Chapter 2.28


2.28.010    Adoption.

2.28.020    Definitions.

2.28.030    Personnel officer.

2.28.040    Personnel board – Created – Members.

2.28.050    Personnel board – Powers.

2.28.060    Personnel board – Duties.

2.28.070    Adoption, amendment of rules and regulations.

2.28.080    Application – Exceptions.

2.28.090    Status of present employees.

2.28.100    Application – Exempt positions.

2.28.110    Appointments.

2.28.120    Probationary period.

2.28.130    Demotion, dismissal, reduction in pay, suspension.

2.28.140    Layoff and re-employment.

2.28.150    Political activity.

2.28.160    Discrimination.

2.28.170    Contracting for special services.

2.28.180    Appeal process.

2.28.190    Grievance process.

2.28.010 Adoption.

In order to establish an equitable and uniform procedure for dealing with personnel matters, to attract to municipal service the best and most competent persons available, to assure that appointments and promotions of employees will be based on merit and fitness, and to provide a reasonable degree of security for qualified employees, the following personnel system is adopted. (Ord. 352 § 1, 1976).

2.28.020 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall be defined as indicated:

A. “Appointing power” means the officers of the city who, in their individual capacities, or as a board, commission, city council, or department head, have authority to make appointments to the position to be filled in the competitive service.

B. “City” means the city of Holtville.

C. “Classification” means all positions sufficiently similar in duties, authority, and responsibility to permit grouping under a common pay scale in the application with equity of common standards of selection, transfer, demotion, and promotion, and as established by basic pay plan and salary schedule, which is to be established by resolution and changed by resolution.

D. “Competitive service” means all positions of employment in the service of the city except those specifically excluded by this chapter.

E. “Days” means calendar days, unless otherwise stated.

F. “Demotion” means the movement of an employee from one classification to another classification having a lower maximum rate of pay.

G. “Employment list” means a list of names of persons who may be considered for employment with the city under specified conditions.

H. “Examination” means selection techniques used to measure the relative capacities of the persons applying for positions within the competitive service.

I. “Layoff” means the separation of employees from the active work force due to lack of work or funds, or to the abolition of positions by the city council for the reasons designated in this subsection or due to organizational changes.

J. “Physical examination” means a pre-employment medical examination conducted by a licensed physician to determine a prospective employee’s physical condition.

K. “Position” means a group of duties and responsibilities in the competitive service requiring the full-time employment or part-time employment of one person.

L. “Probationary period” means a working test period during which an employee is required to demonstrate his or her fitness for the position to which he or she is appointed by actual performance of the duties of the position.

M. “Promotion” means the movement of an employee from one classification to another classification having a higher maximum rate of pay.

N. “Provisional appointment” means an appointment of a person who possesses the minimum qualifications established for a particular classification and who has been appointed to a position in that classification in the absence of available eligibles.

O. “Reinstatement” means re-employment without examination of a former regular employee or probationary employee.

P. “Suspension” means the temporary separation from the competitive service of an employee without pay for disciplinary purposes.

Q. “Transfer” means a change of an employee from one position to another position in the same classification or in a comparable classification. (Ord. 352 § 2, 1976).

2.28.030 Personnel officer.

The city council shall appoint the personnel officer. The city council may delegate any of the powers and duties conferred upon the personnel officer under this chapter to any other officer or employee of the city or may contract for such duties and powers to be performed, as provided in HMC 2.28.170. The personnel officer shall:

A. Attend all meetings of the personnel board and serve as its secretary;

B. Administer all provisions of this chapter and of the personnel rules and regulations not specifically reserved to the department heads, the city council or the personnel board;

C. Prepare and recommend to the personnel board personnel rules, regulations, revisions and amendments to such rules and regulations, as requested by the personnel board;

D. Provide for the publishing or posting of notices of examinations for positions in the competitive service, the receiving of applications therefor, the conducting and grading of examinations, the certification to the appointing power of a list of all persons eligible for appointment to the appropriate positions in the competitive service. (Ord. 352 § 3, 1976).

2.28.040 Personnel board – Created – Members.

A. There is created a personnel board to consist of three members, to be appointed by the city council.

B. The first board to be appointed shall, at its first meeting, so classify its members by lot that one shall serve for a term which shall expire one year from the initial appointment, one shall serve for a term which shall expire two years from the initial appointment, and one shall serve for a term which shall expire three years from the initial appointment. At the expiration of each of the terms so provided for, a successor shall be appointed by the city council for a term of three years. The personnel board shall adopt rules of procedure and shall select a chairperson from among its members who shall act as presiding officer.

C. Vacancies on the personnel board shall be filled by appointment by the city council for the unexpired term. Each member shall serve until his or her successor is appointed and qualified. A majority vote of the city council shall be required to appoint or remove a member of the personnel board.

