ORDINANCE NO. 109-15

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652

ORDINANCE NO.  109-15
AN ORDINANCE APPROVING AND ADOPTING AMENDMENTS TO THE PERSONNEL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL
OF THE CITY OF OPELIKA, ALABAMA
WHEREAS, the City of Opelika, Alabama, (the “City”) has previously adopted general provisions pertaining to personnel rules and regulations, including, but not limited to, staffing, separations, disciplinary actions, grievance procedures, compensation and employee benefits, which are set forth in the “Policies and Procedures of the City of Opelika” (hereinafter referred to as the “Personnel Manual”); and
WHEREAS, City staff has recommended to the City Council that the Personnel Manual be updated at the present time to provide for additional policies and principles pertaining to the administration of City employees and personnel; and
WHEREAS, the City Council recognizes that periodic adjustments must be made to the Personnel Manual in order to keep the Manual current and consistent with state and federal labor and employment law requirements, as well as policies, procedures, guidelines, rules and regulations established by the City on a local level for employees; and
WHEREAS, the City Council has determined that it is in the best interest of the public health, safety and general welfare to amend the Personnel Manual at this time as recommended by City staff to update the policies, procedures, guidelines, rules and regulations.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED by the City Council (the “Council”) of the City of Opelika, Alabama (the “City”) as follows:
Section 1. Amendments. That the Personnel Manual of the City of Opelika adopted on November 19, 2002, as previously amended, is further amended in the following respects:
(a)  That Section 1.2 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 1.2 Scope.
The provisions of the City of Opelika Personnel Policies and Procedures as established herein shall apply to all individuals employed by the City except:
(a)  elected officials;
(b)  members of appointed boards, commissions, and committees;
(c)   outside attorneys and similar individuals employed in their professional capacity;
(d)  judges of any court;
(e)  contract employees, except to the extent that the provisions of these policies are incorporated into and made a part of the employment contract;
(f)  independent contractors under contract with the City; and
(g)  students or interns assigned to the City as part of a curriculum of study in which said student or intern is engaged.
(b)  That Section 1.13.14 of is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 1.13.14  Part-Time Employee
An employee of the City employed in an on-going position in which the employee is normally scheduled to work twenty-nine (29) hours or less per week.
(c)     That Section 2.1.1 is hereby amended to read as follows:
2.1.1 Equal Employment Opportunity.
The City of Opelika recognizes that, as a public body, it is responsible for the general well being of its residents.  As one of the major employers of Lee County, this responsibility extends to providing job opportunities and employment.
It is the policy of the City of Opelika to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, citizenship or any other characteristic protected by law.  The City of Opelika prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.
The City of Opelika shall take necessary and affirmative action to eliminate equal opportunity barriers and to prohibit discrimination and/or preferred treatment concerning any individual on the basis of political or religious affiliations; on the basis of race, creed, color, disability, national origin, sex or age (except where age or physical requirements constitute a bona fide occupational qualification necessary for proper and efficient functioning in the job) and, on the basis of any other non-merit factor.
Equal employment opportunity, free of discriminatory practices shall be enforced in all facets of employment including, but not limited to, appointment, recruitment, testing, promotion, terms and conditions of employment, compensation, benefits, training, discipline, appeals, layoffs, and terminations.
It shall be the practice of the City of Opelika, through the efforts of the Department of Human Resources, to apply modern management principles and procedures to operate, efficiently and economically, a sound human resources management program.
The Director of Human Resources shall be responsible for distribution and discussion of this equal employment opportunity policy with Department Heads, Division Managers, Supervisors and other employees, to assure understanding and reasonable and consistent application.
Department Heads and Division Managers shall conduct personnel management operations in accordance with this equal employment opportunity policy.
Department Heads and Division Managers shall provide employees and applicants alleging discrimination accessibility to those who can respond to and assist the individual, in order to ensure that their rights are not violated and to decrease the necessity to seek assistance through outside investigating agencies.
(d)    That Section 2.1.3 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 2.1.3 Harassment Policy
It is the policy of the City of Opelika to provide a work environment free from all forms of harassment.  The City of Opelika does not tolerate harassment of employees and others based on, or related to, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age or disability.  This policy applies to the actions of Department Heads, Division Managers, Supervisors, co-workers, independent contractors and any other individual who comes into contact with an employee while an employee is performing his/her job duties.  Department Heads, Division Managers, Supervisors and employees who violate this policy are subject to severe discipline, including termination of employment.
