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Human Resource Policy

Section 2: Employment

2.1 AT WILL

Nothing in the Human Resources policy creates, or should be interpreted to create, an employment contract for any specific length of time between CRCPL and any employee.  CRCPL is an at-will employer. This means that every employee has the right to terminate their employment at any time without cause or notice, and that CRCPL has the right to terminate the employment of any employee at any time with or without cause or notice. Unless authorized by a written agreement, signed by the president of the Board, no director, manager or other representative of CRCPL has the authority to enter into any agreement for employment for any specified period of time.

2.2 EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

CRCPL is an equal employment opportunity employer.  Selection of employees is based solely upon qualifications, training, and aptitude required for the position involved.  In recognition of the essential rights of all employees and applicants as individuals, it is Board policy to recruit, hire, and promote in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, veteran/military status, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law or which is unrelated to merit or qualification.

Affirmative steps will be taken to insure that employment and other human resource actions such as rate of compensation, benefits, transfers, layoffs, return from layoffs, library-supported training, recommendations for educational tuition assistance, and promotions be administered and conducted without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, national origin, veteran/military status, gender identity, sexual orientation, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. CRCPL is fully committed to comply with all statutes, executive orders and court decisions designed to insure equal treatment to all persons.

2.3 AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT

CRCPL does not discriminate on the basis of a) pregnancy, childbirth or pregnancy-related medical condition, b) physical or mental disability, or c) medical condition as defined under state and federal law. CRCPL will comply with all federal and state laws concerning the employment of persons who are pregnant and/or persons with disabilities and will not discriminate against these individuals in regard to application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, training or other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, CRCPL will provide reasonable accommodation to employees who are qualified individuals with a disability as long as it does not cause undue hardship for the library. Employees should request accommodations from the Human Resources Manager.

2.4 HIRING

Job vacancies will usually be posted on the library’s website. Jobs can be posted internally and externally at the same time. Under certain circumstances, CRCPL reserves the right to post positions internally only and fill jobs through transfers, reorganizations, etc. without posting them on the web site. Employees must have been employed by the library for at least three months before applying for a vacant position. Applications will only be accepted for a specific position, and only when posted by the Human Resources Manager. Inactive applications will be retained according to CRCPL’s public records policy; unsolicited applications will be destroyed on receipt.

The hiring manager will prescreen the applications and select for interviews those applicants deemed most qualified. Internal candidates will be chosen based on factors such as the employee’s experience, performance assessments, and corrective action record. External candidates will be reviewed based on their experience and any materials submitted with their application. CRCPL will also consider any special requirements for the position when reviewing internal and external candidates. The hiring manager or interview team will interview applicants and select the best applicant for the job. Upon acceptance of an offer, all unsuccessful interviewed applicants will be notified of the selection.

2.5 NEPOTISM

In keeping with Ohio Ethics Commission opinions (Adv. Op. No. 80-001), a “family member” includes the following relatives, regardless of where they reside: (1) Spouse; (2) Children/Step-Children (whether dependent or not); (3) Siblings; (4) Parents/Step-Parents; (5) Grandparents; and (6) Grandchildren. It also includes any other person related by blood or by marriage (e.g. cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, nieces, nephews) if that person resides in the same household as the public employee.

In general, family members of public employees can legally pursue public jobs. However the applicant’s family member who is already employed by the library must be recused from any and every aspect of the hiring process. If the public employee can be removed from any discussion, review, decision-making, or any other aspect of the hiring process, their family member generally can be awarded the public job.

Employees who are family members, or who marry or become related by marriage while both employees are employed by the library, are not permitted to supervise a family member. In the event one employee is currently in the supervisory chain of the other, the library will first attempt to place both family members in an appropriate job situation. If the library is unable to do so, one of the employees will be required to terminate employment. The library will have the discretion to select which employee will terminate employment based on their position, performance, years of experience, and any other relevant criteria. Former employees are not eligible for re-hire until or unless the relationship with a current employee ceases to exist. Employees may not participate in decisions regarding the hiring of family members whether as contractors or vendors.

2.6 BACKGROUND CHECKS

Based on the position being filled or held, CRCPL may conduct a detailed reference, background, credit, and/or criminal check of an applicant or employee.  All reference, background, credit, or criminal checks will be in compliance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

New hires must successfully complete a criminal background check. CRCPL will conduct a driving record check for employment in a position where driving a library vehicle is one of the job duties.

2.7 PERFORMANCE EVALUATION AND MERIT RAISES

Employees will be considered for merit increases annually following their written performance evaluation and review meeting with their immediate supervisor(s). Merit increases are not automatic, but shall be contingent upon the performance rating and budget considerations.

