Remedial administrative actions and procedures

Division policies, with periodic updates, are to be submitted to human resources for review prior to implementation to ensure general compliance with the code and guidelines. Policies within a division shall be applied similarly for employees in similar situations. For example, code 7: Leaving the workstation without authorization may be a short or a lengthy absence from the workstation. A short absence in one division could be catastrophic, while in another division it would be an annoyance.

Rules regarding call-in, absenteeism, emergency leave, and similar division policies should be established by the division director and applied consistently to each employee within the division. It is not necessary for division policies to be the same for each division. Workload and other factors vary from division to division or even within a division, and these factors should be considered when divisional policies are established. For example, emergency leave may be more limited within one division than in another because of the type and nature of services provided and the availability of staff.

The immediate supervisor or superior manager in the employee’s immediate chain of command should initiate disciplinary action. If supervisors have a complaint against an employee outside of their chain of command, the supervisors should submit the complaint to the division director for whom the employee works. If that division director takes no action then the supervisor who initiated the complaint may request an investigation by human resources. Human resources will investigate the complaint and consult the division director to whom the employee is assigned before making any recommendation for discipline.

Disciplinary action forms for non-sworn employees are available on the intranet.

Oral warning

Generally, an oral warning should be used for first-time offenses and for relatively minor offenses. Supervisors should inform the employee in private that they are administering an oral warning and that the employee is being given an opportunity to correct identified work or behavioral problems. Employees may use the grievance process to appeal oral warnings; they may not use the disciplinary appeal process.

Unless reversed in the grievance process, the oral warnings remain in human resources’ oral warning file, where they will remain for twelve (12) months. Oral warnings are destroyed one (1) year after their dates of issuance unless the behavior(s) that prompted their issuance has not been corrected. The oral warning file can be used if the employee uses the grievance process to appeal the warnings, or if the behaviors addressed in the oral warnings are not corrected within twelve (12) months from the dates of issuance.

Procedure

Supervisors shall privately discuss offenses with the employees and shall consider employees’ explanations of the events before any final actions are taken.

  1. The supervisor shall complete the Oral Warning form and sign.
  2. The supervisor shall privately discuss the disciplinary action with the employee and obtain the employee’s signature.
  3. The supervisor shall make three (3) copies of the fully executed form. The supervisor shall give one (1) copy to the employee, one (1) copy is for the supervisor’s division, and one (1) copy shall be sent to the employee’s department
  4. The original form shall be sent to human resources.

Written reprimand

Written reprimands are imposed when the employee disregards an oral warning or for more severe first offenses. However, reprimands or suspensions that are five (5) years old or older should not be used in imposing current disciplinary action, and a classified civil service employee may not be reprimanded more than two (2) times within twelve (12) months. Unless reversed in the appeal process, written reprimands remain permanent records in an employee’s personnel file.

Procedure

Supervisors shall privately discuss offenses with the employees and shall consider employees’ explanations of the events before any final actions are taken.

  1. Supervisors shall complete the disciplinary action form, sign, and obtain the signatures of the division director and department commissioner.
  2. Privately discuss the disciplinary action with the employee and obtain the employee’s signature.
  3. The supervisor shall make three (3) copies of the fully executed form. The supervisor shall give one (1) copy to the employee, one (1) copy is for the supervisor’s division, and one (1) copy shall be sent to the employee’s department.
  4. The original form shall be sent to human resources.

Suspension

This discipline should be applied after a thorough evaluation of the circumstances by the supervisor and those in the employee’s chain of command. The guidelines impose suspensions in terms of “hours” in order to address workdays longer than eight (8) hours. A suspension is imposed for (a) severe infractions of rules or standards, or (b) violations occurring after employees have received oral warnings or written reprimands and the employees have failed to correct the errors or to improve their behaviors. However, reprimands or suspensions that are five (5) years old or older should not be used in imposing current disciplinary action, and a classified civil service employee may not be suspended for more than 160 consecutive work hours or 240 non-consecutive work hours within twelve (12) months unless charges are filed with the civil service commission.

