POLICY 17
PERSONNEL ACTIONS Revised 10/17

SECTION INDEX:    Personnel Actions

1    Purpose

2    Reference

3    Application

4    Guidance

4.1    Appointments

4.2    In-Training

4.3    Promotions

4.4    Demotions

4.5    Transfer (Same Job Class)

4.6    Transfer (Different Job Class)

4.7    Reclassification/Salary Range Adjustment

4.8    Acting Assignments

4.9    Step Increase

4.10    Resignation

4.11    Layoff

4.12    Retirement

4.13    Temporary / Promotional Compensation for the Rank of Police Lieutenant and Police Commander

4.14    Separation Pay

4.15    Pay Miscalculations

4.16    Market Premiums

5    Forms

5.1    Personnel Action Form

1. PURPOSE

To establish guidance for executing personnel actions, such as promotions, transfers, reclassifications, salary range adjustments, out-of-class assignments, step increases, and resignations.

2. REFERENCE

None

3. APPLICATION

This Policy applies to all employees of the City of Olympia, except where specific personnel actions are otherwise governed by contract or statute (e.g., civil service rules, union contract, individual employment contract or memorandum of understanding).

Failure to comply with this Policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination from City service.

4. GUIDANCE

All appointments to positions in the City are considered “at-will” appointments and may be withdrawn at any time for any lawful reason (unless modified by a Collective Bargaining Agreement. Nothing contained in this Policy amends or alters the “at-will” status of employees.

Personnel actions require the approval of, and are strictly within the discretion of the City Manager or his/her designee. The City Manager reserves the right to take any personnel action deemed appropriate within legal limitations. This Policy is established to assist the City Manager or his/her designee in making personnel decisions.

4.1. APPOINTMENTS

a.    Competitive Process: Appointments to vacancies should be made on the basis of merit and fitness to perform the work as determined by a competitive process. The competitive process may be waived when such a process would create an undue operational hardship.

b.    Confirmation: Appointments, including terms and conditions of employment, should be confirmed in writing by the department director. The Administrative Services Director should be notified immediately via a copy of the Personnel Action Form (PAF) and/or confirmation letter.

c.    Probationary Period: The City recognizes that new employees may need time to adjust to and learn the requirements of their position, so through this section the City establishes a probationary review period of not less than six (6) months, during which time the new employee’s work performance will be frequently reviewed and evaluated. Nothing in this probationary review process will alter the “at-will” status of the employee. Additionally, successful completion of the probationary period does not alter the “at will” nature of the employment relationship.

d.    Compensation: New appointees will normally be compensated at step 1 of the salary range. Department directors have the discretion to approve appointment up to and including step 3. Any variance from this policy or unusual benefit arrangement must be approved in advance by the City Manager.

e.    Alternative Compensation for Temporary and Emergency Employees: Temporary and emergency employees may, at the discretion of a Department Director, be paid up to 10% below step 1 of the salary range for an existing classification if:

1.    Human Resources determines that there is no job classification that adequately describes the assigned work;

2.    The assigned duties and responsibilities are either the same or closely related to those performed by regular employees in the same classification, but of a lesser scope, breadth, or skill level; and

3.    The temporary or emergency position operates with significantly less independence and discretionary authority, and requires consistent and ongoing supervision, training, and direction from regular employees.

4.2. IN-TRAINING

a.    Purpose: In-training will allow the City to hire a candidate who can obtain the necessary skill level required of a job classification in 6-12 months. During this in-training period, the City will provide the necessary opportunities for obtaining the skills required.

b.    Appointment: Upon hire, and as stated in the offer letter, the in-training employee will be provided a list of the specific skills that need to be obtained during the in-training period. The supervisor will provide regular evaluations throughout the in-training period.

c.    Compensation: If the City determines that the employee will need six (6) months of in-training time to meet the required skill level, the employee shall be paid at five (5) percent below step 1 of the designated classification pay range. An employee on the six (6) month in-training period may have this period extended to twelve (12) months without a change in pay, at the discretion of the supervisor.

If the City determines that the employee will need twelve (12) months of in-training time to meet the required skill level, the employee shall begin work at ten (10) percent below step 1 of the designated classification pay range. Upon successful completion of the first six (6) months in-training, the pay will be moved to five (5) percent below step 1.

