Chapter 48, PERSONNEL POLICIES

[HISTORY: Adopted 12/17/87 by Ord. No. 30A. Amendments noted where applicable.]

ARTICLE I, Authority, Objective and Scope   48-29. Annual leave.
48-1. Authority and objective.   48-30. Sick leave.
48-2. Scope.   48-31. Personal leave.
ARTICLE II, Definitions   48-32. Compensatory leave.
48-3. Terms defined.   48-33. Administrative leave.
ARTICLE III, Delegation of Authority   48-34. Leave of absence without pay.
48-4. Department of Human Resources.   ARTICLE VIII, Probation
48-5. Management.   48-35. Initial probation.
ARTICLE IV, Filling Positions   48-36. Performance probation.
48-6. Objective.   ARTICLE IX, Performance Review Programs
48-7. Vacancies.   48-37. Purpose.
48-8. Applications.   48-38. Performance review categories.
48-9. Selection process.   48-39. Performance review program.
48-10. Promotions.   48-40. (Reserved)
48-11. Transfer.   ARTICLE X, Outside Employment
48-12. County residency.   48-41. Conflicts with county employment prohibited.
ARTICLE V, Position Classification System   48-42. Notification of outside employment; determination of conflict.
48-13. Purpose.   ARTICLE XI, Termination of Employment
48-14. Administration.   48-43. Methods.
48-15. Personnel Committee.   48-44. Appointed officials.
48-16. Classification of positions.   48-45. Effect of termination.
ARTICLE VI, Wage and Salary Administration   48-46. Exit interviews.
48-17. Administration and amendment of pay plan.   ARTICLE XII, Discipline
48-18. Longevity recognition.   48-47. Purpose; types of discipline.
48-19. Pay grade assignment.   48-48. Progressive discipline.
48-20. Entrance pay rate.   48-49. Grievances of disciplinary actions.
48-21. Other salary adjustments.   ARTICLE XIII, Grievances
48-22. Reclassification.   48-50. Exclusive remedy.
48-23. Overtime pay.   48-51. Filing of grievance form required.
48-24. Death benefits.   48-52. Time limits.
48-25. Callback pay.   48-53. Special circumstances.
48-26. Shift differential pay.   48-54. Procedure.
ARTICLE VII, Attendance and Leave   ARTICLE XIV, Equal Opportunity Compliance
48-27. Approval required; increments.   48-55. Discrimination and sexual harassment prohibited.
48-28. Holiday leave.   48-56. Development of policies and program implementation.
 

ARTICLE I, Authority, Objective and Scope

48-1. Authority and objective.

As authorized by Article 25 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, the Board of County Commissioners of Carroll County has adopted this chapter in order to assure fair and equal treatment of county employees with regard to certain aspects of their employment. The Commissioners may adopt additional policies and procedures, so long as they are consistent with this chapter or any amendments. However, if any resolution, policy, procedure, or practice relating to employment conditions conflicts with this chapter or any amendments, this chapter governs. The Commissioners specifically reserve unto themselves as the legislative body the power to amend, alter and repeal any or all parts of this chapter at any time, and there shall be no rights of property or contract created hereby that are not subject to that power, or which may be extended beyond the specific provisions of this chapter.

48-2. Scope.

 A. Applicability. This chapter applies to employees of the Board of County Commissioners. However, unless otherwise provided in Subsection B below, it does not apply to elected officials; the Chief of Staff and Clerk to the Commissioners; County Attorney; County Comptroller; Zoning Administrator; department directors appointed by the Commissioners; contractual employees; and members of any board or commission created by law, where the members are appointed by the Commissioners for a specific term of office. This chapter also does not apply to any officer or employee of the Board of Education, Circuit Court for Carroll County, Orphan's Court, Health Department, Carroll County Soil Conservation District, Carroll County Public Library, Sheriff's Department and State's Attorney's Office.

 B. Special provisions. With the exception of the following provisions, this chapter applies to the Chief of Staff and Clerk to the Commissioners; County Attorney; County Comptroller; Zoning Administrator; and department directors appointed by the Commissioners: Article VIII, Probation; Article XII, Discipline; and Article XIII, Grievances.

ARTICLE II, Definitions

48-3. Terms defined.

For purposes of this chapter, the following definitions apply:

ABANDONMENT -- An absence without approved leave for 3 consecutive working days.

ACTIVE EMPLOYEE -- An employee working as scheduled or absent on approved, paid leave.

ANNIVERSARY DATE -- The initial date on which an employee begins accruing service (usually the initial date of employment).

APPOINTED OFFICIAL -- Official appointed by the Commissioners including the Chief of Staff and Clerk to the Commissioners, County Attorney, Comptroller, Zoning Administrator and directors.

CHAPTER -- The Carroll County Personnel Ordinance, as from time to time amended.

COMMISSIONERS -- The Board of County Commissioners for Carroll County, Maryland, and its authorized delegees.

CONTRACTUAL EMPLOYEE -- An employee who is hired to perform services and is not classified as a regular employee.

DHR -- The Department of Human Resources.

DIRECTOR -- A person who reports directly to the Commissioners without an intervening level of supervision.

DISCHARGE -- The involuntary separation of a regular employee from county service.

ENCUMBERING -- Borrowing against accrued annual leave during an illness or disability in order to receive pay and still preserve accrued annual leave.

