Chapter 3A.12
EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

Sections:

3A.12.010    Employee responsibilities.

3A.12.020    Performance evaluation.

3A.12.030    Forms of disciplinary action.

3A.12.040    Dismissal procedure.

3A.12.050    Employment of relatives.

3A.12.060    Sexual harassment.

3A.12.010 Employee responsibilities.

(1) Purpose. The orderly and efficient operation of the county government requires that employees accept certain responsibilities. Personal standards of conduct as well as standard operating procedures are necessary to protect the health and safety of all employees, to maintain uninterrupted service and to protect the county’s property.

(2) Standards of Conduct. The county expects that certain standards of conduct will be maintained by county employees. Failure to follow such standards may result in disciplinary action. Department heads may establish additional standards appropriate to their organization. Such additional standards of conduct shall be submitted to the director for review and shall be approved by the executive prior to taking effect. An employee may be disciplined, up to and including termination, for any of the following misconduct, or for any other justifiable reason:

(a) Dishonesty, including but not limited to dishonesty in securing appointment or falsification of documents;

(b) Incompetency and/or inefficiency;

(c) Neglect of duty;

(d) Insubordination;

(e) Excessive absenteeism or tardiness;

(f) Unauthorized absence;

(g) Failing to report immediately to supervisor unavailability for work;

(h) Failing to follow all safety regulations or to report safety hazards, accidents or injury to their supervisor;

(i) Misuse of or damage to county property, records or other materials;

(j) Failing to deal with the public, county officials and other county employees in a courteous and professional manner;

(k) Disorderly conduct while on duty;

(l) Consumption of controlled drugs or substances or intoxicating beverages while on duty, or reporting to work while under the influence of such substances or beverages;

(m) Restricting or interfering with the work of others;

(n) Refusing to perform assigned work unless to perform such work would constitute a safety hazard;

(o) Engaging in soliciting or political activity while on duty;

(p) Using a position for personal gain, to solicit or conduct personal business or to coerce others;

(q) Possessing or using unauthorized firearms or weapons;

(r) Removing county property without express approval of the employing official;

(s) Violating any lawful order, directive or policy of a superior.

(Added Ord. 84-129, § 2, Nov. 21, 1984).

3A.12.020 Performance evaluation.

(1) Policy. The performance evaluation process is intended to improve productivity through systematic communication between supervisors and employees regarding performance standards, goals, employee concerns, problems, training needs and opportunities.

(2) Rules.

(a) Each elected official and department head shall develop and maintain performance evaluation systems for all groups of employees.

(b) The performance evaluation systems shall be based on standards related to an employee’s work assignment.

(c) The performance evaluation systems shall provide the employee with an opportunity to submit a written response to the contents of his/her evaluation. The contents of an employee’s evaluation are not subject to the grievance procedure.

(Added Ord. 84-129, § 2, Nov. 21, 1984; Ord. 04-141, Jan. 19, 2005, Eff date Jan. 31, 2005).

3A.12.030 Forms of disciplinary action.

Disciplinary actions may include but not be limited to any of the following: Oral warning, written warning, suspension without pay, deferral of performance increase, demotion or dismissal. The issuance of oral and written warnings are not subject to the grievance procedure: PROVIDED, That written warnings may be reviewed by the director at an employee’s request.

(Added Ord. 84-129, § 2, Nov. 21, 1984).

3A.12.040 Dismissal procedure.

The director may advise and assist department heads in the handling of all matters involving contemplated dismissal prior to the completion of the action, unless, in the judgment of the department head, immediate action is required.

(Added Ord. 84-129, § 2, Nov. 21, 1984; Ord. 04-141, Jan. 19, 2005, Eff date Jan. 31, 2005).

3A.12.050 Employment of relatives.

(1) It is the policy of the county to avoid the practice or appearance of nepotism in employment. The identity or status of a relative may not be considered in the employment decision unless a business necessity exception exists. A close relative or spouse of a current Snohomish County employee shall not be employed by Snohomish County where one of the following business necessities exists:

(a) Where one relative or spouse would have the authority or practical power to supervise, appoint, remove or discipline the other;

(b) Where one relative or spouse would be responsible for auditing the work of the other;

(c) Where other circumstances exist which would place the relatives or spouses in a situation of actual or reasonably foreseeable conflict between the employer’s interest and their own;

(d) Where, in order to avoid the reality or appearance of improper influence or favor, or to protect its confidentiality, the county must limit the employment of spouses or close relatives.

(2) Where one of the above business necessities requires the limitation of employment opportunities for relatives or spouses, the exclusion should be limited to the job, work crew, shop or unit where the reason for the exclusion exists, and should not bar the person from the whole work force, unless the reason applies to the whole work force.

(3) For purposes of this section, "close relative" includes an employee’s or employee’s spouse’s mother, father, child (including adopted and foster children), brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece and nephew.

(Added Ord. 84-129, § 2, Nov. 21, 1984; Amended Ord 00-105, Feb. 7, 2001, Eff date, Feb 18, 2001).

3A.12.060 Sexual harassment.

It is the policy of the county to maintain an environment which is free from sexual harassment and intimidation. No employee shall be subjected to unsolicited and unwelcome sexual overtures or threats either verbal or physical, and any such actions may bring prompt disciplinary action including possible termination. The executive shall develop guidelines which inform employees of their rights under this policy and shall specify procedures to be used by employees in filing complaints. An investigation of alleged sexual harassment shall be treated confidentially and every effort will be expended to prevent personal embarrassment.

(Added Ord. 84-129, § 2, Nov. 21, 1984; Ord. 04-141, Jan. 19, 2005, Eff date Jan. 31, 2005).