Virginia Beach may revamp HR department in wake of shooting

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — The city of Virginia Beach may overhaul its human resources department in the wake of last year’s mass shooting by a city employee.

The Virginian-Pilot reports that Acting City Manager Tom Leahy proposed a revamp on Tuesday.

He said the plan would eliminate what many city employees perceive to be conflicts of interest when workers are disciplined. Currently, many human resources staff do not report directly to the HR director. They report instead to the heads of individual departments.

Leahy said the plan would also eliminate inconsistent HR policies in which one department would interpret a policy differently from another.

His proposal is in reaction to an independent review of the May 31 mass shooting done by the security firm Hillard Heintze.

The firm found that most of the human resources-related issues are often handled by staff who lack expertise. And employees said they felt as if they “have little recourse to address what they perceive as unfair or abusive actions” when facing discipline.

The city employee who killed 12 people had felt that he was treated unfairly after receiving an unfavorable performance review.

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