Chapter 2.82
SUSPENSION, DEMOTION AND DISMISSAL

Sections:

2.82.010    Suspensions.

2.82.020    Exoneration and reinstatement.

2.82.030    Demotion.

2.82.040    Dismissal.

2.82.050    Layoffs.

2.82.060    Resignations.

2.82.070    Longevity.

2.82.080    Final pay.

2.82.090    Severance pay.

2.82.100    Progressive discipline.

2.82.110    Predisciplinary hearing.

2.82.010 Suspensions.

An employee may be suspended at any time for cause. Suspensions without pay may not exceed 30 days in any 12-month period. The suspension must be by the manager or authorized department head and must be in writing. Borough officers may also be suspended by the manager subject to the appeal procedures to the borough assembly. Suspensions shall be considered leave without pay for all other purposes of the code.

2.82.020 Exoneration and reinstatement.

If exonerated of the charge for which suspension was imposed, the employee shall be reinstated with pay and related privileges and benefits from the time of suspension.

2.82.030 Demotion.

An employee may be demoted when the employee’s ability to perform required duties falls below an acceptable standard or for disciplinary purposes. See HBC 2.82.100(B)(4).

2.82.040 Dismissal.

An employee may be dismissed for incompetence, inefficiency, insubordination, habitual tardiness, use or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages, narcotics, marijuana or dangerous drugs on duty, or for similar causes.

A. Probationary employees other than borough officers may be dismissed without right of hearing or appeal at any time at the discretion of the manager, or by a borough officer or department head. The person shall be given a notice of dismissal in writing stating the reason for the dismissal and a copy thereof shall be filed with the manager.

B. A regular employee who has successfully completed a probation period may be dismissed by the manager, or by a borough officer or department head, but only for just cause. The dismissal shall be in writing and specify the grounds for dismissal. A copy of the dismissal shall be filed with the manager.

C. Any person found in violation of prohibitions set forth in Chapter 2.73 HBC shall be dismissed. Charges alleging such violation may be initiated by the manager, or by a borough officer or department head who is authorized to remove such a person.

D. A borough officer may be dismissed at any time at the discretion of the assembly. (Ord. 15-07-417 § 5)

2.82.050 Layoffs.

When it is necessary to reduce the number of employees because of lack of work or funds, the department head concerned shall make a thorough investigation of the problem. The analysis of the proposed layoffs shall first be presented to the manager to consider the types of activities to be curtailed and the classes of positions thereby affected, and consideration shall be given to the employees’ performance and thereafter length of service to the borough. The advisability of demoting employees in higher grades to lower grades shall also be considered.

A. The manager may lay off an employee other than a borough officer for the following reasons:

1. The position is temporary;

2. The employee holds a substitute appointment;

3. The position held by the employee has been abolished; or

4. There is a shortage of work or funds.

B. The clerk shall prepare and maintain a lay-off list stating the names and former positions of all regular employees laid off. The names of such employees shall remain on the list for two years. If not reappointed within this time, the employee shall be considered to have terminated without prejudice. Accrued personal leave shall not be canceled because an employee is laid off.

C. No permanent employee shall be laid off while there are emergency or temporary employees serving in the position classification in the same department or in the other position classifications performing work to which the permanent employee could reasonably be assigned.

D. The manager, or a borough officer or department head who is authorized to hire and dismiss employees under the officer or department head, shall give an employee written notice of the lay-off at least 24 hours before the same occurs.

E. When suitable employment is again made available, employees shall be rehired from the lay-off list based on their qualifications. (Ord. 15-07-417 § 6)

2.82.060 Resignations.

An employee resigning a position shall give at least two weeks’ notice to enable the borough to make proper provision for filling the position. This requirement may be waived by department heads where adequate provision can be made in a shorter period of time. All resignations shall be in writing and must be filed with the department head. The department head shall furnish a copy of the accepted resignation to the employee and the manager for their records. In the event the employee is a borough officer, the resignation shall be forwarded to the assembly for appropriate action.

2.82.070 Longevity.

Employees having more than one year of continuous service with the borough shall, if laid off in good standing, maintain longevity privileges for the grade from which terminated, if rehired within two years. Rehired employees shall be placed and perform work as directed by department heads.

2.82.080 Final pay.

An employee who has resigned, giving adequate notice, or who is being dismissed without notice, shall be paid in full within three business days of the time the employment terminates. An employee who is leaving without giving adequate notice shall not be entitled to receive wages until the next regular payday. (Ord. 07-09-169)

2.82.090 Severance pay.

Severance pay is allowed only by order of the assembly in respect to the position of the employee.

