Chapter 3.15
GENERAL PERSONNEL POLICIES AND PRACTICES

Sections:

3.15.010    Equal employment opportunity.

3.15.020    Equal opportunity employer.

3.15.030    Performance evaluations.

3.15.035    Deficient performance review.    

3.15.040    Layoffs.

3.15.050    Outside work.

3.15.060    Solicitations.

3.15.070    Dress and appearance.

3.15.080    Personal conduct.

3.15.090    Duty to deal courteously.

3.15.100    Antiharassment policy.

3.15.110    Licensed employees.

3.15.120    Safety.

3.15.130    Personal addresses.

3.15.140    Borough identification cards.

3.15.150    Training.

3.15.160    Attendance and tardiness.

3.15.170    Work scheduling.

3.15.180    Resignations.

3.15.190    Work location.

3.15.200    Discipline, removal, and appeal.

3.15.210    Grievance procedure.

3.15.220    Personnel files.

3.15.230    Discipline and removal of executive level employees.

3.15.010 Equal employment opportunity.

It is the borough’s policy to treat all applicants and employees fairly and to recruit, hire, train, promote, lay off, discipline, remove or conduct any other personnel actions without regard to the applicant’s or employee’s race, color, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability, sex, marital or veteran status, or the citizenship status of a person otherwise authorized under federal law to work in the United States, or on any other basis that is prohibited by federal, state or local law. [Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.005.]

3.15.020 Equal opportunity employer.

(a)    It is the policy of the borough to provide equal employment opportunities for all persons from all segments of the population without discrimination as to race, color, religion, creed, national origin, sex, age, marital or veteran status, citizenship status of a person otherwise authorized under federal law to work in the United States, or disability. The borough policy shall be consistent with all federal and State laws and regulations.

(b)    The responsibility for implementation and administration of the borough’s equal opportunity policy shall rest with the borough manager. The manager may delegate responsibility for developing and implementing an equal opportunity program.

(c)    All management and staff throughout the borough are responsible for supporting the borough’s equal employment opportunity policy.

(d)    The borough manager is responsible for the evaluation, coordination, implementation, monitoring, and administration of the equal opportunity program. The manager is also responsible for administration of the personnel policies and practices for compliance with EEO laws and regulations.

(e)    All managerial and supervisory staff are responsible for supporting the borough’s commitment to equal opportunity employment as reflected in their annual goals and job descriptions. Department heads are responsible for ensuring that employees are not harassed in violation of the borough’s equal employment opportunity and antiharassment policies.

(f)    The borough will conduct periodic internal audits of personnel policies and practices to ensure that all personnel actions such as referrals, placements, transfers, promotions, demotions, layoffs, discipline, and terminations at all levels within the borough are nondiscriminating and consistent with the borough’s equal employment opportunity policy and any applicable laws and regulations. [Ord. No. 1736, §3, 9-2-14; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.015.]

3.15.030 Performance evaluations.

(a)    During the probationary period, a probationary employee’s supervisor shall continually evaluate, as appropriate, the employee’s performance. The probationary employee may be terminated from that position for any reason.

(b)    The performance of personnel who are on probationary status will be evaluated at the end of the probationary period. If the evaluation is late, it shall not delay the transition from probationary to regular employee status. Evaluations of personnel who have reached regular status shall be done by the anniversary date. Should an evaluation not be completed by the employee’s anniversary date, the employee shall receive an automatic step increase on their anniversary date. For an employee that has reached the top of their pay grade, the employee shall receive an automatic one and one-half percent bonus payment, calculated on the base annual salary without regard to any premium. The base annual salary for nonexempt employees shall be calculated as the base hourly rate times 2,080 hours. The original copy of the evaluation shall be incorporated into the confidential personnel file of the employee evaluated.

(c)    Performance evaluations shall be in writing in the format on file in the borough manager’s office. The evaluation will be performed by the employee’s direct supervisor, and reviewed by the employee, department head and borough manager. Any party reviewing the evaluation may make comments relating to the review. If the annual performance evaluation falls during a period of leave, the performance evaluation may be postponed until the employee has returned to work.

