H. PERSONNEL POLICY
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
All references to employees in these policies designate both sexes; and wherever the male gender is used, it shall be construed to include male and female employees.
It is the policy of the library to consider each application for employment on the basis of the applicant's qualifications for the job without regard to race, color, creed, sex, age, military or veteran status, disability, national origin or any other protected status. All employees will be given equal consideration with the opportunity to progress within the service without regard to race, creed, color, age, military or veteran status, disability, national origin or any other protected status.
SPECIFIC CONDUCT AND RESPONSIBILITY
Employees shall be courteous, considerate and prompt in dealing with and serving the public and shall conduct themselves in a matter that will not bring discredit or embarrassment to themselves and to the library. Employees shall observe the applicable laws and regulations governing participation in political activities and conflict of interest, and shall not discriminate upon the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, age, disability or sex. Employees shall economically utilize, protect and conserve the property of the library entrusted to them. Employees shall conduct all their official activities in a matter which is above reproach and free from any indiscretions. Employees shall not engage in outside or other employment or other outside activities that are not compatible with the full and proper discharge of library duties and responsibilities in an acceptable manner.
The library will not tolerate any type of harassment of employees, applicants for employment, or library clients. The term harassment includes slurs, jokes, and other inappropriate verbal or physical conduct relating to a person’s gender, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, age, disability, military or veteran status or any other protected classification that unreasonably interferes with a person’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile environment.
Sexually harassing behavior includes unwelcome conduct such as sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, offensive touching, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. Such conduct may constitute sexual harassment when it:
• is made an explicit or implicit condition of employment
• is used as the basis for employment decisions
• unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance, or
• creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
The types of conduct covered by this policy include:
• repeated sexual flirtations, advances or propositions
• continued and repeated verbal abuse of a sexual nature, sexually related comments and joking, graphic or degrading comments about an employee’s appearance or displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures including cartoons and vulgar e-mail messages, and
• any uninvited physical contact or touching, such as patting, pinching or repeated brushing against a person’s body.
The library will also endeavor to protect employees, to the extent possible, from harassment by non-employees, including library clients, vendors, and suppliers.
Any employee who wishes to report a possible incident of harassment should immediately report the matter to his or her immediate supervisor. The failure to make a timely report of harassment may be a factor used in determining the merits of the allegation. If the employee’s immediate supervisor is not available, or if the employee believes it would be inappropriate to contact that person for any reason, the employee should contact the Regional Librarian.
The library will conduct a prompt investigation as confidentially as possible under the circumstances. Employees who raise concerns and make reports in good faith can do so without fear of reprisal; at the same time, employees have an obligation to cooperate with the library in enforcing this policy and investigating and remedying complaints.
The library will not tolerate retaliation against any employee who, in good faith, makes a harassment complaint or cooperates in the investigation of a complaint.
Any employee found to have engaged in any wrongful behavior under this policy, including retaliatory behavior, will be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including termination.
Computer Usage, Internet Usage, and e-Mail Privileges
Computers and access to the internet and e-mail are considered resources of the library and are intended to be used for library purposes only. Employees should have no expectation of privacy when using these resources for library-related or personal reasons, and should not use the library’s computer systems to transmit any messages or to access any information that they would not want a third party to hear or see.
All data that may exist at any time on the library’s computer system is considered the exclusive property of the library. The library may, from time to time and without notice, inspect the library’s computers to determine if this policy or any other policies of the library have been violated.
TYPES OF APPOINTMENT Extra Help: Extra Help Employees are those employees who work fewer than 15 hours per week and work on a seasonal or flexible schedule. Such employees will be enrolled for Social Security and Medicare only and are not entitled to vacation, holiday or sick leave.
All employees are non-exempt employees and are paid on an hourly basis.
Each permanent employee is issued a key to the library. The key is to be used only to enter the facility for work. Employees are to safeguard the key and the premises and ensure that when they are the last person to exit the building that all doors are locked. The employee should report a missing key as soon as possible to the Director or their supervisor. Upon resignation or termination, employees are required to turn in their key.
CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR STAFF
The Cross County Library encourages all staff to continually add to their personal knowledge and job proficiency through ongoing education.
The following educational endeavors are supported:
If the training requires travel, staff shall be reimbursed at the current “IRS Standard Mileage Rate” if a personal vehicle is used. If there are meal costs associated with attending the required training, the employee shall be reimbursed for meals. Receipts are required for travel and meal reimbursements. Expenses are not to exceed the current federally published “Domestic Per Diem Rates”.
