Monday, May 20, 2024

Human Resources

 

 

 

OsceolaSeal2019
HUMAN RESOURCE
POLICIES & PROCEDURES

Effective: September 1, 2023


WELCOME

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The City of Osceola was established in 1837 and is currently residence to over 7300 Citizens. The City was first named Plum Point and was the original county seat of Mississippi County. Osceola is conveniently located in Northeast Arkansas and is presently a river port serving an array of diverse agricultural and manufacturing needs.

The City is governed by an elected Mayor and City Council who oversee the day-to-day functioning of City business which include police, fire, light and power, water, sanitation, parks and recreation, code enforcement, streets and finance departments. Being a member of the Arkansas Municipal League enables Osceola to be an active participant in State government.

The employees of the City of Osceola are proud to offer the best possible services and conveniences to the citizens of the community.

The City is committed to providing and maintaining an atmosphere of equal opportunity in regards to all Human Resource actions without regard to race; color; religion; sex; national origin; disability; military status; citizenship; ancestry; age; disability unrelated to job requirements; genetic information; political status; marital status; status as a veteran or member of the military or national guard; status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver; or any classification or activity protected by the equal protection clause or other provision of the United States or Arkansas Constitution; in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. The city’s commitment in this regard extends to all employment-related decisions and terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, discipline, and training.

The Mayor, City Council Members and employees of the City welcome you.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

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I acknowledge receipt of the Employee's Handbook for the City of Osceola. I Understand that it is my responsibility to read the policies and procedures outlined in this handbook and to conform to them.

Policies and procedures can be changed periodically by the Mayor and City Council of the City of Osceola. The contents of this handbook cannot be deemed an employment contract nor can they alter the employment-at-will relationship between the City of Osceola and me.

Questions, comments, concerns or suggestions regarding the information contained in this Handbook or regarding the responsibilities of my position should be addressed with my supervisor or Human Resource Representative.

Employee Signature________________________________________________________

Printed Name_____________________________________________________________

Date____________________ Social Security Number____________________________

(Revised Handbook Effective 09/01/2023)

PURPOSE

This Personnel Handbook contains policies, practices and procedures that are necessary to implement and administer the city’s personnel system. By adopting this handbook, the city endeavors to achieve consistent treatment for all employees through the establishment of uniform guidelines and systematic procedures.

This handbook contains only general information and guidelines. It is not intended to be comprehensive or to address all the possible applications of, or exceptions to, the general policies and procedures described. For that reason, if you have any questions concerning eligibility for a particular benefit or the applicability of a policy or practice to you, you should address your specific questions to Human Resources Director.

This handbook does not represent an employment contract or any aspect of an employment contract and should not be construed as such. The City of Osceola is an at-will employer under law and nothing in this handbook shall waive the city’s at-will status.

SCOPE

All employees of the City of Osceola are subject to the application of the personnel policies and procedures described in this handbook.

DEFINITIONS

DESIGNATED CAREGIVER—Employee who has agreed to assist a physically disabled qualifying patient with the medical use of marijuana, and who has registered with the Department of Health under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment.

EMPLOYEE—An individual who is compensated by and provides a service to the city regardless of the number of hours of work performed during any given time period or the length of the term of employment. The term “employee” shall not include any elected official, any voluntary, appointed member of any board, commission or authority, or any person performing services for the city on the basis of a service contract, retainer, or prescribed fee.

EXEMPT EMPLOYEE—Employee who is not eligible for overtime or compensatory time as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE—Employee who is regularly scheduled to work in a position that has daily, weekly, and monthly hours as established by the city council for full-time work.

IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBER—For purposes of this handbook, this shall mean mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandparents, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, spouse, spouse’s parents, or those relatives who live in the employee’s household, including “step” relatives. However, with respect to FMLA leave, “immediate family” means spouse, child, or parent—but not a parent “in-law” with a serious health condition.

NON-EXEMPT EMPLOYEE—Employee who is eligible for overtime compensation or compensatory time off as defined by the FLSA.

OVERTIME—Hours worked in excess of 40 hours during a regular work week for non-uniformed employees.

PART-TIME EMPLOYEE—Employee who is regularly scheduled to work in a position whose daily, weekly, or monthly hours are less than the hours established for full-time employees.

QUALIFYING PATIENT—Employee who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a qualifying medical condition and who has registered with the Department of Health under the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Amendment.

SUPERVISOR—Person who has been designated to oversee other employees in a department.

TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE—An employee hired for an intermittent or specified period of time, for a season, for a job of limited duration, or for a non-recurring work project.

amendents and revisions

This manual may be amended and revised periodically as necessary at the direction of the city council.

Since personnel practices and procedures are in a constant state of change, the city will continuously review this handbook for amendments or revisions that might better serve the needs of the city and its employees. As such, this handbook has been designed to be routinely updated and amended as the need arises.

The City of Osceola shall have the exclusive right to change, alter, delete, add, or modify any provision of these personnel policies at any time, with or without notice. Final approval of all changes to the personnel policies shall be approved by action of the city council. Changes made to these policies shall be communicated through standard communication channels and/or through revisions to this manual, however advance notice may not always be possible.

This policy manual supersedes all previous manuals, letters, memoranda, resolutions, and understandings unless otherwise noted.

DISTRIBUTION LIST

A copy of this manual and all subsequent revisions or amendments shall be distributed to all employees and elected or appointed city officials.


EMPLOYMENT POLICIES

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*Equal Opportunity Employer

The City of Osceola is committed to providing equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability unrelated to job requirements; genetic information; political status; marital status; status as a veteran or member of the military or national guard; status as a qualifying patient or designated caregiver; or any classification or activity protected by the equal protection clause or other provision of the United States or Arkansas Constitution; in accordance with applicable federal, state, and local laws. The city’s commitment in this regard extends to all employment-related decisions and terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, discipline, and training.

*At-Will Employer

The City of Osceola is an at-will employer. This means that the city of Osceola 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 anything 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.

All employment relationships with the City of Osceola are at-will. Although the City of Osceola hopes that the relationship with employees are rewarding, The City reserves the right to terminate the employment relationship at any time. The Mayor and/or Department Manger has the authority to hire and fire.

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.

AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

The City of Osceola abides by the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA Amendments Act, and state laws governing employment of individuals with disabilities. Qualified individuals with disabilities may be entitled to an accommodation in the application process and/or in the workplace. Any qualified individual with a disability who requires reasonable accommodation in the employment process and/or in the workplace shall notify Human Resources Director.

FITNESS FOR DUTY EXAM

Employees who become incapacitated due to mental or physical disabilities are rendered unable 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 exam and other job restructuring factors, the Human Resources Director and the Departmental Manager shall take such action that is necessary for the good of the service.

*Post Offer Pre-Employment Drug Testing

Post-Offer pre-employment drug testing will be required for every applicant to be hired for the city. Such testing shall be paid for by the city and shall be performed by SMC Regional Medical Center or NEAC of Osceola. Only in cases of emergency may an employee begin work prior to the post-employment job offer drug test, but employment is subject to an applicant's passing such test.

Only a summary report will be provided to the Human Resources Director to be kept in a confidential file apart from the Personnel file. Should there be a dispute concerning such testing the report shall be made available to the necessary legal and supervisory or administrative personnel within the City Government.

*The Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991

It is the city of Osceola's intent to comply with all regulations and requirements of the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991. City employees required to have a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) must comply with all regulations in the 1991 Omnibus Transportation Act. The Act requires alcohol and drug testing for all city employees CDL's. These tests include pre-employment, post-accident, random, reasonable suspicion, and return to duty and follow up testing. The City of Osceola 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 Human Resources Director 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.

*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 outlined in the city’s policy on this subject. All employees must obtain from the City of Osceola the City’s written anti-drug policy. Employees are required to read this policy and sign acknowledging that they have read and understand the policy.

FITNESS FOR DUTY

Current abuse of drugs is not a protected disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The city will not hire anyone who is known to currently abuse drugs. Furthermore, all employees are expected to report to work in a fit condition to perform their duties. Employees on official business or representing the city on or off of the workplace are prohibited from purchasing, transferring, using or possessing illegal drugs or from abusing alcohol or prescription drugs in any way that is illegal.

An employee reporting or returning to work whose behavior reflects the abuse of alcoholic beverages or drugs may be referred for a medical evaluation to determine fitness for work. Failure to report for an evaluation or follow the recommendations of the city will result in appropriate disciplinary action, including termination, as allowed by federal, state, and local law.

Genetic Information.

The city shall not request or require genetic information from an individual or family member, except as specifically allowed by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA). In making any request for medical information, the city shall include the following language to the medical provider:

“The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law. To comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information. ‘Genetic information,’ as defined by GINA, means, with respect to any individual, information about an individual’s family medical history, the results of an individual’s or family member’s genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual’s family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual’s family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.”

Use of Narcotics, Alcohol and Tobacco

Employees of the City of Osceola shall not use habit-forming drugs, narcotics, or controlled substances unless such drugs are properly prescribed by a physician.

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, as allowed by federal, state, and local laws.

Smoking, or the use of any tobacco product, is not allowed inside any city-owned facility or vehicle. The city complies will all aspects of the Arkansas Clean Indoor Act of 2006. Any employee violating this policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination and may be required to pay a fine if levied by the Arkansas Department of Health.

Drug-Free Workplace

It is the policy of the City of Osceola to create a drug-free workplace in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and its amendments. The use of controlled substances is inconsistent with the conduct expected of employees, subjects all employees and visitors to city facilities to unacceptable safety risks, and undermines the city’s ability to operate effectively and efficiently. Therefore, the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, sale, or use of a controlled substance in the workplace, while engaged in city business for the City of Osceola, or on the city’s premises is strictly prohibited. Such conduct is also prohibited during non-working hours to the extent that, in the opinion of the city, it impairs an employee’s ability to perform on the job or threatens the reputation and integrity of the city.

*Alcohol and Drug Abuse

The City of Osceola has the responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for its employees and productive workforce. To satisfy those responsibilities, the city is committed to maintaining a work environment that is free from the effects of drugs and alcohol. All employees are expected to obey the law regarding the use of illegal substances and alcohol. The city prohibits the possession, manufacturing, distributing, or the abuse of illegal substances while on city premises and during working hours. Individuals in violation of the alcohol and drug policy will be terminated. The City does reserve the right to do random, post-accident and reasonable suspicion drug testing for employees of all departments.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

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Our goal is to provide the best possible service to our citizens. To achieve that end, it is important that we exhibit a positive, friendly attitude toward all individuals at all times. This includes contacts made face-to-face, over the phone and in writing.

