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West Fork Personnel Policy Manual

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October 17, 2012 by Jeff Winkler

[This document may not include recent modifications and additions.]

CHAPTER 2.54
PERSONNEL POLICY MANUAL
Sections:
2.54.01 Definitions
2.54.02 Employment policies
2.54.03 General employee benefits
2.54.04 Matters affecting the status of employees
2.54.05 Standards of conduct
2.54.06 Controlled substance drugs and alcohol policy
2.54.07 Controlled substance and alcohol testing for safety sensitive positions
2.54.08 Controlled substance and alcohol testing for DOT positions
2.54.09 Compliance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988
2.54.10 Miscellaneous information 2.54.01 Definitions
Department head means a person who is responsible for the administration of a department.
Employee means a full-time hourly, monthly, or salaried employee on a permanent basis with the city of West Fork.
Employer means the city of West Fork and refers to all departments.
Governing body means the City Council
Immediate family means mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandparents, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, spouse, spouse’s immediate family, or other relatives who live in the employee’s household including “step” relatives.
Part-time employee means an employee who works on an hourly basis when, and as needed, (less than 32 hours a week). These employees do not receive any benefits listed in 2.54.03 and 2.54.04 of the Personnel Handbook.
Full-time employees means any employee, either hourly, monthly, or salaried, who is on a permanent basis with the city and works 32 hours per week or more.
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Regular earnings means the amount an hourly worker would normally earn during a pay period.
Regular salary rate means the amount paid to a worker paid on a monthly basis.
Work week means any one shift during which a department is open for business or on which an employee is scheduled to work.
Work week means a period of time consisting of seven (7) consecutive days.
Classified personnel means employees who are eligible to receive overtime pay in accordance with the provisions of the most recently adopted pay and classification plan.
Unclassified personnel are employees who are exempt from the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, and/or whose position is listed in the unclassified section of the most recent pay and classification plan. (Ord. No. 02-08, Sec. 1.) 2.54.02 Employment policies
A. Equal opportunity employer The city of West Fork is committed to providing equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, handicap or veteran status as required by all federal and state laws. Furthermore, the city does not discriminate on the basis of disability. The city’s commitment extends to all employment-related decisions, terms and conditions of employment, including job opportunities, promotions, pay and benefits.
B. Gender statement In drafting the Personnel Policy Handbook, we have avoided the specific use of gender pronouns where possible. However, where such avoidance would have led to awkward sentences, we have used the masculine pronoun. This reference should be considered to refer to both genders alike.
C. At-will employer The city of West Fork is an at-will employer. This means that the city of West Fork or any city employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason with the understanding that neither has an obligation to base that decision on any thing but his or her intent not to continue the employment relationship. No policies, comments, or writings made herein or during the employment process shall be construed in any way to waive this provision.
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S-25 All city employees should understand that this Handbook is not intended to create any contractual or other legal rights. It does not alter the city’s at-will employment policy nor does it create an employment contract for any period of time.
D. Authority to hire and fire The department heads of the city of West Fork serve at the will of the Mayor. The department head has specific authority to hire and/or fire other non-department head employees of the city. The department head for the Water and Wastewater Department serves at the will of the Water and Wastewater Commission. The department head of the Water and Wastewater Department has specific authority to hire and/or fire employees for the department.
E. Job posting and advertising An application for employment will be accepted from anyone who wishes to apply for employment on forms provided by the city. Application forms are available in the office of the City Clerk of the city of West Fork.
In the event of a job opening, the position or positions open will be announced and posted in the newspaper with local circulation at least ten (10) days prior to the deadline for receiving applications.
Applications for full-time city employment will not be accepted from anyone under eighteen (18) years of age. Except as otherwise provided by Arkansas law, the department head shall make the final decision with respect to hiring new employees and promoting existing employees.
F. Post offer/pre-employment physicals Per-employment physicals will be required for every applicant to be hired for the city in a permanent employment position. Such examinations shall be paid for by the city and shall determine whether the applicant can perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. The examinations shall be performed by licensed physicians selected by the city of West Fork. These medical files shall be maintained in the physician’s office with a summary report provided to the department head whether the employee can or cannot do the job and what, if any, restrictions are necessary to determine any work restructuring or accommodations. Although the physicians make the medical determinations relative to physical/mental requirements of the job and any direct safety threat determinations, their determinations are only recommendations subject to the decision to make reasonable accommodation or not by the department head. Only in cases of emergency may an employee begin work prior to the post-employment job offer medical examination, but employment is subject to an applicant’s passing such examination.
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Reports and records of all physical, psychological and mental examinations shall be kept in the offices of the physicians or mental health practitioner with only a summary report provided to the department head to be kept in a confidential file apart from the personnel file. Should there be a dispute concerning the examination, or should a supervisor be informed as to the need of reasonable accommodation including job restructuring, the report shall be made available to the necessary legal and supervisory or administrative personnel with the city government.
G. Fitness for duty examination Employees who become incapacitated due to mental or physical disabilities from performing the essential job functions with or without reasonable accommodation or who pose a direct safety threat shall be subject to a fitness for duty examination. Based on the findings of the examination and other job restructuring factors, the department head shall take such action that is necessary for the service of the job.
H. The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991 It is the city of West Fork’s intent to comply with all regulations and requirements of the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991. City employees who have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) must comply with all regulations in the 1991 Omnibus Transportation Act. The act required alcohol and drug testing for all city employees whose jobs require a CDL. These tests include pre-employment, post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty and follow-up testing. The city of West Fork will not permit an employee who refuses to submit to required testing to perform or continue to perform any activity that requires a CDL. All CDL drivers must obtain from the city of West Fork the city’s written substance abuse policy. CDL drivers are required to read this material and sign a statement acknowledging that they have received a copy of the city’s substance abuse policy.
