VERMILION COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Reviewed and Revised by:
Vermilion County Board of Health
Adopted: November 20, 2001
Effective: January 1, 2002
Revised July 20, 2010
1 INTRODUCTION AND ADMINISTRATION
1.01 STATEMENT OF POLICY: This manual has been provided for the employees of the Vermilion County Health Department to establish a systematic approach to administering the personnel policies and procedures adopted by the Vermilion County Board of Health. It is provided as a fundamental tool to communicate personnel policies and procedures and provides a single source of authority for reference and guidance. Unless exempted by county ordinance, Union Contracts, federal or state statute, all persons engaged in Vermilion County Health Department service are subject to these policies and procedures.
The Vermilion County Board recognizes that a personnel system that recruits and retains competent, dependable Health Department personnel is indispensable to an efficient department. To achieve this goal, the County Board has established an “Employee Relations Committee” responsible for developing and maintaining employee relations and the personnel policy for the county. The committee will be composed of at least an elected officeholder, appointed department head and three county employees, one being from the Vermilion Manor Nursing Home. It is understood that elected officials and appointed governing boards may establish a set of internal operating policies for the purpose of handling matters that are unique to the department concerned, but with a commitment to utilize the personnel policies of Vermilion County as a basic guideline.
This is not intended to create a contract of employment but is a policy and information guide to guide employees.
1.02 SOLICITATION POLICY: Vermilion County, by Ordinance #1022, has established rules restricting solicitation of individuals and distribution of materials on Vermilion County property. Vermilion County will continue to communicate official and administratively approved programs, such as United Way, etc.
Persons who are not employed by Vermilion County may not solicit or distribute literature or other material in Vermilion County buildings or on Vermilion County owned property for any purpose or at any time. All salespersons should be directed to the following individuals at the particular facilities:
Courthouse……………….Superintendent Building & Grounds
Courthouse Annex……….Human Resources Director
Public Safety Building……Vermilion County Sheriff
Nursing Home……….……Nursing Home Administrator
Health & Education….……Public Health Administrator
Highway Building………..Vermilion County Engineer
Employees may not post literature or other material in common areas of Vermilion County buildings or on Vermilion County owned property without prior approval from the Vermilion County Board Chairman, except that each office may maintain an area for such postings.
Employees may not sell, directly or indirectly, any item or service in Vermilion County buildings or on Vermilion County owned property, without prior approval from the administrative person responsible for that area.
1.03 AMENDMENT PROCEDURE: Recommendations for amendments to the personnel policies and procedures set forth in this manual may be submitted by employees of the Vermilion County Health Department. Employees should submit their proposed amendments to the Public Health Administrator. It is then the duty of the Public Health Administrator to submit the proposed amendment to the Board of Health for approval. The final authority for changes to the personnel policy will be that of the Vermilion County Board of Health
All recommended amendments should state specifically the section to be amended and offer the exact wording for the new section along with the expected effects of the resulting changes. The Public Health Administrator will see that the members of the Board of Health receive a copy of the amendment prior to the time the Board of Health is expected to act upon the matter. Any action taken by the Board of Health will become effective immediately, unless otherwise specified, but will not limit the opportunities for further amendments in accordance with these procedures.
The County Board Office, department heads, elected officials and EEO Officer are responsible for maintaining a current personnel policy and procedures manual with all revisions, deletions and additions. The County Board Office will forward a copy of all Board-approved policy changes to each department head/office-holder for insertion into the appropriate section of the manual. The old section(s) should be removed from the manual and the new section(s) added. In order to maintain consistency, care must be used in numbering new pages. If the new section has more pages than the old section, then the additional pages should be numbered –01, -02, -03, etc. For example, if the old section was completely on page 10 but the new section has three pages, then they would be numbered 10, 10-01. 10-02. On the other hand, if the new section has fewer pages than the old section, then blank pages with appropriate page numbers should be inserted.
The Vermilion County Board of Health shall maintain the Vermilion County Health Department Personnel Policies and Procedures in the same manner as described above.
1.04 ADMINISTRATIVE POLICIES: Due to the number and diversity of county departments and offices, flexible personnel administration is required. As a result, a department head/officeholder may establish a subsidiary set of general internal operating policies and procedures in order to accommodate the specific needs of the particular department or office. It is recognized that the nature of some departments either by law or the duties imposed may in fact require such individualized policies.
Any supplemental internal policies adopted and implemented by the Public Health Administrator shall comply with all local, state and federal laws and not place Vermilion County in legal liability.
2 EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT
2.02 POLICY: It is the policy of Vermilion County that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunities and, therefore, Vermilion County is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer. More specifically, there shall be no discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, religion, ancestry, marital status, age, sex, or physical or mental disability; it is required that the employee or applicant is qualified and meets the physical requirements necessary for the job. In all cases only qualified individuals shall be hired and the predetermined standards shall not be lowered in any way for employment or promotion; however, reasonable accommodations shall be made for persons with disabilities.
The responsibility for insuring that all phases of personnel administration are in accord with this policy has been assigned to the management (department heads, officeholders, agency administrators) of Vermilion County. It is management’s duty to apply this policy to all employees or applicants for employment according to the personnel guidelines and the Affirmative Action Program as adopted. Employees, as applicants for employment, when classified by the above noted criteria, who are members of a class disproportionately represented in the County’s work force, are referred to herein as “minority employees” or “minorities”.
3 AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAM
3.01 PURPOSE: This Affirmative Action Program has been developed as an expression of Vermilion County’s compliance with all laws, orders, rules, regulations and ordinances covering employees within the State of Illinois. The program is aimed at prevention of any practices of discrimination and the continuance and further development of employment practices that will facilitate full integration of the County’s work force. The goal of this Affirmative Action Program is to maintain staffing levels which are representative of the available labor force in the community.
Vermilion County’s Affirmative Action Program is an affirmative statement containing its employment policy and procedures which the Vermilion County Health Department HR liaison, in coordination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Officer of the County, will implement to assure proper utilization of members of minority classes of employees and to strive for increase in their employment whenever possible.
3.02 POLICY STATEMENT: Vermilion County is an equal opportunity employer. The hiring of employees and promotions are carried out in accordance with all laws, orders, ordinances, rules and regulations of all governmental units having jurisdiction with respect to employment policies, to provide employment opportunities without regard to race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin or ancestry.
The relationship between the employee and the County shall be based solely upon the basis of the individual’s ability, performance, attitude, effort and responsibility and other work-related criteria. This policy shall be extended to practices regarding recruiting, hiring, training, promotion, rates of pay, in fact all terms and conditions under which the employee works.
The Vermilion County Affirmative Action Program shall be administered by the HR liaison, in coordination with the EEO Officer, under the direction of the County Board Personnel Committee. The Affirmative Action Program shall be implemented in all cases including, but not limited to, employment, promotion, demotion, grievances, transfer, testing, advertising, layoff, rates of pay or other forms of compensation and selection for training.
3.03 POLICY COMMUNICATION
3.03.01 Internal Notification. Vermilion County’s policy of equal employment shall be made known to the employees through appropriate communications. It shall be the policy of the County to communicate to the employees and the public the County’s obligation to comply with all civil rights, laws, rules and regulations. Department heads, officeholders and agency administrators of Vermilion County shall inform applicants and employees of their rights and right, under the law, to notify appropriate agencies if any act of discrimination occurs.
3.03.02 External Notification. Vermilion County shall in an effort to make its policy known, contact leaders of community organizations, educational facilities, federal and state agencies and all others interested in providing equal employment opportunities. These sources shall also be used to promote and solicit applicants for the positions that become open from time to time.
Vermilion County shall, as required by law, inform all of the organizations that provide goods or services to the County of its policies and include in all purchase orders, contracts and other documents an equal opportunity clause.
3.04 IMPLEMENTATION: Vermilion County, by resolution, assigned the duties of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Officer to the Human Resources Director under the authority of the Vermilion County Board Personnel Committee. The EEO Officer shall ensure that periodic reviews and updating takes place consistent with current laws, rules, regulations and ordinances as they may be passed. The EEO Officer shall be responsible for the plan and overall principle to provide that the County reaches its stated objectives.
The County shall, from time to time, require the employment of individuals to satisfy organizational work force needs. To actively provide for equal opportunity for all interested parties, the following steps will be taken:
3.04.01 Recruitment. Communication shall be established and maintained with federal and state agencies and community civic and social agencies to encourage applications from minority workers. To facilitate periodic audits of the applicant activity, records shall be maintained on the applications received, their handling and disposition by the EEO Officer. At all times, written applications shall be taken from all applicants whenever they desire to file an application of employment with the county whether there are vacancies or not. Applications accepted at the Vermilion County Health Department shall be kept active in the administrative office of the Health Department for one year so that vacancies, as they occur, may be immediately reviewed and prior applicants can be considered and qualified persons contacted.
3.04.02 Selection. After observing the policies of equal opportunity recruitment, uniform hiring qualifications capable of objective evaluations shall be used and maintained for all occupational categories. The acceptance of all applicants for employment shall be the responsibility of the Public Health Administrator or designee. Actual position placement shall be the responsibility of the Public Health Administrator. All applicants shall be advised of the results of their application for employment and of the Health Department’s acceptance criteria upon request.
All standards used in selection of employees shall realistically be related to the job and must be on file with the Vermilion County EEO Officer. Progression requirements shall also be job related and shall be applied in a non-discriminatory manner. All applicants shall be advised of the program requirements at the time they apply for a particular job. The Health Department’s selection process, including position description, job requirements, application forms, interview procedures, tests administered and validity, referral procedures, education certification, legislative requirements and final selection process shall be considered to ensure that at all times they remain consistent with the objectives of this program.
3.04.03 Transfers and Promotions. From time to time, the opportunity for promotion and/or transfer will occur; the Health Department is desirous of offering those opportunities to the County’s existing work force. Performance evaluations shall be completed annually at regular intervals for all Vermilion County Health Department employees to determine progress and position for advancement, promotion or transfer. Emphasis will be placed on giving promotional opportunity to all employees identified as having qualifications for advancement. There shall be no impediment causing discriminatory practices in promotional or transfer opportunities. Records shall be kept of the transfer and promotions of all employees. To ensure the effectiveness of this program and to identify any area that may require correction or modification, qualifications for all positions shall be kept current to ensure that they relate in a non-discriminatory and meaningful way to the work performed.
3.04.04 Training. To ensure that the Health Department has a work force that is efficient and effective, the Health Department desires to provide training and training opportunities to those employees as may be required for the employee’s upgrading and future advancement. If the employee obtains special on-the-job training or obtains, on his or her own initiative, additional training through vocational schools, correspondence schools or other off-the-job training programs, these efforts will be appropriately noted. The Health Department will encourage all employees to participate in these types of programs.
3.04.05 Facilities Integration. For any Health Department sponsored educational, recreational or other use of a facility, the policy reflected will be that the opportunity will be made available to all employees without regard to race, creed, religion, sex, age, national origin, and ancestry.
3.04.06 Reporting. The County will continue to comply with the requirements of appropriate laws, rules, regulations, and executive orders issued by governing governmental bodies and report compliance with the same as required.
