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Daily work records

A daily log of job tasks being performed by individual employees over a certain period of time.  Used often as a form of job analysis.  




The amounts awarded by a court to be paid by one party to another as a result of violating a contract or agreement. 




The termination of union representation over a specific bargaining unit following a decertification election.




An order declaring a contractor ineligible for the award of future contracts or cancellation of current contracts. Debarment is one of the sanctions that can be imposed on a contractor found to be in violation of Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act or Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act.




The process of assigning decision-making authority to lower levels within the organizational hierarchy. 




Allows members of a particular bargaining unit to terminate their union representation through a voting process. 



Deductive reasoning

The ability to extract certain rules based on a sequence of experiences or observations and apply those rules to other similar situations.




Injury caused to an individual’s character or reputation resulting from another individual(s) issuing false or malicious statements either verbally or in writing. 



Deferred compensation

Payment for services under any employer-sponsored plan or arrangement that allows an employee (for tax-related purposes) to defer income to the future.




Failure to fulfill a requirement of Executive Order 11246, Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act or Section 4212 of the Vietnam Era Veterans' Readjustment Assistance Act, including implementing rules, regulations and orders. "Deficiency" and "violation" are often used interchangeably.



Defined benefit plan

A retirement plan that is not an individual account plan and pays participants a fixed periodic benefit or a lump-sum amount, calculated using specific formulas that include such items as age, earnings and length of service.



Defined contribution plan

An individual account plan in which the employer contributes a specific amount of money into each year that is to be distributed among the accounts of each plan participant.




An organizational restructuring strategy meant to reduce the organization’s existing levels of managers or supervisors.




The process of assigning tasks or projects to subordinates and clearly dictating expected outcomes and timeframe for completion.  



De minimis rule

Described by IRS guidelines as any benefit, property or service provided to an employee that has so little value (taking into account how frequently similar benefits are provided to employees) that accounting for it would be unreasonable or administratively impracticable. Cash, no matter how little, is never excludable as a de minimis benefit, except for occasional meal money or transportation fare.




The physical characteristics of a population, such as age, sex, marital status, family size, education, geographic location and occupation.




A permanent reassignment to a position with a lower pay grade, skill requirement or level of responsibility than the employee’s current position. 




The process of dividing an organization’s labor, functions, processes or units into separate groups.



Department of Labor (DOL)

The federal agency responsible for administering and enforcing a large quantity of federal labor laws, including, but not limited to, overtime pay, child labor, wages and hours, workplace health and safety, FMLA, and various other employee rights.



Dependent care assistance plan

An employer benefit plan that provides employees with dependent care assistance, such as paying for or providing qualified child and dependent care services necessary for them to seek or obtain gainful employment or remain gainfully employed.




The process of one party, accompanied by his or her legal counsel, answering questions under oath about pertinent facts regarding a case put forth by another party’s legal counsel; conducted outside of a courtroom.   



Desk audit

A review of a contractor's documents and materials to determine compliance with affirmative action practices and equal employment obligations as they relate to workforce structure, personnel policies and procedures, good-faith efforts and areas of potential discrimination. The Standard Compliance Review Report (SCRR) provides instructions for conducting a desk audit, which takes its name from the fact that this review and analysis is done at the desk of the compliance officer assigned to conduct the audit.



Descriptive scale

Any rating scale that uses adjectives or phrases to determine performance ratings.   



Developmental counseling

A form of shared counseling where managers or supervisors work together with subordinates to identify strengths and weaknesses, resolve performance-related problems and determine and create an appropriate action plan.  



Developmental disabilities

Defined as a severe, chronic disability of an individual that: is attributable to mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments; is manifested before the individual attains the age of 22; is likely to continue indefinitely; results in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity: self-care, receptive and expressive living, and economic self-sufficiency; and reflects the individual's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary or generic services, individualized support or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.



Development program

Training or educational programs designed to stimulate an individual’s professional growth by increasing his or her skills, knowledge or abilities. 



Dimensions of diversity

Include but are not limited to: age; gender; ethnicity; race; sexual orientation; physical abilities/qualities; geographic location; income; religious beliefs; parental status; marital status; military experience; work experience; family status; socio-economic status; educational background; class; organizational background; group identity; language; organizational level; thinking styles; communication styles; relationships and group affiliations; and job classification, job function.



Diploma mill

A term used to refer to an unaccredited higher education institution that grant degrees without making certain that students are properly qualified.




Direct compensation

All compensation (base salary and/or incentive pay) that is paid directly to an employee.



Direct costs

The costs directly attributed to a particular products, programs or activities. 



Direct labor

The workers who actually produce a product or provide a service. 




Defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of an individual’s major life activities (i.e., walking, talking, standing, sitting, etc.)  



Disability management

The process of coordinating efforts between employees, management, physicians, rehabilitation service providers and insurance carriers to reduce the impact of work-related injuries or illnesses and assisting injured employees in continuing to successfully perform their jobs.  



