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					 1   This document represents the current Personnel Policies (as amended) with the
 2   following additions:
 3
 4   Section 1 - 13, and 15-17 show redline changes (additions and deletions) recommended
 5   by the City Administrator in consultation with the Department Heads.
 6
 7   SECTION 14 and 18-20 are still being reviewed
 8
 9   Yellow highlighted text represents sections in the new policy proposed by the AAA
10   committee that are more detailed or represent possible revised text for the current section
11   of the policy.
12
13   Blue Highlighted text is either revised text from the City Attorney or notes from the City
14   Attorney regarding the AAA draft
15
16
17
18




                                                  1
 1                                               FORWARD
 2
 3   This is from the original adoption of the policy and is not currently included in copies given to
 4   employees. It is recommended that once the new manual is finalized that it be adopted by resolution or
 5   ordinance.
 6
 7   This Manual contains the broad personnel policies and procedures for the City of Sunset Valley. It is
 8   applicable to all employees. An acknowledgment that this Manual has been read and is understood will
 9   become a part of each employee's permanent personnel file. The acknowledgment form attached to this
10   Manual is to be completed and signed by each employee.
11
12   This Manual supersedes any existing personnel, vacation, sick leave and/or emergency leave policy
13   approved by the City Council of Sunset Valley. The City Council reserves the right to unilaterally
14   rescind or modify the policies in this manual, or adopt new policies, at any time.
15
16   This Manual does not constitute an express or implied employment contract between the City and any
17   City employee.
18
19
20   APPROVED BY THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF SUNSET VALLEY ON THE                                DAY
21   OF        , _________ WITH AN EFFECTIVE DATE OF      .
22
23
24
25
26   Michael Francis, Mayor
27
28
29
30   ATTEST:
31
32
33
34   Jayme Foley, City Secretary
35
36
37
38




                                                        2
 1                                                             Table of Contents
 2   Will need to be renumbered and new sections added once revisions are finalized
 3                                                                                                                                                         Page
 4
 5   SECTION ONE - INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................... 1
 6
 7            1.01     The City ...................................................................................................................    1
 8            1.02     Objectives of Manual ...............................................................................................            1
 9            1.03     Equal Opportunity Policy.........................................................................................               1
10            1.04     Applicability and Scope ...........................................................................................             1
11            1.05     Dissemination of Personnel Policy Manual .............................................................                          2
12            1.06     Administrative Authority .........................................................................................              2
13            1.07     Revision ...................................................................................................................    3
14            1.08     At-Will Statement ....................................................................................................          3
15            1.09     Effective Date ..........................................................................................................       3
16
17   SECTION TWO - EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES ............................................................ 4
18
19            2.01     General ..................................................................................................................... 4
20            2.02     Violation of Rules, Regulations and Policies .......................................................... 4
21            2.03     Attendance ............................................................................................................... 4
22            2.04     Outside Employment ............................................................................................... 4
23            2.05     Gifts ......................................................................................................................... 5
24            2.06     Conflict of Interest ................................................................................................... 5
25            2.07     Political Activity ...................................................................................................... 6
26            2.08     Resignation Upon Announcing Candidacy for Office ............................................. 7
27            2.09     Solicitation ............................................................................................................... 7
28            2.10     Telephone Usage ...................................................................................................... 7
29            2.11     Lunch Periods .......................................................................................................... 7
30            2.12     Physical Fitness ........................................................................................................ 8
31            2.13     Personal Appearance ................................................................................................ 8
32            2.14     Relationship With the Council................................................................................. 8
33            2.15     Relationship With Fellow Employees ..................................................................... 8
34            2.16     Sexual Harassment ................................................................................................... 9
35            2.17     Drug Free Workplace .............................................................................................. 10
36            2.18     Personal Time Off ................................................................................................... 10
37            2.19     Electronic Mail Policy ......................................................................................... 10A
38            2.20     Internet Access Policy.......................................................................................... 10C
39
40   SECTION THREE - RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION.................................................... 11
41
42            3.01     General Policy.........................................................................................................        11
43            3.02     Vacancy Identification ............................................................................................            11
44            3.03     Qualifications ..........................................................................................................      11
45            3.04     Announcement of Vacancies ..................................................................................                   11


                                                                               3
 1            3.05      Disqualification .......................................................................................................      12
 2            3.06      Age Requirements ...................................................................................................          12
 3            3.07      Application..............................................................................................................     12
 4            3.08      Evaluations..............................................................................................................     13
 5            3.09      Medical Examinations ............................................................................................             13
 6            3.10      Nepotism .................................................................................................................    13
 7            3.11      Referral and Selection .............................................................................................          14
 8
 9   SECTION FOUR - STAFF .......................................................................................................... 15
10
11            4.01      Authority .................................................................................................................   15
12            4.02      Basis of Selections ..................................................................................................        15
13            4.03      Type of Appointment ..............................................................................................            15
14            4.04      Regular Appointments ............................................................................................             15
15            4.05      Temporary and Non-Regular Part Time Appointments ..........................................                                   16
16            4.06      No Vested Rights ....................................................................................................         16
17            4.07      New Employee Orientation .....................................................................................                16
18
19   SECTION FIVE - PROBATION ................................................................................................ 17
20
21            5.01      Orientation ..............................................................................................................    17
22            5.02      Purpose of Probationary Period ..............................................................................                 17
23            5.03      Revocation of Probation .........................................................................................             17
24            5.04      Appeal of Revocation of Probation.........................................................................                    18
25            5.05      Benefits During Probationary Period ......................................................................                    18
26
27   SECTION SIX - PERFORMANCE EVALUATION ................................................................ 19
28
29            6.01      Purpose of Performance Evaluation........................................................................                     19
30            6.02      Responsibility .........................................................................................................      19
31            6.03      Performance Evaluation Report ..............................................................................                  19
32            6.04      Counseling ..............................................................................................................     19
33            6.05      Reconsideration ......................................................................................................        20
34
35   SECTION SEVEN - JOB DESCRIPTIONS AND CLASSIFICATIONS ............................... 21
36
37            7.01      Plan Preparation and Maintenance..........................................................................                    21
38            7.02      Effect of Reclassification ........................................................................................           21
39            7.03      Distribution .............................................................................................................    21
40            7.04      Requests of Clarification ........................................................................................            21
41
42   SECTION EIGHT - WORK SCHEDULE AND TIME REPORTING .................................. 22
43
44            8.01      Working Hours ....................................................................................................... 22
45            8.02      Time Reporting ....................................................................................................... 22


                                                                                4
 1
 2   SECTION NINE - COMPENSATION ....................................................................................... 23
 3
 4            9.01     Basis ........................................................................................................................   23
 5            9.02     Payment Delivery....................................................................................................             23
 6            9.03     Advances .................................................................................................................       23
 7            9.04     Fair Labor Standards Act ........................................................................................                23
 8            9.05     Exempt Employees Under FLSA ............................................................................                         24
 9            9.06     Non-Exempt Employees Under FLSA ...................................................................                              24
10            9.07     Overtime and Compensatory Time Off For Non-Exempt Employees....................                                                  24
11            9.08     Approval of Overtime .............................................................................................               25
12            9.09     Emergency Duty......................................................................................................             26
13            9.10     Payroll Deductions ..................................................................................................            26
14            9.11     Uniform Allowance ................................................................................................               26
15            9.12     Calculation of Termination Pay ..............................................................................                    26
16            9.13     Approving Authority...............................................................................................               27
17            9.14     Garnishment ............................................................................................................         27
18
19   SECTION TEN - PERSONNEL ACTIONS .............................................................................. 28
20
21            10.01    Promotions ..............................................................................................................        28
22            10.02    Temporary Promotions ...........................................................................................                 28
23            10.03    Lateral Transfers .....................................................................................................          28
24            10.04    Change of Duty Assignment ...................................................................................                    29
25            10.05    Layoffs ....................................................................................................................     29
26
27   SECTION ELEVEN - BENEFITS .............................................................................................. 30
28
29            11.01    Health, Dental, Accidental Death and Dismemberment and Life Insurance ..........                                                 30
30            11.02    Workers Compensation...........................................................................................                  30
31            11.03    Unemployment Insurance .......................................................................................                   30
32            11.04    Texas Municipal Retirement System ("T.M.R.S.") ................................................                                  30
33
34   SECTION TWELVE - VACATIONS ........................................................................................ 31
35
36            12.01    General Policy......................................................................................................... 31
37            12.02    Holidays During Vacation ...................................................................................... 31
38            12.03    Illness or Injury During Vacation............................................................................ 31
39            12.04    Use of Vacation Leave for Medical Reasons .......................................................... 31
40            12.05    Interruption of Vacation .......................................................................................... 31
41            12.06    Accrual of Vacation Leave ..................................................................................... 32
42            12.07    Vacation Leave Records and Approval ................................................................ 32a
43
44   SECTION THIRTEEN - HOLIDAYS........................................................................................ 33
45


                                                                                5
 1           13.01     General Policy.........................................................................................................     33
 2           13.02     Holidays Falling on Saturday or Sunday.................................................................                     33
 3           13.03     Work During Holidays ............................................................................................           33
 4           13.04     Forfeiture of Holiday ..............................................................................................        34
 5           13.05     Floating Holiday .....................................................................................................      34
 6
 7   SECTION FOURTEEN - ABSENCES AND LEAVES ............................................................ 35
 8
 9           14.01 Definitions ..............................................................................................................      35
10           14.02 Approval of Leave ..................................................................................................            35
11           14.03 Civil Leave ..............................................................................................................      35
12           14.04 Using Leave in Combination ..................................................................................                   35
13           14.05 Paid Medical Leave.................................................................................................             36
14           14.06 Parental Leave .........................................................................................................        37
15           14.07 Bereavement Leave .................................................................................................             37
16           14.08 Military Leave .........................................................................................................        37
17           14.09 Administrative Absence With Pay ..........................................................................                      38
18           14.10 Extended Leave of Absence Without Pay...............................................................                            38
19           14.11 Injury Leave ............................................................................................................       38
20           14.12 Sick Leave Pool ......................................................................................................          39
21           14.13 Maximum Leave .....................................................................................................             39
22           14.13A Re-Employment After Leaves of Absence.............................................................                             40
23           14.14 Health Insurance coverage During Unpaid Leave ..................................................                                40
24
25   SECTION FIFTEEN – HEALTH AND SAFETY..................................................................... 41
26
27           15.01     Safety Policy ...........................................................................................................   41
28           15.02     Employee Responsibilities/Reports ........................................................................                  41
29           15.03     Safety Suggestions ..................................................................................................       41
30           15.04     On-The-Job Injuries ................................................................................................        41
31           15.05     Light Duty Assignment ...........................................................................................           41
32
33   SECTION SIXTEEN - USE OF CITY PROPERTY ................................................................ 42
34
35           16.01     General Policy.........................................................................................................     42
36           16.02     Property Control......................................................................................................      42
37           16.03     Use of Tools, Equipment, Property, and Vehicles ..................................................                          42
38           16.04     Valid Driver's License.............................................................................................         42
39           16.05     Accident Reporting .................................................................................................        43
40           16.06     Approval for Use.....................................................................................................       43
41
42   SECTION SEVENTEEN - DISCIPLINE AND APPEALS ...................................................... 44
43
44           17.01 Grounds for Disciplinary Action............................................................................. 44
45           17.02 Types of Disciplinary Action .................................................................................. 45


                                                                              6
 1            17.03     Written Reprimand .................................................................................................             45
 2            17.04     Suspension ..............................................................................................................       45
 3            17.05     Demotion ................................................................................................................       46
 4            17.06     Dismissal .................................................................................................................     46
 5            17.07     Appeals of Disciplinary Action...............................................................................                   46
 6
 7   SECTION EIGHTEEN - GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE .......................................................... 47
 8
 9            18.01 Definition ................................................................................................................ 47
10            18.02 General Policy......................................................................................................... 47
11            18.03 Formal Grievance Procedure .................................................................................. 47
12
13   SECTION NINETEEN - SEPARATION FROM EMPLOYMENT ....................................... 49
14
15            19.01     General ....................................................................................................................    49
16            19.02     Resignation .............................................................................................................       49
17            19.03     Layoff ......................................................................................................................   49
18            19.04     Disability or Incapability.........................................................................................             49
19            19.05     Dismissal .................................................................................................................     49
20            19.06     Death .......................................................................................................................   50
21            19.07     Exit Interviews and Records ...................................................................................                 50
22            19.08     Employment References .........................................................................................                 50
23
24   SECTION TWENTY - PERSONNEL RECORDS ................................................................... 52
25
26            20.01 General .................................................................................................................... 52
27            20.02 Contents of Personnel Files .................................................................................... 52
28            20.03 Leave Records ......................................................................................................... 53
29
30   SECTION TWENTY-ONE - AUTHORIZED EMPLOYEE,
31   POLICE AND APPOINTED POSITIONS ................................................................................ 54
32
33            21.01     General and Administrative ....................................................................................                 54
34            21.02     Municipal Court ......................................................................................................          54
35            21.03     Public Safety ...........................................................................................................       54
36            21.04     Volunteers ...............................................................................................................      54
37            21.05     Public Works/Utility ...............................................................................................            54
38            21.06     Appointed................................................................................................................       54
39
40   APPENDIX "A" Elected and Appointed Positions, Commissions, Boards and
41                Committees ....................................................................................................... 55
42
43   APPENDIX "B" Organizational Relationships and Chart............................................................ 56
44
45   ACKNOWLEDGMENT .............................................................................................................. 58
46

                                                                                7
 1
 2
 3                                             SECTION ONE
 4                                            INTRODUCTION
 5
 6
 7   1.01
 8   THE CITY
 9
10   The City of Sunset Valley was incorporated in 1954 as a Type A general law city under the laws of the
11   State of Texas. The City is governed by an elected City Council, consisting of a Mayor and five
12   Councilmembers. In a Mayor-Council form of city government, the Mayor is the chief administrative
13   officer of the governmental body, but does not have a vote on City Council. The Council Members are
14   the policy making body of the city. The City Council has been delegated the exclusive authority to adopt
15   employment policies, unless other state and federal laws or regulations otherwise limit such authority. In
16   addition to the City Officers and Staff, there are a number of Commissions, Boards and Committees
17   whose volunteer members are appointed by the City Council.
18   A current listing of the individuals elected or appointed is maintained by the City Secretary
19
20
21   1.02
22   OBJECTIVES OF MANUAL
23
24   This Manual is designed to bring to the City service a high degree of understanding, cooperation,
25   efficiency, and unity through systematic, uniform application of modern personnel policies. The
26   policies contained herein inform employees of the benefits and obligations of employment with the City
27   of Sunset Valley. Nothing stated herein shall be construed to create an employment contract between
28   the City and any City employee.
29
30
31
32   1.03
33   EQUAL OPPORTUNITY POLICY
34
35   The city is committed to providing equal employment opportunity to all employees and applicants for
36   employment. All personnel transactions are made without regard to race, religion, age, color, national
37   origin, sex,or disability or any other unlawful basis or non-merit factor. The city will promote and
38   implement this policy in recruiting, hiring, training, evaluating, promoting and terminating employees.
39   The city’s ultimate responsibility is to ensure that the work environment is free from discrimination and
40   harassment.
41
42   Goals and Objectives
43
44   The City will:


                                                         8
 1
 2         recruit capable and qualified applicants, ensure that each has an equal opportunity for selection,
 3          mindful of the diversity in the City ; and
 4         ensure that each employee has an equal opportunity for training and career advancement
 5          programs.
 6
 7   This policy is designed to communicate equal opportunity for the employment of qualified persons who
 8   possess the ability to perform essential functions of the position for which they applied.
 9
10   The City will:
11
12         provide upon request a copy of the Employee Handbook,. Each employee will acknowledge that
13          they have familiarized themselves with the Employee Handbook upon hire after completion of
14          the new employee orientation;
15
16         provide job vacancy notices to current employees by posting them both on the city’s Internet and
17          Intranet sites. This ensures that current staff is advised of opportunities to seek advancement;
18
19         include an Equal Employment Opportunity statement in all job vacancy notices and inform new
20          employees of the city’s commitment to equal employment opportunity and a harassment free
21          workplace through new hire orientation sessions to be conducted within 30 days of employment.
22          In addition, employees are required to attend bi-annual periodic training classes, to ensure that
23          they are fully apprised of requirements and expectations in these areas. Upon completion of
24          training, an employee acknowledgement of training form signed by the employee will be
25          maintained in the appropriate file by the City Administrator or his designee.
26
27   The EEO Officer City Administrator or his designee shall serve as the EEO Officer and advise
28   employees and management on EEO-related issues. The EEO officer acts as a liaison in resolving
29   disputes. Issues discussed with the EEO Officer will be kept confidential to the extent allowable by law.
30
31   Employees who have concerns and want to discuss them with the EEO Officer are encouraged to do so.
32   Employees are not required to discuss concerns with their supervisors; however, employees are
33   encouraged to work within their chain of command to resolve work-related issues.
34
35   The EEO Officer will monitor any substantiated complaints to ensure the situation has been remedied.
36
37
38
39
40   1.4
41   APPLICABILITY AND SCOPE
42
43   The policies set forth herein apply to all City employees unless specifically exempted by state law,
44   federal law or official City Council action. A person on retainer or under contract is not considered to


                                                        9
 1   be a City employee in the absence of a specific agreement to that affect. In cases where federal or state
 2   law or regulations supercede local policy for specific groups of employees, such laws or regulations will
 3   substitute for these personnel policies only insofar as necessary. The City reserves the right to modify or
 4   deviate from the application of the policies set forth herein in individual cases when the City Council
 5   determines same is appropriate and in the best interest of the City.
 6
 7
 8   1.05
 9   DISSEMINATION OF PERSONNEL POLICY MANUAL
10
11   All City employees shall be given a copy of this Manual, and shall execute an acknowledgment that the
12   Manual has been read and is understood. The acknowledgment will become a part of each employee's
13   personnel file. Whenever this Manual is amended or revised, each employee shall be notified in writing
14   and shall execute an acknowledgment that he or she has received a copy of the amendment or revision,
15   and has read and understood same. Each Department shall also keep a copy available for reference by
16   its employees.
17
18
19   1.06
20   ADMINISTRATIVE AUTHORITY
21
22   With the exception of matters specifically reserved to the City Council by law, ordinance or this Manual,
23   the general and final authority for City administrative and personnel management rests with the Mayor,
24   as the Chief Executive Officer of the City. The Mayor and City Council shall appoint a City
25   Administrator. The City Administrator is the supervisor of all Department Heads
26
27   The City Administrator shall administer and interpret personnel policies and procedures as they apply to
28   all Departments and employees. This authority may be delegated as necessary and proper. The Mayor
29   and City Council have the authority for final review and approval of all actions on matters not
30   specifically delegated to the City Administrator The City Council has the final authority to hire and
31   dismiss the City Administrator and shall give final approval to hiring and dismissal of Department
32   heads. Except as where otherwise noted in this Manual, the City Administrator shall have the authority
33   to hire and dismiss other employees of the City upon recommendation from a Department head.
34
35   Each Department Head, under the supervision of the City Administrator , is responsible within the scope
36   of his or her authority for enforcing the provisions of these rules and related policies and procedures in
37   regard to matters involving his or her Department. Department Heads may prepare and enforce
38   supplemental written personnel policies not inconsistent with these policies for the administration of
39   personnel matters within their Department, subject to the prior approval of the City Administrator..
40
41   The Chief of Police shall develop written policies, rules and guidelines for Police Department personnel,
42   which shall be approved by the Mayor and City Council. The provisions of the Police Policy Manual
43   shall, to the extent possible, be consistent with the provisions of this Manual. In case of conflict, the
44   provisions of the City of Sunset Valley Personnel Manual shall control. The Police Chief is responsible
45   for enforcing the provisions of the Police Policy Manual. An Organizational Chart showing currently


                                                         10
 1   authorized Department Heads and staff supervision responsibility is included as Appendix "B" to this
 2   Manual, and a current listing of the personnel serving in each position is maintained by the City
 3   Administrator or his designee.
 4
 5
 6   1.07
 7   REVISION
 8
 9   The City Council reserves the right to unilaterally modify or rescind the policies in this Manual at any
10   time by formal action taken at a regular or called meeting.
11
12
13   1.08
14   AT-WILL STATEMENT
15
16   Each employee of the City is an "at-will" employee who can terminate employment with the City, or be
17   terminated by the City, at any time and for any or no reason. Nothing set forth in this Manual is
18   intended to or shall be deemed to create a contract between the City and the employee, or to create any
19   contractual rights relating to employment. The provisions of this Manual control over any contradictory
20   statements made by any supervisors. Any agreements or assurances concerning the terms, conditions or
21   duration of an individual's employment are not binding unless they are in writing and signed by the City
22   Administrator and authorized by the Mayor.
23
24   . Any salary figures provided to an employee in annual or monthly terms are provided in that form for
25   convenience or to facilitate comparisons. At no time does such action guarantee employment for any
26   period of time.
27
28   The city reserves the right to conduct post employment background checks, annually or as deemed
29   necessary, as a condition of employment. Staff members are strongly encouraged to inform their
30   supervisors of any arrest or criminal conviction, excluding minor traffic offenses, which would impact
31   their background check or an evaluation of their driving record, if applicable to the employee's job
32   duties.
33
34
35
36
37   1.09
38   EFFECTIVE DATE
39
40   This Manual was adopted on the _____________________ It supersedes any existing vacation, sick
41   leave, emergency leave or other personnel policy or Personnel Manual provision previously approved by
42   the City Council.
43
44
45