FULL-TIME -- An employee regularly scheduled to work at least 30 hours per week.

GRIEVANCE -- A complaint brought pursuant to Article XIII:

 A. By a nonsupervisory employee in relation to a dispute between the employee and the county that involves the employee's working conditions and application or interpretation of this chapter (except classification appeals as provided for in Article V and performance and salary reviews as provided for in Article IX);

 B. By any employee in response to disciplinary action against the employee; or

 C. As permitted by Article XIV.

INACTIVE EMPLOYEE -- An employee not working as scheduled and absent on approved, unpaid leave.

LEAVE -- An absence from work approved in accordance with this chapter.

LEVEL II SUPERVISOR -- A Bureau Chief, Deputy Director or other supervisor designated as Level II Supervisor by the Director.

PART-TIME EMPLOYEE -- An employee regularly scheduled to work at least 18.75 hours but less than 30 hours per week.

REGULAR EMPLOYEE -- An employee who has satisfactorily completed the initial probationary period and is hired for an indefinite period to fill a position continuing in nature.

SUPERVISOR -- An employee designated by the Commissioners to manage the performance of other employees, and who exercises independent judgment, making recommendations in such areas as hiring, performance/salary reviews, promotion, discipline, and discharge.

WORKDAY -- One-fifth of the employee's regularly scheduled work hours for one week.

WORKWEEK -- The period extending from the beginning of Thursday through the end of Wednesday each week.

ARTICLE III, Delegation of Authority

48-4. Department of Human Resources.

The Department of Human Resources (DHR), a staff office of the Commissioners, has the following authority and responsibilities:

 A. Administering this chapter and all amendments to it including furnishing forms, where appropriate;

 B. Ensuring the county's compliance with all applicable laws regulating employment;

 C. Administering the overall compensation programs for county employees;

 D. Informing employees of personnel policies, procedures, and activities affecting the county's operation;

 E. Establishing and maintaining all personnel records for county employees;

 F. Establishing and overseeing a progressive discipline program;

 G. Providing employees with reasonable opportunity to review their individual personnel files; and

 H. Consulting on policy recommendations and other personnel-related matters.

48-5. Management.

Management exercises only those powers delegated by the Commissioners. The Commissioners retain complete authority to direct the actions of all personnel. Persons holding management positions are at all times required to meet the highest standards of efficiency, courtesy, fairness, and commitment to serving the citizens of Carroll County. The Commissioners may amend, add, or abolish any program, policy, benefit, ordinance, resolution or privilege as they deem necessary to the public interest and the efficient operation of county government.

ARTICLE IV, Filling Positions

48-6. Objective.

The county's objective is to recruit and select the most qualified individuals for county positions. Recruitment and selection shall be conducted to assure competition and provide equal employment opportunity. No consideration shall be given to any political or partisan endorsement for employment.

48-7. Vacancies.

 A. Procedure. All requisitions for filling vacancies shall be submitted on the appropriate personnel requisition forms to DHR.

 B. Filling vacancies. When a position becomes vacant, unless the Commissioners direct otherwise, DHR shall post a notice of intent to fill the vacancy on official county bulletin boards for a minimum of 7 consecutive workdays, unless an employee within the department in which the vacancy occurs meets the qualifications and is selected for the position. At the request of the Director, DHR may advertise a notice of intent to fill the vacancy.

48-8. Applications.

 A. Procedure. All applications for employment shall be made on the appropriate forms provided by DHR and signed by the applicant. The Commissioners encourage applications from and employment of qualified county employees and residents.

 B. Rejection. DHR may reject any incomplete application. The county may also reject any application containing false information. Falsification of information during the application or interview process is cause for an employee's dismissal at any time.

48-9. Selection process.

 A. Screening. DHR shall consider for selection all applicants who appear to meet the qualifications for the position. Written, oral, or performance examinations may be used, separately or in combination, to test the applicant's ability to perform in the position. DHR, in consultation with the department, shall set the standards of performance testing and reject applicants who fail to meet them. DHR shall refer qualified applicants to the department for interviewing consideration.

 B. Interviews. The Department shall interview qualified applicants. DHR must preapprove any test administered by a department. The department shall select an applicant to fill the vacant position within 15 days after the last interview. The department shall explain the result of each interview to DHR in writing.

 C. Employment offer. After the Department makes a selection, DHR shall make all offers of employment for county positions.

48-10. Promotions.

 A. Objective. Vacancies shall be filled by promotion of present employees when practicable, subject to the county's recruitment objective stated in 48-6 of this chapter.

 B. Qualifications for promotion. Selection of an employee for promotion shall be based on the employee's qualifications and job performance.

48-11. Transfer.

 A. Intradepartmental transfer. A Director may, at any time, transfer an employee within the department from one position to another in the same pay grade.

 B. Interdepartmental transfer. An employee may be transferred from one department to another department, in a position of the same pay grade, with the approval of the directors of both departments involved and the Commissioners, and the recommendation of DHR.

48-12. County residency.

Any individual selected by the Commissioners to fill the position of Chief of Staff and Clerk to the Commissioners, County Attorney, Comptroller, or department director, must become a resident of Carroll County within 12 months following the date of assignment to the position, and remain a resident while holding the position. The Commissioners may waive the time requirement if it causes an undue hardship or seriously restricts the availability of qualified job candidates.

