over older, white workers.

The woman who oversees the Fresno Census offices says the census has been managed professionally and according to agency policies.