                                                       11
 1
 2
 3                                       SECTION TWO
 4                                 EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES
 5
 6
 7   2.01
 8   GENERAL
 9
10   The City of Sunset Valley is a public tax-supported entity. It is a service agency to its citizens and the
11   general public. City offices should have a friendly, yet dignified and efficient atmosphere. City
12   employees must adhere to high standards of public service that emphasize professionalism, courtesy and
13   the avoidance of illegal or unethical conduct or any appearance of illegal or unethical conduct.
14   Employees are expected to carry out their jobs efficiently, to maintain good moral conduct, and to do
15   their part in maintaining good relationships with the public, other government employees and officials,
16   supervisors and with fellow employees.
17
18
19   2.02
20   VIOLATION OF RULES, REGULATIONS AND POLICIES
21   The violation of any employee of any rule, regulation and/or policy set forth in this Manual may result in
22   the imposition of appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Additionally, this
23   Manual sets forth minimum requirements for the standards of conduct applicable to all City employees.
24   The requirements set forth herein are not all-inclusive. The absence of any specific rule governing any
25   act discrediting an employee or the City does not mean that the act is condoned, is permissible, or would
26   not call for disciplinary action including termination when necessary.
27
28   If a staff member reasonably believes that an instruction, directive, request or other communication
29   given to them by an elected official is contrary to or inconsistent with any existing Federal or State law,
30   rule or regulations, or any City ordinance, code, action of Council, or adopted policy, the staff member
31   shall inform the City Administrator of this belief. The City Administrator shall provide the requesting
32   elected official with a copy of the applicable law, rule or regulation or City ordinance, code, action or
33   adopted policy. If the requesting elected official believes that the instruction, directive, request or
34   communication is not contrary to or inconsistent with the provided materials, the request and provided
35   legal materials shall be given to the City attorneys for review. The staff member shall take no action
36   with respect to the request unless the City attorneys conclude that the staff member’s belief is not
37   reasonably supported by the provided legal materials, or the matter is brought before the City Council
38   and the City Council directs otherwise.
39
40   All staff are instructed to report to the City Administrator any incident where a staff member believes
41   that a directive, order or request given to them by the Mayor or on behalf of the Mayor, or by a Council
42   Member or on behalf of a Council Member that staff reasonably believes would be inconsistent with or
43   contrary to an existing City policy, ordinance, rule or directive in issue, from whom the directive was
44   given, whether the directive was given orally or in writing, and if in writing include a copy of the



                                                         12
 1   directive, and identify the specific policy code, ordinance, law, rule or regulation that he or she believes
 2   the directive contravenes.
 3
 4


 5
 6   2.03
 7   ATTENDANCE
 8
 9   Employees are to be punctual in maintaining work hours, keeping appointments and meeting schedules
10   for completion of work. An employee who expects to be absent from work at any time during working
11   hours must report the expected absence to his or her Department Head before the time set for beginning
12   work. Department Heads are to report to the City Administrator. The City Administrator is to report to
13   the Mayor.


14
15   2.04
16   OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT / CIVIC INVOLVEMENT
17


18   The city wants employees to have the opportunity to engage in outside employment or other business
19   and civic activities that pose no conflict, as relates to ethics, scheduling routine and non-routine or any
20   other job-related requirements. All outside employment, including self employment, must receive the
21   prior written approval of the Department Head and the City Administrator, and shall not be approved
22   where such employment would adversely affect or be incompatible or conflict with the employee's
23   performance in the City service, or bring discredit upon the City. Any outside employment of a
24   Department Head or the City Administrator shall be approved by the Mayor.
25    The following guidelines shall apply:
26
27          A full-time, regular employee must consider his or her job with the City as the primary job.
28
29          Permission will not be granted for an employee to be employed by an entity or individual in
30          competition with or that presents a potential conflict of interest with the City.


31          Permission will not be granted for an employee to do work for a resident of Sunset Valley in a
32          capacity that is determined by the Department Head that could cause a conflict with the
33          employee’s position or responsibilities with the City.
34          If the work standards or performance of an employee of the City suffer and it is determined to
35          be caused by outside employment, permission to work at the outside job may be rescinded, or
36          the employee may be subject to discharge. The City will not pay medical benefits for injuries


                                                         13
 1   or illnesses suffered as a result of outside employment. The City employee will notify his or her
 2   Department Head immediately upon any change in outside employment status or condition.
 3
 4       Employees shall not accept any employment or compensation that could influence their judgment or
 5       hinder their independence of judgment in the performance of their official duties.
 6
 7       Employees shall not accept other employment that could require or cause them to reveal confidential
 8       information acquired through their official positions.
 9
10
11
12   I
13
14
15
16   2.05
17   GIFTS
18
19   Employees shall not solicit or accept personal gifts or anything of value or benefit from any contractor,
20   vendor, or other person who has business dealings with the City. Nor shall any employee accept
21   anything of value or benefit, except compensation paid by the City, for services performed as part of his
22   or her employment with the City.
23
24
25
26
27   2.06 CONFLICT OF INTEREST / ETHICS POLICY
28
29
30
31
32   The Ethics Policy is not intended to supersede any existing Texas law or regulation, but rather embodies
33   principles contained in existing statutes applicable to public employees.
34
35   General Conduct
36
37   The city has established standards of General Conduct for all employees. This synopsis lists minimum
38   requirements that are not to be considered all-inclusive. All employees are responsible for awareness of
39   the standards of General Conduct and their obligations.
40
41          Employees shall always treat members of the public and fellow employees
42           with dignity and respect.
43
44          Employees shall avoid any action that may result in or give the appearance of


                                                        14
 1          using their positions as public servants attempting to seek private gain.
 2
 3         Employees shall avoid any action that may adversely affect the public’s
 4          confidence in government.
 5
 6          .
 7
 8         Employees shall not participate in gambling, betting, or lotteries on city
 9          property or using city equipment.
10
11         Employees shall not provide false statements or false information in any area
12          of official duty to fellow employees or to the general public.
13
14          Employees shall submit truthful and complete reports.
15
16          Violation of any of the foregoing may subject an employee to disciplinary action, up to
17          termination of employment. The foregoing list is not an exhaustive list of proscribed activities.
18
19   Participation in Financial Activities
20
21         Employees shall not have any interest or engage in any financial activity or
22          employment that conflicts, or appears to conflict, with the performance of
23          their duties for the city.
24
25         Employees shall not be involved in financial interests with employees under
26          their supervision. Minor short term loans, e.g. for lunch, among employees are not proscribed.
27
28         Employees shall not engage in financial or professional activities that could
29          require or cause them to reveal confidential information acquired through
30          their official positions.
31
32         Employees shall not make personal investments that create conflicts between
33          their personal interests and the public interest.
34
35
36
37          Employees are not permitted to solicit others within the city, while
38          on city time, for an outside business which results in personal gain for those
39          employees.
40
41
42




                                                         15
 1          Employees may not engage in any private for-profit business while performing duties for the
 2           city.
 3
 4
 5   Exceptions
 6
 7          Employees may accept a gift or benefit from a person who has been a
 8           personal friend of the employee prior to employment with the city, and with whom the employee
 9           has an established relationship that includes the exchange of
10           gifts or benefits in appropriate social circumstances.
11
12          Employees may accept a gift or benefit from a professional or business
13           relationship offered to the employee as a consumer, (e.g., an insurance agent accountant, etc.),
14           independent of the official status of the recipient as a public servant so long as it is not intended
15           to influence official action as a public servant.
16
17          Employees who receive small amounts of unsolicited perishable foods or
18           plants delivered by a donor may accept those on behalf of the city.
19
20          Employees may accept items dispersed for ordinary advertising and public
21           relations purposes, which are made available to attract employees as
22           customers rather than in regard to their status as employees of the city.
23
24          Employees must use their judgment, but should refuse gifts if they believe it may create an
25           appearance of impropriety or call into question the integrity of the work of the city.
26
27           Ownership of stock or other interest in a publicly traded entity shall not constitute a proscribed
28           interest.
29
30
31
32
33
34   2.07
35   POLITICAL ACTIVITY
36
37   Employees of the City are encouraged to vote and to exercise other prerogatives of citizen consistent
38   with state and federal laws and these policies. An employee may not, however:
39
40      1.      publicly use his or her position with the City to interfere with or affect the result of an
41              election or nomination for municipal office;
42
43      2.      solicit or receive any contribution to the campaign funds of any candidate for the City
44              Council, or take any part in the management of the political campaign of any such candidate;


                                                          16
 1              provided however, that nothing herein shall infringe the constitutional rights of such officer
 2              or employee to express his or her opinions and to cast his or her vote;
 3
 4      3.      use working hours or City property to participate in the political campaign of any person for
 5              any elective position or for any other political purpose. The term "participate" means,
 6              without limitation, making political speeches, soliciting personally or by telephone,
 7              distributing political literature or writing or handling letters related to a political campaign or
 8              activity; or
 9
10      4.      be required to contribute to any political fund or render any political service to any person or
11              party.
12
13
14
15
16   2.08
17   RESIGNATION UPON ANNOUNCING CANDIDACY FOR OFFICE
18
19   Any employee who is elected to a City office will resign from City employment upon his or her election.
20   Failure to so resign will result in the immediate dismissal of the employee.
21
22
23   2.09
24   SOLICITATION
25
26   Solicitation of funds or anything of value for any purpose other than a political campaign shall be
27   permitted of or by City employees on the job only if it does not conflict or interfere with the employee’s
28   normal work duties.
29
30
31   2.10
32   TELEPHONE USAGE
33
34   City telephones are for conducting necessary City business. Long distance calls may be made only by
35   personnel authorized by the appropriate Department Head and may be made only for official City
36   business. Excessive local personal telephone calls by an employee are not permitted. All supervisory
37   service personnel must maintain a telephone number at which they can be reached during off-duty hours.
38
39
40   2.11
41
42           OFFICE HOURS           (Between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.)
43
44   Office hours in the city are set to serve the public. This includes the noon hour each working day when
45   at least one person in City Hall will be on duty to accept calls, receive visitors and conduct business.


                                                          17
 1
 2
 3
 4   2.12
 5   PHYSICAL FITNESS
 6
 7   It shall be the responsibility of each employee to maintain the standards of physical and mental fitness
 8   required for performing his or her job. The Department Head may require an employee to submit to an
 9   examination by a physician when it appears that the physical or mental condition of an employee may
10   prohibit him or her from adequately performing the duties of the job or constitutes a hazard to persons or
11   property. The employee will be required, as a condition of continued employment, to authorize the
12   physician to disclose the results of the examination to the appropriate City officials. The employee shall
13   be granted administrative leave for the time required for such an examination, which shall be conducted
14   without expense to the employee and shall be for the purpose of determining his or her condition relative
15   to the bona fide requirements of the job. The Department Head, with the approval of the City
16   Administrator, shall determine on the basis of the physician's report the appropriate personnel action to
17   be taken in connection with the employee.
18
19
20   2.13
21   PERSONAL APPEARANCE
22
23   All employees, regardless of work location and degree of public contact, are expected to maintain a neat
24   and clean personal appearance at all times to promote a favorable impression with the public.
25   Department Heads will insure that all employees are dressed in such manner that employee safety is not
26   jeopardized.
27
28
29   Clothing and jewelry that are distracting to others and that present a safety hazard should not be worn.
30
31
32
33   2.14
34   RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COUNCIL
35   Employees shall be respectful, courteous and cooperative with the Mayor and City Council members.
36
37   Conflicting Instructions: If any staff member receives an instruction, request or other communication
38   from the Mayor or a Council Member that the staff member reasonably believes to be inconsistent or in
39   conflict with an instruction, request, or other communication received from another elected official, e.g.
40   the Mayor or another Council Member, the member of staff shall promptly inform, by e-mail or in
41   writing, the City Administrator and each of the elected officials who have given an instruction, request
42   or other communication regarding the matter. If the City Administrator does not receive a
43   communication from each of the involved elected officials indicating that the matter has been resolved
44   within seven (7) days of the date of the e-mail, the matter, along with all e-mails or written



                                                         18
 1   communications concerning the issue, shall be put on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled
 2   Council meeting for consideration and appropriate action.
 3
 4   If an employee follows the above procedure for conflicting instructions, the employee shall not be
 5   accused of or formally reprimanded as being disrespectful, discourteous, or uncooperative with the
 6   Mayor and/or City Council Members.
 7
 8
 9   2.15
10   RELATIONSHIP WITH FELLOW EMPLOYEES
11
12   Employees shall at all times treat one another in a cooperative, courteous and professional manner.
13   Malicious gossip or false accusations are prohibited. Jokes or comments that might be offensive to any
14   religious, racial, ethnic or sexual group are also prohibited.
15
16   There shall be no discourteous, abusive, disorderly or disruptive conduct during working hours or on
17   work premises. No employee shall allow his or her personal relationship with another employee to
18   interfere with the performance of the employee’s job responsibilities and professional conduct.
19
20
21   2.16
22   SEXUAL HARASSMENT
23
24
25   The city does not tolerate any form of sexual harassment of an employee by another employee,
26   Department Head, City Administrator, Mayor, Councilmember, manager, director or by any outside
27   person, for any reason. Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination which is a violation of Title
28   VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and the Equal Opportunity Guidelines
29   on Sexual Harassment.
30
31   Harassment of a sexual nature will subject the individual harasser to liability for any such unlawful
32   conduct and immediate disciplinary action up to and including termination.
33
34   Following is information on recognizing sexual harassment:
35
36   Sexual harassment exists whenever there are unwelcome advances, requests for sexual favors, or any
37   other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:
38
39         submission to the conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly a condition of the employee’s
40          employment;
41         submission to the conduct is used as the basis for an employment decision affecting the
42          employee;




                                                       19
 1         the harassment has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the employee’s work
 2          performance or creating an environment which is intimidating, hostile, or offensive to the
 3          employee.
 4
 5   Illegal employment discrimination based on sex occurs when the sexual conduct of a verbal or physical
 6   nature:
 7
 8         results in the employee losing tangible benefits;
 9         interferes with the employee’s ability to perform the job; or
10         creates a hostile or intimidating work environment for the employee.
11
12   For example, sexually oriented jokes, remarks, gestures, or pictures may be offensive to other
13   employees, and thus should not be made or shown.
14
15   Employee Responsibilities

16
17   Any employee who believes that he or she has been subjected to sexual harassment is urged to contact
18   his or her immediate supervisor, director or the Department Head so that corrective and preventative
19   actions can be taken promptly. An employee who makes a complaint or participates in the investigation
20   of a complaint will not be subjected to retaliation for providing information to upper management.
21
22
23   All city employees are held responsible for immediately reporting acts of suspected harassment to their
24   supervisor or the Department Head. Supervisors and or Department Heads who receive a complaint
25   from an employee should report it immediately to the City Administrator. The City Administrator may
26   refer the matter to the city's legal counsel to investigate and resolve the complaint.
27
28   Employees, supervisors, managers or directors who engage in sexual harassment are subject to
29   immediate disciplinary action up to and including termination. All complaints of sexual harassment
30   must be reported to the supervisor or Department Head. Supervisors or Department Heads who do not
31   follow proper procedures in reporting sexual harassment complaints to the City Administrator or who
32   interfere in the investigation of those complaints, are subject to immediate disciplinary action up to and
33   including termination.
34
35   All sexual harassment complaints will be investigated, as considered appropriate. Information regarding
36   the complaint and investigation will be shared on a need-to-know basis only.
37
38   In addition to sexual harassment, the city does not tolerate harassment based on race, religion, national
39   origin, age, disability or any other unlawful basis. Any employee who believes (s)he has been subject to
40   any such harassment should report such conduct in the manner provided for reporting sexual
41   harassment. The city will investigate and deal with such complaints in the same manner as provided for
42   sexual harassment.
43
44


                                                        20
 1   2.17
 2   DRUG FREE WORKPLACE
 3
 4   Alcohol and/or drug abuse can significantly affect the safety of the public and City employees, impair
 5   the integrity of City services, decrease employee productivity and effectiveness, and violate state and
 6   federal laws. It is the policy and intent of the City to maintain a drug-free workplace. Employees are
 7   expected to report to work on time and in appropriate mental and physical condition for work.
 8   Employees are not to report to or remain at work under the influence of intoxicants. For purposes of this
 9   policy, intoxicants include abused inhalants such as glue or paint thinner, alcoholic beverages, and any
10   drug which is not legally obtainable or which is legally obtainable but has not been legally obtained.
11   Examples include, without limitation, marijuana, cocaine, prescription drugs not legally obtained and
12   prescription drugs not used for their prescribed purposes.
13
14   Employees shall not consume, use, possess, purchase, sell, transfer or manufacture intoxicants at any
15   time during working hours, on City property, while performing City business either within or outside the
16   corporate limits of the City, or in any City vehicle. Violations of this policy may have legal
17   consequences in addition to the imposition of disciplinary action by the City.
18
19   The City of Sunset Valley recognizes that intoxicant dependence is an illness and a major health
20   problem. The City also recognizes drug abuse as a potential health, safety, and security problem. The
21   City encourages employees who need help in dealing with such problems to use the health insurance
22   plan as appropriate. Conscientious efforts to seek such help will not be used as a basis for disciplinary
23   action. Once an employee is found to have violated this policy, however, his or her offer to seek
24   rehabilitation on a voluntary basis will not necessarily limit disciplinary action.
25
26   Employees must report any arrest, complaint, indictment and any resulting conviction there from of any
27   offense under a criminal drug statute occurring on or off City premises while conducting City business
28   within five (5) business days thereafter.
29
30
31




                                                        21
 1
 2
 3
 4   2.18
 5   PERSONAL TIME OFF
 6
 7   Employees will refrain from attending to or conducting personal business during regular working hours
 8   and will use vacation leave and or flexible scheduling with the approval of a Department Head to take
 9   care of any personal business that may arise during regular working hours
10
11
12   2.19
13   ELECTRONIC MAIL POLICY
14   This policy describes City’s guidelines with regard to access to and disclosure of electronic mail
15   messages sent or received by City employees with use of external or internal e-mail systems.
16
17   The City respects the individual privacy of its employees. However, employee privacy does not extend
18   to the employee’s work-related conduct or to the use of City provided equipment or supplies. The
19   following guidelines may affect employee privacy in the workplace.
20
21   Management’s Right to Access Information
22   The electronic mail system has been installed by the City to facilitate business communications.
23   Although each employee has an individual password to access this system, stored e-mail messages
24   belong to the City and the contents of e-mail communications are accessible at all times by City
25   management for any business purpose. The electronic mail system may be subject to periodic
26   unannounced inspections and should be treated like other shared filing systems. All system passwords
27   and encryption keys must be available to City management, and employees may not use passwords that
28   are unknown or install encryption programs without turning over encryption keys to the Deputy City
29   Administrator. All e-mail messages are the city’s records. The contents of e-mail, properly obtained for
30   legitimate business purposes, may be disclosed within the City without your permission. Therefore, you
31   should not assume that messages are confidential. Back-up copies of e-mail may be maintained and
32   referenced for business and legal reasons.
33
34   Personal Use of E-Mail
35   Because the City provides the electronic mail system to assist employees in job performance, employees
36   should use it for official City business. Examples of permitted official business uses of the City e-mail
37   system include, but are not limited to, the following:
38
39        Research/Education related to City business, communication with professional associations and
40         other governmental entities, universities, businesses and/or individuals associated with the
41         facilitation of City business.
42
43        Filing of reports relating to various areas of City operations that are required or permitted by state
44         and federal agencies.
45


                                                         22
 1       Distribution of information to the general public under City guidelines and policies for the
 2        release of information pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act and other applicable laws.
 3
 4       Communication among         City employees and professional colleagues facilitating work
 5        assignments and professional discussion in a work-related field of knowledge.
 6
 7       Purchasing, communicating with vendors and suppliers, and receiving quotes and obtaining
 8        specifications for equipment/material.
 9
10       Registration for conferences, schools, and seminars.
11
12       Making arrangements (airline, hotel, etc.) for travel on City business.
13
14       Researching/obtaining news reports from newspapers, publications, and other media sources.
15
16       Receipt of newsletters, bulletins, reports, etc. from professional organizations.
17
18       Announcements of personnel vacancies.
19
20       Any other use that is related to the the City’s business that is not prohibited by copyright or any
21        other provision of this policy, or any other City policy or state or federal law.
22
23   Incidental and occasional personal use of e-mail is permitted by the City, but these messages will be
24   treated the same as other messages. the City reserves the right to access and disclose as necessary all
25   messages sent over its e-mail system, without regard to content. Because personal messages can be
26   assessed by the City management without prior notice, employees should not use e-mail to transmit
27   any messages employees would not want read by a third party. For example, employees should not use
28   the City e-mail for gossip, including personal information about themselves or others, for forwarding
29   messages under circumstances likely to embarrass the sender, or for emotional responses to business
30   correspondence or work situations. In any event, employees should not use the systems for such
31   purposes as soliciting or proselytizing for commercial ventures, religious, political, or personal causes
32   or outside organizations or other similar, non-job-related solicitations. Any attempt to obstruct other
33   employees’ work by consuming gratuitously large amounts of system resources or by deliberately
34   crashing any the City computer system is prohibited. If the City discovers that you are misusing the e-
35   mail system, you will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
36
37   Forbidden Content of E-Mail Communications: Employees may not use the City’s e-mail system in
38   any way that may be seen as insulting, disruptive, or offensive by other persons, or harmful to morale.
39   Examples of forbidden transmission include sexually-explicit messages, cartoons, or jokes; unwelcome
40   propositions or love letters; ethnic or racial slurs; or any other message that can be construed to be
41   harassment or disparagement of others based on their sex, race, sexual orientation, age, national origin,
42   or religious or political beliefs. Sending anonymous e-mail, encrypted messages, or chain letters is
43   prohibited. Use of the City provided e-mail systems in violation of this guideline will result in
44   disciplinary action up to and including termination.
45