Unless otherwise stated in collective bargaining agreements, all suspensions are without pay. After an employee is unpaid for four (4) or more hours in one (1) pay period, the employee will not earn vacation or sick days for the month. A suspended employee is considered not eligible to apply for another position with the city within one (1) year following the date of the last suspension’s issuance. Suspensions may be appealed to the civil service commission. Unless reversed in the appeal process, they remain permanent records in an employee’s file. The supervisor should attempt to make the employee’s return to the job after a suspension as dignified as possible.

Procedure

Supervisors shall privately discuss offenses with the employees and shall consider employees’ explanations of the events before any final actions are taken. Before issuing any suspension, the supervisor shall notify human resources and shall coordinate suspensions of exempt employees.

  1. Supervisors shall complete the disciplinary action form, sign, and obtain the signatures of the division director and department commissioner.
  2. Privately discuss the disciplinary action with the employee and obtain the employee’s signature.
  3. The supervisor shall make three (3) copies of the fully executed form. The supervisor shall give one (1) copy to the employee, one (1) copy is for the supervisor’s division, and one (1) copy shall be sent to the employee’s department.
  4. The original form shall be sent to human resources.

Dismissal

A dismissal represents the supervisor’s judgment that the employee cannot be rehabilitated into a productive employee and is reserved for the most severe violation of the code or other urban county government policies (e.g. the employee refuses to correct behavior despite prior disciplinary action, and the employee commits more than one (1) type of serious infraction). However, reprimands or suspensions that are five (5) years old or older should not be used in imposing current disciplinary action. Employees dismissed from employment with the city are not eligible for city employment for a period of one (1) year following the date of the dismissal. However, classified civil service employees dismissed during the probationary period because of excessive absences due to serious health condition or illness may request approval from the mayor or the mayor’s designee to apply for a position. Medical documentation from a health care provider will be required to substantiate the serious medical condition or illness that led to the excessive absences.

Classified civil service employees are entitled to dismissal hearings by the civil service commission, and except in situations where a threat to supervisors or other employees exists, such employees may not be suspended from duty until charges for dismissal are filed. Upon the filing of charges, the secretary of the commission shall notify its members and serve a copy of the charges upon the accused employee. Except in unusual circumstances, employees shall be given the option to resign in lieu of facing dismissal charges.

In cases where supervisors or the appointing authority have probable cause to believe employees are guilty of conduct justifying their removal or punishment, they shall immediately suspend those employees from duty or from both pay and duty pending trial; and, the employees shall not be placed on duty or allowed pay thereafter until the charges are heard by the commission.

Upon the trial hearing, the charges shall be considered traversed and put in issue, and the trial shall be limited to the issues presented by the written charges; however, the charges may be amended prior to trial, in which event the notice procedures shall be again complied with and reasonable opportunity given for the preparation for trial on the amended charges.

The commission shall have the power to summon and compel attendance of witnesses at all hearings by subpoena issued by the secretary of that body and served upon the witnesses by members of the Lexington Police Department or any officer authorized to serve subpoenas. If any witness fails to appear in response to a summons or refuses to testify concerning any matter on which they may lawfully be interrogated, any district court judge on application of the commission may compel obedience by proceedings for contempt as in the case of disobedience of a subpoena issued from the district court. Employees subpoenaed by the city to serve as the city’s witnesses will be considered on-duty and will be paid for their time in attendance at their current hourly rate.

The accused shall have the right to have subpoenaed any witnesses they may desire, upon furnishing their names to the secretary. Subpoenas may be served on the request of the accused without charge. They shall be issued by the secretary and served by the Lexington Police Department.

The action and decision of the commission on the charges shall be reduced to writing and kept in a book for that purpose, and the written charge shall be attached to the book containing the body's decision. The commission shall punish any employee found guilty (a) by reprimand or a suspension for any length of time not to exceed six (6) months, (b) by reducing the grade, if the employee's classification warrants, (c) by combining any two (2) or more of these punishments, or (d) by dismissal.

Procedure
  1. Discuss with division director and department commissioner.
  2. Contact law for preparation of specific charges for dismissal.
  3. Except in situations where a threat to supervisors or other employees exists, employees may not be suspended from duty until charges for dismissal are filed.
  4. Present employees with charges for dismissal and give them an opportunity to resign.
  5. If the employees refuse to resign, proceed by filing dismissal charges with the mayor and placing the employees on suspension without pay.

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