Disabled individual

Under the ADA guidelines, an individual with a disability is a person who: has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such impairment; or is regarded as having such impairment.  Disability under Social Security rules are defined as an individual who is unable to perform work that he or she was previously able to perform and the individual cannot adjust to other work because of his or her medical condition(s), which is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.



Disabled Veteran

A person whose discharge or release from active duty was for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty and who is entitled to a 30 percent or more disability payment under the regulations of the Office of Veteran's Affairs.



Disaster recovery plan

A set of guidelines and procedures to be used by an organization for the recovery of data lost due to severe forces of nature, such as earthquakes, fires, tornadoes, floods or hurricanes.




The termination of an employee based on previous disciplinary proceedings or for violating a major work rule or policy. 



Disciplinary action

The means of reprimanding employees who fail to abide by the organization’s performance standards, policies or rules. 



Disciplinary layoff

A disciplinary measure in which employees are suspended without pay for a specified period of time due to violations of a company work rule or policy. 




The process of disclosing information to employees or the general public regarding any business practices or processes that contain the propensity to be hazardous to the environment or the health and safety of individuals.  



Discretionary bonus

A form of variable pay where an employer provides additional cash compensation to an employee for reasons that are not pursuant to any prior contract, agreement or promise that would lead the employee to expect the payments regularly.




Any policy or action taken related to recruiting, hiring, promotion, pay or training practices that result in an unfair disadvantage to either an individual or group of individuals who are considered part of a protected class.  



Disqualifying income


Commonly used as an offset when coordinating income from multiple sources.




Disparate impact

Under Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) law, a less favorable effect for one group than for another. A disparate impact results when rules applied to all employees have a different and more inhibiting effect on women and minority groups than on the majority.



Disparate treatment

Such treatment results when rules or policies are applied inconsistently to one group of people over another. Discrimination may result when rules and policies are applied differently to members of protected classes.



Displaced workers

Individuals who have lost their jobs due to a plant closing, relocation, downsizing or position elimination. 




Factors, such as working conditions, job functions, pay and benefits or organizational policies and practices, that contribute to employee dissatisfaction.   



Distance learning

The process of delivering educational or instructional programs to locations away from a classroom or site to another location by using technology, such as video or audio conferencing, computers, Web-based applications or other multimedia communications.




Refers to incorporating incorrect items or answers into a testing instrument where the testee is asked to select from a group of items or answers (i.e., multiple choice exams).    




The collective mixture of differences and similarities that includes for example, individual and organizational characteristics, values, beliefs, experiences, backgrounds, preferences and behaviors.




Diversity management

A comprehensive organizational and managerial process for leveraging diversity and achieving inclusion that maximizes the potential of all employees.




Diversity training

A fundamental component of a diversity initiative that represents the opportunity for an organization to inform and educate senior management and staff about diversity. The purpose of training is not only to increase awareness and understanding of workplace diversity, but also to develop concrete skills among staff that will facilitate enhanced productivity and communications among all employees.




Refers to written notices, records, forms, memos, letters and so forth used during disciplinary proceedings.



Domestic partner benefits

Benefit plan provided by an employer that recognizes individuals who are of the same or opposite sex as spousal equivalents for purposes of health care coverage.  Domestic partners are typically defined of as individuals that have lived together in the same residence for a specified period, are responsible for each other's financial welfare, are not blood relatives, are at least 18 years of age, are mentally competent, are life partners and would get legally married should the option become available, are registered as domestic partners if there is a local domestic partner registry, and are not legally married to anyone else. 




The practice of moving an employee to a job that has a lower pay grade or level of responsibility or skill.   




Refers to employees who choose to accept or remain in lower level or lower paying jobs in order to satisfy their personal and family needs. 


The process of reducing the employer’s workforce through elimination of positions, management layers, processes, functions, etc.  



Dress code

An organizational policy or rule to be used by employees as a guideline as to what is considered appropriate attire for the workplace. 



Drug abuse/substance abuse

Habitual and excessive use of a drug for purposes other than what was medically intended.



Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988

Requires some federal contractors and all federal grantees to agree that they will provide drug-free workplaces as a precondition of receiving a contract or grant from a federal agency. Although all covered contractors and grantees must maintain a drug-free workplace, the specific components necessary to meet the requirements of the Act vary based on whether the contractor or grantee is an individual or an organization.



Drug testing

The process of testing employees to detect the presence of illegal drugs or alcohol within their system.  Drug testing can be conducted on a pre-employment, random or post-accident basis, as well as for cause or suspicion, in accordance with the employer’s policy and any governing state law.  



Dual career ladders/tracks

An employee career development plan allowing employees to alternate between technical, professional or managerial positions over the course of their careers while they simultaneously receive higher compensation and gain higher status levels within the organization.    



Due diligence

A critical component of mergers and acquisitions, it is the process of conducting an investigation and evaluation in order to examine the details of a particular investment or purchase by obtaining sufficient and accurate information or documents that may influence the outcome of the transaction.


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