Retaliation against individuals who report harassment is strictly forbidden.  Any Department Head, Division Manager, Supervisor or other employee who is found to have taken any adverse action against an individual because of an individual’s good-faith report or complaint of harassment is subject to severe discipline, including termination of employment.  This may apply even if it is determined that harassment report or complaint is not valid.
(A)  Harassment.
A course of conduct directed at a specific person or a specific group of people that causes substantial emotional distress in such person or group of people and serves no legitimate purposes.
(B)  Sexual Harassment.
Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws.  For purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined (in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines), as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; (ii) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or (iii) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender.  Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include, but are not limited to:  unwarranted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendos; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body; sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; displaying in the workplace sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.   In addition, pinching, brushing against another person’s body and subtle pressure for sexual favors is considered harassment.
No Supervisor shall threaten or insinuate either by explicit or implied actions, that an employee’s refusal to submit to sexual advances will adversely affect the employee’s employment, evaluation, classification (grade or step), assigned duties, or any other condition of employment or career development.
(C)  Race, Color, Religion, National Origin, Age and Disability Harassment.
(1)  Race, color, religion, national origin, age and disability harassment is defined as unwelcome statements, name-calling or other verbal or physical conduct based upon an employee’s race, color, national origin, age or disability when any of the following occurs:
(a)  Submission to such conduct is made a term or condition of an individual’s continued employment, promotion or other condition of employment;
(b)  Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting an employee or job applicant; or
(c)  Such conduct is intended to interfere or results in interference with an employee’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
(2)  Prohibited actions include but are not limited to:  use of derogatory terms or descriptions of an individual or group of individuals based on race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability; stating stereotypical classifications concerning the race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability of an employee or group of employees; display of signs, pictures, cartoons, written statements or other material that denigrates or discriminates against any employee(s) based on one’s race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability; and general harassment, pushing, shoving or other intentional acts perpetrated in whole, or in part, because of the employee’s race, color, religion, national origin, age or disability.  In addition, harassing conduct includes, but is not limited to:  epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening bullying, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group and that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the employer’s premises or circulated in the workplace.
(D)  Harassing conduct in the workplace, whether committed by supervisors or non-supervisory personnel is prohibited.  For the purposes of this policy, the workplace shall include any place where an employee of the City of Opelika is required to perform his/her official duties of employment.  Employees while on duty are specifically prohibited from engaging in harassing behavior, as defined in this section, towards other employees, officials or private citizens.
(e)  That Section 2.2.1 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 2.2.1.Prohibited Conduct.
The City of Opelika will not tolerate workplace violence.  All employees, customers and vendors should be treated with courtesy and respect at all times.  Employees are expected to refrain from fighting, “horseplay” or other conduct that may be dangerous to others.  Conduct that threatens, intimidates or coerces another employee, customer or vendor will not be tolerated by the City of Opelika.  Violent acts or threats made by an employee against another person or property are cause for severe discipline including termination of employment.
Prohibited conduct includes:
1.   Causing physical injury to another person;
2.   Making threatening remarks;
3.   Aggressive or hostile behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury to another person or subjects another individual to emotional distress;
4.   Intentionally damaging City property or property of another employee;
5.   Possessing, brandishing or using a weapon that is not required by the individual’s position while in the workplace, except as allowed by State law;
6.   Engaging in behavior that subjects another individual to extreme emotional distress;
7.  Committing injurious acts motivated by, or related to, domestic violence or harassment;
8.   Retaliating against any employee who, in good faith, reports a violation of this or any other policy.
(f)   That Section 3.3 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 3.3  Part-Time Service
The part-time service will include those individuals who are employed in positions, which are considered to be on going in nature but in which the incumbents will normally be scheduled to work twenty-nine (29) hours or less per week, (forty-six (46) hours for fire protection employees who are regularly scheduled to work twenty-four (24) hour shifts).  The incumbents of part-time service positions will normally be scheduled to work in each pay period.