(d)    Prior to completion of the probationary period, the department head shall furnish the borough manager with a written evaluation of the employee based on ability or performance. If the employee’s ability and performance are unsatisfactory, the employee may be terminated at or before the end of the probationary period. The date of hire or promotion constitutes an employee’s performance anniversary date. The performance of each regular employee shall thereafter be reviewed in writing at least annually, within 45 days of the employee’s anniversary date, by the department head and borough manager. [Ord. No. 1807, §3, 7-18-16; Ord. No. 1736, §4, 9-2-14; Ord. No. 1095, §§4 – 6, 4-5-99; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.016.]

3.15.035 Deficient performance review.

(a)    In the event that the performance of a regular employee falls below acceptable levels, the supervisor may place the employee on probation due to deficient performance pursuant to this section. The supervisor shall provide written notice of the probationary status to the employee and the human resources administrator or assistant manager. This section does not apply to executive level employees or the borough manager, clerk, and attorney.

(b)    Whenever a regular employee’s performance of tasks or responsibilities which are within the scope of the employee’s job description falls to a level unacceptable to the employee’s supervisor or behavior fails to meet the standards in the borough code, the employee shall be informed in writing by his or her supervisor of the unacceptable behavior or performance and what must be done to correct the situation. This initial notice of deficient performance:

(1)    Shall be considered a warning.

(2)    Shall be signed by both the employee and supervisor and placed in the employee’s personnel file. The employee’s signature on the warning acknowledges the contents of the notice only.

(3)    If the warning includes probation for deficient performance it shall provide a probationary period of not less than 90 nor more than 180 days and involve a reevaluation before the end of the probationary period to determine whether the deficient performance has been improved sufficiently or whether remedial or disciplinary action, up to and including termination, is appropriate.

(4)    If the warning does not place the employee on probation, the deficiencies may be addressed at the next regular annual evaluation occurring more than 90 days after the warning. If the next regular annual evaluation falls within 90 days, the supervisor may schedule a special evaluation 90 days after the warning to review the employee’s progress in remedying the deficiencies.

(5)    Neither a deficient performance probation notice nor a warning notice is a disciplinary action subject to grievance. Any disciplinary action taken under KGBC 3.15.200(c) in connection with the delivery of the warning or imposition of deficient performance probation may be grieved under KGBC 3.15.210.

(c)    If an employee is placed on a timeline for review of deficient performance, the supervisor shall conduct a written performance evaluation at the conclusion of the period of review. If the performance has failed to improve to the acceptable performance level described in the warning, the employee may be disciplined, up to and including termination. Disciplinary action as a result of a special performance review period is subject to the grievance procedures in KGBC 3.15.210. [Ord. No. 1807, §4, 7-18-16.]

3.15.040 Layoffs.

(a)    Employees may be laid off whenever the borough assembly eliminates the position through the budget process or the borough manager determines that a shortage of work or funds, the abolishment of a position, or other changes in the borough’s organization necessitate a reduction in the number of employees is in the best interests of the borough.

(b)    When there is more than one employee in a classification, employees within a classification shall be selected for layoff based on hire date so long as the employee is qualified for the position. The least senior employee shall be laid off first. For the purpose of this section, seniority shall be based on date of hire. Two positions are in the same classification if:

(1)    They have the same position title and job description or they are substantially similar in duties and skills to the extent that an individual who is qualified for one position would always be qualified for the other position;

(2)    The positions at issue are both nonrepresented; and

(3)    The pay scale for the two positions has less than a 10 percent differential in pay.

(c)    A layoff is not a disciplinary action and is not subject to grievance procedures except regarding a dispute as to whether two positions are within the same classification.

(d)    If any nonrepresented employee is laid off, the employer shall give the affected employee notice in writing 30 days in advance.

(e)    Employees who are laid off are eligible for rehire. For a period of one year following layoff, a laid off employee will be afforded the opportunity to apply for any position for which he/she is qualified and will, if qualifications are at least equal, be given preferential hire to the vacancy. If within that one year period a position becomes vacant which is the same or substantially the same as the one from which the individual was laid off, he/she will be offered the position before any recruitment. A laid off employee who is re-employed in the same job description will not be required to serve a new probationary period. All layoff return rights expire one year after the effective date of the layoff. [Ord. No. 1255, §1, 3-17-03; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.020.]