I. Other drug and alcohol testing Employees other than those with a CDL are subject to testing for the use of alcohol and illegal substances as outlines in the city’s policy on this subject. All employees must obtain from the city of West Fork the city’s written substance abuse policy. Employees are required to read this material and sign a statement acknowledging that they have received a copy of the city’s substance abuse policy. (Ord. No. 02-08, Sec. 2.)
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A. Vacations
Police Department The Chief of the Police Department shall arrange that each employee shall be granted an annual vacation of not less than fifteen (15) working days with full pay A.C.A. 14-52-106.
Fire Department The Chief of the Fire Department shall arrange that each employee shall be granted an annual vacation of not less than fifteen (15) days with full pay A.C.A.14-53-107.
Non-uniformed employees Vacation time is granted to all employees who have completed one year of service.
Vacation time shall be based on length of service with the city pursuant to the following table:
Fully completed Paid vacation
year of service time
1 year 1 week
3 years 2 weeks
7 years 3 weeks
15 years 4 weeks
Vacation time is granted to all employees who have completed twelve (12) months of service.
The employee becomes eligible for vacation on the employee’s anniversary date. Employees shall schedule their vacation time with a minimum consecutive time of one (1) week unless approval for a shorter vacation period is received from the department head in advance. Vacation time shall be scheduled with the department head in advance. Vacation time may not be accumulated from year to year.
Any unused vacation time shall expire at the end of the year in which it accrues. Unused vacation time will not be monetarily compensated.
If a city holiday occurs during the calendar week in which a vacation period is scheduled for an employee, the employee’s vacation shall be extended for one (1) additional working day.
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The uniformed employees of the Police and Fire Departments shall accrue vacation days in accordance with the provisions set forth in the relevant Arkansas statutes. It should be understood that policies concerning vacation time for non-uniformed employees are simply a suggested method of computing vacation time. This suggested method in no way alters the city of West Fork at-will employment policy as described on page 1 of the Personnel Policy Manual.
B. Holidays and holiday pay The appropriations made by the City Council for salaries shall include additional pay for holidays for all agents, servants, and employees of the city, including but not limited to uniformed employees, as provided by the laws of the state of Arkansas.
Holidays – Official holidays to be observed by the city for which employees will be compensated:
New Year’s Day
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Friday following Thanksgiving
One-half day of Christmas Eve
Christmas Day
C. Sick Leave
Police Department All law enforcement officers, regardless of their titles, such as City Marshal, employed by cities of the first and second class or incorporated towns shall accumulate sick leave at the rate of twenty (20) working days per year beginning one (1) year after the date of employment.
If unused, sick leave shall accumulate to a maximum of sixty (60) days unless the city of West Fork, by ordinance authorizes the accumulation of a greater amount, in no event to exceed a maximum accumulation of ninety (90) days, except for the purpose of computing years of service for retirement purposes.
In cities having sick leave provisions through ordinance, the total sick leave accumulated by the individual officer shall be credited to him and new days accumulated under the provisions of this section until the maximum prescribed above is reached.
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Time-off may be charged against accumulated sick leave only for such days that an officer is scheduled to work. No such sick leave as provided in this section shall be charged against any officer during any period of sickness, illness, or injury for any days which the officer is not scheduled to work.
If, at the end of his term of service, upon retirement or death whichever occurs first, any police officer has unused accumulated sick leave, he shall be paid for this sick leave at the regular rate of pay in effect at the time of retirement or death. Payment for unused sick leave in the case of a police officer, upon retirement or death, shall not exceed ninety (90) days salary.
Fire Department Firefighters shall accumulate sick leave at the rate of twenty (20) working days per year beginning one (1) year after the date of employment. If unused, sick leave shall accumulate to a maximum of sixty (60) days A.C.A. 14-53-108.
Time-off may be charged against accumulated sick leave only for such days that a firefighter is scheduled to work. No sick leave, as provided in this section, shall be charged against any firefighter during any period of sickness, illness or injury for any days which the firefighter is not schedules to work.
If, at the end of his term of service, upon retirement or death, whichever occurs first, any firefighter has unused accumulated sick leave, he shall be paid for this sick leave at the regular rate of pay in effect at the time of retirement or death. Payment for unused sick leave will not be made when firefighter’s employment ends for any reason other than death or retirement.
Payment for unused sick leave in the case of a firefighter, upon retirement or death, shall not exceed three (3) months’ salary.
Non-uniformed employees The city of West Fork recognizes that inability to work because of illness or injury may cause economic hardships. For this reason, the city of West Fork provided paid sick leave to full-time employees. Sick leave will accrues at the rate of one and one fourth (1 ¼ ) working days per month.
Eligible sick leave days will be for the following reasons:
1. Personal illness or physical incapacity.
2. Quarantine of an employee by a physician or health officer.
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3. Illness in the immediate family, which would require employee to take care of the family member(s). Immediate family shall include mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandparents, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, spouse, spouse’s immediate family, or other relative who live in the employee’s household including “step” relatives.
4. Medical, dental and optical visits.
An employee who is unable to report for work due to one of the previously listed sick leave reasons shall report the reason for his absence to the employee’s supervisor or someone acting for the employee’s supervisor within two (2) hours of the time the employee is expected to report for work. Sick leave with pay may not be allowed unless such report has been made as aforementioned.
