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City of Lake Wales, Florida Human Resources Department
Personnel Policies

SECTION 2-230 MISCELLANEOUS

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Secs. 2-230.01 Smoking and Other Tobacco Products

(a) The purpose of this policy is to protect the public health, comfort, and environment for citizens and employees by creating areas in public places and at public meetings that are reasonably free from tobacco products, and to comply with Florida Statute, the Florida Clean Air Act.

(b) No employee may smoke in any City building, facility or vehicle. This includes, but is not limited to, private offices, hallways, rest rooms, conference rooms and break rooms, even with only one occupant.

(c) Smoking and other tobacco use is permitted outdoors except for the following conditions:

  1. Whenever a safety hazard exists;
  2. In any area where smoking and other tobacco use is specifically prohibited by Federal, State, County or City Ordinance;
  3. In any area posted "No Smoking".

(d) The City Manager is responsible for ensuring City-wide implementation of this policy. Department Heads and Managers are responsible for uniform implementation of this policy in their respective work areas, facilities and buildings.

(e) Violation of this policy shall subject the employee to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

(f) Citizens, clients, contractors and visitors to City facilities are expected to comply with this policy. Violators will be requested to extinguish their smoking material or leave the building/facility area if they refuse to do so. return to top

Secs. 2-230.02 Unemployment Compensation

(a) The City is registered with the State of Florida Bureau of Unemployment Compensation. Terminated employees who file a claim and are determined qualified under the Florida Unemployment Compensation Law may be eligible to receive unemployment compensation benefits. An explanation is available of employee's rights and responsibilities through HR. Employees who are terminated for violation of the City Drug Free Workplace Policy may not be entitled to unemployment compensation under Florida law.

(b) Any correspondence received by employees regarding unemployment compensation must be forwarded to the Human Resources Department upon receipt. return to top

Secs. 2-230.03 Workers' Compensation

(a) The City provides Workers' Compensation for all employees injured on the job and:

  1. Payment of Workers' Compensation to all employees who are disabled because of an injury arising out of and in the scope of performing their duties with the City will be governed by the Florida State Workers' Compensation Law.
  2. Full-time regular and probationary employees shall be paid 100% of his regular pay by the City for the first seven (7) calendar days of the period of disability. When the period of disability extends beyond seven (7) days and the employee is eligible for Workers' Compensation benefits, a Change of Status shall be initiated by the employee's Department Head documenting the date on which the employee began disability leave.
  3. The employee will continue to accrue sick leave, vacation, safety days and optional holidays during the entire period of disability. Time on occupational disability will continue to count toward retirement and longevity.
  4. Periods extending beyond seven (7) days and up to thirty (30) days shall be paid as follows: The insurance company shall pay 66-2/3%; the City shall pay 33-1/3%. The City's payment shall be issued as Special Pay to Supplement Workers' Compensation Benefits following an official statement from the insurance carrier as to benefits paid directly to the employee. The City's payment will be issued with the next normal run of payroll following receipt of the statement.
  5. Health insurance, credit union and other payroll deductions will be made from the 33-1/3% supplemental payment, and payroll taxes will be deducted.
  6. If the employee is out of work long enough to receive payment from Workers' Compensation for the first seven (7) days, that payment shall be returned to the City. This will prevent the employee from being paid twice for the same period of time. Payment to employees for the first seven (7) days of disability shall be delivered to the Human Resources Department. Payment for these seven (7) days will not be charged against sick leave or vacation, nor will Special Pay to Supplement Workers' Compensation Benefits.
  7. After thirty (30) days of disability, the employee's case will be reviewed by the City Manager to evaluate the continuation of the City's payment of the 33-1/3 supplement. This supplement may be continued with the City Manager's approval for 30-day periods and is subject to review by the City Manager at the end of each 30-day period until the employee returns to work or is qualified for disability retirement. If there is a conflict between the City Manager's review and the recommendation of the treating physician, the City Manager reserves the right to require additional medical evaluation by a City-designated physician. The supplemental payment will continue during said review. If the City Manager decides to discontinue the City's payment of the 33-1/3% supplement after the initial thirty (30) days of disability, the employee may elect to receive a 33-1/3% supplemental payment and have it charged against vacation or sick leave.
  8. If the physician treating an employee on occupational disability determines that the employee is unable to perform full, normal duties but is qualified for "light duty" which does not hinder treatment or recuperation, the employee may be placed on "light duty" at the City's option. Work performed on "light duty" will be paid at the employee's normal hourly rate and payment for such work will be deducted from any supplemental pay which might have been granted to the employee.
  9. In the event an employee has neglected to advise the attending physicians of other injuries reported under Workers' Compensation, whether injuries were sustained while employed by the City or sustained prior to employment by the City or any pre-existing condition(s), shall be grounds for immediate termination. The City Manager reserves the right to deny all or part of the benefits outlined above if the injury resulted from the willful negligence of the employee. return to top
Secs. 2-230.04 Desk, Lockers, Others City Property/ Equipment, Personal Property

(a) Employees may request a locker if available.