3.15.050 Outside work.

(a)    Employees must notify the borough manager in writing before accepting outside employment or becoming self-employed. This includes service on any elected or appointed board for which the employee receives financial compensation. A conflict of interest shall be deemed to exist where a reasonable and prudent person would believe that such employment would conflict with the best interest of the borough. A conflict of interest for purposes of this section is distinct from financial conflicts of interest outlined under Chapter 3.40 KGBC. An employee for purposes of this section includes a regular employee or probationary employee but does not include a person who may only be considered an employee for other regulatory purposes due to their status as a volunteer of the North or South Tongass fire departments, a temporary employee, the borough mayor, and members of the planning commission, borough assembly, or school board.

(b)    The borough manager shall notify the employee in writing if such outside employment or self-employment will detract from the employee’s performance or create a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest. A conflict of interest, or the appearance of a conflict of interest, shall be deemed to exist where a reasonable and prudent person would believe that such employment would conflict with the best interests of the borough. [Ord. No. 1807, §5, 7-18-16; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.021.]

3.15.060 Solicitations.

(a)    In order to maintain an orderly work environment, avoid intrusion upon employees at their work and preserve security throughout the borough’s offices and departments as to funds, supplies and records, individuals not employed by the borough may not at any time solicit, petition, or distribute literature in nonpublic access work areas, except for bona fide borough purposes otherwise permitted in the code.

(b)    Employees may not solicit for any purpose other than borough related business during working time. Working time includes both the soliciting and the solicited employee’s working time. Solicitation between employees will be permitted during nonworking times such as before or after work or during authorized meal or break periods. [Ord. No. 1736, §5, 9-2-14; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.022.]

3.15.070 Dress and appearance.

The borough manager may issue guidelines regarding acceptable attire for each department or for particular positions. In some instances for certain positions, uniforms may be required. Employees shall dress appropriately for their job position and particular duties. [Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.026.]

3.15.080 Personal conduct.

(a)    All employees during working hours shall conduct themselves in a manner that reflects positively on the borough. All employees shall make every effort to perform their duties as efficiently as possible to assure efficient allocation of public resources.

(b)    Racially and sexually offensive materials and talk at the work place or in borough facilities or vehicles is strictly prohibited. [Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.027.]

3.15.090 Duty to deal courteously.

(a)    It is the duty of each borough employee to deal courteously with the public and other employees. Favorable impressions created by courteous public relations develop citizen goodwill and support for the employee, the department and the borough as a whole. Any disposition or demeanor indicating an attitude of discourteousness toward the public or other employees will be cause for disciplinary action in accordance with KGBC 3.15.200.

(b)    When greeting the public, it is the responsibility of each borough employee to provide necessary introduction information including some or all of the following: employee’s name, department employed by, and a salutation indicating a desire to be of assistance. [Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.028.]

3.15.100 Antiharassment policy.

(a)    Harassment or any derogatory conduct based on a person’s race, color, religion, creed, national origin, age, disability or sex, where such conduct or harassment has the effect or purpose of interfering with the person’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment, is not tolerated or condoned by the borough.

Any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when:

(1)    Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;

(2)    Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or

(3)    Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

(b)    Persons who think that they are being harassed in any of the above-described ways are encouraged to confront the person or persons responsible for the offensive conduct. If the harassment continues, it is encouraged to immediately raise concerns and/or complaints regarding the incidents of harassment with their immediate supervisor. Because of the nature of the complaint and for purposes of this policy only, complaints may be brought to the attention of the immediate supervisor or, if the person is uncomfortable with the immediate supervisor, with another supervisor in the borough or, if desired, directly to the borough manager. The supervisor will immediately inform the department head and the borough manager.

(c)    All harassment complaints will be handled in the strictest of confidence and will be thoroughly and immediately investigated by the borough manager. Such investigation will necessarily include the interviewing of any and all witnesses, including, but not limited to, the complainant and the person complained about. If harassment has in fact occurred, appropriate disciplinary action will result, the level of which will depend upon the nature and scope of harassment involved.