Employees who are absent more than three (3) consecutive days due to unconfirmed illness may be required by the supervisor or department head to submit a physician’s statement. Absence for part of a day that is chargeable to sick leave in accordance with these provisions shall be deducted from accrued leave in amounts of not less than one-half (1/2 ) day increments. An employee who uses all of his or her accrued sick leave days shall thereafter be placed on an inactive, without-pay status.
An employee may use earned sick leave while receiving worker’s compensation benefits only to the extent that the leave augments the employee’s workers’ compensation benefit to an amount equal to that employee’s regular rate of pay. An employee may use sick leave in this fashion for a maximum of six (6) months.
Non-uniformed employees will not be paid for accrued sick days upon termination of employment with the city.
Unused sick leave shall not accumulate from year to year. Unused sick leave shall expire at the end of the fiscal year for which it accrued. Employees shall be monetarily compensated for unused sick leave at that individual’s regular pay.
D. Funeral or bereavement leave Funeral leave with pay up to a maximum of three (3) calendar days will be granted to all city employees in cases of death or in the circumstances of death in the immediate family only. Immediate family shall include mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandparents, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, spouse, spouse’s immediate family, or other relative who live in the employee’s household including “step” relatives.
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Travel time may be granted upon prior approval of the department head in addition to the three (3) days where travel time of more than eight (8) hours is necessary.
The department head may grant funeral leave of not more than one (1) day for an employee to be a pallbearer or attend a funeral of someone not within the immediate family.
E. Maternity leave Employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions shall be treated the same for all employment-related purposes as persons disabled for non-pregnancy-related reasons. Therefore, accrued sick leave and vacation leave of the employee will be granted for maternity use after which leave without pay must be used.
F. Uniformed services Employees who are embers of a military service organization or National Guard Unit shall be entitled to a military leave of fifteen (15) days with pay plus necessary travel time A.C.A. 21-4-102.
G. Family medical leave The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 required cities offer up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for certain family and medical reasons. Eligible city employees may take up to twelve (12) weeks of unpaid leave for the following reasons:
1. The birth and care of the employee’s child; the placement of a child into an employee’s family by adoption or by foster-care arrangement;
2. The care of an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) who has a serious health conditions; and
3. The inability of a city employee to work because of a serious health condition which renders the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job.
The Federal Act requires that the city maintain the employee’s health coverage under any group plan during the time the employee is on Family Medical Leave Act leave. To be eligible for the Family Medical Leave Act benefits employees must:
1. Be employed by the city for at least one year;
2. Have worked 1,250 hours over the previous twelve (12) months preceding the leave request.
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City employees must use vacation or accrued leave before Family Medical Leave Act leave will be granted. City employees are required to provide advance leave notice, in writing, (at least 30 days) to the employee’s supervisor when leave is foreseeable (such as childbirth, adoption or planned medical treatment or as early as possible if the leave taken is not foreseeable 30 days in advance). The city requires written medical certification that the leave is needed due to the employee’s own serious health condition or that of a family member. Depending on each individual situation, the city may require a fitness for duty report to return to work.
The city understands that upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. Furthermore, the use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefits that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s leave.
H. Court duty leave Employees will be granted leave with pay for witness or jury duty. Employees are also permitted to retain the allowance for services from the court for such service. To qualify for jury or witness duty leave, employees must submit to the department head a copy of the summons or other relevant court-related paperwork as early as possible upon receipt thereof. In addition, proof of service must be submitted to the employee’s supervisor when the employee’s period of jury or witness duty is completed.
Firefighters are no longer exempt from jury duty. The statue providing for exemption, 14-53-103, was repealed in 1997.
I. Miscellaneous leave The attendance of employees at seminars and training programs is considered part of continual professional development. Attendance at these meetings must be pre-approved by the department head. The city will pay all reasonable out-of-pocket expenses for lodging, travel cost, meals, etc., pursuant to its regular expense policy.
J. Employee health benefits Each full-time employee of the city of West Fork shall be covered one hundred percent (100%) for the cost of Arkansas Municipal League Health Insurance either for the individual employee or the employee and dependents.
K. Occupational injuries All employees of the city are covered under the Arkansas State Workers’ Compensation Law. Any employee incurring an “on-the-job” injury should immediately notify his supervisor who will arrange for appropriate medical treatment and prepare the necessary reports required for the employee to be compensated.
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L. Accidental injury If any full-time employee is involved in an accident (not job related) and the injury sustained in such accident necessitates that the employee be absent from work, the employee shall be entitled to receive pay at a regular salary for the number of days of accumulated sick leave credited to that employee at the time the accident occurred. (Ord. No. 02-08, Sec. 3.)
2.54.04 Matters affecting the status of employees
A. Attendance Employees shall be in attendance at their workstations in accordance with the rules and regulations established by the City Council.
B. Work hours Except for police officers and firefighters, work hours for all full-time employees shall be forty (40) hours per week, which begin each Friday at 5:00 p.m. Work hours for police and fire employees shall be in accordance with state statues and departmental regulations.
The city reserves the right to adjust and change hours of work, days of work and schedules to fulfill its responsibility to the citizens of West Fork. In an emergency, previously schedules hours of work, days of work and work arrangements may be altered at the discretion of the department head. Changes in work schedules will be announced as far in advance as practicable. Whenever possible, employee work schedules shall provide a 15 minute rest period during each four-hour work shift. One hour off, unpaid, will be provided for a meal.
C. Personal leave Personal time is hereby abolished. No compensation shall be paid to employees during any absence from work for personal reasons.
D. Overtime Hourly employees will be paid overtime for hours worked in excess of the hours per week set forth in the WORK HOURS section of this handbook. The rate of pay for overtime shall be one and one-half (1 ½ ) the employee’s normal hourly rate.