In order to fulfill the annual reporting requirements of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Health Department shall submit affirmative action information to the Vermilion County EEO Officer and the Personnel Committee. Such information shall include:
1 A body of procedures, in writing, which analyzes the employment practices of the Health Department and which sets up goals, a timetable, and specific procedures to be implemented by the Health Department with good faith efforts for the correction of deficiencies in the employment of minority groups.
2 A brief analysis of sex and race of current personnel by job classification.
3 A brief statement of internal or external dissemination of personnel policy and/or affirmative action commitment.
4 Identification of problems, deficiencies by job classification and salary range.
5 Establishment of goals and objectives for correcting deficiencies, if any, in job classifications and a timetable for correction.
6 Suggestions for the execution of programs or procedures designed to eliminate problems and further designed to establish goals.
7 Method of auditing the Health Department to determine the effectiveness of programs in good faith.
8 Review of transfer and promotion practices within the Health Department to determine whether employees are being promoted on an equal basis.
9 Comparison of job duties and rates of compensation to ensure that the rates of compensation for similar jobs are equal.
10 A brief statement of policy and procedures for internal and external recruitment.
11 Suggestions for the execution of policy and procedures designed to eliminate discrimination.
12 Other information deemed necessary by the Vermilion County EEO Officer and the Personnel Committee.
13 Vermilion County shall maintain a current Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Program and copies of the program shall be available for dissemination to employees and other interested persons.
3.04.07 Compliance Review. The EEO Officer shall conduct compliance reviews of each department, office and agency. The EEO Officer shall inform all departments, offices and agencies, in a reasonable time, prior to the initiation of a compliance review. The EEO Officer shall inform each department, office or agency within 30 days of the findings and recommendations and shall forward a copy to the Personnel Committee.
3.04.08 Complaint Processing. Within 10 working days of the filing of a complaint, the EEO Officer shall notify the department head, agency head, or officeholder and the Personnel Committee. The notice will include the date, place and circumstances of the alleged unlawful practice. Notification of a schedule of review will be sent to the department, office or agency as far in advance as possible but at least 10 working days prior to the initiation of the investigation.
The EEO Officer shall receive all complaints of discrimination practices and shall recommend to the Personnel Committee sanctions necessary to correct a non-complying department, office or agency. The committee shall act on the EEO Officer’s recommendations as judged appropriate and proper and make recommendations to the full County Board for its action.
3.05 GOALS: The goal of this Affirmative Action Program is to maintain staffing levels in professional, labor, office, clerical and skill positions which are representative of the available labor force in the community. Employment shall be determined by prevailing needs. Employment openings shall be through attrition and growth requirements. Each and every new employee shall be hired on the basis of need only. All of the goals and objectives mentioned above shall be examined periodically to ascertain the effectiveness of this Affirmative Action Program in attaining equal opportunity goals and requirements.
3.06 VERMILION COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT (See County Policy)
3.07 SUMMARY STATEMENT: Vermilion County shall continue to ensure that its policy toward equal employment for all is stated in a positive manner and is clearly communicated to County personnel, other organizations and the public.
4 EMPLOYEE CLASSIFICATIONS
4.01 APPOINTED AND ELECTED OFFICIALS (See County Policy)
4.02 REGULAR, PART-TIME OR TEMPORARY
4.02.01 Regular. Full-time employment in an established job as specified in the organizational structure.
4.02.02 Part-Time. Employment in an established job requiring less than (7) seven hours per work day and not more than (28) twenty-eight hours per week.
4.02.03 Temporary. Employment in a job established for a specific project or period of time.
4.03 EXEMPT OR NONEXEMPT
4.03.01 Exempt. Employees not eligible for participation in a collective bargaining unit.
4.03.02 Non-Exempt. Employees eligible for participation in a collective bargaining unit.
4.04 PROBATIONARY PERIOD
All employees shall serve a probationary period designated to provide the opportunity to demonstrate ability, interest and skill. This probationary period will be no less than 90 calendar days and will apply to all new employees. All probationary employees shall receive at least one performance evaluation during their probationary period. If the probationary employee completes the probation period with uninterrupted employment and work performance is acceptable to the appropriate supervisor, then the probation will be lifted.
Probationary employees that are hired for regular full-time positions will be considered regular employees for the purpose of receiving holiday benefits. Current employees of the County who transfer inter-departmentally to a new position in County employment shall not be considered new employees for the purposes of pay, holidays, or other benefits, but shall otherwise be on a probationary status for 90 days as described and may be discharged from their job if they do not satisfactorily complete their probation.
5.01 PAYCHECKS: All employees are paid by check bi-weekly on Friday. If the regular payday falls on a holiday, then paychecks will be issued on the preceding day. Under no circumstances will an employee receive a paycheck in advance of payday. “Advances” or loans to employees which would be “secured” by future work by the employee are prohibited.
5.02 PAY RATES: Salary ranges and rates of pay for each Vermilion County Health Department job classification and promotional steps shall be reviewed and approved by the Vermilion County Board of Health. Increases shall be dependent upon the availability or allocation of adequate fiscal resources to the Vermilion County Health Department.
5.03 OVERTIME: For purposes of overtime calculations, the work week runs from Sunday through Saturday. Employee time in which work is occurring over 7 hours per day and 35 hours per week shall be considered as overtime. Any employee who works in excess of 35 hours per week will receive straight compensatory time (1:1) for overtime worked up to 40 hours per work week. Overtime incurred by any employee must be reviewed and approved by the Public Health Administrator or designee before payment will be made.
5.04 COMPENSATORY TIME: Overtime will be compensated at a rate of one to one (1:1) for time earned from 35 hours per given week to 40 hours per given week. Overtime earned beyond 40 hours in a given week will be compensated at a rate of one to one and one half (1:1.5). Employees will be allowed to accrue overtime. The employee may request compensatory time off but must get prior authorization from his/her supervisor or appropriate administrative personnel to take leave from regularly scheduled working hours or days. The Public Health Administrator shall be exempt from overtime compensation or accrual. All other Administrative staff will be allowed to accrue overtime as outlined above but only utilize the accrued overtime for time off. They are exempt from receiving either compensation or time off for accrued overtime upon termination of their employment.
5.05 EDUCATION AND TRAINING TIME: Any employee’s attendance at a professional conference, training session or educational seminar must be approved in advance. With proper approval, the employee will be compensated for educational/training time.
6 EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
6.01 ELIGIBILITY: All regular employees are entitled to the employee benefits of the Vermilion County Health Department. Part-time employees are eligible for vacation benefits only as outlined in 06.03.01. Reinstated employees are considered new employees. Temporary employees will only be eligible for holiday benefits until reclassified as regular employees. Employees who work in a qualifying position in excess of 600 hours in twelve months service must participate in the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.
6.02 HOLIDAYS: A list of holidays approved by the County Board will be distributed to all employees of the Vermilion County Health Department by December of each year. Due to the nature of the services provided by the Vermilion County Health Department, some employees may be required to work on a scheduled holiday. Employees who are assigned to work on a holiday will be awarded compensatory overtime equal to the amount of time they were required to work in addition to their holiday pay. In order to be eligible for holiday compensation, probationary employees and regular employees who have exhausted all benefit time are required to work their complete last regularly scheduled workday before the holiday and their first regularly scheduled day after the holiday, unless excused by the Public Health Administrator. (For those employees covered by union contracts they are referred to the terms of such contract.)
06.03 VACATION: All regular employees exempt from union participation are eligible for paid vacation according to the following schedule:
Completed Years Of Service
Paid Days per Anniversary Yr
Earned Rate per Month of Service
1 to 4
5 to 12
13 to 24
25 and up
All vacations must be earned before they can be taken. Vacations are earned on an employment anniversary basis. Vacation accrual shall be allowed at the discretion of the Public Health Administrator, but only on a single year basis. No vacation time should be allowed to be carried over for 2 consecutive years.
An employee whose employment is terminated for any reason will receive the applicable percentage of earned vacation rate per month, as indicated in above chart, based on length of service up to the date of termination. Employees working less than one year of service are not entitled to any vacation benefits.
All vacation time shall be scheduled with the department supervisor in advance. In all cases, vacation schedules are subject to the department supervisor approval.
06.03.01 Part Time Employees – All regularly scheduled part time exempt employees are eligible for vacation benefits pro-rated by the total number of hours they worked per year compared to the Vermilion County Health Department’s standard work year of 1820 hours. The individual vacation benefit shall be determined by pro-rating the regularly scheduled part time employees’ time worked. (ie. A part-time employee who works 1000 hours in his/her fourth year of employment would be eligible for 5 days of vacation, or 800 hours in his/her seventh year of employment would be eligible for 6 days of vacation.)
06.04 Personal Days: All regular employees are eligible for personal days off with pay according to the following procedures:
Full-time Employees hired prior to December 1 of any year will receive ten (10) personal days each year. Personal days are given in advance with the trust that an employee will complete a full year of employment with the Health Department. If a full year is not accrued then payment will be prorated based on the number of months of service.
Employees hired after December 1 will be entitled to personal day credit starting the month they were hired according to the following schedule:
Month of Hire Personal Days
Employees hired in October and November will be entitled to ten (10) personal days starting December 1.
Employees who terminate their employment with the Health Department will be entitled to personal days accrued from December 1 or date of hire, whichever comes first:
Months of Service Number Personal Days Accrued
Months of Number Personal
Service Days Accrued
Any personal days used during the year of termination will be deducted from the schedule above. If the employee used more days than accrued during the year of termination, the excess days will be deducted from the employee’s final paycheck at the current rate of pay.
06.04.01 Accounting of Personal Days. In order to receive payment or reimbursement for any unused personal days at the end of the fiscal year, the employee’s monthly attendance record must be on file in the office of the Financial Director. These records which are maintained by the Health Department will serve as the final authority for payment due for any unused personal days. If these records are not on file, no payment will be made to the employee. Payment shall be made as soon as practical at the end of the fiscal year. The annual reimbursement of unused personal days for all employees except the Public Health Administrator is funded by the County Board as it is for all other county employees. The annual reimbursement for personal days unused by the Public Health Administrator will be funded out of the salary-personnel line item in the Health Department budget.
06.05 GROUP LIFE INSURANCE: Each employee is eligible to join Vermilion County’s group life insurance plan on the first of the next month following date of hire. The County will assume the cost of life insurance for each employee. Additional detailed information concerning the life insurance plan is available in the Human Resource Director’s office.
06.06 RETIREMENT PLAN
06.06.01 Social Security. All employees, including part-time and temporary employees, are required by law to participate in the social security retirement plan.
06.06.02 Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF). All qualified employees are required to participate in the IMRF. In order to qualify, an employee must work either full time or part time (600 hours per year or 12 hours per week). IMRF benefits are in addition to those provided by social security. Informational pamphlets regarding IMRF are available in the County Board Human Resource Director’s office.
06.07 UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE AND WORKER’S COMPENSATION: These two employee benefits are paid for by Vermilion County as required by law. Additional information can be obtained from the County Board Human Resource Director’s office.
06.08 BREAK TIME: At the discretion of the supervisor, each employee shall be allowed two paid breaks of ten minutes each. These breaks are counted as work time. One of the two breaks will be taken during each half of the workday at a time not to conflict with the employee’s duties. The periods cannot be accumulated or combined and cannot be taken at the start or end of a workday. The supervisor shall determine when the employee may take a meal break. The meal break should be routinely one hour in length but shall be at least thirty minutes with no more than five hours of worked time without a meal break. If the supervisor requires an employee to take less than one hour for a meal break due to service needs of the department, the remainder of the meal break that is worked is paid time.