To be eligible for a merit increase, employees must have reached the first anniversary date of their placement in a position or classification level. Newly-hired staff or those who were promoted to a new job classification before October 1st will receive a 90-day performance evaluation, and will be eligible for a pro-rated merit increase.  In order to establish a work history, employees hired after October 1st will wait until the next cycle to be eligible for a merit increase.

Merit increases must fall within the current pay range established annually by the Board of Trustees. Recommendations for merit increases are made by the Executive Director after review and consultation with the HR Manager and Directors. Employees who have reached the maximum end of their salary range at the time of the annual evaluation will not be eligible for merit increases.

If, after discussions, the employee and supervisor cannot agree on the evaluation and/or improvement goals, the employee should state concerns in writing for to the Executive Director. Positions reporting directly to the Executive Director have recourse to the Board of Trustees. Requests for such meetings can be made to the Board President or Personnel Committee Chair.

2.8 CORRECTIVE ACTION

All managers and supervisors are responsible for holding their staff accountable for upholding the policies, procedures and standards of the library. Managers should regularly engage in job coaching sessions with their employees to provide them with feedback on their performance. The library does (depending on the severity of the offense) retain the right to take corrective action in any manner it deems fit, up to and including immediate discharge.

Behavior which will result in corrective action includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unsatisfactory work performance
  • Violation of the library’s ethics policy (Human Resources Policy section 5.1)
  • Working on personal matters while on duty
  • Disruptive activity in the workplace
  • Excessive absenteeism and tardiness
  • Absence without notice or any unauthorized absence
  • Disregard of safety rules or practices
  • Creating or contributing to hazardous, unhealthy, unsafe, or unsanitary conditions
  • Sleeping during working hours
  • Insubordination
  • Unauthorized disclosure of confidential information
  • Violation of the library’s policies regarding use of computers, e-mail, telephone, or other electronic communications equipment
  • Smoking in unauthorized areas
  • Refusing to cooperate with a library investigation

The normal progression of corrective action, subject to modifications and dependent upon the severity of the infraction, is:

  1. Written coaching
  2. First written warning
  3. Second written warning and suspension
  4. Discharge

All corrective actions must be approved by the Executive Director or the HR Manager. Signed copies will be shared with the employee and become a permanent part of the employee’s HR file. The length of a suspension will be based on the severity of the infraction. Generally, corrective actions dating back more than one year will not be considered in the progressive corrective action of an employee, unless the employee has demonstrated a pattern of behavior. Employees are not eligible for promotion within 12 months of a corrective action.

Any documentation pertaining to an individual employee’s behavior or work performance that is placed in an employee’s permanent HR file must be initialed or signed by the employee as indication of the employee’s knowledge of the document (the employee’s signature does not necessarily imply agreement).  The employee may write a response to any material in the file; the response will be attached to the file copy of the material at the written request of the employee.

Some violations may result in immediate discharge. These include but are not limited to:

  • Discrimination
  • Sexual harassment
  • Falsifying a job application or other library document
  • Theft or attempted theft
  • Destruction of property
  • Threatening or verbally abusing a patron or employee
  • Possession of a weapon
  • Possession of alcohol or drugs
  • Reporting to work under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Manufacture, distribution or dispensation of drugs
  • Failing or refusing a drug or alcohol test
  • Conviction of a drug crime or felony
  • Accepting gifts that call into question the integrity of the library
  • Unauthorized use of library assets including but not limited to: computers, telephones, or logos
  • Acts detrimental to the library
  • Job abandonment
  • Fraudulent behavior
  • Timecard falsification

Nothing in this policy limits the employee’s right or the library’s right to terminate employment at any time, with or without cause or notice.

2.9 GRIEVANCES

Grievances include the occasions when an employee feels they have been unjustly treated, and those where there is an allegation that the library has failed to provide a condition of employment formally agreed upon. Issues must be reported within 30 days of the incident or occurrence complained of.

Any employee with a grievance must:

Step 1: Discuss it fully with the immediate supervisor. A written record of this meeting will be prepared by the supervisor.

Step 2. If unresolved, the employee will put the grievance in writing and submit it to the supervisor. The supervisor will respond in writing within two weeks of receipt.

Step 3. If the issue is not resolved in Step 2, within two weeks from receipt of the supervisor’s response the employee may request a meeting with the Executive Director. At the time of request, documentation will be furnished to the Executive Director. The Executive Director will respond to the grievant in writing.