Upon the direction or approval of the department head, compensation for overtime may be made in the form of compensatory leave to the employee. The overtime record of the department head shall be final with respect to the number of compensatory leave days earned by an employee. Compensatory leave must be taken within 30 days from time earned and should be scheduled in the same manner required for vacation days with the approval of the department head.
E. Uniform/personal appearance policy The city business manager and the City Council shall provide uniforms or uniform allowances to personnel of certain departments as authorized. Personnel provided uniforms or uniform allowances
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shall wear uniforms at all times while on duty. Uniforms shall be kept as neat and presentable as working conditions permit.
Personnel shall be provided uniforms acquired by the city which shall be laundered and cared for by the city and which shall remain the property of the city or the uniform rental agency.
Employees not required to wear uniforms should dress in appropriate professional department attire. If an employee is not sure what is appropriate attire, then the employee should check with his supervisor or department head.
F. Vacancies and promotions It is the intent of the city of West Fork to hire and promote the most qualified applicant for all vacant positions. To give the employees of the city of West Fork an opportunity to apply for job vacancies, announcements of job openings will be posted on employee bulletin boards.
In accordance with equal employment guidelines and this manual, notice of job vacancies will be sent to the appropriate news media and employment agencies throughout the relevant labor market. A job description of each vacant position will be provided upon request. The final decision regarding promotions shall be made by the City Council upon the recommendation of the department head.
G. Training The city of West Fork is committed to continuing and on-going training for all employees. However, in addition to formal training provided by the city for various job, each employee has a responsibility of ascertaining for himself that he has sufficient training to enable him to perform his job. If the employee feels that additional training is needed, he should notify his department head. Expenses incurred in on-the-job training will be paid by the city.
H. Vehicles Various vehicles are used in almost every department in the city of West Fork. Since these vehicles are public property, two categories have been set up regarding the use of all city-owned vehicles.
1. General use: these are vehicles that the employees operate while working for the city. The vehicles are kept in an assigned place and used when they are needed for a job and then they are returned to their assigned place.
2. Privilege use: city vehicles including those assigned to an individual position or employee shall be used for city purposes only.
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Persons other than city employees may be passengers in city vehicles:
1. If they are on city related business or in the custody of city officials.
2. If they are members of the driver’s family and the vehicle is being used in the course of city business.
3. In emergency situations.
City vehicles may be taken home by department heads and other city employees who are subject to call during “off-duty” hours as designated by the department head provided the department head or the employee taking the vehicle home does not live more than one mile outside the West Fork city limits. Employees who are assigned city vehicles and who are subject to call during “off-duty” hours and who do not take city vehicles home shall be compensated for their use of personal vehicles on emergency calls.
When travel has been approved, the policy regarding reimbursement for use of private vehicles for city business for the city of West Fork is allowable as mandated by federal regulations.
I. Performance evaluations To ensure that employees perform their jobs to the best of their ability, it is important that they be recognized for good performance and that they receive appropriate suggestions for improvement when necessary.
Consistent with this goal, an employee’s performance should be evaluated by the supervisor on an on-going basis. Final evaluations are normally done annually.
All written performance reviews should be based on the employee’s overall performance in relation to the employee’s job responsibilities and also should take into account the employee’s conduct, demeanor and record of attendance along with any tardiness. In addition to regular performance evaluations described above, special written performance evaluations may be conducted by the employee’s supervisor at any time to advise the employee of his current level of performance and where appropriate, the existence of performance or disciplinary problems and solutions.
It should be noted that a performance evaluation does not necessarily mean a salary adjustment.
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Any employment action including performance evaluations should be thoroughly documented and placed in chronological order within his/her personnel file.
J. Job safety Safety is largely the use of good judgment and the practice of good work habits. It requires good judgment to know the safe way and it requires good work habits to continue the safe way. If any employee is not positive of which way is the safest, he should ask his supervisor or department head for the correct method.
Unsafe conduct is misconduct. The following safety rules should always be observed:
1. Follow all departmental safety rules.
2. Use all mechanical safeguards on or for employee equipment.
3. Immediately cease using and report any faulty or potentially faulty equipment to the supervisor or department head.
4. Immediately report any unsafe or potentially unsafe working condition or equipment.
5. Immediately report any and every accident to the supervisor or department head.
K. Refusal to work A city employee’s commitment is to public service. Any work stoppage, slowdown, strike or other intentional interruption of the operations of the city shall cause the employee to forfeit his or her employment and result in the termination of the employee from the city of West Fork.
L. Resignation/termination Employees desiring to terminate their employment relationship with the city of West Fork are urged (but not required) to notify the city at least two (2) weeks in advance of their intended termination. Such notice should preferably be given in writing to the employee’s department head or supervisor. Proper notice generally allows the city sufficient time to calculate all final accrued monies due the employee for his or her final paycheck. Without adequate notice, however, the employee may have to wait until after the end of the next normal pay period to receive such payments.
Employees who plan to retire are urged to provide the city with a minimum of two (2) months’ notice. This will allow ample time for the processing of appropriate pension forms to ensure that retirement benefits to which an employee may be entitled commence in a timely manner.
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As mentioned elsewhere in this handbook, all employment relationships with the city of West Fork are on an at-will basis. Thus, although the city of West Fork hopes that the relationship with employees are rewarding, the city reserves the right to terminate the employment relationship of any employee at any time.
(Ord. No. 02-08, Sec. 4.)
2.54.05 Standards of conduct
A. Conduct toward the public Employees of the city of West Fork shall at all times be civil, orderly and courteous in their conduct and demeanor. In each contact with the public, an employee must be aware that his appearance, actions and statements are in essence those of the city.
