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Human Resource Best Practices Part I – A Solid Foundation

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1 Human Resource Best Practices Part I – A Solid Foundation
Presented by John M. Cummings, PHR Personnel Director Employment Practices Specialist Montana Municipal Interlocal Authority

2 Disclaimer (Please Note: All materials, recommendations, and draft personnel policy language provided in this PowerPoint presentation should be reviewed and approved by a City Attorney prior to utilization or adoption.)

3 The Human Resource Foundation
Personnel Policies and Procedures Employment Practices Liability Coverage (EPLC) through MMIA Job Description Development Performance Appraisals Corrective Action and Discipline (Part II)

4 Personnel Policies and Procedures

5 Why Create or Update our Personnel Policy Manual?
If PPM is more than 4 years old it should be reviewed History of inaccurate policies and procedures circulating the State Allows For Proactive Management Improves Employee Relations Helps Guide Your Supervisors

6 Why Create or Update our Personnel Policy Manual?
Functions as a recruitment tool Assists in developing “Consistent” personnel management practices PPM meeting MMIA’s underwriting criteria is required in order to attain Employment Practices Liability Coverage (EPLC)

7 Proactive Management & Employee Relations
Policies are established in writing and address situations in a uniform and non-discriminatory manner Orients employees and assists them in understanding and following policies May assist with union relations Assists in making personnel actions defensible

8 Guiding Supervisors Provide guidelines to supervisors
Reduce misunderstandings Increase consistency Support disciplinary action Avoid charges of discrimination and favoritism

9 Recruitment & Retention Tool
Introduce your culture and environment and provide a clear understanding of policies and procedures Include a Welcome Letter, and your Vision, Mission, History of your city/town and an Organizational Chart Manual should be non-technical and accessible to a wide range of educational levels

10 Consistent Personnel Management
Examine what is in writing vs. what actually happens “on the job” Consistency is key to employees adopting the guidelines Provide training to employees, supervisors, and Council Members Include Employee Signature Receipt Page with Policy Manual

11 Questions For The Group
Does your municipality have, and consistently follow, a PPM? When was the last time you sat down and went through your town’s PPM?

12 Questions For The Group
Any current weaknesses you have found in the PPM that have caused you difficulty? Who has final authority for Personnel Actions in your PPM?

13 Isn’t the Municipality Safer Without Anything in Writing?
The Argument(s): If we don’t have anything in writing, we won’t be held to that particular standard. I have no way to ensure that employees and supervisors will follow the written policies and procedures.

14 Isn’t the Municipality Safer Without Anything in Writing?
The Reason(s) to put policies and procedures in writing: Difficult to enforce unwritten policies and procedures (& lack of consistency) Court may decide based on past practices what your policies and procedures are Leads to unproductive disputes Charges are difficult to disprove

15 Best Practices Personnel Policies

16 In General PPM size will depend on the complexity of the municipality.
There is no “required” PPM – Instead PPM should be designed to meet your needs Most do not need a 50 to 70 page PPM Handout “Template” Table of Contents (covers the basics in roughly 24 pages with attachments)

17 “Essential” Personnel Policies
Probationary Period Unlawful/Sexual Harassment Corrective Action and Discipline Complaint Resolution and Grievance Equal Opportunity Statement

18 “Essential” Personnel Policies
Work Site Safety Family Medical Leave Act: public, state, & federal employers & private-employers who employed 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks Maternity Leave Military Leave

19 “Essential” Personnel Policies
Reduction In Force (RIF) Policy New Employee Orientation Drug Free Workplace / Drug and Alcohol Testing Receipt Page (signature page for employee)

20 Reviewing Specific Policies
Probationary Period Policy Unlawful/Sexual Harassment Policy Corrective Action and Discipline Policy Complaint Resolution and Grievance Procedure

21 Probationary Period Policy

22 Probationary Period – Defining Good Cause
Montana is not an “At Will” employment State. To discharge an employee who has completed their probationary period, the employer must show “good cause”. Under the Montana Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act, good cause is defined as “reasonable job-related grounds for dismissal”

23 Probationary Period Employers should include a probationary period policy in their manuals During a one-year probationary period employment can be terminated by either party, at will, on notice to the other party, for any reason or for no reason”

24 Probationary Period Montana Law defaults to 6 months if not stated.
Fire and Police have statutory probationary periods. Collective Bargaining Agreements may set different probationary periods.

