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Arlington, VA Office
1501 Lee Highway
Arlington, VA 22209
(tel) 703.528.4921
(fax) 703.243.5250

Boston, MA Office
6 Beacon St
11th Floor, Suite 1100
Boston, MA 02108
(tel) 617.269.0849
(fax) 617.269.9139

Special Projects

DSZ Special Projects Division

DSZ Special Projects Division provides answers to DSZ clients' needs, which include more than the mandated services required by the EEO complaint system. In order to meet the unique challenges presented in diverse work environments, support the work of its EEO professionals, and increase the effectiveness and visibility of civil rights and human resource management programs, DSZ provides its clients with:

Management-initiated investigations Web-based and hard copy Desk Guides for civil rights and dispute resolution professionals
Civil rights program assessments and surveys Civil rights and dispute resolution training videos
Workplace/environmental assessments and surveys Workshop facilitation and assistance

DSZ Special Projects services

  • Establish and promote our clients' leadership in human resource and civil rights programs and priorities
  • Identify and focus on problem areas important to all stakeholders
  • Improve processes, including problem-solving, communications, and decision-making
  • Organize and prioritize critical areas for action
  • Increase management accountability and oversight
  • Specifically address our clients' unique needs, concerns, and problem areas
  • Capitalize on DSZ's expertise in civil rights and dispute resolution and effective, efficient delivery of services

Tailored to the specifics of a client's need, a DSZ Special Project can move your agenda forward.

Management-initiated investigations

Management has an affirmative responsibility to prevent and promptly correct discrimination and to resolve workplace conflicts. When specific issues have been raised and a factual determination which may lead to disciplinary action is needed, a formal, management-directed investigation is appropriate.

A management-directed investigation is characterized by:

  • Mandated participation of employees;
  • Signed, sworn statements (affidavits);
  • The collection of testimony and other evidence from which findings of fact may be made. From the findings of fact, disciplinary and other adverse actions may be proposed.

Examples of management-directed inquiries conducted by DSZ include investigations of:

  • Gender or ethnicity-based workplace harassment
  • Management wrongdoing
  • Employee misconduct
  • Internal workplace conflicts
  • Grievances

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Civil rights program assessments and surveys

The size and age of inventories of unresolved complaints along with the influx of new cases and the conflicts that underlie them, combined with organizational restructuring, budget and staff cuts, and continued problems with underrepresentation, mandate that agency civil rights functions operate at maximum efficiency and effectiveness. DSZ can help your agency by assessing the effectiveness of your delivery of civil rights services and recommending options for improved service delivery.

Civil rights program assessments are valuable tools in establishing leadership in civil rights programs and priorities, identifying and removing barriers to effective customer service, aligning and prioritizing resources, improving processes, and increasing management accountability and oversight.

An assessment of an agency's civil rights functions may include:

  • A review of current programs and available assessment literature
  • Survey of key civil rights stakeholders, with participation voluntary and confidentiality of responses safeguarded
  • Interviews of stakeholders (either as a supplement to survey results, targeted at particular problem areas, or as the key element to the assessment), with participation voluntary and confidentiality of responses safeguarded
  • Statistical analysis of relevant data, such as staffing, budget, counseling, complaint and compliance review activity, resolution and finding rates
  • A review of government-wide initiatives and "best practices" in the delivery of civil rights services
    Recommendations or options for improvement of service delivery


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Workplace/environmental assessments and surveys

Management has an affirmative responsibility to provide a model work environment to its employees. The results of management's failure to exercise this affirmative responsibility can be loss of morale, productivity, and valuable and skilled staff, increased litigation and costs for inequities, and loss of faith in the system.

Workplace/environmental assessments are valuable tools to identify and focus on problems areas important to the workforce and to meet the unique challenges presented in building and maintaining a diverse, high-quality work force.

Assessments and surveys may include any or all of the following elements:

  • Survey of staff, with participation voluntary and confidentiality of responses safeguarded
  • Interviews of staff (either as a supplement to survey results, targeted at particular problem areas, or as the key element to the assessment), again with participation voluntary and confidentiality safeguarded
  • Collection of documents and statistical data (such as promotion, performance rating, and training data)
  • Qualitative and quantitative analysis of surveys, interview results, documentation and statistical data
  • Report, with conclusions
  • Options or recommendations for action

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Desk guides for civil rights and dispute resolution professionals

Desk guides, especially those that are on-line, can be valuable tools for civil rights and dispute resolution professionals. A desk guide helps insure consistency in substance, format, and style, and model "best practices" for civil rights and dispute resolution staff. It is an important resource for those new to civil rights and dispute resolution processes and to those more experienced professionals who use the desk guide as a refresher and as a starting point when they face particular situations for the first time. On-line desk guides insure consistent and immediate guidance, both for electronic revisions can be easily incorporated. Web-based guidance also can be customized to fit the client's particular needs and requirements, with links provided to relevant resource materials, guidelines, and agency directives. The initial investment in a desk guide quickly is repaid by the labor saved with staff use.

Examples of desk guides developed by DSZ include:

  • On-line bench book for hearing officers conducting employment dispute hearings
  • On-line desk guide for EEO counselors
  • On-line desk guide for ADR professionals
  • On-line desk guide for EEO investigators
  • On-line desk guide for Final Agency Decision writers
  • EEO complaint processing desk guide

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Civil rights and dispute resolution training videos

Video provides a cost-efficient, convenient, and effective means of communicating about civil rights and dispute resolution processes and substance. The strong, reliable substantive content of our support products is supported by two decades of experience in civil rights, human resources, and employment dispute functions. Our video products are designed to be specific to client needs, and they dramatically and artfully enable our clients to improve mission performance.

Examples of topics covered in training videos produced by DSZ include:

  • Conducting an employment dispute hearing
  • EEO investigation
  • Alternative dispute resolution

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Workshop assistance and meeting facilitation

DSZ facilitators and group leaders provide valuable workshop assistance and meeting facilitation to our clients. We are not only skilled neutrals, with the techniques necessary to help divergent groups improve their problem-solving and decision-making processes, but are also proven professionals and practitioners who draw on our own experiences to help workshop and meeting participants maximize their results.

Examples of workshop and meeting facilitation provided by DSZ include:

  • Facilitation of a week-long workshop which produced an employment dispute resolution training video and an outline for a bench book for employment dispute resolution coordinators
  • Facilitation of a team-building and conflict resolution workshop for an entire work unit
  • Conference facilitation and delivery of EEO counseling training

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