2.82.100 Progressive discipline.

Progressive discipline relates to defective work, job performance, safety, lateness, housekeeping, disobedience, or other unsatisfactory conduct in the workplace.

A. Policy. If, in the opinion of the employee’s department head, disciplinary action is necessary with respect to the employee’s conduct in the workplace, the department head, or supervisor, may begin disciplinary action at any of the following steps, depending on the seriousness of the conduct:

1. Verbal warning;

2. Written reprimand;

3. Suspension;

4. Demotion;

5. Dismissal.

B. Procedure. In the case of most disciplinary problems, discipline shall progress from one step to the next as follows:

1. Verbal Warning. A verbal warning is given explaining to the employee what the employee did wrong and what must be done as a corrective measure. The employee must also be advised that if there is a repetition, a written reprimand will be given. The department head shall complete a written record of the verbal warning which shall be placed in the employee’s personnel file;

2. Written Reprimand. A written reprimand is issued if there is a repetition of the conduct within a six-month period from the date on which the verbal warning was given and shall be placed in the employee’s personnel file;

3. Suspension. A second repetition of the conduct within a further six-month period from the date of the written reprimand results in suspension;

4. Demotion.

5. Dismissal. A third repetition of the conduct within a further six-month period after suspension is imposed results in dismissal.

C. Removal of Action. A verbal warning, or a written reprimand, may, at the department head’s discretion, be removed from the employee’s personnel file after a period of six months, provided there was not a recurrence of the conduct on which the warning or reprimand was based.

D. Notwithstanding the order and timing of the steps described in subsection (B) of this section, appropriate disciplinary action in a particular case is at the discretion of the department head and need not be progressive or consecutive unless the manager directs otherwise.

E. The manager and mayor shall be kept apprised of any disciplinary action taken against an employee.

2.82.110 Predisciplinary hearing.

Before implementing an action of a department head or supervisor to dismiss, demote, or reduce the salary of an employee for disciplinary reasons, the employee shall be afforded an opportunity for a hearing on the matter.

A. Notice to Employee. An employee who is being considered for dismissal, demotion, or salary reduction under this section shall be given a clear and concise written statement of the facts and circumstances which the supervisor believes may justify the employee’s dismissal, demotion, or salary reduction. All pertinent information shall be part of the personnel file, which the employee should have also been given a copy of and/or is entitled to review a copy. If the supervisor’s report adequately describes the facts and circumstances upon which it is based, the borough manager may adopt it by reference with or without supplementing it through an additional statement and supporting materials. In describing the facts and circumstances believed to justify the employee’s dismissal, demotion, or salary reduction, the borough manager is not restricted to matters addressed by the employee’s supervisor. The borough manager’s notice to the employee shall state that the employee’s dismissal, demotion, or salary reduction for cause or disciplinary reasons is being reviewed and shall notify the employee of the date, time and place set for a predisciplinary hearing as provided below.

B. Hearing Procedure.

1. The borough manager shall conduct a predisciplinary hearing at the time and place specified in the notice to the employee. The employee’s supervisor may attend the predisciplinary hearing. The borough manager shall create a record which identifies all documentary and other evidence reviewed or relied upon and shall conduct the hearing in such a manner as to afford the employee a full and fair opportunity to present a defense by testimonial and other evidence. The employee may be accompanied and assisted by legal counsel or any other representative of the employee’s choice. The employee may testify, present other witnesses, and offer other relevant evidence into the record. The hearing shall be recorded and the audio record kept for at least six months. The testimony of a witness (including the employee) shall be under oath.

2. If the employee alleges that the dismissal, demotion, or salary reduction would violate or has violated the Borough Charter, code, personnel rules and regulations, or department rules and regulations pertaining to the action being contemplated, the employee shall specify the alleged violation with particularity no later than the close of the predisciplinary hearing.

3. If the employee declines or fails to attend a predisciplinary hearing, the employee shall be deemed to have waived the right to a hearing.

4. After considering the submissions and arguments at the predisciplinary hearing and reviewing the record as a whole, the borough manager shall prepare written findings of fact and a final decision. If the decision is for dismissal, demotion, or salary reduction, it shall specify an effective date.

5. A confidential copy of the notice of termination shall be provided to the employee by regular mail within five working days of the close of the hearing. A confidential copy of the findings of fact shall be provided to the employee by regular mail within 20 days of the close of the hearing. (Ord. 07-09-169)