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Human Resource Policy

Section 5: Employee Conduct


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.

General Prohibitions

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:

  • Authorizing, or using their position to secure authorization of a contract, for themselves, a family member, or a business associate;
  • Authorizing, or using their position to secure the authorization of, the investment of public funds in any kind of security to benefit themselves, a family member, or a business associate;
  • Receiving any benefit from a contract entered into by their public entity;
  • Hiring or securing any contract benefits for their spouse, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren, or siblings, or any other relatives living with them;
  • Soliciting or accepting substantial and improper things of value, including gifts, or travel, meals, and lodging;
  • Participating in matters where something of value will result for the public official or employee, their family, business associates, or others with whom the public servant has a close tie that could impair their objectivity;
  • Disclosing or using information deemed confidential by law;
  • Representing parties, before any public agency, in a matter in which they were involved as a public servant, both during and for one year after leaving public service.


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:

  • One unexcused absence;
  • One late notice
  • Three tardies or;
  • Two late or early departures

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  at least one hour  before their scheduled work time. This provides management with the ability to secure shift coverage or redistribute work duties.

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 will 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.


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:

  • Appearance that is excessively revealing or noticeably unprofessional.
  • Text or images that may be considered offensive or controversial.
  • Attire that creates a hazard for the work environment.
  • Attire that does not provide sufficient protection for the work environment.
  • Appearance that is disruptive to the work environment.


It will be the policy of 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 library Safety Manual can be found on CRCPL’s StaffNet > Safety & Buildings > Emergency Procedures > Safety Manual.

Employees are responsible for following all safety rules, reporting hazards to their supervisor, and reporting all safety incidents, illness, or injuries that occur on the job as soon as is practical, but within 24-hours. If an incident requires medical treatment, obtain an Injury Reporting Packet available where your first aide supplies are located or from HR.  This packet includes information about the injury management process and how to contact the Managed Care Organization, MCO.  You can also find a copy of the First Report of Injury (FROI) form on StaffNet > More > Human Resources > HR Forms > First Report of Injury. Employees must drop off or email completed form to Human Resources.

If an incident is a near miss or only requires first aide, the employee is to complete an Incident Report form which can be found on StaffNet > Safety & Buildings > Emergency Procedures > Incident Report. The manager/director is to follow all safety rules, act on a report of a hazard, and communicate accident reports via email to the Executive Director as soon as practical. CRCPL will comply with all regulations and instructions from the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation.

Workers’ compensation benefits (paid or unpaid) will run concurrently with FMLA leave, if applicable. Refer to HR 4.2.


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:

  • Owned or leased vehicles;
  • Owned or leased buildings;
  • Areas surrounding owned or leased buildings, such as sidewalks, walkways, and driveways.

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.


The library is committed to maintaining a drug and alcohol-free work environment that is safe and productive for employees and others having business with the library.

The unlawful use, possession, purchase, sale, or distribution of or being under the influence of any illegal drug or controlled substance (including medical marijuana) while on company property or while performing services for the library is strictly prohibited. The library also prohibits reporting to work or performing services under the influence of alcohol or consuming alcohol while on duty or during work hours. In addition, the library prohibits off-premise abuse of alcohol and controlled substances (including medical marijuana), as well as the possession, use, or sale of illegal drugs, when these activities adversely affect job performance, job safety, or the library’s reputation in the community.

While the library recognizes 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 are encouraged to seek confidential professional help. For assistance with abuse/addiction problems, employees may be referred to the Scioto Paint Valley Mental Health Center or other providers. CRCPL assumes no responsibility for drug or alcohol rehabilitation however, services may be covered under the library’s health insurance plan. 

To ensure compliance with this policy, substance abuse screening may be conducted in the following situations:

  • For cause: upon reasonable suspicion that the employee is under the influence of drugs or alcohol that could affect or have adversely affected the employee’s job performance. Directors will coordinate with the Executive Director and/or Human Resources prior to scheduling screening.
  • Post-Accident Testing: When an accident occurs involving an employee, equipment, or property controlled by CRCPL’s employees, including, but not limited to an accident involving: (a) death; (b) an injury requiring professional medical treatment beyond first aid and/or (c) substantial damage to property, CRCPL will require all employees involved in the accident to submit to alcohol and drug testing, as soon as practical at Adena Occupational Health or if closed at the Adena Emergency Room.
  • Follow-up/Return-To-Duty Testing: CRCPL reserves the right to test employees who previously tested positive but whose employment was not terminated. Any employee with a second positive test result will be terminated. Follow-up tests will be unannounced. They may occur at any time for one year following the initial positive test. The intent is to deter any subsequent use that would violate policy and result in termination of employment.