ARTICLE V, Position Classification System

48-13. Purpose.

The position classification system defines and identifies pay grades and positions for ease of administration.

48-14. Administration.

DHR maintains records of communication and actions affecting positions and pay grades, provides for regular review of all position classifications, and recommends amendments to the classification system. The Commissioners approve all new positions and their classifications. The Commissioners must also approve all amendments to the classification system. 

48-15. Personnel Committee.

 A. Membership. The Commissioners may establish a Personnel Committee to assist with the personnel function of the county. The Committee shall consist of the Director of DHR, Director of Management and Budget, the Administrator of the Office of Performance Auditing, 2 directors appointed by the Commissioners, and 2 Level II Supervisors appointed by the Commissioners. Appointees shall serve 2-year terms and cannot serve consecutive terms.

 B. Purpose. The Personnel Committee shall meet for the following purposes:

(1) To review new position requests.

(2) To review requests for organizational changes, including, but not limited to, adding new positions to a department, adding supervisory duties to a position description, or otherwise changing supervisory relationships.

(3) To review requests for work hour changes for positions.

(4) To hear appeals of position classifications by DHR.

(5) To assist DHR in other personnel-related matters as needed or directed.

 C. Meetings.

(1) The Personnel Committee shall meet regularly twice a year in January and October for the purposes noted in Subsection B. DHR shall notify all supervisors of procedures and deadlines for submitting information to the Personnel Committee for these regularly scheduled meetings at least one month in advance of the meeting.

(2) The Personnel Committee may also meet as directed or needed other times during the year.

 D. Appeals.

(1) The Personnel Committee shall submit its recommendations in writing to the appropriate director. If the director disagrees with the recommendation of the Personnel Committee, the director may request an appeals hearing before the Personnel Committee, by meeting appeals deadlines and procedures established by the Personnel Committee.

(2) The Personnel Committee shall, after conducting a hearing and considering information presented in the appeal, submit its recommendations in writing to the Commissioners and meet with the Commissioners to review its recommendations. The Commissioners' decisions in acting upon recommendations of the Personnel Committee are final.

48-16. Classification of positions.

 A. Procedure.

(1) DHR shall notify all supervisors of procedures and deadlines for information necessary for processing classification of positions.

(2) Each August the Director and Deputy Director of DHR shall evaluate 1/3 of all position descriptions to assign pay grades, considering internal and external equity.

(3) DHR may also evaluate other position descriptions when the position description has changed and no longer describes the current job duties. These positions will ordinarily be evaluated each August. Review requests must be in writing to DHR by the supervisor and with Director approval.

(4) DHR reviews all position descriptions whenever a department, bureau, office or division is organized or reorganized, or other changes occur. DHR may require departments to submit position descriptions periodically.

(5) Upon approval of the Commissioners, any pay changes resulting from the review of position descriptions shall take effect on a date determined by the Commissioners upon recommendation by the Director of DHR and the Director of the Department of Management and Budget. [Amended 02/14/00 by Ord. No. 00-2]

 B. Appeals.

(1) DHR shall submit its classification recommendations in writing to the appropriate director. If the director disagrees with the recommendation, appeals may be made to the Personnel Committee by meeting appeals deadlines and procedures established by DHR and the Personnel Committee. DHR and the director shall both be permitted to present relevant information in classification appeals.

(2) The Personnel Committee shall, after considering any classification appeals, make its recommendations in writing to the Commissioners and meet with the Commissioners to review its recommendations. The Commissioners' determination of classification for each position is final.

ARTICLE VI, Wage and Salary Administration

[Amended 02/14/00 by Ord. No. 00-2; 11/08/00 by Ord. No. 00-8]

48-17. Administration and amendment of pay plan.

DHR administers the county's pay plan and informs employees about pay plans approved by the Commissioners. The Commissioners must approve the adoption and amendment of any pay plan for county employees. The Commissioners may establish, amend, or abolish salary schedules, pay grade assignments, or pay grades. DHR shall perform an annual review of the county's pay plan. The pay plan sets forth the salary ranges for employees and salary adjustments such as market equity adjustments or merit pay increases.

48-18. Longevity recognition.

The Commissioners may award longevity increases to regular employees upon the completion of 15 years of satisfactory, continuous service. The award shall be made annually in accordance with DHR policy.

48-19. Pay grade assignment.

[Amended 11/08/00 by Ord. No. 00-8]

Determining placement of positions in appropriate pay grades shall be based, among other things, on the relative difficulty and responsibility of the work; the prevailing pay rate for a comparable position in the public and private sectors in the recruitment area; the relationships among positions within the county; the recruitment and retention experience of the county; and the county's financial policies.

48-20. Entrance pay rate.

The entrance pay rate shall normally be the base pay rate for the position. The Director may approve an entrance pay rate up to and including an additional 5% of the base pay rate. The Commissioners may approve another entrance pay rate at their discretion.

48-21. Other salary adjustments.

 A. Transfer. When an employee is transferred from one position to another within the same pay grade, the pay rate shall be the same.

 B. Promotion. When an employee is promoted from a position in one pay grade to a position in a higher pay grade, the pay rate shall be increased by 6% per pay grade or the base of the new pay grade, whichever is higher.

