Library employees are public employees and as such are subject to the Ohio Ethics Law and related statutes.
Each employee will receive an electronic access to the Ohio Ethics Law for review, and will sign an Acknowledgement of Receipt of the Ohio Ethics Law. The signed Acknowledgement will be kept in the employee’s HR file.
The “General Prohibition” section of Ohio’s Ethics Law is reproduced below. Although not a substitute for the entire text, the “General Prohibition” provides some guidance for public employees.
The Ohio Ethics Law contains provisions restricting conflicts of interest that involve nepotism, post-employment, representation, influence peddling, confidentiality, and supplemental compensation. Among other restrictions, the law provides that each public official and employee is prohibited from:
5.2 POLITICAL ACTIVITY
Employees of the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library may not engage in partisan political activity during working hours. (ORC 124.57: OAC 123:1-46-02)
Employees of CRCPL, its department and delegate agencies may not, at any time, utilize CRCPL vehicles, equipment, supplies or facilities to influence the outcome of an election or to further the cause of a political party or candidate.
No Federal funds may be used by an employee of CRCPL on behalf of partisan politics.
Political activity by all CRCPL employees is regulated by the Federal Hatch Act as it relates to state and local public employees. Copies of the relevant sections of the Act and its interpretation by the U.S. Civil Service Commission are on file with the Ross County Commissioners’ Office and the Ross County Law Library.
Employees planning to campaign for, seek or accept appointment to public office should give prior notice of their intentions to the Executive Director. Employees engaging in political activities must do so as individuals on their own time, not as representatives of CRCPL and may make no representations otherwise.
CRCPL depends heavily upon its employees and it is important that employees attend work as scheduled. Dependability, attendance, punctuality and a commitment to do the job right are essential at all times. To the extent permitted by law, unexcused absenteeism and tardiness lessen an employee’s chances for advancement, and may result in corrective action up to, and including, discharge of employment.
Excused Absence: Occurs when a leave request is approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor and the employee has sufficient paid/unpaid time off to cover the absence.
Unexcused Absence: Occurs when the absence was not scheduled in advance and/or the employee does not have sufficient paid/unpaid time off available.
Tardy: When employee arrives up to 14 minutes after the scheduled starting time.
Late: When employee arrives more than 15 minutes after the scheduled start time.
Early Departure: When an employee leaves work more than 15 minutes before the scheduled end time.
Occurrence: An attendance occurrence is defined as:
Unless required by law, regular full-time and regular part-time employees, who have exhausted all of their paid leave, may use up to 5 additional unpaid working days within the calendar year equal to the normal total hours scheduled per week.
Part-time employees may use up to 10 working days as authorized in unpaid absence from work within the calendar year equal to the normal total of hours schedule per week.
Non-medical unpaid absences should only be approved when they do not create a hardship for the library or adversely impact the work unit. Requests for unpaid leave should be made as far in advance as possible.
An employee must personally (unless incapacitated) notify their supervisor or administration if they expect to be late or absent as far in advance as possible but within one hour after the scheduled work time.
Supervisors have the right to ask the reason for tardiness/absence; if due to medical necessity the exact nature of an illness need not be divulged. An employee should attempt to provide an estimated arrival time or day of return to work.
Corrective action will begin when all excused absences are exhausted or when an attendance issue or pattern has been identified. Failure to call in, in a timely manner, may result in corrective action. Employees who do not return to work or arrive at the time originally estimated are expected to call in again. Supervisors will track all employees’ absences to ensure that absences and tardiness are not excessive.
5.4 PERSONAL APPEARANCE
All employees are expected to be well groomed and suitably dressed for work. Cleanliness and good personal hygiene are expected of all employees as well as clothing that is neat, clean and appropriate for the duties performed. Library management reserves the right to determine whether the attire is appropriate.
Proper attire is defined as neat, clean and business-like as well as safe; those working with the delivery, sorting and shelving materials will wear shoes that protect feet from book carts and falling items. Open-toed and open-heel footwear are not appropriate for these functions.
Employees are expected to maintain personal hygiene that is consistent with working with the public, or co-workers, in a public setting. Employees who are visibly dirty or whose personal odor is offensive to the level where one or more employees raise it as an issue with management may be asked to leave the work environment until the problem is corrected.
Examples of personal appearance that may be inappropriate include but are not limited to:
It will be the policy of the CRCPL to take precautions to provide for the safety of all employees, patrons, and others present on library property. The Executive Director will have overall responsibility for the safety program of the Chillicothe and Ross County Public Library system. General areas of emphasis will include, but not be limited to: in-service training; safety meetings; accident record keeping; fire prevention; emergency procedures and safety problems relevant to employees and the community. The practice of safety will be a part of educational programs.
