October 7, 2013

52 state employees who work in Winthrop temporarily laid off because of shutdown

STAFF REPORT

AUGUSTA — All 52 state employees at the Disability Determination Office have been laid off temporarily because of the federal government shutdown, according to the governor’s office. Four other employees in other divisions were also laid off Monday.

The office, part of the Department of Health and Human Services, will be closed until further notice, according to a press release from the office of Gov. Paul LePage.

Employees in the office make Social Security disability determinations on behalf of the federal government and their salaries are federally funded, according to the press release. No state funding is available to pay their salaries.

Four other employees whose salaries come from the federal government, including two in the Office of Aging and Disability Services, one employee in the Office of Multicultural Affairs and one in the Office for Family Independence, were also temporarily laid off.

The employees were told Monday and the layoff was effective immediately.

LePage said the state “has no choice but to suspend operation of disability determination because it relies solely on federal funding.”

“This is just one of the many difficult situations we must address as the federal shutdown in Washington continues with no immediate resolution in sight.”

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