 The City's customer service policy is comprised of three steps. These steps are as follows:

1.       Smile

2.       Be helpful

3.       Say Thank You

Employees of the City shall always be civil, orderly and courteous in their conduct and demeanor. In each contact with the public and employee must be aware that their appearance, actions and statements are in essence those of the city.

In dealing with the public, each employee must attempt to make his conduct on which inspire respect for both themselves 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 they would like to be treated... with courtesy, patience, respect and understanding. This attitude or approach to public service cannot be overemphasized.

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.

To create a friendly atmosphere in which to work, it is important that we treat our fellow employees with the same customer service philosophy as we do our customers. By projecting a friendly, positive attitude, we can maintain an atmosphere of productivity which allows us to meet the organizational challenges that we face on a daily basis.

DRESS STANDARDS

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A reasonable dress code is necessary to ensure that all employees dress and groom themselves in a manner to promote a positive image of City Government. All employees are expected to report to work clean, neat and appropriately dressed and groomed.

 Employees who are provided uniforms shall always wear uniforms while on duty.

Employees must not wear uniforms while off duty except to and from your scheduled shift or work assignment. It is essential that an employee not be viewed by the public as a representative of the City in any official capacity unless authorized to do so. Information regarding City uniforms can be obtained from your supervisor.

Selected Departments are required to wear protective clothing and equipment to meet safety standards. Failure to wear prescribed safety clothing and equipment can lead to disciplinary action.

Employees not required to wear uniforms should dress neatly, in clothing that is suited for your job and does not pose a safety hazard. If you are not sure what appropriate dress is, you should ask your Supervisor or Department Manager.

Examples of Unacceptable Attire:

·         Any clothing that is worn, torn, frayed, has patches or holes.

·         Sweat clothing or work out attire.

·         Low cut blouses or dresses.

·         Shorts above the knees.

·         T-Shirts with inappropriate logos/offensive language.

·         Skirts/skirts split higher than three inches above the knee.

·         Rubber flip-flops

·         Clothing that reveals undergarments

Management reserves the right to determine appropriate dress and grooming at all times.

The City reserves the right to ask an employee who is inappropriately dressed to change clothing. If necessary, for the employee to return home to do so, the employee will not be paid for this time.

 Violations to the dress code policy will be dealt with as a policy violation. Disciplinary actions for policy violations can lead up to and include termination.

 Should questions regarding the dress code policy arise, please contact your supervisor or Human Resource Representative.

BENEFITS

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All employees, who work on average 30 hours per week, after applicable waiting periods, are eligible for the following benefits:

·         Retirement Plan

·         Group Medical

·         Group Dental

·         Group Vision

·         Paid Holidays

·         Paid Vacation

·         Paid Sick Days

·         Tuition Reimbursement Program

*Retirement (Non-Uniformed)

It is the policy of the City of Osceola that employees are eligible for normal retirement on the first day of the month following the month in which they reach age sixty-five. With limited exceptions, employees who want to continue working past age sixty-five may do so provided their job performance is satisfactory.

Employees who have been employed for at least 20 years may elect early retirement on the first day of the month following the month in which they reach age 62, or at any time after that, by submitting at least three months’ advance written notice to the Human Resources Department.

Employees who choose to take normal retirement are requested to give Human Resources as much advance notice of their intent as possible, or at least three months. Employees who have given notice of either normal or early retirement may be called upon to assist in the training of their replacements.

Employees who qualify for retirement under this policy become eligible to receive Dental/Vision and Life insurance benefits in accordance with the provisions of the Company’s employee benefit plans. Retiring employees are eligible to receive pay for accrued, but unused vacation. All employee benefit plans and programs are subject to amendment or termination, even after retirement, at the City’s sole discretion.

More details on these benefits can be found in the plan booklets located in the Human Resource Office. Please contact your supervisor or Human Resource Representative for further information.

PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS

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Performance appraisals are conducted for all employees at least once a year by the Supervisors, Department Heads and Office Management.

*Probationary Period

Each department within the City has a 6-month set probationary period. During this time, the employee will be expected to perform at the standard outlined in the Employee Handbook, Safety Handbook and as established by the supervisor. Violations of policies or failure to meet standards during this probationary period can result in immediate termination.

Sometime during the probationary period, a performance appraisal will be conducted. This appraisal will be used to determine the employee's performance as it relates to the position and to the standards outlined. Based on the outcome of the appraisal, one of the following actions will occur:

1.       Performance will be deemed at standard and the employee will be taken off the probationary period. At this time, the employee will be extended continued employment as defined by the employment-at-will clause.

2.       Performance will be deemed below standard and the employee will be discharged.

*Performance Appraisals

All employees will participate in a performance review session, at least annually, with their supervisor. This review is intended to provide support for the individual; to improve the performance of the individual by providing meaningful, constructive feedback on the adequacy of performance; and to assist in the development and fulfillment of professional growth goals and job responsibilities.

Formal and documented reviews, as well as casual and undocumented discussions with your supervisor, will be part of your performance evaluation. To the extent practicable, evaluations will be based on the direct supervisor’s direct observations of each employee’s performance, the quality and quantity of each employee’s performance, and any additional efforts undertaken by the employee.

Your signature on formal reviews will serve as notice that the review has taken place and not whether you agree or disagree with the contents. Completed formal evaluation forms will be placed in the employee’s personal file. Please note that a performance evaluation does not necessarily mean a salary adjustment.

 

WAGE INCREASES

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*Merit Increases

Merit increases are directly related to the employee appraisal process. Employees who are evaluated as in "good standing" will be eligible for consideration for a merit increase based on evaluated performance, the employee's position and pay range of the department. Employees are considered for merit increases only once a year.

Employees who are placed on performance warning due to performance not meeting City standards will not be given an increase until formally removed from performance warning. Back pay will not be given for the time spent on performance warning.

Merit increases are not necessarily given every time performance evaluations are conducted. All wage information is considered confidential and should be treated as such.

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

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These policies and procedures have been established for all employees. They are fundamental in character and are designed for the convenience and protection of all employees, as well as to ensure professional and efficient business practices.

*Personal Phone Calls and Visitors

All employees should restrict their personal phone calls and visits with family and friends during working business hours. Visitors and personal phone calls cause disruption and often lead to poor customer service practices. Failure to abide by this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

*Employment of Relatives

Family members of current employees are eligible to be considered for employment by the City. No family member will be considered based on relationship, but rather upon the basis of their qualifications to meet job requirements.

An immediate family member may not be hired, however, if such employment would:

a.       Create a direct or indirect supervisor/subordinate relationship with a family member, or

b.       Create either an actual conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Employees who marry or become members of the same household may continue employment as long as there is not: a) a direct or indirect supervisor/subordinate relationship between employees or b) an actual conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. Should one of the above situations occur, the City will attempt to find a suitable position within the City to which one of the affected employees may transfer. If accommodations of this nature are not feasible, the employees will be permitted to determine which of them will resign.

Family members referred to in this section are: Spouse, parent, daughter, son, brother, sister, step-children, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in- law, niece, nephew, aunt, uncle, or any member of the employee's immediate household.

*Position Assignment

During employment with the City of Osceola, it may become necessary to move the employee from one position to another within a department or from one department to another to meet customer service, budgetary or human resource needs.

*Updating Name and Address

Changes in marital status, name, address, phone or number of dependents should be reported to a Human Resource Representative. It is important to keep this information updated.

*Residency Requirements

All City Department Heads, Supervisors and Superintendents will reside within the city limits of Osceola. All non-uniformed employees other than Department Heads, Supervisors and Superintendents must live within Mississippi County. If an employee is to be promoted to the position of Department Head, Supervisor or Superintendent the employee will have 6 months to establish residency within the city limits or the promotion will be rescinded. No City vehicles will be allowed to be taken to the home of any employee living outside of the city limits. For those employees living outside of the City limits travel to and from work shall not be considered in the computation of regular or overtime pay, nor shall the employee be reimbursed for mileage or travel expenses.

Qualified applicants living within the city limits of Osceola will be given priority over qualified applicants residing outside City limits.

*Gambling

Gambling is strictly prohibited on City property. Employees engaging in gambling or gambling related games would be subject to disciplinary action, which can include immediate termination.

*Human Resource Records

Employees may review their Human Resource Records at reasonable intervals during the year. An appointment must be made with a Human Resource Representative. All information is considered confidential and should be treated as such.

*Requests for Personal Information

Human Resource Representatives or individuals acting in that capacity are unable to give out personal information (including full name, address or phone number) to outside organizations or agencies or fellow employees. All Human Resource information is considered confidential and should be treated as such.

*Rehire

Former employees who have left the City in good standing may be considered for re-employment with the City but must wait six months before reapplying. Former employees who quit without notice or who were dismissed for cause may be considered for re-employment 3 years from their date of termination. Continuous Service will be lost when an employee resigns or is terminated for any reason.

*Solicitations and Distributions

a.       Solicitations and distributions not directly related to day-to-day business by non-employees during business hours are prohibited on any and all City property.

b.       Employees of the City are prohibited from soliciting when any individual involved is engaged in the performance of job duties. No solicitations are allowed by employees in public areas of City property or in otherwise restricted areas.

c.        Distribution of literature by employees is prohibited when an individual involved is engaged in the performance of job duties. No distributions are allowed by employees in public areas of City property or in otherwise restricted areas.

d.       Distributions and solicitations by employees are restricted. No distributions or solicitations of the following are allowed: Gambling schemes; organizational information that discriminates on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, citizenship or disability; lottery schemes; labor organizations; outside insurance; pyramid selling organizations; chain letters and the like.

e.       The City maintains bulletin boards to communicate City information to employees and to post notices require by law. These bulletin boards are for the posting for City information and notices only and only persons designated by the Human Resource Manager may place notices on or take down material from City bulletin boards. The unauthorized posting of notices, photos and other printed or written materials on bulletin boards or any other City property prohibited and will lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination. Any violations to the solicitation and distribution policy should be reported to a Supervisor, Department Head or Human Resource Representative immediately.

*References

The City of Osceola and its management staff are unable to give out reference information on current or past employees to prospective employers, credit bureaus or collection agencies. All requests for reference information should be directed to the Human Resource Office. Human Resource Representatives will confirm date of employment (beginning and ending dates) and pay (beginning and ending pay) only.