In dealing with the public, each employee must attempt to make his conduct one, which inspires respect for both himself and the city, and further, one that generates the cooperation and approval of the public.
Not everyone an employee may meet in the course of his or her duties will be courteous. However, an employee should treat the public, as he would like to be treated: with courtesy, patience, respect and understanding. This attitude or approach to public service cannot be over-emphasized.
When an employee is not certain of the correct response to an inquiry from the public, he or she should refer the inquiry to the individual or the department that can provide the most satisfactory response to the inquiry. It is better to admit lack of knowledge than to provide erroneous information.
B. Unlawful harassment The city of West Fork expressly prohibits its officials or employees from engaging in any form of unlawful harassment of employees based on race, religion, color, gender, national origin, age, disability or status as a veteran or special disabled veteran.
Harassment is any annoying, persistent act or actions that single out an employee, over that employee’s objection to his or her detriment, because of race, sex, religion, national origin, age (over 40) or disability. Harassment may include, but is not limited to the following actions:
1. Verbal abuse or ridicule;
2. Interference with an employee’s work;
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3. Displaying or distributing sexually offensive, racist or other derogatory materials;
4. Discriminating against any employee in work assignments or job-related training because of one of the above referenced biases;
5. Intentional physical contact with either gender-specific portions of a person’s body or that person’s private parts;
6. Making offensive sexual, racial or other derogatory remarks, hints or impressions.
7. Demanding favors (sexual or otherwise), explicitly, as a condition of employment, promotion, transfer or any other term or condition of employment.
It is every employee and official’s responsibility to ensure that his or her conduct does not include or imply harassment in any form. If, however, harassment or suspected harassment has or is taking place:
1. An employee should report harassment or suspected harassment immediately to the department head. If the department head is the alleged harasser, then the complaint should be reported to the supervisor or grievance coordinator in the chain of command. This complaint should be made in writing.
2. Anytime an employee has knowledge of harassment he/she shall inform the department head or grievance coordinator in writing.
3. Each complaint shall be fully investigated and a determination of the facts and an appropriate response will be made on a case-by-case basis.
The city of West Fork will not tolerate harassment or any form of retaliation against an employee who has either instigated or cooperated in the investigation of alleged harassment. Disciplinary action will be taken against offenders.
C. Guidelines for appropriate conduct An employee of the city of West Fork is expected to accept certain responsibilities, adhere to acceptable principles in matters of personal conduct and exhibit a high degree of personal integrity at all times. This not only involves a sincere respect for the rights and feelings of others, but also demands that both while at work and in their personal lives, employees refrain from behavior that might be harmful to the employees, co-workers, the citizens and/or the city.
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Whether an employee is on-duty or off-duty, his or her conduct reflects on the city. An employee should observe the highest standards of professionalism at all times.
Types of behavior and conduct that the city consider inappropriate include, but are not limited to, the following:
1. Falsifying employment or other city records;
2. Violating any city non-discrimination and/or harassment policy;
3. Soliciting or accepting gratuities from citizens;
4. Excessive absenteeism or tardiness;
5. Excessive, unnecessary or unauthorized use of city property;
6. Reporting to work intoxicated or under the influence of non-prescribed drugs or participation in the illegal manufacture, possession, use, sale, distribution or transportation of drugs;
7. Buying or using alcoholic beverages while on city property or using alcoholic beverages while engaged in city business, except where authorized;
8. Fighting or using obscene, abusive or threatening language or gestures;
9. Theft of property from co-workers, citizens or the city;
10. Unauthorized possession of firearms on city premises or while on city business;
11. Disregarding safety or security regulations;
12. Insubordination;
13. Neglect or carelessness resulting in damage to city property or equipment.
Should an employee’s performance, work habits, overall attitude, conduct or demeanor become unsatisfactory and in violation of either of the above-referenced items or any other city policies, rules or regulations, an employee will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
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D. Absenteeism and tardiness The city of West Fork expects all its employees to be at work on time and on a regular basis. When employees are unnecessarily absent or late, it is expensive, disruptive and places an unnecessary burden on fellow employees, supervisors, city government as a whole and the taxpayers who receive city services. Should an employee be unable to report to work on time because of illness or personal emergency, that employee should give proper notice to his or her supervisor. Unexcused absences and tardiness could result in disciplinary action.
“Proper notice” is defined by the city to be notice in advance of the time an employee should report for work or not later than two (2) hours thereafter if advance notice is impossible.
An absence of an employee from duty, including any absence of one (1) day or part thereof (other than an absence authorized by this personnel handbook or by law), that is not authorized in advance by the department head or the employee’s supervisor should be deemed absent without leave. Such absence shall be without pay and could result in disciplinary actions.
E. Inclement weather In exceptional circumstances beyond the employee’s control, such as weather-causing hazardous conditions, the employee is required to contact his or her supervisor for instructions regarding job assignments for that particular workday. If an employee’s department is open for business, the employee is expected to report for work. However, if in the employee’s opinion, the conditions are too hazardous for him or her to get to work safely, he or she will have the option of taking the time off as a vacation day. Regardless of the situation, an employee is expected to give his or her supervisors proper notice if he or she is unable to report for work.
F. Outside employment or moonlighting If an employee is considering additional employment, he or she should discuss the additional employment with his or her department head, business manager and Mayor for approval.
If, as an employee of the city, an employee participates in additional employment, it must not interfere with the proper and effective performance of his or her job with the city. An employee’s outside employment must not be of a nature that adversely affects the image of the city, or of a type that may be construed by the public to be an official act of the city or which in any way violates these policies. City uniforms shall not be worn during outside employment unless approved in advance by the department head.
