Chapter 1 - General

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Chapter 1-General

1.1 City employees are “at will’ employees.

(a) This manual contains the policies and the procedures, which both the City and all its employees shall follow during an employee’s employment by the City. The City Council may amend or repeal these policies and these procedures. The City intends these policies and procedures to govern the employment relationship between the City and its employees. Employees may rely upon these policies and procedures so long as they are in effect. If, however, an employee receives specific notice from the Mayor that the City intends to deviate from or change any policy or procedure as to that employee, the contents of specific notice shall solely govern that employee’s employment relationship with the City.

(b) THIS MANUAL PROVIDES CITY EMPLOYEES WITH PROCEDURAL PROTECTION ONLY. ALL CITY EMPLOYEES ARE EMPLOYED STRICTLY AT THE WILL OF THE CITY. BECAUSE ALL CITY EMPLOYEES ARE “AT WILL EMPLOYEES.” NOTHING CONTAINED IN THIS MANUAL IS MEANT TO, NOR SHALL, CONSTITUTE ANY WAIVER OF THE CITY’S RIGHT TO TERMINATE ANY CITY EMPLOYEE, INCLUDING DEPARTMENT HEADS, FOR ANY REASON.

(c) These personnel policies apply to all City employees. These personnel policies shall not apply to elected officials and independent contractors. If any provision conflicts with any provision of a valid and effective collective bargaining agreement, the provision of the collective bargaining agreement shall govern. Similarly, if any provision conflicts with any provision of applicable Civil Service rules and regulations, the provision of the Civil Service rules and regulations shall govern. In all other cases, these policies shall govern.

1.2 Letter from the Mayor.

In 1931, East Wenatchee, Washington was the landing site of the first non-stop trans-Pacific flight. Shortly after taking off from Misawa, Japan, Pilot Clyde Pangborn jettisoned his plane’s landing gear to conserve fuel. Then he piloted his plane, Miss Veedol, 4,500 miles (4.5 times further than Lindbergh’s trans-Atlantic flight) across the Pacific Ocean and successfully landed in East Wenatchee. A hanger at East Wenatchee’s Pangborn Airport now houses a replica of Miss Veedol.
In accomplishing its dual mission of providing high quality services to its citizens and conserving their resources, the City seeks to replicate the values that brought Miss Veedol across the Pacific Ocean, namely: vision, preparation, hard-work and courage.
As Mayor, I invite all employees to emulate these qualities in their job performance so the City can create a Spirit of East Wenatchee among its employees and among its citizens.

As Mayor, that it is in the best interest of the City and its employees to have written personnel policies to help the City meet its mission, to prevent misunderstandings and problems, and to ensure that all employees know what the City expects of them. I request that all employees thoroughly familiarize themselves with the contents of this Manual so all personnel policies of the City may be appropriately administered.

1.3 CODE OF ETHICS

(a) No city employee may use City-owned vehicles, equipment, materials or property for personal convenience or profit. Use is restricted to such services as are available to the public for the authorized conduct of official business, and for such purposes and under such conditions as directed by the Mayor.

(b) No city employee shall engage in any act, which is in conflict with, or creates an appearance of conflict with, performing official duties. An employee is deemed to have a conflict of interest if the employee:

(1) Receives or has any financial interest in any sale to the City of any service or property when such financial interest was received knowing the City intended to purchase such property or obtain such service;
(2) Solicits, accepts or seeks anything of economic value as a gift, gratuity, or favor from any person, firm or corporation involved in a contract or transaction which is or may be the subject of official action of the City; provided, that the prohibition against gifts or favors shall not apply to:

i. Attendance of an employee at a hosted meal when provided with a meeting directly related to the conduct of City business or where official attendance by the employee as a staff representative is appropriate;
ii. An award publicly presented in recognition of public service; or
iii. Any gift offered or given to the employee if he or she were not a city employee;

(3) Participates in his or her capacity as a city employee in making a contract in which he or she has a private pecuniary interest, direct or indirect, or performs regarding such a contract some function requiring exercising discretion for the City;
(4) Influences the City’s selection of, or its conduct of business with, a corporation, person or firm having business with the City if the employee has financial interest in or with the corporation, person or firm;
(5) Engages in, accepts private employment from or renders services for private interest when such employment or service is incompatible with the proper discharge of official duties or would impair independence of judgment or action to perform official duties;
(6) Appears for a private person, other than his or herself or an immediate family member or except as a witness under subpoena, before any regulatory governmental agency or court of law in an action or proceeding to which the City or a City officer in an official capacity is a party, or accepts a retainer or compensation contingent upon a specific action by the City;
(7) Discloses or uses, without legal authorization, confidential information concerning the property or affairs of the City to advance a private interest regarding any contract or transaction which is or may be the subject of official action of the City;
(8) Has a financial or personal interest in any legislation coming before the City Council and participates in discussion with or gives an official opinion to the City Council unless the employee discloses on the record of the council the nature and extent of such interest;
(9) Holds, directly or indirectly, for personal financial gain, investment or speculation, any interest in real property situated within the City, if such employee in his or her official duties performs any function requiring exercising discretion for the City regarding regulating land use or development; provided, this prohibition shall not apply to:
iv. Real property devoted to the personal use or residence of the employee or member of the employee’s immediate family; or
v. Any other interest in real property held by the employee on the date of enactment of this chapter.
(10) No city employee shall use his official authority or influence to interfere with or affecting the result of an election for a position on the City Council or for Mayor.
(11) Nothing in this section shall prevent an employee from fully exercising those rights to participate in political activities granted by state law or by federal law.
(12) If the Mayor determines that an employee has violated these guidelines, the City may terminate and/or temporarily suspended with loss of pay that employee’s employment with the City.

