Robert W. Muller Anna D. Sadler
R. Brantley Murray Wayne Gray
Mayor Pro Tem Town of Nags Head Commissioner
Post Office Box 99
J. Webb Fuller Nags Head, North Carolina 27959 Bob Oakes
Town Manager Telephone 252-441-5508 Commissioner
To: Mayor and Board of Commissioners
From: Rhonda G. Sommer, Deputy Town Manager/Finance Officer
Date: August 25, 2004
Re: Personnel Grievance Board Requests
This memo will attempt to address the seven issues reflected in the summary memo from
Mayor Bob Muller and Commissioner Bob Oakes dated April 15, 2004 plus some additional
issues that surfaced during our discussions. Please find for your information the memorandum
of April 15, 2004, which is included as Attachment A.
Copies of the various databases requested are attached as outlined below.
Attachment B Discipline database
Attachment C Termination database
Attachment D Grievance database
II. Probation Definitions
The Personnel Committee recommends the following definitions for probation:
A. Probation – a trial period of specific duration, due to initial employment, whereby
the employee’s work performance and personal conduct is subject to regular
review. During this period of probation, the employee is not subject to rights of
appeal/grievance or merit review.
B. Disciplinary probation - a component of progressive discipline that results from a
disciplinary action for failure in performance of duties or personal conduct. This
is a period of specific duration whereby the employee’s work performance and
personal conduct is subject to periodic review. The Employee has access to the
August 25, 2004
appeal/grievance procedure with respect to the conduct or performance that
resulted in the disciplinary probation. During this period of probation, this
employee is not subject to the rights of grievance/appeal for any subsequent
disciplinary action except for a termination for an offense unrelated to the action
that resulted in the disciplinary probation. Merit review during disciplinary
probation will be considered on a case by case basis.
C. Promotional/transfer probation - is a period of specific duration whereby the
employee’s work performance and personal conduct is subject to periodic review.
The employee does not have access to the appeal/grievance procedure with
respect to demotion to previously held position (or substantially similar position if
original position is unavailable) nor is the employee eligible for merit.
A revised Article IX. Mediation Policy and Grievance Procedure (Attachment E) is
recommended to the Board of Commissioners to uniformly address the title of the
Personnel Grievance Board and to add the Confidentiality Agreement requirement. A
revised Article VIII. Separation, Disciplinary Actions and Reinstatement is also included
as Attachment F to include disciplinary probation as a component of progressive
III. Exit Interviews
The exit interview is to be conducted by the Department Head or the Human Resource
Coordinator and the form to be used is included as Attachment G.
IV. Accident Review Board
Both the Personnel Committee and the Safety Committee recommended against the
establishment of an Accident Review Board in favor of the current Safety Officer and
Safety Committee member review and recommendation. The Town Incident/Accident
Investigation Report included as Attachment H for the detail of the incident by the
supervisor and then for the Safety Officer to add his/her findings and recommendations.
This completed form becomes part of the file for any accident and is taken into
consideration by the supervisor in making disciplinary recommendations. This form is
due to be completed within 48 hours of any incident/accident. In order to facilitate this
time frame, the Town has recently named a Deputy Safety Officer who also has the
appropriate safety training.
The Town Incident/Accident Investigation Report is one of several that make up the file
in the case of a vehicular accident. The Police Report is included and in the case of an
injury, the employee is required by the Workers’ Compensation insurance carrier to
submit a written account of the event. If this account is required, it too becomes a
component of the accident file. All of these documents are used in the formulation of a
disciplinary action recommendation as indicated on the draft Administrative Policy
included as Attachment I.
August 25, 2004
V. Grievance Form Updates
The revised form is included as Attachment J and covers the matters of release of
personnel file contents and final Town Manager decision to the Personnel Grievance
VI. Participants at the Grievance Hearing
Appropriate personnel will be in attendance at Personnel Grievance Board hearings.
VII. Maintain a Better Paper Trail
The use of the grievance form should facilitate a better paper trail and presentation to
the Personnel Grievance Board.
VIII. Confidentiality Agreement
This was not a request from the Personnel Grievance Board, but came to light as a
result of the discussion of their requests. This Agreement is to be signed by all
members of the Personnel Grievance Board and is included as Attachment K.
It was mentioned that any employees participating in a grievance are also subject to
confidentiality. The conduct of employees with respect to personnel information is
covered by personnel policy Article XI Personnel Records and Reports. In addition to
any legal consequence of breaching personnel confidentiality, an offending employee
would also be subject to disciplinary action as a violation of NCGS 160A – 168, which
would be considered a failure in performance of their duties.
IX. Hearing Procedure Guidance
The Personnel Grievance Board has raised questions about the procedural requirements
of the hearing process. While not an adopted section of the policy, the customary
procedures are covered in Attachment L.
X. Personnel Grievance Board Mission Statement
While working on the appropriate Mission Statement for the Personnel Grievance Board,
the Personnel Committee is now recommending a revised Personnel Grievance Board
format as covered in the attached draft policy Attachment M. This revised format
results in a more formalized grievance procedure and changes the panel make up to
three Town employees and two members of the Nags Head community. It is thought
that the familiarity of Town policy by Town employees will facilitate the grievance
process and come closer to representing a jury by your “peers”.