24. Personnel Management Program
1-24-2: GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND IMPLEMENTATION
1-24-3: GRIEVANCES AND APPEALS
1-24-1: DEFINITIONS: (2248 2603 2922 3317 3390) The following words, terms and phrases, when used in this Chapter, shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
“Administrative Officer” shall mean the City Manager, City Attorney, City Clerk and Finance Director, and such additional administrative officers as may be created by City Council. The additional administrative officers shall be those employees serving in classifications listed as “Administrative Officers” in the pay and classification plan approved by City Council resolution.
“Appeal” shall mean the action taken by an employee in order to have the employee's suspension, demotion or dismissal reviewed by the Personnel Board and the City Manager.
“Board” shall mean the Personnel Board.
"Class” shall mean a position or group of positions that are sufficiently similar with respect to skill, effort and responsibility that they may be properly designated by the same title, and equitably compensated from the same range of pay under substantially the same employment conditions.
“Department Head” shall mean an individual who is regularly responsible for directing and managing the overall operations of a City department as authorized by the Charter or Code, and who has been designated as a Department Head by the City Manager. The City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Deputy City Manager, and the City Attorney shall assume duties assigned to Department Heads in this Chapter for carrying out those actions involving positions that report directly to them.
“Division Manager” shall mean an individual appointed by the Department Head to manage a work group designated as a division within the department. For purposes of this Chapter, the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, Deputy City Manager, Department Head, or the City Attorney shall assume the responsibilities assigned to Division Manager when the employee in question reports to a Department Head, the City Attorney, Deputy City Manager, Assistant City Manager, or the City Manager.
“Employee” shall mean a person who receives monetary compensation from the City in return for present services or work performed on a non-contractual basis, or who is on a leave of absence without pay that has been approved by the Human Resources Manager. This definition shall include all full-time and part-time regular, Administrative Officers, temporary, provisional, seasonal, substitute, hourly, instructor, indexed, intern, special project, short-term disability and emergency employees. This definition shall exclude elected municipal officials, volunteer firefighters, all other volunteer personnel, and retirees from the City.
“Employee – Exempt” shall mean an employee who is exempt from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Reference to Exempt employees when capitalized refers to those employees whose positions are listed in the Exempt employee pay schedule in the City Pay Plan.
“Employee – Nonexempt” shall mean an employee who is entitled to overtime pay or compensatory leave time under circumstances specified by the Fair Labor Standards Act. Reference to Nonexempt employees refers to those employees whose positions are listed in the Nonexempt employee pay schedule in the City Pay Plan.
“Employee – Part-time Regular” shall mean an employee who has been appointed to a part-time authorized Nonexempt or Exempt position to work less than forty (40) hours during a seven- (7) day period on a regular basis, and who has successfully completed the initial probationary period.
“Employee – Regular” shall mean an employee who has been appointed to a full-time authorized Nonexempt or Exempt position in the municipal service, and who has successfully completed the initial probationary period.
“Grievance” shall mean a disagreement regarding the meaning, interpretation, application, or alleged violation of these policies and rules adopted hereunder, departmental policies, rules or any other administrative policies of the City that has been formally presented for review pursuant to Section 1-24-3 of this Chapter.
“Job Description” shall mean the written description of a class, including the title, a statement of the nature of the work, examples of duties and responsibilities, and the requirements that are essential and/or desirable for the satisfactory performance of the duties of the class.
“Job Title” shall mean the title assigned to any particular class, and used for reference to that class.
“Position” shall mean a group of current duties and responsibilities requiring the full-time, temporary, or part-time services of one (1) employee.
“Supervisor” shall mean any individual having authority, in the interest of the City, to hire, transfer, suspend, lay off, promote, discharge, assign, reward, or discipline other employees, or having responsibility to direct them, or to adjust their grievances, or effectively having the authority to recommend such action, if the exercise of such authority is not merely routine or clerical in nature, but requires the use of independent judgment.