 C. Demotion. When an employee is voluntarily or involuntarily demoted from a position in one pay grade to a position in a lower pay grade, the pay rate shall be reduced by at least 6%, and shall not be greater than the maximum pay rate for the position to which the employee was demoted.

 D. Acting capacity. When an employee or appointed official is temporarily assigned to perform duties of a position with a higher pay grade, the rate of pay shall be increased to the minimum of the new grade or by 5%, whichever is greater, not to exceed 10%. Acting capacity pay may not exceed the maximum pay rate for the position's assigned pay grade.

(1) Acting capacity pay only applies to temporary assignments anticipated to be at least 30 consecutive days in duration and shall begin with the first full day of acting capacity.

(2) An employee or appointed official promoted to the position after serving in acting capacity shall receive the promotion salary increase based on the pre-acting capacity pay rate; however, the salary, after promotion, shall not be less than the acting capacity pay rate.

(3) When an employee or appointed official assumes responsibilities of a position in acting capacity that result in a change to the exempt or nonexempt status under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the employee or appointed official shall be compensated accordingly.

(4) Acting capacity pay may be awarded for a period not to exceed 6 months, unless specifically approved by the Commissioners.

(5) The Director and DHR shall authorize acting capacity pay for employees. The Commissioners shall authorize acting capacity pay for appointed officials.

 E. Recall from layoff. An employee recalled to work from layoff shall be compensated within the pay range for the position to which the employee returns.

48-22. Reclassification.

 A. Higher pay grade assignment. When an employee's position is reevaluated and changed to a classification in a higher pay grade, the pay rate shall be increased by at least 6% per pay grade, or the base of the new pay grade whichever is higher.

 B. Lower pay grade assignment. When an employee's position is reevaluated and changed to a classification in a lower pay grade, and the employee's pay rate is within the lower pay grade, the pay rate shall remain the same. If the employee's pay rate exceeds the maximum pay rate for the lower pay grade, the pay rate shall remain fixed until the pay grade is adjusted so that the employee's pay rate is within the pay grade.

48-23. Overtime pay.

 A. In general. Overtime must be authorized in advance, except in emergencies, by the appropriate director, subject to budgetary considerations.

 B. Regular pay. A nonexempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act shall be compensated at the regular hourly pay rate for all hours worked and for which the employee has received paid leave through 40 hours each workweek.

 C. Overtime pay. A nonexempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act shall be compensated at 1.5 times the regular hourly pay rate for all hours the employee works in excess of 40 hours per workweek. In calculating the number of hours in a workweek, hours actually worked and hours of approved paid leave shall be used.

 D. Exempt employees. An exempt employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act shall be ineligible for overtime pay unless the Director and the Commissioners, upon recommendation from the Director of DHR, grant advance, written approval for overtime pay.

48-24. Death benefits.

Upon the death of an employee who has completed a minimum of a year of full-time county service, the county shall pay the employee's estate or designated beneficiary a death benefit of one month's salary. This payment will equal 1/12 of the annual pay.

48-25. Callback pay.

 A. A nonexempt employee designated as emergency personnel who is called back to work outside of regular work hours shall be paid at the applicable hourly rate for all hours worked or for a minimum of 4 hours, whichever is greater.

 B. Directors may designate persons as emergency personnel based upon a demonstrated need or emergency, either generally or for specific events.

48-26. Shift differential pay.

An employee regularly assigned to work on any full shift where the majority of hours worked are after 4:00 p.m. or before 8:00 a.m. shall be paid a premium pay called "shift differential pay," for the hours worked between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.

ARTICLE VII, Attendance and Leave

48-27. Approval required; increments.

Leave requires supervisory approval and may be authorized with or without pay in accordance with the provisions of this chapter and the work requirements of the county. An employee may use leave in hour increments. DHR shall establish the procedure for crediting leave to an employee's account.

48-28. Holiday leave.

Eligible employees receive paid holiday leave subject to the following:

 A. The Commissioners shall determine which days are holidays. A director may permit or require that a holiday be observed on a day other than the scheduled holiday.

 B. "Holiday" is defined as a leave day authorized by the Commissioners in recognition of certain holidays.

 C. Holiday leave must be used by the last day of the last pay period in June of the fiscal year, and shall not be carried forward to the next year. Upon termination of county employment, no employee will be compensated for unused holiday leave.

 D. Eligible employees include regular full-time and part-time employees and employees on initial probation.

 E. An employee must be on active status immediately prior to and following the holiday in order to receive paid holiday leave.

 F. Full-time and part-time employees shall receive paid holiday leave for all Commissioner-determined holidays.

 G. If an employee is required to report for work on a holiday, and is absent on the holiday without approved leave, the employee forfeits paid holiday leave and may be otherwise disciplined.

48-29. Annual leave.

 A. Accrual rate. Full-time and part-time employees, including those on initial probation, shall accrue annual leave at the rate of 1/5 of the employee's weekly base hours based on length of service as follows:

Years of Service Days of Annual Leave Accrued Per Year
Under 1 6
1 through 5 12
6 through 10 15
11 through 15 18
16 through 20 21
Over 20 24

 B. Accumulation. An employee may carry a maximum accumulation of 45 days forward from one fiscal year to the next. For purposes of this section, the fiscal year ends on the last day of the last full pay period in June each year.

 C. Use. A regular employee may use annual leave with supervisory approval. An employee on initial probation or extended initial probation may not use annual leave during initial and extended initial probation except for emergency purposes and with the approval of the Commissioners.