(d)    The borough will make every effort, including, but not limited to, employee training, to provide a work environment free of any harassment. [Ord. No. 1736, §6, 9-2-14; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.029.]

3.15.110 Licensed employees.

An employee who works in a position for which a valid State of Alaska driver’s license or any other license or certification is required shall notify his or her department head immediately if that license or certification is suspended, revoked, expired, or withheld for any reason. Reasonable accommodation may be made to allow continuation of employment if it is in the best interests of the borough as such is determined by the borough manager. If reasonable accommodation cannot be made, the employee may either be suspended without pay pending reinstatement of the license, certification or entitlement, or may be terminated. Any such suspension without pay or removal of a regular employee shall follow the procedures applicable to such action. [Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.030.]

3.15.120 Safety.

(a)    All employees shall coordinate and cooperate with other employees and the borough in an attempt to create and maintain a safe work environment including proper care of all safety equipment. Employees shall observe all safety practices governing their work. Employees may offer safety suggestions that contribute to a safer work environment. Employees shall apply the principles of accident prevention in their daily work and shall use proper safety devices and protective equipment as required by their supervisors, department head, or the borough manager.

(b)    The borough will develop safety manuals to help ensure employee safety. All employees are expected to learn and comply with the safety manual applicable to their respective position.

(c)    Employees shall report any suspected or actual on-the-job injury or occupational illness regardless of degree of severity to their immediate supervisors. Employees shall also report any accidents causing damage to public or private property or equipment, occurring before, during or after working hours and involving borough equipment or property, to their immediate supervisors. Such reports shall be made as soon as possible, but in any case no later than 24 hours following such accident or the actual or suspected injury or occupational illness. Employees shall compile any accident reports requested by their supervisors. In the case of a motor vehicle accident involving borough property or equipment or involving an employee while engaged in the performance of the employee’s duties, the city police department or State troopers shall also be immediately notified. Employees involved in the accident shall request that a written report be prepared by the appropriate agency.

(d)    The borough manager shall be notified of any actual or suspected on-the-job accidents, occupational illnesses, or injuries as soon as practicable, but no later than one working day following the filing of any accident report. [Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.031.]

3.15.130 Personal addresses.

All employees, including those on leave without pay status, are required to keep the borough manager informed of their current mailing addresses and home telephone contacts. [Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.032.]

3.15.140 Borough identification cards.

All borough employees shall be issued identification cards as necessary in the performance of their duties. Any misuse of such identification card is prohibited and subject to disciplinary action. [Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.033.]

3.15.150 Training.

(a)    Training for employees shall be encouraged. Departmental or borough-wide training programs may be developed to meet borough-wide personnel needs or prepare employees for promotions, when it is determined such programs will improve the efficiency or effectiveness of the services rendered by borough employees.

(b)    Employees may request time off or borough financial support or both to attend conferences or training meetings sponsored by institutions or professional organizations. The subject matter to be presented must relate directly to the employee’s position or provide beneficial information to be shared in the employee’s department or will result in enhanced performance by the employee. The above will not exclude the employee from taking vacation time to attend any conference or training of his/her choice.

(c)    The employee’s department head and the borough manager must approve the employee’s participation in the conference or meeting which is paid for by the borough or approved for time off.

(d)    The borough will pay for the following if attendance and payment is approved:

(1)    Tuition or registration fees;

(2)    Travel costs;

(3)    Lodging; and

(4)    Meal costs.

(5)    Employees may receive a travel advance or pay expenses themselves and request reimbursement for all travel expenses. When submitting for reimbursement or verifying advances, the employee shall submit copies of all charges incurred. The employee shall also submit a written statement along with the request stating the benefit of the training to the borough.

(e)    Time off for attendance and travel during normal working hours will be paid at the normal or regular rate of pay.

(f)    Employees shall not be compensated for any time spent at training sessions held outside of the employee’s regular working hours unless required by Fair Labor Standards Act or other statute. [Ord. No. 1084, §2, 1-18-99; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.034.]

