Chapter 2.50


2.50.010    Human resources system established.

2.50.020    Equal employment opportunity.

2.50.030    Nondiscrimination.

2.50.035    Nepotism.

2.50.040    Sexual harassment.

2.50.045    Conflict of interest.

2.50.050    Reporting improper governmental action – Whistleblowing.

2.50.055    Violence in the workplace.

2.50.060    Drug testing.

2.50.070    Employee classification.

2.50.080    Salary plan – Hiring rate.

2.50.090    Overtime – Compensatory time off.

2.50.100    Social Security and Medicare.

2.50.110    Retirement.

2.50.120    Adopting travel and expense reimbursement policies and procedures.

2.50.010 Human resources system established.

A. There is established a human resources system for the City of Spokane Valley to provide a uniform system of personnel administration and ensure that recruitment, selection, placement, compensation, promotion, retention and separation of City employees are based upon qualifications and fitness in compliance with federal, state and City laws.

B. Employment with the City shall be “at-will” and may be terminated at any time by either the city manager or the employee, unless otherwise provided for by contract. No official or employee of the City, other than the city manager, shall have the authority to enter into any agreement for employment.

C. Personnel policies that relate to wages and benefits shall be submitted to the city council for review and approval, with the city manager authorized, directed and empowered to develop administrative policies, procedures, rules, forms and materials that are consistent with the personnel policies in order to implement the human resources system of the City. Said policies and procedures shall comply with all related state and federal laws, as well as City ordinances and resolutions. (Ord. 06-029 § 2, 2006; Ord. 44 § 1, 2003).

2.50.020 Equal employment opportunity.

It is the policy of the City to ensure equal employment opportunity for all employees and appointed representatives. This commitment includes a mandate to promote and afford equal treatment and services to all citizens, employees and City representatives, and to assure equal employment opportunity based on ability and fitness in accordance with any applicable state or federal law. (Ord. 06-029 § 3, 2006; Ord. 44 § 2, 2003).

2.50.030 Nondiscrimination.

The City of Spokane Valley shall comply with all state and federal laws regarding nondiscrimination. (Ord. 06-029 § 4, 2006; Ord. 44 § 3, 2003).

2.50.035 Nepotism.

A. Nepotism Prohibited. The City prohibits employment of family members where one family member has the authority to supervise or audit the work of another family member.

B. The definition of “family member” for purposes of this section shall be the same as that in RCW 42.17.020(26), as adopted or amended. (Ord. 12-003 § 1, 2012; Ord. 06-029 § 6, 2006).

2.50.040 Sexual harassment.

A. It is the policy of the City to seek to eliminate and/or prevent conduct constituting unlawful harassment under state or federal law, as well as to alleviate any effects such unlawful harassment may have on the working conditions of an employee. The City shall adopt a policy for investigating and responding to reports of unlawful harassment and detailing complaint procedures.

B. The city manager or designee shall investigate and appropriately respond to all complaints of sexual harassment. If the city manager is the subject of the complaint, then an independent outside agency shall investigate the complaint. Any records related to sexual harassment shall be sealed and retained in a separate personnel file maintained by the human resources manager. (Ord. 06-029 § 5, 2006; Ord. 44 § 4, 2003).

2.50.045 Conflict of interest.

No City employee shall engage in any act which is in conflict with, or creates an appearance of conflict with, the performance of official duties. (Ord. 06-029 § 7, 2006).

2.50.050 Reporting improper governmental action – Whistleblowing.

A. In accordance with Chapter 42.41 RCW, City officials and staff shall conduct City business with the utmost integrity and in strict accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws. Accordingly, employees are encouraged to bring to the attention of the city manager improper actions of City officials and employees. If the city manager is the subject of the complaint, then the improper actions shall be reported to the city attorney who shall consult with the city council on a course of action. The City will not retaliate against any employee who makes such a disclosure in good faith.

B. The city manager is authorized and directed to develop and implement administrative policies and procedures to carry out the intent of this section and otherwise comply with state law related hereto. (Ord. 44 § 5, 2003).

2.50.055 Violence in the workplace.

The City of Spokane Valley, as an employer, does not tolerate acts of violence to persons or property in the workplace. (Ord. 06-029 § 8, 2006).

2.50.060 Drug testing.

A. The human resources manager shall require a pre-offer drug screen test for all applicants and employees applying for a position requiring a commercial driver’s license (CDL) or involving safety-sensitive job duties.

B. The human resources manager may require an appropriate post-conditional offer, pre-employment physical exam of prospective City employees based upon the safety-sensitive nature of the position or the physical requirements of the position’s essential functions.