06.09 OVERTIME AUTHORIZATION: It is the policy of the Vermilion County Health Department to avoid, as much as possible, overtime work for its’ employees. However, when overtime work becomes a necessity, it will be a condition of employment and will be distributed as equally as possible. In the case of minimal overtime demands, the work will be assigned to the employee who regularly does the job on which the overtime occurs. These rules apply only in the absence of other rules or contract language.
06.09.01 Scheduled Overtime. Overtime requirements that are foreseeable and can be scheduled in advance will be distributed fairly and equitably to appropriate employees by the supervisor. The amount of overtime worked by each employee will be noted by the Public Health Administrator or designee. A permanent record of regularly scheduled overtime is documented on each employee’s payroll record form/time sheet.
If any employee is assigned overtime for a period that would conflict with the employee’s personal schedule, he/she may ask the supervisor for a change in overtime assignment. This change will be made, subject to the approval of the supervisor, if one of the following criteria is met:
a. The employee wishing to change finds another employee capable of performing the work who is willing to take the overtime assignment, or
b. The employee wishing to change asks the supervisor far enough in advance to allow for a schedule change to be made. This will be done only if the schedule change does not affect the performance of the overtime work.
06.09.02 Unscheduled Overtime. In the case of an emergency or unforeseen overtime, the assignment will go to the employee or employees who could best handle the situation under the circumstances involved. Unscheduled overtime will be assigned by the Public Health Administrator or designee and will not be subject to changes to suit personal schedules.
06.10 DISABILITY LEAVE: The County shall follow the Family and Medical Leave Act, Workers’ Compensation statutes and other applicable State and Federal regulations regarding leave, disability and illness.
Leave of Absence without Pay
Any employee of the Vermilion County Health Department who requires an extended leave of absence beyond the term of Family and Medical Leave, or for reasons not covered by any other provisions within the policy, may seek authorization from the Public Health Administrator.
The employee shall provide a written request stating the nature and expected duration of the leave of absence without pay to the Public Health Administrator, subject to the approval of the Board of Health. The period of leave may not exceed thirty (30) days unless an extension is approved by the Board of Health, but in no event shall exceed 90 days.
The primary consideration for all unpaid leave requests shall be in the best interests of the Vermilion County Health Department.
Employees on unpaid leave of absence do not accrue vacation, personal or holiday benefits for the period of leave of absence without pay.
06.11 MATERNITY LEAVE: A maternity leave of absence may be granted upon written request to the Public Health Administrator. IMRF is required to pay disability benefits for pregnancy in the same manner as other disabilities. One year’s participation in IMRF is required. Employees on pregnancy disability will not receive payment for the first 30 days of leave and will receive one-half pay from IMRF until their return to work. All persons on pregnancy disability must be on a disability leave of absence and will be paid disability payments for the period a physician states that physical impairment makes the employee unable to perform regularly assigned duties.
06.12 FUNERAL LEAVE: An employee may obtain a reasonable amount of time off with pay (not to exceed three days, depending on travel and funeral arrangements) in the event of a death in the immediate family. The employee’s immediate family is considered as listed below. Up to one day off with pay may be obtained for funeral leave for Other relatives as listed below.
All funeral leave must be approved by the Public Health Administrator or an Administrative representative on an individual case basis.
06.13 MILITARY LEAVE: Leave without pay will be granted to any employee to satisfy federal or state military obligations provided the employee returns to the job within 30 days of discharge. This leave shall not cause the employee to lose any vacation or personal days previously accumulated. Any employee required to satisfy reserve duty requirements will be allowed leave the same as for full military duty. In such cases, the employee shall notify the Public Health Administrator at the earliest possible date of reserve duty requirements for scheduling purposes
06.14 LEAVE WITH PAY: Approval for leave with pay may be obtained by a regular employee from the Public Health Administrator for performance of jury duty, emergency civil duty in connection with national defense, and for the purpose of voting if the polls are not open at least two hours before or after the employee’s scheduled work hours. If the employee receives any compensation for the performance of these duties, employment pay will be for the difference between what was received for the outside duties and what regular pay would be. In the case of jury duty or emergency civil duty, the employee will be expected to provide proof of participation before being paid.
06.15 SCHOOL VISITATION LEAVE POLICY: Vermilion County will comply with the School Visitation Rights Act of 1993 (Senate Bill 1075) effective July 1, 1993, which permits employed parents and guardians who are unable to meet with educators because of work conflict, the right to an allotment of time during the school year to attend necessary educational or behavioral conferences at the school(s) their children attend.
06.15.01 Eligibility. In order to receive the benefits of the Act, an employee must have performed services at least six (6) consecutive months immediately prior to requesting leave and must have worked an average number of hours per week equal to at least one-half the full-time equivalent position in his or her job classification. An individual is entitled to leave if he or she has worked an average of 20 hours per week during the six month preceding the time of the requests.
06.15.02 Coverage. Employees are entitled to a total of eight hours of leave time during the school year to attend school conferences or classroom activities related to the employee’s child, but only if the conference or classroom activities cannot be scheduled during non-work hours.
“Child” is defined in the Act as meaning a biological, adopted or foster child, a step-child, or a legal ward of an employee. In terms of grade levels, the child must be enrolled in a primary or secondary public or private school.
An otherwise eligible employee is entitled to leave if the child attends school in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky or Wisconsin.
06.15.03 Other Leave Requirements. In order to receive this leave, the employee must have first exhausted all accrued vacation leave, personal days, compensatory leave, and/or any other leave that may be granted to the employee, except sick leave and disability leave.
The leave available under the act can be unpaid leave, and Vermilion County Health Department cannot require an employee to make up the time taken.
An employee who takes such leave may request to make up the time on a different day or shift. The Vermilion County Health Department is required to make a “good faith effort” to permit an employee to make up the time taken. However, such requests may be denied if there is no “reasonable opportunity” to make up the time taken. A “reasonable opportunity” does not include the scheduling of make-up time in a manner which will require the payment of overtime wages.
06.15.04 Notice Requirement. Before arranging attendance at the conference or activity, the employee must provide the Vermilion County Health Department with a written request for leave at least seven (7) days in advance. In emergency situations, no more than 24 hour notice is required. In addition, the employee must consult with his/her immediate supervisor to schedule the leave, so as not to unduly disrupt the operations of the Vermilion County Health Department.
The Vermilion County Health Department reserves the right to deny leave to an employee if granting the leave will result in more than 5% of the departmental work force shift taking such leave at the same time.
06.15.05 Verification. Each school is obligated to provide a “Verification Form” to the attending parent. Failure of a parent or guardian to submit the verification form to the employee’s immediate supervisor within two (2) working days after the school visit may subject the employee to standard disciplinary procedures for unexcused absences from work.
06.16 AUTHORIZED LEAVE FOR PART OF A WORKING DAY: Exempt full-time employees shall be allowed compensated leave of less than one full day (7 hours) duration if they work any part of the day and find it necessary to request absence for a valid reason. Employees who have accrued compensatory overtime will be required to expend their compensatory overtime, personal days or vacation time before authorized compensated leave is approved by the Public Health Administrator or Administrative staff. The employee will be required to expend their available compensatory overtime or personal days before authorized compensated leave is approved.
7 HOURS OF WORK
07.01 PUNCTUALITY: Arriving early or leaving late for the employee’s own convenience will not be included in working time unless the employee performs duties for the Health Department during such periods and has the approval of their supervisor.
Any employee desiring to arrive late or leave early must secure prior approval from their supervisor. This time can be made up during the same pay period if approved by their supervisor or charged against compensatory time. If the time is not made up, the employee will not be paid for the time lost. In no case will makeup time be counted as overtime.
07.02 WORK WEEK: The work week for regular employees consists of 35 hours in the seven day period starting on Sunday and ending on Saturday. Usually 35 hours will be accumulated 7 hours per day for five out of the seven days. Any hours worked in excess of 35 hours per week will constitute overtime.
07.03 DAILY HOURS: The normal workday shall consist of seven (7) hours beginning at either 8:00 a.m. or 8:30 a.m. and ending at either 4:00 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. respectively with one hour allowed for a meal break. The employees in departments that staff evening hours will be assigned 7 hours of work, generally 11 or 11:30 to 7 or 7:30, respectively, with a meal break scheduled mid shift. Should an employee’s supervisor require an employee to take a thirty minute lunch to meet the service needs of the department, the employee will be compensated for the time that is worked.
07.04 EMPLOYEE PRESENCE: For the reasons of liability, employees may not leave their work facility or duty area during working hours without consent, unless on previous authorized Health Department business. However, employees may leave the work facility during their meal break.
8 ATTENDANCE CONTROL POLICY
08.01 SCOPE: All employees are covered by this policy.
Absences without cause are always subject to some evaluation under this policy. When an employee is absent without cause, that employee has flagrantly disregarded one of his or her basic obligations to the Vermilion County Health Department. According to the terms of this policy and procedure, this evaluation may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Absence with cause is further broken down into two additional categories.
08.01.01 Non-covered Absence for Cause. This type of absence is always for a reason that is acceptable to the Vermilion County Health Department. It is never counted towards the limits of this Attendance Control Policy. Examples of Non-covered Absences with cause that are not counted against an employee in determining if his or her absenteeism is excessive are, as follows:
Family Medical Leave (as defined by Family Medical Leave Act)
Jury or Civic Duty Leave
Accrued Compensatory Overtime
08.01.02 Covered Absence for Cause. Excessive employee absenteeism causes individual work performance deficiencies and disruption of individual and/or work group work flow and production. The Vermilion County Health Department is entitled to expect its’ employees to be reliably available to work as scheduled and assigned. An employee may be very capable of performing an assigned job but the job does not get done as expected if the employee is absent. If an employee has excessive absences, even if the absences are justifiable (for example, legitimate illness), the Vermilion County Health Department may be left with no alternative except the initiation of disciplinary action that could result in termination of employment. Examples of covered absences for cause are as follows:
Absence without pay
Medical leave (defined as leave for medical reasons or disability for employees who have not yet qualified for either FMLA or Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) leave or who have exhausted their FMLA and/or IMRF leave.)
08.02 RESPONSIBILITY: It is the responsibility of the Public Health Administrator or designee to prepare and maintain timely records and other documentation necessary for policy administration and to develop appropriate procedures for dealing with absenteeism.
When a reporting employee is absent from a normally scheduled workday or absent from accepted overtime assignment, that employee is required to report that absence.
When an employee knows if he/she will be absent, that absence should be reported as far in advance as practical, however, the report should not be less than twenty-four (24) hours before the actual absence from the normally scheduled workday or accepted overtime assignment. Absences should not be reported any later than one hour after the start of the normally scheduled workday or accepted overtime assignment.
The employee’s immediate supervisor shall receive the initial absence report, either at home, prior to work or at work within one hour of the time the employee is expected to work. If the employee is unable to directly contact his/her supervisor, he/she shall contact the member of the Administrative Staff that directs their supervisor to report his/her absence. The supervisor taking the report shall notify the affected department.