 D. Termination of County employment. Upon termination of County employment, a regular employee shall be paid for no more than 45 days of annual leave accumulated during preceding years, plus any annual leave accrued in the current fiscal year. The rate of payment shall be based on the employee's regular pay rate at the time of termination. In case of termination due to the employee's death, payment shall be made to the employee's estate or designated beneficiary. An employee who leaves County employment while on initial or extended initial probation is not compensated for annual leave.

48-30. Sick leave.

 A. Accrual rate. Employees accrue sick leave at the same rate as they accrue annual leave.

 B. Accumulation. An employee may carry an unlimited number of sick leave days forward from one fiscal year to the next.

 C. Use. Sick leave may only be used with supervisory approval and as provided in this subsection.

(1) Sick leave may be used when an employee is ill, as well as for routine medical checkups.

(2) An employee on initial probation may use sick leave.

(3) Family sick leave. Accrued sick leave may be used to care for an immediate family member who is sick.

(a) A regular employee and an employee on initial probation may use up to 8 days of accrued sick leave during each fiscal year for family sick leave.

(b) Immediate family, for purposes of family sick leave, includes the employee's spouse, parent, child (biological, adopted, foster child, step child or legal ward). 

 D. Documentation. An employee must provide documentation of the employee's or family member's illness if requested by the employee's supervisor.

 E. Termination of County employment. Upon termination of County employment, an employee will not be compensated for accumulated sick leave, unless the Commissioners authorize otherwise in a policy applicable to all regular employees.

 F. Certification. Absence for all or part of 3 or more consecutive working days may not be charged to sick leave or family sick leave without a health care provider's certification of the illness or injury necessitating the employee's absence for personal sick leave or family sick leave.

 G. Encumbered leave. If a health care provider certifies that an employee has a serious condition requiring a minimum of 5 consecutive days' absence from work, the employee's supervisor may authorize encumbrance of accrued annual leave, subject to the following:

(1) An employee must use all accrued sick, personal and compensatory leave before encumbering annual leave.

(2) Encumbered leave begins upon notification of approval and may not be retroactive.

(3) Annual leave may not be used while encumbered and shall be unencumbered pro rata for each sick leave hour earned after an employee's return to work.

(4) Upon termination of County employment, an employee will not be paid for any encumbered annual leave balance.

 H. Advanced sick leave. Sick leave ordinarily may not be used before it is accrued. The supervisor and DHR may jointly review and approve requests for advanced sick leave when no other leave is available.

48-31. Personal leave.

 A. Number of days. Employees shall receive 6 workdays of paid personal leave each fiscal year.

 B. Use and accumulation. Personal leave must be used by the last day of the last pay period in June of the fiscal year, and shall not be carried forward to the next fiscal year. An employee's supervisor may authorize the use of personal leave. An employee on initial or extended initial probation may not use personal leave.

 C. Termination of County employment. Upon termination of County employment, no employee will be compensated for unused personal leave.

48-32. Compensatory leave.

[Amended 08/20/01 by Ord. No. 01-10]

 A. Employees who are nonexempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) may choose to receive compensatory leave for each hour worked over their regularly scheduled work hours per workweek.

 B. Nonexempt employees must choose compensatory leave in lieu of paid overtime prior to the performance of any overtime hours. Employees must make their choice in writing on forms provided by DHR.

 C. Compensatory leave shall be earned at the rate of 1 hours of compensatory leave for each hour worked over 40 hours. For a nonexempt employee whose regularly scheduled work hours are less than 40 per week, compensatory leave will be accrued on an hour-for-hour basis for hours worked up to 40.

 D. Nonexempt employees may accumulate a maximum of 40 hours of compensatory leave. All hours earned over 40 shall be paid.

 E. Compensatory leave must be approved in advance by an employee's immediate supervisor before it is accrued or used. Approval to use accrued compensatory leave shall be in accordance with the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as amended.

 F. Upon termination of County employment, an employee shall be paid for all accumulated compensatory leave at the final regular rate of pay.

48-33. Administrative leave.

Employees, including employees on initial probation, shall, with supervisory approval, be granted paid administrative leave in accordance with the following:

 A. Jury duty. An employee called for jury duty shall receive jury leave for the period of jury service. If the employee's services are not required as a jury member on any part of a workday, the employee shall report to his or her supervisor for duty. The employee shall remit to the County the per-day fee received for jury service.

 B. Subpoenaed witness. An employee subpoenaed as a witness shall receive witness leave for the period covered by the subpoena. This does not apply to an employee who is a party in a lawsuit or an expert witness testifying on behalf of someone other than the County.

 C. Military. An employee who is a member of the organized militia, Army, Navy, Air Force, or Marine Reserve shall be granted military leave for military training or operations not to exceed 15 workdays per fiscal year for active duty training, and for any period of temporary emergency declared by the President or Governor.

 D. Bereavement.

(1) An employee shall receive bereavement leave upon the death of an immediate family member, not to exceed 3 regularly scheduled workdays or 5, if travel requires an overnight stay.

(2) For purposes of this subsection, "immediate family member" includes spouse, child, parent, grandparent, sister, and brother. Immediate family members defined in this subsection also include other relatives residing with the employee, step relatives, and relatives-in-law. 