*Unlawful Harassment

The City of Osceola expressly prohibits its officials or employees from engaging in any form of unlawful harassment or discrimination, on grounds such as those listed under this policy or any other ground protected by state or federal constitutions or laws.

Harassment or discrimination of any employee is a serious violation of city policy and will not be tolerated. Neither will workplace retaliation against someone for having complained of harassment.

*Prohibited Conduct Defined

For the purpose of this policy, “harassment” refers to the annoying, persistent act or actions that single out an employee to that employee’s objection or detriment, because of the employee’s membership in any legally protected class or for some other trait the employee was born with (i.e., race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, political status, marital status, or status as a veteran or special disabled veteran, or the presence of any physical, mental, or sensory handicap). Harassment may be considered a violation of federal and/or state law.

Employees should know that they should not participate in (and do not have to tolerate) the following types of protected class harassment regardless of whether the harasser is a co-worker, supervisor, citizen, or any other person with whom the employee’s job brings him/her into contact:

·         Racial Harassment

·         Harassment due to religion or views concerning religion

·         Sexual harassment (gender neutral)

·         Harassment due to age of employees who are least 40 years old

·         Harassment because of disability or perceived disability

·         Harassment based on color

·         Harassment based on other protected categories in under this policy

*Discrimination and Harassment Generally

Discrimination or harassment can take many forms and can include slurs, comments, jokes, innuendos, unwelcome compliments, pictures, cartoons, pranks, or other verbal or physical conduct, including but not limited to the following actions:

·         Verbal abuse or ridicule. This includes epithets, derogatory comments, slurs or unwanted sexual advances, unwanted sexual invitations, or negative comments because of the employee’s protected class membership;

·         Interference with an employee’s work. This includes physical contact such as assault, blocking normal movement, or interferences with the work directed at an individual because of the employee’s protected status;

·         Displaying or distributing offensive materials. This includes derogatory or sexual posters, cartoons, emails, calendars, magazines, drawing, or gestures;

·         Discriminating against any employee in work assignments or job-related training because of one of the above-referenced bases;

·         Unwanted, intentional physical contact, whether it be of a sexual or other nature;

·         Making protected status innuendos;

·         Requesting favors (sexual or otherwise), explicitly or implicitly, as a condition of employment, promotion, transfer, or medical conditions; and/or

·         Retaliation for having reported harassment.

Discrimination or harassment based upon a person’s protected status is prohibited under federal and state anti-discrimination laws and violates city policy where it:

·         Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment;

·         Has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or

·         Otherwise unreasonably and adversely affects an individual employment opportunity.

 

*Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is illegal and is a serious form of misconduct. Sexual harassment of employees, non-employees, and/or citizens with whom the City of Osceola has a business, service, or professional relationship, including vendors and clients, is prohibited and will not be tolerated. The City of Osceola is committed to maintaining a working environment, free from all forms of harassment.

Sexual harassment occurs when the verbal and physical conduct is sexual in nature or is gender-based, that is, directed at a person because of their gender. Sexual harassment does not refer to casual conversation or occasional compliments of a socially acceptable nature.

Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to:

·         Inappropriate physical contact, including blocking movement, brushing against the body, stalking, any form of sexual assault, and touching;

·         Obscene gestures;

·         Posting of sexually suggestive or derogatory pictures, even at one’s individual workstation;

·         Unwelcome verbal behavior based on sex;

·         Continued requests for dates and propositioning; and/or

·         Unwanted sexual advances, requests or pressure for sexual favors and/or basing employment decisions (such as an employee’s performance evaluation, work assignments, advancement).

*Bullying

Bullying is conduct by employees, supervisors, managers, or executives that involves repeated, abusive, health-harming mistreatment of one or more people by one or more perpetrators. Bullying of employees, non-employees, and/or citizens with whom the City of Osceola has a business, service, or professional relationship, including vendors and clients, is prohibited and will not be tolerated.

Bullying conduct includes:

·         Threatening, humiliating or intimidating behaviors.

·         Work interference/sabotage that prevents work from getting done.

·         Verbal abuse.

·         Such behavior violates the City of Osceola’s harassment policies, which clearly state that all employees will be treated with dignity and respect.

Additionally, the City of Osceola considers the following types of behavior examples of bullying:

·         Verbal bullying. Slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or his or her family; persistent name-calling that is hurtful, insulting or humiliating; using the person as the butt of jokes; abusive or offensive remarks.

·         Physical bullying. Pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, assault or threat of physical assault, damage to a person’s work area or property.

·         Gesture bullying. Nonverbal gestures that can convey a threatening message.

·         Exclusion. Socially or physically excluding or disregarding a person in work-related activities.

The following examples may constitute or contribute to evidence of bullying in the workplace:

·         Persistent singling out of one person.

·         Shouting or raising one’s voice at an individual in public or in private.

·         Using obscene or intimidating gestures.

·         Not allowing the person to speak or express himself or herself (i.e., ignoring or interrupting).

·         Personal insults and use of offensive nicknames.

·         Public humiliation in any form.

·         Constant criticism on matters unrelated or minimally related to the to the person’s job performance or description.

·         Public reprimands.

·         Repeatedly accusing someone of errors that cannot be documented.

·         Deliberately interfering with mail and other communications.

·         Spreading rumors and gossip regarding individuals.

·         Encouraging others to disregard a supervisor’s instruction.

·         Manipulating the ability of someone to do his or her work (i.e., overloading, underloading, withholding information, setting deadlines that cannot be met, giving deliberately ambiguous instructions).

·         Assigning menial tasks not in keeping with normal responsibilities of the job.

·         Taking credit for another person’s idea.

·         Refusing reasonable requests for leave in the absence of work-related reasons not to grant leave.

·         Deliberately excluding an individual or isolating him or her from work-related activities such as meetings.

Unwanted physical contact, physical abuse or threats of abuse to an individual or an individual’s property (defacing or marking up property)

It is every employee'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, the following should apply:

A.      An employee should report harassment or suspected harassment to the Department Head. If the department head is the alleged harasser, then the complaint should be reported to the supervisor in the chain of command. This complaint should be in writing.

B.       Anytime an employee has knowledge of harassment he/shall inform the Department Head in writing, who will determine whether further investigation is warranted.

C.       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 Osceola 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 against offenders.

*Conflict of Interest

No employee shall have any financial interest in the income from any contract, service or other work done or performed by the City; nor shall any employee either personally acting as an agent have any financial interest in any contract or sale of goods or services to the City. No employee shall accept free or preferred service, benefit or commission from any person or company in return for special consideration. Any employee who violated the provisions of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action.

*Accepting Personal Gifts

No reward, gift or other form of remuneration in addition to regular compensation shall be received from any source by employees for the performance of their duties unless approved by the Mayor. If a reward, gift or other form of remuneration is made available to any employee, it shall be reported to the Mayor who shall return such gift to the donor, credit it to a designated employee fund, contribute it to a charitable organization, or approve its acceptance for use by all City employees.

*Use of City Equipment/Vehicles

City-owned equipment and vehicles, regardless of size or value, are to be used only for City business and only by City employees. Use of City vehicles for personal business is prohibited whether it is during working hours, while on break, on call or when taken to an employee’s residence. Examples of personal business, but not limited to, are banking, doctor visits, bill paying, going to employee’s residence, Walmart, transporting relatives, etc.

Only City vehicles and equipment that has been specifically assigned directly to an employee may be taken to the employee’s place of residence. The Mayor or Department Heads will assign city-owned vehicles to those employees who are required by the nature of their jobs to make use of City vehicles. Only employees receiving approval from the Mayor, Department Head or supervisor may operate a City vehicle.

All City-owned vehicles must be operated by employees holding valid drivers' licenses.

If a City employee loses their driver’s license at any time, for any reason, they must report it immediately to their Department Manager/Supervisor. City owned vehicles must, at all times be operated within the driving laws of the state. Failure to abide by state law will lead to disciplinary action. Supervisors are to review driver’s licenses annually.

Out of town use is prohibited except by special permission from the Mayor to the Department Head or the Department Head to the employee. Any time a City vehicle leaves the City of Osceola the driver must call the office and log his/her department, time of departure, destination, and estimated time of return.’

Violation under this policy will result in immediate termination.

*Handling Requests for Information

The mayor is authorized to communicate on behalf of the city in interviews, publications, news releases, on social media sites, and related communications. Other employees may represent the city if approved by one of these individuals to communicate on a specific topic. When speaking on behalf of the city or while carrying out official duties:

·         Employees must identify themselves as representing the city. Account names on social media sites must clearly be connected to the city and approved by the mayor.

·         All information must be respectful, professional, and truthful. Corrections must be issued when needed.

·         Employees need to notify Jane if they will be using their personal technology (cell phones, home computers, cameras, etc.) for city business. Employees should be aware that data transmitted or stored maybe subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

*Handling Requests for Information Pursuant of FOIA

Any citizen of the State of Arkansas may request to inspect, copy, or receive copies of public records pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. Any requests must immediately be forwarded to the public records custodian. If the employee receiving the request is not the custodian, the employee must notify the requester of this fact and identify the custodian.

*Filling of Vacancies

It is the policy of the City to allow inter-department transfers if the qualifications, skill level, previous experience and performance record while with the City of the employee requesting transfer match that required of the available position and the move in no way jeopardizes the functioning of the City department. Notification of a vacancy will be posted in each department, for all non-exempt positions for a period of 5 working days. To apply for a posted position the employee must complete a Job Change Request form from the Human Resources Department. If the employee is eligible for a job opening, the Human Resources Department should forward the request for transfer to the employee’s supervisor and arrange an interview between the candidate and the department head that has the job opening. The department head with the job opening will make the final transfer decision, subject to the approval of the Human Resources Department. Supervisors and department heads may initiate the procedure and propose employees for a position. If a normal job vacancy cannot be filled from the employees who applied for the position, the City will then conduct a search based on both qualified persons from within and outside the City. An employee who applies and is accepted for a posted vacancy will not be eligible to apply for another posted vacancy for a period of twelve (12) months. The twelve (12) month period may be waived or shortened by the mutual consent of the employee, their Department Manager and the Human Resources Manager. Should the same Job become vacant again within (30) days, the job will not be posted, but the applicants from the previous job posting will be given first consideration.