Tuition Standards are met.
The Regional Librarian must recommend tuition reimbursement to the Board of Trustees for approval.
Master of Library Science degree - The library supports the Arkansas State Library Education Program which pays for Master of Library Science graduate-level tuition after the first 12 hours of coursework from an American Library Association accredited school is completed. The Cross County Library will pay for the first twelve hours of tuition that is not covered by the State program if the Tuition Standards are met.
The Sponsorship and payment of continuing education for staff are dependent on available funds. Educational endeavors must be approved by the Regional Librarian.
EMPLOYEE ADVANCEMENT AND PERFORMANCE
Employees will be evaluated yearly. All salary increases and promotions will be dependent upon the availability of funds in the library's budget. New positions will be approved by the Library Board.
An employee filling a vacancy will serve a probationary period. NO appointment may be considered as full-time until the probationary period is completed. The probationary period shall be utilized for the most effective adjustment of the new employee and for the elimination of any employee whose performance does not, in the judgment of the Regional Librarian, meet the required standard of performance.
Duration: A new employee hired to fill a vacancy will be on probation for a period of twelve (12) months worked from the date of hire during which time the employee may be terminated for any reason. The Regional Librarian shall evaluate probationary employees within the last thirty (30) days of the probationary period. The Regional Librarian shall communicate to the employee as to whether or not the employee will be placed on full-time status, part-time status, or terminated. Should the recommendation be termination, a written report must include the reason for such action and must be signed by the Regional Librarian and a copy thereof delivered to the employee either personally or by certified mail.
An employee awarded a vacancy by promotion, transfer, or other action shall be on probation in the new assignment for a period of ninety (90) days worked. Within that time the employee may be reassigned by the Regional Librarian of the employee who does not meet the requirements of the position. In such a case, the employee shall be returned to his former position or a similar position.
SEPARATION, TERMINATION, AND DISCIPLINARY POLICIES
General Provisions: Employees are hired on an at-will basis.
Employees may terminate his/her employment at any time, for any reason.
Layoffs: The Library Board may lay off an employee whenever it is necessary by reason of shortage of funds or work, or by reason of a bona fide abolishment of/or change duties of a position, or when the department is reorganized and the need for the position is eliminated.
When a layoff is deemed necessary by the Regional Librarian, the Regional Librarian will establish the order of preference of layoff for as many employees as are to be separated. No full-time employee with regular (non-probationary) status is to be separated by layoff while there is extra help or probationary employees serving in the department in the same or equal or lower-level position for which such full-time, regular status employee or employees are qualified and available for reassignment.
In determining the order of layoff of employees with permanent status, the Regional Librarian may consider on a consistent and equitable basis such factors as qualifications, performance, appraisals, work record, conduct, and seniority.
All employees are required to keep an accurate accounting of their time worked and any sick, holiday, or vacation time used. Working “off-the-clock” is prohibited.
Employees will be paid 26 times per year using a bi-weekly payroll schedule. Biweekly timesheets are due to the employee’s supervisor or the Regional Librarian no later than noon on Monday after the end of the pay period. Employees will be paid within the week that the timesheets are turned in.
HOURS OF WORK
Lunch Period and Rest Breaks: Unless otherwise stated and wherever possible, an unpaid lunch period of one (1) hour will be scheduled during each workday and a paid rest period of fifteen (15) minutes will be granted during each four (4) hour work period. The time of each break will be determined by the Regional Librarian or Supervisor and will be, as nearly as practical, near the middle of the work period.
Overtime: No employee shall work overtime for which compensation is to be paid unless previously approved by the Director.
Retirement: All Full-Time employees are enrolled in the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS). APERS is a multi-employer defined benefit plan. To receive benefits, employees and employers must contribute funds.
Health Insurance: The Cross County Library provides health insurance for Full-Time employees until the time the employee is eligible for Medicare.
Upon retirement or termination, employees are eligible to continue health insurance coverage per the guidelines of COBRA and are responsible for paying the health insurance premiums.
The library reserves the right to change or amend the levels of insurance coverage provided in order to reduce or control the cost of premiums.
Holidays: The following are scheduled holidays in which the libraries are closed. Full Time and Part Time employees will be paid at their regular rate for holidays.
