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report print email Source: Editorial: Ex-Forsyth captain fired in shakeup wants job back
Harsh Realities
April 05, 2013 | 07:30 PM

First, as a Forsyth citizen I genuinely appreciate officers who faithfully serve/have served this county. I feel very badly for those 11 employees - just as I do for anyone who has been laid off in this horrible economy. I can't speak to civil service procedures mentioned in Captain Barrett's letter however the truth is that reducing middle management and restructuring an organization for efficiency is a very common way companies and municipalities survive bad economic conditions. A position being eliminated doesn't necessarily mean that the person who held it was not a good & loyal employee. Not giving advance notice is typically the way employers handle a RIF and there are a good reasons for doing so. Hopefully in lieu of notice these folks were given some sort of severance pay. These harsh realities are a lot to swallow when you’ve served an employer with dedication for as long as Capt Barrett. Nothing in Capt Barrett's letter indicates why he views these RIFs as being personal and politically motivated so I have no reason to believe that Sheriff Piper’s reorganization was anything less than trying to be fiscally responsible. That I applaud. Unfortunately where Sheriff Piper’s actions may have gone seriously wrong, if the letter is accurate, is in the execution of his decision. As a leader, Sheriff Piper should have been present for the terminations and faced the very people whose lives were affected by his decision. It's hard but it's what a good leader does. All 11 deserved to be treated with the utmost dignity and it sounds to me as if that’s not what happened. Unfortunately, this treatment of employees in similar circumstances is common and it’s also what often motivates people to file EEOC charges and lawsuits. Here’s another harsh reality - even if the employer wins, they lose in terms of legal expenses and damage to morale of employees who realize how callously their former coworkers were treated.

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