Pay for employees moving into a posted job vacancy generally will be handled as follows:

a)       Employees transferred to a job within the same salary range will continue to receive their existing rate.

b)      Employee transferred to a job in a higher salary range will be paid at the higher rate.

c)       Employees transferred for disciplinary reasons, lack of work, budgetary reasons, City or department reorganization, or at their own request to a job in a lower salary range will be paid at the lower rate beginning with the start of the new job rate

d)      Employees transferred, for management’s convenience, to a job in a lower salary range will usually be paid at their former rate. At management’s discretion, however, employees may be paid at the rate of the new job.

*Outside Employment

Employees of the City may engage in additional employment outside official hours of duty. No employee may accept employment with an agency, company or organization that will place the employee in conflict of interest with the City.

If at any time the employee's performance falls below the standards set forth, the employee will be placed on performance warning. While engaged in outside employment, the employee shall refrain from using any City uniforms, equipment or property.

*Recording Devices

No employee or visitor to any department, work location or job site within the City of Osceola will be permitted to have in his or her possession any “recording device” without the written permission of the Department Manager. Recording device means any device such as a photographic camera, video recorder, tape recorder, etc.

*Telephones

Telephones are to be used to conduct City business. Long distance or toll calls of a personal nature are prohibited unless prior approval is received in writing from the Department Manager. Although occasional, limited personal telephone calls are permitted, they should be kept to a minimum in time and frequency and should not interfere with work performance of the employee or the employee’s colleagues. Discretion should be used in discussing confidential information using cellular communication. Employees are responsible for taking reasonable precautions to prevent theft and/or vandalism of cellular equipment. City-issued cellular or mobile telephones should be used for City business-related purposes. Personal calls are to be minimized. The City reserves the right to monitor the billing and use of all City-issued cellular/mobile telephones and has the authority to withhold any unauthorized amounts from the employee’s wages. By accepting the use of City-issued cellular telephones, employees agree to promptly reimburse the City for all personal calls made which are deemed by the City to be excessive in frequency or duration.

Any employee who violates the conditions of these policies relating to cellular/mobile phone usage is subject to having the use of the employee’s City-issued cellular/mobile phone terminated.

*Smart Phone Use

A smart phone is defined as a cellular phone with the capability to allow the user to talk, access the internet, send electronic mail, text messages, picture messages, or take photographs or videos. To address the use of smart phones by City employees and any individual performing services for the City, such as those from a temporary employment agency during work time and non-work time, the following procedures apply: While at work, employees are expected to exercise the same discretion in using smart phones, as is expected for the use of City phones or computers. Excessive personal usage during the workday, regardless of the phone or computer used, can interfere with employee productivity and official activity, and can be distracting to others. Employees are asked to make personal calls or use smart phones for personal uses on non-work time when possible and to ensure that friends and family member are aware of the City’s policy. The City will be flexible when circumstances truly demand an employee’s immediate necessity to use a smart phone. An employee’s use of a smart phone for non-work activity is the exception, not the accepted practice.

 While not a work, employees may not engage in behavior with their smart phones that would violate the City’s policies, especially the harassment prevention policy, or state or federal laws.

 The City will not be liable for the loss of smart phones brought into the workplace or while conducting City business.

Please be considerate with the use of phones during meetings and training sessions by turning off phones. Smart phones may not be used to make an audio recording of any conversation on City property on behalf of the City unless authorized by the Chief of Police or the Mayor. Smart phones may not be used to make a video recording of anyone on City property on behalf of the City without the consent of all the individuals being recorded. Personal cellular phones or smart phones may not be used to photograph anyone on City property on behalf of the City, without the consent of all individuals being photographed. This policy applies only to secure or other designated non-public areas of City property.

Employees must use extreme caution not to photograph anything constituting confidential or proprietary information, especially when taking photographs on City property. Photographing confidential or proprietary information is considered a serious violation of this policy and violation of state or federal law.

All employees must follow the City’s policies regarding harassment prevention when using smart phones. No smart phones may be used to display or distribute sexually offensive, racist or derogatory materials. This includes, but is not limited to, derogatory pictures, sounds, words, drawings, or cartoons.

Employees violating this policy may be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.

*Social Media Policy

The intended purpose behind establishing City of Osceola social media sites is to disseminate information from the City, about the City to its citizens. The City of Osceola has an overriding interest and expectation in deciding what is spoken on behalf of the City on City social media sites. Examples of social media include, but are not limited to, Facebook, blogs, Myspace, RSS, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, and Flicker. For the purpose of this policy, “comments” include information, articles, pictures, videos, or any other form of communicative content posted on a City of Osceola social media site.

The establishment and use by a City department of City social media sites are subject to approval by the Mayor.

-          City social media sites should make clear they are maintained by the City of Osceola and that they follow the City’s Social Media Policy.

-         Wherever possible, City social media sites should link back to the official City of Osceola website for forms, documents, online services and other information necessary to conduct business with the City of Osceola.

-          The City reserves the right to restrict or remove any content that is deemed in violation of this Social Media Policy or any applicable law.

-          All City social media sites shall adhere to applicable federal, state and local laws, regulations, and policies.

-          Comments on topics or issues not within the jurisdictional purview of the City of Osceola may be removed.

-          Employees representing the City government via City social media sites must conduct themselves at all times as a representative of the City and in accordance with all City Policies.

Comment Policy

As a public entity, the City must abide by certain standards to serve all its constituents in a civil and unbiased manner. The intended purpose behind establishing City of Osceola social media sites is to disseminate information from the City, about the City, to its citizens. Comments containing any of the following inappropriate forms of content shall not be permitted on City of Osceola social media sites and are subject to removal and/or restriction by the Mayor or his designees:

-          Comments not related to the original topic, including random or unintelligible comments;

-          Profane, obscene, violent, or pornographic content and/or language; Content that promotes, fosters or perpetuates discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color, age, religion, gender or national origin; Defamatory or personal attacks;

-          Threats to any person or organization;

-          Comments in support of, or in opposition to any political campaigns or ballot measures;

-          Solicitation of commerce, including but not limited to advertising of any business or product for sale;

-          Conduct in violation of any federal, state, or local law;

-          Encouragement of illegal activity;

-          Information that may tend to compromise the safety or security of the public or public systems; or

-          Content that violates a legal ownership interest, such as a copyright, of any party.

The City of Osceola reserves the right to deny access to the City of Osceola’s social media sites for any individual, who violates the City of Osceola’s Social Media Policy, at any time and without prior notice.

Departments will monitor their social media sites for comments requesting responses form the City and for comments in violation of this policy.

When a City of Osceola employee responds to a comment, in his/her capacity as a City of Osceola employee, the employee’s name and title should be made available, and the employee shall not share personal information about himself or herself, or other City employees.

*Employees Personal Social Media Site(s)

The City of Osceola recognizes that employees may use social media websites or similar media including, but not limited to, blogs, chat rooms, online journals, personal websites, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. (hereinafter referred to as “personal websites”).

Employees are reminded that information posted on personal websites can be viewed by members of the public and by other employees (including management). Employees should remember that almost all input online is archived, so even posts that have been deleted may be uncovered or recovered by someone. Social media content may also be reposted and shared and may reach individuals the user had not intended to reach.

Employees’ should also be aware that their actions outside of work, including those on social media sites could affect the workplace. The same principles and guidelines found in the City of Osceola’s polices apply to employees’ activities online.

Employees that violate City policies while on social media may face discipline. Threats of violence, harassment, discriminatory behavior, derogatory comments regarding fellow employees, the City or work related issues will not be tolerated by the City of Osceola, no matter the medium, and no matter when such posts are made (whether during or outside of work hours).

Employees should refrain from using social media while on work time unless they are specifically authorized to do so by a supervisor or other authorized city official. Do not use your City of Osceola email address to register on personal websites.

Nothing in this section should be construed to limit an employee’s right as a private citizen to discuss a matter of public concern during non-work time.

Employees may utilize the City’s Problem Resolution Policy to resolve work issues.

*Computers and other Technological Resources

To help maximize its employees’ efficiency in carrying out their respective job duties, the City of Osceola provides various information and technology resources such as email, computers, software/ computer applications, networks, the internet, the intranet, facsimile machines, cell phones, pagers, and other wireless communication devices and voice mail systems. Please remember that these tools are City property and must be used in a manner that reflects positively on the City and all who work here. Occasional, limited personal use of these resources is permitted, but should not interfere with your work performance, or the work performance of your colleagues. Employees, however, should have no expectation of privacy as to their use of City property. The City has the right to access and monitor any and all messages and files on electronic equipment owned by it and will do so as deemed necessary and appropriate. Employees will be held accountable for all usage of their systems and shall keep their keywords and passwords confidential to protect their assigned equipment and their files from misuse. Employees shall not access or copy software of data belonging to others or to the City. Reading another employee’s files is prohibited unless authorized by the department head. Employees shall not transport software or data provided by the City to another computer site without prior authorization from the department responsible for the data. The City will not tolerate inappropriate or illegal use of these assets and reserves the right to take appropriate disciplinary actions, as needed, up to and including termination of employment. Such inappropriate use of these resources can include, but is not limited to, the following:

• Hacking;
• Pirating software or audio/video files;
• Soliciting
• Distributing literature for outside entities;
• Sending inappropriate emails;
• Accessing, viewing, or downloading inappropriate web sites, i.e., sites advocating hate, violence, sexually explicit material, or promoting illegal activities;
• Distributing confidential information to persons/entities who are not entitled to such information;
• Storing or placing unlawful information on a computer or the network;
• Copying system files without proper authorization;
• Copying copyrighted materials without proper authorization;
• Use of abusive or otherwise objectionable language in either public or private messages;
• Sending messages that are likely to result in the loss of the recipient’s work or systems use;
• Sending “chain-letters,” jokes, lists, or any other types of use that would cause congestion or disrupt the operation of the networks or otherwise interfere with the work of others;
• Decryption of system or user passwords. Only software which has been purchased or approved by the City of Osceola may be loaded or used on any of its computers. All software, programs, applications, templates, data, and data files stored in, residing on, or developed with City computers, networks, or storage media are property of the City and shall not be removed from the workplace without proper authorization. The City’s software and software manuals should not be duplicated or reproduced in any manner which would violate the license agreements which pertain to usage of the software. Computer equipment, including software, should not be removed from City premises without prior written approval from the Department Manager. The City reserves the right to monitor and inspect, without notice, the use of its information and technology resources

*Internet Access

Internet access is provided to employees to conduct City business. Employees accessing the Internet are to do so for business-related purposes only. The City reserves the right to monitor Internet use to assure that Internet use is for legitimate business purposes and that access to the Internet is not abused by any one employee. Downloading files without the express consent of the department head is prohibited. Files downloaded from the Internet, or any other outside service, may contain a computer virus and must be scanned by a virus checking software prior to being used on a City computer. Uploading to the Internet is prohibited unless authorized by the department head to avoid interception and unauthorized access to information.