(g)   That the Policy Manual is hereby amended by adding a section to be numbered 4.2.7, which section shall read as follows:
Section 4.2.7  Immigration Reform and Control Act
All new employees, regardless of employment status, are required by the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 to complete a government form I-9 before, or immediately following, employment.  This form attests to the individuals’ eligibility for employment in the United States.  Certain documents, which will prove an individual’s eligibility for employment in the United States, must be presented to the person processing the employment papers.  Each newly hired employee must present either an original document which establishes both employment authorization and identity or an original document which establishes employment authorization and a separate original document which establishes identity.  Establishing and maintaining eligibility for employment in the United States is a condition of employment.
(h)  That the Policy Manual is hereby amended by adding a section to be numbered 4.2.8, which section shall read as follows:
Section 4.2.8  Residence Requirements
There is no residence requirement for employees of the City of Opelika, except that, as a condition of employment, the Mayor may require key managerial, professional and policy-making employees directly appointed by him to reside within the City limits. A list of key employees appears in Section 5.12 below.
(i)  That Section 4.4.3 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 4.4.3  Application Forms.
All applications for employment will be submitted via the City of Opelika’s website.  Applications should be submitted in accordance with the vacancy notice or advertisement instructions.  Applications are accepted for vacant positions, except as listed below.  Public safety positions require a lengthy application process.  For this reason, Public Safety job postings may be posted prior to an actual vacancy.
(j)   That Section 4.4.5 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 4.4.5  Selection Committees.
The Human Resources Department will ensure that all qualified applications are reviewed and ranked.  The Human Resources Director or the appointing authority may convene a selection committee to assist in the evaluation and ranking of each application.  Such committee will be made up of knowledgeable individuals from the department in which the vacancy exists and other departments as established by the Human Resources Department.  Normally, each applicant will be ranked according to his/her possession of the job-related qualifications required for the job.  However, when necessary to meet a City affirmative action goal the requirements of the City’s Affirmative Action Plan will also be considered.
(k)  That the Policy Manual is hereby amended by adding a section to be numbered 4.8, which subsection shall read as follows:
Section 4.8  Exempt Positions
Sections 4.4, 4.5 and 4.6 cover all City positions except the following managerial, professional and policy-making positions appointed directly by the Mayor:
City Administrator
City Attorney
City Engineer
Opelika Power Services Director
Planning Director
Economic Development Director
Human Resources Director
Fire Chief
Police Chief
Controller
Chief Technology Officer
Purchasing-Revenue Manager
Municipal Court Clerk
Solid Waste Director
Community Relations Officer
Administrative Assistant to the Mayor
Manager of Marketing
Manager of Fiber Services
Assistant Director of Opelika Power Services
Assistant Chief of Police
(l)  That Section 5.4 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 5.4  Probationary Period
An employee who is assigned to a new job or promoted to a higher grade in accordance with the provisions of this section will serve a probationary period in his/her new position.  All employees except those in positions that require that the incumbent meet minimum standards as established by the City and/or law will serve a six (6) month probationary period in their new job.  Any probation period may be extended by the Department Head for an additional six (6) months for inadequate job performance, extended absences from work, any misconduct or any violation of rules and policies as outlined in this Policy and Procedure Manual or within departmental rules and procedures.
In the event an employee fails to satisfactorily perform the functions of the position at any time during the probationary period, then the employee serving the probationary period may be demoted to the former classification if there is a vacancy in such classification, or may be reassigned to any other comparable classification for which the employee is qualified, subject to the approval of the Mayor.  The employee may be terminated only if there is no vacancy in any such other comparable classification.
(m)   That Section 5.7.1 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 5.7.1  General.
It is the policy of the City of Opelika to provide promotional opportunities whenever possible to qualified employees.  Employees are encouraged to qualify themselves for advancement by developing new skills, by expanding the knowledge of their work, by assuming greater responsibilities, and by maintaining a high level of job performance, service, interest, and loyalty.
The selection of candidates shall be determined in a manner whereby those individuals having demonstrated the required knowledge, skills, abilities and personal characteristics, while possessing the greatest potential qualities of leadership for the higher position, may be selected, regardless of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, political affiliations, sex, age or physical ability (except where age or physical ability is an essential bona fide occupational qualification).