Compliance with this policy is a condition of employment. Employees who test positive or who refuses to submit to substance abuse screening will be subject to termination. Notwithstanding any provision herein, this policy will be enforced at all times in accordance with applicable state and local law. Employees violating this policy are subject to corrective action, up to and including termination for the first offense.


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:

  • Repeated unwanted and/or offensive sexual flirtations advances, or propositions;
  • Repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature;
  • Graphic or degrading verbal or written comments about an individual, the individual’s appearance or the individual’s sexual orientation;
  • The display of sexually suggestive objects, pictures, or the display of same through other media;
  • The implication or threat that an employee’s or applicant’s employment, assignment, compensation, advancement, career development, or other condition of employment will depend on the employee or applicant’s submission to sexual harassment in any form; and
  • Any offensive, abusive, or unwanted physical contact.


  • It is the responsibility of all employees to aid the employer in maintaining a work and public environment free from discrimination and harassment. Therefore, it is the responsibility of each employee, including supervision and management, to immediately report any instances of discrimination or harassment to the proper authority (see Reporting Procedure). Any employee who observes any conduct that may constitute discrimination or harassment of any CRCPL employee or vendor, but fails to report the same, may be subject to corrective action.
  • It is further the responsibility of each supervisor to ensure that all employees who report to the supervisor are aware of the policy against discrimination and/or harassment, that they are aware of the complaint and reporting procedures, and that they are aware of the consequences of engaging in such behavior.
  • It is the responsibility of management to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment. Management shall ensure that its supervisors are sufficiently trained in recognizing all types of discrimination and harassment, the complaint and reporting procedures, the proper methods of investigating complaints of discrimination and harassment, and the corrective action procedure.
  • Management shall also ensure that all employees are aware of this policy and will ensure that all employees receive sufficient training to maintain an environment free from discrimination and harassment. Additionally, each newly hired employee will receive training on this policy as a part of their employee orientation.


  • Once a complaint of discrimination or harassment has been received by management, the proper member of management will immediately investigate the matter in accordance with the investigation procedure.
  • If, after a thorough and prompt investigation, it is determined that discrimination or harassment has occurred, the employee who has been found to have committed such acts  will immediately receive corrective action in accordance with the corrective action procedures. The complaining and/or reporting employee or patron will be informed of the results of the investigation.
  • If, after the investigation, it is determined that no discrimination or harassment occurred or that there is insufficient evidence to determine whether or not such discrimination or harassment has occurred, the complaining employee and/or reporting employee or patron will be informed.
  • Employees making a complaint of discrimination or harassment or who are asked to participate in an investigation shall not be retaliated against for good faith participation.


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.

Reporting Procedure

  • Any employee who believes that they have been the subject of or witness to acts of discrimination or harassment should immediately report the alleged act(s) to their supervisor, human resources, or the Executive Director.
  • If the immediate supervisor is the subject of the complaint, the employee should report to the next higher ranking person in the facility’s table of organization, or to a member of the CRCPL Board.
  • Should any of the above be the subject of the complaint, the employee or patron should report the matter to the Ross County Prosecuting Attorney.
  • The employee or patron alleging discrimination or harassment will be asked to put their complaint in writing. The employee should provide:
    • Their name;
    • The name of the subject of the complaint;
    • The act(s) complained of;
    • The date(s) of the act(s);
    • Any witnesses to the alleged acts; and
    • The remedy the employee is seeking.
  • If the employee alleging discrimination or harassment is unwilling to make a report in writing, then the person to whom the verbal complaint was made should submit the report in writing.
  • After the written complaint has been received, the complaint will promptly be investigated by the CRCPL Executive Director, Human Resources Manager, or other management authorities.
  • Prompt action by the CRCPL will be taken to end the harassment 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:

  • The accused party will immediately be suspended with pay or temporarily transferred pending the final resolution of the complaint.
  • A meeting will be held during which the accusation will be explained to the accused party, and the accused party will be given the opportunity to respond.
  • Subsequent to the investigation a final determination will be made. If it is determined that a prima facie case of discrimination or harassment has been established, the accused employee will be notified. An employee found guilty of such may, depending upon the severity of their action(s), be given the option of being immediately suspended without pay until such time as the employee completes a program in discrimination and/or harassment awareness conducted by a recognized professional.  All costs for this program will be borne by the employee. Upon successful completion of the program, the employee may apply for reinstatement and will be reinstated upon presenting proof of successful completion of the program. The reinstatement will be conditional upon the employee’s good behavior. Any future act of discrimination or harassment by the employee will result in immediate termination without recourse to this option or resignation.
  • If the employee elects resignation, the employee must sign an agreement waiving any and all claims arising from the employee’s employment, before CRCPL will accept the resignation and forego termination proceedings.
  • Any employee that makes a false statement and/or false accusations during the investigation will be subject to appropriate corrective action in accordance with CRCPL policy.


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.


  • Physical conduct such as pushing, shoving, or striking that causes harm or has the potential to harm people or property.
  • Conduct that harasses, disrupts or interferes with another individual’s performance.
  • Conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile work environment.

Risk Factors

  • Ongoing conflicts between coworkers
  • Corrective actions
  • Termination of employment
  • Domestic or family violence
  • Financial problems

Potential Warning Signs

  • Verbal, nonverbal or written threats
  • Fascination with weapons or violence
  • New or increased stress at home or work
  • Expressions of hopelessness or anxiety
  • Insubordinate behaviors
  • Dramatic change in work performance
  • Destruction of property
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Blaming others for problems

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.

5.10 E-MAIL

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.


Library telephones are for business purposes; however, CRCPL recognizes that some personal calls are necessary. Those should be kept as brief as possible and to a minimum.

CRCPL recognizes that many library resources and communication tools require the use of personal cell phones while at work. Personal cell phones usage, however, may present a distraction that disrupts timely customer service and coworker interactions. Employees should minimize cell phone usuage when not in direct service to a patron or the library.


Definition: for the purposes of this policy “social media” broadly refers to blogs, forums, comment sections and social networking sites and apps that allow posting, sharing, or other interactions.

CRCPL encourages employees to share information with coworkers and the community for the purposes of promotion, generating new ideas, and learning from the work of others. Social media provides inexpensive, informal, and timely ways to participate in those exchanges. However, since information posted on a third-party website can be available beyond the intended audience, the library has established the following guidelines for employee participation in social media.

On-duty use of social media. Employees may engage in social media activity during work time provided it is directly related to their work and does not identify or reference library patrons, coworkers, or vendors without express permission. The library has the right to monitor employee use of company computers and the Internet, including employee blogging and social networking activity.

Respect. Demonstrate respect for the dignity of the library, its patrons, vendors, and employees. A social media site is a public place, and employees should avoid inappropriate comments. Similarly, employees should not engage in harassing or discriminatory behavior that targets other employees or individuals because of their protected class status or make defamatory comments or engage in other behavior that violates library policies.

Public disclaimers. Employees who identify themselves as library employees or discuss matters related to the library on a social media site are encouraged to include a disclaimer stating that it does not express the views of the library and that the employees are expressing personal views— for example: “The views expressed on this website are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.” Employees must keep in mind that if they post information on a social media site that is in violation of company policy and/or federal, state, or local law, the disclaimer will not shield them from corrective action.

Confidentiality. Do not identify or reference library patrons, coworkers, or vendors without express permission. Per CRCPL policies and applicable state laws, employees may not disclose any confidential or proprietary information. When in doubt, ask your supervisor before publishing.

Violations of this policy may result in corrective action up to and including termination of employment.

Nothing in this policy is meant to, nor should it be interpreted to, in any way limit your rights under any applicable federal, state, or local laws, including your rights under the National Labor Relations Act to engage in protected concerted activities with other employees to improve or discuss terms and conditions of employment, such as wages, working conditions, and benefits. Employees have the right to engage in or refrain from such activities.