When the in-training period has been successfully completed and the employee has met the minimum skill requirements of the position, the pay will be increased to Step 1 of the pay range for the appointed classification and the employee will receive future increases as defined in 4.9 step increases.

d.    Probationary Period: The purpose of the probationary period for in-training employees is to allow the employee a specified period of time to learn the new job. The probationary period will be for a minimum of six (6) months or for the duration of the in-training period (initial and/or extended). The probationary period will run concurrently with the in-training period. An employee not meeting the skill level required of the position after the in-training period will constitute a failure of the probationary period and employment will be terminated. Successful completion of the probationary period does not alter the “at will” nature of the employment relationship.

4.3. PROMOTIONS

a.    Eligibility: If the hiring manager in consultation with Human Resources decides to fill an open position using a promotional process, only regular full-time or regular part-time employees will be eligible for the promotional opportunity.Promotions will be based on merit and fitness to perform the work as determined by a competitive process.

b.    Compensation: A promoted employee will receive a minimum 5% pay increase, so long as it does not exceed Step 5 of the pay range for the promoted position. Department directors have the discretion to approve a promotion salary up to and including Step 3. Pay increases greater than five percent (5%) and greater than Step 3 or unusual benefit arrangements must be approved by the City Manager.

c.    Probationary Period: The purpose of the probationary period for promoted employees is to give the employee an opportunity to learn the new job and show the manager, department director, etc., that he/she is capable of performing the duties of the new position. Promotional appointments should be considered tentative and subject to a probationary period of not less than six (6) consecutive months of service. The probationary period may be extended for up to six (6) additional months (a year total) at the discretion of the supervisor/manager/department director. Successful completion of the probationary period does not alter the “at will” nature of the employment relationship.

d.    Reinstatement: If a promotional appointment is withdrawn during the probationary period, the employee will be returned to the next available vacancy in his/her previous job class. If no vacancy is available at the time the promotion is withdrawn, the employee may be placed on a recall list for a period not to exceed one (1) year, to be reinstated when the next available opening occurs in any position previously held beyond the probationary period at the discretion of the department director. The employee may be required to complete a new probationary period upon reinstatement at the discretion of the supervisor.

4.4. DEMOTIONS

a.    Reasons: Demotions are made at the discretion of the City Manager for the following reasons:

1.    Disciplinary action (Refer to Policy 4-Discipline);

2.    Reduction in force;

3.    Voluntary demotion; or

4.    Reorganization of the work force.

b.    Compensation (Reorganization): Demotions, which are made for organizational convenience beyond the control of the employee, may not necessarily result in a decrease in pay. Salary adjustment will be made according to the following:

1.    If the employee’s current salary falls within the proposed range, the employee will move to the step which most closely corresponds with the current salary and does not result in a decrease.

2.    If the employee’s current salary falls above Step 5 of the proposed range, the employee’s salary may decrease, at the discretion of the City Manager.

c.    Compensation (Voluntary or RIF): Demotions which are voluntary or made due to financial cutbacks may result in an immediate decrease in pay at the discretion of the City Manager.

d.    Probation (Reorganization, Voluntary or RIF): Employees who are demoted for reorganization, voluntary or RIF reasons may be required to serve a six (6) month probationary period at the discretion of the department director.

4.5. TRANSFER (Same Job Class)

An employee may transfer from one position to another position within the same job class: (1) at the direction of the department director; or (2) at the employee’s request with the approval of the department director(s). The transferred employee will maintain the same pay and anniversary date held in the original position. A transfer to a different position with the same salary will not be considered discipline.

4.6. TRANSFER (Different Job Class, Same Salary Range)

An employee may transfer to a position in a different job class with the same salary range: (1) at the direction of the department director; or (2) at the employee’s request with the approval of the department director(s). The employee will maintain the same pay and anniversary date held in the original position, but will be required to complete a new probationary period. If a step increase is due during probation, it will be postponed and granted upon successful completion of probation in the new class. (Also refer to section 4.3c- Probation). If transfer to a different job class is withdrawn during probation, the employee will be returned to the next available vacancy in their previous job class. A transfer to a different position with the same salary will not be considered discipline.

If no vacancy is available at the time the transfer is withdrawn, the employee will be placed on a recall list for a period not to exceed one (1) year, to be reinstated when the next available opening occurs in any previous job held by the employee past the initial evaluation period. The employee may be required to complete a probationary period upon reinstatement at the discretion of the supervisor.

4.7. RECLASSIFICATION/SALARY RANGE ADJUSTMENT

a.    Employees: Employees will typically move with their positions in the event of reclassification if they possess the knowledge, skills and abilities required.

b.    Compensation: In the event of a change in salary range, the employee will be compensated as follows.