The responsibility of the employee is to follow all safety rules, report hazards to their supervisor, and report all accidents, illness, or injuries that occur on the job as soon as is practical, but within two days, to their immediate supervisor or other manager. The responsibility of the supervisor is to follow all safety rules, act on a report of a hazard, and communicate accident reports to the Executive Director as soon as practical. CRCPL will comply with all regulations and instructions from the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation.
Firearms, handguns, knives, or other unlawful weapons further defined by Ohio statute or local ordinance are prohibited on CRCPL property or vehicles. Library property includes:
During working hours or while conducting CRCPL business, employees are strictly prohibited from possessing any firearm or unlawful weapon on library property. This policy applies to all employees entering library property regardless of whether the employee is licensed to carry the weapon. An employee with a valid concealed handgun license may transport or store a firearm or ammunition in their own personal vehicle.
5.7 DRUG AND ALCOHOL-FREE WORKPLACE
It is CRCPL’s desire to provide a healthful and safe workplace that is free of illegal drugs and alcohol. To promote this goal, CRCPL maintains a Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace policy that applies to all employees. Employees are required to report to work in appropriate mental and physical condition to perform their jobs. Use of alcohol, abuse of prescription drugs or use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, whether on or off the job, can adversely affect your work performance, efficiency, and safety. In addition, the use or possession of these substances on the job constitutes a potential danger to the welfare and safety of other employees and library patrons.
Employees should report to work fit for duty and free of any adverse effects of drugs or alcohol. This policy does not prohibit employees from the lawful use and possession of prescribed medications taken as prescribed and that does not compromise workplace safety. Employees must, however, consult with their doctors about the medication’s effect on their fitness for duty and ability to work safely.
The following prohibitions are in effect at all times when an employee is at work, on library premises, operating a library vehicle, or attending a library function at which the employee performs services or functions on behalf of CRCPL.
We recognize that alcohol and drug abuse can be medical conditions, and they can be successfully treated. If you believe that substance use or abuse is a problem for you, you’re encouraged to get confidential professional help. For assistance with abuse/addiction problems employees may be referred to the Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center, 740-775-1260.
CRCPL assumes no responsibility for drug or alcohol rehabilitation of any employee. Employees who voluntarily seek help for such problems before becoming subject to corrective action and/or termination may be allowed to use accrued paid time off, placed on leaves of absence, and otherwise accommodated as required by law. Such employees may be required to document that they are successfully following prescribed treatment and to take and pass follow-up tests.
Types of Testing
Consent to Testing and Reporting Results
It will be a condition of employment that applicants and employees subject to testing must sign a form consenting to the testing; the release of the test results to the CRCPL’s Medical Review Officer (MRO) and of positive test results to the CRCPL; and a release to the CRCPL of liability for such testing.
The MRO will report all positive alcohol or drug tests to Human Resources and CRCPL will take immediate steps, consistent with this Alcohol and Drug Policy, to remove any such employee from active employment to protect the safety and health of that employee, other employees, and the public.
Consequences of Violation of This Policy
Any employee who violates this policy will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination of employment.
An employee who refuses a drug or alcohol test required by CRCPL, or tests positive for the presence of alcohol or drugs, will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination of employment. An employee who attempts to manipulate the results of a test through adulteration, dilution of a sample, or substitution of a sample will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination. An employee who has been terminated as a result of a positive drug test may be re-employed only if the MRO determines the individual to be drug free, and the employee consents to an unannounced testing program over a time period management considers reasonable.
Any employee who violates the policy on a second occasion will be subject to corrective action up to and including termination of employment.
Condition of Employment
Compliance with CRCPL’s Alcohol and Drug Policy is one of the conditions of employment. Failure or refusal of an employee to cooperate fully, sign any required document, or submit to any inspection or test will subject that employee to corrective action up to and including termination of employment.
Reservation of Rights
CRCPL reserves the right to amend, interpret, change, modify, rescind, or depart from this policy, in whole or in part, retroactively or prospectively, with or without notice. Nothing in this policy creates or expands any legal or contractual right any employee might have.
Notification of Conviction
Employees are required to notify CRCPL of a criminal conviction for drug-related activity occurring in the workplace. The report must be made within five days of the conviction. Within thirty (30) days after CRCPL receives notice of such a conviction, the convicted individual may be subject to corrective action up to and including immediate discharge.