*Disciplinary Actions

Disciplinary action for violations can take the form of oral or written warnings, demotions, probation pending improvement, suspension without pay and immediate termination depending upon the seriousness of the offense. There are times when an employee may be placed on an unpaid suspension while a specific situation is investigated.

All violations will be dealt with in a fair and equitable manner that will be applied uniformly to all employees. The City will handle violations that are willful, destructive or discriminatory in a fair but firm manner. Should an employee’s performance, work habits, overall attitude, conduct or demeanor become unsatisfactory and in violation of either of the below referenced items or any other city policies, rules or regulations, and employee will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

The City of Osceola expects its employees to accept certain responsibilities, adhere to acceptable principles in matters of personal conduct, and always exhibit a high degree of personal integrity. This not only involves a sincere respect for the rights and feelings of others, but also the 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.

Whether an employee is on-duty or off-duty, the employee’s conduct reflects on the city. An employee should always observe the highest standards of professionalism.

Types of behavior and conduct that the city considers inappropriate include, but are not limited to the following:

EXAMPLES OF VIOLATIONS THAT LEAD TO AND INCLUDE TERMINATION

1.       Excessive absenteeism or tardiness

2.       Failure to sign/record own time record correctly

3.       Leaving own department or job during working hours without permission

4.       Creating or contributing to unsanitary conditions

5.       Unauthorized operation of machines, tools or equipment

6.       Horseplay, running, throwing things or otherwise causing a disturbance

7.       Participating in a fight on City property at any time

8.       Loitering or wasting time during working hours

9.       Threatening, intimidating, coercing or interfering with employees at any time

10.   Gambling or any games of chance on City property at any time

11.   Abusive or obscene language to any individual on City property

12.   Failure to report an accident

13.   Failure to observe safety standards and guidelines or wear safety equipment

14.   Failure to adhere to cash drawer policies

15.   Posting, removing or tampering with bulletin board notices without authority

16.   Violations of the solicitation and distribution policy

17.   Dress code violations

18.   Failure to meet customer service standards

19.   Violation of the personal phone call and visitor’s policy

20.   Intentionally misleading or providing false information

21.   Issuing a bad check against the City

22.   Failure to pay City utility bills

23.   Taking extended breaks or meal periods

24.   Violation of the City's smoking policy

25.   Violation of the City's sexual harassment policy

26.   Violation of the City's affirmative action policy

27.   Violation of the City's AIDS policy

28.   Failure to report absence from work when scheduled

29.   Removing City property without authorization

30.   Any violation that disrupts the regular course of business

31.   Violation of the City’s Safety policy.

32.   Violation of the City’s social media policy.

Types of behavior and conduct that the city considers inappropriate and will lead to immediate termination, include but are not limited to the following:

1.       Use of City-owned vehicles without authorization

2.       Falsification of City records, including the employment application

3.       Knowingly signing/recording the time record of another employee

4.       Insubordination. Including failure to carry out any reasonable order of a supervisor or refusal to work on jobs assigned by a supervisor

5.       Possession of weapons on City property unless authorized (as in the case of the Police Force)

6.       Misuse or removal from City property, without authorization, of any employee lists, City records or confidential information of any kind

7.       Abuse, misuse or deliberate destruction of City property, tools, equipment or employee property of any kind

8.       Reporting to work under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol or the use, sale, dispensing or possession of illegal drugs or alcohol

9.       The making or publishing of false, vicious, or malicious statements concerning any employee of the City, City Official or City property

10.   Starting a fight on City property or while on City business at any time

11.   Theft or misappropriation of City property or employee property

12.   Possession or use of drugs or alcohol on City property at any time

13.   Sabotage

14.   Immoral conduct or indecency

15.   Unauthorized sleeping during working hours

16.   Leaving City premises during working hours without permission

17.   Gross or willful negligence

18.   Willfully endangering employees, customers or property of the City

19.   Failure to report to work for three or more consecutive working days without notification

20.   Failure to report to work upon completion of a leave of absence of any kind

21.   Rude, discourteous or insolent conduct toward a fellow employee or customer.

The above lists are not all inclusive. Disciplinary action will be based on the evaluation of the Human Resource Department, the Department Supervisor, and the Mayor.

*Problem Resolution

The City of Osceola strives to ensure fair and honest treatment of all employees. Supervisors, Managers, and employees are expected to treat each other with mutual respect. Employees are encouraged to offer positive and constructive criticism.

If a situation occurs when an employee believes that a condition of employment or a decision affecting them is unjust or inequitable, they are encouraged to make use of the following steps. The employee may discontinue the procedure at any step.

1.            Employee presents problem to immediate supervisor after incident occurs. If the employee believes it would be inappropriate to contact their immediate supervisor, the employee may present the problem to their Department Manager.

2.            Supervisor/Manager responds to problem during discussion or after consulting with appropriate management, when necessary. Supervisor/Manager documents discussion.

3.            Employee presents problem to Human Resources Director if problem is unresolved.

4.            Human Resources Director counsels and advises employee, visits with employee's manager(s).

5.            If problem is still unresolved employee may present problem to Mayor in writing.

Mayor reviews and considers problem. Mayor informs employee of decision and forwards copy of written response to the Human Resources Director for employee's file. The mayor has full authority to make any adjustment deemed appropriate to resolve the problem.

Not every problem can be resolved to everyone's total satisfaction, but only through understanding and discussion of mutual problems can employees and management development confidence in each other.

*Workplace Monitoring

Workplace monitoring may be conducted by the city to ensure quality control, employee safety, security, and customer satisfaction.

Employees who regularly communicate with customers may have their telephone conversations monitored or recorded. Telephone monitoring is used to identify and correct performance problems through targeted training. Improved job performance enhances our customers’ image of the city as well as their satisfaction with our service.

Computers furnished to employees are the property of the city. As such, computer usage and files may be monitored or accessed.

The city may conduct video surveillance or non-private workplace areas. Video monitoring is used to identify safety concerns, maintain quality control, detect theft and misconduct, and discourage or prevent acts of harassment and workplace violence.

Employees can request access to information gathered through workplace monitoring that may impact employment decisions. Access will be granted unless there is a legitimate business reason to protect confidentiality or an ongoing investigation.

Because the city is sensitive to the legitimate privacy rights of employees, every effort will be made to guarantee that workplace monitoring is done in an ethical and respectful manner.

Employees with personal privacy concerns should be aware that there may be consequences to using privately owned electronic communications equipment (including privately owned cell phones) for work related purposes. If an employee uses privately owned equipment for work related purposes, such as work-related text messages or emails, the records of the privately-owned equipment might be subject to disclosure to the public by the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act. Employees are therefore encouraged to use city-owned communications equipment and city-owned software (such as city email) when communicating for job related purposes.

Employees waive their right to privacy in anything created, stored, sent, or received on the city’s computer or telecommunications system. The city reserves the right to inspect any data, emails, social media content, files, settings, or any other aspect of access made by a city-owned computer or related system and will do so on an as-needed basis determined by the Human Resource department. Employees understand that any information created, stored, sent, or received on the city’s computer or telecommunications system may be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, regardless of whether the information is business-related or personal to the employee. Therefore, any such information may be accessed and/or inspected at any time by any member of the public unless it is exempted by law from disclosure.

PAY AND TIMEKEEPING PROCEDURES

____________________________________________________________________

 

* Circumstances In Which The City May Make Deductions From Pay

Deductions from pay are permissible when an exempt employee: is absent from work for one or more full days for personal reasons other than sickness or disability; for absences of one or more full days due to sickness or disability if the deduction is made in accordance with a bona fide plan, policy, or practice of providing compensation for salary lost due to illness; to offset amounts employees receive as jury or witness fees, or for military pay; or for unpaid disciplinary suspensions of one or more full days imposed in good faith for workplace conduct rule infractions (see policies on penalties for workplace conduct rule infractions). Also, the City is not required to pay the full salary in the initial or terminal week of employment; for penalties imposed in good faith for infractions of safety rules of major significance, or for weeks in which an exempt employee takes unpaid leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. In these circumstances, either partial day or full day deductions may be made to the extent allowed by law.

*Non-Exempt and Exempt Employees

Non-Exempt employees are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime requirements and therefore are subject to the overtime policies set forth in this Handbook.

Exempt employees are not subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime requirements. Certain employees are classified as exempt based upon the nature of the work, conditions of employment and by the criteria set forth in the rules and regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Exempt employees shall not be eligible for overtime.

Temporary and Seasonal employees are hired for a set duration (i.e., in the form of a seasonal employee such as a lifeguard for an outdoor swimming pool) or for a specific project. These employees are not intended to be employed on a regular basis and are employed at-will. Temporary employees may be hired full- or part-time and are paid for actual hours worked at a rate determined by the department head. Temporary, non-exempt employees are eligible for overtime for hours exceeding 40 hours per workweek, subject to all other overtime policies set forth in this handbook. A temporary employee may be employed up to six (6) months at which time the temporary status shall be reviewed before employment is continued. Unless otherwise authorized by the city council, temporary and seasonal employees do not qualify for annual leave, sick leave, or other city benefits.

*City Policy

It is our policy to comply with the salary basis requirements of the FLSA. Therefore, we prohibit all supervisors from making any improper deductions from the salaries of exempt employees.

*What to Do If an Improper Deduction Occurs

If you believe that an improper deduction has been made to your salary, you should immediately report this information to your Department Manager or Human Resources. Reports of improper deductions will be promptly investigated. If it is determined that an improper deduction has occurred, you will be promptly reimbursed for any improper deduction made.

*Reporting and Verifying Hours Worked

It is each employee’s responsibility to monitor and record an accurate status of the hours the employee works per payroll period to ensure that the employee is properly paid for time worked.

All employees shall report their hours worked on the forms provided by their department manager/supervisor. It is the responsibility of each employee to properly complete a timesheet recording the time that the employee worked during every payroll period and to sign each time sheet. By signing the timesheet, each employee is verifying its accuracy. Signed and completed timesheets must be turned in on a bi-weekly basis to their supervisors for signatures. The supervisor shall forward the same to payroll in a timely manner to ensure that proper records are kept as to vacations, sick leave, hours worked, and overtime accrued and taken.