(b) Employees must provide locks for lockers, but must provide the Department Head a duplicate key.

(c) All personal equipment, property and belongings brought onto City property or placed in City property as well as lockers, desks and file cabinets or any other City equipment used by the employee are subject to inspection by management at any time. This includes but is not limited to car trunks, and lunch bags for any reason.

(d) In the event the employee is unavailable or it is deemed necessary to access any item described in subsection (c) above without the employee's presence, the Department Head must request authority to access from the City Manager. The City Manager shall make the determination.

(e) The City is not responsible for the personal property of employees which is brought onto City property. return to top

Secs. 2-230.05 Records and Reports

(a) The Human Resources Department is responsible for establishing and maintaining comprehensive central personnel records of all City employees.

  1. A record of all leave earned by an employee will be maintained by HR.
  2. All adjustments to an employee's leave balances (sick leave donation, loss of safety day, correction of balance, etc.) will be forwarded to the Finance Department by the HR. No adjustments will be made to an employee's leave balances without the review and approval of the Human Resources Director.
  3. The payroll administrator will forward a current listing of employee leave balances to the Human Resources Director after the last payroll of the fiscal year.
  4. All personnel records of employees are maintained in the Human Resources Department and are considered the official employee records. Duplicate files may be kept in the Department at the option of the Director.
  5. Employees should keep their personnel records current. This means immediately notifying the HR of any changes; such as, change of address (even if temporary), change of telephone number, change of beneficiary, number of dependents, divorce, marriage or any status change not previously reported, from that which was originally given at the time of employment. This is the responsibility of the employee and failure to comply may result in loss of employee benefits.
  6. The HR should be informed of any special training courses completed by an employee. Copies of diplomas or certificates shall be forwarded to the Human Resources Department to become a permanent part of the employee's personnel file.

(b) Records Retention and Disposition. Consistent with applicable law, the HR shall determine the time limit that any personnel records shall be kept on file and the final disposition of such records. return to top

Secs. 2-230.06 Employee Training and Development

It is the responsibility of the City Manager in conjunction with Department Directors and the Human Resources Director, to foster and promote in-service training of employees. The purpose of this training is to improve the level of service rendered to the public, the quality of personnel, and to assist employees in preparing themselves for advancement in City service. Department Directors in cooperation with the Human Resources Director will establish standards for training programs, assure that training is carried out as approved, and prepare certificates or other forms of recognition to persons who satisfactorily complete approved courses and programs. The Human Resources Director will provide assistance to Department Directors in developing and conducting training to meet specific needs of their departments and to assure that employee, supervisory and management training is available to all Departments. return to top

Secs. 2-230.07 Deductions

Federal Withholding, Social Security and Pensions are deducted from paychecks in accordance with law and City ordinance. Voluntary deductions authorized by the City Manager are made only upon written authorization of the employee and approval by HR and by the Finance Department. return to top

Secs. 2-230.08 Cell Phones

When it is deemed that a City employee has a need for a cell phone to effectively perform his job requirements, the following policy shall apply:

(a) A requisition for the cell phone shall be submitted along with written authorization from the Department Head explaining the reason for the need for the employee to have a cell phone. Cell phone vendors must be approved in advance by the City Manager, or his designee. The cell phone shall remain the property of the City and will remain so until it is declared surplus and disposed of in a manner acceptable to the City. All bills for the use of the cell phone shall be sent to the City. The employee shall reimburse the City for all personal calls transacted by the use of the cell phone. Reimbursement shall be by cash or by submittal of a check or money order made out to the City.

(b) If an employee is using his personal cell phone for City business calls, he shall be responsible for full payment of the bill and may submit requests for reimbursement for City business calls to the Finance Department using the proper form. Written authorization from the Department Head for reimbursement along with a copy of the bill highlighting such calls must be submitted. Reimbursement will be given in the employee's name only, not to the cell phone service provider. The rates established for the cell-phone service shall remain between the employee and the service provider. Most cell phone service providers offer governmental employee rates.

(c) Should a dispute arise involving any of the above procedures, the decision of the City Manager shall be considered final and binding. return to top

Secs. 2-230.09 Information Systems Policies

(a) Computers, computer files, the e-mail system, and software furnished to employees are City property intended for business use. Employees should not use a password, access a file, or retrieve any stored communication without authorization. To ensure compliance with this policy, computer, Internet and e-mail usage may be monitored.