3.15.160 Attendance and tardiness.

(a)    An employee shall be in attendance during the regular work hours designated by the borough manager or the employee’s department head. Employees shall report to and return to work at their scheduled time.

(b)    Any employee unable to report to work for any reason other than personal illness or injury or any other reason authorized by this title must obtain prior authorization for the absence from the employee’s immediate supervisor.

(c)    Any employee absent due to personal illness or injury or any other reason authorized by this title shall report the absence as soon as possible. If the absence continues beyond the first working day, the employee shall notify the employee’s supervisor of each day’s successive absence before the start of the employee’s regular shift if possible, unless other arrangements are made by the employee with the department head.

(d)    Any employee absent without prior authorization or notice in accordance with departmental policy shall be deemed to have forfeited any sick pay or other paid leave, shall be considered on leave without pay, and may be disciplined.

(e)    Employees may be disciplined up to and including termination for excessive tardiness or absenteeism in accordance with procedures set out in KGBC 3.15.200. The supervisor shall determine what constitutes excessive absenteeism or tardiness and shall recommend to the borough manager the manner in which employees should be disciplined for excessive absenteeism or tardiness. These determinations may differ according to the needs of each department or the duties and responsibilities of each position, but shall be uniform for all employees within the same job description. [Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.035.]

3.15.170 Work scheduling.

(a)    Unless otherwise specified by job description, the borough manager may establish work hours and schedules for employees based upon the best interests of the borough and the particular needs of each department.

(b)    The job descriptions shall assign employees to one of two general work schedules set forth below:

(1)    Schedule A. The normal workweek shall be 40 hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a one-hour lunch period. To meet the needs of the public, an emergency or other unusual circumstances, the borough manager, or a department head with the approval of the borough manager, may designate other hours of work.

When an employee is required to work in excess of 40 hours in any one week, such time shall be paid for at the rate of time and one-half. All claims by employees for overtime shall be submitted to the department head. Overtime work done by employees should be performed only with prior written authorization of the department head or borough manager. Records of overtime work and payments shall be kept and maintained by the finance department and shall be public records. Unauthorized overtime will be paid, but, if determined by the department head or the borough manager to be unnecessary, may be subject to disciplinary action. Compensation time is not available and all hours of work in excess of 40 hours will be paid at a rate of time and one-half.

Regular airport employees shall work the same number of hours per subject month as other schedule A employees. Their work schedule may, however, differ from the other schedule A employees, and said work schedules shall be determined by the airport manager or his designee, and the borough manager.

(2)    Schedule B. Professional or supervisory employees, or those who are assigned a work program which cannot be restricted to a schedule of specific hours, shall work the hours necessary to perform their duties without overtime compensation or compensatory leave.

(c)    A department may experiment with innovative or variable workweeks in order to meet the varying needs of the department. However, any variance from one of the two work schedules authorized by this section shall be only upon the written approval of the department head and the borough manager.

(d)    Each department head shall ensure that his/her department maintains proper attendance, records and that the finance department and the borough manager are notified of all pertinent leave, pay and all such other personnel actions. [Ord. No. 1881, §2, 3-18-19; Ord. No. 1369, §3, 9-19-05; Ord. No. 1228, §1, 9-3-02; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.036.]

3.15.180 Resignations.

An employee may voluntarily resign by giving the department head written notice of the effective date of resignation as far in advance as possible, but in all cases at least 14 calendar days before the effective date of resignation. In the case of professional personnel or department heads, a 30-day notice must be given unless this requirement is waived by the borough manager. The written notice shall state the reasons the employee is resigning. The department head shall forward the resignation notice to the borough manager with a written summary of the employee’s current work performance and any additional information regarding the employee’s reasons for resignation. An employee’s failure to comply with this section may be grounds for denying reemployment with the borough. The borough manager may waive the 14-day written notice requirements and permit shorter written notice period. [Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.037.]