1.    In the event of a decrease:

a.    If the employee’s current salary falls within the proposed range, the employee will move to the step which most closely corresponds with the employee’s current salary and does not result in a decrease.

b.    If the employee’s current salary falls above step 5 of the proposed range, the employee’s salary may be frozen (Y-Rated) at the current rate until general salary increases raise the proposed range to encompass the employee’s current rate, at the discretion of the City Manager.

2.    In the event of an increase:

a.    The incumbent employee will move step for step to the new pay range. (Example: range 38, step 5-, to range 46 step 5).

4.8. INTERIM (ACTING) ASSIGNMENTS

An employee will be compensated at the discretion of the department director or City Manager when she/he is appointed on an interim basis to a job class assigned to a higher pay range or is performing work at a higher level of responsibility and accountability. No employee will be required to work out-of-class in excess of four (4) weeks without additional compensation. The terms of interim assignments must be stated in writing. There are two methods for compensating interim assignments:

1.    Out of Class Pay: Out of class pay is used for interim assignments where an employee may not meet all of the minimum qualifications for the assigned position or may not be performing all of the work of the higher level, but the employee is performing the higher level of work at least 51% of the time and there is a vacant position and a need to perform the higher level work. Out of class appointments may not exceed 6 months. Compensation is determined as follows:

a.    If a classification description exists for the body of work being performed, the employee may be compensated the greater of:

1.    Step 1 of the higher pay range for the class; or

2.    A five (5) percent increase in the employee’s base salary.

b.    If a classification description does not exist for the body of work being performed, the employee may be given a five percent (5%) increase in the employee’s base salary.

c.    If the out-of-class is for longer than 4 weeks, benefits will be adjusted commensurate with the interim out of class assignment.

2.    Acting Status Pay: Acting Status pay is used for acting assignments where an employee is performing all of the work of an assigned position and meets the minimum qualifications of the position. Typically these assignments are anticipated to last for several months. In this situation, the employee will be reassigned to the higher classification, take the title of that classification, and receive benefit adjustment and pay commensurate with a promotion, as defined in section 4.3 of this Policy. The employee will establish a temporary anniversary date and receive all step increases and COLAs of the higher-level classification. When the acting assignment is completed, the employee will be returned back to his/her regular job classification and all adjustments to pay that the incumbent in his/her regular job classification would otherwise have received will be made.

3.    Temporary Increase of Hours for an In Class Assignment: This should be used for interim assignments where an employee is formally requested by the City to increase the hours of a regular, part-time position for a pre-determined period of time less than one (1) year and the assignment does not otherwise qualify as an out of class or acting status assignment. In this situation, the employee will be paid for the additional hours worked and benefits will be adjusted if the employee is working increased hours for a minimum of four (4) weeks, unless the law requires otherwise.

4.9. STEP INCREASE

Employees may be granted annual step increases within the salary range for their job class to step 5 provided performance remains at a satisfactory level. An employee who is not performing satisfactorily will not be granted a step increase.

4.10. RESIGNATION

a.    An employee who wishes to resign his/her position in good standing should submit a written resignation to his/her supervisor at least two (2) weeks prior to the effective date of the resignation. The two (2) week notice may be waived at the discretion of the department director. Notification of the resignation must be sent by PAF to the department director and the Human Resources Director as soon as possible.

b.    Job Abandonment. If an employee fails to report to work for three consecutive work days or one twenty-four (24) hour shift without the approval of, contact with, or notice to a supervisor or manager, the City reserves the right to consider the employee’s position as abandoned and terminate employment.

4.11. LAYOFF

a.    City Manager Discretion: Layoffs may be implemented only by the City Manager. The determination as to when layoffs are required and who will be laid off is strictly at the discretion of the City Manager.

b.    Workforce Management Plan: Layoffs, alternatives to layoff and recall will be administered in accordance with Policy 24- Workforce Management Plan.

c.    Separation from City Service: Lay off is considered a separation from City service. Upon recall the anniversary date will be adjusted.

4.12. RETIREMENT

Retirement provisions are governed by the State sponsored retirement system to which the employee belongs.

4.13. TEMPORARY/PROMOTIONAL COMPENSATION FOR THE RANKS OF POLICE LIEUTENANT AND POLICE DEPUTY CHIEF

a.    Compensation for temporary assignments to Police Deputy Chief classification: If a Police Lieutenant is assigned to perform the duties and responsibilities of a Police Deputy Chief on a temporary basis, that Police Lieutenant shall be compensated at a rate of pay equal to 105% percent of the Police Lieutenant base pay.

b.    Compensation for promotion to a higher paying classification:

1.    If a Police Sergeant is promoted to Police Lieutenant, that individual shall be compensated at a rate of pay equal to 110% of the Police Sergeant pay rate for a probationary period of six (6) consecutive months of service from the effective date of the promotion. If the promoted individual successfully completes the probationary period, compensation shall increase to 120% of the top step of the Police Sergeant salary range.