                                                        23
 1   Virus Protection. Employees shall leave all virus protection software enabled at all times. Anti-virus
 2   software is to be kept current by ensuring that updated revisions are downloaded at such intervals as
 3   are recommended by the vendor. It should be noted that virus detection software will detect viruses,
 4   but will not automatically eliminate them. Therefore, employees must follow the prompts from the
 5   virus protection software.
 6
 7   E-mails that do not clearly identify the sender are not to be opened. E-mails from senders that you do
 8   not recognize are not to be opened. E-mail attachments that are executed files, with an .EXE or .COM
 9   extension, are not to be opened without first scanning them with a virus checker and confirming their
10   legitimacy.
11
12   Password and Encryption Key Security and Integrity. Employees are prohibited from the
13   unauthorized use of the passwords and encryption keys of other employees to gain access to the other
14   employee’s e-mail messages.
15
16   Code of Conduct. Other than in those cases where management exercises its right to access
17   information, reading another employee’s e-mail without their permission constitutes a violation of the
18   City Personnel Manual and will result in disciplinary action.
19
20   Litigation, Public Information, and Records Retention. In litigation or in response to a citizen
21   public information request e-mail may be properly disclosed to persons not associated with the City.
22   Employees should draft all e-mails with the knowledge that the contents of all communications
23   eventually could be read by third parties, including third parties who may be adverse to the City.
24   Employees should remember that deleting a message (even deleting it out of the recycle bin) does not
25   necessarily prevent a third party from retrieving the message, if the third party is willing to pay for the
26   cost of hiring a specialist to retrieve the data from the file server.
27
28   Because e-mail involving the transaction of City business is subject to the City’s records retention
29   policy, all e-mail messages which include information described in the policy should be printed so that
30   they may be maintained in paper or hard copy form as governed by the City’s records retention policy
31   for the applicable minimum retention period, except for those e-mail messages that include
32   information that must be saved only as long as it is “administratively valuable.” These types of e-mail
33   messages are described as “routine.” Routine e-mail messages containing information that must be
34   retained only as long as it is administratively valuable are to be deleted within one week of their receipt
35   or transmission by a City employee.
36
37   Disclaimer.    All e-mail containing information on City business should include the following
38   disclaimer:
39
40         This message may contain information that will subject this message to disclosure under public
41         information statutes. In the alternative, this message may contain information that is confidential
42         and privileged. Unless you are the addressee (or authorized to receive for the addressee), you
43         may not use, copy or disclose to anyone the message or any information contained in the
44         message. If you have received the message in error, please advise the sender by reply e-mail and
45         delete the message.


                                                        24
1
2
3




    25
 1
 2
 3   2.20
 4   INTERNET ACCESS POLICY
 5   Internet Access Policy
 6   This policy describes City) guidelines concerning access to and review and/or investigation of use of the
 7   internet on City-owned equipment.
 8
 9   Management’s Right to Access Information. The City of Sunset Valley provides the use of
10   computers and access to the internet to certain employees for use in the course of their work for the City.
11   The City also makes available to the public a computer with internet access that is accessible to City
12   employees. Incidental personal use of the internet for e-mail, provided such use is not habitual and does
13   not interfere with an employee’s performance of his or her duties may be allowed. However, all
14   employees should be aware that his or her use of City-owned computer equipment is subject to
15   monitoring, and that all communications on City-owned equipment may be deemed public information
16   subject to disclosure to the public. Care should be used at all times in all communications on City-
17   owned equipment, and nothing should be communicated that is inappropriate, in violation of any
18   applicable law, or that would tend to bring discredit to the operations of the City.
19
20   Condition of Employment. As a condition of employment with the City, each employee is required to
21   consent to a review and/or investigation of his or her use of the Internet on City-owned equipment, and
22   all communications sent or received via City-owned equipment.
23
24
25
26
27   2.21 FRAUD POLICY
28
29   Policy
30
31         It is incumbent upon each employee to report any suspected fraud within the city to the City
32         Administrator. The City Administrator is required to report any findings of fraud to the Mayor
33         and City Council.
34
35         Supervisors are responsible for prevention and detection of fraud in their areas of responsibility.

36         Accordingly, all supervisors should familiarize themselves with the types of fraud that may occur

37         at the city.


38
39   Scope of Policy
40



                                                         26
 1          This policy applies to all employees, as well as any persons with whom employees interact while
 2          performing job responsibilities. Application of this policy is unaffected by an employee’s length
 3          of service, position or title.
 4
 5   Actions Constituting Fraud
 6
 7          As used in this policy, “fraud” is defined to include:
 8
 9          forgery or alteration of any document or account belonging to this city, a
10           vendor or contractor of the city;
11
12          forgery or alteration of a check, bank draft or any other financial document connected with this
13           city, a vendor or contractor of the city;
14
15          misappropriation of funds, securities, supplies or other city assets;
16
17          impropriety in the handling or reporting of money or financial transactions;
18
19          profiteering as a result of insider knowledge of securities, contracts or city regulatory change
20           activities;
21
22          disclosing confidential information about the activities of the city or proprietary information
23           received from vendors, contractors, or bidders that may provide an advantage in a contract, bid
24           or in the industry marketplace;
25
26          accepting or seeking anything of material value from vendors or contractors, their representatives
27           or employees;
28
29          intentional destruction or disappearance of records, furniture, fixtures, equipment,
30           computers or computer components; or
31
32          any other dishonest or fraudulent act that occurs during the conduct of city business or in an
33           employee’s official duties.
34
35   Non-Fraudulent Irregularities
36
37          If an employee observes an activity, other than fraud, that has the appearance of personal
38          improprieties or irregularities whether moral, ethical, or behavioral, the employee must report the
39          incident to the employee’s supervisor or City Administrator.
40
41          If there is any question as to whether an action constitutes fraud, contact the City Administrator

42          for guidance.


                                                          27
 1
 2   Investigative Responsibilities
 3
 4         The City Administrator has the primary responsibility for the investigation of allegations of
 5         fraudulent activities. Upon completion of an investigation of alleged fraudulent activities, the
 6         City Administrator shall report the matter to the Mayor and City Council.
 7
 8         The City Administrator or his/her designee has the authority to gain access to all city premises,
 9         whether owned or rented, and to examine, copy and/or remove any portion of the contents of files
10         (including electronic files), desks, cabinets, and other storage facilities or devices on the city
11         premises without the prior consent of any individual who may use or have custody of such items,
12         facilities or devices. This authority does not extend beyond city’s owned or rented premises.
13         Parking lots, parking structures, or personal vehicles are external to city premises.
14
15         If the City Administrator has reasonable cause to believe that fraudulent or unlawful conduct has
16         occurred, the City Administrator shall report the alleged fraudulent activity and the reason and
17         basis for the belief to the Mayor and City Council.
18
19         The Mayor, in consultation with the City Council and City Attorney, will determine whether to
20         refer a matter to appropriate law enforcement or regulatory agencies.
21
22   Reporting Procedures
23
24         Any employee who suspects fraudulent activity should contact the City Administrator
25         immediately. The reporting individual is required to observe the following restrictions:
26
27         Do not contact the suspected person in an effort to determine facts, demand restitution, or
28         otherwise confront the individual.
29
30         Do not discuss the case, the facts, suspicions or allegations with anyone other than the City
31         Administrator.
32
33         In the event that the City Administrator is suspected of fraudulent activity, the report shall be
34         made to the Mayor.
35
36         Information reported to the City Administrator or Mayor will be held in confidence to the fullest
37         extent possible. Neither City Administrator nor the Mayor will disclose or discuss information
38         with anyone other than those persons associated with the city who have a legal need to know in
39         order to perform their official duties. If formal criminal or civil action results from the reported
40         suspected fraudulent activities, the reported information, including the identity of the person or
41         persons making a report may need to be disclosed beyond the confines of the investigative team.
42
43
44


                                                        28
 1
 2
 3
 4                                      SECTION THREE
 5                                RECRUITMENT AND SELECTION
 6
 7
 8   3.01
 9   GENERAL POLICY
10
11   The City of Sunset Valley seeks highly qualified and Courteous employees.
12
13
14   3.02
15   VACANCY IDENTIFICATION
16
17   Department heads shall immediately notify the City Administrator when job vacancies occur or are
18   imminent in their Department. The City Administrator will inform the Mayor and City Council of job
19   vacancies and plans to fill vacant positions.
20
21
22   3.03
23   QUALIFICATIONS
24
25   The City maintains a job description which establishes the required knowledge, skills, abilities,
26   experience and training for each staff position. The job description sets forth the minimum acceptable
27   qualifications for the position.
28
29
30   3.04
31   ANNOUNCEMENT OF VACANCIES
32
33   When a position is to be filled, a job opening notice will be posted on the City’s website and distributed
34   to all Department Heads for mandatory posting on Departmental bulletin boards.
35
36   Additionally, the City Administrator may advertise the vacancy in the City designated newspaper and
37   by other appropriate means to insure that a sufficient number of qualified applicants become aware of
38   the posting. Each announcement of job vacancy shall contain a statement affirming the City's
39   commitment to a policy of equal employment opportunity and non-discrimination. The announcement
40   may include a final date for acceptance of applications, although recruitment efforts may continue until a
41   qualified individual is hired.
42
43
44   Exceptions to Posting Requirements


                                                        29
 1
 2   Postings are not necessary for the following:
 3
 4          a lateral intra-city transfer;
 5          the promotion of a present employee to a position in a higher pay group because of the
 6           employee’s ability to assume greater job responsibilities, additional duties or the employee’s
 7           expertise;
 8          a reassignment or transfer as a result of a council-mandated reorganization; or
 9          Other reorganizations when determined by the Mayor to be in the best interest of the city.
10
11
12
13   3.05
14   DISQUALIFICATION
15
16   An applicant for employment shall be disqualified from consideration if he or she:
17
18      1.    Does not meet the minimum qualifications necessary for performance of duties of the position
19            involved;
20
21      2.    has made a false statement of material fact on the application form, or has failed to
22            satisfactorily complete or timely submit the application form;
23      3.    has committed or attempted to commit a fraudulent act at any point in the selection process;
24
25      4.    is an alien not legally permitted to work in the United States;
26
27      5.    is addicted to narcotics, drugs or intoxicating liquors; or
28
29      6.    has exercised or attempted to exercise any political pressure or bribery to secure an advantage
30            in selection.
31
32   An applicant may be disqualified from consideration upon other reasonable grounds relating to bona fide
33   job requirements.
34
35
36   3.06
37   AGE REQUIREMENTS
38
39   Persons under 18 years of age will not be employed in any full-time regular position.
40
41   No other age limitations will apply, except as required by state or federal law.
42
43
44   3.07


                                                          30
 1   APPLICATION
 2
 3
 4
 5   In order to be considered for a posted position, individuals must submit a completed Application for
 6   Employment form for each vacancy notice. Resumes may be attached but will not be considered in lieu
 7   of a completed application. Applications must be received in the city administrative offices by 5:00
 8   p.m. on the closing date listed on the vacancy notice.
 9
10   Photocopies and facsimiles of applications are acceptable. If an application is received without the
11   original signature of the applicant, signature must be obtained prior to interview; the signature of the
12   applicant certifies the accuracy of statements contained in the application. All applications must be
13   dated and received during the posting period.
14
15   Applicant Tracking
16
17   All applicants applying for a vacant position will be entered into a database. The database will contain
18   information from the Applicantion Receiving and Processing Applications
19
20   Applications for job vacancy notices left “Open Until Filled” are reviewed on a regular basis. Generally,
21   after a position has been open for approximately two weeks, the hiring Department Head reviews the
22   applications and conducts a preliminary screening for required minimum qualifications, preferred
23   qualifications, and knowledge, skills and abilities. Selection criteria are based on the minimum
24   qualifications listed on the job vacancy notices.
25
26   Screening Applicants
27
28   Subsequent screening of applicants provided by the hiring Department Head may be conducted by the
29   City Administrator for his desginee. The City Administrator or his designee will work with supervisors
30   to ensure that the criteria screened are consistent with the job vacancy announcement. A sufficient
31   number of applicants as deemed necessary by the hiring Department Head will be selected for
32   interviews. Interviews are normally conducted by the hiring Department Head and other staff members
33   as appropriate to form and interview panel Applicants may be called back for subsequent interviews as
34   necessary.
35
36   Interviewing Applicants
37
38   Supervisors must ensure that all interview questions are both job-related and appropriate. All personnel
39   involved in interviewing job candidates will be provided training on non-discriminatory interviewing
40   skills. If a test will be given at the time of interview, the job posting must include notice that a test will
41   take place and provide an approximate time for completing the test.
42
43
44   Telephone Reference Checks


                                                          31
 1
 2   The Department Head conducts reference checks on the top candidate(s).
 3   The reference check documents all questions asked and answers provided by an applicant's references.
 4   The Department Head may will conduct up to three reference checks and may check more if he/she
 5   considers it desirable under the circumstances.
 6
 7
 8
 9   .
10
11
12
13
14   3.08
15   EVALUATIONS
16
17   Job applicants shall be evaluated on the basis of job requirements to identify the best qualified applicant.
18   Reference checks, interviews, medical examinations, background checks, performance tests, written
19   tests, drivers' license checks and/or other screening procedures may be used as appropriate. Applicants
20   shall be required to provide any information and undergo any examinations necessary to demonstrate
21   compliance with prescribed qualification requirements for the positions involved. All evaluations shall
22   be in compliance with the equal opportunity policy and the policy of non-discrimination.
23
24
25   3.09
26   MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS
27
28   Knowledge of employee physical condition and existing health problems is necessary in order to avoid
29   occupational injuries and to insure that it will be possible to differentiate any future job-related injuries
30   from existing medical problems. Prospective new employees and may be required to have a physical
31   examination as a condition of employment. The physical examination will made by a physician of the
32   City's choice and paid for by the City.
33
34   A medical examination of an applicant shall in no way be used to deny employment to an individual
35   with a physical or mental disability, if the individual meets all the requirements for the position for
36   which he or she has made application.
37
38   Prior to appointment as a Police Officer, applicants must be examined by a physician and may be
39   required to undergo a psychological examination required by the rules of the Texas Commission on Law
40   Enforcement Officer Standards and Education. No person shall be employed as a Police Officer unless
41   such person has been certified as capable of physically and mentally performing the required duties and
42   has been certified by an examining physician and psychologist. The City shall pay the cost of these
43   examinations.
44
45


                                                          32
 1   3.10
 2   NEPOTISM
 3
 4   Nepotism is the showing of favoritism toward a relative. The practice of nepotism in hiring personnel or
 5   awarding contracts is forbidden by the City. No person may be hired who is related within the second
 6   degree by affinity (marriage) or within the third degree by consanguinity (blood) to any member of the
 7   City Council, to the Mayor, to the City Administrator, or to any employee who would supervise his or
 8   her job performance.
 9
10
11   3.11
12   REFERRAL AND SELECTION
13
14   Final selection of the candidate is determined by the recommendation of the Department Head and
15   approved by the City Administrator and presented to the Mayor and City Council, if required elsewhere
16   in these policies, based on their assessment of the overall position requirements.
17
18   After the City Administrator reviews the selection packet, he/she will notify the hiring Department Head
19   that a verbal conditional offer of employment may be made.
20   The offer is contingent upon verification of the following:
21
22        telephone reference checks
23        acceptable driving record (if applicable),
24        selective service registration (if applicable),
25        official transcript(s)/license(s) (if applicable), and/or
26   an application with an original signature.
27
28   If the applicant accepts the offer, the hiring the Department Head notify the selected candidate.
29
30   The offer is also contingent upon verification of employment eligibility on the first day of employment
31
32   The hiring Department Head will endeavor to send all other interviewed candidates written notification
33   of non-selection.
34
35         If the candidate declines the offer, the hiring Department Head may select another applicant from
36            the pool to be submitted for “approval to hire” or repost the position.
37
38




                                                          33
 1
 2
 3                                            SECTION FOUR
 4                                               STAFF
 5
 6
 7   4.01
 8   AUTHORITY
 9
10   The City Administrator is the appointing authority for all staff appointments, with the exception of
11   Department Heads, City Secretary and Municipal Judge, which shall be submitted for approval by the
12   Mayor and City Council.
13
14
15
16   4.02
17   BASIS OF SELECTIONS
18
19   Selections shall be made on the basis of the qualifications of applicants ascertained through fair and
20   practical selection methods as set forth in this Manual.
21
22
23   4.03
24   TYPE OF APPOINTMENT
25
26   Appointments to the staff shall be designated regular, temporary, or non-regular part time appointments.
27
28
29   4.04
30   REGULAR APPOINTMENTS
31
32   A regular appointment may be either a full-time time or part-time position. Except as established by
33   state or federal law, regular appointments are subject to the rules governing orientation.
34
35          REGULAR FULL-TIME: A regular full-time employee regularly works at least forty (80) work
36          hours per two-week period. A regular full-time employee is entitled to benefits as provided in
37          these policies after satisfactory completion of the required probationary period and appointment
38          to a regular position.
39
40          REGULAR PART-TIME: A regular part-time employee regularly works twenty (20) or more
41          hours per week, but does not regularly work forty (40) or more hours per week. Upon
42          satisfactory completion of the required probationary period and appointment to a regular part-
43          time position, a regular part-time employee is entitled to benefits, determined on a pro-rata basis
44          according to the number of hours worked per month, as provided in these policies.