3.15.190 Work location.

Borough employees shall report to a regular work location designated by the borough manager or designee. All regular work locations to which borough employees report for work shall be controlled by the borough, whether as a borough-owned or borough-leased facility. Where a borough employee performs services which require movement from location to location, the regular work location shall be that designated site to which the employee routinely reports at the beginning of a shift. The provisions of this section may be waived only to the extent and upon the terms authorized by the borough manager in writing and approved by the assembly by motion or resolution. [Ord. No. 1369, §4, 9-19-05. Code 1974 §30.30.038.]

3.15.200 Discipline, removal, and appeal.

(a)    In the event that a regular employee fails to comply with any of these personnel policies that employee will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

(b)    A regular employee may be placed on disciplinary probation, suspended without pay, demoted, or removed by such employee’s supervisor, if the seriousness of a specific incident, or pattern of the regular employee’s past conduct or disciplinary history justifies the imposition of more severe disciplinary action in the first instance. Reasons for removal may include, but are not limited to: dishonesty (including falsification of the employment application), continuing unsatisfactory performance or neglect of assigned duties, negligence, incompetency or inefficiency, intoxication, insubordination (including disobedience of the employer’s rules, instructions or orders), insolence or disrespect, fighting, excessive absenteeism, theft, property destruction, unsafe conduct, conviction of a felony, or failure to comply with personnel policies.

(c)    Before a regular employee is to be demoted, terminated, or suspended without pay for disciplinary reasons, such employee shall be given a written notice of the contemplated personnel action. The written notice shall state the personnel action contemplated, describe the reason(s) for such action, and advise the employee that he or she may appeal such contemplated personnel action by filing a grievance as provided in KGBC 3.15.210. Discipline such as a written or verbal reprimand; suspension with pay; imposition of a disciplinary probation; or other disciplinary action which does not result in reduced compensation, loss of position, loss of pay, or termination may not be grieved. A grievance reviewing a demotion, suspension without pay or termination which relies upon a prior nongrievable disciplinary action may address the validity of the prior nongrievable discipline.

(d)    In situations where the regular employee’s continued presence on the job prior to the effective date of the contemplated personnel action poses a significant and immediate threat to public health or safety, a coworker, or borough property, such employee may be suspended with pay prior to the effective date of the contemplated personnel action.

(e)    A regular employee during a period of suspension without pay may not use any earned but unused paid time off or floating holiday. A regular employee’s group medical and life insurance coverage as provided under the terms of such insurance policies shall remain in force during any period of suspension. [Ord. No. 1807, §6, 7-18-16; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.040.]

3.15.210 Grievance procedure.

(a)     Filing of a grievance is an appellate remedy available to an employee who has been subject to a grievable disciplinary action under KGBC 3.15.200(c). In addition, a grievance may be filed by an employee who alleges that that employee has suffered as a result of management action or inaction in breach of personnel policies. Time limits set forth in the following steps may only be extended by mutual written consent of the parties hereto. This section does not apply to executive level employees who serve at the pleasure of the manager, or the borough manager, clerk or attorney who serve at the pleasure of the mayor and assembly. After a timely written grievance has been submitted, the employee’s department head may give written consent to extension of the time limits, set forth in subsection (c) of this section, Step I – Department Head. Any other extensions of time for grievance procedures must be agreed to in writing by the borough manager.

(b)    Grievances should be resolved, if possible, quickly, informally and at the lowest level of supervision. The employee shall discuss it with the employee’s immediate supervisor and attempt to resolve it informally. If it cannot be resolved informally, the following procedure shall be followed.

(c)    Step I – Department Head. The employee shall set forth the grievance in writing and submit such written grievance to the employee’s department head for receipt within 14 calendar days after the employee knew or should have known that he or she had a grievance, whichever is earlier. The written grievance shall contain a description of the alleged problem, the section of the policies involved, the date it occurred, and the corrective action desired. A meeting between the department head and the employee shall be held within 10 calendar days after the grievance is received, and the department head shall respond in writing within 10 calendar days of the meeting.

(d)    Step II – Borough Manager. If not satisfied with the reply, the employee may within 10 calendar days of receipt of the reply present the written grievance to the borough manager or designee who shall meet with the employee within 10 calendar days after presentation for the purpose of resolving the grievance. The borough manager or designee shall respond in writing to the grievance within 10 calendar days after the step II meeting. Nonexecutive level employees under the direct supervision of the borough manager, clerk and attorney shall skip step II and immediately move to step III of the grievance process.