2.    If a Police Lieutenant is promoted to Police Deputy Chief, that individual shall be compensated at the rate of pay set in the City Pay Grade/Step report.

3.    All other situations related to the promotional situations described in (b1) and (b2) shall be administrated in accordance with Section 4.3.

4.    The pay provisions described in (b1) and (b2) shall apply if an external candidate is selected for a Police Lieutenant or Police Deputy Chief position.

4.14. SEPARATION PAY

a.    Date of Separation: The City expects a minimum of two weeks notice prior to an employee voluntarily separating from service. The City expects that the employee will be working during that notice period. If the employee wants to use vacation leave, holiday leave or compensatory time, during or to extend the notice period, the employee will need the approval of his/her Department Director.

b.    Final Pay-Out: Upon separating from the City, an employee is paid:

1.    All hours worked up to and through the date of separation, including overtime;

2.    Any accrued but unused vacation time through the last pay period of employment to the maximum allowed. New City employees who are on probation are not eligible for vacation leave cash out if they do not complete their probationary period with the City; and

3.    Any accrued but unused compensatory time-off (non-exempt employees only) as described in Policy 16- Overtime, Section 4.4.

c.    Employee Responsibility: It is the employee’s responsibility upon separation from City employment to return all City property including, but not limited to, credit cards, keys, uniforms, and communication devises to his/her supervisor. The City of Olympia has the right to retrieve this property and to collect on any unpaid charges incurred during employment (such as cellular phone charges).

4.15. PAY MISCALCULATIONS

a.    Underpayment: In the event that an employee’s pay is miscalculated for any reason resulting in an underpayment, correction will be made and the employee paid during the next normal pay cycle.

b.    Overpayment: In the event that an employee’s pay is miscalculated for any reason resulting in an overpayment, the City will collect the overpayment from the employee. The City will work with the employee to establish a payment plan satisfactory to the employee and the City, if possible. Normally, this will not extend beyond three months.

c.    Application: This policy applies to all current and former employees of the City of Olympia.

4.16. MARKET PREMIUMS

When temporary labor market conditions inhibit the recruitment of new employees or the retention of current employees, the City may add a premium to the pay for that job classification. This premium is not considered part of the base pay. It may be added, increased, decreased or removed at any time by the City Manager. Human Resources will survey the labor market annually for any classification that has a market premium and make recommendations for adjustment.

 

PERSONNEL ACTION

STATUS

SERVICE DATE (RETIREMENT)

ANNIVERSARY DATE

INITIAL EVALUATION PERIOD

PAY RANGE

RECLASSIFICATION (DOWN)

No Change

No Change

Not Required

May be decreased or Y-Rated

RECLASSIFICATION (UP)

No Change

No Change

Not Required

1 or Multi. Range Step to Step/Least Impact

PROMOTION

No Change

Change to Date of Promotion

Required

Min. 5% up to & including Step 3. City Mgr. approval required for greater than 5% or Step 3.

TRANSFER (DIFFERENT CLASS/SAME RANGE

No Change

No Change

Required

No Change

TRANSFER (SAME CLASS)

No Change

No Change

Not Required

No Change

LEAVE WITHOUT PAY

2 week grace period, change upon return.

2 week grace period, change upon return.

Not Required

No Change

PAID MILITARY LEAVE

No Change

No Change

Not Required

No Change

DEMOTION (VOL., REORG., OR RIF)

No Change

Change to Date of Demotion

Required

Reduction at the discretion of the City Manager

WORK OUT OF CLASS

No Change

No Change

Not Required

Greater of Step 1 or 5%

LAYOFF

2 week grace period, change upon return

2 week grace period, change upon return

At the discretion of the City Manager

At the discretion of the City Manager

FMLA (USING ACCRUALS)

No Change

No Change

Not Required

No Change

FMLA (LWOP)

2 week grace period, change upon return

2 week grace period, change upon return

Not Required

No Change

5. FORMS

5.1    Personnel Action Form

Revision history: October, 2017; February, 2017; May, 2016; January, 2015; October, 2013; September, 2011; May, 1990. Superseded: Administrative Guideline Personnel Actions”.