(b) The use of City-supplied computers or applications for personal use is discouraged. However, any personal use by the employee should be done with the understanding that the City takes no responsibility for licensing, nor assurances of data or information privacy. Modifications to hardware or City- supplied applications that prevent or alter the use of City information is strictly prohibited. Memory space for business information shall take precedence over any personal requirements.

(c) All employees are responsible for meeting the requirements of these policies. Employees who violate these policies are subject to disciplinary action as set forth in Section 2-211. The (IS) Information Services division is responsible for establishing, and monitoring adherence to this policy.

(d) The City strives to maintain a workplace free of harassment and sensitivity to the diversity of its employees. Therefore, the City prohibits the use of computers and the e-mail system in ways that are disruptive, offensive to others, or harmful to morale.

(e) The Internet may be used for incidental personal use that does not violate these policies and does not hamper or conflict with the transaction of City business, on lunch hours or after hours. The City has the right to view and monitor all Internet usage on the City's system(s).

(f) The City Internet access may not be used for the following:

  1. Commercial activities
  2. Religious causes
  3. Solicitations of any kind
  4. Political activity
  5. Activities not directly related to the conduct of City business
  6. To download files or software without first checking for viruses
  7. Transmitting or accessing copyrighted information in a way that violates the copyright.

(g) The City purchases and licenses the use of various computer software for business purposes and does not own the copyright to this software or its related documentation. Unless authorized by the software developer, the City does not have the right to reproduce such software for use on more than one computer.

(h) Employees may only use software on local area networks or on multiple machines according to the software license agreement. The City prohibits the illegal duplication of software and its related documentation. return to top

Secs. 2-230.10 E-mail Policy

(a) As part of our effort to facilitate work, the City provides electronic mail services to employees. These systems are designed to facilitate your communication with employees and with the public when such communication is part of your job. All electronic communication systems and all communications and stored information transmitted, received or contained in the City's Information Systems are the property of the City.

(b) E-mail is for the use of employees in the performance of their jobs. However, it is recognized that occasional communications between employees at work via e-mail for personal reasons under circumstances that do not take away from or interfere with their duties or the duties of those employees with whom they communicate, is not prohibited except:

  1. No e-mail will contain any materials which is political, slanderous, controversial, critical of any person or entity, or which contains vulgar language, references to sexual matters or is otherwise inappropriate.
  2. E-mail for personal reasons should be used only when it is important that the employee communicate with another employee at work about a personal matter and another method of communication would take time away from the employee's work. e-mail is not to be used for "chit-chat," telling jokes and communicating personal information unless it is necessary.
  3. The City Manager, or the City Manager's designee, will determine when this Section is being violated.

(c) Employees shall not use a code, access a file, or retrieve any stored information, other than those for which they are authorized, unless there has been prior clearance by the City Manager, IS Manager, or their designees.

(d) While electronic mail may require the use of a password for security, confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Messages may be reviewed by someone other than the intended recipient. All passwords must be made known to the IS Division.

(e) To ensure that the use of the City's Information System and other electronic communications systems is consistent with the City's legitimate business interests and not a violation of this Section, authorized representatives of the City will monitor the use of such equipment from time to time.

(f) Employees using this equipment for improper personal purposes do so at the risk of discipline in accordance with Section 2-211.

(g) Employees should also be aware that electronic records (such as e-mail and computer stored documents) are public records and as such are subject to access by the general public as well as the press in the same manner as physical documents. Thus, any electronic communication concerning any official business may not be deleted or destroyed (i.e., erased from computer memory) until a hard copy is printed and retained with other public records.

(h) Employees shall not attempt to read, "hack" into other systems or other employee's logins, or "crack" passwords, or breach computer or network security measures, or monitor electronic messages of other employees or third parties except by explicit direction of City management.

(i) No electronic mail may be sent which attempts to hide the identity of the sender, or represents the sender as someone else.

(j) Electronic mail should not be used in a manner that is likely to cause network congestion or significantly hamper the ability of other employees to access and use the system.

(k) Remember, although you can delete e-mail, it does not go away and can always be retrieved, and may be reviewed at any time by the City to ensure compliance with this Section and by the public upon a proper request under the Florida Public Records Law. UNDERSTAND - ANYTHING YOU PUT IN A CITY COMPUTER MAY BE ON THE FRONT PAGE OF THE NEWSPAPER. return to top

Secs. 2-230.11 Pagers

(a) Employees assigned a pager shall be responsible to reimburse the City for pages in excess of the maximum allowed by the Department.

(b) Alphanumeric pages are legally public record and will be monitored to ensure compliance with City policy.