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No outside employment shall be approved if such employment would require or induce a city employee to disclose any information acquired by reason of city employment that is declared by law or regulation to be confidential.
No city employees shall disclose any such information gained by reason of city employment, nor shall a city employee otherwise use such information for personal gain or benefit.
G. Voting City employees are encouraged to exercise their legal right to vote, if necessary, reasonable time will be granted for the purpose.
H. Political activity No employee shall involve the city’s name, symbols, property, or supplies in political activities; provided, an employee who is a candidate for elected office may state his/her position with the city, the duties and responsibilities, and the length of service.
Thirty days before any primary, runoff, or general election, in which the employee has an opponent, an employee who becomes a candidate for the Arkansas General Assembly or for any national, state, or county office which is a paid, full-time position shall take accumulated paid vacation or shall be placed on leave of absence without pay; provided no employee shall become a candidate for a position on the West Fork City Council without first resigning from city employment.
An employee who is elected to a full-time county, statewide, or national office may be placed on leave of absence without pay for up to two years or may be terminated at the discretion of the City Council. An employee elected to the Arkansas General Assembly must take a leave of absence without pay when the General Assembly is in regular or extraordinary session.
No employee shall engage in any political activity infringing to any extent upon the full discharge of the employee’s job responsibilities, or while on duty. No employee shall engage in any political activity, which creates an actual or apparent threat to the efficiency and integrity of the West Fork municipal government.
No city employee shall participate in the election campaign of any candidate for the West Fork City Council. No city employee shall solicit or accept a campaign donation on behalf of any candidate for the West Fork City Council.
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I. Outside compensation Employees of the city for the performance of their duties as employees of the city shall receive no reward, gift or other form of remuneration in addition to regular compensation from any source. If a reward, gift or other form or remuneration is made available to any employee; it shall be credited to a designated employee fund with approval of the department head, business manager, and Mayor.
J. Use of narcotics, alcohol and tobacco Employees of the city of West Fork shall not use habit-forming drugs, narcotics or controlled substances unless a physician properly prescribes such drugs.
It is a smoke free environment within all city buildings.
The consumption of alcohol or other intoxicants is prohibited while an employee is on duty. Employees are not to consume intoxicants while off duty to such a degree that it interferes with or impairs the performance of their duties. Employees involved in any unauthorized use, possession, transfer, sale, manufacture, distribution, purchase or presence of drugs, alcohol or drug paraphernalia on city property or reporting to work with detectable levels of illegal drugs or alcohol will be subject to disciplinary action including termination. (Ord. No. 02-8, Sec. 5.)
2.54.06 Controlled substance drugs and alcohol policy
Purpose The city of West Fork absolutely endorses a drug and alcohol-free workplace. The use and abuse of controlled substance drugs and alcohol not only affects productivity, but eh safety and well-being of employees, the public at large, and may cause property damage. This policy has been adopted in the interest of assuring a more safe, efficient and drug-free workplace and to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR Part 382) and the Drug Free workplace Act of 1988. Additionally, there is a great public concern that those persons who drive or who hold safety sensitive positions are unimpaired by the effects of drugs or alcohol. While no system will eliminate such usage entirely, it is believed that the program outlined here will greatly reduce the risks associated with possible drug and alcohol abuse among city employees. (Ord. No. 02-8, Sec. 6.) 2.54.07 Controlled substance and alcohol testing for safety sensitive positions
A. Policy This city policy provides for testing for drug and alcohol abuse by employees who hold safety sensitive positions which otherwise are not covered by the controlled substance screening requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier
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Safety Regulations. Responsibility for identifying covered positions rests with the Personnel Division with approval by the Personnel Committee.
A safety sensitive position is defined as a job:
1. Where the compelling issue of public safety and security cannot be compromised, including, but not limited to, police protection, fire protection, and positions that involve the supervision of citizens or;
2. Where the duties of the position require the employee to regularly drive and assume the attendant risks of a vehicular accident involving possible injury to the employee, to fellow employees, or to citizens, or possible property damage. Provisions of this policy are essentially the same as the Department of Transportation (DOT) requirements. Actual drug and alcohol tests will be administered by an approved collection site in conformance with the same criteria required by DOT.
B. Procedure
Drug use prohibited An employee of the city of West Fork is absolutely prohibited from using a Schedule 1 drug of the Schedule of Controlled Substances of the Drug Enforcement Agency or an amphetamine, narcotic or any other habit forming drug except where legally prescribed by a medical doctor. The schedule of drugs includes opiates, opium derivatives, hallucinogenic substances, depressants, and stimulants. This means that an employee shall not consume any of these controlled substances while on or off the job.
Impairment prohibited An employee is not to report for work while impaired by alcohol of any drug or controlled substance. An employee may use a substance administered by or under the instructions of a physician who has specifically advised the employee that the substance will not affect the employee’s ability to perform his or her job function or to safely operate a motor vehicle.
Impaired means under the influence of alcohol or a substance such that the employee’s motor sense (i.e., sight, hearing, balance, reaction, reflex) or judgment either are or may be presumed affected.
Possession prohibited An employee will not possess at any work site any quantity of alcohol or any substance, lawful or unlawful, which could result in impaired performance, with the exception of a substance administered by or under the instruction of a physician. “Work site” means any motor vehicle, office,
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building, yard, off-premises construction site, property operated by the city, or any other location at which the employee is to perform work. “Possess” means to have either in or on the employee’s person, personal effects, motor vehicle or areas substantially entrusted to the control of the employee.