For each day of absence that is not a pre-approved leave of absence the reporting employee must report the absence. However, if a reporting employee knows, in advance, that an absence will last up to and including three (3) consecutive working days, only one “report-in” is necessary as long as the reporting employee gives that information to the reporting authority. If an absence is longer than three (3) consecutive working days, the reporting employee must report each consecutive absence daily after the third consecutive absence. Any consecutive absences of more than three (3) working days due to an illness or injury must be accompanied by a physician’s “return to work” release when the employee returns.
08.04 INFORMATION BASE: When a reporting employee “reports in” an absence, the following information must be given:
Employee’s reason(s) for absence, such as:
The date(s) of absence or absences
08.05 TIME LIMITS: A completed “Absentee Calendar” will be maintained for a period of twelve (12) months by the office of the Financial Director. All attendance records will be maintained for a minimum of five (5) years by the Vermilion County Health Department.
08.06.01 Excessive Absenteeism. Each absence is evaluated by counting the number of the absences recorded for the employee during the preceding six (6) months. Absenteeism shall be considered excessive if a regular employee has five or more absences in the sliding six (6) month period. Disciplinary action shall be initiated when the above established absenteeism limit has been exceeded upon the approval of the Public Health Administrator or duly appointed designee.
08.06.02 Counting Absences. For the purpose of this attendance policy, the number of “absences” (covered absences with cause and absences without cause) will be determined by the following method:
One workday or a series of consecutive workdays missed for the same reason will be counted as one absence.
Absence from an overtime assignment previously accepted will be treated in the same manner, using the same formula as an absence from regularly scheduled work.
Reporting for work more than 3.5 hours after scheduled starting time will be counted as one absence; tardiness of more than one but less than 3.5 hours will be counted as one-half absence.
Leaving work more than 3.5 hours before quitting time will be counted as one absence; leaving work one to 3.5 hours before quitting time will be counted as one-half absence.
Leaving work within 3.5 hours of quitting time for such events as dentist, doctor appointments and court appearances will not be counted as one-half absence, if written approval for such absence is requested and received at least 24 hours in advance.
An absence not reported within the specified period will be counted as one absence. A reported absence for a reason not satisfactory to the agency will be counted as one absence.
Tardiness will be counted in minutes the employee is absent after his or her assigned time to start work. Pay will be deducted for tardiness on the basis of fifteen (15) minute time blocks unless tardy time is approved for make up within the same twenty four (24) hours. For each fifteen (15) minute block or fraction thereof that an employee is tardy, one fourth (1/4) of his/her hourly pay will be withheld.
08.07 ACCESSIBILITY: To stay informed of their current attendance record, employees should contact the administrative office.
9 FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE POLICIES
09.01 FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE: Vermilion County provides its employees with benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (“FMLA”). The FMLA establishes a minimum labor standard to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of families through job-protected, unpaid leave.
09.01.01 Eligible Employees. To be eligible for FMLA leave benefits, an employee must:
Have worked for the County for at least 12 months before the leave request; and
Have worked 1,250 hours in the 12 months prior to a request for FMLA leave.
09.01.02 FMLA Leave. Eligible employees are entitled to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid FMLA leave during any 12 month period.
“Any 12 month period” means the 12 month period measured forward from the date an employee’s FMLA leave begins. For example, an employee would be entitled to 12 weeks of FMLA leave during the year beginning on the first date FMLA leave is taken; the next 12 month period would begin the first time FMLA leave is taken after completion of any previous 12 month period.
Employees may, but are not required to, use available paid days off, such as vacation days, personal days, Option II days (see Addendum) or compensatory time during FMLA leave. This allows an employee to choose whether to use paid days off for income during FMLA leave or to save those paid days for later use. Employees should request the use of paid days off when requesting FMLA leave. Rules for scheduling and use of paid days off when FMLA does not apply, remain in effect.
FMLA leave may be requested for any of the following reasons:
Birth of an employee’s child;
Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
To care for a child, spouse or parent with a serious health condition;
When the employee is unable to perform the functions of his/her position because of a serious health condition.
A “serious health condition” means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves:
Any period of incapacity or treatment in connection with or consequent to inpatient care (i.e. an overnight stay) in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; or
Any period of incapacity requiring absence from work, school, or other regular daily activities, of more than three calendar days, that also involves continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider; or
Continuing treatment by (or under the supervision of) a health care provider for a chronic or long-term health condition that, if not treated, would likely result in a period of incapacity of more than three calendar days; or
For a period of prenatal care
“Continuing treatment by a health care provider” means one or more of the following:
The employee or family member in question is treated two or more times for the injury or illness by a health care provider. Normally this would require visits to the health care provider or to a nurse or physician’s assistant under direct supervision of the health care provider.
The employee or family member is treated for the injury or illness two or more times by a provider of health care services (e.g. physical therapist) under orders of, or on referral by, a health care provider, or is treated for the injury of illness by a health care provider on at least one occasion which results in a regimen of continuing treatment under the supervision of the health care provider – for example, a course of medication or therapy – to resolve the health condition;
The employee or family member is under the continuing supervision of, but not necessarily being actively treated by, a health care provider due to a serious long-term or chronic disability which cannot be cured. Examples include persons with Alzheimer’s, persons who have suffered a severe stroke, or persons in the terminal stages of a disease who may not be receiving active medical treatment.
Voluntary cosmetic treatments (such as most treatments for orthodontia or acne) which are not medically necessary are not “serious health conditions” unless inpatient hospital treatment is required. Routine preventative physical examinations are excluded.
Medical certification is required when FMLA leave is claimed due to an employee’s serious medical condition, or to care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious medical condition (See section 09.01.04)
FMLA leave taken for the birth of a child, or for placement of a child for adoption or foster care, must be completed within one year of the birth or placement.
Contact the Human Resources Director for more information concerning qualifying events and availability of leave.
09.01.03 Employee Responsibilities. The following procedures apply to FMLA leave:
An employee intending to take FMLA leave must request FMLA leave by providing 30 days written notice if the need to take FMLA leave is foreseeable, and must make a reasonable effort to schedule FMLA leave so as not to disrupt departmental operations. If the need for FMLA leave is not foreseeable, the employee must request FMLA leave as soon as possible. A request for FMLA leave must indicate the qualifying reason for the request and the amount of time requested.
Employees electing to use paid days off during FMLA leave should request the same, in writing, when requesting FMLA leave, or as soon thereafter as possible.
Employees must provide medical certification of the serious health condition necessitating FMLA leave within 15 calendar days of a request for such certification (See Article 09.01.04).
Employees taking 10 or more consecutive days of FMLA leave due to a serious health condition may not return to work without providing medical certification of their ability to work (See Article 09.01.05).
Failure to return to work after FMLA leave (or any extension of FMLA leave will result in termination of employment, unless a leave of absence is granted or the absence is otherwise authorized.
Fraudulently obtaining FMLA leave shall be just cause for immediate termination.
09.01.04 Medical Certification. Medical certification is required when FMLA leave is for the employee’s serious health condition, or for the serious health condition of the employee’s child, spouse, or parent. Medical certification shall be provided by the employee on forms provided by the Human Resources Director within 15 calendar days of the Human Resource Director’s request for medical certification.
Re-certification may be requested by the Human Resources Director as provided by US Department of Labor regulations. Re-certification must be provided by the employee within 15 calendar days of the request.
09.01.05 Medical Certification of Ability to Resume Work. An employee who has taken 10 or more consecutive days of FMLA leave for the employee’s own serious health condition must provide medical certification of his/her ability to return to work on the form provided by the Human Resources Director. An employee may not return to work without providing the required medical certification.
09.01.06 Other Employment. Employees on FMLA leave who accept full-time employment while on leave shall be deemed to have voluntarily terminated their employment with the County, if such employment is inconsistent with the reason for which the FMLA leave was granted.
09.01.07 Employment and Benefits Protection. Employees who return from FMLA leave will be restored to the same or an equivalent position as provided in US Department of Labor regulations.
Taking FMLA leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefits accrued before the leave, nor does it entitle the employee to any right, benefit, or position of employment other than those to which the employee would have been entitled had the employee not taken the leave. For example, if the employee’s position would otherwise have been eliminated due to a reduction-in-force, the fact that the employee is on FMLA leave does not immunize the employee from displacement.
An employee enrolled in the County’s group health insurance program may elect to continue the health insurance coverage during periods of FMLA leave. The employee must make arrangements with the County Board Office to pay the appropriate employee contributions in a timely manner. When permitted by US Department of Labor regulations, the County may seek to recover contributions made by the County for the employee’s group health insurance premiums during FMLA leave.
09.01.08 Prohibited Coercion. It is unlawful for any employee to intimidate, threaten or coerce, or attempt to coerce, any other employees for the purpose of interfering with the employee’s right to job protected FMLA leave. The terms “intimidate, threaten or coerce” include promising to confer of conferring any benefit (such as appointment, promotion, or compensation), or taking or threatening to take any reprisal (such as deprivation of appointment, promotion, or compensation).
10.01 AFFIRMATIVE ACTION/EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT:The Vermilion County Health Department and Vermilion County are Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employers. The affirmative action policies as set forth in Article 03.02 are an integral part of the process of employee recruitment, selection, promotion, discipline, demotion and termination.
10.02 TRANSFERS AND PROMOTIONS: It is the policy of the Vermilion County Health Department to transfer and promote from within the County whenever possible. Employees are urged to obtain the necessary skills, training, education, professional registration or licenses necessary in order to be eligible candidates for transfer or promotion.
Promotion – a change of an employee from a position of one pay grade to a position of a higher pay grade with more responsible duties.
Transfer – a change of an employee from one position to another position of the same grade or a higher pay grade in the same salary range, usually involving the performance of similar duties and requiring essentially the same basic qualifications.
Internal Listing – all positions will be posted in the Vermilion County Health Department, Vermilion County Courthouse and at other bulletin boards located in County facilities to allow employees the opportunity to apply for the identified jobs. Outside applicants will be considered after the waiting period for internal applications.
Inter-departmental – a change within different County departments or offices i.e., Health Department, Nursing Home, Sheriff’s Department, Courthouse.
Intra-departmental – a change within the same County department.
10.02.02 Procedures. The Human Resources (HR) liaison for the Vermilion County Health Department is designated by the Public Health Administrator to coordinate with the County EEO officer and facilitate consistent, effective and efficient handling of personnel procedures in conjunction with the requirements of the EOE Plan and similar HR functions at the Vermilion County Health Department.
In cooperation with the EEO officer, the HR liaison is responsible for posting all inter- and intra-departmental vacant positions at the Vermilion County Health Department.
The HR liaison will maintain all documentation for staffing changes that the EEO officer indicates as necessary.
Upon notification that an intra-departmental vacancy is occurring, the HR liaison will complete and post the internal listing of the position and forward to the EEO officer for inter-departmental distribution.
Any employee desiring an intra-departmental transfer should initiate a request to the HR liaison who shall forward the necessary information to the EEO officer. The EEO officer will in turn submit the names of all inquiring inter-departmental employees to the HR liaison to arrange interviews. When appropriate, the EEO officer or HR liaison will conduct testing to determine the applicant’s skill qualifications.
If the employee meets the minimum qualifications of the vacant position and the HR liaison concurs, an interview will be arranged between the Public Health Administrator or designee(s) and each qualified employee applying for the job. If the employee is selected for the open position, he/she will not be transferred for two weeks or until he/she has been replaced, if at all possible. This applies to inter- and intra-departmental transfers and promotions. This condition may be waived by the terminating department at that department supervisor’s discretion.
