Chapter 3.08
DEFINITIONS Revised 1/17 Revised 5/19

Sections:

3.08.010    Generally.

3.08.020    Administrative Guidelines.

3.08.030    Appointing Authority.

3.08.040    Basis of Merit.

3.08.050    Board.

3.08.060    Charter.

3.08.070    Class.

3.08.080    Council.

3.08.090    County.

3.08.100    Department Director.

3.08.105    E-Verify.

3.08.110    Employee. Revised 5/19

3.08.120    Employment Positions. Revised 1/17 Revised 5/19

3.08.130    Executive.

3.08.140    Grievance.

3.08.150    Human Resources Director.

3.08.010 Generally.

The following words and terms as used in this Title and its Administrative Guidelines shall have the meaning indicated in this Chapter unless the context clearly indicates otherwise. (Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03 (part))

3.08.020 Administrative Guidelines.

"Administrative Guidelines" means those operational procedures promulgated by the Human Resources Director necessary to implement personnel policies or requirements consistent with this Code, the Charter, state and federal law. (Ord. 2004-7s § 2 (part), 2004; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.060)

3.08.030 Appointing Authority.

"Appointing Authority" means persons empowered with lawful authority by ordinance, law or Charter to appoint and/or remove employees from positions in the County service, or persons delegated by such Appointing Authority to perform duties which legally may be delegated. Generally, the director of the department is the Appointing Authority. (Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.130)

3.08.040 Basis of Merit.

"Basis of merit" means the value, excellence or superior quality of an individual's work performance, as determined by a structured process comparing the employee's performance against defined standards, and/or where possible, the performance of other employees in the same or similar classification. (Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.150)

3.08.050 Board.

"Board" means the Pierce County Personnel Board as established by Section 7.40 of the Pierce County Charter. (Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.170)

3.08.060 Charter.

"Charter" means the Pierce County Charter, including any amendments thereto. (Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.190)

3.08.070 Class.

"Class" means a position or group of positions, established under the authority of this Title, sufficiently similar in respect to duties, responsibilities and authority thereof, that the same descriptive title may be used to designate each position allocated to the class; that essentially similar requirements as education, experience, ability and other qualifications should be required of the incumbents; that similar tests of fitness may be used to choose qualified employees; and that similar schedules of compensation can be made to apply with equity. (Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.200)

3.08.080 Council.

"Council" means the Pierce County Council as established by Article 2 of the Charter. (Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.240)

3.08.090 County.

"County" means the County of Pierce County and any other organization that is legally governed by the County with respect to human resources matters. (Ord. 2004-7s § 2 (part), 2004; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.250)

3.08.100 Department Director.

"Department director" means an elected official or an employee appointed by the Executive and confirmed by the Council, or designee. (Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.280)

3.08.105 E-Verify.

"E-Verify" shall mean the electronic verification of work authorization program of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigration Responsibility Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-208, Division C, Title IVY s. 403(a), as amended, and operated by the United States Department of Homeland Security, or a successor electronic verification of work authorization program designated by the United States Department of Homeland Security or other federal agency authorized to verify the work authorization status of newly hired employees pursuant to the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Pub. L. No. 99-603. (Ord. 2009-74s § 1 (part), 2009)

3.08.110 Employee. Revised 5/19

"Employee" means a person whose status is one of the following and may include hourly or salaried status employees depending on the responsibilities according to the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and/or the Washington State Minimum Wage Act:

A.    Exempt employee: An employee exempt from the Career Service as defined in subsection B. of PCC 3.20.020.

B.    Potential Career Service employee: An employee whose status is one of the following:

1.    Provisional employee: An employee who possesses the minimum qualifications established for a class and who has been temporarily appointed, without a competitive examination, to fill a position in the absence of a current list of eligible applicants certified by the Human Resources Director. Such appointment is limited to 30 days after a list is established for the class or a maximum of 6 months, whichever occurs earlier;

2.    Probationary employee: An employee who has been certified and appointed, but who has not completed the probationary period which is the final step in the competitive selection process for the Career Service. An appointment as a Career Service employee is not final until the employee successfully completes this period.

C.    Career Service employee: An employee who was retained in a Career Service position after completion of a probationary period as provided in this Title.

D.    Use of the term "employee" for County benefits: The following are either not considered to be employees of Pierce County or are exempt employees. None of the following are eligible for earning of County benefits (vacation leave, sick leave, holiday pay, health insurance, longevity pay, leave with or without pay, retirement, etc.) unless provided by State law or specific Code language:

1.    Independent contractors, employees of independent contractors, and employees of temporary employment services or agencies;

2.    All volunteer members of Boards and Commissions appointed by the Council or Executive;

3.    Extra-hire employees (as defined herein);

4.    Limited duration employees (as defined herein).

    Elected officials are not employees and are not eligible for vacation leave, sick leave, and longevity benefits except as provided by State law.

