Feds: Flatulent Worker No Problem After All

Social Security officials rescind reprimand against employee

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 11, 2013 3:29 PM CST

(Newser) – That smell over in cubicle four? Let's not worry about it, Social Security officials have decided. The federal agency had reprimanded an employee last month for allegedly disrupting work "by passing gas and releasing an unpleasant odor," reports Today. The letter came with a timestamped log that documented 60 individual gas-passing incidents over a 3-month period—which comes to about nine per day, but that's five fewer than the average person passes.

The worker had apparently told management that lactose intolerance caused the bad gas. "You have submitted medical evidence that you have some medical conditions," reads the letter, but "it is my belief that you can control this condition." The letter even reprimands the employee for using a fan, which only caused "the smell to spread." No word on why officials rescinded the reprimand, but the Washington Post reports that senior management made the move immediately upon learning about it. The Smoking Gun first posted the letter last month.

The Social Security Administration's main campus is seen in Woodlawn, Md., Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.
The Social Security Administration's main campus is seen in Woodlawn, Md., Friday, Jan. 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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