1.4 Equal Employment Opportunity.

(a) The City is an equal employment opportunity employer. The City employs, retains, promotes, terminates and otherwise treats all employees and job applicants based on merit, qualifications, and competence. The City shall apply this policy without regard to an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, national origin, pregnancy, age, marital status, or disability.

(b) The City will not discriminate against applicants or employees with sensory, physical or mental impairment, unless the impairment cannot be reasonably accommodated and the impairment prevents proper performance of an essential element of the job.

1.5 Workplace Violence

(a) The City will provide a safe workplace for its employees, contractors, vendors, and the public.

(b) The City strictly prohibits threatened or actual workplace violence. This includes, but is not limited to, and of the following conduct associated with or around the workplace, or otherwise related to employment:

(1) Threatening injury or damage against personal property;
(2) Fighting or threatening to fight with another person;
(3) Threatening to use a weapon on City premises (unless required to carry a firearm or weapon as a condition of employment);
(4) Abusing or damaging property;
(5) Using obscene or abusive language or gestures in a threatening manner; and
(6) Raising voices in a threatening manner.

(c) An employee must report any workplace violence incidents or incidents indicating a potential violence to his or her supervisor and/or Department Head when possible. If the City determines that an employee has violated this policy, the employee will be subject to immediate discipline up to and including termination.

(d) Any employee who reasonably believes he or she is involved in a situation with an aggressive employee, contractor, vendor, or other party who may immediately become violent (e.g., any person who uses abusive language or gestures, makes threats or acts in a threatening manner) and puts the employee or others in imminent danger, the employee should leave the work area and immediately call 911 to request officer contact. The City shall take no disciplinary action against any employee who leaves his or her work area when the employee has a reasonable belief that a situation with an aggressive person is likely to turn violent. The employee should coordinate the timing and circumstances of possible return by the employee to the area with police and/or with their supervisor.

(e) To prevent inappropriate outsider access, employees must adhere to the City’s security policies and rules at all time. Built-in security must rule and procedures are enforced at all-times (e.g. doors locked after hours).

1.6 Anti-Harassment.

The City has an independent workplace harassment policy and an independent whistle blower policies. The City adopts each policy by reference.

1.7 Definitions

(a) Department Head – An employee responsible for directing one or more departments, including where the department may only comprise that employee.
(b) Immediate Family – An employee’s immediate family includes the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, children, parents, brothers/sisters, mothers-in-law/fathers-in-law, sons-in-law/daughters-in-law, grandparents, and grandchildren.
(c) Regular Full-Time Employee – An employee who regularly works a minimum of forty hours a week on a continuing basis and who is not a department head.
(d) Regular Part-Time Employee – An employee who may work less than forty hours a week but at least twenty hours a week on a continuing basis.
(e) Temporary Employees – Temporary employees are those employees who hold jobs in limited duration arising out of special projects, abnormal workloads or emergencies. Temporary employees are not eligible for City benefits.
(f) Exempt / Non-Exempt Employees –shall be defined as set forth in applicable State or Federal Law.

1.8 Personnel Records.

(a) The City keeps a personnel file for each employee. The City limits access to a personnel file to the employee, the employee’s department head, the City Attorney, the Executive Secretary, and the Mayor. An employee’s personnel file contains the employee’s name, title and/or position held, job description, assigned department, salary, changes of employment status, evaluations, and disciplinary documents. The City Treasurer keeps a separate payroll file for every employee, including, but not limited to payroll information, insurance information, and workers compensation documents.

(b) An employee may inspect his or her personnel file or his or her payroll file. The City may require that the Executive Secretary be present during the inspection. An employee has the right to obtain copies of documents at the employee’s own expense. An employee may request removal of irrelevant or erroneous information in his/her personnel file. If the City denies the employee’s request to remove the information, the employee may file a written rebuttal statement to be placed in his/her file.

(c) The City keeps personnel files confidential to the maximum extent permitted by law. Except for routine verifications of employment, the City will not release information in an employee’s personnel file to the public, including the press, unless state or federal law requires the City to release the information or unless an employee authorizes, in writing, the City to release his or her file.

1.9 Safety Equipment.

The City shall provide the following safety equipment to all employees required by OSHA, WISHA, or L&I to use such equipment:
a. Safety helmets;
b. Safety vests;
c. Hearing protection
d. Safety goggles (eye protection); and
e. Gloves.