25 Probationary Period Employers should not include a “Special Secret Double Probation Policy” Probationary Period Policy “Extensions” should be carefully defined and consistently applied Question: Does a non-probationary period employee serve a new probationary period when he/she is promoted/demoted? Existing employees must undergo a break in service before they are placed in a new Probationary Period

26 Questions For The Group
How long is your probationary period & how long do you think it should be? Do you allow for extensions to the probationary period? In what instances? Is probation ever utilized as a substitute for corrective action?

27 Richie v. Town of Ennis, 2004 MT 43
Richie hired as Town Marshal – Town had 6 mo probationary period Mayor terminated Richie Richie filed suit under Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act Court upholds termination, but under State Statute allowing Mayor broad discretion to discharge probationary officer (12 mo probationary period)

28 Hunter v. City of Great Falls, 2002 MT 331 (December 20, 2002)
Firefighter probationary period governed by statute – but statute doesn’t limit it to 6 mo. Hunter’s termination correct in that he did not meet other criteria for permanent employment. Result is that prob periods can be extended but employee must be notified at beginning of employment, policies must be in writing, included in orientation, and extension should be made prior to original probationary period expiring.

29 Hobbs v. City of Thompson Falls
In summary: Police officers in Montana serve a probationary period of employment which cannot exceed one year. During their probationary period they may be terminated by the city's chief executive without cause. However, following satisfactory completion of the probationary period of employment, a police officer cannot be terminated without cause.

30 Hobbs v. City of Thompson Falls
The good cause provisions of the wrongful discharge from employment act are then applicable. That officer is still subject to confirmation by the city council / commission and does not become a member of the police force subject to other protections afforded to confirmed police officers without confirmation. However, confirmation cannot be denied following the satisfactory completion of the probationary period without good cause

31 Unlawful Harassment Policy

32 Unlawful Harassment Unlawful harassment exposes you to an extremely high liability risk Most easily offended person sets the standard Summer help: Pools/Parks/Recreation

33 Unlawful Harassment “It is the policy of this city to provide a work environment for each employee, which is free from unlawful harassment” This city also prohibits retaliation against employees who expose harassment

34 Unlawful Harassment Unlawful sexual harassment means any unwelcome sexual advances, request for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

35 Unlawful Harassment A. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; B. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or C. Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

36 Unlawful Harassment Examples
Unwelcome sexual advances Sexual gestures; graphic verbal comments of a sexual nature, including such comments about a person’s body; sexually degrading words used to describe an individual Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons or posters

37 Unlawful Harassment Provide a clear course of action
Provide clear procedures to follow Provide a clear chain of command Require them to report and record Detail the steps that will be taken Follow-up on remedy and prevent retaliation

38 Questions For The Group
Employee stops you in the grocery store and complains that the Mayor is creating a hostile work environment – they want you to advise the City Council to fire the Mayor – What advice to you provide the employee, the Mayor, the Council? Supervisor discovers employee is downloading pornographic materials and distributing them throughout the office? What advice do you provide?

39 Star v. West, F.3d (9th Cir. January 18, 2001)
Star claimed hostile work environment – VA took remedial action against accuser but Star didn’t consider it enough discipline. Result was that the court refused to require a certain kind of remedial action when an employer is faced with a sexual harassment claim. Employer can decide how to deal with the problem.