*Payroll Records

Human Resources shall keep and maintain a record of work attendance, vacation, and sick leave earned, used, and accrued, along with any other leave, whether with or without pay. These records shall be available to the department head, and individual employees shall be able to inspect their own records during normal business hours as the requirements of the employee’s work duties permit.

*Payroll Procedures and Payday

Employees are paid on a biweekly basis by either paper check or direct deposit. When a holiday falls on a regular payday, employees will be paid on the last working day prior to the holiday.

Each employee is responsible for monitoring the accuracy of each paycheck received. Any employee who believes that the employee’s paycheck does not properly compensate him/her for all hours in a given payroll period should immediately report those concerns to their supervisor or Human Resources.

Lost or stolen checks should be immediately reported to a supervisor or Human Resources. Written permission from the employee prior to picking up the check is required for family members and friends to sign for an employee’s check.

*Unauthorized Work Time

Because of FLSA regulations, non-exempt employees are not to commence work prior to the scheduled starting time, work during their meal break, or work past the scheduled end of their shift without prior approval of their immediate supervisor.

FLSA non-exempt employees who work unauthorized overtime hours will be subject to disciplinary action including, but not limiting to, suspension without pay.

*Pay Advances

It is the policy of the City not to give out pay in advance of the current pay system.

*Overtime Pay

The City will pay overtime in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. For

non-uniformed, Non-Exempt employees of the City who work more than forty (40) hours during any given week, the employee shall be paid at the rate of one and one-half times regular pay for all hours in excess of forty for the week. Only hours worked count in calculating overtime. Pay for holidays, vacations, sick time, jury duty and the like do not count as hours worked. Emergency call-ins will be at overtime rates. Hours worked on Sunday will be at the regular rate unless in excess of forty (40) hours in the week. Overtime will be permitted only with prior approval of the Department Manager or Supervisor prior to the commencement of such work or when absolutely necessary due to emergency conditions. Failure to obtain prior approval before working overtime will result in disciplinary action.

Uniformed firefighters and police officers will be paid overtime in accordance with state and federal laws. See your supervisor for further details.

*Salary Basis Policy

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law which requires most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek.

However, Section 13(a)(1) of the FLSA provides exemption from both minimum wage and overtime pay employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees. Section 13(a)(1) and Section 13(a)(17) also exempt certain computer employees. To qualify for exemptions, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding job duties ad be paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week. Job titles do not determine exempt status. In order for an exemption to apply, an employee’s specific job duties and salary must meet all the requirements of the Department’s regulations.

*Salary Basis Requirement

To qualify for exemption, employees generally must be paid federally-mandated minimum salary and meet additional requirements imposed by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Being paid on a “salary basis” means an employee regularly receives a predetermined amount of compensation each pay period on a weekly, or less frequent, basis. The predetermined amount cannot be reduced because of variations in the quality or quantity of the employee’s work. Subject to exceptions listed below, an exempt employee must receive the full salary for any workweek in which the employee performs any work, regardless of the number of days or hours worked. Exempt employees do not need to be paid for any work week in which they perform no work. If the employer makes deductions from an employee’s predetermined salary, i.e., because of the operating requirements of the business, that employee is not paid on a “salary basis.” If the employee is ready, willing and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available.

*Personal Finances

It is the policy of the City to require employees to meet and discharge their financial obligations in a timely manner.

The City may conduct credit checks on current employees being considered for promotion or transfers to positions where financial status may have an impact on an employee's qualifications to perform the job.

The Human Resource Manager and Payroll Clerk are the only persons authorized to receive a writ of garnishment or attachment, a notice of levy by any taxing authority, or any other similar order requiring payment of a portion of an employee's compensation to someone other than the employee. The amount deducted will not exceed that permitted by law. No employee will be terminated because of the fact that his/her earnings have been subject to one garnishment. However, repeated garnishments for more than one indebtedness may result in disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.

*Scheduling

Scheduling is done on an individual basis within each department to meet departmental needs and to maintain safety and business standards. Employees with concerns regarding their schedules should contact their departments directly. The City is unable to guarantee a set shift for any employee. Employees may be requested to work weekends, holidays or night shifts to meet business needs. Pay will be adjusted as specified in the corresponding policies printed in this handbook.

*Refusal to Work

A city employee’s commitment is to the 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 Osceola, as allowed by federal, state, and local law.

*Resignation/Termination

Employees who wish to terminate their employment with the City of Osceola are urged to notify the city at least two (2) weeks in advance of their intended termination. Such notice should preferably be given in writing o the employee’s department head or supervisor. Although not required, 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 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 to commence in a timely manner.

All employment relationships with the City of Osceola are on at-will basis. Thus, although the City of Osceola hopes that the relationship with employees are rewarding, the city reserves the right to terminate the employment relationship of any employee at any time for any lawful reason.

*Exit Interviews

Employees whose employment has terminated may be requested to participate in an exit interview and sign an exit interview form at the time of termination. During the interview, matters of final pay and benefits will be discussed, and the employee will be required to return any city property in the employee’s possession, or which was entrusted to him/her.

*Job Description

It shall be the responsibility of the Human Resource Department to maintain a job description on file for each position in the department. The job description should include scope responsibility, essential job functions, minimum qualifications, working conditions, physical requirements, and an employee acknowledgment.

*Meal Policy

The Department Head or supervisor will set meal periods. Part-time employees working five consecutive hours or more will be afforded an unpaid meal period. Employees must record meal periods for accurate timekeeping purposes.

Failure to return from a meal period or failure to return in a timely manner will result in disciplinary action, which can lead to and include termination.

*Break Policy

An employee will receive one 15-minute break for every four hours worked.

Breaks should be taken with the permission of the supervisor and should not interrupt the general course of business. Failure to return from break or failure to return from break in a timely manner will result in disciplinary action which can lead to and include termination.

*Attendance/Tardy Policy (revised 1/10/11)

Not arriving to work for a scheduled shift or arriving to work late for a scheduled shift is a serious matter. The City expects that all employees adhere to their scheduled shifts. Employees are required to be at their work area, ready to work at the scheduled starting time. It is the responsibility of the employee to make arrangements to replace a scheduled shift that cannot be worked. All requests for days off, including vacation days, must be requested in advance.

The following policy will be used for disciplinary action regarding attendance and tardiness:
Policy:
Unauthorized absence and/or tardy):

  • 2 times in 6 months = verbal warning
  • 3 times in 6 months = 1st written warning
  • 4 times in 6 months = 2nd written and final warning
  • 5 times in 6 months = termination

A rolling calendar is used for purposes of the absence/tardy policy.

Employees should notify their supervisor as far in advance as possible whenever they are unable to report to work, know they will be late or must leave early.

Employees who are delayed in reporting to work more than 30 minutes and who have not notified their supervisor of expected tardiness may lose their right to work the balance of the workday.

*Emergency Situations

It is policy of the city to maintain hours of operation, which make the best use of employees and resources in serving the needs of the public. Emergency situations may from time to time necessitate the closure of city offices. Such situations shall be determined by the mayor after consideration of all facts. Essential personnel required to be at work under emergency situations shall receive their normal rate of pay.

At times it may become necessary to close individual offices due to limited staffing levels, special departmental meetings, etc. Department closures shall be approved by the Mayor. Arrangements shall be made with other departments to handle any emergency situations during the department’s closure. A skeleton crew shall remain in each department to cover phones ad assist the public when possible.

*Inclement Weather

In the event city offices are open but a non-essential employee is unable to report to work due to inclement weather conditions, the employee may elect to use vacation, or accrued comp time. The employee must report their absence to their immediate supervisor to remain in pay status for any such absence. Failure to report your absence could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

The decision regarding inclement weather will be communicated through local news sources.

Essential personnel are those employees who are required to provide mandatory services, and who must be on the job regardless of weather conditions. Human Resources will ensure that those employees designated as essential services for their department are aware of this designation and understand that they are required to report and to remain at work.

*Tuition Reimbursement

City will provide educational assistance to all full-time employees. An employee

may be reimbursed 100% of the cost of tuition and fees, excluding books and materials, upon satisfactory completion of an eligible course, which has been approved by their Department Manager in advance of registration, provided the employee registered for the course after becoming employed by the City. To maintain eligibility employees must remain on the active payroll and be performing their job satisfactory through completion of each course. The City has the sole discretion to determine whether a course relates to an employee's current job duties and the cost of tuition is reasonable. Eligible courses should be taken at a fully accredited university, college, or technical institute requiring attendance in person.

An employee is eligible to apply for financial assistance under this policy provided the employee does not receive educational benefits from the Federal Government and provided all or any part of the tuition and fees are not paid for are waived because of a fellowship, scholarship or other comparable financial assistance. If tuition and fees exceed the amount of educational benefits received from other sources, the

City's tuition reimbursement shall apply to those excess costs. Financial assistance will only apply to courses completed toward an Associates or Bachelor’s Degree.

Courses taken must involve completion of their requirements outside the regular work schedule of the employee. This policy does not apply to courses or training which employees are directed by the City to take in fulfillment of the responsibilities of the City

EMPLOYEE LEAVES

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*Holidays (Non-uniformed employees)

All benefit eligible employees are to be paid for the eleven-(11) holidays, whether they work the holiday or not. An employee who works 1000 hours or more during a calendar year (full time) will receive eight hours or pay at the straight hourly rate. Paid specific holidays are earned as the date that they occur and cannot be used in advance. The eleven holidays are:

Holidays Paid Specific

1.       New Year's Day

2.       Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

3.       Presidents Day

4.       Memorial Day

5.       Juneteenth Independence Day

6.       Independence Day

7.       Labor Day

8.       Veterans Day

9.       Thanksgiving Day

10.   Day after Thanksgiving Day

11.   Christmas Eve

12.   Christmas Day Observed

13.   The Employee's Birthday

Floating holidays must be scheduled in advance with an employee’s immediate supervisor. The employee can take floating holidays on any day they choose at the discretion of their Supervisor/Department Manager. Floating holidays cannot be taken the day before or the day after a scheduled holiday. Also, floating holidays must be taken in (1) day increments and cannot be taken consecutively.

Any employee who is absent due to an unscheduled absence on the last scheduled working day before or first scheduled working day after a designated holiday will not be paid for that holiday.