(3) An employee's supervisor may approve up to one workday of bereavement leave to attend the funeral of family members, other than immediate family, not to exceed 2 workdays per fiscal year.

 E. Emergency volunteer. An employee responding to an emergency as a volunteer firefighter, paramedic, and/or ambulance team member shall receive emergency volunteer leave for arriving late for his or her regularly scheduled work assignment. The employee shall promptly notify the supervisor that he or she will be late.

 F. Emergency. The Commissioners may grant leave when unforeseen events or natural causes, such as floods, snows, or hazardous conditions, threaten the safety of employees, or for any other reason in the discretion of the Commissioners.

(1) Emergency leave may be granted for all or part of a normal workday.

(2) Emergency leave may be granted to all or part of the work force depending on the nature and extent of the emergency.

(3) When emergency leave has not been granted, and a potentially hazardous situation exists for employees, supervisors may allow employees to use leave other than sick leave.

48-34. Leave of absence without pay.

 A. Duration. The duration of leave without pay shall be at the discretion of the supervisor and the director, based on the reason for the request and the effect on county operations. The leave may not exceed one year.

 B. Leave accrual. When leave of absence without pay occurs for the duration of an entire pay period, no leave of any kind shall accrue during the pay period.

 C. Approval. There is no entitlement to leave of absence without pay except where required by state or federal law. The leave must be requested and approved prior to the beginning of the leave. The supervisor may approve leave not to exceed 5 days total per fiscal year. All requests for leave of absence without pay exceeding 5 days shall be referred to DHR. The director and DHR must approve leave exceeding 5 days total per fiscal year. If the Director and DHR do not approve the leave as requested, the employee may make a written appeal to the Commissioners within one workday of the leave denial. The Commissioners' decision is final. The County may impose conditions and restrictions on approval of leave without pay.

 D. Return to active employment. An employee who has been granted leave without pay must return to work by the date the leave expires.

ARTICLE VIII, Probation

48-35. Initial probation.

 A. Duration. Every employee shall be on probation for a minimum of 6 months following the employee's initial employment date. The Director may extend initial probation for up to 6 additional months, using forms DHR provides. In no event shall the initial probationary period exceed one year.

 B. Leave. An employee on initial probation may accrue and use leave only as provided in Article VII.

 C. Rejection on initial probation. A Director may reject an employee on initial probation at any time. An employee rejected on initial probation shall have no recourse through the grievance procedure.

 D. Performance review. At least 2 weeks before the end of an employee's initial probationary period, the employee's supervisor shall complete a performance review and forward it to DHR. The supervisor shall not complete a performance review if the employee is to be rejected on probation. Failure to observe the deadline may result in disciplinary action against the supervisor.

48-36. Performance probation.

An employee may be placed on performance probation following an annual or special performance review in accordance with Article IX, 48-39C. Performance probation may occur when an employee does not maintain a satisfactory level of performance. If, during the course of a performance probation, the employee does not maintain a satisfactory level of performance, the employee may be discharged. In no event shall performance probation exceed 6 months. At the end of the performance probation, the supervisor shall complete a second performance review.

ARTICLE IX, Performance Review Programs

[Amended 11/08/00 by Ord. No. 00-8]

48-37. Purpose.

The purpose of the employee performance review programs is to evaluate employee performance regularly and consistently. A review provides relevant information for determining employee training and development needs, salary increases, promotions, demotions, and discharges.

48-38. Performance review categories.

DHR establishes and implements the employee performance review program.

48-39. Performance review program.

 A. In general. The employee's supervisor normally completes the performance review with input and review from the Level II Supervisor, if applicable, and the Director. When no intervening levels of supervision exist between the Director and the employee, the Director completes the performance review. The Commissioners evaluate Directors. All performance reviews shall be discussed with the respective employee.

 B. Performance review criteria. The employee's job description and corresponding standards serve as the basis for performance review. Each job description has corresponding standards of performance for the job. The employee's supervisor, in cooperation with the employee, reviews job responsibilities and assigns a rating to each. DHR establishes and maintains definitions of levels of performance.

 C. Review schedule.

(1) Initial probationary period.

(a) At least 2 weeks' prior to completion of the initial probationary period, the supervisor shall complete a performance review in accordance with Article VIII, unless the employee is to be rejected on initial probation.

(b) An employee rejected on initial probation shall receive 2 weeks severance pay.

(2) Annual performance review. The supervisor shall conduct a performance review at least once per year, but may conduct reviews more frequently. If an employee does not maintain a satisfactory level of performance, the supervisor shall place the employee on performance probation.

 D. Special performance review. When an employee's performance declines to an unacceptable level, a supervisor shall conduct a review of an employee's performance. If an employee receives less than a satisfactory rating on the review, the supervisor shall place the employee on performance probation.

 E. Performance probation review. The supervisor shall complete a follow-up review no later than 6 months after an employee is placed on performance probation. A follow-up review where the employee does not maintain a satisfactory level of performance is cause for discharge.

 F. Grievances of performance reviews. An employee's performance review is not subject to the grievance procedure except where the employee receives no pay increase or is placed on performance probation.

48-40. (Reserved)
[Deleted 11/08/00 by Ord. No. 00-8.]

ARTICLE X, Outside Employment

48-41. Conflicts with county employment prohibited.