                                                        34
1
2




    35
 1
 2
 3   4.05
 4   TEMPORARY AND NON-REGULAR PART TIME APPOINTMENTS
 5
 6   Temporary appointments shall be for a short period of time, not to six (6) consecutive months to fill a
 7   temporary need or to fill a temporary vacancy in a position, or to fill a position funded by a grant or
 8   other source of funding other than the City’s regular tax receipts. Temporary employees may be full-
 9   time or part-time.
10
11   Non-regular part time employees are employed to regularly work fewer then twenty (20) hours per week,
12   such as part-time police officers employed for night and weekend shifts, and for other occasional
13   substitution work. Non-regular part time employees may occasionally work more than twenty (20) hours
14   per week, but shall not work more than 1,000 hours in any fiscal year.
15
16   Temporary employees and non-regular part-time employees are not eligible for benefits other than
17   worker’s compensation coverage as may be arranged by the City and any other benefits that are required
18   by applicable law.
19
20   However, in the event that a full time temporary position is filled by a regular full or part tem employee
21   of the City, such will be eligible for all benefits applicable, according to whether the temporary position
22   is full or part time, as if such temporary position was a regular position.
23
24
25   4.06
26   NO VESTED RIGHTS
27
28   Acceptance of a regular full or part-time, temporary, or non-regular part time position does not give the
29   employee any vested right to continue employment.
30
31
32   4.07 NEW EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION
33
34   Upon completion of the selection process to any position with the City, all employees shall be provided
35   with a thorough new employee orientation. This orientation is not the same as the six-month probation
36   provided for in Section Five of this Manual, but is a general introduction concerning City employment,
37   the nature of the job, and the benefits, obligations, and responsibilities of the position.
38
39
40




                                                         36
 1
 2
 3                                             SECTION FIVE
 4                                              PROBATION
 5
 6
 7   5.01
 8   PROBATION
 9
10   All regular full-time and part-time employees, when initially hired, shall be required to successfully
11   complete a probationary period of six (6) consecutive months. When a regular full-time or part-time
12   employee is promoted or transferred, he or she shall also be required to successfully complete a
13   probationary period of six (6) consecutive months in the new position.
14
15
16   5.02
17   PURPOSE OF PROBATIONARY PERIOD
18
19   Department Heads shall use the probationary period to closely observe and evaluate the work and fitness
20   of new or newly promoted or transferred employees and to counsel them and encourage adjustment to
21   their jobs and the City service. Only those employees who meet acceptable standards during their
22   probationary periods may be retained as and appointed to positions as regular employees. At the end of
23   this probationary period, the Department Head shall submit a detailed written report to the City
24   Administrator , with a recommendation that the employee be appointed to a regular position, continue in
25   an extended probationary period or be terminated. All employees, new or re-hired to the position, will
26   begin work under a six continuous month’s initial probationary period. The period of probation may be
27   extended based on performance or compliance circumstances. For employees absent from working on
28   an allowed leave as a result of injury, illness, or other allowed reasons, the period of probation may be
29   extended by the length of any such absence. Upon completion of the probationary period and upon the
30   recommendation of the Department Head and with the approval of the City Administrator l, employees
31   may be appointed to a regular position. However, an employee may be terminated at will and without
32   cause subsequent to completion of the probationary period and prior to appointment as a regular
33   employee even if the probation has been successfully completed.
34
35
36
37
38
39   5.03
40   REVOCATION OF PROBATION
41
42   An employee's probation may be revoked when, in the judgment of the Department Head, the
43   employee's fitness and/or quality of work are not such as to merit continuation in the job. Revocation of
44   probation may occur at any time within the probationary period and shall not be considered part of the


                                                        37
1   disciplinary process. The employee may be discharged from employment at any time and for any reason
2   or no reason during the probationary period. A newly-promoted employee whose probation has been
3   revoked may return to his or her former job if that position is available and if same is in the best interest
4   of the City.
5
6




                                                         38
 1
 2
 3   5.04
 4   APPEAL OF REVOCATION OF PROBATION
 5
 6   There is no right of appeal or entitlement to use of the grievance procedure in connection with a
 7   termination due to the failure of probation, unless the employee alleges discrimination based on race,
 8   sex, color, national origin, religion or physical disability.
 9
10
11   5.05
12   BENEFITS DURING PROBATIONARY PERIOD
13
14   During the probationary period, new employees shall not earn or accrue or be entitled to take paid
15   vacation. Upon successful completion of probation and appointment to a regular position with the City,
16   the employee becomes eligible for vacation. Such benefits are computed retroactively from the date of
17   original employment so that, at the conclusion of the probationary period, the employee will have
18   accrued benefits for the prior six (6) month probationary period. New employees shall accrue and be
19   entitled to take paid medical leave at the end of the first month of employment.
20
21
22




                                                      39
 1
 2
 3                                       SECTION SIX
 4                                 PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
 5
 6
 7   6.01
 8   PURPOSE OF PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
 9
10   Performance evaluation is designed to help both Department Heads and employees measure how well
11   work is being performed and to provide a fair and equitable tool for management decisions regarding
12   training, assignment, promotion, merit raises, and retention of employees.
13
14
15   6.02
16   RESPONSIBILITY
17
18   It is the responsibility of the Department Heads to conduct employee performance evaluations.
19   Evaluation requires continuous observation, analysis of employee actions, and firsthand knowledge of
20   the employee and his or her work habits. Department Heads are encouraged to use performance
21   evaluations to both praise employees for work well done and to point out areas in which improvement is
22   necessary.
23
24
25   6.03
26   PERFORMANCE EVALUATION REPORT
27
28   All employees' job performance shall be evaluated annually by their supervisor, in accordance with the
29   City’s Performance Evaluation Handbook Department Heads shall be evaluated annually by the City
30   Administrator with assistance and input from the Mayor.
31
32   Performance evaluation reports shall be signed by the employee, as an acknowledgment of being
33   evaluated. All evaluations shall be placed in the personnel file of each employee to become a permanent
34   part of those records.
35
36
37   6.04
38   COUNSELING
39
40   Employees shall be provided copies of their own performance evaluation reports. Evaluators shall
41   individually discuss the reports with the employees and shall counsel them regarding their careers and
42   any improvements in performance which appear desirable or necessary.
43
44


                                                       40
1
2
3   6.05
4   APPEAL
5
6   Employees dissatisfied with their performance evaluations may seek reconsideration by using
7   established appeal procedures contained in the Performance Evaluation Handbook.
8
9




                                                41
 1
 2
 3                                   SECTION SEVEN
 4                        JOB DESCRIPTIONS AND CLASSIFICATIONS
 5
 6
 7   7.01
 8   PLAN PREPARATION AND MAINTENANCE
 9
10   The City Administrator with the assistance of Department Heads, shall analyze the duties and
11   responsibilities of the various employment positions, and prepare and administer a written job
12   description and classification plan. The Mayor and City Council shall approve the job description and
13   classification plan.
14
15
16   7.02
17   EFFECT OF RECLASSIFICATION
18
19   An employee whose position is redefined or reclassified may continue to serve in such position if the
20   duties and responsibilities of that position are not significantly changed and if such is in the best interest
21   of the City.
22
23   If the duties and responsibilities of the redefined or reclassified position are significantly changed and/or
24   if the employee does not meet the new qualifications prescribed, a transfer may be made provided that
25   another position is available, the employee is qualified for such position, and the transfer is in the best
26   interest of the City.
27
28
29   7.03
30   DISTRIBUTION
31
32   The job description for each employee's position will be (1) given to each employee, (2) reviewed by the
33   employee, an (3) placed in the employee's personnel file along with a signed verification that the
34   employee has reviewed it.
35
36
37   7.04
38   REQUESTS OF CLARIFICATION
39
40   If an employee does not request clarification of his or her job description, it will be assumed that he or
41   she understands the responsibilities assigned to the position which he or she occupies.
42
43



                                                          42
 1
 2
 3                                  SECTION EIGHT
 4                         WORK SCHEDULE AND TIME REPORTING
 5
 6
 7   8.01
 8   WORKING HOURS
 9
10   Working time includes all time spent in mental or physical exertion which is controlled or required by
11   the City and pursued primarily for the City and its business. Most regular City employees have a forty
12   (40) hour work week and work eight hours each workday. However, because of the special nature of
13   certain positions, some regular full-time employees may work more than 40 hours weekly, in accordance
14   with the schedules set by their Department Heads. Working schedules vary by Department, but 8:00
15   a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, with one hour for lunch, is the working time for most City
16   employees. A meal period is not working time except for Police Officers. Working time does include
17   required attendance at training or other meetings, before or after the employee's regular working
18   schedule.
19
20   It is the responsibility of all non-exempt employees (See Section 9.07) to adhere to Departmental work
21   schedules, and to avoid performing work that is "unscheduled" or "unapproved".
22
23   City Hall is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and remains open during the noon hour, Monday through
24   Friday, except for holidays.
25
26
27
28   8.02
29   TIME REPORTING
30
31   Department Heads and their employees shall keep accurate records of all hours worked, dates worked
32   and leave time taken. Time records must be signed by the employee and the employee's Department
33   Head. In addition to violating the rules, regulations and policies set forth in this Manual, "doctoring" or
34   otherwise falsifying time records violates the Fair Labor Standards Act.
35
36




                                                         43
 1
 2
 3                                             SECTION NINE
 4                                            COMPENSATION
 5
 6
 7   9.01
 8   BASIS
 9
10   .
11
12   The City Council shall set the salaries and wages of all City employees through the budget approval
13   process. The Mayor and City Council shall annually review the salaries and wages of all City
14   employees and make any necessary adjustments as they deem appropriate. In determining salaries and
15   wages, consideration shall be given to the duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of the job,
16   the experience and performance of the employee, and other relevant factors. Salary increases, or a
17   component thereof, may be based upon merit.
18
19
20
21   9.02
22   PAYMENT DELIVERY
23
24   Should an employee be on vacation or medical leave on a payday, paychecks will be mailed to the
25   employee's home upon request, or may be picked up at City Hall. Written notification must be given by
26   the employee before anyone else may pick up an employee’s paycheck and proof of identity will be
27   required. Direct Deposit of paychecks is available and employees are encouraged
28
29
30   9.03
31   ADVANCES
32
33   No money or thing of value will be loaned to City employees by the City and no advances will be made
34   by the City.
35
36
37   9.04
38   FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT
39
40   The City is subject to the wage and overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Under the Act,
41   all City employees fall into two categories: exempt and non-exempt. Entitlement to overtime
42   compensation or compensatory time off in lieu thereof depends on whether an employee is exempt or
43   non-exempt.
44


                                                         44
 1
 2   9.05
 3   EXEMPT EMPLOYEES UNDER FLSA
 4   The United States Department of Labor has devised certain tests for determining whether an employee is
 5   exempt. If an employee is an executive, administrative or professional position, he or she is considered
 6   to be exempt.
 7
 8
 9   An exempt employee is not entitled to overtime compensation. He of she is expected to render
10   necessary and reasonable overtime services with no additional compensation. The salary for an exempt
11   employee is established with that fact taken into consideration. Records of time worked in excess of the
12   regular work week may, however, be reported by exempt employees. The City Administrator has
13   discretion to allow compensatory time off in such amounts of time as is appropriate under the
14   circumstances.
15
16
17
18   9.06
19   NON-EXEMPT EMPLOYEES UNDER FLSA
20
21   All employees other than those designated executive, administrative and professional are considered
22   non-exempt, and are subject to the overtime provisions of the FLSA.
23
24   Employees who are not police officers and who are subject to the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor
25   Standards Act (FLSA) are entitled to time off at the rate of 1.5 hours for each hour physically worked
26   over 40 hours in one work week. All overtime worked must be pre-approved by the supervisor.
27   An employee (other than police officers - separate specific policies apply to police officers) may
28   accumulate no more than 240 hours of overtime. An employee who has been allowed to accrue more
29   than 240 hours will receive overtime pay for any overtime worked over 240 hours.
30
31   Employees will not receive overtime while working at their personal residence unless advance
32   authorization for such work was given by the employee's supervisor. Employees who inappropriately
33   claim overtime are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
34
35
36
37
38   9.07
39   OVERTIME AND COMPENSATORY TIME OFF FOR NON-EXEMPT EMPLOYEES
40
41   For all employees except Police Officers, overtime is time worked by a non-exempt employee in excess
42   of forty hours in a week. For purposes of the FLSA only, a work week is a time span of seven (7)
43   consecutive twenty-four (24) hour periods, and begins at 6:01 a.m. on Sunday and ends at 6:00 a.m. the
44   following Saturday.
45


                                                       45
 1   For Police Officers, overtime is time worked by a non-exempt employee in excess of eighty hours in a
 2   two week peiord. For purposes of the FLSA only, a work period is a time span of fourteen (14)
 3   consecutive twenty-four (24) hour periods, and begins at 6:01 a.m. on Sunday and ends at 6:00 a.m. the
 4   second following Saturday.
 5
 6   The City can require that any non-exempt employee work overtime if same is necessary and in the best
 7   interest of the City, and will attempt to allocate overtime as evenly as possible among all employees
 8   qualified to do the work. An employee may be disciplined for refusing to work overtime. All overtime
 9   must be accurately reported, even if it has not been authorized. An employee may be subject to
10   disciplinary action for working overtime without authorization, or for failing to report overtime.
11
12   For all scheduled and approved overtime work of one (1) hour or more in excess of the regular work
13   period, compensation will be paid at the rate of the employee's regular base pay times one and one-half
14   (1 ½). In calculating regular base pay, time such as annual and medical leave shall not be included.
15
16   A non-exempt employee who works approved overtime will be granted compensatory time off in lieu of
17   monetary compensation, at the rate of one and one-half (1 ½) hours for each hour of overtime worked.
18   The maximum compensatory time that may be accrued by a non-exempt employee is:
19
20          480 hours (320 hours of actual overtime hours worked) for those non-exempt employees
21          engaged in public safety, emergency response or seasonal activity.
22
23          240 hours (160 hours of actual overtime worked) for all other non-exempt employees.
24
25          Any approved overtime worked in excess of the above-stated number of hours shall be paid at
26          the rate of 1 ½ times the regular rate of pay. A non-exempt employee shall be required to take
27          off accrued compensatory time as soon as possible, provided that the time off is approved by the
28          Department Head and will not unduly disrupt the operations of the City. The city may
29          schedule paid time off for the employee to deplete accumulated compensatory
30          time if the employee does not request use of accumulated compensatory time
31          prior to date one year after the time was earned. Supervisors are encouraged
32          to reasonably accommodate the employee’s use of the accrued compensatory time
33          before it lapses.
34
35          In the event a non-exempt employee exceeds the maximum number of compensatory hours
36          allowed to be accrued, such employee shall be paid for those excess hours at a rate of one and
37          one-half (1 ½) times the employee's regular rate of pay.
38
39   The Mayor may approve compensatory time off for FLSA-exempt city employees. All FLSA-exempt
40   city employees are eligible to accrue compensatory time year round. Compensatory time can be accrued
41   ONLY when work is performed at the regular place of employment or assigned duty point and is pre-
42   approved by the Department Head or the Mayor or the designee, except as provided herein.
43
44
45   An employee may be allowed to accrue compensatory time when the sum of the hours worked plus
46   holiday and other paid leave during the workweek exceeds 40 hours.



                                                       46
 1
 2
 3   The City may require employees to use earned compensatory time as paid leave prior to using accrued
 4   vacation or other accrued leave.
 5
 6
 7
 8
 9   9.08
10   APPROVAL OF OVERTIME
11
12   All non-emergency overtime must be approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor . The
13   Department Head is responsible for establishing work schedules and for controlling the hours worked by
14   his or her employees. The Department Head shall ensure that established work schedules are adhered to,
15   and that overtime is kept to an absolute minimum. It is also the responsibility of the Department Head
16   to determine the availability of funds with which to pay overtime compensation.
17
18
19   9.09 Standby and Call-Back Policy
20
21   Standby: An Emergency condition outside normally scheduled work hours, in which an employee
22   is continuously available by telephone or pager, is fit for duty, and is able to respond and report to
23   work within a specified time period. Standby does not include previously scheduled overtime or
24   holiday time.
25
26      1. Employee shall be placed on an as needed schedule as authorized by the Director or his/her
27         designee.
28      2. Employee shall be supplied with a cell phone and/or Shift pager. Employee shall be responsible
29         to properly charge the cell phone and replace pager batteries as needed. Upon being activated,
30         the employee shall evaluate the situation and determine the need to call other staff for assistance
31         (see Call-Back Policy below).
32      3. Employee shall contact the Standby Supervisor upon any activation. The Standby Supervisor
33         shall be the Director or his/her designee. If the Standby supervisor can not be reached the
34         employee shall call the next appropriate department supervisor. In the event neither the Director
35         nor the Assistant Director of Public Works can be contacted, the employee shall contact the City
36         Administrator.
37      4. A standby shift may be authorized by the City Administrator. In the absences of the City
38         Administrator the Department Head or Designee may authorize first 24 hour Standby shift.
39         Standby shifts are 24 hours in length. Standby employees will be paid a standby stipend of two
40         additional hours at the hourly rate for each emergency standby shift completed. The additional
41         two hours for an emergency standby shift should be noted as “Standby shift” on a City overtime
42         form and submitted with the bi-weekly timesheets.
43      5. Employees on standby are allowed to come and go freely, but must be accessible for contact at
44         all times. Employees on standby must be able to respond to a call within 30 minutes. Pages and


                                                        47
 1            or voice messages must be returned within 15 minutes of the original call. Standby employee
 2            must be at Sunset Valley, ready for duty, within 30 minutes of activation.
 3       6.   When an employee on standby is called out for an emergency, a minimum of one hour per
 4            occurrence, or the number of actual hours worked, will be calculated at a rate of one and one half
 5            his/her regular rate for the time worked. This compensation will be in addition to the Standby
 6            stipend. Standby employees’ time begins when they are called out and ends when company
 7            business is concluded (including travel time not to exceed 30 min in either direction). The time
 8            worked must be logged by the Stand-by Supervisor initiating the call.
 9       7.   Employee shall be responsible to inform the Stand-by Supervisor if he/she feels unable for any
10            reason to perform his/her duty upon activation. Employees are expected to maintain a state of
11            fitness for safety and efficiency in full compliance with applicable drug and alcohol policies.
12       8.   Employee shall be responsible to communicate with the Stand-by Supervisor and the Sunset
13            Valley Police Department on the status of the situation.
14       9.   No persons are allowed to travel in City vehicles other than those who are doing so for a
15            business purpose.
16
17   Call-Back: An unscheduled or emergency return to work outside of officially scheduled work
18   hours. Call back may occur after leaving the job site, or during a holiday or a regular day off. It
19   does not include overtime or holiday work scheduled in advance.
20          1. During each 24-hour period during which an employee is called back to work, and is not in a
21              “standby” status, the employee shall be compensated at one and one half his/her regular rate
22              for the time worked, with a guaranteed minimum of two (2) hours of pay for the first call-
23              back assignment. Subsequent call-backs within the same 24 hour period will be paid time
24              and one-half for the actual time spent on the subsequent calls. Call-Back employees’ time
25              begins when they are called out and ends when company business is concluded (including
26              travel time not to exceed 30 min in either direction). The time worked must be logged by the
27              Stand-by Supervisor initiating the call.
28          2. Once activated, the Call-Back employee is subject to all the policies and procedures as the
29              Standby employees except that pertaining to Standby pay.
30          3. If an exempt employee other than a Department Head is required to respond to an emergency
31              mileage will be reimbursed from home to the workplace doubled (round trip).
32
33   .
34
35
36   9.10
37   PAYROLL DEDUCTIONS
38
39   Deductions will be made from each employee's pay for the following:
40
41       1.      Federal Income Taxes
42
43       2.      Texas Municipal Retirement System
44
45       3.      Medicare portion of social security


                                                          48
 1
 2      4.      Dental insurance and dependant medical insurance payroll deductions are available upon
 3              completion of six month probationary period.
 4
 5      5.      Other deductions authorized in writing by employee.
 6
 7
 8
 9
10   9.11
11   UNIFORM ALLOWANCE
12
13   A cash allowance is provided to Reserve Police Officers toward the purchase of required uniforms. The
14   amount is set by the City Council as part of the annual budget. Payments are made after completion of
15   each month of employment.
16
17
18   9.12
19   CALCULATION OF TERMINATION PAY
20
21   An employee's final paycheck upon termination will be calculated in the following manner:
22
23      1.      Total regular and overtime hours for the pay period.
24
25
26      2.      In addition, the employee will receive payment for any accrued vacation, holiday time and
27              compensatory time to the extent authorized by this Manual.
28
29
30   9.13
31   APPROVING AUTHORITY
32
33   The Mayor and City Council are the approving authorities for ( the classification and pay plans, and the
34   budget. The City Administrator shall be responsible for implementing pay increases, decreases, or
35   payroll transfers as authorized under these policies.
36
37
38   9.14
39   GARNISHMENT
40   Under Texas law, the City is not required to take action in the event of garnishment, or attachment of
41   judgments against an employee's earnings. The only exceptions are the collection of overdue income tax
42   and court-ordered child support payments. The City expects employees to deal responsibly with
43   creditors. It is against City policy for employees to assign their wages to another person.
44



                                                        49
1
2




    50
1




    51
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5
 6
 7
 8                                           SECTION TEN
 9                                        PERSONNEL ACTIONS
10
11
12   10.01
13   PROMOTIONS
14
15   A promotion is the assignment of an employee from one position to another position with a higher
16   maximum salary. A promotion constitutes advancement and requires higher qualifications and involves
17   greater responsibility.
18
19   Promotions are approved by the Mayor and City Council. Upon promotion, an employee shall serve an
20   orientation period in the new position for three (3) consecutive months without loss of benefits and may
21   be returned to a lower job classification at any time during the orientation period if performance is
22   inadequate, provided that a position is available and such action is in the best interest of the City.
23
24   A promotion is a change in duty assignment of an employee from a position in one classification to a
25   position in another classification in a higher salary group, requiring higher qualifications such as greater
26   skills or knowledge. Promotions generally involve a salary increase within the range of the job
27   classification.
28
29   The change in the employee’s duties or acquired knowledge and skill level that forms the basis for a
30   promotion must be adequately documented on a Personnel Action Form supporting the requested
31   promotion. A current job description should also be submitted when requesting a promotion due to a
32   change in the employee’s duties. Promotions are not automatic and are subject to budgetary constraints.
33
34   Promotions are submitted for approval by the City Administrator through the Department Head.
35
36
37   All promotions will be subject to a probationary period as required in Section 5.01.
38
39   10.02
40   TEMPORARY PROMOTIONS
41
42   The City Administrator may authorize a temporary promotion to insure the proper performance of City
43   functions if a position is vacant or its regular holder is absent and subject to any budget approval or
44   revisions required.. Employees so promoted shall be compensated for the duration of their temporary