Positions above the entrance level not governed by specific promotional requirements and procedures shall be filled by promotion of employees or by recruitment from outside the City service, with view toward the selection of the best available candidate for each position.  When an employee’s qualifications are regarded as equal to or higher than outside applicants, the employee shall be given the preference.
Promotional procedures may vary according to the particular classification and/or department.  In some instances, specific written procedures may be designated depicting the method of qualifying for eligibility as well as the minimum requirements necessary for obtaining the higher classification.
If formal written procedures do not exist for certain classifications and/or departments, the following criteria and principles shall be observed:
(A)  There must be an authorized, vacant position;
(B)   An employee seeking a promotion shall have performed satisfactorily in his/her present position;
(C)   An employee seeking a promotion shall meet the job qualification standards as stated in the job specifications;
(D)   Qualification evaluation methods shall be reasonable, applied with fairness and equity to all eligible candidates, and developed with the intent of obtaining the highest degree of validity and reliability possible under the specific circumstances; and
(E)   Selection shall be made from among the best-qualified candidates, without discrimination among them for any reason such as race, sex, age, color, religion, political affiliation, disability or national origin.
Any formal or written promotional procedures governing a particular classification and/or department must have the approval of the Mayor and the Human Resources Department, with a copy being on file in the Department of Human Resources.  The Director of Human Resources shall have the responsibility for properly announcing and coordinating the promotional process in accordance with established and approved procedures.  Departmental promotional rules shall not conflict with the rules and policies contained in this general policy, especially the City’s Affirmative Action Plan and the goals established hereunder.
Except as provided in Section 5.7.4, only full-time employees of the City of Opelika are eligible for consideration for promotion under this Policy.  Probationary employees (whether initial, promotional, or disciplinary) are not eligible for consideration for promotion.
(n)  That the plus and minus form for the Opelika Fire Department in Section 5.8.5 is deleted and replaced with a new form.  The new Plus and Minus form is attached hereto as Exhibit “A”.
(o)  That Section 5.10 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 5.10  Demotion/Reclassification to a Lower Graded Position
(A)  Demotion.
Demotion is a move of an employee to a position or classification having a lower starting salary or range.  An employee may be demoted to a position of a lesser grade for which qualified when:
(1)  A budgeted vacancy exists and the employee voluntarily requests a lower classification; or
(2)  An employee in a promotional probationary status does not perform satisfactorily in his/her current position. (See Section 5.4); or
(3)  When an employee is unable to perform the essential functions of the job as a result of a permanent physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; or
(4)   The employee is to be demoted as a disciplinary measure.
If the provisions of this section conflict with any necessary or required remedy or action under the State Workers’ Compensation laws, the federal American with Disabilities Act or any other federal or state laws, then any such necessary or required remedy or action shall take priority over the provisions of this section.
(p)  That the Policy Manual is hereby amended by adding a section to be numbered 5.11, which section shall read as follows:
Section 5.11   Transfer
A transfer is the movement of an employee from one division of a department to another or from one department to another.
(A)  Transfers by the Mayor.
(1)  Any time a vacancy occurs in a positon of employment, the Mayor, following the required advertisement process, is authorized to and may make an interdepartmental transfer to such position of employment if a qualified person is available in another department and such person either requests or consents to the transfer.
(2)  The Mayor is authorized to make a transfer, without advertising the position, in the following circumstances:
(a)  To reassign an employee who has been reclassified to a lower graded position; or
(b)  To accommodate an employee pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family Medical Leave Act or other federal or state laws.
(B)  Transfers by a Department Head.
A Department Head is authorized to make transfers within his/her department by transferring an employee from another position of a same or similar class having the same maximum pay rate involving the performance of similar duties and requiring essentially the same basic qualifications.  Such transfers may be voluntary or involuntary.
