State worker resigns over Helms flag flap — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

State worker resigns over Helms flag flap

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The manager of the North Carolina state government’s standards laboratory created a stir in July when he ordered his department not to fly its flags at half-staff in honor of the memory of U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms.

L.F. Eason III e-mailed the staff at the lab, which performs mass, length, volume and temperature measurement calibrations, instructing them to ignore Gov. Mike Easley’s directive to lower the U.S. and North Carolina flags. Eason cited Helms’ “doctrine of negativity, hate and prejudice.”

An employee alerted Eason’s superiors, who allegedly ordered Eason to comply or retire effective immediately. Though only 51, Eason chose retirement. His supervisors have since denied they demanded Eason’s job.

Eason’s entire 29-year career was spent at the North Carolina State Department of Agriculture, much of it starting and running the laboratory.

“I designed and built that lab,” Eason told The News & Observer. “Even though the bricks and mortar belong to the state of North Carolina, I feel very strongly that everything that comes out of there is my responsibility.”

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