                                                         52
 1   assignment in amounts to be determined by the City Administrator within the budget and salary
 2   classification system approved by Mayor and City Council. Temporary promotions shall not be used to
 3   circumvent normal selection procedures.
 4
 5   Nothing herein shall prevent the assignment of higher level duties to an employee without additional
 6   compensation. Additional compensation shall be paid only in cases of formal temporary promotion
 7   effected in accordance with these rules.
 8
 9
10   10.03
11   LATERAL TRANSFERS
12
13   Lateral transfers are movements of an employee between positions in the same pay group. Lateral
14   transfers may be made with the same Department or among Departments of the City.
15
16   The recommendation of transfers is within the discretion of the Department Head with approval of the
17   City Administator.
18
19   The City will allow capable employees to transfer between Departments subject to the following
20   conditions:
21
22      1.     Both Department Heads are agreeable to the transfer;
23
24      2.     The employee is the best available person to fill the position that is open;
25
26      3.     The employee is qualified to fill the new position and the transfer will not create undue
27             hardship in the Department which he or she is leaving;
28
29      4.     The employee obtains proper certification, if applicable to qualify the employee for the new
30             position, within a reasonable amount of time to be decided by the Department Heads;
31
32      5.     The transfer receives the written approval of the City Administrator; upon their
33             determination that the transfer is in the best interest of the City; and
34
35      6.     The six (6) month probationary period will apply.
36
37
38   10.04
39   CHANGE OF DUTY ASSIGNMENT
40
41   There may be times when it is necessary to change an employee's duty assignment from one position in
42   one classification to a position in another classification which may be in a lower pay group. An
43   employee who is subject to such a change may be subject to a pay reduction. The reasons therefore
44   shall be permanently noted in the employee's official personnel file.
45


                                                        53
 1
 2   10.05
 3   LAYOFFS
 4
 5   Whenever an employee is to be laid off or terminated for non-disciplinary reasons, at least ten (10)
 6   working days notice will be given to the employee stating the reason for the layoff, and a copy of the
 7   notice will be placed in the employee's official personnel file.
 8
 9   A.      Reduction-in-Force Guidelines
10
11   A reduction in force (RIF) involves involuntary separation from employment of employees whose
12   positions have been eliminated. These reductions may be due to budgetary constraints, or department
13   reorganizations that alter, consolidate or reduce the delivery of services, programs, or functions.
14
15   In some situations, staff reductions may be accomplished entirely by attrition and retirement without
16   involuntary separations from employment.
17
18   However, when the Mayor and City Council find it necessary to reduce the number of employees in the
19   city, then any relevant specific budgetary constraints or staffing allocations, or both, will be
20   communicated to the hiring supervisors and staffing reductions will be implemented.
21
22   B.    Implementation
23
24   When a RIF is first implemented, functions are prioritized based on the effect that elimination or
25   reduction of those functions is projected to have on the missions and goals of the city. Any proposed
26   plan for a RIF or layoffs will be reviewed by the city attorney for EEO compliance and to assure that the
27   plan does not create a statistically disproportionate impact unless such impact can clearly be justified on
28   the basis of a business necessity.
29
30   C.    RIF Identification Process
31
32   When a position or group of positions is identified for a RIF where separation of all employees in that
33   position or group of positions is not required, designated of employees to be separated is made in the
34   following order:
35
36        1. Employees without regular status: employees working in a temporary status as of the effective
37           date of RIF;
38
39        2. Except as provided below, regular employees with less than two years total service: Employees
40           with less than two years service are separated based on least service in the functional job that
41           must be curtailed; if there are ties in length of service, the tie is broken based on the most recent
42           performance appraisals.
43
44        3. Regular employees with two year or more years total service: When further reductions are


                                                          54
 1          required among employees, the City Administrator determines which employees are to be
 2          scheduled for separation by rank ordering employees based on current (prior twelve months)
 3          performance.
 4
 5   D.   Internal and External Postings
 6
 7   When a reduction in force is in effect, qualified employees will have an opportunity to apply for internal
 8   job postings for which they are qualified before these jobs are posted externally. Employees may also
 9   apply for any job that is posted externally.
10
11   E.   Assistance for Affected Employees
12
13   From the receipt date of the separation notice until an employee’s separation date, the city will provide
14   employees with reasonable access to city resources and services to facilitate their job search. Affected
15   employees will be given access to the following resources for completing job application materials,
16   either at their own workstations or at a centralized location dedicated to their use: computer online
17   access to the Work in Texas website, use of telephone and fax service, use of copy machines and
18   supplies, use of a city computer on the premises, up to four hours paid time per week to prepare job
19   application materials and administrative leave for internal or external interviews of up to four hours each
20   week.
21   Specific information on insurance and employee benefits after separation will be made available.
22
23
24
25
26




                                                         55
 1
 2
 3                                            SECTION ELEVEN
 4                                               BENEFITS
 5
 6
 7   11.01
 8   INSURANCE BENEFITS
 9
10   All regular full-time employees are provided with health, dental, accidental death and dismemberment,
11   and life insurance. The City Council shall annually determine the cost, if any, to the employee for this
12   coverage.. Coverage for other family members is available by payroll deduction at reduced group rates
13   paid by the employee. This insurance coverage is not subject to any probationary period.
14
15
16   City employees who work a minimum of 30 hours a week may be eligible for full-time health insurance
17   benefits.
18   Employees may decline health coverage.
19
20   The City may offer additional optional insurance programs for employees at the employee’s expense
21   through voluntary payroll deductions.
22
23
24
25
26   The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986 requires employers to offer post-
27   employment health insurance coverage for as long as eighteen months after employment. The employee
28   is responsible for the cost of the full health insurance coverage premium.
29
30   Employees and/or dependents covered under the Uniform Group Insurance Program have the right to
31   choose continuation of coverage depending on the reason for loss of coverage. Employees must apply
32   for COBRA insurance coverage within 60 days of their termination of coverage.
33
34   For specific information regarding COBRA eligibility contact the _______________.
35
36
37
38
39   11.02
40   WORKERS COMPENSATION
41
42   The City's group health insurance covers non-occupational injuries and illnesses. Any City employee
43   injured as a result of duties performed in the course of his or her job shall be eligible to receive worker's


                                                          56
 1   compensation benefits, which include medical expenses and, in certain circumstances, disability pay,
 2   from the City's insurance carrier at no expense to the employee in accordance with and as directed by
 3   state and federal laws. The Texas Worker's Compensation Fund is the sole source of disability pay for
 4   occupational injuries or illness.
 5
 6   No employee shall be discriminated or retaliated against in connection with any condition of
 7   employment because he or she has filed a worker's compensation claim.
 8
 9   An employee suffering a work-related illness or injury shall submit a written report on a form provided by the
10   city of such incident within 30 days of learning of the condition. No employee shall be discriminated or
11   retaliated against in connection with any condition of employment because he or she has filed a worker’s
12   compensation claim.
13
14   Employees are covered by Workers’ Compensation for occupational accidents, injuries, or illnesses
15   sustained on their jobs. Employees injured while at work must report the injury or illnesses to their
16   supervisor as soon as they are capable. The _______________ or the employee should immediately
17   contact _______________ and ensure that an Employer’s First Report of Injury/Illness is completed.
18   The report must be completed regardless of the severity of the injury. It is essential that the injury be
19   documented properly.
20
21
22
23
24   11.03
25   UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
26
27   All employees of the City are covered under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Insurance
28   Program. This program provides payments for unemployed workers in certain circumstances.
29
30
31
32   11.04
33   TEXAS MUNICIPAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM ("T.M.R.S.")
34
35   All regular employees that are appointed to positions that are scheduled to work a minimum of 1,080
36   hours per calendar year are provided retirement benefits through T.M.R.S. There is no probationary
37   period required. A copy of T.M.R.S. guidelines will be provided to the employee at orientation.
38
39




                                                          57
 1   11.05 SOCIAL SECURITY
 2
 3   The City does not participate in the Social Security (Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance
 4   OASDI) Program. Employees to not contribute to Social Security nor earn credits in the Social Security
 5   Program during their employment with the City. The City and employees do contribute to the Medicare
 6   Program.
 7
 8
 9   11.06 OTHER BENEFITS
10
11   The City Council may from time to time add additional programs and make changes to the benefit plan
12   for City employees.
13
14
15                                         SECTION TWELVE
16                                           VACATIONS
17
18
19   12.01
20   GENERAL POLICY
21
22   Employees who have satisfactorily completed their six month probationary period and have been
23   appointed regular employees will be credited with the appropriate number of hours of paid vacation.
24   Accrual of hours will be credited at the end of each month. In computing vacation for the employee's
25   first and last month of employment, the employee must have worked fifteen (15) calendar days or more
26   to accrue any vacation leave for that particular month.
27
28
29   12.02
30   HOLIDAYS DURING VACATION
31
32   When a regularly scheduled holiday occurs during the period of an employee's vacation, the holiday is
33   not counted as vacation time.
34
35
36   12.03
37   ILLNESS OR INJURY DURING VACATION
38
39   Employees who become ill or are injured during the period of their vacation may request that their
40   vacation time be temporarily terminated and their time charged to medical leave. The request must be
41   approved by the Department Head. A physician's statement may be required in such instances.
42
43
44   12.04


                                                      58
 1   USE OF VACATION LEAVE FOR MEDICAL REASONS
 2
 3   Absence on account of illness, accrued medical leave, injury, or disability in excess of accrued medical
 4   leave hereinafter authorized for such purposes may, at the request of the employee, and with the
 5   approval of the Department Head, be charged against vacation leave allowance.
 6
 7
 8   12.05
 9   INTERRUPTION OF VACATION
10
11   Employees required to work during their vacations, because of an emergency or when such is deemed
12   necessary, will receive their regular rate of pay, and their vacation will be rescheduled.
13
14
15   12.06
16   ACCRUAL OF VACATION LEAVE
17
18   The City of Sunset Valley provides paid vacation time for all regular full-time employees. The City
19   believes that this time off)from work is beneficial to the health and welfare of our employees and should
20   be taken each year in accordance with this policy. Regular part-time employees who have worked at
21   least twenty (20) hours per week will receive vacation time on a pro-rated basis.
22
23   All regular full-time and part-time employees must complete six (6) months of continuous service from
24   their date of hire with the City before becoming eligible to use vacation benefits. All regular full-time
25   employees will earn vacation benefits as shown on the chart below:
26
27
28
                                          Maximum Yearly Vacation
     Length of Continuous Service                                              Monthly Accrual Rate
                                              Time Allowable


         1 month to end of 5 years              10 working days                       6.66 hours
     After 6 years to end of 10 years           15 working days                       10.0 hours
       After 11 years and thereafter            20 working days                       13.33 hours
29
30   Vacation benefits for each month are accrued and reported at the end of month. Vacation credit cannot
31   be used prior to the time it is accrued. An employee who resigns after giving the notice provided for
32   hereinafter, or is dismissed or terminated from employment, shall be paid for all vacation time duly
33   accrued and not canceled. Employees who are terminated with less than six (6) months service are not
34   eligible to be paid for accrued vacation. An employee who resigns, or is dismissed or terminated must
35   work a minimum of one-half of a full month to accrue vacation benefits for that month of employment.
36



                                                        59
 1   Vacation may be taken in increments of hours, days, or weeks, as determined by the Department Head in
 2   keeping with the necessity for maintaining the efficiency of the department. In no case may an
 3   employee take vacation before it is granted.
 4
 5   Vacation leave will be deducted for each unauthorized absence. A regular employee placed on unpaid
 6   leave of absence in excess of thirty (30) days does not accrue vacation leave during such unpaid leave of
 7   absence.
 8
 9   The vacation year is defined as January 1 through December 31. Vacation may be carried over from one
10   year to the next for a maximum of one and one-half of the employee’s yearly vacation time allowed.
11   Each year, on January 1, all unused vacation time in excess of the "Maximum Accrual Vacation Time
12   Allowable" shown in the table below will be canceled.
13
14
15
              Length of Continuous Service                   Maximum Accrual Vacation Time Allowable

                         1-5 years                                         15 working days
                         6-10 years                                      22 ½ working days
                     11 years and over                                     30 working days
16
17
18
19   12.07
20   VACATION LEAVE RECORDS AND APPROVAL
21
22   The City Administrator or his designee shall keep records of vacation leave and use. The Department
23   Head for whom the employee works shall approve vacation requests submitted by non-exempt
24   employees. The City Administrator shall approve vacation requests submitted by exempt employees.
25   Vacation requests should be approved in such a manner that the efficiency of the department will not be
26   decreased, and that the City incurs no additional cost in the operation of the department.
27
28   Every effort will be made by the City to accommodate vacation requests. Vacation leave may be denied
29   during a specific period, if the workload or circumstances dictate.
30
31
32
33




                                                        60
 1
 2
 3                                          SECTION THIRTEEN
 4                                              HOLIDAYS
 5
 6
 7   13.01
 8   GENERAL POLICY
 9
10   The following are official paid City holidays:
11
     New Years Day                                          January 1
     President's Day                                        Third Monday in February
     Memorial Day                                           Last Monday in May
     Independence Day                                       July 4
     Labor Day                                              First Monday in September
     Thanksgiving Day                                       4th Thursday in November
     Day After Thanksgiving
     Christmas Day                                          December 25
     Day After Christmas                                    December 26
     *The City Council may designate other days as "special holidays" with pay
12
13
14   Except as provided for employees required to work on a holiday, full time employees will be paid for eight (8)
15   hours at their regular rate for Holidays.
16
17
18
19   13.02
20   HOLIDAYS FALLING ON SATURDAY OR SUNDAY
21
22   Whenever an official City holiday falls on a Saturday, the Friday before will be the paid holiday. If the
23   holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be the paid holiday. In the event that either
24   Christmas Day or the Day After Christmas falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, the City Administrator shall
25   determine which two days of the week will be observed as paid holidays.
26
27
28   13.03
29   WORK DURING HOLIDAYS
30



                                                          61
1   It is not always feasible to grant holidays at the scheduled time to employees assigned shifts of an
2   "around the clock" operation.
3
4   Any Department Head who finds it necessary to do so may direct some or all employees of the
5   Department to report for work on any holiday. In cases where a regular employee is required to work on
6   a paid holiday, he or she will be granted 8 hours of holiday leave .
7
8




                                                     62
 1
 2
 3   13.04
 4   FORFEITURE OF HOLIDAY
 5
 6   An employee who is absent without authorized leave either the day before or the day following an
 7   official holiday shall not be paid for the holiday or for the day of unauthorized leave.
 8
 9   An employee absent without authorized leave on a holiday on which he or she is normally scheduled to
10   work forfeits all rights to that holiday.
11
12
13
14
15
16   13.05
17   FLOATING HOLIDAY
18
19   Each regular employee is entitled to one floating holiday per fiscal year, that can be taken, with prior
20   approval of the Department Head, at any time after satisfactory completion of the probationary period
21   and appointment as a regular employee. The floating holiday must be taken prior to the end of the City's
22   fiscal year.
23
24
25
26




                                                       63
 1
 2
 3                                      SECTION FOURTEEN
 4                                     ABSENCES AND LEAVES
 5
 6                   SECTION 14 STILL UNDER REVIEW
 7
 8
 9   14.01
10   DEFINITIONS
11
12   LEAVE TIME. Leave time is time during working hours of a regular business day when an employee
13   does not engage in the performance of job duties by virtue of an authorized absence. Leave time may be
14   either paid or unpaid.
15
16   UNAUTHORIZED ABSENCE. An unauthorized absence is one in which the employee is absent from
17   regular duty without permission of the Department Head or the Mayor. Employees are not paid for
18   unauthorized absences.
19
20
21   14.02
22   APPROVAL OF LEAVE
23
24   All leave taken by City employees must be approved in writing by the Department Head or in the
25   absence of the Department Head, the Mayor. All Department Heads must have the Mayor's approval of
26   leave.
27
28   Approval of medical leave for non-emergency medical, dental or optical appointments must be secured
29   at least one (1) workday in advance. In all other instances of use of medical leave, the employee must
30   notify his or her Department Head of the absence before the time set for beginning work. Employees
31   absent for some other reason beyond their control must contact their Department Head as soon as
32   possible.
33
34   Department Heads are responsible for determining that leave time is accrued and available for use in the
35   amounts requested by an employee, and for reporting daily leave absences to the Deputy City
36   Administrator.
37
38
39   14.03
40   CIVIL LEAVE
41
42   Employees will be granted leave with pay when needed to vote locally in an official election, and for
43   jury duty. Paid leave for jury duty shall be limited to a total of 66 working days in any calendar year.



                                                       64
 1   Paid leave may be granted for serving as a witness subpoenaed or requested to testify by the City, or
 2   when subpoenaed in any civil litigation not involving a claim against the City.
 3
 4   Employees shall immediately report back to their work stations when they are finished voting or
 5   released from their court obligations.
 6
 7   On any statewide election day, full-time employees shall be allowed, with supervisory approval as to
 8   scheduling, up to two hours time off to vote without deduction from pay or leave time. All time must be
 9   scheduled with prior approval from supervisors. No inquiry will be made regarding an employee’s
10   political affiliation nor will political considerations affect an employee’s job status. Employees should
11   coordinate taking time off necessary to vote with their supervisors prior to taking leave.
12
13
14
15
16   14.04
17   USING LEAVE IN COMBINATION
18
19   Unless an employee who is on medical leave requests leave without pay upon exhaustion of the medical
20   leave, he or she may be placed on vacation status until vacation time is exhausted.
21   Medical leave cannot be used for vacation purposes.
22
23   With the approval of an employee's Department Head and the Mayor, other types of leave can be used in
24   any combination.
25
26
27   14.05
28   PAID MEDICAL
29   LEAVE
30
31   Following completion of the first six (6) consecutive months of employment, full-time regular
32   employees who have satisfactorily completed their orientation period and who have been appointed
33   regular employees will be credited, retroactive to their date of hire, with paid medical leave at the rate of
34   one day for every month of continuous service. Part-time regular employees will earn paid medical
35   leave in proportion to hours usually assigned per work day. Medical leave earned will be credited on the
36   first or the sixteenth of each month depending upon the employee's date of hire. In computing medical
37   leave for the first and last month of employment, the employee must have worked fifteen (15) calendar
38   days or more to accumulate any medical leave for that particular month.
39
40   Medical leave may not be taken in advance of being earned without the approval of the Mayor who may,
41   in emergency situations, advance medical leave credits not to exceed twenty four (24) working days.
42
43   In emergency situations, the employee must use other leave time if the employee has exhausted his or
44   her paid medical leave.
45


                                                          65
 1   Medical leave is authorized for the personal illness, injury or physical disability of employees or to
 2   permit employees to care for family members who are ill, injured or disabled. Family members include
 3   children, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and spouse of the employee.
 4
 5   No payment shall be made for accrued unused medical leave upon termination of an employee's
 6   employment with the City.
 7
 8   Department Heads may require satisfactory proof of illness, injury or disability, and may disallow
 9   medical leave in the absence of a physician's statement. A physician's statement is generally required in
10   all cases for medical leave in excess of three (3) consecutive days.
11
12   Employees shall not willfully use medical leave for purposes other than those intended in these policies.
13
14   The Deputy City Administrator shall maintain accurate records of medical leave credits and use.
15   Department Heads are responsible for approving medical leave.
16   Employees on leave of absence exceeding thirty (30) consecutive calendar days (paid or unpaid) cease
17   earning additional medical and vacation leave upon commencement of their leave of absence, and
18   resume accruing said leave upon their return to work.
19
20   If medical leave is taken due to injury, disability or illness of the employee, the City may require a
21   medical clearance to return to work.
22
23   Medical leave may accrue up to a maximum of 66 days, after which no further medical leave shall
24   accrue.
25
26
27   14.06 PARENTAL LEAVE
28
29   Regular full-time and part-time employees may, upon the birth or adoption of a child, take parental
30   leave, without pay, for a maximum period of 66 consecutive work days. Such leave may be taken in
31   addition to any medical leave, or vacation leave to which the employee is entitled, provided that the
32   maximum duration of such combined leave does not exceed 66 consecutive days. Upon returning to
33   work, the employee retains all benefits to which she or he was entitled prior to taking such leave,
34   provided, however, that medical and vacation leave does not accrue during the parental leave period.
35
36
37   14.07
38   BEREAVEMENT LEAVE
39   Regular full-time and part-time employees may be granted bereavement leave with pay for a period not
40   to exceed three (3) working days in case of death in their immediate family. This leave will not be
41   charged against medical leave or vacation leave. Immediate family includes the employee's spouse, or
42   the child, parent, grandparent, brother or sister of the employee or the employee's spouse. The City
43   Deputy City Administrator shall maintain a record of each employee's bereavement leave.
44
45


                                                        66
 1   14.08
 2   MILITARY LEAVE (Amended 3/21/00)
 3
 4           (a) Paid leave not to exceed fifteen (15) days per calendar year shall be granted to an employee
 5               for a period that the employee is called to active duty as a member of the National Guard or
 6               Reserve component of the United States Armed Services.
 7
 8           (b) Unpaid leave shall be granted for a period of active duty described in subparagraph (a) that
 9               exceeds fifteen (15) days in a calendar year. Unpaid leave shall also be granted for regular
10               inactive duty services in a Reserve component of the United States Armed Services
11               provided that the employee gives two (2) weeks advance notice of any such regular inactive
12               duty to the employee’s Department Head.
13
14           (c) An employee may use any accrued unused vacation, holiday or compensatory hours during
15               any unpaid leave allowed pursuant to subparagraph (b)
16
17           (d) An employee preparing to take a leave allowed pursuant to subparagraph (a) or (b) shall
18               provide to his/her Department Head copies of military orders or other appropriate
19               certification for placement in the employee’s file.
20
21           (e) An employee’s medical and vacation leave shall continue to accrue while he/she is on a
22               leave described in subparagraph (a) or (b), provided that the employee continues his/her
23               employment with the City at the end of such leave. The employee shall notify the City of the
24               employee’s intention to return to work with the City not later than two weeks after the
25               employee’s discharge from a leave described in subparagraph (a). Failure to provide such
26               notice will result in a forfeiture of any leave or benefits accrued.
27
28
29   14.09
30   ADMINISTRATIVE ABSENCE WITH PAY
31
32   The Department Head, with the approval of the Mayor, may grant regular full-time employees
33   administrative absence with pay for purposes of attending a professional conference, convention,
34   training activity, state or federal required schooling, legislative proceeding, civic function or meeting or
35   for purposes of coordinating with governmental and private agencies and entities in the interest of the
36   City.
37
38
39   14.10
40   EXTENDED LEAVE OF ABSENCE WITHOUT PAY
41
42   The City may, in unusual circumstances, or in the case of illness or disability when an employee
43   exhausts all paid medical leave, allow unpaid leave, which, when combined with paid leave already
44   provided, does not exceed the maximum period of absence allowed by these policies.
45