(q)  That the Policy Manual is hereby amended by adding a section to be numbered 5.12, which section shall read as follows:
Section 5.12  Positions Exempt from Promotion Policy
All classified full-time employees are covered by the Policies on Promotion except for the following managerial, professional and policy-making positions and approved directly by the Mayor:
City Administrator
City Attorney
City Engineer
Opelika Power Services Director
Planning Director
Economic Development Director
Human Resources Director
Fire Chief
Police Chief
Controller
Chief Technology Officer
Purchasing-Revenue Manager
Municipal Court Clerk
Solid Waste Director
Community Relations Officer
Administrative Assistant to the Mayor
Manager of Marketing
Manager of Fiber Services
Assistant Director of Opelika Power Services
Assistant Chief of Police
(r)  That subsections (c), (i), (o), (n), and (cc), of Section 8.2.1 Group One Offenses are amended to read as follows:
Section 8.2.1  Group One Offenses
(c)   Conduct Unbecoming an Employee—Conduct or actions while on or off duty, which tends to bring discredit upon the City and its employees; which adversely affects the morale or efficiency, or public respect for, the employee’s assigned department; or which otherwise threatens order, safety or health.
(i)  Falsification – Falsification, misrepresentation or suppression of any information including, but not limited to, employment applications, employee reports, reports, or timecards required by or supplied to any governmental agency including, but not limited to the City of Opelika.
(o)  Harassment—Harassment as defined in Section 2.1.3 of another City employee or of a private citizen while on duty.
(n)  Political Activities—Political activities in violation of the legal regulations governing municipal employees.
(cc ) Unauthorized Release of Information—Inappropriate use or unauthorized release of privileged or confidential information including unauthorized access to, disclosure of or inappropriate use of protected health information or other privileged or confidential information.
(s)  That Section 8.2.1 Group One Offenses is amended by adding the following subsections:
(ff)  Failure to Obtain or Maintain License—Failure to obtain or maintain a license or certificate required as a condition of employment.
(gg)  Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy Violations.—Violations of policies, procedures and standards relating to the Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy as provided in Executive Regulation No. 15.
(hh)  Work Place Violence.  Violations of the work place violence policy contained in Section 2.2 of this Manual.
(ii)    Repetitive Acts of Misconduct—Habitual or repetitive of misconduct, violations of policy and/or infractions of rules and regulations.
(t)  That Section 8.2.2 Group Two Offenses is hereby amended by adding the following subsections to read as follows:
(d)  Gambling—Gambling or gambling-related conduct during work hours or on City property including, but not limited to, inviting or soliciting a gambling wager or attempting to collect or collecting on a gambling debt.
(r)  Misuse of Sick Leave Rules—Wrongful use of sick leave or failure to otherwise comport with the sick leave policy contained in Section 10.4.2 of this Manual.
(s)  Neglect—Neglect or carelessness resulting in damage to public property, or injury to another human being, and/or failure to report accidents of personal injury or property damage.
(u)  That Section 9.1.2 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 9.1.2 Intent of Grievance Procedures.
The intent of the City grievance procedure is to provide a standard process for speedy investigation and resolution of employee grievances and/or appeal of certain disciplinary actions. Nothing should be interpreted herein to prevent any eligible employee from presenting his/her grievance formally free from fear, interference, restraint, discrimination, coercion or reprisal.
(A)  Acceptable Reasons for Grievance.
(1)  Unsafe working conditions;
(2)  Retaliation by a supervisor against an employee for exercising a right protected by law; complying with any law; reporting a violation of any law to the proper government authority; or reporting fraud, waste, or abuse to the proper government authority.
(3)  Misapplication of law, ordinance, or policy affecting matters of conditions of employment.
(4)  Termination of employment, demotion, suspension without pay or final written warning.
(5)  Promotional by-passing where there is evidence of arbitrariness and capriciousness. Arbitrariness and capriciousness are defined as an unreasonable action in disregard of the facts or without a determining principle.
(6)  Discrimination or harassment as defined in Section 2.1.3 herein.
(7)  Retaliation as defined in Section 1.12.5.2 herein.
(8)  Unauthorized or inappropriate use or disclosure of protected health information as defined by HIPAA regulations.