40 Nichols, et al. v. Azteca Restaurant Enterprises, Inc., F.3d (9th Cir., July 16, 2001)
Sexual harassment and retaliation claim based on “gender-based Stereotypes”. Result was that Azteca’s policy and training did indicate reasonable care to prevent harassment BUT it did not exercise reasonable care to promptly correct harassing behavior so liable for hostile work environment. Need Policy and Need to Enforce / Follow-up / and Prevent Retaliation

41 Dernovich v. City of Great Falls
The Montana Human Rights Commission found that off-color jokes and cartoons circulated around the office by both men and women created a hostile work environment. In addition, the city was ordered to prevent sexual harassment of employees and evaluate department heads’ performance each year based on "the quality and success of their efforts to implement and enforce the antidiscrimination policies."

42 Nichols, et al. v. Azteca Restaurant Enterprises, Inc., F.3d (9th Cir., July 16, 2001)
Sexual harassment and retaliation claim based on “gender-based Stereotypes”. Result was that Azteca’s policy and training did indicate reasonable care to prevent harassment BUT it did not exercise reasonable care to promptly correct harassing behavior so liable for hostile work environment. Need Policy and Need to Enforce / Follow-up / and Prevent Retaliation

43 Complaint Resolution and Grievance Procedure

44 Complaint Resolution and Grievance Procedures
Grievances shall consist of matters of disagreement arising out of the employer-employee relationship: where there is no applicable policy where there is deviation from policy where the policy is considered to be inappropriate

45 Complaint Resolution and Grievance Procedures
All disciplinary action may be subject to grievance, with the exception of corrective counseling and verbal warnings A decision not to renew a term employment contract or to terminate a probationary employee are not grievable matters, and are not subject to the procedure. 

46 Complaint Resolution and Grievance Procedures
Grievance procedures steps should clearly outline the chain of command and required deadlines for all participants - Examples: Verbally present grievance to supervisor   Submit grievance in writing to supervisor Supervisor provides written response Employee may appeal by submitting written grievance to the Mayor – Mayor review and respond Timeline / Deadlines are Key Provide copy of Policy to terminating employees

47 Offerdahl v. State of Montana Dept
Offerdahl v. State of Montana Dept. of NRC, 2002 MT 5 (January 15, 2001) Under the Montana Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act, employers have complete defense if they have a written grievance procedures, they provide a copy to the employee at time of termination, and the employee fails to follow the policy – this case upholds this aspect of the WDA. Court indicated that Oferdahl did not follow the guidelines under the grievance procedures.

48 Questions For The Group
Does your City or Town take grievances to mediation or arbitration? Pro’s and Con’s. Employee wants to grieve the disciplinary actions of their Supervisor who is the Mayor – How do you advice the employee, the Mayor, and the Council?

49 Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace Policy – Policies and Procedures

50 Drug and Alcohol Testing
Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace Policy Your city or town should review your need for a Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy. Template available from MMIA

51 Drug-Free Workplace Act
In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, (Title through 707, U.S.C. as amended), the city is committed to providing an alcohol-free and drug-free workplace. The city prohibits the unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, possession or use of a controlled substance or alcohol in the workplace or while conducting business.

52 Drug-Free Workplace Act
In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, (Title All employees must comply with this policy and notify the MAYOR/CITY MANAGER]and/or their designee in writing of any drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) days after such conviction. The MAYOR/CITY MANAGER and/or their designee is responsible for notifying the appropriate federal granting agency of the conviction when the employee involved is working on a federal grant or contract, within ten (10) days of learning of the conviction. Employees who violate this policy may be subject to disciplinary action.

53 D&A Testing Background
Montana legislature adopted the Workforce Drug and Alcohol Testing Act in 1997, no part of the act has been challenged up to the Montana Supreme Court level. Therefore, employers have no guidance as to whether the Montana Supreme Court will find the Act (in whole or in part) or the implementation of the Act, constitutional.

54 D&A Testing Background
Right to privacy issues are of concern If the policy is challenged, it will be a case of first impression and thus it is impossible to tell whether the Montana Supreme Court will uphold the constitutionality of the Act or its implementation.

