July 14, 2005

Mr. McKenzie will be the Guest Speaker at the Society for Human Resources Management Luncheon also at the Marriott at Southpoint.

The Topic:

“A High Performance
Workplace, You Can
Feel it In the Air”

Click here for registration information.

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We are currently recruiting for the following positions:

Systems Applications Engineer – Ocala, FL and San Jose, CA

Fire Safety Engineer – Atlanta, San Diego, Los Angeles, Seattle, and St. Louis

Human Resources Information Systems Coordinator


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Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone: (904) 861-2903

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Discrimination Charges - Should You be Concerned?

The good news is the number of charges of discrimination filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2004 (79,432) dropped below 80,000 mark for the first time since the year 2000. In 2003, there were 81,293. 1994 was the worst year when over 91,000 charges of discrimination and harassment were filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. To put this is in a different perspective, last year about 64 employees a day ran to the EEOC to file a complaint of unjust treatment. This is not much better than 1994 when 67 people a day filed complaints.

The bad news is that the number of equal employment lawsuits again eclipsed the 400 mark as 415 lawsuits were filed last year. More disturbing is that the average monetary award was more than $400,000. Two years ago, the average settlement was about $145,000. This does not include the legal fees which may add on another $200,000.

Should you be concerned? An article published by the Business Journal of the Golden Triad Area in North Carolina last week cited two different studies (one by the Chubb Insurance Group and another by HR Executive Magazine) in which business owners and managers are becoming more and more concerned about being sued for discrimination. In fact, both studies indicated that more than half of the executives surveyed fully expect to be sued for discrimination and they feared these types of lawsuits more than any other.

What can these companies do to protect themselves? Think of these four words: fairness, consistency, respect, dignity. Most complaints are filed because the employee felt that one or more of these concepts were missing in the employment relationship. Many of the complaints are filed to get back at the employer. The concepts are simple to grasp and simple to implement.

Fairness. The most important concept of fairness is determined by how the company promotes and disciplines employees. Are employees given the same opportunities to apply for promotions? Do you give employees who are not meeting standards an opportunity to improve? Think of it in your own terms. If you are not performing your job well, how would you feel if you were fired without being told your job performance was not up to par?

Consistency. This goes hand in hand with fairness. The same rewards and recognition should be given for similar accomplishments. Likewise, similar punishment should be given for similar offenses. To do otherwise shows favoritism and inconsistency.

Respect. Employees should always be treated with the utmost respect regardless of the circumstances. This should be firmly ingrained in the culture of your organization. Any employee, including and especially the Chief Executive Officer of the organization, who violates these values should be dealt with firmly.

Dignity. Another reason that employees want to take revenge on their employer is because the boss somehow managed to strip the employee of his or her self respect. To regain some of the lost pride, the employee may decide to take some action to bring the employer down a peg. So why not file a discrimination complaint? It doesn’t cost the employee one red cent. The cost to the employer can be astronomical.

Maybe some business owners should be scared, especially if they aren’t treating their employees with fairness, consistency, respect and dignity.


MAY 2005 -
Negating the Nattering Nabobs of Negativism
APRIL 2005 -
Are You Ready for the Minimum Wage Backlash?
MARCH 2005 -
Employee Retention - Harness the Energy of Your New Hires
The Wage and Hour Division is Keeping Enforcement Promises
JANUARY 2005 -
Effective Performance Management Systems Are A Competitive Advantage
End of the Year Things to Be Thankful For
OCTOBER 2004 -
Recruitment Metrics Are You Measuring the Right Stuff?
Do Machines Mean More Than People?
AUGUST 2004 -
Employment At Will – What Does It Really Mean?
JULY 2004 -