(B) Unacceptable Reasons for Grievance
(1)  To resolve personal differences between/among employees;
(2)   To contest the City’s pay plan or classification schedule, or to appeal Citywide pay reductions which are part of a general plan to reduce salaries and wages, when such reductions are pro-rated to all employees;
(3)  To resolve complaints of alleged violations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (reference Section 9.4 for ADA grievance procedure);
(4)  To contest the content or validity of an adopted, approved ordinance or properly enacted resolution of the City Council;
(5)  To contest any disciplinary action resulting in an oral reprimand, a written warning or written reprimand (except a final written warning) or imposed probation to an employee;
(6)  To contest any action or matter falling within management rights or management discretion;
(7)  To contest non-selection for advancement or promotion, except as provided in subsection A above;
(8)  To contest an employee performance appraisal; or
(9)  To contest any action that does not pertain directly, personally and solely to the employee’s own employment except for a grievance filed pursuant to Section 9.1(A)7 on behalf of another employee.
(v)  That Section 9.1.3 is  hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 9.1.3  Definition of Grievance.
Within the City of Opelika, a grievance is defined as either:
(a)  an allegation by an eligible employee that a City official, officer or supervisor has improperly applied, or failed to apply the policies, procedures and/or rules of the City of Opelika; or
(b)  an appeal by an eligible employee that a disciplinary action taken against him/her resulting in termination of employment, demotion or suspension without pay was improper.
(w)  That Section 10.1 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 10.1  Hours of Operation
The Mayor will, in coordination with the City Council, establish the hours that the City offices and departments will be open for business and/or manned.  Normally, such hours of operations will be between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  However, some activities, such as public safety are required to operate on a twenty-four (24) around the clock basis and other activities, such as parks and recreation, public works, library and Opelika Power Services may be required to work expanded hours of operation to provide needed services for the citizens of the City of Opelika.  The scheduling of employees as needed to efficiently and effectively perform needed activities during the hours of operation as established for each department will be the responsibility of the Department Head.  Scheduling of employees and their attendance at work will be in accordance with the guidelines of this section.
(x)  That Section 10.1.3.3 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 10.1.3.3  Part-Time Service Schedules
The hours that part-time service employees work in their regularly scheduled workweek period will be established by their Department Head based upon the hours approved by the Mayor.  Normally, part-time service employees will be scheduled to work twenty-nine (29) hours or less in their workweek.
(y)  That Section 11.7.4.1 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 11.7.4.1 Merit Increase
A pay increase may be provided annually to an eligible employee as a merit increase if such employee has a favorable rating on his/her performance appraisal for each twelve months of satisfactory or above satisfactory service or his latest performance appraisal.  Each employee will be evaluated in November of each year and a merit increase of 0{44c616e11cf70d617c8dd92fb0bc15f41001df771f775c6b004238009c89a3f0} to 10{44c616e11cf70d617c8dd92fb0bc15f41001df771f775c6b004238009c89a3f0} will be awarded to employees as determined by the Mayor, as compensation for their performance during the rating period.  All merit increases shall become effective the first pay period in December, following the performance appraisal.  An eligible employee may also be entitled to receive any merit increase authorized by the City Council.
(z)  That Section 11.7.5.2 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 11.7.5.2 Promotions.
When an employee is promoted to a position having a higher salary range (generally a position of increased responsibility or complexity of duties), he/she will receive a salary adjustment either to the entry level of the salary range of the new position or to a salary rate which is at least three percent (3{44c616e11cf70d617c8dd92fb0bc15f41001df771f775c6b004238009c89a3f0}) above the employee’s salary before promotion, whichever is the higher amount.  The actual amount of increase will be approved by the Mayor based upon a recommendation from the Human Resources Director and the employee’s Department Head.  However, an employee’s pay rate may not exceed the maximum pay rate for the new classification.  If an employee fails to complete the probationary period after a promotion and is demoted to his/her former classification, the employee will be placed within the same grade in the lower graded classification but will be eligible for any pay adjustments to the extent the employee would have received such increases had the employee still been serving in the previous grade classification.
(aa)  That Section 11.7.5.3 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 11.7.5.3 Demotions/Reclassifications to Lower Graded Positions.
(A)   If demoted for cause (disciplinary action), the rate of pay in the lower classification shall be set by the Mayor in consideration of the cause, but in no case shall be higher than the maximum rate of the lower classification.  The rate of pay shall be at least three percent (3{44c616e11cf70d617c8dd92fb0bc15f41001df771f775c6b004238009c89a3f0}) below his/her previous rate of pay, but in no case shall be lower than the minimum rate of the new position.