55 Drug and Alcohol Testing
Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace Policy Review your need for a Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy Review positions that require CDL and the testing requirements Template available from MMIA

The City prohibits employees from using or being under the influence of alcohol or drugs during working hours, while conducting any City business, while on City property or while driving City vehicles. This Policy requiring certain drug and alcohol testing of certain employees will apply to all employees engaged in the performance of work, supervision, or management in a hazardous work environment, all employees holding positions involving matters of public safety, security, or fiduciary relationships, and all employees operating City vehicles.

Employees subject to testing are as follows: Individuals engaged in the performance, supervision, or management of work in a hazardous work environment, security position, position affecting public safety or fiduciary position for the City, and Individuals involved in the operation of commercial motor vehicles or revenue service vehicles These positions include the following categories of employees, job titles and job descriptions: Policy does not apply to independent contractors.

58 COMPLIANCE All eligible employees will be subject to urine drug testing and/or breath alcohol testing. Employees who refuse to comply with a request for testing, who provide false information, or who adulterate or substitute samples shall be removed immediately from duty, and will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Examples of an employee’s refusal to submit to the required test includes, but is not limited to, (1) a failure to provide an adequate urine specimen or breath sample without a valid medical explanation for the failure, (2) verbal declaration of refusal, (3) obstructive behavior resulting in an inability to conduct the test, or (4) physical absence at the scheduled testing time.

59 TYPES OF TESTING Reasonable Suspicion Testing Post‑Accident Testing
Random Testing: Testing of All Employees on a Date Certain & Periodic Random Testing Within a Calendar Year. Pre-employment Testing

60 Questions For The Group
New Mayor wants to perform drug and alcohol testing on everyone, feels it is his right and duty. What advice do you provide? The Mayor doesn’t tell you he/she has initiated testing and ends up firing the Administrative Assistant due to a positive drug test. What advice do you provide?

61 Key Personnel Policy Manual Disclaimers

62 Key Disclaimers The Personnel Policy Manual supersedes any previous written, or unwritten, personnel policies and/or manuals. The Personnel Policy Manual does not create a contract, express or implied, between the organization and the employee. The Personnel Policy Manual does not guarantee employment for any specific time period.

63 Key Disclaimers The PPM can only be changed in writing, by the Mayor/Council This PPM can be changed by the organization unilaterally, at any time. The PPM is not all-inclusive, and is only a set of employment guidelines.

64 I’ve put my manual together, now what?
Be comfortable with each policy Once adopted your policies must be followed Remember - you can change your mind! Make it simple to update and keep it updated Track updates clearly and consistently

65 I’ve put my manual together, now what?
Train employees and supervisors Don’t just throw it on the shelf Employees must acknowledge reading and understanding manual content Remember it is a “living” document subject to legislative rulings, industry norms, technological advancements, and changes in your city or town

This presentation is to be directed toward being that of a training session for your managers. It isn’t written to your managers, since you are the audience, but can easily be converted to use as a Supervisory/Management Training Session on Performance Evaluations - the How’s and Why’s

67 Job Description Development
Accurate Job Descriptions are critical to the success of a Municipality. Oftentimes Job Descriptions are left undone, or become quickly outdated. Becomes hard to identify truly what a person does – or is supposed to do. How to start – Templates available from MMIA and then do a Job Analysis. Find Job Analysis questionnaire.

68 What is a Job Analysis? Process to identify and determine in detail the particular job duties and requirements and the relative importance of these duties Analysis is conducted of the job, not the person End product is a job description not a description of the person

69 What Aspects of a Job Are Analyzed?
Relationships/Supervision given and received Exempt vs. Non-exempt Duties and tasks Environment Tools and Equipment Knowledge Skills Abilities (KSA’s) Essential functions and/or duties

70 How are these aspects analyzed?
Methods of Job Analysis Observation Desk Audits Individual or group interviews Questionnaire Employee logs Revising/reviewing existing job descriptions

71 Job Descriptions Are Useful Because….
Identifying training needs Recruitment & Selection Compensation Performance Evaluation Corrective Action / Discipline Organizational redesign/staffing issues Strategic Planning Describe physical needs of various positions to avoid discrimination complaints