Any violation of these prohibited activities is cause for disciplinary action. A second incident by any employee involving any of the listed prohibited activities is cause for termination. Disciplinary action will be determined in all instances by the department head and the personnel committee.
Substance screening For purposes of assuring compliance with this policy, both employees and new applicants for safety sensitive positions will be subject to drug screening under the circumstances described below. Substance screening means testing of urine to determine use or impairment. Alcohol screening means testing with an evidential breath-testing device.
1. Applicants. Any offer of employment to an applicant for safety sensitive jobs is contingent upon the results of a substance-screening test. Refusal to submit to such a screening will make it impossible to qualify the applicant, and the applicant cannot be hired.
2. Employees. The substance and alcohol screening of employees will be in accordance with the circumstances described below.
Reasonable cause testing When there is reasonable evidence to suspect an employee has reported to work or is working impaired, the employee may be subject to substance and/or alcohol screening. Refusal to submit to such screening will be considered as a positive result, and will result in the employee being immediately disqualified to perform his or her duties with disciplinary consequences.
Random testing Employees will be subject to substance and alcohol screening at any time while on duty, on a random basis, as a term and condition of holding a safety sensitive job covered by this policy. Any refusal of an employee to submit to random screening will be considered as a positive result, and will result in the employee being immediately disqualified to perform his or her duties with disciplinary consequences.
Test results the test results will be reviewed to determine whether there is any indication of controlled substance use or alcohol consumption. The results are confidential. The city’s business manager will be the sole custodian of the individual drug test results. The business manager will advise the city’s personnel
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committee only if the test results were negative, or positive, and which of the drugs were detected in the employees’ system. The employee or applicant will have the opportunity to talk to the business manager before positive controlled substance results are given to the city personnel committee. Test results will not be released by the business manager to any other person or employer without written authorization of the individual tested.
Suspension from duty An employee under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance cannot report for work or remain at work. Therefore, if an employee on duty tests positive for drugs and/or alcohol, the employee at a minimum will immediately be disqualified to perform his or her safety sensitive duties pending a management review to determine possible reassignment to a non-safety sensitive job or leave without pay.
An employee who tests positive for a controlled substance may be referred to a Substance Abuse Professional for treatment. Before returning to work, evidence of compliance with any recommended treatment and a release to return to work must be provided. Before resuming regular duties in a safety-sensitive job, the employee must also pass a confirming drug test. Upon returning to work the employee may be subject to additional unannounced follow-up testing for drugs if deemed appropriate by the Substance Abuse Professional. (Ord. No. 02-8, Sec. 7.) 2.54.08 Controlled substance and alcohol testing for DOT positions
A. Policy This policy has been adopted by the city of West Fork in order to assure a safe, efficient and drug free workplace, and to comply with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (49 CFR part 382). This section covers employees required by Federal Regulations to have a commercial driver’s license (DOT positions). These is a great public concern that those persons who drive commercial vehicles do so in a proper workmanlike manner, unimpaired by the effects of drug or alcohol abuse. While no system will eliminate such usage entirely, it is believed that the program outlined here will greatly reduce the risks associated with possible drug and alcohol abuse among city employees.
B. Procedure
Drug use prohibited A driver whose job requires a commercial driver’s license is absolutely prohibited from using a Schedule 1 drug of the Schedule of Controlled Substances of the Drug Enforcement Agency or an amphetamine, narcotic or any other habit-forming drug except where permitted by the Federal
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Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. The schedule of drugs includes opiates, opium derivatives, hallucinogenic substances, depressants, and stimulants. This means that the driver shall not consume any of these controlled substances while off-duty or on-duty.
Impairment prohibited A driver is not to report for work or drive while impaired by alcohol or any drug or controlled substance. A driver may use a substance administered by or under the instructions of a physician who has specifically advised the driver that the substance will not affect the driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Impaired means under the influence of alcohol or a substance such that the driver’s motor sense (i.e., sight, hearing, balance, reaction, reflex) or judgment either are or may be presumed affected.
Possession prohibited A driver will not possess at any work site any quantity of alcohol or any substance, lawful or unlawful, which could result in impaired performance, with the exception of a substance administered by or under the instructions of a physician. “Work site” means any motor vehicle, office, building, yard, off-premises construction site, property operated by the city, or any other location at which the driver is to perform work. “Possess” means to have either in or on the driver’s person, personal effects, motor vehicle or areas substantially entrusted to the control of the driver.
Any violation of these provisions is cause for disciplinary action. A second incident by any driver involving any of the listed prohibited activities is cause for termination. Disciplinary action will be determined in all instances by the department head and the personnel committee.
Substance screening For purposes of assuring compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and the policy, both employee drivers and new applicants for positions as drivers will be subject to drug screening under the circumstances described below. Substance screening means testing of urine to determine use or impairment. Alcohol screening means testing with an evidential breath-testing device.
1. Applicants. Any offer of employment to an applicant for a job requiring a commercial driver’s license is contingent upon the results of a substance and alcohol screening test. Refusal to submit to such a screening will make it impossible to qualify the applicant, and the driver cannot be hired.
2. Employees. The substance and alcohol screening of drivers will be in accordance with the circumstances described below.
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Reasonable cause testing When there is reasonable evidence to suspect a driver has reported to work or is working-impaired, the driver may be subject to substance and/or alcohol screening. Refusal to submit to such screening will be considered as a positive result, and will result in the driver being immediately disqualified to drive, with disciplinary consequences.
