Palm beach county policy


How is HR structured in your organization? Who is the top HR professional and what is that person's title? Who does that person report to? What does this tell you about the relative importance of HR in your organization?

The structure of the Palm Beach County Human Resources (HR) department follows an organization chart. Janis Brunell is the top HR professional, and director of the department. The departments under her supervision include the Fair Employment Programs, Employee Relations, Training and Organizational Development, Compensation and Records, Recruitment and Selection, Testing and Assessment, and Records and Information Systems. As Director of HR, Janis Brunell is instructed to report to Brad Merrriman, the Assistant County Administrator, who then reports to Verdenia Baker, the Deputy County Administrator. By utilizing an organization chart, the HR department enables divisions and departments within the County to meet their service delivery responsibilities by hiring the most qualified employees, and retaining value employees by ensuring effective leadership, competitive wages and benefits, training and development opportunities, and a safe and discrimination-free environment.

Pick a side, pro or con, and defend your answer. "Affirmative action has outlived its usefulness and should now be abolished."

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Both, pro and con. As pro-affirmative action, I believe the implementation of action takes the necessary steps towards improving the life of the disadvantaged by providing equal opportunities for all regardless of race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation. With this, I do not believe affirmative action has outlived its usefulness, and should be abolished; if anything, our world is continuously changing. We are moving from a melting pot ideology, whose objectives have been to assimilate minorities into the mainstream at the expense of cultural identities, has since been replaced with the ideology of embarking on new initiatives to acknowledge, and widely accept the value of differences among beneficiaries. However, as con-affirmative action, I feel the affirmative action is implemented as a remedy, and is often perceived as being an obligation of human rights. I believe discrimination is still prevalent in today's society; hence, the reason for affirmative action, but the harm that was once induced has dissipated. We are no longer a melting pot, rather, a society based on acceptance.

Investigate the sexual harassment policy at the company where you work (if you don't work, choose a company to which you have access). Tell us about the policy. What does it say, where is it posted or otherwise made public to employees? What type of sexual harassment training does your company currently have? Do you have any suggestions for improvement?

As an employee of Palm Beach County, sexual harassment in the workplace is considered a violation of Palm Beach County's Equal Employment Ordinance (Ordinance No. 95-31), The Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended. The County's Policies and Procedures Manual (PPM - CW-P-029) defines sexual harassment to take various forms, and may involve various participants. According to the Palm Beach County Human Resources website, employees subjected to any form of sexual harassment are advised to (1) clearly communicate that they find the conduct offensive and unwelcome, (2) record the date, time, place, and other relevant information regarding each incident of sexual harassment, (3) retain copies of all pertinent documentation that may be used as evidence of sexual harassment, and (4) note the names and telephone numbers of any persons who may have personal knowledge of the incident and may be a potential witness. Additionally, employers are advised to follow the following: (1) develop a policy against sexual harassment. Distribute and post the policy so that all employees are aware of its existence, (2) develop a grievance procedure where employees can file confidential complaints without first having to consult with an immediate supervisor or co-worker who may be the subject of the complaint, and (3) immediately investigate all allegations of sexual harassment. They are also advised to take immediate corrective action where sexual harassment is determined to have occurred. The policy offers forms of relief and penalties for harassment. Victims of sexual harassment may be entitled to lost wages, back pay, reinstatement, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and other forms of compensation and relief. On the contrary, persons found to have participated in sexual harassing conduct may be discharged, demoted or otherwise disciplined by the employer. In some instances, individuals may be held personally responsible and required to pay financial compensation to the victim of the sexual harassment.

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The Board of County Commissioners requires that employees be familiar with all rules and regulations in carrying out their assigned duties. The Standards of Conduct and Disciplinary Guidelines are printed in the Employee Handbook, and may be found online through the main website ( Every employee, both Merit and CWA Union employees are provided with a copy once hired, and is responsible for knowing and understanding these rules of conduct.

Palm Beach County's Fair Employment Program of Human Resources is responsible for providing supervisory training on EEO/ADA, and sexual harassment law and issues.

As far as recommendations, all new hires, not just those of child care personnel, should have an extensive background-check, and fingerprints completed when applying for governmental positions. Criminal records or abuse registries should be examined by the departmental head in order to determine the moral character of future employees. Another recommendation would be to incorporate an employee discrimination training session offered to all county employees, not just those on a supervisory level. Although employees are required to have an understanding of the rules and regulations implemented, a training session is recommended in order to increase awareness, and provide employees with skill and motivation needed to address issues of sexual harassment.


Sexual Harassment. (2009). Retrieved October 6th, 2009, from

Palm Beach County Merit System - Rules and Regulations. (2009). Retrieved October 6th, 2009, from

Palm Beach County Policy and Procedures Manual (PPM). (2009). Retrieved October 6th, 2009, from