This presentation is to be directed toward being that of a training session for your managers. It isn’t written to your managers, since you are the audience, but can easily be converted to use as a Supervisory/Management Training Session on Performance Evaluations - the How’s and Why’s

73 What to Call it? Performance Evaluation Performance Appraisal
Performance Review Annual Review Job Performance Review Job Performance Evaluation Annual Performance Discussion Personnel Evaluations First of all, let’s deal with semantics………………….some people get tripped up by this, all of these are the same - but each of your organizations may have a different name for the tool that evaluates employee performance at year end. I will generally call it Performance Evaluation, but may also call it a review or appraisal - all throw backs to different organizations I have worked in. At the same time, I will refer to supervisors and managers interchangeably - and I know in different organizations, there is a big distinction, but for the next hour or so, they are one in the same…………..OKAY.

74 Sound Familiar? “Why do you keep nagging me to document performance problems - I do an annual review!” “I don’t have the time to do these personnel evaluations - they are just a waste of time anyway.” “I don’t like talking to people about their performance.” It seems when we talk to managers/supervisors about getting performance evaluations written, these are some of the reactions we get………………………and it shows in how much time they spend in finally doing them. They just don’t see them as a priority. Hopefully some of this material today, will help you instill in them the importance of doing solid, truthful, performance evaluations.

75 Why Supervisors Should Care
Faster resolution of employee problems Chance to identify misunderstandings Communicate expectations to employees and update job descriptions Opportunity for employee to ask questions/for manager to ask employee questions Easier corrective action I guess, if we are going to get managers to care, we need to tell them WHAT IS IN IT FOR THEM: I spend the time to explain to them how they can actually make their life easier if they spell out employee problems in performance - truthfully, factually (not brutally) but factually, and then explain what they want for performance. Terminations go immensely easier if supervisors have been honest in evaluations in the past. Most supervisors can’t see this far ahead, so I make sure that when I get the opportunity, I show them how well it worked for someone else, or have them talk with that manager who will generally be a survivor of some situation that they are grateful that they listened to HR’s advice……………or worse yet a survivor of a situation where they didn’t listen to what they were told, and it was brutal for them to get through the termination. I talk to them about how their good documentation in performance evaluations can generally save them from going to litigation which is not pleasant - although some make think it is exciting, until they experience it.

76 Performance Evaluation Documents Should….
Use plain non-technical language Be performed consistently Record important facts clearly and objectively Memorialize the basis for the employment decision Avoid extreme or conclusory language It happens that employees will refuse to sign anything………………out of principal, just beligerance, or maybe just to be contrary. Remind them that it is only saying that they received it and if they still won’t sign, just tell them that you are writing on it that they refused to sign and yet you have seen the evaluation.

77 Performance Evaluation Documents Should….
Be specific and based on verifiable facts or measurable goals Be dated and clearly identify the author Be signed and dated by the employee Be based on an accurate Job description It happens that employees will refuse to sign anything………………out of principal, just beligerance, or maybe just to be contrary. Remind them that it is only saying that they received it and if they still won’t sign, just tell them that you are writing on it that they refused to sign and yet you have seen the evaluation.

78 Evaluate without Fear Only evaluate those areas that are necessary for effective job performance Communicate clear job standards so employee know how to get top ratings Document problems when they occur so that you can references these records Be honest What points can you praise employee for? What areas do you want the employee to improve in? Can you support the evaluation with hard facts? Don’t go into evaluating personal life……………………….for instance you might have an employee that has five thousand problems in life such as both parents have had emergency surgeries, spouse had a heart attack, daughter is disabled and needs to go to a group home, other daughter is getting married, brother in law dies……………………..all in just over 8 months. And this employee is the drama queen of drama queens. Only look at what has been the performance of this individual. If they have been able to keep up at work in spite of all of these issues, then that is what you focus on. It is also important to tell employees how to get top ratings so that they can strive to meet that. The annual review is a good time to use all of the documentation for the year on problems - and write these into the appraisal so that it is another record. It doesn’t mean that you have to hammer on the employee again, but give a clear picture of the year.