Employees requesting promotion to an open position must also follow notification procedures outlined above. They may be required to resubmit an application and will be interviewed by the program supervisor, the Public Health Administrator or designee. In the selection of an employee to fill a higher level job, aptitude, skills, ability and past performance will be considered.
All accrued benefits remain with the employee when he/she transfers or is promoted to a different position in the County.
All inter-departmental transferred and promoted employees are required to serve a probationary period. All accrued benefit time continues to be available to the transferred or promoted employee.
If a qualified intra-departmental employee is not identified, the position will be posted as notification for all County employees specified in Article 10.02.03.
If the vacancy is filled with a County employee, the resulting open position will be posted for five working days for all employees in county service.
If there are no qualified inter- or intra-departmental employees, an applicant search will be undertaken as specified in Article 10.02.03.
10.02.03 Methods of Filling Vacancies. The Public Health Administrator or designee is responsible for the final selection and filling of positions within the Vermilion County Health Department.
When a vacancy occurs, the HR liaison shall complete a Notice of Position Vacancy form and submit a copy to the EEO Officer.
The HR liaison will post the vacancy at the Vermilion County Health Department and the EEO officer will post that vacancy in established locations in the county for five working days.
If no existing employee is found to have the requirements necessary for the position, or none apply, then outside applicants will be considered.
When considering outside applicants, all position openings will be listed with the Illinois Department of Employment Security and shall be advertised in local newspapers. Professional positions may also be listed in appropriate professional journals. Additionally, public and private referral agencies (ie Danville Area Community College’s Personnel Department, Job Training Program, City of Danville Director of Personnel, Community Action Center, etc) will be contacted by the EEO Officer to encourage applications from minority workers.
The HR liaison will be responsible for placing all Health Department advertisements. Position advertisements shall include:
Position title and classification
A statement that the Health Department is an Equal Opportunity Employer
Dates of application period
When a vacant position occurs involving the Public Health Administrator, a selection committee will be established by the Board of Health. This committee will be responsible for interviewing the candidates and recommending a person to the position. The Public Health Administrator shall be employed by the Board of Health upon the recommendation of the selection committee. Where a statutory eligibility requirement exists, the committee shall verify such eligibility.
10.02.04 Selection. As stated in the Equal Employment Opportunity policy statement, in all cases, only qualified individuals will be hired and the predetermined standards will not be lowered in any way for employment or promotion. The employee job descriptions set forth the qualifications and experience needed for each position. Interviews of qualified applicants shall be scheduled and qualified applicants so notified. Interviews will be conducted by the Public Health Administrator or designee(s). The HR liaison shall notify all applicants of the position being filled. The HR liaison shall notify the Financial Director and the EEO Officer as to the person hired, the pay grade and step and date of hire.
10.03 DEMOTIONS: It is the position of the Vermilion County Health Department to discourage demotions except in certain situations where an employee requests a demotion. Employees may be demoted to a lower position for which he/she is qualified in the following situations:
The employee requests demotion.
The employee’s position is eliminated and the employee would otherwise be laid off.
The employee’s position is reclassified with additional responsibilities and the other person is no longer qualified.
It is determined during the employee’s probationary period that he/she is not qualified for the position.
The employee is no longer meeting the expectations of the job.
If any employee is not satisfied, he/she may follow the grievance procedure as outlined in Article 15.02.
10.04 RESIGNATION: Any employee who desires to terminate his/her employment will be requested to submit a written resignation to the Public Health Administrator at least two weeks in advance of the termination date. The Public Health Administrator shall submit his/her resignation to the Board of Health at least 30 days in advance of the termination date. This two week (or 30 day) period must be exclusive of any vacation time or personal days unless approved by the Public Health Administrator or designee. The HR liaison shall notify the EEO Officer of all resignations.
10.05 REDUCTION IN WORK FORCE: The Vermilion County Health Department has historically offered its employees steady, long-term employment. However, since a significant portion of our operational funding comes from grants, the reduction or loss of grant funds and the subsequent reallocation of local resources could require us to reduce our work force. If a reduction in work force becomes necessary, the Public Health Administrator will carefully analyze the department’s work force and affected programs to determine how to minimize the impact of the reduction on the operations of the Health Department. Collective bargaining unit employees with the least seniority will be laid off first, if it becomes necessary to reduce the number of employees in collective bargaining unit eligible positions. The layoff of professional employees, exempt from bargaining unit participation, will be determined on the basis of job performance evaluations and relative work experience for employees in each affected program and/or job classification. Employment seniority may also be considered, but it will be the least important element considered in the determination of employee layoffs and retention.
11 ORIENTATION AND TRAINING
11.01 RESPONSIBILITY: The Public Health Administrator is accountable for orientation and training of the employees working at the Vermilion County Health Department. This responsibility may be delegated to other individuals by the Public Health Administrator.
11.02 ORIENTATION: During the first few days of employment (preferably the first day), each new employee will be informed of the following:
Job title, classification and job description
Hours and days of work
Rate of pay
Work rules and regulations
Also, the employee will be oriented to the particular work facility and allowed an opportunity to ask questions concerning the nature of work assignments, pay, benefits, work rules, etc.
11.03 TRAINING PROGRAM: For some positions, actual formal training will be minimal, involving on the job orientation and guidance by a supervisor or co-worker. Employees in other positions will need to become familiar with operating manuals and program policy manuals. Some employees will require classroom training or attendance at special courses outside of the working facility. The development and implementation of training programs are the responsibility of the Public Health Administrator.
11.04 PERIOD OF TRAINING: The probationary period is designed not only to determine the employee’s suitability for regular employment, but also as a time when the employee can acquire and develop new skills. However, additional training may be required at any time during an employee’s tenure when the need or opportunity arises. In other words, training is not limited to just the probationary period.
12 PERFORMANCE EVALUATION
12.01 PURPOSE AND PROCEDURE: Performance evaluations are a means of reviewing the employee’s performance in comparison with his or her job description. The objective of the evaluation is to increase employee motivation and improve work performance. The purpose of the review is to go over with the employee the employee’s past years’ work record. This process shall include a discussion of the employee’s attendance, behaviors, accomplishments, problems and any other work related issues. An employee evaluation form shall be completed by the supervisor that includes specific objectives for future work performance. Each completed evaluation form is to be placed in the employee’s personnel file at the Vermilion County Health Department.
An evaluation should be conducted whenever it will serve to improve or maintain a high level of employee performance or whenever there is a need for employee motivation. New employees may be evaluated every 30 days, however, they shall have at least one evaluation during their probationary period. Thereafter, employee evaluations must be conducted no less than on an annual basis. The Public Health Administrator shall ensure that all evaluations are conducted in a timely manner.
13 RULES OF CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINARY ACTION
13.01 RULES OF CONDUCT:Expectations for effective working relationships with members of the public we serve, co-workers, other public offices and/or agencies is essential to achieve the mission of the Vermilion County Health Department. Employees of the Vermilion County Health Department shall respond to all customers and other members of the community with respectful, courteous, friendly, responsive and prompt service. Failure to maintain appropriate work standards and behavior shall result in the initiation of disciplinary action for conduct unbecoming an employee of the Vermilion County Health Department. Special work standards or rules, in addition to those established by this policy, may be established by the Public Health Administrator as administrative policy directives and a copy furnished to the Employee Relations Committee and Personnel Committee.
13.02 DISCIPLINARY ACTION: Whenever an employee’s performance, behavior, work habits, or personal conduct falls below expectations, the applicable supervisor shall inform the employee promptly and specifically and give counsel, guidance and assistance. After an appropriate period of time, if improvement or correction is not evident, disciplinary action should be initiated.
Disciplinary action should generally follow the format outlined in 13.02.01 through 13.02.05.
13.02.01 Written Reprimand. After counseling by an employee’s supervisor has met with little or no success, a written reprimand shall be given to the employee with a copy placed in the employee’s personnel folder. Reference to previous counseling will be noted in the written reprimand. The employee must give his/her supervisor a written commitment that he/she will resolve the problem that exists.
13.02.02 Suspension. Disciplinary suspension without pay totaling not more than 10 days in any 12 month period may be imposed upon an employee by the Vermilion County Health Department. Written notice of such disciplinary action must be served upon the employee in person or by certified mail. Notice of such disciplinary action must also be filed immediately with the HR liaison. It will be forwarded to the EEO Officer, who shall have the obligation to review such action.
13.02.03 Employee Rights and Obligations. At least two working days prior to the suspension effective date, an employee shall be served with notification , or informed orally, of the reasons for suspension. Opportunity shall then be given to the employee to rebut in writing the reasons for suspension. The Public Health Administrator and the EEO Officer shall review the rebuttal to determine if the suspension is justified. No rebuttal period shall be granted if the employee’s presence may result in harm or damage to the agency. Under these circumstances, the employee shall immediately leave the premises.
Employees seeking redress from any disciplinary action imposed must do so in accordance with the grievance procedure. (See Article 15)
13.02.04 Salary and Other Benefits of Employee. If on appeal, the suspension is reversed, the employee shall receive all salaries and benefits due.
13.02.05 Termination. As the authorized agent for the Board of Health, the Public Health Administrator may terminate an employee’s employment. Failure to correct behavioral or performance deficiencies involved in a disciplinary action shall be cause for employment termination. An employee may also be subject to immediate termination without the initiation of the progressive disciplinary process if the employee’s actions, behavior, or performance require such action. Causes for immediate termination may include, but are not limited to, gross misconduct, reckless negligence, insubordination, unauthorized absence, conviction of a criminal offense, intentional falsification of records, use of position for personal advantage, breaches of client confidentiality, breaches of the privacy of employee records, verbal abuse or threats issued to clients or co-workers, violent acts which harm or threaten the safety or security of the Vermilion County Health Department and/or its employees or clients, abuse of authority and any other cause that is deemed inappropriate for the progressive disciplinary process.
At the time of termination, employees will relinquish any and all property of the Vermilion County Health Department that was issued for their use during their employment. Such property may include but is not limited to Identification badges, keys, pagers, cell phones, lab coats, etc.
Within ten (10) working days of the termination, the employee shall be furnished with a statement in writing specifying the reasons for such action. A copy of the termination notice shall be sent to the EEO Officer.
All employees have a right to appeal a termination notice to the Grievance Committee. The committee will consider an appeal at a time set by the committee and will submit its’ determination in writing to the employee. The Grievance Committee shall recommend a decision regarding the appeal. The decision of the Public Health Administrator can be appealed to the Board of Health as the final authority.
14 POLITICAL ACTIVITY
14.01 POLICY STATEMENT: No employee of the Vermilion County Health Department shall be subject to direct or indirect political influence or coercion. Employees are not required to participate in or contribute financially to political campaigns. Political affiliation or support is not a contingency for employment with the Vermilion County Health Department.