                                                         67
 1
 2   14.11
 3   INJURY LEAVE
 4
 5   An employee injured in connection with his/her employment with the City shall receive worker's
 6   compensation and injury wage continuation benefits under the terms and conditions prescribed in this
 7   policy in accordance with state and federal laws. Medical and vacation leave will accrue during said
 8   leave period.
 9
10   For absences resulting from a work-related injury or illness for which a regular full-time employee
11   receives Workers’ Compensation benefits, the City may, upon request of the employee, authorize a pay
12   maintenance benefit consisting of the difference between the employee’s regular weekly salary or wage
13   for the employee’s regular full-time work for the City and the Workers’ Compensation income benefit
14   for the week. This benefit shall be prorated for partial weeks of absence and the maximum total period
15   for which accrued unused leave and pay maintenance benefits may be used shall be 66 work days. In
16   order to be eligible for the pay-maintenance benefit, the following criteria shall apply and the following
17   requirements must be met:
18
19      1. Accrued sick and personal leave and vacation benefits available to the employee must first be
20         exhausted before the pay-maintenance benefit may be provided. An employee may use a fraction
21         of a benefit day so that only the fraction of the benefit day needed to be added to the Workers’
22         Compensation benefit to arrive at the regular daily wage or salary of the employee is used.
23
24      2. The injury or illness must be sustained while the employee was performing normal and expected
25         duties for the City in accordance with all applicable regulations, policies, and procedures of the
26         City.
27
28      3. The injury or illness must not have been sustained as the result of a willful act of the employee or
29         a failure to act by the employee which: (a) was unsafe and inconsistent with training and/or
30         instruction provided by the City; (b) was grossly negligent; (c) was in furtherance of the
31         commission of any criminal act; or (d) constituted official misconduct.
32
33
34   14.12
35   SICK LEAVE POOL
36
37   Subject to the provision establishing a maximum period of leave allowed, if an employee is unable, for
38   medical reasons, to return to work after exhausting all of his or her sick, vacation and compensatory
39   leave, the employee may continue to be paid for up to a maximum of 240 additional hours (30 eight-
40   hour days) if other city employees are willing to donate their accrued sick or vacation leave to the
41   employee's account for this purpose. At the end of the 240-hour period, the employee must (1) request a
42   leave of absence without pay; or (2) return to work. If the employee returns to work, he or she will be
43   returned either to the same position held before the leave began or to a position equivalent to the
44   previously held position in pay, benefits, and other conditions of employment
45


                                                        68
 1   Doug: Here is an example of a decision necessary to determine which employees are eligible for a
 2   benefit. I recommend a section that covers which employees are eligible for which benefits with
 3   whatever conditions or limitations. Rather than refer to employees donating hours to the particular
 4   employee, employees should be allowed to donate to the pool. Such a procedure minimizes a claim of
 5   discrimination against the city for the conduct of its employees in giving time to some but not other
 6   employees. Tthis provision goes beyond the rights of the FMLA, but, of course, the city may give
 7   greater rights than required by FMLA]
 8
 9   Employees may donate, at their sole discretion, any accrued sick leave to the sick leave pool for use by
10   other employees who are eligible for sick leave but have no accrued sick leave. There shall be no limit
11   on the number of accrued hours an employee may donate to the sick leave pool, or the frequency of such
12   donations.
13
14   An employee that uses sick leave from the sick leave pool must have exhausted all sick time to be
15   eligible to receive the donated sick time. To use time from a sick leave pool, an eligible employee or a
16   person acting on behalf of the employee must submit a written request for sick leave to
17   _______________, stating the injury or illness that is the subject of the request, and stating the
18   anticipated duration of the illness or injury and the number of hours requested. Sick leave pool hours
19   that are granted but not used shall be restored to the sick leave pool. The ____________ may request
20   substantiation by a physician or equivalent health care provider of the injury or illness and the
21   employee's inability to work.
22
23   [Doug: The prior two paragraphs are adapted from a collective bargaining agreement I recently
24   negotiated on behalf of a governmental employer.]
25
26   14.13
27   MAXIMUM LEAVE
28
29   Any employee absent from work for any reason for more than 66 consecutive working days will be
30   given preferential treatment for re-employment pursuant to Section 14.13 (A) of this Manual if the
31   absence was approved by the City or was medically necessary as evidenced by a health-care provider’s
32   written statement. The position of an employee absent from work for any reason will not be held open
33   for more than 66 consecutive working days, whether or not such absence was approved or medically
34   necessary, and such employee will no longer accrue any privilege or benefit of employment with the
35   City after such period of absence, except as required by applicable law (e.g. workers’ compensation
36   benefits, continuation of coverage medical insurance benefit, if applicable). In addition, the
37   employment of any employee either absent from work for more than a total of 71 days in any twenty-six
38   (26) week period shall be terminated, unless the allowance of any such intermittent leave is required by
39   the Family and Medical Leave Act, the American with Disabilities Act, or other applicable law. Such an
40   employee may apply for re-employment at such time that the employee is available for work on a
41   consistent basis. The City reserves the right to terminate the employment of any employee absent from
42   work for any period of time without City approval or when such absence is not medically necessary.
43   Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Section 14.13, so long as the Family and Medical Leave
44   Act or other applicable law regarding leaves of absence is applicable to the affected employee, the City
45   will comply with the requirements of any such law in considering any request for leave.


                                                       69
 1
 2   The employment of any employee absent from work for any reason for more than 66 consecutive working days
 3   will be terminated. In addition, the employment of any employee either absent from work for more than a total
 4   of 71 days in any twenty-six (26) week period shall be terminated. Such an affected employee will be given
 5   preferential treatment for reemployment if the absence was approved by the city or was medically necessary as
 6   evidenced by a health-care provider’s written statement. Such an employee may apply for re-employment at such
 7   time that the employee is available for work on a consistent basis. Employees will no longer accrue any privilege
 8   or benefit of employment following termination pursuant to this paragraph, Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the
 9   event that applicable law, including the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, or
10   the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act requires a greater leave of absence than
11   allowed pursuant to this paragraph, such greater leave shall be provided. Nothing in these policies shall require
12   the city to continue the employment of an employee absent from work without excuse or proper advance notice,
13   except as required by applicable law.
14
15    [Doug: A maximum period of leave is typically desired by employers, particularly to address worker
16   compensation covered absences: an employer may not retaliate against an employee who files a claim
17   for worker comp; the employment of an employee who abuses worker comp cannot be terminated
18   without risk of a retaliation claim unless the employer has a policy of terminating the employment of
19   employees absent for a specified length of time regardless of reason for the absence. I believe this
20   current policy was adapted from a similar policy I prepared for another governmental employer years
21   ago - I take no position on the durations included here after which an absence results in termination
22   except that the minimum period must be no less than the 60 days absence required by the FMLA ]
23
24
25
26
27   14.13 (A)
28   RE-EMPLOYMENT AFTER LEAVES OF ABSENCE
29
30   Upon return from approved extended leaves of absence, an employee who is still qualified to perform
31   the duties of his or her former position will be considered for it, if it still exists or for another position of
32   similar status and pay. In any case, re-employment shall be offered to the employee if a suitable position
33   is available.
34
35
36   14.14
37   HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE DURING UNPAID LEAVE
38
39   Except as provided by applicable law, the City shall pay the premium of any health insurance coverage
40   provided through the City’s group policy during any voluntary unpaid leave of absence through the end
41   of the month following the month such leave begins.
42
43   The AAA Committee Draft included a new section called “City Medical Leave” which approximates the
44   Family and Medical Leave Act. The City Attorney has modified this section to make it comply with the
45   Family and Medical Leave Act, with which the city must comply.
46


                                                            70
 1   14.15 FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT
 2
 3   The city offers eligible employees up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave per year (except to the extent
 4   of use of accrued paid leave or Sick Pool benefits, as applicable) for the birth, adoption, or foster care of
 5   a child, or because the employee or a spouse, parent, or child of the employee has a serious illness, all as
 6   provided by the Family and Medical Leave Act. Employees must utilize all accrued paid leave while
 7   taking leave pursuant to the FMLA, unless they are receiving temporary disability or workers'
 8   compensation benefits. [Doug: If the city does not want to require use of accrued paid leave in these
 9   circumstances this must be changed. This issue is discussed in several notes] The use of any accrued
10   paid leave during a qualified FMLA leave shall not extend the duration of the leave required by the
11   FMLA - The 12 weeks of leave shall be inclusive of any paid leave used during the FMLA qualified
12   absence. [Doug: All public agencies, including political subdivisions of States are subject to the FMLA.
13   Most employers require use of accrued paid leave during an FMLA qualified absence to avoid excessive
14   absence by the employee resulting from vacations in addition to the maximum 12 weeks. An employer
15   is not required to allow use of accrued sick leave during FMLA leave unless the absence otherwise
16   qualifies for use of the sick leave. Since these policies as written appear to be intended to allow use of
17   sick leave for the care of all family members covered by FMLA (as well as family members not covered
18   by the FMLA - see prior note), no provision is necessary to qualify use of sick leave during the FMLA
19   leave. This conclusion is not valid if the use of sick leave for children and parents is not clarified to
20   include step- children, foster children, legal wards, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, or a
21   person who stood in loco parentis to the employee when the employee was under the age of 18 years old
22   [taken from FMLA definitions of family members whose serious health condition are covered by
23   FMLA].
24
25   Eligibility. For purposes of this policy, an eligible employee is one who has been employed by the city
26   for at least 12 months, and who has worked at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12 months. When
27   calculating the required 12 months of city employment for FMLA eligibility, all city employment will be
28   counted and it need not be continuous. The 1,250 hours refers to hours actually worked the year prior to
29   the leave and does not include any paid time off.
30
31   Qualifying FMLA Events. An eligible employee is entitled to a total of 12 work-weeks of leave during
32   a 12-month period. The 12-month period begins on the first day of FMLA designated leave for a
33   qualifying event. FMLA leave may be used for the birth of a child to the employee and in order to care
34   for the newborn child; the placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care;
35   the care of the employee's spouse, or a son, daughter, or parent of the employee (as those terms are
36   defined in the FMLA) [Doug: incorporation of the definitions of these terms from the FMLA obviates
37   the need to specify step-child, loco parentis etc; see prior notes on this issue], if such spouse, son,
38   daughter, or parent has a serious health condition; or a serious health condition that makes the employee
39   unable to perform the functions of his/her position.
40
41   The twelve month period of entitlement for leave for the birth or adoption of a child expires 12 months
42   after the birth or adoption.
43




                                                          71
 1   Serious Health Condition. A "serious health condition" is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or
 2   physical or mental condition that involves either inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential
 3   medical care facility or continuing treatment by a licensed health care provider.
 4
 5   12 Week Maximum. Under FMLA, the maximum combination of paid and unpaid leave will be limited
 6   to 12 weeks. Any extension beyond this time period must be requested and approved under provisions
 7   of the city Leave Without Pay Policy. Employees may be eligible for other forms of paid leave, but
 8   written approval of the Mayor is required. [To what does this refer? Check for standardless discretion]
 9   Failure of the employee to report back to work at the end of the prescribed period, without prior written
10   approval of an extended leave pursuant to these policies, will be considered an unexcused absence and
11   may result in termination for presumed abandonment of the job. Accrued compensatory time is not
12   required to be used during the twelve weeks; however, comp time may not be stacked on the twelve
13   weeks of leave to extend beyond twelve weeks of leave if such extension of leave would unduly disrupt
14   the affected operations of the city. [Doug: This is the standard provided in 29 C.F.R. § 553.25 for when
15   a governmental entity may limit use of accrued comp time. Also note, however, that since a 2000
16   Supreme Court decision, an employer may require an employee to use accumulated comp time, and
17   many do so require to remove the liability from the employer's balance sheet. Also note, that comp time
18   must be paid at the hourly rate of the employee at the time of use - old comp time may have been earned
19   at a lower hourly rate than the rate payable to discharge, providing an incentive to require use of comp
20   time for any absence]
21
22   Birth or Placement of Child. In the case of FMLA leave for the birth or placement of a child, an
23   employee should provide 30 days advance notice before the date on which the leave would begin if
24   possible. If the employee is unable to provide such notice, he or she must provide as much notice as is
25   practicable.
26
27   Planned Medical Treatment. When the need for leave is foreseeable, based on planned medical
28   treatment for the employee or family member, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule
29   the treatment so as not to unduly interrupt the operations of the employer, subject to the approval of the
30   health care provider providing the planned care. The employee should provide 30 days notice, or if not
31   possible, as much notice as is practicable.
32
33   Intermittent Leaves and Reduced Schedules. Leave for child birth or placement may not be taken
34   intermittently or on a reduced work schedule except with the agreement of the hiring _____DH______.
35
36   Leave for the illness of the employee or family member may be taken intermittently or on a reduced
37   schedule when medically necessary. Whenever possible, employees should try to schedule the
38   intermittent leave periods to avoid unduly disrupting city operations. FMLA leave on an intermittent or
39   reduced schedule cannot exceed a total of 480 hours (12 work weeks) in a twelve-month period.
40   Employees going off intermittent FMLA leave status are not required to submit a fitness-for-duty
41   release. [Doug: Why make this blanket statement?]
42
43   Temporary Transfer. If an employee requests intermittent or reduced-schedule leave for medical
44   reasons, the Mayor may temporarily transfer the employee to an available alternative position for which



                                                        72
 1   the employee is qualified, and which has equivalent pay and benefits [doug: required by FMLA], if the
 2   alternative position better accommodates recurring periods of leave than the employee's regular position.
 3
 4   Reinstatement. An eligible employee who takes FMLA leave is entitled to be restored to his or her
 5   former position, or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, and other terms and conditions of
 6   employment provided that the employee returns to work upon exhaustion of FMLA leave.
 7
 8   Benefit Rights. The taking of leave under FMLA may not result in the loss of any employment benefit
 9   accrued prior to the date on which the leave commenced. Nothing, however, entitles an employee to any
10   right, benefit, or position other than one to which the employee would have been entitled had the leave
11   not been taken.
12
13   Insurance. The city will maintain any group health coverage for the employee on leave on the same
14   terms as if the employee were at work for the duration of the leave. If an employee is on unpaid leave
15   for an entire calendar month, he/she is responsible for paying his/her portion of the insurance premium
16   and the city will pay its portion. Payment of the employee's portion of any group insurance premium
17   shall be made to the city each month of the FMLA leave not later than ___ day of each such month.
18
19   An employee who is granted an approved FMLA leave of absence under this policy may continue his or
20   her group insurance coverage by arranging with the Assistant City Administrator to pay the employee’s
21   portion of the premium contributions during the period of unpaid absence. Employees will be required
22   to continue to pay their share of group health benefit costs during the period of leave under the law.
23   [Doug: how is this different than the preceding paragraph?]
24
25   If an employee elects not to return to work upon completion of an approved unpaid leave of absence, the
26   city may recover from the employee the cost of any premiums paid by the city to maintain the
27   employee's coverage, unless the failure to return to work was for reasons beyond the employee's control
28   or due to the continuation, recurrence, or onset of a serious health condition, or other circumstance
29   beyond the employee's control. [Doug: this additional language is taken from the FMLA]
30
31   Certification of Serious Health Condition. An employee requesting leave under CML because of the
32   employee’s or a family member's serious health condition, will be required to provide certification from
33   the health care provider treating the condition. The Department of Labor Certification of Physician or
34   Practitioner form must be obtained from the city and completed by the physician or practitioner. It
35   requests detailed information regarding the condition of the employee or family member, and also
36   requests an estimate of the amount of time the employee is needed to care for the family member. If
37   intermittent leave or a reduced leave schedule is requested, the certification should also state the dates
38   and duration of planned medical treatment. It is the employee's responsibility to ensure that the
39   Department of Labor Certification Form is completed fully and accurately. *We need to get this form
40   as suggested and modify it to fit our needs. [Doug: I don't think any modification should be
41   appropriate, since FMLA does apply to the City's employees.]
42
43   Additional Certifications. If the Assistant City Administrator has reason to question the validity of the
44   certification, the employee may be required to obtain a second certification from a health care provider
45   designated or approved by the city. If the second provider disagrees with the first, a third, and final


                                                        73
 1   opinion might also be required from a jointly selected provider. Consult with the Assistant City
 2   Administrator for details.
 3
 4   Return to Work. In the situation where the employee has been absent due to a serious health condition
 5   the employee is required to provide certification that he/she is able to resume work.
 6
 7   Spouses Employed by the City. A husband and wife who are eligible for FMLA leave and who are
 8   both employed by the city are permitted to take only a combined total of 12 weeks of leave during any
 9   12 month period if the leave is taken for birth of a son or daughter or to care for the child after birth; for
10   placement of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care, or to care for the child after placement; or to
11   care for a parent (but not a parent "in-law") with a serious health condition.
12
13   When a husband and wife each take a portion of the total 12-week leave to care for a parent or for the
14   birth, adoption or placement of a child, each would be entitled to take the remaining portion of the 12-
15   week leave for their own serious illness or to care for a sick child.
16
17   Employee Requests. Employees must follow specific procedures to request FMLA leave. These
18   procedures are detailed as follows:
19
20   Contact ______DHR________ to obtain and complete the required paperwork, including certification of
21   a serious health condition.
22
23   Notify your ______DH_______ in writing. If intermittent leave is requested, the employee must provide
24   the _____DH_______ a proposed schedule and duration.
25
26   City Designation. The city may designate an employee's leave as FMLA-protected. Supervisors must
27   notify ____DH_____ if they have reason to believe an employee's absence is FMLA qualifying, or when
28   an employee has used sick leave for three consecutive days. _The DH_ will inquire about an employee's
29   reason for using leave (1) when an employee uses sick leave for more than three consecutive work days
30   and/or (2) when an employee takes any form of leave when he/she has no sick leave balance.
31
32   __The DHR_____ will prepare a recommendation to the Mayor [Doug: I suggest the Adminstrator or
33   HR person perform this function] regarding the designation of the leave as FMLA-protected. __The
34   DHR___ will provide a copy of the recommendation to the employee, who has three working days to
35   provide a written response to the Mayor [designated responsible person]. The Mayor [designated
36   responsible person] will determine whether to designate the leave as FMLA-protected.
37
38   An employee may be considered eligible provided:
39
40         he or she has been employed by the city for at least 12 months and has worked at least 1,250
41          actual hours during the preceding 12 months; city employment need not be continuous; and
42
43         those employees with less than 12 months of city service, or who have worked less than 1,250
44          actual hours during the preceding 12 months, are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid
45          parental leave. This leave is limited to and begins with the date of the birth of a natural child or


                                                          74
 1          the adoption or foster care placement of a child under three years of age. [Doug: and, as
 2          necessary or desired, specify whether any accrued paid leave may be used by these employees
 3          and confirm consistency with all other provisions]
 4
 5   The _____DHR______ serves as the FMLA Coordinator. The FMLA Coordinator will meet with the
 6   employee and complete an FMLA Leave form.
 7
 8   The City reserves the right to effect any provision of the FMLA relating to a "key employees" described
 9   in the FMLA, 29 U.S.C. § 2614(b).
10
11   [Doug: Since the provisions of the FMLA are substantially set out in this section, in order to avoid an
12   inference that the city intends to waive any right as to key employees regarding restoration to the same
13   or similar position, this proviso should be included. These employer rights are optional at the election
14   of the employer, so the city would not be required to use such rights.]
15
16   Additional information regarding FMLA leave may be obtained by contacting the CML Coordinator.
17   DHR.
18
19   The AAA Draft adds a new section for ADA compliance
20
21
22
23   14.16 ACCOMMODATING INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES -                                 AMERICANS
24   WITH DISABILITIES ACT (ADA)
25
26   The Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits discrimination in employment against
27   qualified individuals with disabilities and requires government programs to make all services offered to
28   the public accessible.
29
30   To be a “qualified individual,” an individual must be able to perform the essential functions of a job
31   with or without a reasonable accommodation. Under the ADA, an individual with a disability is a
32   person who has:
33
34         a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities;
35         a record of such impairment; or
36         is regarded as having such an impairment.
37
38   A reasonable accommodation will be provided for a permanent physical or mental limitation of a
39   qualified employee or applicant unless the accommodation imposes an undue hardship on the city.
40
41   Reasonable workplace accommodations taken may include making existing facilities readily available;
42   modifications or adjustments to the work environment or manner or circumstances under which the
43   position is customarily performed; modifications or adjustments that enable the individual with the
44   disability to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as other similarly situated employees without