Post-accident testing Any driver involved in a US DOT 390.5 accident must submit to substance and alcohol screening. Refusal to submit to such a screening will place the driver in violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. In accordance with Federal Regulations, the driver will lost his or her CDL for one year in the event of a fatality accident if (A) the urine results are positive or (B) the driver refuses to give a urine sample.
Random testing Drivers will be subject to controlled substance and alcohol screening at any time on a random basis, as a term and condition of holding a position as a driver. Any refusal of a driver to submit to random screening will be considered as a positive result, and will result in the driver being immediately disqualified to drive, with disciplinary consequences.
Test results The test results will be reviewed to determine whether there is any indication of controlled substance abuse or alcohol consumption. The results are confidential. The city’s business manager will be the sole custodian of the individual drug test results. The business manager will advise the city’s personnel committee only if the test results were negative or positive, and which of the drugs were detected in the driver’s system. The driver or applicant will have the opportunity to talk to the business manager before positive results are given to the city’s personnel committee. The test results will not be released to any other person or employer without written authorization of the individual tested.
Suspension from duty Subpart B of Section 382 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations provide that a driver under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance cannot report for work or remain at work when he or she is required to perform safety sensitive functions. Therefore if a driver on duty tests positive for drugs and/or alcohol, the driver at a minimum will immediately be disqualified from driving or performing any safety sensitive duties.
A driver with a breath alcohol concentration of .02 but less than .04 will be suspended for a minimum of 24 hours and must pass a confirming test indicating a BAC of less than .02 before returning to work. A driver who tests over .04 will be referred to a Substance Abuse Professional for treatment. Before returning to work as a driver or performing safety sensitive duties, evidence of compliance
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with any recommended treatment and a release to return to work must be provided. The driver must also pass a confirming test indicating a BAC of less than .02.
A driver who tests positive for a controlled substance will immediately be placed on lease without pay and referred to a Substance Abuse Professional for treatment. Before returning to work as a driver or performing safety sensitive duties, evidence of compliance with any recommended treatment and a release to return to work must be provided. Before returning to work the driver must also pass a confirming drug test. Upon returning to work the driver may be subject to additional unannounced follow-up testing for alcohol or drugs if deemed appropriate by the Substance Abuse Professional. (Ord. No. 02-8, Sec. 8.) 2.54.09 Compliance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988
A. Policy The city intends to pursue opportunities for grants from time to time. As a condition for receiving a grant from a granting agency, the city must certify compliance with the Drug Free Workplace Act of 1988.
B. Procedure All employees are required as a condition of employment to execute an acknowledgment, that the Drug Free Workplace Policy has been read and understood.
Employees not covered by the requirements of Safety Sensitive Position (Section A) or DOT Positions (Section B) are none the less subject to a reasonable cause testing for both controlled substance drugs and alcohol as set for in this policy.
C. Disciplinary action Should an employee’s performance, work habits, overall attitude, conduct or demeanor become unsatisfactory including, but not limited to, violations listed in Section V, or any other city policy, rule or regulation, directive or ideal, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to:
1. Warning or reprimand. A warning or reprimand is action used to alert the employee that his or her performance is not satisfactory or to call attention to the employee’s violation of employment rules and/or regulations. City employees may be officially reprimanded orally or in writing.
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2. Suspension. Suspension involves the removal of an employee from his or her job. An employee may be suspended with or without pay.
3. Demotion. A demotion is an action that places the employee in a position of less responsibility and less pay.
4. Termination. This type of disciplinary action is a removal of an employee from city employment.
D. Grievance procedure The city of West Fork, Arkansas, hereby designates the city business manager, as coordinator of the city’s efforts to comply with and carry out the city’s responsibility in implementing the requirements. It is the responsibility of the coordinator to investigate complaints of non-compliance. The city specifies that complaints must be submitted in writing within 30 days of the alleged complaint and signed by the person filing the complaint. The coordinator shall investigate all complaint and provide a written report of findings within ninety (90) days.
If the individual filling the complaint feels the problem has not been resolved, he may appeal to the City Council in writing. Should the complainant wish to appeal the coordinator’s response he may do so by filing the complaint in writing to the city of West Fork, P.O. Box 339, West Fork, Arkansas 72774. The business manager will notify the complainant of the date, time, and place of the hearing before the Council. Following the hearing, the City Council will render a decision within a reasonable time and notify the complainant in writing.
E. Civil Rights Officer The City Council hereby designates the City Business Manager as the city’s Civil Rights Officer. Any employee who believes that they have been the recipient of discrimination because of sex, race, or handicap, should contact the City Business Manager, P.O. Box 339, West Fork, AR 72774 or call 839-2342. The procedure for filing shall be the same procedure as outlined in the Grievance Procedure. (Ord. No. 02-8, Sec. 9.)
2.54.10 Miscellaneous information
A. Policy statement The city of West Fork possesses the sole right to operate and manage the affairs of the city.
B. Severability Should any of the provisions of these Employment Policies and Procedures be determined to be contrary to federal, state, or local law, the remaining provisions of these Employee Policies and Procedures shall remain in full force and effect.
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To the extent that any law provides additional or different benefits or rights to employees, the provisions of these Employee Policies and Procedures shall be deemed to include those statements of law.
C. Change of address If an employee changes his or her home address or telephone number, the employee should notify his or her department head of this change so that personnel files may be kept current. This is important in case the city must mail the employee any information that it feels the employee will need such as “withholding” statements for the employee’s income taxes. Also, if there is any change in the employee’s marital status, the employee should report it to his or her department head. (Ord. No. 02-8, Sec. 10.)

Jeff Winkler

Jeff Winkler is the managing editor of the Washington County Observer. Email him at jeff@wcobserver.com

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