D. Members of the personnel board shall be residents of the city. No person shall be appointed to the board who holds any salaried office or employment with the city. (Ord. 352 § 4, 1976).

2.28.050 Personnel board – Powers.

A. The personnel board may have the right of subpoena, the power to examine witnesses under oath, the power to compel the attendance of witnesses, and the power to require the production of evidence by subpoena. Subpoenas may be issued at the discretion of and by the city attorney or the assistant city attorney, upon the request of the personnel board. Subpoenas shall be issued in the name of the city and attested by the city clerk.

B. Each member of the personnel board shall have the power to administer oaths to witnesses and the power of contempt. (Ord. 352 § 4, 1976).

2.28.060 Personnel board – Duties.

A. The personnel board shall determine the order of business for the conduct of its meetings, and shall meet on the call of the chairperson, or a majority of the members of the board. A majority of the members of the board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of all business brought before the board.

B. The board, as provided by this chapter and by the rules and regulations, shall hear all appeals submitted by any person in the competitive service relative to any disciplinary action greater than 10 days’ suspension without pay, dismissal or demotion, and to certify its findings and recommendations as provided in HMC 2.28.180 and 2.28.190 and the personnel system rules and regulations. If any inconsistencies between this chapter and the personnel system rules and regulations exist, this chapter shall be controlling and followed. (Ord. 406, 1989; Ord. 352 § 5, 1976).

2.28.070 Adoption, amendment of rules and regulations.

Personnel rules and regulations shall be adopted by resolution of the city council, after notice of such action has been publicly posted in at least three public places designated by the city council, and at least five days prior to city council consideration. The personnel officer shall give reasonable written notice to each employee organization affected by this chapter, rules or regulations, resolution or amendment thereof proposed to be adopted by the city council. Amendments and revisions may be suggested by any interested party and shall be processed as provided in the personnel rules and regulations. The rules shall establish regulations governing the personnel system including, but not limited to:

A. Public announcement of all examinations, and acceptance of applications for employment;

B. Preparation and conduct of examinations and the establishment of and use of resulting employment lists containing names of persons eligible for appointment;

C. Certification and appointment of persons from employment lists, and making of provisional appointments;

D. Establishment of probationary periods;

E. Evaluation of employees during probationary period;

F. Transfer, promotion, demotion, reinstatement, disciplinary action and layoff of employees in the competitive service;

G. Separation of employees from the competitive service;

H. Classification;

I. Compensation;

J. Personnel board and rules of appeal;

K. Attendance and leaves;

L. Grievance procedures;

M. Training;

N. The establishment of adequate personnel records;

O. The establishment of appeals procedures concerning the interpretation of application of this chapter and any rules adopted under this chapter. (Ord. 352 § 9, 1976).

2.28.080 Application – Exceptions.

The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all offices, positions and employments in the service of the city, except:

A. Elective officers;

B. Members of appointive boards, commissions and committees;

C. City manager;

D. Public works manager;

E. Police chief;

F. Fire chief;

G. Finance manager;

H. City attorney;

I. City engineer;

J. Persons or entities engaged under contract to supply expert, professional, technical or any other service;

K. Volunteer personnel, such as volunteer firemen;

L. Emergency employees who are hired to meet immediate requirements of an emergency condition, such as extraordinary fire, flood, or earthquake which threatens life or property;

M. Employees, other than those listed elsewhere in this section, who are not regularly employed in permanent positions. (Ord. 467, 2009; Ord. 391, 1986; Ord. 352 § 8, 1976).

2.28.090 Status of present employees.

A. Any person holding a position included in the competitive service who, on July 27, 1977, has served continuously in such position, or in some other position in the competitive service for a period equal to the probationary period prescribed in the rule for his or her classification, shall assume regular status in the competitive service in the position held on July 27, 1977, without qualifying test, and shall thereafter be subject in all respects to the provisions of this chapter and of the personnel rules.

B. Any other person holding a position in the competitive service shall be regarded as a probationer, serving out the balance of his or her probationary period, as prescribed in this chapter and the personnel rules before obtaining permanent status. The probationary period shall be computed from the date of appointment or employment. (Ord. 352 § 12, 1976).

2.28.100 Application – Exempt positions.

The provisions of the personnel rules relating to attendance and leaves, classification, compensation, and separation shall apply to the incumbents of all full-time exempt positions, unless otherwise specified. (Ord. 352 § 13, 1976).

2.28.110 Appointments.

A. Appointments to vacant positions in the competitive service shall be made in accordance with the personnel rules. Appointments and promotions may be based on merit and fitness, to be ascertained so far as practicable by competitive examination. Examinations may be used and conducted to aid in the selection of qualified employees and may consist of selection techniques which will test fairly the qualifications of candidates such as achievement and aptitude tests, written tests, personal interviews, performance tests, physical agility tests, evaluation of daily work performance, work samples, or any combination of these or other tests. The probationary period shall be considered an extension of the examination process. Physical, medical and psychological tests may be given as a part of any examination. Every new candidate must receive and pass a pre-employment physical examination prior to acceptance of an appointment in the competitive service of the city.