                                                        75
 1   disabilities; and other appropriate adjustments to the work environment of a qualified individual with a
 2   disability.
 3
 4   “Undue hardship” determinations shall be based on the definitions provided by the courts, the
 5   Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Texas Human Rights Act. Undue hardship factors may
 6   include, but are not limited to, requiring a significant difficulty or expense considered in light of the
 7   size, financial resources, nature and structure of the city’s operations and how the request affects the
 8   health and safety of the requestor or other employees.
 9
10   The city prohibits discrimination against applicants/employees with disabilities. Additionally, no
11   individual with a disability shall be excluded from participation in services, programs or activities of this
12   governmental body. The city shall not discriminate against an applicant or an employee on the basis of
13   his or her HIV/AIDS status or any other terminal or communicable disease.
14
15   The employee who is disabled is responsible for notifying his/her ___DH___ of the disability and the
16   need for reasonable accommodations.
17
18   An individual with a disability must also be qualified to perform the essential functions of the job, with
19   or without reasonable accommodation, in order to be protected by the ADA. This means that an
20   applicant or employee must satisfy standard job requirements for educational background, employment
21   experience, skills, licenses, and any other qualification standards that are job related.
22
23   Requests for reasonable accommodation are decided on a case-by-case basis based upon information
24   provided by the employee and the ____DH_____. All reasonable accommodations must:
25
26                                             be job related;
27                                             be effective enough to overcome the individual's physical or
28                                              mental limitation;
29                                             enable the individual to perform the essential functions of the
30                                              job; and
31                                             not impose an undue hardship on the city's operations.
32
33   Factors that may affect an accommodation decision include, but are not limited to, the availability of
34   funding, the amount of disruption to the work of other employees, and the impact on the city’s ability to
35   conduct business.
36
37   An employee desiring reasonable accommodation must submit a request in writing to his/her immediate
38   ____DH____. The employee must provide:
39
40    a description of the employee's physical or mental limitation or, if needed to affirm the diagnosis, a
41   medical statement of the diagnosis or prognosis that creates the physical or mental limitation;
42    a list of the job functions or tasks the employee cannot currently perform, but will be able to perform
43   if reasonable accommodation is provided;


                                                          76
 1    a suggested method of accommodation, including the source and type of any special equipment that
 2   may be needed; and
 3    a medical statement containing an evaluation as to the effect of the diagnosed impairment or
 4   prognosis on the employee's ability to perform the duties associated with the employee's position based
 5   on the employee’s job description;
 6
 7   The employee and the city should cooperate to conclude the review process within a period of 30 days.
 8
 9   The requesting employee's immediate ____DH____ has primary responsibility for determining and
10   providing appropriate reasonable accommodations but he/she must confer with the __Mayor__. _The
11   Mayor_ will assist the __DH__ in determining whether the requesting employee has a qualifying
12   disability under ADA guidelines.
13
14   Once the __ DH___ has determined that the employee has a qualifying disability, he/she should obtain
15   information on methods and sources of reasonable accommodation from the requesting employee and
16   the ___DHR___. If the reasonable accommodation requires no additional resources and can be easily
17   provided, the ___ DH___ should implement it immediately. If the reasonable accommodation requires
18   additional resources or equipment, the ____ DH____ should obtain supervisory and administrative
19   approval and begin the requisition process to obtain them. The ____ DH____ should keep the employee
20   informed of the current status and final determination of the request.
21
22   Supervisors must submit to the ___CA____, and the Mayor, for review, all cases in which they
23   recommend that the accommodation request be denied due to undue hardship. The submission should
24   include copies of the original written request for reasonable accommodation, a written explanation by
25   the ____ DH_____ detailing why accommodation is not possible or not appropriate, and all related
26   documentation. The employee will receive a written explanation if the request is denied due to an undue
27   hardship on the city.
28
29   ADA information and all other medical information concerning employees shall remain confidential and
30   separate from personnel files and only __the DHR__ will maintain such records. This includes any
31   doctor's statements, leave forms, or any other information that pertains to the medical condition or
32   medical history of an employee.
33
34   For more information on the ADA, contact the ___ DHR___.
35
36   Notwithstanding anything in this policy to the contrary, the city shall comply with current law pursuant
37   to the ADA.
38
39
40
41
42




                                                       77
 1
 2
 3                                        SECTION FIFTEEN
 4                                       HEALTH AND SAFETY
 5
 6
 7   15.01
 8   SAFETY POLICY
 9
10   It is the policy of the City to make every effort to provide healthful and safe working conditions for all
11   of its employees. The City Administrator will establish a Safety Program for City Employees.
12
13
14   15.02
15   EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES/REPORTS
16
17   Employees are responsible for conducting their work activities in a manner that is protective of their
18   own health and safety, as well as that of other individuals.
19
20   An employee must report every accident in writing, no matter how minor, to his or her Department
21   Head, who is responsible for immediately filing an accident report on every accident involving an injury
22   with the City Administrator or his designee.
23
24
25   15.03
26   SAFETY SUGGESTIONS
27
28   The City Administrator shall make such recommendations to the Mayor and City Council as are
29   necessary for the improvement of working conditions and the correction of any dangerous or harmful
30   conditions which are believed to be preventable or which are not in compliance with established rules,
31   regulations and requirements. Additionally employees shall report in writing immediately to their
32   Department Head any conditions that in their judgment threaten the health and safety of employees or
33   other individuals. Employees are encouraged to make suggestions for improvements that would make
34   the City workplace safer
35
36
37   15.04
38   ON THE JOB INJURIES
39
40   The City provides workers compensation insurance for all of its employees. This insurance pays for
41   medical expenses and, in certain instances disability payments, for occupational injuries and illnesses of
42   an employee.
43




                                                        78
 1   Any employee who sustains an on-the-job injury or job-related illness must immediately stop work,
 2   report the injury or illness in writing to their Department Head within twenty-four (24) hours. The
 3   employee's failure to report the injury or illness may disqualify the employee from benefits. Department
 4   Heads must report any injuries to the Mayor within 24 hours.
 5
 6   An employee who sustains an on-the-job injury or job-related illness may seek medical attention from
 7   the medical facility or professional of his or her choice. The City requires statements of medical
 8   condition and release from the attending physician before the employee may return to work.
 9
10
11   15.05
12   LIGHT DUTY ASSIGNMENT
13
14   The Mayor and City Council have the option of placing an employee who has sustained an occupational
15   injury or illness on light duty assignment for a period of time if it is determined that such is in the best
16   interest of the City. The City may require a medical statement to be placed on light duty assignment and
17   to return to regular duty
18
19
20
21
22
23   For a copy of the policy on the Return to Work Program, visit the city’s Intranet Site or contact
24   _______________.
25
26
27
28
29




                                                         79
 1
 2
 3                                        SECTION SIXTEEN
 4                                     USE OF CITY PROPE0RTY
 5
 6
 7   16.01
 8   GENERAL POLICY
 9
10   The City attempts to provide each employee with adequate tools, equipment, and vehicles for the City
11   job being performed, and expects each employee to observe safe work practices and safe and courteous
12   operation of vehicles and equipment in compliance with all municipal, county, and state regulations.
13
14
15   16.02
16   PROPERTY CONTROL
17
18   Department Heads shall insure that all property under their control is properly safeguarded, accounted
19   for, and administered. The City Administrator or his designee shall maintain or delegate the
20   maintenance of an up-to-date inventory of all City property. All acquisitions, disposals, or transfers of
21   property shall be reported to the City Administrator or his designee. All property owned by the City is to
22   be used only in conducting the City business.
23
24   An accounting of all gasoline purchased and used by the City shall be made and reports of usage filed.
25
26   Employees may not use city time, property, facilities or equipment for purposes other than official city
27   business except for incidental personal use as expressly provided by other provisions of this handbook.
28
29   Employees misusing city property are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
30
31   Employees shall utilize city equipment for city purposes and shall follow city regulations and city
32   procedures regarding maintenance and use of city property.
33
34   Employees may make incidental personal use of work telephones for local calls so long as such calls are
35   infrequent and of limited duration.
36
37   Employees’ excessive use of work telephones for personal or private matters may be the basis for
38   disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
39
40   Employees in possession of city property, equipment and supplies shall return all such property upon
41   separation, including security badges, access cards, keys, work papers and notes or diaries of official
42   business.
43
44   Employees shall not remove, conceal, or falsify governmental records. Destruction of governmental
45   records shall only be permitted under records retention guidelines. Employees shall not use a city-issued


                                                        80
 1   credit card for expenses which are clearly personal in nature and not necessitated by, or incidental to,
 2   city business.
 3
 4
 5   An employee who has in his/her possession any property of the city at the time of termination of
 6   employment with the city shall immediately return such property.
 7
 8
 9
10   16.03
11   USE OF TOOLS, EQUIPMENT, PROPERTY, AND VEHICLES
12
13   Employees who are assigned tools, equipment or vehicles by their Departments are responsible for them
14   and for their proper use and maintenance.
15
16   No personal use of any City property, materials, supplies, tools, equipment, or vehicles is permitted
17
18
19   16.04
20   VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE
21
22   All operators of City vehicles and motorized equipment are required to have a valid State of Texas
23   driver's license required for that class of vehicle or equipment and to keep Department Heads informed
24   of any change or status in their license. Suspension or revocation of the driver's license of an employee
25   whose job duties require operation of a vehicle or equipment may result in discharge.
26
27   A record of three or more moving violations or one driving while intoxicated conviction is grounds for
28   denying use of City vehicles or equipment to any employee.
29
30   The City Administrator or his designee will conduct an annual driver's license check on every employee
31   who operates City vehicles and equipment as a routine part of his or her job duty.
32
33
34   16.05
35   ACCIDENT REPORTING
36
37   Any person operating City equipment or vehicles must report all vehicular accidents and property
38   damage or liability claims to his or her Department Head and to the police at the time of the accident.
39   City vehicles or equipment that have been involved in such a situation will not be moved until
40   permission is given to do so by the City Police Department.
41
42   An official accident report must be filed on each vehicular accident involving a City vehicle or
43   equipment, no matter how minor. The Police Department shall forward to the respective Department
44   Head a copy of such accident report as soon as its investigation is complete. The Department Head must



                                                         81
 1   send a copy of the report to the Mayor and City Council and file a copy in the personnel file of the
 2   employee involved in the accident
 3
 4
 5   16.06
 6   APPROVAL FOR USE
 7
 8   Police officers must have the prior written approval of the Chief of Police and Mayor before wearing the
 9   City's police uniform and wearing a City-issued firearm in connection with any secondary or outside
10   employment.
11
12
13




                                                       82
 1
 2                                       SECTION SEVENTEEN
 3                                     DISCIPLINE AND APPEALS
 4
 5                                SECTIONS 17-20 Still under review
 6
 7
 8   17.01
 9   GROUNDS FOR DISCIPLINARY ACTION
10
11   The Mayor and City Council shall take disciplinary action against an employee when appropriate.
12   Grounds for disciplinary action may include, but are not limited to, the following:
13
14        Violation of any Rule, Regulation or Policy set forth in this Manual or the Police Manual;
15
16        Insubordination or violation of any official order or regulation;
17
18        Absence without leave including (1) employee's failure to notify a supervisor of expected absence
19         before the time the employee is to report to work; (2) repeated tardiness; (3) repeated early
20         departure;
21
22        Endangering the safety of other persons;
23
24        Violation of drug policy;
25
26        Unauthorized use of public funds or property;
27
28        Negligent or willful damage or waste of public funds or property;
29
30        Conviction of a felony;
31
32        Conviction for official misconduct;
33
34        Falsification of city documents or records;
35
36        Unauthorized use of official information or unauthorized disclosure of confidential information;
37
38        Unauthorized or abusive use of official authority;
39
40        Incompetence, inefficiency or neglect of duty, or poor work performance;
41
42        Disruptive behavior which impairs the performance of others; or
43
44        Conduct unbecoming an employee of the City;
45


                                                         83
 1   The foregoing list is not to be all inclusive, but rather, to provide examples of the types of conduct
 2   which may result in disciplinary action. Additionally, certain conduct prohibited by this Manual may
 3   also constitute violations of the law and may result in criminal prosecution.
 4
 5   It is the intent of the city to establish clear, positive guidelines for corrective disciplinary action. The
 6   guidelines are intended to promote effective operations and appropriate behavior, prevent violations of
 7   policy, assist in counseling, facilitate personnel actions related to job performance and promote
 8   consistent and equal treatment of all employees. Employment with the City is "at will" and can be
 9   terminated with or without cause or notice at any time, at the option of either the City or the employee,
10   except as otherwise prohibited by law. Accordingly, every employee is subject to disciplinary measures,
11   up to and including, involuntary dismissal.
12
13   Causes for involuntary dismissal may include, but are not limited to:
14
15         unacceptable job performance as documented by performance evaluations and other written
16          memoranda;
17
18         failure to appropriately manage subordinates;
19
20         acts of insubordination that involve the willful failure or refusal to comply with lawful policies
21          and procedures or supervisory instructions and orders related to the performance of assigned job
22          duties or responsibilities;
23
24         violation of the City’s standards of conduct;
25
26         gross negligence in the performance of duties;
27
28         use of alcoholic beverages or illegal use of controlled substances while on duty or being under
29          the influence of alcoholic beverages or illegally obtained controlled substances while on duty;
30
31         misuse or abuse of city property and equipment;
32
33         physical or verbal abuse of other employees, or individuals conducting business with the City;
34
35         policy violations -- employee conduct inconsistent with the policies and procedures established
36          by the city such as outside employment that constitutes a conflict of interest; failure to report any
37          conflict of interest; failure to gain prior approval for outside employment; or violating the city
38          policy on personal use of city property;
39
40         excessive absenteeism – is probable when an employee is unable to adequately perform the job
41          due to absenteeism, or when the normal day-to-day work activities of the office are disrupted due
42          to an employee's use of unscheduled leave. Unscheduled leave occurs when an employee uses
43          any leave not approved in advance, including leave without pay. Unscheduled leave creates an
44          undue disruption in the employee's division when: (1) a _____DH______ must expend an
45          unreasonable amount of time reallocating the absent employee's work to other staff members; (2)
46          a burden is placed on the division department because the workload is increased; and (3) a
47          _____DH______ must expend an inordinate amount of time documenting absences and
48          counseling the employee;


                                                         84
 1
 2         intentionally falsifying time or travel reports;
 3
 4         intentionally falsifying or tampering with city documents or records;
 5
 6         using the apparent authority of the city for personal gain;
 7
 8         knowingly disclosing confidential information to an individual not authorized to receive it;
 9
10         using inappropriate comments in the workplace or when representing the City, including ethnic,
11          racial, or sexual comments;
12
13         behavior that constitutes illegal discrimination or harassment;
14
15         malingering or other abuses of sick leave (sick leave consistently taken as it is earned, or the
16          consistent use of unplanned sick leave on Mondays, Fridays, or days immediately before or after
17          a holiday are not considered responsible uses of sick leave);
18
19         falsification of references or untrue representations on the application for employment;
20
21         conviction or action tantamount to a conviction for an offense involving moral turpitude; and
22
23         other conduct that brings discredit upon the City or causes the city to lose trust and confidence in
24          the employee.
25
26
27
28
29   17.02
30   TYPES OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION
31
32   Disciplinary action taken shall be consistent with the nature of the deficiency or infraction involved.
33   Disciplinary action may include verbal warnings, written reprimand, suspension, demotion, dismissal,
34   restitution, counseling or training or any combination thereof. While Department Heads are encouraged
35   to use progressive discipline, nothing shall prevent the Mayor and City Council from taking whatever
36   disciplinary action it deems appropriate. The rules governing disciplinary action shall apply to all
37   employees unless specified by state or federal law, or by action of the City Council. All disciplinary
38   action shall be documented in the employee's personnel file.
39
40
41   17.03
42   WRITTEN REPRIMAND
43
44   An employee may be formally reprimanded in writing. The reprimand shall describe the deficiency or
45   infraction involved and shall state the likely consequence of further unsatisfactory performance and/or
46   conduct. The reprimand shall be signed by the employee stating that the employee has personally read
47   the written reprimand and understands it. The employee's signature does not imply that the employee
48   agrees with the reprimand. The Mayor shall be provided a copy of the reprimand immediately.



                                                          85
 1
 2
 3   17.04
 4   SUSPENSION
 5
 6   Department Head with approval of the Mayor may suspend an employee without pay. A notice of
 7   suspension shall be given to the employee which describes the deficiency or infraction involved and
 8   which states the likely consequences of further unsatisfactory performance and/or conduct. The
 9   suspension shall be noted in the employee's official personnel file. The Mayor shall notify the City
10   Council of such action.
11
12   Vacation, compensatory time or sick leave cannot be used, nor accrued, during suspension.
13
14   A Department Head may temporarily relieve from work any employee for the balance of the working
15   day (with full pay and benefits) if the Department Head believes that the employee, by continuing to
16   work, will tend to discredit or impair the operation of the Department. The Department Head shall
17   immediately notify the Mayor of any such temporary action. The Mayor must approve any continuation
18   of such relief from duty with pay.
19
20
21   17.05
22   DEMOTION
23
24   An employee may be demoted, or transferred from one position to another for which the rate of pay is
25   lower and/or responsibilities reduced. A notice of demotion must be given to the employee which
26   describes the deficiency or infraction involved and which states the likely consequences of further
27   unsatisfactory performance and/or conduct. The demotion shall be permanently noted in the employee's
28   personnel file. Department Heads shall coordinate any such action with the Mayor and City Council.
29   The Mayor and City Council must approve any demotion.
30
31   A demotion is a change in job classification that provides a lower minimum salary rate. A demotion
32   generally will involve a decrease in salary within the range of the job classification. A demotion may
33   be imposed as a disciplinary action for unsatisfactory performance or for misconduct for which
34   termination is determined not to be appropriate.
35
36   The city may, but is not required to reduce a demoted employee’s salary if the employee applied for and
37   accepted a position in a lower-level salary group. In this case, the demoted employee may not, however,
38   receive a salary that exceeds the maximum rate of the new salary group. [Doug: Some criteria ought to
39   be included so that there is a not a standardless discretion to maintain higher pay - this situation likely
40   will automatically result in discriminatory treatment because the demoted employee will be paid more
41   than his/her new co-workers in the position; some justification and criteria for maintaining higher pay
42   ought to be included.]
43
44


                                                         86
 1
 2   17.06
 3   DISMISSAL
 4
 5   An employee may be involuntarily dismissed. A notice of dismissal shall be given without unnecessary
 6   delay to the employee which describes the deficiency or infraction involved. A copy of the dismissal
 7   notice shall be placed in the employee's personnel file. A dismissal of an employee other than a new
 8   employee serving his or her probationary period must be approved by the Mayor and City Council
 9
10
11   17.07
12   APPEALS OF DISCIPLINARY ACTION
13
14   An employee may appeal the disciplinary action taken against him or her, with the exception of
15   termination, in accordance with the grievance procedures set forth in Section Eighteen. There shall be
16   no right of appeal from an involuntary dismissal. However, an employee who is dismissed shall be
17   provided an opportunity to discuss the dismissal and the grounds thereof with the Council at the earliest
18   available opportunity.
19
20
21




                                                        87
 1
 2                                      SECTION EIGHTEEN
 3                                    GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
 4
 5
 6   18.01
 7   DEFINITION
 8
 9   Any disagreement between an employee and a supervisor or an employee and another employee over
10   policy, procedures, working conditions or working relationships that does not involve disciplinary action
11   shall constitute a grievance
12
13
14   18.02
15   GENERAL POLICY
16
17   The City encourages the resolution of grievances through informal discussions with the employee(s)
18   and/or the supervisor involved in the incident about which the complaint is made. If the problem is not
19   resolved to the satisfaction of the grieving employee through informal means, the employee may file a
20   formal grievance. No adverse action will be taken against an employee for reason of his or her good
21   faith exercise of the grievance right.
22
23
24   18.03
25   FORMAL GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
26
27   A formal grievance must be in writing, signed by the employee and presented to the employee's
28   Department Head within ten (10) business days of the occurrence of the incident giving rise to the
29   complaint. The Department Head shall attempt to resolve the grievance and shall communicate his or
30   her decision regarding the grievance to the employee in writing within five business days of receipt of
31   the formal grievance.
32
33   If the employee is not satisfied with the Department Head's resolution, he or she may, within ten (10)
34   business days of receipt of the Department Head's decision, serve a written appeal of that decision with
35   the Mayor. The Mayor shall respond in writing to the employee within five (5) business days of service
36   of the appeal. The Mayor may affirm, modify or overrule the decision of the Department Head.
37
38   The employee may appeal the decision of the Mayor to the City Council by filing a written appeal within
39   ten (10) business days of receipt of the Mayor's decision. The Council shall affirm, modify or overrule
40   the decision of the Mayor within thirty (30) days of service of the written appeal.
41   All written appeals shall state in detail, the basis for the employee's dissatisfaction with the decision
42   from which the appeal is taken. Any ground not set forth in the written appeal shall not be considered.
43