14.02 FEDERAL HATCH ACT: The Vermilion County Health Department is financed in part by grants made by the United States which are passed through from the State of Illinois. Consequently, the Hatch Act applies to employees of the Vermilion County Health Department as follows:
“State” refers to a State or territory or possession of the United States
“State or Local Agency” refers to the executive branch of a State, municipality or other political subdivision of a State or any agency or department thereof
“Federal Agency” refers to an executive agency or other agency of the United States, but does not include a member bank of the Federal Reserve System
“State or Local Officer or Employee” refers to an individual employed by a State or local agency whose principle employment is in connection with an activity which is financed in whole or part by loans or grants made by the United States or a Federal agency, but does not include-
• an individual who exercises no functions in connection with that activity
• an individual employed by an educational or research institution, establishment, agency or system which is supported in whole or in part by a State or political subdivision thereof, or by a recognized religious, philanthropic, or cultural organization.
14.02.02 Influencing elections; taking part in political campaigns, prohibitions, exceptions. A state or local officer or employee may not:
Use his official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election or a nomination for office
Directly or indirectly coerce, attempt to coerce, command or advise a State or local officer or employee to pay, lend or contribute anything of value to a party, committee organization, agency or person for political purposes
Be a candidate for elective office
14.02.03 Non-partisan candidacies permitted. Article 14.02.02 of this title does not prohibit any State or local officer or employee from being a candidate in any election if none of the candidates is to be nominated or elected at such election as representing a party any of whose candidates for Presidential elector received votes in the last preceding election at which Presidential electors were selected.
14.03 EMPLOYEE DISPLAY OF RELIGIOUS OR POLITICAL ITEM POLICY: No employee shall display or wear either political or religious message buttons or ribbons that interfere with the Vermilion County Health Department’s responsibility to produce unrestricted access to our state and federally funded public health programs. Signs, symbols and message buttons that could deter clients or potential clients from accessing full informational resources or clinical services shall not be displayed or worn in areas that are accessible to the public and/or clients.
15 GRIEVANCE PROCEDURE
15.01 DEFINITION: A grievance is the dissatisfaction of an employee when he/she believes, rightly or wrongly that he/she has not been treated fairly concerning seniority, hours of work, vacation and holiday eligibility or other related terms and conditions of employment, or when he/she believes a mistake has been made in the administration of a rule, plan, or policy.
15.02 GRIEVANCE COMMITTEE: The Grievance Committee shall be comprised of at least a Vermilion County Board Personnel Committee member, an elected officeholder, an appointed official and two (2) County employees. If a conflict of interest exists between the person grieving and any member of the Grievance Committee, an alternate shall be appointed to the committee in order to eliminate said conflict of interest. The Committee shall recommend a decision as to the grievance. Final authority rests with the Public Health Administrator and the Board of Health.
Employees who have any grievance arising out of the employment by Vermilion County have the right to redress. The grievance must be submitted in writing, signed by the employee and presented personally or through an authorized representative to the employee’s supervisor within five (5) working days of the event which has caused the grievance to be filed. Failure to do so automatically abandons the grievance. In cases of vacation, this five-day period will commence upon the first day the employee returns to work. The supervisor will make every effort to resolve the grievance at this level. The supervisor’s reply must be in writing and returned to the employee within two (2) working days after receipt of grievance.
If settlement is not reached at the supervisor level, the aggrieved employee may carry it to the Public Health Administrator within five (5) working days from receipt of the supervisor’s decision. The Public Health Administrator must submit a written reply within two (2) working days after receipt of the grievance.
15.04 APPEAL: If settlement is not reached at the administrative level, the grievance may be carried to the Grievance Committee within five (5) working days from receipt of the Public Health Administrator’s decision. The Grievance Committee will place the matter on their agenda. The committee shall hear and investigate all sides of the case and render a recommendation within ten (10) working days after the committee meeting unless a postponement is agreed to by the committee and the employee. In any case, employees shall be assured freedom from restraint, interference, discrimination and/or reprisal arising from any grievance presented. An employee shall be allowed reasonable time with pay during work hours for the presentation of a grievance, provided the employee has obtained permission from their immediate supervisor and the employee’s absence will not interfere with operations of the agency, department or office.
16 EMPLOYEE SAFETY
16.01 POLICY STATEMENT: It is the policy of Vermilion County and the Vermilion County Health Department to adequately provide for on-the-job safety of its’ employees. It is expected that every employee will carry out his or her duties in the safest possible manner with regard for all rules and regulations, personal safety and the safety of others using county buildings and grounds.
If any employee observes unsafe working conditions or practices, these observations or experiences should be reported to his or her supervisor or the Public Health Administrator immediately.
16.02 TESTING: Every employee of the Vermilion County Health Department shall receive a tuberculosis skin test within 30 days of initial employment, unless medically contraindicated, and annually thereafter.
16.03 REGULATORY COMPLIANCE: All employees are required to comply with all applicable sections of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and regulations including but not limited to OSHA, Bloodborne Pathogen Standards and Workplace Safety Standards.
16.04 POLICY COMPLIANCE All employees are required to comply with the Vermilion County Health Department administrative policies including but not limited to Workplace Threats and Violence, Severe Weather, Fire Safety or any other safety related policies.
17 PERSONNEL RECORDS REQUIREMENTS
17.01 EMPLOYEE FILES: A file for each employee of the Vermilion County Health Department will be maintained. All employees records shall be kept and remain confidential as required by law. The original of the following employee records shall be maintained by the Public Health Administrator or HR liaison:
Initial salary information and employment confirmation
Criminal background investigation statement (when required)
Documentation of disciplinary process
Employee specific documentation and correspondence
Proof of credentials (when required)
Termination statement (when applicable)
17.02 TIMEKEEPING RECORDS: The Vermilion County Health Department will keep a record of attendance and leave of each employee.
18 SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY
18.01 POLICY STATEMENT: All employees should be aware of the Vermilion County Health Department’s prohibition regarding any form of sexual harassment in the workplace. All employees must be allowed to work in an environment free from sexual overtones and intimidation.
18.02 DEFINITION: Sexual harassment includes unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when;
Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment;
Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting that individual; or
Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonable interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
18.03 PROHIBITED CONDUCT: No employee shall directly or indirectly:
Threaten or insinuate that another employee’s refusal to submit to sexual advances will adversely affect that employee’s relationship with the County/Health Department, work status evaluation, wages, advancement, assigned duties or any other condition of employment
Promise, imply or grant preferential treatment in connection with another employee engaging in sexual conduct
Abuse the dignity of another employee through insulting or degrading sexual remarks or conduct.
18.04 REPORTING OF INCIDENT: Any incident of perceived sexual harassment should be reported as quickly as possible, in confidence, so that an immediate investigation may be conducted. All allegations involving Vermilion County Health Department employees subordinate to the Public Health Administrator should be initially reported to the Public Health Administrator. Any allegations involving the Public Health Administrator should be reported directly to the Human Resources Director. Every effort will be made to promptly investigate any allegation of sexual harassment in as confidential a manner as possible and appropriate action will be taken where warranted.
18.05 DISCIPLINE: Anyone who is determined, after investigation, to have engaged in sexual harassment in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. In addition, because false accusations regarding sexual harassment can have serious effects on the person or persons accused, any person who deliberately and in bad faith makes a false accusation shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action when warranted.
18.06 RETALIATION: Retaliating or discriminating against an employee for reporting sexual harassment is prohibited.
18.07 QUESTIONS: You are encouraged to raise any questions regarding this policy with the Public Health Administrator or the Human Resources Director.
19 DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE POLICY
19.01 PURPOSE: Pursuant to the federal Drug-Free Workplace Act which became law in 1988 and the Illinois Drug-Free Workplace Act which became effective January 1, 1992, the Vermilion County Health Department shall provide a drug-free workplace by:
1. Notifying all employees that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession or use of a controlled substance or cannabis is prohibited in all Vermilion County Health Department workplaces and specifying the actions that will be taken against any employee for violation of this prohibition.
2. Establishing a drug-free awareness program to inform employees about:
a. The dangers of drugs in the workplace
b. Distribution of the Vermilion County Health Department policy on maintaining a drug-free workplace
c. Any available drug counseling, rehabilitation and employee assistance programs
d. The penalties that may be imposed upon employees for drug abuse
3. Each person employed by the Vermilion County Health Department will be given a copy of the Policy.
4. Each employee will be notified that as a condition of employment at the Vermilion County Health Department, the employee will:
a. Abide by the terms of the policy
b. Notify the Public Health Administrator of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) days after conviction.
5. Notify the Public Health Administrator and the appropriate grant agency within ten (10) days after receiving notice under sub-paragraph 4(b) from an employee or other receiving actual notice of such conviction.
6. Take one of the following actions, within 30 days of receiving notice under subparagraph 4 (b) with respect to any employee who is convicted:
a. take appropriate personnel action against such an employee, up to and including termination; or
b. require such employee to participate satisfactorily in a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program approved for such purposes by a federal, state or local health, law enforcement or other appropriate agency.
7. Making a good faith effort to continue to maintain a drug-free workplace through implementation of paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6.
1. The possession, use or distribution of illegal drugs on County Property is prohibited.
2. Being under the influence of alcohol while performing one’s job is prohibited.
3. Employees whose drug or alcohol use impair their job performance shall be subject to discipline.
1. Violation of paragraphs one or two shall be grounds for immediate termination.
2. Violation of any part of this policy, if not resulting in termination, shall include any form of discipline set out in the personnel policy and if deemed necessary, a referral for counseling.
3. The Public Health Administrator may refer an employee for counseling in lieu of any other discipline.
4. Any action of discipline shall take place within thirty days of discovering the violation. A referral for counseling in lieu of discipline shall designate the time for imposing discipline and if the counseling is not accepted or completed, discipline as previously available may be imposed.
20 BUSINESS AND TRANSPORTATION POLICY
20.01 APPLICABILITY : This travel policy shall apply to all Vermilion County Health Department personnel.
20.02 ADMINISTRATION: The Financial Director shall administer this policy and see that the provisions herein are carried out by auditing all requests for reimbursement for travel and transportation costs and approving only such costs which fulfill the provisions set forth in this policy.
20.03 AUTHORIZATION: All travel and business expenses of any employee subject to these travel regulations shall be authorized and approved by his/her supervisor prior to the beginning of travel. It also governs daily business travel to perform routine functions within the scope of the employee’s assigned job which does not require individual authorization.
20.04 RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY: Individuals submitting travel vouchers are personally responsible for their accuracy and propriety. Misrepresentation of travel accounts and vouchers shall be considered grounds for disciplinary or legal action.
20.05 ACCOUNTABILITY FOR EXPENSES: The County Auditor shall provide travel vouchers for all Vermilion County personnel. All travel vouchers shall indicate the purpose of the travel, shall include an itemized list of all expenses accompanied by all receipts specified in the applicable travel regulations and by the person incurring such expenses, certifying that the amount is correct and just, and shall be forwarded to the Auditor within 30 days of completion of travel. The vouchers should also indicate that the amounts charged were actually paid, the expenses were incurred through official County business, the journey was performed with all practicable dispatch by the shortest route, and the traveler has not been furnished with transportation or money in lieu thereof for any part of the journey for which charged.
20.06 ADVANCE TRAVEL EXPENSES
20.06.01 Conference, Seminar, or Class Fees. Allowable conference, seminar or class registration fees and similar reimbursable expenses of conducting County business may be paid, in advance, by purchase order. A completed purchase order, together with a copy of the registration or application form indicating the cost of the conference, seminar or class to be attended, shall be forwarded to the Auditor, and for purposes of this article, such purchase order shall be sufficient documentation to authorize issuance of a check for fees and expenses. A receipt or other adequate documentation of payment of registration or other fees or expenses shall be forwarded to the Auditor and attached to the purchase order upon completion of the conference, seminar or class.