1. New Year's Day
2. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
3. President's Day
4. Good Friday
5. Memorial Day
6. Independence Day
7. Labor Day
8. Thanksgiving Day
9. Christmas Day
10. Employee’s birthday (to be taken anytime on or after their birthday)
11. Three (3) other days as designated by the Regional Librarian.
If any of the paid holidays should fall on a Saturday, it will be observed on the preceding Friday, and if any should fall on a Sunday, it will be observed on the following Monday.
Employees Full Time and Part Time employees must work the last regularly scheduled day before and the first regularly scheduled day after the holiday unless otherwise excused by the Regional Librarian. If on vacation at the time of the holiday, the day shall not be charged against vacation time
Leaves of Absence in General: Anytime an employee needs to take a leave of absence, for any reason, the employee should notify his or her supervisor as soon as practicable for scheduling purposes unless otherwise noted in the specific leave policy. The failure to given appropriate notice may result in the delay or denial of approved leave.
Annual Leave or Vacation:
Annual leave or vacation for Full Time Employees is calculated as follows.
Years of Service
Hours Earned Per Month
Hours per Year
Through 3 years
3 through 5 years
5 though 12 years
12 through 20 years
Over 20 years
Full-Time employees shall earn vacation time for each month employed but shall not be entitled to take any vacation leave until after the completion of six (6) months of continuous employment. No employee shall be authorized to take any unearned leave.
No employee shall be given annual leave in excess of their accumulated amount. No annual leave with pay may be accumulated from year to year unless the accumulation is for special circumstances that are approved by the Regional Librarian.
Vacation leave will be scheduled at times which will not interfere with the work requirements of the library. In case of conflicts in scheduling, employee's seniority shall prevail. An employee having once made the choice may change the date of his annual leave only if convenient to the Regional Librarian and the employee is able to arrange an exchange with another employee.
Administrative Leave: This leave is granted at the discretion of the Library Board.
Sick Leave: All full-time and part-time employees shall be eligible to take sick leave after one month of continuous service. Extra Help employees are not eligible. Sick leave with pay is authorized at the rate of one (1) day per month. Employees who are absent from work on sick leave shall notify the Regional Librarian of the reason for the absence not later than one (1) hour after the designated reporting time for work. Absences chargeable as sick leave in excess of a three (3) day period shall be supported by written medical verification. When sick leave is used four or more times per month consecutively, medical verification may be required.
An employee whose medical leave use is extensive may be required to provide certification for all absences. Abusive (fraudulent) use of sick leave could be cause for discipline up to and including discharge. Abusive use of sick leave includes using sick leave when the employee or family member is not, in fact, sick, failing to follow the proper procedures for requesting sick leave and failing to provide medical verification when required.
Sick Leave is authorized for the following purposes and no other:
1. Illness of an employee to a degree sufficient to prevent his normal duties on the job.
2. Medical treatment, hospitalization, or convalescence.
3. Medical, dental, or optical examinations.
4. Other medical reasons recommended in writing by the attending physician.
5. Required care of a member of an employee's immediate family.
6. To prevent the spreading of a contagious disease or illness to other employees and/or the public.
Parental Leave: A permanent employee who becomes a new parent through the birth of a biological child, or adoption of a child shall receive Parental Leave.
An employee who is pregnant shall receive four weeks of paid leave including prior to or after delivery, and her position shall be available to her upon her return up to six months within the first year of the child’s birth. Should the employee have sick leave available, she may choose to use it prior to delivery or during her recovery period, provided her physician has ascertained she should not return to work. Further, an employee whose spouse delivers a baby shall receive four weeks of paid leave and is also entitled to six months of leave without pay, during the first year after birth, and his position shall be available upon his return.
Adoptive parents shall receive four weeks of paid leave and are allowed six months leave without pay, during the year following adoption, and their position shall be available upon their return.
Should any employee, for any reason, require additional time off beyond six months, the Cross County Library does not guarantee they will be able to return to their previous position. Further, any time beyond six months must be approved by the Regional Librarian.
Funeral Leave: Prior approval must be secured from the Regional Librarian before leave of absence will be granted for funeral services, arrangements, or obligations.
Five (5) day paid leave may be granted in the case of death in the immediate family of the employee or the employee's spouse. Immediate family is the employee’s parent, stepparent, spouse, child, stepchild, sibling by birth or adoption, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent, grandparent-in-law or grandchild or spouse’s parent or grandparent. Additional necessary leave may be counted as sick leave or vacation, or a leave of absence may be granted.
Up to one (1) day, funeral leave may be granted to an employee serving as a pallbearer or attending the funeral of a close friend. Such determination shall be made by the Regional Librarian.
