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News Release

Clerk & Comptroller’s Handling of Employee Layoffs Recognized as Model for Other Organizations

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (May 18, 2010) – The sensitive way in which the Clerk & Comptroller’s office handled the layoffs of more than 100 employees last year is being honored as a model for others by the Alliance for Work-Life Progress. The office is one of three organizations recognized today with the Alliance’s 2010 Work-Life Innovative Excellence Award, the highest honor awarded by the national group which recognizes programs and policies for excellence. Other honorees are the Hospital Corporation of America and the U.S. Navy.

In 2009, legislators slashed the Clerk’s budget by $7.1 million forcing the office to eliminate 101 positions. The layoffs were the first in the Clerk’s 100-year history.

“We had no play book from which to guide our actions,” said Clerk Sharon R. Bock. “While no one ever wants to have to put a plan like this into practice, I feel good knowing that our transition program is one that utilizes best practices and upholds our office’s core values.”

The Clerk’s “We’re All in This Together” program was designed to make an otherwise painful process as smooth and open as possible, emphasizing transparent, ongoing communication with employees; ensuring that employees felt empowered and included in the process; and treating those who lost their jobs with fairness, dignity and respect. The office’s human resources department organized workshops offering tips on interviewing, networking, writing and updating resumes, financial planning, applying for COBRA and other health care-related benefits. The office also hosted an on-site job fair with local employers seeking new workers.

For remaining employees, the office also launched a “Clerk Kudo” employee recognition program to highlight stellar work, and created its first Employee Appreciation Dress-Down Day. These employees also received cross-training for new responsibilities.

 

The Alliance for Work-Life Progress honored award recipients today during a ceremony at the WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference and Exhibition in Grapevine, Texas. The Clerk’s office did not attend the award ceremony. More information about the Alliance and the Work-Life Innovative Excellence Award can be found at www.awlp.org.

For more information about the Clerk’s office, please visit www.mypalmbeachclerk.com or call (561) 355-2996.

The Florida Constitution established the independent office of the Clerk & Comptroller as a public trustee, responsible for safeguarding public records and public funds. Clerk Sharon Bock is directly elected by and accountable to Palm Beach County residents.  In addition to the roles of Clerk of the Circuit Court, County Recorder and Clerk of the Board of County Commissioners, the Clerk & Comptroller is the Chief Financial Officer, Treasurer and Auditor for Palm Beach County.

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