Step 4. If the grievance is not resolved at Step 3, within two weeks of the meeting with the Executive Director, the grievant may submit to the Executive Director and to the President of the Board of Trustees a written request for a hearing. The hearing will be scheduled within 30 days.

2.10 SEPARATION OF EMPLOYMENT

Upon separation of employment, employees will be paid for any unused portion of annual vacation leave pro-rated monthly on their final paycheck. If the entire leave for the year has been used, a pro-rated amount will be subtracted from the final paycheck. No other unused leave or compensatory time will be compensated except as noted in Section 2.10.2 Retirement.

2.10.1 Resignation 

Employees are requested to give at least two weeks’ notice of intent to resign, through their direct supervisor or the HR Manager. The reason for resigning and the date upon which the resignation will take effect should be included in this written notice.

2.10.2 Retirement

Retirement is defined as an employee resigning their position and being awarded Ohio Public Employees Retirement System (OPERS) retirement benefits. Retiring employees will be compensated for 25% of accumulated unused sick leave at their current rate of pay on their final paycheck. Sick leave accumulation for this purpose is capped at 960 hours, and includes only sick leave accumulated while employed by CRCPL. Any other retirement benefits are determined according to OPERS.

2.10.3 Suspensions, Terminations and Dismissals

All employees of the library serve at-will, which means that the employment relationship may be terminated at any time with or without notice or cause by either the employee or the library. The Executive Director has the authority to dismiss or recommend dismissal of employees as specified by Article V of Bylaws. The Executive Director may suspend, with pay, any employee pending action by the Board of Trustees. The Executive Director also has full authority to suspend an employee with or without pay for up to three days to protect property or for corrective action reasons.

2.10.4 Abandonment

Unless an employee is on an approved leave, failure to report to work or contact the employee’s work location regarding an absence from work for three consecutive scheduled work days shall constitute job abandonment. Job abandonment shall be grounds for termination of employment, effective retroactively to the end of the employee’s last work shift prior to the unexcused absence. Extenuating circumstances will be taken under consideration.

2.10.5 Death

In the event of the death of an employee, final wages and payment of accrued vacation leave shall be made according to the established payroll deposit authorization on file.

2.10.6 Reductions in Workforce

The library strives to provide a stable work environment for its employees.  Generally, a reduction in workforce may be implemented for reasons that include but are not limited to the following:

  • A budget reduction and/or funding changes
  • Programmatic changes that result in the elimination of, or decrease in services
  • Reorganization that results in shifting of responsibilities or elimination of certain tasks
  • Business process improvements that change work to the extent that a position(s) is no longer required; or
  • Other organizational changes that may prompt an adjustment to staffing

In an effort to avoid reducing positions due to budget cuts and/or funding changes the library reserves the right to consider implementing temporary layoffs, employee furloughs, reduction of hours and/or compensation to achieve the necessary budget reduction prior to, or in lieu of lay-off.

If a reduction in workforce occurs, an effort will be made to accomplish the staff reduction through normal attrition and administrative transfers to lateral or comparable vacant positions. When a staff reduction is to take place, the Executive Director in consultation with Directors shall recommend to the Board the position title(s) in which the reduction should occur and the total number of positions to be reduced under each position title.

Staff reduction and layoffs shall be implemented based on operational needs.  Layoffs within position titles may be based on the following factors: a) position title and job status, b) length of service, and c) performance assessment.

Employees with specialized skills vital to the operation of a department may be exempted from layoff.

2.11 HUMAN RESOURCES RECORDS

Human Resources records are retained in the administrative offices, records room, and in the payroll and accounting computer system. The Executive Director, Human Resources Manager, Chief Fiscal Officer, and Deputy Fiscal Officer have access to these files for business purposes. An employee’s supervisor, with the permission of the Executive Director, Human Resources Manager, Chief Fiscal Officer, or Deputy Fiscal Officer, may have access to an employee’s documentation for business purposes.

Requests by members of the public, or non-supervisory or administrative library staff, for access to employee Human Resources records will be honored as required by law following the procedures described in CRCPL’s Public Access to Library Records Policy.  Employees affected will be informed of any request to view their HR records.  All employees have the right to inspect their own HR files.

Human Resources  files may include a variety of documents relating to employees’ employment including: forms relating to hiring, payroll, transfer, and promotion; performance evaluations and supporting documents; corrective action records; letters of reference; records of attendance at workshops and other training; emergency contact information; letters of commendation, etc.

Any individually identifiable health information covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 Privacy Rule is not subject to public records requests.

Employees may submit relevant materials for inclusion in their HR files.