(Ord. 2019-11 § 1 (part), 2019; Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 2004-7s § 2 (part), 2004; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.310)

3.08.120 Employment Positions. Revised 1/17 Revised 5/19

A.    "Regular full-time position" means a position normally established on a permanent year-round basis requiring work on a regular schedule corresponding to the regular work schedule of the department.

B.    "Regular part-time position" means a position normally established on a permanent year-round basis requiring work on a regular schedule equal to or greater than 40 percent of the regular work schedule of the department per month, but less than full-time. Part-time employees shall be eligible for the same benefits provided to full-time employees on a prorated basis.

C.    "Extra-hire position" means a Career Service exempt temporary position without County benefits filled for a maximum duration of up to six months in a 12-month period, unless specifically extended by the Human Resources Director. Employees who work less than 40 percent of the regular work schedule of the department per month are to be considered extra-hire employees and may work for an indefinite period. Extra-hire positions are ordinarily used for seasonal peak workloads, emergency workloads, vacation relief, and other situations involving fluctuating staff. Extra-hire employees are not eligible for County benefits, except they shall accrue one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked, as required by state law.

Election worker positions for the Auditor's office are considered extra-hire and shall ordinarily be employed according to the following schedule: August 1 through November 30 for the primary and general elections, and 30 workdays before and 15 workdays after special elections.

Extra-hire employment is intended to terminate before the end of the 6 month/182 calendar days, or other designated period, unless the employee works less than 40 percent of the regular work schedule of the department. However, an extra-hire employee who exceeds the stated duration shall not automatically be awarded, and thereby entitled to, any different employment status or eligibility for County or other benefits.

D.    A "limited duration position" is defined as a position performing work for a specified time period related to a specific grant, capital improvement project, information systems technology project, temporary placement to backfill a regular position (due to the regular employee's temporary absence such as extended leave) or other project/substantial body of work for a total of greater than six months in a 12-month period, and need not work on a continual basis within that 12-month period.

Limited duration employees may be hired on approval of the Human Resources Director on a full-time or part-time basis, and need not work on a continual basis within that 12-month period. Employees may not be employed in limited duration positions longer than three years beyond the date of hire, except for grant funded projects where the grant is periodically renewed. Limited duration employees are not regular employees, are not members of the Career Service or Civil Service, and serve at the will of the Appointing Authority. However, they shall receive employee benefits (or a prorated portion for part-time work) of paid holiday, sick and vacation leave and health insurance benefits including medical and dental (subject to any waiting periods and employee contributions), and basic life insurance, if they work on a regular schedule equal to or greater than 40 percent of the regular work schedule of the department per month. Benefit eligibility shall begin, subject to any waiting periods, only upon appointment to a limited duration position, regardless of prior status, and ends upon the completion of the designated project or assignment, regardless of subsequent employment, with the following exceptions:

1.    When a Limited Duration employee is hired into another Limited Duration position or a regular, benefit eligible position without a break in service, the employee shall be allowed continued eligibility for health insurance benefits in accordance with plan sponsor rules.

2.    When a Limited Duration position becomes a regular position (same position/same work) and the incumbent is selected for the regular position through a meritorious process without a break in service, the employee shall receive continued leave benefits, including accrual counters and balances.

3.    When a Limited Duration employee is hired into a regular position through a meritorious process with no break in service; or when a Limited Duration employee who was originally hired through a meritorious process is subsequently hired into a regular position with no break in service, the employee shall receive continued leave benefits, including accrual counters and balances.

4.    At the time of regular appointment from a Limited Duration position, the Human Resources Director or designee shall determine proper step placement in the salary plan.

5.    When a regular employee is transferred into a Limited Duration position with no break in service, the employee shall receive continued leave benefits, including accrual counters and balances.

(Ord. 2019-11 § 1 (part), 2019; Ord. 2016-84 § 1 (part), 2016; Ord. 2011-28 § 1 (part), 2011; Ord. 2008-106s § 1 (part), 2008; Ord. 2004-7s § 2 (part), 2004; Ord. 99-98 § 1, 1999; Ord. 98-123 § 1 (part), 1998; Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 87-31 § 3, 1987; Ord. 84-35 § 1, 1984; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.330)

3.08.130 Executive.

"Executive" means the Pierce County Executive or designee, as established by Article 3 of the Charter. (Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.360)

3.08.140 Grievance.

"Grievance" means a formal complaint initiated by an employee concerning the interpretation or application of the provisions of the Administrative Guidelines for Career Service. (Ord. 92-163 § 1 (part), 1993; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.380)

3.08.150 Human Resources Director.

"Human Resources Director" means the Department Director of the Human Resources Department of Pierce County, or designee. (Ord. 2004-7s § 2 (part), 2004; Ord. 82-56 § 2 (part), 1982; prior Code § 6.03.440)