BackgroundPersonnel Policies for Municipal Employees was last revised in March 1998. That was the only revision since the policies were written 30 years ago.In 2009, the City Manager asked that an employee committee be appointed and work to rewrite/update the policies.15 employees from 15 different divisions/departments participated on the committee.
BackgroundThe work of the committee lasted in excess of 1 year. The draft was then created by HR, approved by the City Attorney and was presented to the City Manager for his approval in late 2011.The new Employee Policy Manual was approved by the City Manager in January 2012.Training for employees, supervisors, managers and department directors will occur later this year.
BackgroundAccording to the April 2009 Resolution, any employee policies that have or expect to have an increased financial impact on the City must be approved by the City Council.The new policy manual includes 7 items that have or may have a financial impact. Those items are what will be discussed today.
1. Reasonable Suspicion Drug TestingCurrent Policy = No provisions.Proposed Policy = Follows the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 which is required by employers who receive any federal grants. The Act requires employers to make an ongoing, good faith effort to maintain a drug-free workplace by meeting the requirements of the Act.Presently drug testing is performed on all new hires and randomly for City “safety sensitive” positions as defined by the DOT.
1. Reasonable Suspicion Drug TestingWhile at work, each City employee has a responsibility to the public to deliver services in a safe, efficient, and conscientious manner. In order to perform a job in the safest manner possible, City employees must be able to work in a drug free environment and themselves be free from the affects of alcohol and other job impairing substances while on the job.
1. Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing• Reasonable suspicion drug testing costs $200/test.• Currently $2600 is in the HR budget for drug testing (both DOT & reasonable suspicion).• In the last 5 years, there have been 3 occasions where reasonable suspicion has been identified.
1. Reasonable Suspicion Drug Testing Discussion
2. Hiring RatesCurrent Policy = No specific provisions, but current practice is everyone starts at the minimum of the range, unless directly related and documented work experience exists and the budget can sustain the increase. No guidelines for how to be consistent in paying for experience. Analysis is done on a case-by-case basis to ensure no compression with other existing employees in the department.Proposed Policy = Establishes guidelines for hiring rates. 3% credit for each year of relevant experience up to 5 years (or 15%) of the minimum. Requests above minimum must be approved by HR and funds must exist in the department’s budget. Any requests over 15% must be approved by the City Manager.
3. Call Back PayCurrent Policy = No provision for paying non-exempt employees for call back, only that they are paid for the work performed.Proposed Policy = When called back to work, the first hour is made whole. Any incident exceeding one hour will be paid according to the length of time required to work, rounded to the nearest quarter hour.
4. Disaster Preparedness (Exempt Employees) Overtime paid to exempt employees by local governments is eligible for reimbursement in a federally declared disaster, provided local overtime rules are in place (before the disaster) and are applied consistently when disaster-related overtime occurs. This means a policy to pay exempt employees overtime must be consistently applied whether FEMA reimbursement is expected. Federal reimbursement for exempt employees is allowed for emergency protective efforts, debris removal and public infrastructure repair.
4. Disaster Preparedness (Exempt Employees) Current Policy = No provision. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime or comp time. Proposed Policy = • Exempt positions grade 29 and below will be eligible for overtime or comp time for disaster hours worked outside of their normal 40 hour work week. • Exempt positions grade 30 and above receive comp time for hours over 40 and up to 50 hours during the work week. They will be paid straight time or comp time for hours worked over 50 hours during the work week.
5. Sick Leave Incentive ProgramCurrent Policy = Sick Leave Buy-Back:• City must have sufficient funding any given year, or buy-back is not offered;• Participants must have 6 years minimum City seniority;• Employees who have 90 days of sick leave may redeem up to 10 days of sick leave, minus any sick leave used during the year, so long as employee can maintain a balance of 90 days at time of redemption. Redemption is at 50% of their daily wage.
5. Sick Leave Incentive ProgramCurrent Policy Continued:• Employees who have 150 days of sick leave may redeem up to 20 days of sick leave, minus any sick leave used during the year, so long as employee can maintain a balance of 150 days at time of redemption. Redemption is at 50% of their daily wage.• In 90 day scenario, employee can use 9 days of sick leave & still get a redemption; in 150 day scenario, employee can use 19 days & still get a redemption.
5. Sick Leave Incentive ProgramProposed Policy = Designed to reward non-exempt employees for good attendance by annually converting a portion of unused sick leave into vacation. Eligibility at one year of service. Annual conversion based on calendar year usage.• 0 sick days taken = can convert up to 3 sick days into vacation.• Up to 1.5 sick days taken = can convert up to 2 sick days into vacation.• More than 1.5 sick days and up to 3 sick days taken = can convert 1 sick day into vacation.• More than 3 sick days taken = no conversion allowed.
5. Sick Leave Incentive ProgramFor 2011:• Under current program 200 employees were eligible for a total cost of $141,360.• Under proposed program 275 employees would be eligible • 93 employees eligible for 3 days converted from sick to vacation • 85 employees eligible for 2 days converted from sick to vacation • 97 employees eligible for 1 day converted from sick to vacation.