(B)   For an employee demoted upon request, the rate shall be determined after considering the length of service in the higher class, prior positions held, and the reasons for requesting the demotion, but in no event shall the rate exceed the maximum rate of the new position.  The new rate of pay shall be set by the Director of Human Resources with the approval of the Mayor.
(C)   If an employee is placed in a lower graded position (through no fault of his/her own, as a result of a job reclassification action or reduction in force), the employee shall retain his/her current rate of pay.
(D)   For an employee accommodated for medical reasons to a position of lower grade, the rate shall be determined by the Mayor after considering the length of service in the higher classification and prior positions held.  With the approval of the Mayor, the employee’s rate may exceed the maximum rate of the new position.
(E)   For demotions or placements in a position of lower grade, the employee’s anniversary date will remain unchanged.
(bb)  That Section 11.7.6 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 11.7.6 Temporary Assignments
When an employee is temporarily assigned to a position of a higher pay grade than his/her regular job, his/her pay will remain the same if such assignment does not exceed thirty (30) consecutive scheduled work days (fourteen (14) continuously scheduled work days for fire protection employees who are regularly scheduled to work twenty-four (24) hour work days).  If the employee remains in the temporary assignment for more than thirty (30) consecutive workdays (fourteen (14) for fire protection employees) his/her pay will be adjusted to at least the entry-level pay of the pay grade of the temporary job for the remainder of such assignment.  At that time the employee will be retroactively paid from the beginning of the assignment.  However, the employee’s adjusted pay will be at least three (3) percent above his/her regular pay.  Upon termination of the temporary assignment, the employee’s pay will revert to his/her regular pay.  If an employee is temporarily assigned to a position that has a lower pay range than his/her regular pay grade, his/her pay will remain the same as before the temporary assignment.
(cc)  That Section 12.4.2.1 is hereby amended to read as follows:
Section 12.4.2.1 Life and Accidental Death Plan
Generally, eligible employees are covered on the first of the month following a thirty (30) day waiting period.  Each employee will be required to complete, during his/her initial processing, those necessary forms to designate his/her beneficiaries.  Upon separation an employee may convert such coverage to an individual policy in accordance with the terms and conditions of the group policy.  Qualifying for a waiver of premium because of a disability or any benefits payable under the Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefit will be in accordance with the terms of the group policy.  Review your employee insurance handbook and/or contact the Human Resources Department for further details.
(dd)  That the Policy Manual is hereby amended by adding a new section to be numbered 16, which section shall read as follows:
Section 16 FLSA Safe Harbor Policy
It is the City of Opelika’s policy and practice to accurately compensate employees and to do so in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws.  To ensure that employees are paid properly for all time worked and that no improper deductions are made, you must record correctly all work time and review your paychecks promptly to identify and to report all errors.
Section 16.1  Review Your Pay Stub.
The City of Opelika makes every effort to ensure its employees are paid correctly.  Occasionally, however, mistakes can happen.  When mistakes do happen and are called to its attention, the City of Opelika will promptly make any corrections necessary.  Please review your pay stub when you receive it to make sure it is correct.  If you believe a mistake has occurred or if you have any questions, please use the reporting procedure outlined below.
Section 16.2  Non-Exempt Employees.
If you are classified as a non-exempt employee, you must maintain a record of the total hours you work each day.  These hours must be accurately recorded on a time card that will be provided to you by your supervisor.  Each employee must sign his/her time card to verify that the reported hours worked are complete and accurate.  Your time card must accurately reflect all regular and overtime hours worked, any absences, late arrivals, early departures and meal breaks.  At the end of each week, you should submit your completed time card to your supervisor for verification and approval.  When you receive each pay check, please verify immediately that you were paid correctly for all regular and overtime hours worked each work week.
Unless you are authorized by a supervisor, you should not work any hours that are not authorized.  Do not start work early, finish work late, work during a meal break or perform any other extra or overtime work unless you are authorized to do so and that time is recorded on your time card.  Employees are prohibited from performing any “off-the-clock” work.  “Off-the-clock” work means work you may perform but fail to report on your time card.  Any employee who fails to report or inaccurately reports any hours worked will be subject to disciplinary action, up to, and including, termination of employment.