20.06.02 Lodging and Mileage. Reimbursement for lodging and mileage may be paid in advance when travel includes an authorized overnight stay out of the County. The request for advance payment of mileage and lodging shall be on forms provided by the Auditor and shall include the following:
a. Name of person traveling
b. Dates, times and places of travel
c. County business to be conducted
d. Budget line item to be charged for the travel
e. An accurate estimate of the mileage from Danville to the place(s) of business and return to Danville.
The request for advance payment of lodging and mileage shall be signed by the appropriate officeholder or department head and the person to whom the advance will be paid, if other than the officeholder or department head and forwarded to the Auditor.
The Auditor shall approve a properly completed request if adequate funds are available in the budget line item and the funds are authorized for the purpose of the travel. The Auditor shall authorize issuance of a check for the approved advance mileage and lodging payment and charge the payment to an Advance Account in the officeholder’s or employee’s name in the asset section of the General Fund.
Receipts for lodging along with documentation of mileage, and receipts for any other allowable claimed expenses shall be forwarded to the Auditor within 30 days of completion of the travel. If the cost of lodging and mileage is less than the amount of the advance, the difference shall be credited against any other claim for reimbursement, returned by the officeholder or employee, or deducted from the officeholder’s or employee’s pay. The Auditor shall charge the allowed reimbursement to the appropriate budget line item and credit the Advance Account for the allowed reimbursement.
If the Auditor is the person requesting advance travel payment, the Financial Director shall perform the functions of the Auditor set forth in this article.
20.06.03 Meals. Per Diem for meals may be paid in advance with proper documentation. The full conference agenda noting events and meals must be provided to obtain a per diem advance. Partial days will be paid based on necessary arrival time at the destination.
20.07 ALLOWABLE EXPENSES FOR TRANSPORTATION
20.07.01 Modes of Transportation. Transportation for official travel shall include automobiles, railroads, airlines, buses, taxicabs and other usual means of transportation.
20.07.02 Tips. Reasonable tips, not exceeding 15% of the bill, will be considered acceptable expenses.
20.07.03 Routing of Travel. All travel shall be by the most direct route that provides the best balance of safety and economy of time and money. Additional costs which result from travel arrangements not in accordance with the above, but solely for the convenience for the employee, shall be the responsibility of the employee.
20.07.04 Most Economic Means. All travel shall be by the most economic mode of transportation available considering travel time, cost and work requirements. The traveler should purchase accommodations for coach or tourist class when traveling by air or rail.
When the use of public transportation is a reasonable alternative, the mileage payment shall not exceed the cost of its use. A reasonable alternative exists when the cost of travel, taking into account both time and costs, would be less if public transportation were used.
20.07.05 Use of Privately Owned Vehicles. When an employee rendering services to the County uses his/her privately owned vehicle to conduct official business, the reimbursement rate shall not exceed the rate established by the County Board.
The per mile travel reimbursement rate is intended to reimburse the traveler for vehicle operation expenses. These expenses include insurance, gasoline and oil, repairs and all other operating expenses.
Reimbursement for the cost of automobile parking fees and bridge and road tolls will be allowed in addition to mileage reimbursement.
20.07.06 Mileage Reimbursement. Mileage shall be paid only after completion of travel upon submission of a properly executed expense report which includes relative odometer readings, unless advance payment is authorized pursuant to Article 20.06.02 of this policy. Claims which do not provide detail by day and destination during that day will be rejected.
Mileage shall be paid on a point-to-point basis, based on the route that is the most economical and efficient to the Vermilion County Health Department.
20.08 LODGING, MEALS, PER DIEM AND MISCELLANEOUS
20.08.01 Lodging. It is the responsibility of each employee to ask for the government or state rate when available. Each employee must obtain the lowest available rate when making room reservations. In addition, when choosing a hotel or motel, consideration should be made to commuter costs between place of lodging and place of business.
When attending training courses, committee meetings or other types of conferences, employees shall make reservations for lodging at the hotel or motel recommended by the sponsoring organization if this is the most economical lodging.
Since the following counties are within reasonable traveling distance, no lodging expenses will be reimbursed: Vermilion, Champaign, Iroquois and Edgar.
All personal expenses charged to the lodging bill are the responsibility of the occupants. This includes, but is not limited to, meals, personal telephone calls and room service. Valet parking will be reimbursed only if the hotel offers only this type of parking option.
20.08.02 Meals. Expenses for meals, including tips, will be paid on a per diem basis. These amounts will be based on localities as set by the Federal CONUS guidelines to meet reporting requirements.
Per Diem on days when meals are included in the cost of the seminar or meeting, or provided by such an organization, will be reduced appropriately whether such a meal is consumed or not.
Per Diem will be prorated based on required travel and arrival times on partial days.
No amounts will be paid for meals within the boundaries of Vermilion County.
No amounts will be paid for anyone other than a County employee, even if paid by the employee.
No receipts shall be required for reimbursement.
The Per Diem amount shall be the Federal CONUS rate for the locality. The rate shall change March 1 of each year.
20.08.03 Other Miscellaneous Expenses. The cost of business-related expenses, if reasonable, shall be reimbursable, while on travel status.
Hire of room, exhibit space, set-up for official business
Laundry and dry cleaning if on travel status for at least seven consecutive days
Taxi, including reasonable tips
Telephone calls on official business including calls of three minutes or less to announce safe arrival or delay or change in plans
Telephone calls to secure lodging
Examples of non-reimbursable expenses are follows:
Meals charged to hotel bill
Parking tickets or other traffic tickets
20.09 STATE AND FEDERAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS: Provisions of this policy shall not have effect when in conflict with the Illinois Compiled Statutes, federal public Acts and/or regulations.
21 INTERNET and ELECTRONIC MAIL (Email) USE POLICY
21.01.01 Purpose/Scope. To establish guidelines for appropriate use of the Internet by Vermilion County offices, officials and employees.
21.02.02 Organizations Affected. All Vermilion County Government Offices and Departments.
21.02.03 Policy . Vermilion County is making every effort to provide its offices, officers and employees with the best technology available to conduct the County’s official business. In this regard, the County has installed, at substantial expense, equipment such as computers and advanced technological systems such as electronic mail (email) for use to conduct its official business. This document was created to advise all users regarding the access to and the disclosure of information created, transmitted, received and stored via the use of the Internet, County email and other computers.
Access to the Internet is provided to County offices and employees for the purpose of conducting “official County business”. The Internet may not be used for prohibited purposes, such as conducting private business, or political campaigning, or any illegal uses. Personal use of the Internet should be governed by the same tests of reasonableness as personal phone calls and internal email. These include:
There is no cost associated with the use.
Use is moderate in time.
Use does not interfere with an employee’s or co-workers’ work.
The following rules require strict adherence. Any infraction thereof could result in disciplinary action. Disciplinary actions range from verbal warnings to termination; the severity of the misbehavior governs the severity of the disciplinary action.
1. The use of Internet is restricted to “official County business”. Personal use of or time spent for personal gain is strictly prohibited. Authorization for Internet access must be obtained through your department head or elected office holder. Once authorization is approved you are responsible for the security of your account password and you will be held responsible for all use or misuse of your account. You must maintain secure passwords and never use an account assigned to another user.
2. Hacking is the unauthorized attempt or entry into any other computer. Never make an unauthorized attempt to enter any computer. Such an action is a violation of the Federal Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) 18 U.S.C. § 2510.
3. Sending threatening, slanderous, racially and/or sexually harassing messages is strictly prohibited.
4. The representation of yourself as someone else, real or fictional, or a message sent anonymously is prohibited.
5. Never copy or transfer electronic files without permission.
6. Downloading a file from the Internet can bring viruses with it. Scan all downloaded files with standard virus prevention software.
7. Never send, post or provide access to any confidential County materials or information.
8. Almost all data and software is subject to the Federal copyright laws. Care should be exercised whenever accessing or copying any information that does not belong to you. Software which requires purchase or reimbursement for its use, such as shareware, requires strict adherence to the terms and conditions specified by the owner unless written permission for unrestricted use has been obtained. When in doubt consult your office holder or department head.
9. You are obligated to cooperate with any investigation regarding the use of your computer equipment and which your office holder or department head has authorized.
10. Chain letters are illegal and may not be transmitted through email.
11. Email requires extensive network capacity. Sending unnecessary email, or not exercising constraint when sending very large files, or sending to a large number of recipients consumes network resources that are needed for critical County business. When the County grants an individual employee access to the network, it is the responsibility of the employee to be cognizant and respectful of network resources.
Because of the unique nature of the Internet, additional guidelines apply to its use:
1. Internet access, hardware and software must be authorized and installed by appropriate personnel in each County department. Employees authorized to download software or browser plug-ins should be provided with safety guidelines and virus protection software.
2. Certain features of the Internet can clog the County’s network and email system, and should be used only for work-related purposes.
3. Resources of any kind, for which there is a fee, must not be accessed or downloaded without prior approval from a supervisor.
4. Individual users must be aware of and at all times attempt to prevent potential County liability in their use of the Internet.
5. Employees should be aware that there is a wide variety of information on the Internet. Some individuals may find some information on the Internet offensive or otherwise objectionable. Individual users should be aware that the Vermilion County has no control over and can therefore not be responsible for the content of information on the Internet.
21.02 Electronic Mail (Email)
21.02.01 INTRODUCTION: Electronic mail (Email) refers to the electronic transfer of information typically in the form of electronic messages, memoranda, and attached documents from a sending party to one or more receiving parties via an intermediate telecommunications system. Stated differently, electronic mail is a means of sending messages between computers using a computer network. Electronic mail services, as defined in this policy, not only consist of the use of state-provided electronic mail systems but also the act of sending and/or receiving electronic mail across the Internet.
As with any county-provided resource, the use of electronic mail services should be dedicated to legitimate county business and is governed by rules of conduct similar to those applicable to the use of other information technology resources. Use of electronic mail services is a privilege, which imposes certain responsibilities and obligations on County users and is subject to County government policies and local, state, and federal laws.
Acceptable use must be legal, ethical, reflect honesty, and show restraint in the consumption of shared resources.
The user should not violate intellectual property rights, information ownership rights, system security mechanisms, and should not use electronic mail to intimidate, harass or annoy.
The purpose of the “Electronic Mail Acceptable Use Policy” is to establish guidelines and minimum requirements governing the acceptable use of county-provided electronic mail (Email) services. By establishing and maintaining compliance with this policy, risks and costs to the County can be minimized while the valuable potential of this communication tool can be maximized.
The objectives of this policy are to:
Ensure that the use of county-provided electronic mail services is related to, or for the benefit of, Vermilion County government;
Inform users that electronic mail messages and documents are subject to the same laws, regulations, policies, and other requirements as information communicated in other written forms and formats;
Minimize disruptions to county government activities from inappropriate use of county-provided electronic mail services; and
Provide users with guidelines describing their personal responsibilities regarding confidentiality, privacy, and acceptable use of county-provided electronic mail services as defined by this policy.
This policy applies to any person(s) and/or contractor(s) (hereinafter referred to as “users”) whose access to or use of electronic mail services is funded by Vermilion County or is available through equipment owned or leased by Vermilion County.
