Here’s a classic study of HR run amok: A bitter feud at the Brooksville Police Department has prompted the city manager to resign and led to the suspension of the police chief, a lieutenant and the HR director until the local sheriff can sort things out.
It started when the HR director, Ron Baker, gave a city employee some Xanax for an anxiety attack. A month later, Police Chief Ed Tincher and Lieutenant Rick Hankins called Baker in for a meeting and arrested him for distributing prescription drugs.
Baker might have chalked it up to experience were it not for a prior meeting he’d held with Acting City Manager Karen Phillips about a well-known affair between the police chief and a city hall secretary.
At a heated city council meeting, Baker accused Chief Tincher and long-time city manager Richard Anderson of a pattern of retaliation and harassment, including sexual harassment of city staffers. Anderson, who had settled three sexual harassment claims during his 11 years at Brooksville, resigned before they could fire him.
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- Require everyone to report harassment—you'll be justified firing those who don't
- Make sure employees understand policy and process for reporting sexual harassment