79 Performance Evaluations Make Corrective Actions Easier
Improves managers recollection of the events Enhances managers credibility for accuracy Provides confidence that the manager is organized, responsible and fair Objective evidence of performance problems Remember, litigation can take years to come to court…………….and I don’t know about all of you, but at my age and with the speed of changeover of employees these days, I am not sure that I could remember everything very well if it weren’t documented. If the manager can show that they are accurate and credible, they will be light years ahead on the witness stand. I was in a case when I worked for a grocery wholesaler. The performance of the plaintiff was marginal all along, but since she was one of two women, the warehouse supervisors just gave her an okay rating each time and never wrote her up for excessive absenteeism and for not getting the required amount of work done. When she sued in court on an Equal Pay Claim, she indicated that her performance appraisals were as strong as the “men” in the warehouse and were even the same areas being rated, which she felt showed that she did the same job. Her attorney took this case on a contingency, because with all of the turnover in supervision, and the shoddy performance appraisals over the year, they were bound to win. It will show that the manager is organized, responsible and fair to all, as surely other performance evaluations will be pulled for the litigation.

80 Performance Evaluations Make Corrective Action Easier
Non-discriminatory, business-related concern Employee may self-select and resign Documentation deters litigation Employee know you have evidence to help win a case Less attractive for plaintiff’s counsel to accept a contingent fee case I know that when you first read this heading, it is a little alarming that an HR person is talking about Performance Evaluations and using them to make Terminations easier, so you need to make sure that you frame this in the right context when you talk to your supervisory/management staff. If performance is well documented, and performance deficiencies are well documented, it has been my experience that employees will often self select and resign rather than be terminated. They have either chosen not to perform up to the expectations, or they have determined that they CAN’T. Only two reasons that employees don’t do their jobs: CAN’T or WON’t

81 In Summary: Evaluations are Your Greatest Defense When:
They offer clear documentation of performance written proof of logic, business necessity and equity They are consistent use both mitigating or enhancing criteria They are candid and truthful Jensen v. Hewlett-Packard (1993) They must offer clear documentation of the performance, with as much clarifying information as possible. They should be consistently written - not skewed by factors such as gender, age, etc. They should list any special information on mitigating or enhancing criteria, like explaining how well a project went, or how poorly a project went - by going into detail, like cost overages, lack of documentation for events in the project, communication problems, etc. The case listed here was very interesting in shows that just because the employee doesn’t agree with the appraisal, doesn’t mean it won’t hold up in court.

82 Potential Consequences of an Improper Evaluation
Defamation Retaliation under Title VII or ADA Interference with prospective economic advantage Poor morale Disrespect for management It is defaming the individual to have an evaluation that may allude to areas of the employee’s performance or even personal life that are not accurately stated such as: Never stray from the truth into personal opinion. In a case where the employee on the job just 5 short week, The employee was fired for “poor performance” despite his supervisor assuring him that he was coming along just fine. The courts stated that the employee’s “poor performance” as the company stated in the termination letter was way too weak to be written up. When an investigation occurred, the supervisor said that there were no grounds for termination - the employee had a great deal of enthusiasm and potential, but tht the firing authority had used secondhand information obtained through the company grapevine. Retailiation under Title VII or ADA are common areas of concern……lower ratings for an individual with a disability Lower evaluations can cause employees to not get raises or bonuses Poor morale is caused by this inaccurate appraisal - employee feels duped and is really helpless to do anything about it. Disrespect for management is the outcome of all of these……………no trust

83 Employment Practices Liability Coverage (EPLC)

84 Employment Practices Liability Coverage From MMIA
As a member of MMIA’s Liability program you are eligible to join the EPLC coverage at no charge. Currently, the Memorandum of Liability Coverage excludes certain employment practices. The EPLC coverage will expand your liability coverage to include defense costs for wrongful employment practices claims.