Jury Duty: An employee who is required to report for jury duty shall be granted a leave of absence with pay for each scheduled day in which the employee serves on jury duty. An employee released from jury duty at a time which leaves one-half of the working day or more remaining must report for work as soon as possible after being released.
TERMINATION OF EMPLOYEES: All employees have job descriptions and are expected to perform the duties of their position.
A full-time employee, upon termination, shall be furnished with a written notice of termination that has been signed by the Chairman of the Library Board and a copy be filed with the employee's personnel file in the Regional Librarian's office. Such notice shall set forth the cause for termination in sufficient detail to indicate whether the employee was terminated for misconduct, incompetence or other causes relating to the employee personally.
Any wages due to any employee at the time of separation from the library shall be paid at his current rate. Terminated employees will not receive payment for unused vacation or sick hours.
The Regional Librarian may terminate any employee for any of the following reasons in this non-exhaustive list:
a. Fraud in securing appointment
b. Incompetence or poor performance
d. Improper attitude
e. Neglect of duty
g. Dishonesty, fraud or theft
h. Drunkenness while on duty or being impaired while on duty due to the misuse or abuse of illegal or prescription drugs
i Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment
j. Discourteous treatment of the public
k. Willful disobedience
l. Political activity while working
m. Misuse of government or library property
n. Misuse of sick leave benefits, including an employee using sick leave for a reason other than those stated. Failure to regularly attend work, or failure to notify the Regional Librarian of an upcoming absence.
p. Any other violation of the policies in this handbook
Nothing in this policy changes the at-will nature of employment.
Termination During Probationary Period. An employee may be terminated with or without cause at any time during the probationary period.
Resignation. Any employee shall have the right of resignation without prejudice provided the employee gives two (2) weeks' notice prior to the effective date of resignation. The penalty not to do so will result in forfeiture of employee's accrued vacation and sick pay.
A permanent employee who gives two weeks' notice will be entitled to compensation for accumulated sick leave of seventy-five percent of the first one hundred twenty days and fifty percent of the remaining days.
1. General Provisions: It is the right of the Library Board to establish reasonable policies and procedures regarding working practices and personal conduct of employees while in duty is recognized.
Apart from specific policies and procedures, the obligation of each employee to conduct himself in relation to his employment, to his fellow employees and the public in a manner that represents the persons and properties of others is recognized. If an employee engages in misconduct, he may be disciplined by oral reprimand, written warning, disciplinary layoff without pay (which shall be accompanied by a written warning), or termination of his employment. The severity of the discipline may be determined by the Regional Librarian taking into consideration the circumstances in the case, the seriousness of the offense, and the past record of the employee. It is recognized that repeated minor misconduct will, after warning, become a reason for termination. If any written record of employee misconduct is placed in an employee's personnel file, the employee will be given a copy. The employee will acknowledge receipt of the copy if so requested.
2. Written Warning or Reprimands. Written warnings or reprimands given to an employee shall remain in the employee's personnel file. In the event the warning or reprimand is placed in an employee's file and is determined through the grievance procedure, to not be justified by the facts, the warning will be removed from the employee's file.
The Library Board has established a grievance procedure through which employees may obtain consideration of grievances or problems in matters of which the Library Board has complete or partial jurisdiction and for which remedy is not provided elsewhere in these policies and procedures. The purpose of the grievance procedure is to afford employees a written and systematic means of obtaining further consideration of grievances after every reasonable effort has failed to resolve them through informal discussions initiated with their immediate supervisor. A grievance is defined as a dispute or disagreement about the meaning or the application of, or compliance with these employment policies and procedures.
Process: Any grievance which arises during the enforcement of these employment policies and procedures shall be processed through the following steps:
Step 1. Within two (2) working days after facts giving rise to the grievance occur and are known to the grievant, or reasonably should have been known, the matter should be discussed between the aggrieved employee and the Regional Librarian.
Step 2. If the difference is not resolved or accepted, the grievance may be reduced to writing, stating briefly the facts which are claimed to give rise to the grievance. The grievance must be signed by the aggrieved employee and filed with the Chairman of the Library Board within five (5) working days after the occurrence which gives rise to the grievance. At the next regularly scheduled board meeting after such an appeal is filed, the Director will discuss the grievance. The final answer will be written within ten (10) working days after the meeting the employee who filed the grievance shall receive a copy of the answer.
This grievance procedure does not alter the at-will nature of employment at the Library.