  1. Alphanumeric pages will not contain language which is political, slanderous, controversial, critical of any person or entity, or which contains vulgar language, references to sexual matters or is otherwise inappropriate.
  2. Neither alphanumeric nor numeric pages should be used for personal reasons except when it is important that the employee communicate with another employee at work about a personal matter and another method of communication would take time away from the employee's work. Alphanumeric pages will not to be used for "chit-chat," telling jokes and communicating personal information unless it is necessary.
  3. The City Manager, or the City Manager's designee, will determine when this Section is being violated. return to top
Secs. 2-230.12 Take Home Vehicles

(a) Some City employees have City vehicles at their disposal so they may carry out their duties properly. Because City vehicles are distinctly marked, the way they are operated has a direct impact on the public image of the City. Employees operating City vehicles will adhere to the following rules:

  1. Operator will possess a valid Florida driver's license.
  2. All vehicular safety laws will be observed.
  3. Safety belts will be used at all times when the vehicle is in operation.
  4. In the event that a City vehicle is involved in an accident, the employee will notify the appropriate law enforcement agency and the employee's immediate supervisor.
  5. City vehicles will be used for official business only; they will not be used for pleasure or personal business under any circumstances.
  6. Any employee who abuses a City vehicle in any manner will be subject to disciplinary action including possible payment for the deductible portion of damages to the vehicle.

(b) Overnight use of a City vehicle will require the written recommendation of the Department Head and the approval of the City Manager before a vehicle is driven home. Such use will be authorized only under the following conditions:

  1. The employee is a division or department head whose regular duties require frequent use of a vehicle overnight.
  2. The employee holds a position with duties and responsibilities involving emergency services or involving on-call or standby status.

(c) In addition to the rules for operating a City vehicle, employees who are assigned overnight use of City vehicles will adhere to the following rules:

  1. Off-street parking will be provided when the vehicle is parked at the employee's residence.
  2. Under no circumstances will the vehicle be used for transporting members of the employee's family or for anything pertaining to personal business or pleasure.
  3. The vehicle will be turned in to the employee's department when, for any reason, the employee is absent for more than two (2) days. In case of illness or inability to turn the vehicle in, the Division or Department Head will be notified immediately.
  4. The employee will be responsible for having the vehicle maintained in clean condition.

(d) Vehicle assignments may change from time to time, and each vehicle will be available for other purposes when not being used by the employee to whom it is normally assigned.

(e) All vehicles which are not to be driven home by employees will remain parked overnight at the Municipal Center, Water Department, etc.

(f) In accordance with the requirements of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984, income related to use of city vehicles on an overnight basis will be reported for any employee so assigned with the exceptions noted below:

  1. The vehicle is a clearly marked police vehicle.
  2. The vehicle is a qualified specialized utility repair truck. The term "qualified specialized utility repair truck" means a truck (not including a van or pickup truck) specifically designed and used to carry heavy tools, testing equipment or parts where (1) the shelves, racks, or other permanent interior construction which has been installed to carry and store such heavy items is such that it is unlikely that the truck will be used more than a very minimal amount for personal purposes; and, (2) the employer requires the employee to drive the truck home in order to be able to respond in emergency situations for purposes of restoring or maintaining water or sewer utility purposes.
  3. Other exceptions as set forth in IRS rules/guideline.

(g) Income reported will be directly based on actual round trip mileage from workplace to home at the standard rate set by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). All employees assigned a City vehicle for overnight use will certify mileage on Form #0202 and forward the form to the Finance Department. Form #0202 may be obtained from the Human Resources Department.

(h) It is the Department Head's responsibility to notify the Finance Department when overnight City vehicle assignments are made or changed. return to top

Secs. 2-230.13 Employee Recognition Program

(a) The purpose of the Employee Recognition Program is to recognize and officially reward outstanding employee performance and contributions to the City. This Recognition Program is to allow Directors and Department Heads to encourage and acknowledge excellence in City service. An award may be given to an individual or team in recognition of measurable accomplishments significant to the City's mission or goals. Examples of accomplishments that may be recognized include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Suggestions that eliminate waste or result in verifiable cost savings.
  2. Innovative solutions to a difficult or challenging task that merits recognition.
  3. Team work and enthusiasm in accomplishing significant or unusually difficult assignments.
  4. Consistently producing high quality work.
  5. Suggestions or procedures for eliminating accidents that are adopted and implemented.
  6. Suggestions or procedures to improve service or operations that are adopted and implemented.
  7. One-time achievement of measurable significance.
  8. Outstanding customer service.

Each Director and Department Head is delegated the responsibility of recognizing employees in their respective department.

(b) Awards and recognition will be provided in the form of a non-cash recognition and will be submitted on HR Form (00 for final approval by the City Manager.

(c) Examples of non-cash awards include, but are not limited to the following:

  1. Certificates of Recognition signed by the City Manager.
  2. Gift Certificates to local restaurants.
  3. T-shirts.
  4. Mugs.
  5. Movie tickets.
  6. Plaques.

(d) The Human Resources Department will coordinate the Employee Recognition Program to include preparation and/or purchase of awards. return to top


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