21.02.03 DEPARTMENT/OFFICE RESPONSIBILITIES
All departments are responsible for the electronic mail activities of their users. County departments and offices have the responsibility to ensure that county-provided electronic mail services are used for internal and external communications which serve legitimate county government functions and purposes. Managerial authority over electronic mail services should be defined, and user training programs provided which address electronic mail usage and policies.
Vermilion county offices and departments may consider providing additional restrictions and guidelines regarding the use of electronic mail within their local environments. In considering the need for additional restrictions and guidelines, each office may take into account its particular needs, mission, available technology, level of staff training, size, and geographic diversity.
21.02.04 USER RESPONSIBILITIES: Electronic mail is not private communication. All information transmitted via Internet/electronic mail system(s) can be reviewed at any time. Electronic mail communications may best be regarded as a postcard rather than as a sealed letter. Disclosure may occur intentionally or inadvertently when an unauthorized user gains access to electronic messages. Disclosure may also occur when electronic mail messages are forwarded to unauthorized users, directed to the wrong recipient, or printed in a common area where others can read them.
Because of the various security, legal and productivity issues referenced in this policy, each user has the following responsibilities:
As an electronic mail participant, each user must comply with this “Internet and Electronic Mail (Email) Use Policy.” By participating in the use of networks and systems provided by the County, users agree to comply with County and office policies governing their usage.
The content of anything exchanged (sent and/or received) via electronic mail communications must be appropriate and consistent with County policy, subject to the same restrictions as any other correspondence.
Electronic mail communications, if allowed to accumulate on a server, can quickly consume the server’s disk space and may cause system problems. Although deletion of unnecessary email communications is encouraged, users should refer to an approved record retention schedule for proper procedure regarding disposition of electronic mail communications.
Be courteous and follow accepted standards of etiquette.
Protect others’ privacy and confidentiality.
Be responsible for the use of their electronic mail accounts.
Use information technology resources efficiently and productively.
21.02.05 ACCEPTABLE USE: cceptable electronic mail activities are those that conform to the purpose, goals, and mission of the County office and to each user’s job duties and responsibilities. The following list, although not all-inclusive, provides some examples of acceptable uses:
Communications, including information exchange, for professional development or to maintain job knowledge or skills;
Use in applying for or administering grants or contracts;
Communications with other county, state agencies and business partners providing document delivery or transferring working documents/drafts for comment;
Announcements of County laws, procedures, hearings, policies, services, or activities;
Use involving research and information gathering in support of advisory, standards, analysis, and professional development activities related to the user’s County governmental duties; and
Communications and information exchanges directly relating to the mission, charter, and work tasks of the office including electronic mail in direct support of work-related functions or collaborative projects.
21.02.06 UNACCEPTABLE USE: Unacceptable use can be defined generally as activities that do not conform to the purpose, goals, and mission of the agency and to each user’s job duties and responsibilities. Any electronic mail usage in which acceptable use is questionable should be avoided. When in doubt, seek policy clarification prior to pursuing the activity.
21.02.07 SECURITY IMPLICATIONS: Users should take all reasonable precautions, to prevent the use of their electronic mail account by unauthorized individuals.
Transmission of electronic mail to locations outside of the County’s local area network may require the use of the Internet for transport. Since the Internet and its tools adhere to open and documented standards and specifications, it is inherently an unsecured network that has no built-in security controls.
Although confidential and sensitive information should not be included in electronic mail communications unless proper, formalized security precautions have been established, certain electronic mail communications may be privileged or confidential. It is the responsibility of each County office to protect confidential and sensitive information where intentional, inappropriate, or accidental disclosure of the information might expose Vermilion County or an individual to loss or harm.
Electronic Mail: Electronic Mail (email) may include non-interactive communication of text, data, images or voice messages between a sender and designated recipient(s) by systems utilizing telecommunications links. It may also include correspondence transmitted and stored electronically using software facilities called “email”, “facsimile”, or “messaging” system; or voice messages transmitted and stored for later retrieval from a computer system.
Guidelines: Recommendations derived from experience and which should be used.
Hacking: Attempting to break into another system on which you have no account or authorization.
Internet: A worldwide network of networks, connecting informational networks communicating through a common communications language, or “protocol”.
Netiquette: A combination of “network” and “etiquette”. It is the practice of good manners in a networked environment.
Policy: Primary objectives of the County of Vermilion as contained in this document.
Standards: Departmental directions or instructions describing how to achieve policy. Mandatory statement of direction.
Users: The public and County employees.
Vendors: Any private person or business enterprise.
22 HARASSMENT/DISCRIMINATION POLICY
22.01 POLICY STATEMENT: All employees should be aware of Vermilion County’s prohibition regarding any form of harassment or discrimination in the workplace. It is the policy ofVermilionCountyto provide a work environment for its employees which is free from discrimination and intimidation. As an employee it is your responsibility to assist in implementing our County policy prohibiting all forms of harassment or discrimination. Secondly, you will also be expected to support and enforce this policy in a vigorous manner. Harassment of any form cannot and will not be tolerated inVermilionCounty.
22.02 DEFINITION and PROHIBITED CONDUCT: Federal laws such as The Civil Rights Act of 1964, The Americans With Disabilities Act of 1991 and The Civil Rights Act of 1991 make harassment and discrimination illegal. Harassment or discrimination of any form – sexual, racial, age, national origin, religious or because of a disability is unacceptable behavior by supervisors and employees alike. For the purpose of this policy, the terms “harassment” and “discrimination” will be interchangeable.
Harassment is considered to be any behavior (comments, actions or displays) that demeans, humiliates, or embarrasses a person, that a reasonable person should have known would be unwelcome. The term “harassment” includes, but is not limited to:
Slurs, jokes, epithets, negative stereotyping, threats, intimidation, hostile acts, denigrating or hostile written or graphic material posted or circulated (i.e. posters or cartoons) in the workplace or any other graphic or physical conduct relating to an individual’s race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, familial status, sexual orientation or disability.
22.03 REPORTING AND INVESTIGATION OF INCIDENT: An employee who believes he/she is being harassed by supervisors or co-workers should immediately notify the next highest authority (Supervisor, Public Health Administrator, Human Resources Director, or County Board Chairman). The matter will be thoroughly investigated, and where appropriate corrective action will be taken. Where an employee is not comfortable reporting to the next highest authority, he/she may notify the next individual in the chain of command, as listed above.
VermilionCountydoes not condone harassment of its employees in connection with their work by non-employees (vendors, truck drivers, etc.). Any employee who becomes aware of any harassment of an employee by a non-employee shall report such harassment to the Supervisor, who will be responsible for investigating and reporting all such incidents to the appropriate person. Appropriate action will be taken against non-employees for violation of this policy.
When a supervisor or other authority receives a harassment complaint, the complaint shall be immediately reported to the Public Health Administrator, unless the Public Health Administrator is the subject of the complaint, in which case the complaint should be immediately reported to the Human Resources Director. The Public Health Administrator shall immediately notify the Human Resources Director, unless the Human Resources Director is the subject of the complaint, in which case the complaint should be immediately reported to the County Board Chairman.
Once the complaint has been reported to the supervisor, the alleged offender should not be confronted by the harassed employee, leave this up to the investigator(s). All parties involved will be expected to keep all comments and personal opinions to themselves. Any rumors or false stories may negatively affect the objectivity and progress of the investigation. All persons charged with harassment are considered innocent until proven guilty.
Upon the completion of an investigation by the official(s), the findings of the investigation will be submitted in writing to the Public Health Administrator for review, upon which a final decision will be determined. The person making the charge, the employee being charged and the Human Resources Director will be notified of the final decision and how the decision was made. The punishment of being found guilty of harassment will subject an employee to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
If upon the completion of an investigation the alleged employee is found innocent, no record of this charge will appear in his/her personnel record.
22.04 DISCIPLINE: Anyone who is determined, after an investigation, to have engaged in a violation of this policy, will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination. In addition, because false accusations regarding harassment can have serious effects on the person or person accused, any person who deliberately and in bad faith makes a false accusation shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action when warranted.
22.05 RETALIATION: Any employee who reports conduct prohibited by this policy, or assists in the investigation of a complaint of harassment will not be penalized. The employee will be treated courteously, the problem handled swiftly and confidentially, and the registering of a complaint will in no way be used against the employee, nor will it have an adverse impact on the individual’s employment status. Retaliating or discriminating against an employee for reporting harassment is prohibited.
22.06 QUESTIONS: You are encouraged to raise any questions regarding this policy with the Human Resources Director.
23 CELLULAR PHONE POLICY
23.01 RESPONSIBILITY: This policy is meant to make rules and guidelines for employees who are in possession of and use cellular phones owned and paid by the Vermilion County Health Department.
Since the Public Health Administrator or his/her designee is more familiar with work schedules, after hours duties, and other pertinent facts for their employees with phones, it is their responsibility to review all cellular phone bills and monitor usage. This will not relieve the Auditor of his or her duties in reviewing and implementation.
This policy is meant to be a basis. It does not preclude any department developing and implementing their own policy that is more restrictive.
23.02 INVENTORY: Cellular phones and their accessories are the property of the Vermilion County Health Department. Cell phones should be tagged, if possible, and listed on inventory with the County. The Public Health Administrator and/or his/her designee shall be responsible for this inventory and the location of each phone.
23.03 UNAUTHORIZED USE AND DAMAGE: Phones must be safeguarded at all times. Employees will not allow unauthorized use of their phone.
Lost, stolen or broken phones will be looked at on a case-by-case basis by the Public Health Administrator and the Financial Director. The employee may be responsible for the loss if it is determined that the loss was through violation of this policy.
23.04 PERSONAL USE: All personal calls are the employee’s responsibility. The County Treasurer must me reimbursed at the current per minute charge and the receipt attached to the purchase order prior to the Department paying the bill.
If personal calls have been included in “free” minutes, and there are calls over the free time, the personal calls shall be paid by the employee as per this policy. The business calls shall then be “backed into” the free minutes on a minute by minute basis to determine overage charges if any.
Phone bills will be randomly audited using various means including number research. All personal calls, both incoming and outgoing, must be clearly marked on the bills.
23.05 ENFORCEMENT: Failure to comply with this policy could lead to loss of the phone, the necessity to check it in the office each night, or charges to the employee.
23.06 EXCEPTIONS: Use of a “hand-free” telephone device shall be considered as being in compliance with this policy, except that the employee shall stop the vehicle in a safe location if manual dialing is required.
Certain agencies have emergency response or crime investigation responsibilities which require different considerations, and this policy shall not apply to emergency or law enforcement vehicles responding to an emergency or crime investigation situations, where such use is considered necessary and consistent with the individual department policy on cellular phone use.
24.01 POLICY STATEMENT: To comply with the suggestions of auditors and generally accepted accounting practices, when any office that is responsible for directly handling cash transactions employs immediate family within that office who handle such cash, the County Board Chairman, Human Resources Director and Financial Resources Director shall take note of the same and forward to that office any appropriate suggestions, taking into account standard accounting practices, to avoid the appearance of impropriety.
24.02 DEFINITION: Immediate family shall be defined as the spouse, children, brother, sister, spouses of children, parents, grandparents, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law or any individual residing in the household of the office holder, department head or county employee.