B. In any examination, the personnel officer may include, in addition to competitive tests, a qualifying test or tests, and set minimum standards therefor.

C. Appointments shall be made by the city council, or by the officer in whom the power to make appointments is vested.

D. When appointment is to be made to a vacancy in the competitive service, the personnel officer shall transmit to the appointing power the names of all persons on the appropriate certified employment list, in the order in which they appear on the list. (Ord. 352 § 10, 1976).

2.28.120 Probationary period.

A. All regular appointments, including promotional appointments, shall be for a probationary period of not less than six months. During the probationary period, the employee may be rejected at any time without the right of appeal or hearing.

B. An employee rejected during the probationary period from a position to which he or she has been promoted shall be reinstated to a position in the classification from which he or she was promoted, unless the employee is discharged from the competitive service of the city as provided in this chapter and the rules.

C. An employee in the competitive service promoted or transferred to a position not included in the competitive service shall be reinstated to a position in the classification from which he or she was promoted or transferred if action is taken to reject him or her, unless the employee is discharged in the manner provided for in this chapter and the personnel rules for positions in the competitive service. (Ord. 352 § 11, 1976).

2.28.130 Demotion, dismissal, reduction in pay, suspension.

The personnel board shall have the right to affirm, increase, decrease or otherwise modify any disciplinary action, dismissal or demotion imposed. Notice of such action must be in writing and served personally on such employee, except where an emergency situation exists, in which case the notice shall be served within three working days of the action taken. Such notice shall specify the penalty and contain a statement of the reason or reasons therefor.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to reductions in pay which are part of a general plan to reduce salaries and wages or to eliminate positions. (Ord. 406, 1989; Ord. 352 § 14, 1976).

2.28.140 Layoff and re-employment.

A. Whenever in the judgment of the city council it becomes necessary in the interests of economy, or because the necessity for a position no longer exists, the city council may abolish any position or employment in the competitive service. The employee holding such position for employment may be laid off without taking disciplinary action and without the right to appeal.

B. The order of layoff of employees shall be established by the department heads involved. The department head shall take into consideration the job performance and length of service of employees in preparing a recommended layoff list; provided, however, that no regular or probationary employee shall be laid off from his or her position in any department while any emergency, temporary, or provisional employee is serving in the same classification in that department.

C. Employees to be laid off shall be given at least 14 days notice prior to being laid off.

D. The names of regular employees and probationary employees laid off or demoted in lieu of layoff shall be placed upon re-employment lists for one year for those classifications requiring basically the same qualifications, duties and responsibilities of the classification from which layoff or demotion in lieu of layoff was made.

E. Persons whose names are placed on re-employment lists in accordance with this section, and who are re-employed within the prescribed period, shall be regarded as having been on leave of absence during this period of absence and entitled to all benefits accruing from such leave. (Ord. 352 § 16, 1976).

2.28.150 Political activity.

The political activities of employees in the competitive service of the city shall conform to pertinent provisions of the California state law and federal law. (Ord. 352 § 17, 1976).

2.28.160 Discrimination.

No person in the competitive service or seeking admission thereto shall be employed, promoted, demoted or discharged, or in any way favored or discriminated against because of political opinions or affiliations, race, color, ancestry, national origin, religious creed, sex or because of the exercise of his or her rights under Section 3502 of the Government Code. (Ord. 352 § 18, 1976).

2.28.170 Contracting for special services.

The city council shall consider the extent to which the city should contract for the performance of technical services in connection with the establishment or operation of the personnel system. The city council may contract with any qualified person or public or private agency for the performance of all or any of the following responsibilities and duties imposed by this chapter, but shall not be limited to them:

A. The preparation of personnel rules and subsequent revisions and amendments thereof;

B. The preparation, conduct and grading of competitive examinations;

C. The conduct of employee training programs;

D. Special and technical services of advisory or informational character on matters relating to personnel administration. (Ord. 352 § 19, 1976).

2.28.180 Appeal process.

A. A department head shall have the right to discipline any employee under his supervision by suspending the employee without pay for up to 10 days, from which there shall be no right of appeal.

B. In the event of suspension greater than 10 days, demotion or dismissal, after any internal review provided by the city’s rules and regulations, the employee may appeal to the personnel board within the time fixed and in the manner provided by the city. The employee has the right to be present and to be represented at the hearing. The hearing shall not be open to the general public unless the employee so requests in writing. The personnel board’s decision shall be final. (Ord. 406, 1989; Ord. 352 § 6, 1976).

2.28.190 Grievance process.

A regular employee shall have the right to bring a grievance to management for review in accordance with the rules and regulations of the city. (Ord. 406, 1989; Ord. 352 § 7, 1976).