6. Funeral LeaveCurrent Policy = Limited to 3 emergency leave days per calendar year. Can be used for any personal emergency involving immediate family at the supervisor’s discretion. Emergency is defined as an unforeseen situation that calls for immediate action.Proposed Policy = Is for funerals only, not other family emergencies. Vacation to be used in cases not involving death of immediate family.• 5 consecutive days including weekends and holidays (2 days before the funeral, the day of the funeral and 2 days after funeral) for specified immediate family members.• 3 consecutive days including weekends and holidays (day before the funeral, the day of the funeral and 1 day after funeral) for specified other family members.• Provides for consistent policy application.
6. Funeral LeaveImmediate Family Definitions:• Current Policy = spouse, mother, father, brothers, sisters, grandparents or child of the employee and persons close to the employee who are members of the employee’s household.• Proposed Policy = • 5 days = spouse, domestic partner, father, mother, children, brother, sister, or any individual for whom the employee is the legal guardian. • 3 days = parent-in-laws, grandparent, great grandparent, grandchildren, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, step-parent, step-children, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, step-brother, step-sister, half-brother, half sister.
7. Severance PayApplies only to reduction in force situations.Current Policy = • 5/6 of a day for each month past 6th month up to 1 year • 1 year to 10 years = 2 weeks • Over 10 years = 4 weeksProposed Policy = • Probationary employees = 0 weeks • 1 year to 10 years = 2 weeks • Over 10 years = 4 weeks
Other Policy ChangesSignificant changes to existing policies without financial impact andrequested by policy review committee:• Tobacco Free Workplace• Dress Guidelines• Gratuities• LWOP – no leave accrued• Discipline Policy• Appropriate Notice of Resignation for Leave Payouts
Tobacco Free Workplace• Aligns with Wellness Program• Smokeless tobacco hazards involve many of the same chemicalsand poisons as smoking.• Policy: Smoking, chewing, and dipping of any tobacco productsin any City-owned or leased building, facility, garage, or motorvehicle and equipment is prohibited except in designated tobaccouse areas.
Dress Guidelines• As a public service organization, most employees are in contactwith the public.• Expected to dress in a manner that is appropriate to a businessenvironment & their specific position.• Policy provides guidelines for appropriate business attire &inappropriate attire.• Addresses Casual Friday.• Clothing must be clean and in good repair. Items must be genderspecific.
GratuitiesPrevious Policy = No employee shall accept any gifts, free tickets,passes, services or anything of material value, directly or indirectlyfrom any person, private firm or corporation, upon terms morefavorable than are granted to the general public.New Policy aligns with Texas Penal Code:• Employees are prohibited from soliciting or accepting any gift orbenefit with a value of more than $50.• Unsolicited gifts valued at greater than $50 that are delivered orarrive by mail must be donated to a recognized tax-exemptcharitable organization.• Unsolicited gifts valued at less than $50 that are delivered orarrive by mail must be placed in a common area of the departmentand shared by all.
LWOP – No Leave AccrualPrevious Policy = Not addressed.New Policy =• Employees with zero hours in their vacation or sick leave balancemay request leave without pay (LWOP).• For pay periods that contain LWOP, employees will not earnvacation or sick leave hours.
Progressive DisciplinePrevious Policy = Discipline Without Punishment (DWP). Does notapply to Civil Service positions.New Policy =• Does not apply to Civil Service positions.• Pursues a philosophy of “progressive discipline” by administeringgradually increasing disciplinary actions for each successiveinstance of employee misconduct.• 5 levels of discipline with specific infraction guidelines at eachlevel. Levels are: verbal notice, written warning, written reprimandwith 1 – 3 days suspension without pay, written reprimand with 4 – 5days suspension without pay, and termination.
Appropriate Notice of Resignation for Leave Payouts Previous Policy = Appropriate notice is 2 weeks. Leave payouts are paid regardless of whether or not appropriate notice is given. New Policy = • Recognizes that inappropriate notice puts strain on the department. • Failure to provide 2 weeks notice of resignation (non-exempt, or 3 weeks for exempt positions) disqualifies the employee from receiving sick, vacation and/or holiday leave payoffs. • Also jeopardizes their eligibility for rehire. • Comp time earned in lieu of overtime is not jeopardized by failure to submit appropriate notice of resignation.
Thanks to Policy Review Committee Marie Aguilar – Nursing Fred Barnett – Fire Bob Bluthardt – Fort Concho John Eades – IT Patrick Frerich – Vehicle Maintenance Greg Gilbert – Utility Maintenance Art Goetz – Water Distribution Linda Gossett – Municipal Court Ed Kading – Police Jack Nalepka – Water Reclamation Alicia Ramirez – City Clerk Veronica Sanchez – Human Resources Bill Smith – Finance Teresa Special - Legal Don Vardeman – Fire Prevention