Uniformed employees

All benefit eligible employees are to be paid for the eleven (11) holidays, whether they work the holiday or not. An employee who works 1000 hours or more during a calendar year (full time) will receive eight hours or pay at the straight hourly rate. Paid holidays are earned as the date that they occur and cannot be used in advance. The eleven holidays are:

Holidays Paid Specific

1.       New Year's Day

2.       Martin Luther King Day

3.       President's Day

4.       Memorial Day

5.       Independence Day

6.       Labor Day

7.       Thanksgiving Day

8.       Day after Thanksgiving Day

9.       Christmas Eve

10.   Christmas Day

11.   The Employee's Birthday

In order to provide consistency of service and protection to the citizens of Osceola on various recognized holidays, the Fire Chief and Police Chief shall be responsible for assigning actual work duty during normally recognized holidays.

Any employee who is absent due to an unscheduled absence on the last scheduled working day before or first scheduled working day after a designated holiday will not be paid for that holiday.

*Vacation

Employees of the City are eligible to receive a paid vacation after 12 months of service. The time at which a vacation may be used must be scheduled with an employee's immediate supervisor. Changes to this schedule will be made at the discretion of the Department Head. Vacation time will be charged to the employee in not less than 1/2-day units.

Each employee shall be granted vacation time based on his or her length of service with City in accordance with the following schedule:

1.       1 year and 2 years-------------------------10 days

2.       3 years and 4 years------------------------10 days

3.       5 years to 15 years------------------------15 days

4.       Over 15 years-------------------------------20 days

Employees are encouraged to take all of their vacation time each year. The City recognizes this may not always be possible. Therefore, employees may sell back to the city, with the approval of the Department Head, up to 5 days of unused vacation one time per year if they accumulated 10 days and can sell 10 days if they have accumulated 15 or more vacation days. There are, however, no provisions for the accumulation of vacation time. In other words, vacation time not taken within one year from the time it is earned is forfeited. Employees who have earned vacation time who are separated from the City's employment and who are in good standing shall be compensated for unused vacation time.

Uniformed firefighters and police officers will be given vacation time and compensation for unused vacation in accordance with state law. Your Human Resource Manager or Department Head will provide a vacation schedule for you.

*Voting

City employees are encouraged to exercise their legal right to vote and, if necessary and requested in advance, reasonable time will be granted for the purpose.

*Court Duty

All employees shall be given necessary time off with pay for performing jury duty or when subpoenaed as a witness in any legitimate court. Employees must submit a copy of the relevant court-related paperwork as early as possible to the Human Resources Director upon receipt thereof. If an employee is in court for one half day, he/she will be required to report to work for the remaining half day.

*Death in the Family

All employees are eligible for a paid bereavement leave for a period up too and not exceeding (3) working days to attend the funeral of a family member. For purposes regarding the use of these days, leave constitutes the day before, the day of and the day after a family members funeral. If the funeral is to take place on a weekend the same use applies unless the funeral is out of town. Out of town for purposes of this section is considered overnight, long-distance travel. The employee must complete a Bereavement Leave request form and give to the Department Manager. Leave will be granted by the Department Manager.

Bereavement leave will be granted for the following reason:

Death of a member of the employee's immediate family. Immediate family for purposes of this section shall include the employee's spouse, child, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother, sister, grandparent of employee or spouse, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchild, or member of immediate household.

The City reserves the right to ask for verification of death.

*Unpaid Leave of Absence

The Mayor may grant an employee leave of absence without pay when requested by the employee's Department Head for a period not to exceed 30 days in a calendar year when it is in the interest of the City to do so. Leaves are generally not granted during busy periods. Any vacation due must be taken before an employee can begin an unpaid leave. An approved leave of absence shall not constitute a break of service with respect to tenure, retirement, seniority and the like. Failure to return from a leave will be considered a resignation and will result in immediate termination. Employees taking leaves should be aware that the position and rate of pay offered upon the return to work may or may not be the same as prior to the leave. The City will provide health insurance and other benefits to employees on leave as required by law. Benefits that accrue according to length of service, such as paid vacation, holiday, personal and sick days do not accrue during periods of leave.

*Employee Health Benefits

The City of Osceola provides a group health plan for all its full-time employees. Detailed information on the policy and coverage will be given to employees at the time of hire. Additional information may be obtained from the Human Resource Department.

*Medical Leave

Uniformed firefighters and police officers will receive paid leave in accordance with state law. Please see your Human Resource Manager or Department Head for an explanation of the Uniformed Medical Leave Policy.

Employees of the City not classified as firefighters or law enforcement officers are eligible for leave with pay after 12 months of continuous service. Leave is earned on the first day of the calendar year.

Each full- time employee will receive twenty (20) days per year of which three (3) can be used as sick days. The remaining seventeen (17) will accrue for short term disability. "Short Term Disability" will be any illness, injury or disability (including pregnancy) that requires the employee to be unable to work for more than 5 consecutive working days. A physician's note must be presented before short term disability will be paid and periodically throughout the leave. Short-term disability leave will accrue up to a maximum of sixty (60) days.

Employees are not required to present a doctor's statement, unless requested by a supervisor, for use of the three sick days. A doctor's written statement will be required for payment under the "short term disability leave". The City may require, at its own expense, a second opinion from a doctor of the City's choosing.

The policies governing the utilization of sick leave are as follows:

1.       An employee is eligible for sick leave for any one of the following reasons:

a.       Personal illness or physical incapacity resulting from causes beyond the employee's control.

b.       Quarantine of any employee by a physician or officer to comply with community health regulations.

c.        Illness in the employee's immediate family which would require the employee to personally take care of his/her family. Immediate family for the purpose of this definition shall include the employee's spouse, children and parents.

2.       An employee who is unable to report to work due to one of the above reasons shall report the reasons for his/her absence to a supervisor or Department Head before he/she is expected to report to work. Sick leave with pay shall not be allowed unless this requirement is met.

3.       Bon a fide evidence or full justification for every absence receiving benefits under this section must be presented when requested by the Department Head or supervisor.

4.       Absence for part of a day that is chargeable to sick leave shall be charged proportionately in an amount not less than 1/2 day.

5.       Sick leave or short-term disability will not be granted when an injury is incurred while the employee is performing work for compensation for an employer other than the City of Osceola.

6.       At the time of retirement, resignation or termination, employees shall not be entitled to receive compensation for any unused sick leave that may have accrued during the employee's years of service to the City.

7.       An employee cannot collect both short-term disability and workers' compensation congruently.

8.       Employees who are on approved Sick Leave/STD, workers’ compensation or FMLA may not perform work for another employer during that leave. 

*Family & Medical Leave

The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 requires cities with fifty (50) or more employees to 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:

-          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;

-          The care of an immediate family member (spouse, child or parent) who has a serious health condition; and

-          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 FMLA leave. To be eligible for the FMLA benefits employees must:

-          Be employed by the city for at least one year;

-          Have worked 1250 hours over the previous 12 months preceding the leave request.

City employees must use vacation or accrued leave before FMLA leave will be granted.

City employees are required to provide advance leave notice (at least 30 days) when leave is foreseeable (such as childbirth, adoption or planned medical treatment). Depending on each individual situation, the city may require a medical certification to support a request for FMLA leave because of a serious health condition and 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 positions with equivalent pay, benefits and other employment terms. Furthermore, the use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee's leave. Employees wishing additional information should consult with their Human Resource Manager. Again, this is an unpaid leave.

*Maternity leave and Nursing Mothers

Employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions will be treated the same for all employment-related purposes as persons with non-pregnancy-related health impairments, illnesses, or injuries. An employee’s accrued sick leave and vacation leave will be granted for maternity use, after which leave without pay must be used, in accordance with the city’s family medical leave policy, if applicable.

In the event the Family Medical Leave Act is inapplicable, the employee must use accrued sick leave and/or accrued annual leave as required to the extent of exhaustion of sick leave and annual benefits.

Nursing mothers will be allowed reasonable unpaid break time to express breast milk. This may run concurrently with other paid or unpaid break already provided. If the employee’s workspace is not private and secure, we will make a reasonable effort to provide a location where the mother may express. Employees shall make reasonable efforts to minimize the disruption of the employer’ operations.

*Military Leave

A military leave of absence will be granted if an employee enlists, is inducted, or is recalled to active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States for a period of up to four years. Employees who perform and return from military service in the Armed Forces, the military Reserves or the National Guard will retain such rights with respect to reinstatement, seniority, vacation, layoffs, compensation, and length of service pay increases are required by applicable federal or state law.

Any employee who leaves the City's service for compulsory military duty shall be placed on military leave without pay. Any accrued vacation leave as he/she may be entitled to at the time of departure will be paid upon request of the employee. No accumulated sick leave will be paid. It will be held in trust and credited toward the employee upon his/her return to employment by the City.

*Miscellaneous Leave

The attendance of employees at seminars and training programs is considered part of continual professional development. Department Manager must pre-approve attendance at these meetings. If employees are required to attend these meetings at a location requiring an overnight stay or travel time in excess of the employee’s normal workday, overtime will not be paid. However, the city will pay all reasonable our-pocket expenses for lodging, travel costs, meals, etc., pursuant to its regular expense policy.

*Occupational Injuries

All employees of the city are covered under the Arkansas State Worker’s Compensation Law. Any employee incurring an “on-the-job” injury should immediately notify their supervisor who will arrange for appropriate medical treatment and prepare the necessary reports required for the employee to be compensated.

An employee who is absent from work due to work related illness or injury will be on Workers’ Compensation status from the first day, or partial day, of absence due to the work-related illness or injury.

An employee who is on Workers Compensation will be paid in accordance with the regulation of the Arkansas State Workers’ Compensation. There are no additional supplemental payments by the City of Osceola permitted. An employee who is on Worker’s Compensation will be required to pay the City of Osceola on a monthly basis, for any Medical Benefit or voluntary deductions. Failure to pay can result in the cancellation of these benefits.

EMPLOYEE SUGGESTION PROGRAM

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It is the policy of the City of Osceola to encourage employees to make constructive suggestions for the improvement of operations. Because of this policy effective 6/1/99 the City of Osceola will implement an Employee Suggestion Program to give appropriate recognition and rewards for suggestions that are properly submitted and accepted.

Program Guidelines

1.       Employees of the City below the level of Department Manager are eligible to participate in the Suggestion Program.