                                                        88
 1   Written appeals to the Mayor and/or the City Council shall be deemed served when they are filed with
 2   the City Administrative Assistant.
 3
 4   [Doug: The foregoing is largely dependent on how the city wants decision making in these matters to
 5   occur so I don't propose changes or comment except in minor areas to change mandatory acts to
 6   discretionary acts where appropriate.
 7   10.    EMPLOYEE COMPLAINT/GREIVANCE PROCEDURE
 8
 9   A.     Purpose
10
11           The City follows the legal doctrine of "employment-at-will"; therefore, all employees serve at the
12   will of the City. Accordingly, the city complaint procedure neither modifies this doctrine nor constitutes
13   a contract of employment.
14
15   B.     Informal Complaints
16
17         An informal complaint is based on an employee’s dissatisfaction with some aspect of
18   employment the employee considers inappropriate, harmful, or unfair.
19
20   C.     Formal Grievances
21
22          A grievance relates to employment transactions including, but not limited to, leave issues,
23   employee discipline, performance evaluations, non-selection for promotion, worker's compensation and
24   whistleblower activities.
25
26   D.     Retaliation Prohibited
27
28           No employee may retaliate, in any form, against (1) an employee who files a grievance, (2) an
29   employee who, in good faith, reports illegal discrimination against or harassment of another employee,
30   or (3) an employee who participates in an investigation, administrative action, administrative litigation,
31   or formal litigation arising out of illegal discrimination or harassment.
32
33            Disciplinary actions against employees whose conduct or job performance do not meet city
34   standards will not be stayed merely by the filing of a complaint and such actions are not regarded as
35   retaliation.
36
37   E.     Informal Complaint Process
38
39          Employee concerns and dissatisfactions should be addressed expeditiously and at the lowest
40
41   supervisory level possible. Any complaint against __another employee__ should be addressed to that
42   __employee__'s immediate supervisor manager. An informal complaint against the Mayor must first be
43   brought to Mayor Pro Tem. An informal complaint by an employee against a member of City Council
44   other than the Mayor must first be brought to the Mayor. An employee and _______________ should
45   make every effort to resolve problems informally through discussion and consultation. Employees may


                                                        89
 1   at any time consult with the Mayor on employment issues. [Doug: consultation by the city attorney with
 2   an employee on an employment matter would almost certainly constitute a conflict of interest for the
 3   attorney]. *This should be decided by City Council; lots of room for abuse. If informal efforts do
 4   not resolve the problem to the satisfaction of the employee, the employee may file a formal grievance.
 5
 6   F.     Formal Grievance Process
 7
 8          Step One
 9
10          An employee initiates the formal grievance process by filing a written grievance with the Mayor,
11          unless the grievance is against the Mayor. If the grievance is against the Mayor, the process is
12          initiated by filing a written grievance with the Mayor Pro Tem. Formal grievances must be filed
13          no later than 30 days after the action being complained of or after the matter has been discussed
14          through informal channels. Complaints involving alleged violations of Title VII, the American's
15          with Disabilities Act, the state Human Rights Act, and other allegations of illegal discrimination,
16          harassment, or retaliation will be assigned to the an EEO Coordinator and investigated. *DHR
17          serves as the EEO Coordinator. Complaints that do not raise EEO issues will be investigated
18          by appropriate personnel as assigned.
19
20          Step Two - Investigation
21
22          Upon receipt of a written employee grievance, the Mayor consults with the city attorney. The
23          Mayor will designate an EEO Coordinator or other appropriate personnel to investigate the
24          grievance by (1) interviewing the employee, (2) interviewing other witnesses, and (3)
25          interviewing the individual(s) who allegedly committed the acts complained of.
26
27          If the grievance is filed against the Mayor, the Mayor Pro Tem may consult with the city
28          attorney. The city attorney, when consulted, may present a proposed investigation plan to the
29          Counsel. Interviews may be tape recorded with the permission of the employee being
30          interviewed. A person who has been interviewed may be asked, but is not required, to sign a
31          written statement summarizing the interview and may modify the statement to correct
32          inaccuracies or omissions. If an employee does not allow tape recording or does not sign a
33          written statement, the employee’s statements will be given lesser weight in the investigation. An
34          investigation should ordinarily be completed within 30 days of the complaint.
35
36          Step Three - Investigation Report/Decision
37
38          After completing the investigation, the investigating official may prepare a written report
39          summarizing the facts obtained and stating a finding based on the greater weight of the evidence.
40          The investigating official may provide a copy of any report to the employee who filed the
41          grievance and the Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem. The Mayor or Mayor Pro Tem, as applicable, will
42          propose a solution, including upholding the action taken, reversing same, or altering the action.
43          If the Mayor is the subject of the grievance, the investigating official may provide a copy of the
44          report and solution to the Mayor and the person who filed the grievance. If a member of the City




                                                        90
 1          Council is the subject of the grievance, the Mayor may provide a copy of the report and the
 2          solution to the member and the person who filed the grievance.
 3
 4          Step Four – Panel Review and Report
 5
 6          If the employee is not satisfied with the decision and wishes to pursue the grievance process to
 7          the fourth step, the employee must notify the Mayor, or in a case involving the Mayor, the
 8          employee must notify the Mayor Pro Tem. A three member panel will be selected to hear the
 9          grievance. The panel shall consist of one Department Head manager from each city department
10          other than the department that employs the grievant, and one other employee who does not have
11          supervisory responsibilities. Panel members who hear EEO related grievances will have training
12          in EEO issues. Individuals in the employee's chain of command and individuals who are on
13          probation are excluded from the panel selection. If the grievance is against the Mayor or a
14          member of the City Council, the panel will consist of three panel members appointed by the
15          other members of the City Council and such panel shall include at least one citizen of Sunset
16          Valley.
17
18          The panel will ordinarily convene within ten days after selection. The panel will consider
19          statements from the employee who filed the grievance, the individual(s) whose actions are
20          complained of, and other witnesses as deemed appropriate by the panel. The statements may be
21          oral or in writing. Prior to issuing its report, the panel will afford the grievant an opportunity to
22          review all statements and other evidence they intend to consider, and allow the grievant the
23          opportunity to submit additional information in rebuttal. The panel will issue a written report
24          consisting of findings of fact and recommendations, to the Mayor not later than ten days after the
25          grievance hearing. The panel may recommend upholding the actions complained of or may
26          recommend that corrective action be taken. The Mayor will make a written determination within
27          ten working days after receiving the report. If the grievance is against the Mayor or a member of
28          City Council, the three member panel will recommend an action to the City Council. Any
29          Council Member against whom a grievance has been filed cannot participate in any vote or
30          discussion with other Council Members related to the grievance while it is pending.
31
32          [Doug: It would be quite unusual for a panel including one or more employees to have the
33          authority to reverse a decision of the highest ranking administrative authority in the city.
34          Further, since this process appears to apply to all grievances, it would be quire cumbersome for a
35          complaint regarding, for instance, a disputed evaluation or minor disciplinary action. Below is a
36          sample grievance procedure adapted from one prepared for another city as an example of a
37          streamlined process:
38
39    GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
40
41 I. PURPOSE
42
43    To provide a process for employees to discuss problems and/or concerns with management practices
44    or procedures and to receive careful consideration and a prompt resolution.
45


                                                          91
 1 II.    SCOPE
 2
 3        This policy applies to all employees including the Police Department, unless the Police Policy and
 4        Procedures Manual provides otherwise. [Doug: Note that this city has separate policies that apply
 5        to its police department. Sunset Valley does as well. An effort should be made to make sure
 6        that there are no overlapping, confusing, or inconsistent rights or responsibilities, and to make
 7        clear where a police policy is in addition to the policies in this handbook, or substitutes for such
 8        a policy. I can do so as directed].
 9
10 III.   POLICY
11
12        It is the policy of the city insofar as possible to prevent the occurrence of grievance and to deal
13        promptly and fairly with those which occur.
14
15        No adverse action will be taken against an employee for reason of his/her exercise of the grievance
16        right.
17
18
19 IV.    DEFINITIONS
20
21        Grievable Action - Unequal and/or unlawful treatment, interpretation and/or application of city or
22        departmental policies, or practices, and retaliation.
23
24        Grievance - Complaint about a grievable action.
25
26 V.     PROCEDURE
27
28        A. Informal Grievances
29
30           The employee shall first attempt to resolve the grievance by an informal conference with his/her
31           immediate supervisor. If the informal conference with the immediate supervisor does not result in
32           a resolution of the problem that is satisfactory to the employee, he/she may file a formal grievance.
33
34        B. Formal Grievances
35
36           Formal grievances must be submitted in writing within ten working days of the date of the
37           grievable action, except as provided in these policies in connection with a complaint involving
38           retaliation for whistleblowing which provide for a longer period of time for filing a grievance. The
39           grievance must be signed by the employee and presented to the department head. A statement of
40           the specific corrective action requested by the employee should be included in the written
41           grievance.
42
43        C. After being presented with a written signed grievance, the department head shall:
44
45           1. Attempt to resolve the grievance.


                                                             92
 1
 2        2. Consult with the CA or his/her designee.
 3
 4        3. Communicate the decision, which in most cases should be in writing to the employee within
 5           five working days after receipt of the grievance.
 6
 7        4. Route a copy to Human Resources.
 8
 9    D. Appeals
10
11        An employee who receives no written resolution by the close of the fifth working day following
12        the day the written grievance was presented, or who is not satisfied with the proposed resolution,
13        may within the next five working days:
14
15        1. Appeal in writing to the CA, or if the grievant is a department head, appeal to the city council.
16           The CA may respond in writing to the employee by the close of the fifth working day
17           following the day the written appeal was received. If appeal is to the city council, the city
18           council shall consider the appeal at its next regularly scheduled meeting for which adequate
19           notice may be given as required by law, and may respond by the close of the fifth working day
20           following the meeting at which the appeal is considered. If a timely written response is not
21           provided, the appeal shall be deemed denied.
22
23        2. At the discretion of the CA in consultation with the Mayor, a special employee grievance
24           committee may be appointed to investigate any grievance and offer or recommend solutions in
25           appeals to the CA. Such special employee grievance committee may respond by the close of
26           the fifth working day following the meeting at which the appeal is considered. If a timely
27           written response is not provided, the appeal shall be deemed denied.
28
29        3. The decision of the CA, city council, or special employee grievance committee, as applicable,
30           shall be final.
31
32        If employee does not appeal a decision within the allotted amount of time, the last decision made
33        shall be final. The city and the employee may agree to extend any deadline in order to allow
34        sufficient time for consideration of all relevant facts.
35
36        [Doug: The foregoing grievance procedure could substitute for all of sections E and F above, and
37        the following section G]
38
39
40   G.    Appeal from Grievance Process
41
42         There is no internal city appeal from the Mayor’s written determination unless the grievance is
43         against the Mayor or a member of City Council. In that event, the panel hearing the grievance
44         will make a final written determination.
45


                                                        93
 1             There is no appeal for the Mayor or a Council Member from a grievance decision made by the
 2             panel.
 3
 4     This is a new section proposed by the AAA Committee
 5
 6     2 WHISTLE BLOWING
 7
 8     A city or local governmental entity may not suspend or terminate the employment of, or take other
 9     adverse personnel action against, a public employee who in good faith reports to an appropriate law
10     enforcement authority, a violation of law by the employing governmental entity or another public
11     employee.
12
13     The city will not suspend or terminate the employment of, or otherwise discriminate against, an
14     employee who reports a violation of the law to the appropriate authority, if the employee’s report is
15     made in good faith.
16
17
18             [Doug; The following whistleblower policy is a simple policy adapted from policies I prepared
19             for another city. Special provisions as to whistleblower claims are desirable and/or necessary
20             because: 1) the period for using a grievance procedure is determined by statute (90 days) and is
21             longer than any deadline provided by any employer; and 2) an employee is required to use the
22             grievance procedure if one is provided - most governments prefer an opportunity to resolve such
23             a claim prior to litigation, particularly because, for instance, when an employee's employment is
24             terminated within 90 days of the date the employee reports unlawful conduct, there is a State
25             statutory presumption that the termination was a violation. In addition, in particular in
26             connection with an unmeritorious claim, the grievance procedure provides a means to get a clear
27             statement of the facts from the employee, a deviation from which in any litigation would bolster
28             the city's defense].
29
30       WHISTLE-BLOWER POLICY
31
32 I. PURPOSE
33
34       To clearly state the City’s position related to the state and federal Whistle-Blower Act(s), Title VII of
35       the Civil Rights Act of 1964; Texas Government Code, Chapter 554.
36
37 II. SCOPE
38
39       This policy applies to all City employees.
40
41 III. POLICY
42
43       The City is committed to upholding the requirements of all state and federal laws including applicable
44       Whistle-Blower Act(s). The City will not suspend, terminate, or otherwise discriminate against an



                                                          94
 1    employee who appropriately reports a violation of law to an appropriate authority if the employee
 2    report is made in good faith.
 3
 4    Employee rights include:
 5
 6       right and/or duty to report violations of law
 7       right to report unsafe act or condition
 8       right to file a Workers’ Compensation Claim
 9       right to file a grievance
10       right to file a complaint of alleged discrimination
11
12   Notwithstanding any provision of these policies, in conformance with Texas Government Code Chapter
13   554, an employee should file a notice of grievance regarding an alleged violation of Chapter 554 or this
14   policy as soon as practicable, but in any event shall file such notice of grievance not later than 90 days
15   after the later of the date a violation occurs, or the date the employee discovered the violation through
16   reasonable diligence.
17
18   A notice of grievance shall be filed simultaneously with the CA and the Mayor, and shall include a
19   statement of the person to whom a violation of law was made, the date of such report, a statement of the
20   facts included in such report, and the retaliation or denial of a right believed to have occurred as a result
21   of such report.
22
23
24
25




                                                          95
 1
 2
 3                                    SECTION NINETEEN
 4                              SEPARATION FROM EMPLOYMENT
 5
 6
 7   19.01
 8   GENERAL
 9
10   Except for separations due to resignation and death, all separations from City service must be approved
11   by the Mayor and City Council
12
13
14   19.02
15   RESIGNATION
16
17   An employee who intends to resign must notify his or her Department Head in writing at least ten (10)
18   working days prior to the last day of work. The Department Head is responsible for immediately
19   notifying the Mayor. As an "at-will employee," all employees are free to resign at any time, for any or
20   no reason. Failure to give the required notice, however, will result in the forfeiture of all rights to
21   accrued annual leave pay.
22
23
24   19.03
25   LAYOFF
26
27   An employee's job may be terminated when his or her position is abolished or when there is either a lack
28   of funds or lack of work. When reductions in force are necessary, decisions on individual separation
29   will be made on the basis of factors that include seniority, qualifications of the employee for remaining
30   positions, and the performance record of each employee. Department Heads will give notice to an
31   employee to be laid off at least ten (10) working days prior to the effective date of the termination.
32
33   See Sec 10.05
34
35
36   19.04
37   DISABILITY OR INCAPACITY
38
39   If an employee cannot perform the bona fide requirements of his job for physical or mental reasons
40   determined and documented by medical opinion, he may, in the discretion of the City Council, be
41   dismissed or, if qualified and able to perform another job in the City service, placed in that job if such
42   placement is in the best interest of the City
43
44


                                                        96
 1
 2
 3   19.05
 4   DISMISSAL
 5
 6   A new employee may be dismissed at any time during the orientation period when, in the judgment of
 7   his or her Department Head, the quality and performance of his or her work does not merit continuation
 8   on the City staff, or for any other reason or no reason.
 9
10   Each employee of the City is an "at-will" employee who can terminate employment with the City, or be
11   terminated by the City, at any time and for any or no reason. Nothing set forth in this Manual is
12   intended to or shall be deemed to create a contract between the City and the employee, or to create any
13   contractual rights relating to employment. The provisions of this Manual control over any contradictory
14   statements made by any supervisors. Any agreements or assurances concerning the terms, conditions or
15   duration of an individual's employment are not binding unless they are in writing and signed by the
16   Mayor.
17
18
19   19.06
20   DEATH
21
22   If a City employee dies, his or her estate receives all earned pay and any accrued and payable benefits.
23
24
25   19.07
26   EXIT INTERVIEWS AND RECORDS
27
28   The Department Head of an employee who is separated from employment with the city shall discuss
29   with the employee the reason(s) for the separation in an exit interview whenever possible. Reasons for
30   the separation, if not the result of the resignation or death of the employee must be signed by the
31   Department Head and initialed by the employee except in unusual or emergency circumstances. The
32   employee's initials do not mean that the employee agrees to the separation or the reasons stated thereof.
33   The signature of the Mayor is also required.
34
35   On separation from the city, employees will be given the opportunity to complete an exit survey.
36
37   Coordination for the exit interview will be handled by the ___ DHR___ Administrator directly with the
38   separating employee.
39
40   Each separating employee shall complete an Exit Survey Employee Acknowledgment Form, signifying
41   that the employee was given the opportunity to complete the survey, whether or not the employee elects
42   to do so.
43
44



                                                         97
 1
 2
 3
 4
 5   19.08
 6   EMPLOYMENT REFERENCES
 7
 8   All requests for employment references must be directed to the Mayor and will only be answered in
 9   writing by the Mayor. Department Heads and other employees are prohibited from supplying personal
10   or employment references for ex-employees or current employees, including writing letters of
11   recommendation.
12
13   After voluntary or involuntary separation, the City will provide only neutral verification of employment,
14   giving the first and last day worked, position and salary at time of hiring and separation.
15
16   All additional information, both positive and negative, in the employee's personnel file will be supplied
17   only upon the written, dated and signed request of the employee, accompanied by a proper Release of
18   Liability of the City for providing the information. Said Release shall be signed and dated by the
19   employee before a notary public.
20   The request shall be only for specific items or shall be for all material included in the employee's
21   personnel file. The request must designate to whom the information is to be sent by name, title,
22   company or governmental entity, and address sufficient for mailing.
23
24   The City's reference policy will be explained to the employee at the exit interview and the employee
25   given the opportunity to sign a general or specific voluntary release of information in the employee's
26   personnel file.
27
28
29




                                                        98
 1
 2
 3                                         SECTION TWENTY
 4                                       PERSONNEL RECORDS
 5
 6
 7   20.01
 8   GENERAL
 9
10   Personnel files are maintained by the City Administrative Assistant. A copy of all personnel
11   information related to an employee shall be filed in the employee's personnel file.
12
13   Information in an employee's personnel file is confidential unless disclosure of specific items as public
14   records is required by law. Unless required or authorized by law or subpoena, or pursuant to a signed,
15   notarized request for release by the employee, no information from any record placed in an employee's
16   file will be communicated to any person or organization. Only the Mayor and the City Administrative
17   Assistant are authorized in such instances to release the information.
18
19   All documents and data compiled or maintained by the city are releasable to the public unless exempted
20   from disclosure. All public information requests are handled by the __DCA___'s office; therefore,
21   employees receiving requests should forward the requests to that office immediately upon receipt.
22
23   Questions regarding record retention should be directed to the Records Retention Coordinator. Records
24   are required to be maintained as provided in the city's record retention policy and as required by
25   applicable state law.[See Exhibit A for the current Records Retention Coordinator.]
26
27
28
29
30   20.02
31   CONTENTS OF PERSONNEL FILES
32
33   The City Administrative Assistant, under the supervision of the Mayor, is responsible for the proper
34   maintenance of all personnel files. An employee's personnel file contains copies of the following:
35
36   Application for employment;
37
38   The employee's acknowledgment of receipt of (1) a copy of the City's Personnel Manual, and (2) a copy
39   of his or her job description;
40
41   Performance Evaluation Records;
42
43   Records of any citation for excellence or awards for good performance;
44


                                                        99
 1   Records of any written reprimands or other disciplinary actions;
 2
 3   Time Records, records of leave accrued and taken; and
 4
 5   Any other pertinent information relevant to the employee's status.
 6
 7   Employees must immediately notify their Department Heads, who shall then notify the City
 8   Administrative Assistant, concerning the following:
 9   Change of address, whether mailing or residence;
10
11   Change of phone number, listed or unlisted;
12
13   Change in marital status or number of dependents;
14
15   Change in Social Security Number or Texas Drivers License Number.
16
17
18   20.03
19   LEAVE RECORDS
20
21   Official records of vacation and sick leave and of leave usage will be kept for each employee. It is the
22   responsibility of each Department Head to provide an update of leave usage at the end of each payroll
23   period to the City Administrative Assistant. Records will be adjusted to reflect any remaining leave to
24   which an employee is entitled.
25
26
27   New section proposed by AAA Committee.
28
29   BACKGROUND CHECKS
30
31   The city reserves the right to conduct post-employment background checks, annually or as deemed
32   necessary, as a condition of employment. Staff members are strongly encouraged to inform their
33   supervisors of any arrest or criminal conviction, excluding minor traffic offenses, that would impact
34   their background check. Employees may be required to consent to disclosure of credit and employment
35   activities by credit reporting agencies. [Doug: an employer is required to obtain such consent if any
36   such report is requested].
37
38




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