“Suspension” shall mean the temporary separation of an employee from performing his or her regularly assigned duties with or without pay for disciplinary reasons, or pending the outcome of an investigation involving the employee.
1-24-2: GENERAL PRINCIPLES AND IMPLEMENTATION: (2248 2922 3390)
(A) INTENT OF CHAPTER: In enacting this Chapter, it is the intent of the City Council to provide for a professional and impartial personnel management system in accordance with the provisions of the City Charter. This Chapter supersedes any previously distributed ordinances, resolutions, rules, policies and employee handbooks. The language of this Chapter is not intended to create, nor is it to be construed to constitute, a contract between the City of Westminster and any one (1) or all of its employees.
(B) PERSONS COVERED BY CHAPTER: This Chapter applies to all positions and employees in the City. In addition, unless specifically noted otherwise, it shall also apply to Administrative Officers and other categories of municipal employment where not inconsistent with provisions of the Charter or other ordinances.
(C) ADMINISTRATIVE REGULATIONS: The City Manager shall have the authority to establish such policies and rules deemed necessary for the efficient and orderly administration of the personnel management system. Such authority may be delegated to Department Heads, Division Managers and supervisors as deemed appropriate by the City Manager. The City Manager will provide City Council with a quarterly report if any substantive changes are made to administrative personnel policies in the previous quarter. All such policies and rules must be in writing and be consistent and compatible with this Chapter and the Charter, and, at a minimum, include the following:
(1) Classification Plan. A Classification Plan resulting from an analysis and evaluation of all positions in the municipal service shall be developed by the City Manager, or his/her designee, and maintained by the Human Resources Manager. It shall consist of a listing that groups all positions in classes, based on the skill, effort, responsibility, and qualifications that are necessary or desirable for the satisfactory performance of the duties of the class. The Classification Plan shall include titles and written job descriptions for all the various classes of positions. Each class shall include all positions in the municipal service, that are sufficiently similar with respect to duties, responsibilities, and authority that the same descriptive title may be used to designate each position allocated to the class. Council approval of the job titles and pay ranges in the Pay Plan shall constitute approval of the Classification Plan.
(2) Preparation, adoption and amendment of Pay Plan. A City-wide compensation plan, which shall consist of minimum and maximum rates of pay for each class or position, shall be developed and maintained by the Human Resources Manager, as the representative of the City Manager. Salary ranges shall be related directly to the position Classification Plan, and shall be determined with due regard to range of pay for other classes, requisite qualifications, prevailing rate of pay for like work in other public and private organizations, recruiting experience, working conditions, suggestions of Department Heads, maintenance of other benefits received by employees, the financial policy of the City, and other economic considerations. In addition, the Human Resources Manager shall develop, maintain and update a set of salary complements, which shall be designed to assist in attracting and retaining qualified employees. The Pay Plan shall be submitted to Council by the City Manager for adoption on an annual basis, in order to maintain the competitive nature of the City's personnel program.
(3) Employee political activity. Active participation by employees in the municipal politics of the City of Westminster shall be restricted. It shall be the policy of the City, however, not to deny to employees and officials the rights to engage in their normal rights and responsibilities as citizens.
(4) Nondiscrimination. No action affecting the employment status of any employee or applicant for a position in the municipal service, including examination, appointment, promotion, demotion, suspension, or removal shall be taken or withheld by reason of race, color, sex, national origin, political, or religious affiliation, age, disability or military veteran status.