Arrest or conviction for a drug-related offense or identification of an employee as the focus of a criminal investigation into illegal drug possession, use, or trafficking. The employee must notify Human Resources within five (5) working days of any drug-related conviction;
Arrest or conviction for an alcohol-related offense, or identification of an employee as the focus of a criminal investigation into public intoxication, driving under the influence, vehicular assault, or vehicular homicide. The employee must notify Human Resources within five (5) working days of any alcohol-related conviction;
If you have questions about this policy, please contact the Executive Director.
5.8 ANTI-DISCRIMINATION AND ANTI-HARASSMENT
It is the policy of Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library (CRCPL) to maintain an environment free from all forms of discrimination and harassment for all employees. Behaviors of this type, whether committed by supervisors, co-workers, or members of the public, of opposite or same gender is strictly prohibited.
Discrimination is to treat another person differently or unfairly based on protected classes such as; color, religion or creed, national origin or ancestry, sex (including gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation and gender identity), age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, genetic information or citizenship.
Discriminatory harassment is any type of physical or verbal harassing conduct that is based upon the protected classes listed above.
Sexual harassment includes but is not limited to the following:
Any employee or patron who believes that they have been the subject of discrimination or harassment, or any employee who has witnessed an incident(s) of such, should report the matter(s) to their supervisor immediately.
Corrective Action Procedure
When it is determined that there is cause for believing that discrimination or harassment has occurred, the following steps will be followed:
5.9 WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
We are committed to providing a safe workplace. There is no tolerance for acts or threats of physical or verbal violence (including intimidation, harassment, or coercion) which involve or affect employees or which occur on Library’s property. Any instance of violence or intimidation must be reported immediately, either by a victim or a witness, to a supervisor. Such conduct will be met with the strongest corrective action, up to and including termination, the use of law enforcement, and the use of criminal prosecution measures.
Workplace violence often starts with inappropriate behavior or signs that when detected and reported may help prevent its occurrence. The following information may be helpful in detecting or anticipating workplace violence and help create a safer, healthier workplace for everyone.
Potential Warning Signs
If violence occurs or there is an immediate threat of violence: Leave the area immediately if possible. If you are unable to leave the area try to lock yourself in a secure room. Then dial 911 and provide law enforcement with as much information as possible.
Work e-mail is a library resource provided primarily for conducting CRCPL business. In addition to intra-library communication, it may be used to access work-related listservs or for professional correspondence. It is not appropriate to use e-mail for solicitation or advertising to staff. Library provided e-mail service is neither private nor protected; it is the property of CRCPL and its use may be monitored.
5.11 MOBILE TELEPHONE
Mobile phones may be provided to employees in certain positions as determined by the Executive Director to help increase library productivity and/or safety. Personal use of library mobile phones is strongly discouraged although administration recognizes that this is sometimes unavoidable. Employees who use mobile phones will be given a copy of the itemized monthly statement and will be required to audit the bill for personal usage. All personal phone usage (calls, text messages, etc.) must be reimbursed. Calls will be reimbursed at a rate determined by the Board of Trustees. CRCPL reserves the right to audit and review mobile telephone bills to ensure their proper usage. In order to help ensure the safety of employees while reducing the library’s liability in the event of an accident, mobile phones are not to be used by employees while driving. Mobile phones are the property of the library and all equipment must be returned upon termination of employment.
5.12 VEHICLE USE
Only staff members who have been approved by the Chief Fiscal Officer may operate any library vehicle.
Employees are prohibited from using library vehicles for any purpose other than official business. Unless related to library business, passengers are prohibited from riding in any of the library’s vehicles or in an employee’s personal vehicle while the employee is on library-related business.
The driver and any passengers must use seat belts, as already required by state law, and a driver is prohibited from using a cellular phone, including hands-free devices. This requirement pertains to both the use of library vehicles and the use of personal vehicles while on Library business.
Employees are not permitted to operate library vehicles, or personal vehicles on library business, when any physical or mental impairment may cause them to be unable to drive safely. This also includes temporary incapacities such as illness, medication or intoxication.
An employee must notify a supervisor or the Executive Director immediately in the event that the employee is cited for any driving violation that limits the employee’s driving privileges; or, involved in an accident while on library-related business using a library or personal vehicle. An employee who is cited or deemed responsible by official records for a vehicular accident, parking, speeding, or other violation while on library business will be required to pay for the ticket (violation) and may be subject to corrective action up to and including termination.