Personnel (Dis)parity: When Is Equal Treatment Unfair?

Why treating all roles equally is the most unfair thing an organization can do.

This article originally appeared in Chief Talent Development Officer, December 21, 2016

by Linda Brenner

Fifty years ago, the primary responsibility of the "personnel" function was to ensure employees were treated equally. The United States was in the throes of the Industrial Revolution and the vast majority of workers were tasked with moving materials from one place to another, working on farms, and operating machinery. Safety, a chief and legitimate concern from the early 1900s, was addressed by the rising popularity of unions, which provided workers with basic workplace protection. Personnel teams were formed to administer the terms of labor contracts, administer to bargaining unit employees, and ensure adherence to workplace rules.


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