1-24-3: GRIEVANCES AND APPEALS: (2248 2603 2648 2922 3390)
(A) GENERAL: Supervisory and administrative personnel shall strive to anticipate, and thereby eliminate, the cause of most misunderstandings, problems, complaints, or grievances. To the extent that they occur, the employee is encouraged to promptly seek the employee's immediate supervisor's assistance. Supervisory personnel shall not interfere with or discriminate against or make reprisals against any employee who files a grievance. The City strongly encourages the use of non-adversarial dispute resolution techniques to resolve grievances in a manner that is satisfactory to all affected parties. Supervisory and administrative personnel are strongly advised to seek the advice and support of the Human Resources Division and City Attorney’s Office at the earliest possible time after learning of a problem to develop a means to cooperatively resolve the issues. Developing the least adversarial path to resolution, before conflict escalates further, is the goal. While alternative means to resolve personnel issues may be developed, either prior to the filing of a formal grievance or during the investigation and formal processing of a grievance, the earlier the better. Employees, too, are encouraged to suggest alternative means of resolving disputes without compromising their rights to the formal process.
(B) GRIEVANCE: A grievance is a disagreement regarding the meaning, interpretation, application, or alleged violation of the personnel policies and rules, departmental policies and rules, or any other administrative policies of the City. When disputed, the Human Resources Manager will determine whether the action or alleged action is grievable.
(C) FILING A GRIEVANCE: Any employee with a grievance must file a written complaint with the employee's Division Manager (or the party who took the action being grieved if that party is of higher rank) with a copy to the Human Resources Manager within fourteen (14) calendar days following the grieved action. The Division Manager or Department Hanager shall try to resolve the matter within ten (10) calendar days from the receipt of the written grievance. If the employee is not satisfied that the difference has been resolved after action by the Division Manager, the employee may, within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the grievance response, file the grievance with the Department Head (if not already reviewed by the Department Head). The Department Head shall try to resolve the matter within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the grievance. The deadlines in this subsection (C) may be extended with the mutual consent of the parties. If the employee is not satisfied that the difference has been resolved after action by the Department Head, the employee may pursue the following procedure:
(1) Actions other than suspension, demotion or dismissal. Within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the Department Head's response, the employee may ask the Human Resources Manager in writing to investigate the grievance. If the Department Head has taken no action within ten (10) calendar days after receipt of the written grievance, the employee may request in writing that the Human Resources Manager investigate the grieved action. The Human Resources Manager shall, within twenty-one (21) calendar days, investigate the grievance and consult with the employee and then make recommendations to the City Manager or the City Manager's designee, who shall decide on the grievance within ten (10) calendar days. The City Manager's or the City Manager's designee's decision shall be final in all instances. The deadlines in this subsection (1) may be extended with the mutual consent of the parties or because of an inability to do a complete investigation in the time allowed.
(2) Suspension, demotion or dismissal. Within fourteen (14) calendar days after receipt of the Department Head's response, the employee may file an appeal to the Personnel Board or, if the Department Head has taken no action within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the written grievance, the employee may file a written appeal to the Personnel Board within twenty-one (21) calendar days after the Department Head's receipt of the written grievance.
(3) Failure to file. An employee loses any right to file a grievance or appeal with the Human Resources Manager or to file an appeal to the Board if the employee fails to file a written grievance within the time lines defined above. No organization or individual has the right to file a grievance on the employee's behalf, and legal representatives shall not be permitted to attend any meeting with the grieved employee held for the purpose of investigating the grievance prior to the time an appeal has been filed pursuant to subsection (D) of this Section.
(4) Grievances related to disabilities. If an employee has, in the employee's view, suffered discrimination in violation of state or federal law based on a past or current disability, whether real or perceived, or association with an individual with a disability, the employee may file a grievance pursuant to this subsection (C). A record of the grievance and the action taken to resolve it shall be maintained. This procedure is not a prerequisite to the pursuit of other legal remedies authorized by federal law. A disability-related grievance alleging a violation of federal laws protecting individuals with disabilities may be filed at any time.
(D) APPEAL: Only suspensions, demotions, or dismissals for disciplinary reasons can be appealed to the Personnel Board and only after all administrative remedies through the grievance procedure have been exhausted. Only regular full-time employees and regular part-time benefited employees in authorized positions are eligible to appeal to the Board. Administrative Officers have no appeal rights beyond the grievance process to the City Manager.