(e)    Step III – Personnel Appeal Board. If not settled, the employee may submit in writing the grievance to the personnel appeal board, which is a three-member board appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the borough assembly. When the personnel appeal board is meeting solely to hear and adjudicate a grievance filed under this section, its meetings are not open to the public. If the board convenes a meeting to consider setting borough policy or making recommendations to the borough assembly, such meeting shall convene as a public meeting and be held in accordance with the Open Meetings Act.

(f)    The personnel appeal board function is to interpret the policies and borough code. The personnel appeal board shall consider only the particular issues presented in writing by the borough manager, clerk or attorney and/or the employee. The personnel appeal board shall have no authority or power to add to, delete from, disregard, or alter any of the provisions of the policies, but shall be authorized only to interpret the existing provisions of the policies or the borough code as they may apply to the specific facts of the issue in dispute. The board shall not decide on the merit or wisdom of any action or failure to act, but only on the contractual obligation inherent in borough code and policies. If the personnel appeal board should find that the manager, clerk or attorney was not prohibited by borough code or policies from taking, or not taking, the action grieved, the board shall have no authority to change or restrict the action or to substitute its own judgment for that of the manager, clerk or attorney. Unless a specific provision of borough code or policies expressly grants the employee a right, privilege, or benefit claimed by him/her, the personnel appeal board shall not award any such right, privilege, or benefit to the employee.

(g)    Hearing Procedures. The personnel appeal board shall convene a hearing on the grievance within 30 days, unless the board determines that good cause requires a delay in the hearing. Either party may present testimony and witnesses and may be represented by counsel. Formal rules of procedure shall not apply. An audio recording of the hearing will be kept in the office of the human resources administrator. The decision of the personnel appeal board shall be made within 15 days of the hearing. The decision of the personnel appeal board shall be final and binding and shall be in writing and forwarded to both parties.

(h)     If an employee fails to process a grievance at any step within the time limits set forth above and the procedure is not waived by mutual written agreement, the grievance shall be deemed waived and such failure shall constitute a bar to any future actions thereon. If the employer fails to answer a grievance at any step within the time limits set forth above and the procedure is not waived by mutual written agreement, the grievance shall be granted on a nonprecedent-setting basis. [Ord. No. 1807, §7, 7-18-16; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.041.]

3.15.220 Personnel files.

(a)    Employee personnel files shall include but are not limited to confidential documents such as the employee’s performance evaluations and disciplinary action reports.

(b)    Access to these files by other than the borough manager, legal counsel, and the employee’s department head shall not be allowed without the prior approval of both the borough manager and the employee. The confidential documents referred to in this subsection are declared to be private and protected by Article I, Sections 14 and 22 of the Constitution of the State of Alaska, Article I, Section 10 of the Constitution of the United States of America, and the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. The personnel file is maintained by management. Employees are not entitled to place or remove material in their personnel file unless specifically allowed by policy, borough code, or a collective bargaining agreement. [Ord. No. 1807, §8, 7-18-16; Ord. No. 956B, §1, 5-1-95. Code 1974 §30.30.042.]

3.15.230 Discipline and removal of executive level employees.

(a)    An executive level employee may be placed on disciplinary probation, suspended without pay, demoted, or terminated by the manager. If such employee is terminated by the manager they shall be given two weeks’ notice and, in addition, shall receive two weeks’ pay as severance pay.

(b)    In situations where the manager does not desire the employee’s continued presence on the job during the two-week notice period, the manager may direct that the employee be terminated effective immediately and the employee provided with four weeks’ pay as severance pay.

(c)    In situations where the regular employee’s continued presence on the job prior to the effective date of the contemplated personnel action poses a significant and immediate threat to public health or safety, a coworker, or borough property, such employee may be suspended with pay prior to the effective date of the contemplated personnel action. [Ord. No. 1205, §10, 3-18-02. Code 1974 §30.30.043.]