It is a violation of the City of Opelika’s policy for any employee to falsify a time card, or to alter another employee’s time card.  It is also a serious violation of City policy for any employee or manager to instruct another employee to incorrectly or falsely report hours worked or alter another employee’s time card to under- or over-report hours worked.  If any manager or employee instructs you to (1) incorrectly or falsely under- or over-report your hours worked, or (2) alter another employee’s time records to inaccurately or falsely report that employee’s hours worked, you should report it immediately to the Human Resources Department.
Section 16.3  Exempt Employees.
If you are classified as an exempt salaried employee, you will receive a salary that is intended to compensate you for all hours you may work for the City of Opelika.  This salary will be established at the time of hire or when you become classified as an exempt employee.  While it may be subject to review and modification from time to time, such as during salary review times, the salary will be a predetermined amount that will not be subject to deductions for variations in the quantity or quality of the work you perform.
Under federal and state law, your salary is subject to certain deductions.  For example, absent contrary state law requirements, your salary can be reduced for the following reasons:
(1)  Full day absences for personal reasons;
(2)  Full day absences for sickness or disability;
(3)  Full day disciplinary suspensions for infractions of the City’s written policies and procedures;
(4)  Family and Medical Leave absences (either full or partial day absences); and
(5)  The first or last week of employment in the event you work less than a full week.
Your salary may also be reduced for certain types of deductions such as your portion of health, dental or life insurance premiums; state, federal or local taxes, social security; or voluntary contributions to a 401(k) or pension plan.  In any work week in which you performed any work, your salary will not be reduced for any of the following reasons:
(1)  Partial day absences for personal reasons, sickness or disability;
(2)  Your absence on the day before or after a paid holiday or because the facility was closed on a scheduled work day;
(3)  Absences for jury duty, attendance as a witness, or military leave in any week in which you have performed any work; or
(4)  Any other deductions prohibited by state or federal law.
Section 16.4  To Report Concerns or Obtain More Information.
If you have questions about deductions from your pay, please immediately contact Human Resources.  If you believe you have been subject to any improper deductions or your pay does not accurately reflect your hours worked, you should immediately report the matter to your supervisor.  If the supervisor is unavailable or if you believe it would be inappropriate to contact that person (or if you have not received a prompt and fully acceptable reply), you should immediately contact the Human Resources Director, the Controller or the Assistant Controller.  If you are unsure of who to contact if you have not received a satisfactory response within five (5) business days after reporting the incident, please immediately contact the City Administrator or Mayor’s office.
Every report will be fully investigated and corrective action will be taken where appropriate, up to and including termination of employment for any employee(s) who violate this policy.  In addition, the City of Opelika will not allow any form of retaliation against individuals who report alleged violations of this policy or who cooperate in the City’s investigation of such reports.  Retaliation is unacceptable, and any form of retaliation in violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action, up to, and including, termination of employment.
Section 2.  Severability.  The provisions of this ordinance are severable.  If any section, subsection, clause, sentence or phrase of this ordinance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, then said holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.
Section 3.   Cumulative of All Other Ordinances.  The provisions of this ordinance are cumulative of all other ordinances or parts of ordinances governing or regulating the subject matter as covered herein, provided, however, that all prior ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with or in conflict with any of the provisions of this ordinance are hereby expressly  repealed to the extent of any such inconsistency or conflict.
Section 4.    Effective Date.  This ordinance shall become effective upon its passage, approval and publication as required by law.
Section 5.  Publication.  The City Clerk of the City of Opelika, Alabama is hereby authorized and directed to cause this Ordinance to be published one (1) time in a newspaper of general circulation published in the City of Opelika, Lee County, Alabama.
ADOPTED AND APPROVED this the 21st day of April, 2015.
/s/    C. E. “Eddie” Smith, Jr.
PRESIDENT OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF OPELIKA, ALABAMA
ATTEST:
/s/    R. G. Shuman
CITY CLERK
TRANSMITTED TO MAYOR on this the 22nd day of April, 2015.
/s/    R. G. Shuman
CITY CLERK
ACTION BY MAYOR
APPROVED this the 22nd day of April, 2015.
/s/    Gary Fuller
MAYOR
ATTEST:
/s/    R. G. Shuman
CITY CLERK
Legal run 4/24/15

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