(E) FILING AN APPEAL: The employee must file an appeal and request a hearing, in writing, setting forth the reasons for appeal in detail with the Human Resources Manager as set forth in subsection (C) of this Section. The appeal must specify the grounds for appeal and shall contain a detailed statement of facts in support of the appeal. Anyone considering filing an appeal may contact Human Resources for a complete copy of the Personnel Board Rules.
(F) FORWARING AN APPEAL: The Human Resources Manager shall immediately forward copies of the written appeal to each member of the Board. The Human Resources Manager has the authority to return to the employee for correction any appeal that fails to conform to this provision regarding specifying grounds for appeal and containing a detailed statement of facts in support of the appeal.
(G) APPEAL PROCEDURE: Upon receipt of the appeal from the Human Resources Manager, the Board shall schedule a hearing on the appeal. Once the Board meets to hear the appeal, it may take the time necessary to obtain all the information deemed appropriate and, in so doing, the Board is not restricted to any particular time frame to conclude the hearing.
(H) SUBPOENAS: The Chairperson of the Board may issue a subpoena stating the title of the proceeding before the Board and commanding each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at a hearing on an appeal before the Board at the time and place specified therein.
(I) FINDINGS AND DECISION: It is the interpretation of the City Council that the Charter of the City of Westminster establishes a personnel grievance process in which the Personnel Board has the responsibility of determining the facts of an appeal and determining when disciplinary action should be reconsidered and in such cases, the City Manager has the responsibility of reconsidering the disciplinary action and making the final disciplinary decision based on the facts determined by the Board. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Board shall send a written decision to the City Manager that concludes that:
(1) The action appealed was without justification and should be reconsidered. The Board may recommend that the appellant be restored to previous status and receive compensation for the period of the suspension, termination, or reduction in grade;
(2) The action appealed was justified and should be confirmed; or
(3) The action appealed was partially justified and should be reconsidered. The Board may recommend that the discipline be reduced under the conditions the Board deems proper.
The Board's decision shall contain findings of evidentiary fact on all material issues of fact and conclusions regarding the issues of law or discretion presented by the appeal.
(J) NOTICE OF FINDINGS AND DECISION; TRANSCRIPT: The Board shall report its findings and decision to the City Manager, the parties and their attorneys within thirty (30) days after the conclusion of the hearing. Notice shall be sent in the manner specified in subsection (I) of this Section. The City shall make a record of the testimony and proceedings at an appeal hearing. Either the City or the employee may request a transcription of the testimony and proceedings at an appeal hearing. If the employee requests a hearing transcription, it shall be prepared at the employee's expense.
(K) DECISION OF THE CITY MANAGER:
(1) When the Board has concluded that the discipline was justified, the City Manager shall confirm the decision of the Board;
(2) When the Board has concluded that the action appealed was without justification or was partially justified, the City Manager shall reconsider the suspension, demotion or discharge and either reinstate the employee, impose a lesser penalty, or confirm the original suspension, demotion or discharge; or
(3) When reconsidering a suspension, demotion or discharge, the City Manager shall be bound by the Board's findings of evidentiary fact. The City Manager may accept or reject the Board's findings of ultimate fact or conclusions and may accept or reject the Board's recommendation regarding discipline.
(L) ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURE JURISDICTIONAL: No employee may bring an appeal before the Board until the employee has received the written notice of the final action taken or contemplated by the Department Head. The filing of an appeal under any of the procedures described in this Section shall not constitute grounds for delaying the administrative action against which the appeal is made.
(M) APPEAL FROM DECISION OF CITY MANAGER: The employee may appeal any action of the City Manager resulting in suspension, demotion or dismissal to the district court.
(N) RIGHT TO LEGAL COUNSEL: The employee may only be represented by a person who is licensed to practice law in the State of Colorado.
(O) RULES OF PROCEDURE: The Board may adopt additional rules of procedure to supplement the procedures outlined in this Section.