An employee may not engage in outside employment that could create a conflict with the employee's County employment.

48-42. Notification of outside employment; determination of conflict.

An employee who engages in outside employment must notify the supervisor and Director in writing. The supervisor and Director shall review the outside employment request to determine if a potential conflict exists and if the mission of the agency could be adversely affected by the employment. If their determination is affirmative, the employee shall not engage in the outside employment. If the supervisor and Director determine that the outside employment would neither create a conflict nor adversely affect the mission of the agency, the supervisor and Director shall send a copy of the determination and request for outside employment to DHR for review and referral to the Carroll County Ethics Commission. If the Ethics Commission determines that a potential conflict of interest exists, the employee shall not engage in the outside employment. The Ethics Commission shall notify the employee, supervisor, Director and Director of DHR of its decision in each case.

ARTICLE XI, Termination of Employment

48-43. Methods.

 A. Resignation. 

(1) To resign in good standing, an employee must file written notice of the resignation and its effective date with the employee's Director at least 14 calendar days before the resignation. Unless the employee's Director waives notice, failure to give notice shall be documented in the employee's personnel record and may be cause for denying future County employment.

(2) Upon written notice of resignation and its effective date, the Director may approve, but is not required to approve, the use of leave, in accordance with the provisions in Article VII, Attendance and Leave, not to exceed 10 workdays, prior to the employee's effective date of resignation.

 B. Abandonment. Termination of employment for abandonment shall occur automatically, effective from the first day of the unauthorized absence. The employee may not grieve the determination of abandonment, except to prove that leave was authorized. The employee shall have the burden of so proving. An employee abandoning his or her position shall not be eligible for reemployment with the County.

 C. Discharge.

(1) A supervisor recommending discharge must meet with the employee to notify the employee of the recommendation and the reasons for discharge. If the recommendation remains unchanged, the supervisor shall refer the matter to DHR in writing and on forms DHR provides.

(2) The Director or Deputy Director of DHR shall meet with the employee to review the supervisor's recommendation and to listen to the employee's views, including any reasons why the employee considers discharge improper. DHR shall establish the procedure for the meeting.

(3) If the Director or Deputy Director of DHR rejects the discharge recommendation, DHR shall determine alternate discipline and the employee shall return to work. If the Director or Deputy Director of DHR upholds the recommendation, the supervisor shall discharge the employee.

(4) Where a supervisor recommends discharge of an employee in DHR, the Chief of Staff to the Commissioners shall act on behalf of the Director or Deputy Director of DHR for purposes of this section.

 D. Layoff. The Commissioners reserve the right to lay employees off temporarily or permanently. The Commissioners shall take into account the employees' performance and length of County service. A laid-off employee who applies for another vacant County position and meets the minimum qualifications shall be granted an interview by the Department.

48-44. Appointed officials.

 A. Term and reappointment. Unless otherwise provided by law, the terms of the following officials appointed by the Commissioners expire at 12:00 midnight on each June 30 immediately following the election of a new Board of County Commissioners: the Chief of Staff and Clerk to the Commissioners, County Attorney, Comptroller, Zoning Administrator, and Directors. These appointed officials shall all be eligible for reappointment and shall continue in office unless a successor is appointed.

 B. Termination.

(1) The Commissioners may terminate employment of an appointed official listed in the Subsection A of this section at any time, without cause, upon a minimum of 2 months' written notice or with 2 months' severance pay. If such an appointed official is terminated for cause, the termination shall take effect immediately without prior notice or severance pay.

(2) Upon written notice of resignation and its effective date, and with notice of at least 14 calendar days before the resignation; the Commissioners may approve, but are not required to approve, the use of leave, in accordance with the provisions in Article VII, Attendance and Leave, not to exceed 10 workdays, prior to the appointed official's effective date of resignation.

48-45. Effect of termination.

All rights, benefits, and privileges cease upon termination of County employment, unless federal, state or local law provides otherwise. An employee returning to County service following termination receives no seniority privileges or credit for previous service unless otherwise granted by law. The preceding sentence does not apply to an employee returning after a layoff of less than 12 months.

48-46. Exit interviews.

DHR shall hold a confidential exit interview with any departing employee requesting one and randomly with other departing employees. DHR may disclose portions of the interview it deems appropriate only to the agency in interest.

ARTICLE XII, Discipline

48-47. Purpose; types of discipline.

The purpose of discipline is to assure adherence to policies the County determines necessary to maintain efficiency. The Commissioners may impose whatever sanctions they deem necessary, according to the circumstances of each case. Disciplinary actions include, but are not limited to, oral reprimands, written reprimands, suspension without pay, withholding of pay increases, demotion, discharge, or any other sanction deemed appropriate in the sole discretion of management and the Commissioners.

48-48. Progressive discipline.

In most cases, but not all, supervisors shall impose a progression of disciplinary actions before recommending discharge. For example, an employee may receive an oral reprimand, a written reprimand, and then a demotion, in one case; in another case, the employee might receive a written reprimand, a suspension, then withholding of a pay increase. Normally, disciplinary measures are progressively severe with each subsequent infraction, but the County reserves the right to judge each case individually, based on such factors as the seriousness of infraction, the employee's performance record and length of County service, and any other relevant consideration.

48-49. Grievances of disciplinary actions.

An employee may grieve disciplinary actions in accordance with Article XIII.