85 Wrongful Employment Means the actual or alleged: wrongful employment termination, unlawful discrimination, sexual harassment, Civil Rights violation, and/or workplace torts. The employment practices liability coverage does not extend to indemnification or penalties under State or Federal provisions and does not include collective bargaining or Union grievance procedure issues, including union negotiations.

86 Who Has This Coverage 41 municipalities have received the EPLC Endorsement MMIA will come on-site to meet with staff, work with Council Members, and explain the EPLC Endorsement process Underwriting Criteria do not “require” a specific manual. This allows the City or Town to develop a customized PPM.

87 The EPLC Review Process
MMIA will start by reviewing your personnel policy/procedures manual, job descriptions, and employment application against MMIA’s underwriting criteria (provided). MMIA will provide a formal review letter indicating what items may need to be updated and/or edited and provide samples. Items that need to be sent include: PPM, Employment Application, Sample Job Descriptions, standardized Interview Questions (if used)

88 EPLC Assistance If your city or town needs a personnel policy manual, job descriptions, or an employment application, MMIA can provide you with a template to review and make your own. All policies and procedures should be reviewed with your City Attorney prior to adoption.

89 Human Resource Best Practices Part II - Corrective Action
Presented by John M. Cummings, PHR Personnel Director Employment Practices Specialist Montana Municipal Insurance Authority

90 Corrective Action and Discipline
A properly designed Corrective Action and Discipline Policy will help ensure that all managers and supervisors follow the same course of action when working with employees. Key Areas: Timeliness, Consistency, Accuracy, and Documentation

91 Corrective Action and Discipline -Important Disclaimer-
Each of the following disciplinary actions is independent of the other and will not necessarily be applied in the order listed. For example, depending on the severity of the offense, an employee may be terminated or suspended without having been warned or counseled, or may be terminated without having been placed on probation or suspended.

92 Corrective Action and Discipline
For Non-Probationary Employees: Corrective Counseling (optional) Oral Reprimand Written Reprimand Suspension (with or without pay) Disciplinary Demotion (optional) Termination

93 Corrective Action and Discipline
As you enter into Corrective Action: Clearly explain to the employee that this is a specific action in the City’s Corrective Action/Disciplinary Policy Clearly explain where they are at in the corrective action process Do not label the Steps “Step 1…”

94 Corrective Action and Discipline
Corrective counseling is a straightforward discussion with an employee about matters deemed to be a problem with work related performance or behaviors Document, file, and provide a copy for the employee

95 Corrective Action and Discipline
An Oral Reprimand may be given to employee for job-related reason Fully explain and discuss the nature of the problem Provide a plan of improvement. Document, file, and provide a copy for the employee

96 Corrective Action and Discipline
Written Reprimand is similar to the verbal warning and must contain a description of the specific conduct for which the employee is being warned, how to correct the problem, and consequences if problem is not corrected Document, file, and provide a copy for the employee

97 Corrective Action and Discipline
Suspension may be with or without pay and may result in dismissal or reinstatement with or without back pay; however, exempt employees may be suspended without pay only for a period of one or more weeks. Provide an opportunity to conduct an investigation.

98 Corrective Action and Discipline
Disciplinary demotion for job-related reasons. The terms of a disciplinary demotion must be in writing, and must contain a description of the specific conduct or reasons for which the employee is being demoted. If appropriate, a disciplinary demotion may include a plan of improvement.

99 Corrective Action and Discipline
An employee may be terminated for job-related reasons. Notice of a termination must be in writing and must contain a statement of the reasons for the termination. A copy of the notice must be given to the employee, and will be placed in the employee’s personnel file. Provide employee with copy of Grievance Policy.

100 Questions

101 Corrective Action and Discipline
Examples from your community? Job Performance… Always late to work… Frequently absent… Verbally abusive… Physical altercation… Drug and/or alcohol use… Off the job behavior… Stealing… Others…

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