C. Employees required to maintain a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and employees who are assigned safety-sensitive job duties shall be subject to periodic random drug testing as required by law.

D. Upon a finding by an employee’s supervisor of reasonable suspicion that the employee’s ability to properly perform the job has been lessened by the use of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs, the employee may be required to submit to alcohol or drug testing. In addition, an employee may be required to submit to alcohol or drug testing if the employee is injured or injures another employee during work hours or is involved in a work-related accident and the City reasonably suspects that the employee’s actions or failure to act contributed to the injury or accident. (Ord. 13-002 § 2, 2013; Ord. 08-015 § 2, 2008; Ord. 44 § 6, 2003).

2.50.070 Employee classification.

A. Position classifications shall be developed and maintained for City employment. A job description shall be prepared and maintained so that the classifications and accompanying salary reflect the current duties and responsibilities of the job.

B. Significant changes in the duties and responsibilities of any position within the City service shall result in an evaluation of the position and possible reclassification based on such changes. All position classifications shall be reviewed periodically to assure that the classification reasonably reflects the current duties and responsibilities of the position.

C. Whenever the designated human resources manager has classified a new position or reclassified an existing position as required by subsections A and B of this section, the human resources manager shall submit the changes to the city manager for approval. To the extent the foregoing results in a change in an employee’s current salary or wages, such change shall not become effective until inclusion and adoption through a budget ordinance of the city council. (Ord. 44 § 7, 2003).

2.50.080 Salary plan – Hiring rate.

A. The city manager shall develop an annual salary plan for all City positions that results from an evaluation of duties and responsibilities.

B. The salary plan shall be presented and considered as part of the annual budget adoption process, and shall include the grade, title and salary range of all classified City positions.

C. New prospective City employees meeting the minimum qualifications for the position shall normally be hired at the minimum rate of pay within the salary range. However, when a prospective employee’s current rate of pay exceeds the minimum rate of pay of the respective job title, or a prospective employee’s qualifications, experience, and record of achievement considerably exceed the minimum requirements for the position, the city manager may authorize a salary above the minimum. No employee shall be hired in excess of the approved salary range established for the position. (Ord. 44 § 8, 2003).

2.50.090 Overtime – Compensatory time off.

A. For the purposes of computing eligibility for overtime pay, the term “employee” refers to those employees identified by RCW 49.46.130 who are eligible for overtime compensation. Employees who are exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and RCW 49.46.130 shall not receive any overtime pay. Employees who are not exempt from the FLSA shall be compensated for overtime at the rate of one and one-half for hours worked in excess of the number of hours allowed per work week as designated under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

B. When warranted, personal leave for exempt employees may be granted by the city manager in recognition of extraordinary work time required of exempt positions. (Ord. 44 § 9, 2003).

2.50.100 Social Security and Medicare.

A. The City of Spokane Valley shall offer a substitute Social Security program, and shall not participate in the Social Security System (FICA) for employees covered by a qualified retirement program.

B. Casual, part-time and temporary employees who are not covered by a qualified retirement program shall participate in the Social Security System (FICA) as required by law.

C. The Social Security substitute program shall be a 401A plan approved by the city council. City and employee contribution rates and maximums shall match FICA contribution rates and maximums as published in the Internal Revenue Service’s Employer’s Tax Guide, IRS Publication 15. The City and employee rates shall not be reduced in circumstances where the FICA rates are temporarily reduced.

D. As required by law, the City shall participate in the Medicare program. (Ord. 20-004 § 1, 2020; Ord. 44 § 10, 2003).

2.50.110 Retirement.

All regular full-time City employees, except the city manager who has the option of joining an alternate portable retirement plan in lieu of PERS, shall be required to participate in the state-mandated Washington State Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). (Ord. 44 § 11, 2003).

2.50.120 Adopting travel and expense reimbursement policies and procedures.

A. The city council shall adopt into the governance manual by separate resolution, policies and procedures that ensure that councilmembers have appropriate guidance for seeking reimbursement for expenditures they may make while conducting city business, including travel. Such policies and procedures shall be consistent with accepted accounting principles, and consistent with the city council’s role in overseeing expenditures of public funds.

B. The city manager shall adopt and maintain policies and procedures that ensure that staff members have appropriate guidance for seeking reimbursement for expenditures they may make while conducting city business, including travel. Such policies and procedures shall be consistent with accepted accounting principles. (Ord. 17-005 § 1, 2017; Ord. 29 § 1, 2003).