ARTICLE XIII, Grievances

48-50. Exclusive remedy.

This chapter contains the exclusive procedure for presenting and resolving grievances. An employee may pursue a grievance only as specified here.

48-51. Filing of grievance form required.

With the exception of Step One grievances, all grievances shall be made in writing on forms approved by DHR and signed by the aggrieved employee. The grievant must specify the nature of the dispute, the provisions of this chapter at issue and the remedy requested.

48-52. Time limits.

Any time limit in this chapter may be extended by agreement of both sides in advance of its expiration. The Commissioners may extend the time limits for Step Four grievances. If an employee fails to comply with any time limit in this chapter, the grievance will be dismissed. If the County fails to comply with any time limit in this chapter, the grievance will automatically proceed to the next step.

48-53. Special circumstances.

For suspension of more than 5 days or a discharge, an employee shall start with Step Three of the procedure.

48-54. Procedure.

 A. Step One Grievance.

(1) Presentation. An employee must present a grievance in person to his or her immediate supervisor within 5 workdays after the event giving rise to the grievance or within 5 workdays after the employee reasonably should have known of the event.

(2) Resolution. The supervisor shall attempt to resolve the grievance and must respond in person to the employee within 5 workdays after hearing the grievance. The supervisor must notify the Director of the grievance and the result. If the grievance is not satisfactorily resolved, the employee must so notify his or her Director within one day. The Director shall have 5 workdays in which to respond in person to the employee.

 B. Step Two Grievance.

(1) Presentation. An employee whose grievance is not satisfactorily resolved at Step One may file a written grievance with DHR within 5 workdays after the Director delivers the response. The employee and Director or Deputy Director of DHR shall meet within 5 workdays after DHR receives the written grievance. 

(2) Resolution. DHR shall mail or personally deliver a written response to the employee within 5 workdays after the meeting.

 C. Step Three Grievance.

(1) Presentation. An employee whose grievance is not satisfactorily resolved after Step Two may appeal to the Grievance Review Board by serving a written notice of appeal on the Director of DHR within 10 workdays after DHR mails or delivers the Step Two response. An employee suspended for more than 5 days or discharged may file a Step Three grievance by serving a written notice of appeal on the Director of DHR within 5 workdays after the suspension or discharge.

(2) Compliance with procedural requirements. Upon receiving a Step Three appeal notice, the Director of DHR shall determine whether the appeal has been timely and properly processed. If it has not, the Director of DHR shall deny the appeal and notify the employee of the reasons in writing.  If the appeal has been timely and properly processed, the Director of DHR shall schedule a hearing before the Grievance Review Board.

(3) Time of hearing. The Grievance Review Board shall hold a hearing within 30 days after DHR receives the appeal notice.

(4) Composition of Grievance Review Board. The Grievance Review Board consists of the Chief of Staff to the Commissioners, a Director from a department or office other than that in which the employee works, and an employee ombudsman chosen by the employee from a list maintained by DHR.

(5) Hearing and decision.

(a) In all grievances except those involving suspension for more than 5 days or discharge, the Grievance Review Board shall determine the procedure for the hearing, giving both sides the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence. The employee may be represented by anyone the employee chooses.

(b) In grievances involving suspension for more than 5 days or discharge, the Grievance Review Board shall tape record the hearing. The employee may be represented by anyone the employee chooses. Each side shall have the opportunity to present evidence and to question fully all witnesses.

(c) The Grievance Review Board shall mail its written decision within 30 days after the hearing. The decision shall be final and binding on all parties, except as provided in Subsection D(1) below.

D.  Step Four Grievance.

(1) Appeal to Commissioners. In a grievance involving suspension for more than 5 days or discharge, either the employee or management may appeal the Grievance Review Board's decision to the Commissioners. Management may also appeal the Grievance Review Board's decision to the Commissioners in any case where the decision allegedly violates this chapter or county policies or adversely affects the efficiency of county government. The party appealing at the Step Four level must serve a written notice of appeal on the Chief of Staff to the Commissioners within 10 workdays after the Grievance Review Board mails its decision.

(2) Presentation. Within 3 workdays after receipt of the appeal notice, the Chief of Staff shall submit to the Commissioners the record of the hearing before the Grievance Review Board. The record shall include a sound recording of the Step Three hearing unless the party appealing pays for the transcript in advance or the Commissioners request a transcript.

(3) Hearing. The Commissioners may decide the appeal based on the record without further hearing or, at their sole option, may hold an additional hearing to determine such facts as they deem necessary.

(4) Disposition. The Commissioners shall render a final, binding decision on the grievance within 20 days after receiving the record of the hearing before the Grievance Review Board or, if the Commissioners hold a hearing, within 20 days after the close of the hearing. The decision of the Commissioners is not subject to judicial review.

ARTICLE XIV, Equal Opportunity Compliance

48-55. Discrimination and sexual harassment prohibited.

The County does not discriminate or tolerate discrimination against any employee on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Likewise, the County does not tolerate sexual harassment against any employee or by any employee. An employee subjected to any form of discrimination, including sexual harassment, is entitled to a prompt, fair resolution.

48-56. Development of policies and program implementation.

DHR shall develop policies governing equal opportunity compliance. Policies will contain procedures to resolve complaints and expedite resolutions. DHR shall also develop and oversee programs implementing this chapter.