2.       An eligible suggestion for the purposes of this program is defined as a constructive idea that has design and purpose for the resolution of a problem, the improvement of the operations or procedures, or the improvement of the City's working environment. Examples of eligible suggestions include:

a.       More efficient ways to do a job or reduce costs;

b.       Improvements to customer service or quality or service;

c.        Ways to reduce waste;

d.       More efficient ways to use work areas;

e.       A new source for obtaining parts, materials, or supplies;

f.        Ideas for improving attendance;

g.       Methods of making work areas safer or cleaner;

h.       Better ways to safeguard City property;

i.         Revisions or improvements to City policies;

3.       Topics not eligible for consideration include complaints and criticisms, wage issues, and non-business concerns. To be considered for evaluation, all suggestions must be submitted in writing. Suggestion forms are available from the Human Resources Department. Each suggestion form must be signed, dated, and delivered to the Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department will mail to the suggesting employee's home address an acknowledgment that includes the date the suggestion was submitted to the Mayor for evaluation.

4.       The Mayor will evaluate all properly submitted suggestions and determine which will be accepted or rejected. Those suggestions accepted will be referred to the appropriate Department Manager for implementation. The Human Resources Department will notify the suggester and make any appropriate announcements.

5.       Awards for implemented suggestions will be a onetime award of a Wal-Mart Gift card in the amount of $50.00.

6.       All suggestions, once submitted, become the property of the City. The City may modify, change, or eliminate the Suggestions Program at any time, at its discretion.

EMPLOYEE SERVICE AWARDS

_____________________________________________________

 

It is the policy of the City to recognize employee service to the organization by presenting employee service awards to eligible employees according to the guidelines below.

All full-time employees are eligible to receive a service award upon completion of five years of service and at the end of every five years of service. Service does have to be continuous to count toward service credit for the award.

Service awards generally will be presented to the individual at the end of the quarter in which their anniversary falls and they become eligible.

The Human Resources Department is responsible for identifying the employees who will be honored, notifying the presenter, ordering the awards, and arranging for the appropriate announcements and publication of awards, both internally and externally.

SAFETY

________________________________________________________________________

The City of Osceola strives to provide a healthy and safe working environment. Safety is largely the use of good judgment and careful work habits. If an employee is unsure how to perform a task safely, he should ask his supervisor or department head for the correct method.

Unsafe conduct constitutes misconduct. The following safety rules should be observed:

·         Follow all departmental safety rules.

·         Use all mechanical safeguards on or for employee equipment.

·         Immediately cease using and report any faulty or potentially faulty equipment to the supervisor or department head.

·         Immediately report unsafe or potentially unsafe working condition or equipment.

·         Immediately report any and every accident to the supervisor or department head.

Violence or threats of violence are strictly prohibited and, if confirmed, may be grounds for immediate termination. Examples of such conduct include: harassing or threatening phone calls, email or written communication directed towards an employee or his or her friends/family members; stalking; and the destruction of personal and /or city property.

Dangerous items of any nature such as, weapons, explosives, or firearms will not be permitted in buildings, owned and maintained by the city, or on an employee’s person while conducting offsite city business unless the employee is a law enforcement officer or a security guard employed by a state agency, or a city or county, or any state or federal military personnel. Furthermore, no dangerous items are allowed on any part of a detention facility, prison, or jail, including parking lots. If an employee is undergoing disciplinary proceedings or is terminated and must return to work for any reason, the employee shall neither possess nor store the dangerous items on the employee’s person, or in the employee’s vehicle. Of course, theft of any kind will not be tolerated.

All unsafe/hazardous conditions or potentially unsafe conditions should be immediately reported to a supervisor. Additionally, a supervisor or Department Head should be immediately contacted if an employee is unsure of proper operating/safety procedures.

Safety policies specific to each department are found in the "City of Osceola Safety Handbook". The policies outlined in this text are designed to prevent employee/customer accidents and to create a safe environment. Failure to follow safety procedures can lead to disciplinary action.

All employee and customer accidents, no matter the amount of injury, must be immediately reported to a supervisor, Department Head or Human Resource Representative.

REPORTING OF EMPLOYEE ACCIDENTS

-          Contact a supervisor, Department Head or Human Resource Representative immediately, regardless of the extent of injury.

-          The supervisor or Human Resource Representative will help obtain first aid or medical attention.

-          Complete the "Employee Accident Form" and answer questions regarding the injury.

A supervisor or Department will conduct -An investigation of the accident Head.

REPORTING OF CUSTOMER ACCIDENTS

-          Contact a supervisor, Department Head or Human Resource Representative immediately, regardless of the extent of injury.

-          Stay with the customer until a supervisor arrives.

-          Do not say anything to the customer about the accident. Do not touch the accident scene (leave everything as is).

-          Discuss details of the accident with the supervisor only.

-          If there are witnesses, get their names, addresses and phone numbers, and give this information to the supervisor. Ask them to talk to the supervisor. Do not detain if they want to leave.

* Eye Protection Policy

The City of Osceola believes their employees are their most important assets and recognized that safeguarding their health and safety cannot be overemphasized. Furthermore, we recognize the fact that accidents cause untold suffering and financial loss to our employees and their families.

In fulfilling our goal of providing a place of employment free from recognized hazards, with the safest of possible working condition, the City of Osceola establishes this Eye Protection Policy.

Safety Glasses are required to be worn while performing any appropriate work activities. Eye protection is not required in office areas or city vehicles unless maintenance work in these areas require eye protection. If the work being done requires use of goggles or face shields they may be worn with or in place of safety glasses.

Non-prescription safety glasses must be company approved and will be provided by the city.

The city will reimburse the employee for one-half the cost of prescription safety glasses for other then standard eyewear, as needed, in accordance with the following:

Employee must obtain (at his/her expense) a prescription for other than standard eye. This may be obtained from their own optometrist.

Supervisors and Managers are to provide means for prompt corrective action when safety glasses are not being used. Employees are to abide by the above Eye Protection Policy to insure their safety and that of fellow employees.

*Policy Statement

The City of Osceola possesses the sole right to operate and manage the affairs of the city.

*Conflicts

The policies in this handbook will be followed unless they are found to conflict with federal, state, or local laws, which shall take precedence.

*Severability

Should any of the provisions contained in this handbook be found contrary to federal, state, or local law, the remaining provisions of this handbook shall remain full force and effect.

To the extent that any law provides additional or different benefits or rights to the employee, the provisions of this handbook shall be deemed to include those statements of law.

*Policy Changes

The City of Osceola reserves the right to suspend, revoke, or revise any of the policies contained in this handbook at any time.

*Change of Address

Employees changing their home address or telephone number must notify his or her department head of this change so that personnel files can be kept current. This is important in the case the city must mail the employee any information or documents, such as tax statements. Also, if there is any change in the employee’s marital status, the employee should report it to his or her department head.


AMENDMENT

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This handbook outlines pertinent policies and procedures for the employees of the City of Osceola. Nothing in this handbook constitutes a contract of employment or is deemed to alter the employment-at-will relationship which exists between the employee and the City of Osceola. The City reserves the right to change any policy at any time through action of the City Council. The Human Resource Office is available to answer questions regarding the contents of this handbook.

Benefits for authorized full-time, non-uniformed employees:

Holidays: Eleven (11) paid holidays per year.

Insurance: Group Medical, Dental, Vision and Life.

Vacation:

1-4 years of service10 days
5-15 years of service15 days
Over 15 years20 days

Sick Leave: Full-time employees receive twenty (20) days per year of which three (3) can be used as sick days. The remaining seventeen (17) accrue for short-term disability. Short-term disability leave accrues up to a maximum of sixty (60) days.

Pension Plan: Voluntary and contributory, employees are eligible to participate after completing one year of service.

Worker’s Compensation: Worker’s Compensation Insurance coverage is provided for each employee for medical bills and work time lost due to on-the-job-injuries.

Tuition Reimbursement: The City of Osceola provides education assistance to full-time employees. An employee may be reimbursed 100% of cost of tuition and fees, excluding books and materials upon satisfactory completion of an eligible course, which has been approved by their Department Manager in advance of registration. Reimbursement will only apply to courses completed toward an Associates or Bachelors Degree.

Notifications of non-exempt job vacancies are posted in each department for a period of 5 working days. If a job vacancy cannot be filled from employees who applied for the position, the city will then conduct a search outside of the City.

Applications may be obtained at City Hall, 303 W. Hale Avenue or online.

Applicants must have a High School diploma or equivalent and a valid Driver's License. Qualified applicants living within the city limits of Osceola will be given priority over qualified applicants residing outside of the City limits. City employees must reside within the City limits of Osceola.

All offers of hire to City positions are conditioned on meeting drug test requirements and a job related medical examination.

The City of Osceola is committed to providing equal employment opportunity without, regard race, religion, national origin, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital or parental status, veteran’s status, disability or genetic information. Furthermore, the city’s commitment extends to all employment-related decisions and terms and conditions of promotions, pay and benefits.

WATER WASTEWATER SERVICEMAN

The City of Osceola currently has an opening for the full-time position of  Water/Wastewater Serviceman.  Must have a high school diploma/equivalent and Wastewater Treatment Operator License a plus. Must have ability to effectively communicate with the public, co-workers and to follow instructions. Previous experience in the operation and use of heavy equipment as well as a Commercial Driver’s License is needed. Three to six months job related experience and/or training plus. Salary is DOE upon experience.

Individual must be able to work rotating weekends, on-call and holidays.

The City of Osceola is an equal opportunity employer and provides a comprehensive benefit package that includes health, dental, vision and prescription benefits, life insurance, paid vacation, holidays, sick days and retirement plan. The City of Osceola is committed to a drug free environment and will administer pre-employment drug testing.

Applications will be accepted at City Hall, 303 W. Hale Avenue, from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday. Resumes can also be sent to

Human Resources
City of Osceola
P.O. Box 443
Osceola, Arkansas, 72370

or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Equal Opportunity Employer

 

Subcategories

Notifications of non-exempt job vacancies are posted in each department for a period of 5 working days. If a job vacancy cannot be filled from employees who applied for the position, the city will then conduct a search outside of the City.

Applications may be obtained at City Hall, 303 W. Hale Avenue or online.

Applicants must have a High School diploma or equivalent and a valid Driver's License. Qualified applicants living within the city limits of Osceola will be given priority over qualified applicants residing outside of the City limits. City employees must reside within the City limits of Osceola.

All offers of hire to City positions are conditioned on meeting drug test requirements and a job related medical examination.

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