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Section Two: Pre-Employment and Employment
SECTION TWO: PRE-EMPLOYMENT AND EMPLOYMENT

2.1     Recruitment and Appointment

2.1.1   Recruitment Policy
The town shall be aggressive in the recruitment of candidates for town positions.  Individuals responsible for recruitment and selection will actively seek the most qualified candidate while taking positive steps to ensure compliance with national, state, and local affirmative action and equal employment opportunity policies and guidelines.  Such policies and guidelines shall be assembled in a central binder to be made available by the Personnel Officer upon request.

2.1.2   Eligibility
Any applicant who meets the criteria as established in the job description shall be eligible for employment with the town.

2.1.3   Recruitment
        The appointing authorities or the department heads shall be responsible for the recruitment and selection of personnel.  The qualifications, classification and salary range for positions shall be established in accordance with the classification and compensation plans.

a.      Notice of Vacancies
Department heads or appointing authorities shall, upon the identification of a vacancy or on the authorization of a new position, prepare a job vacancy notice, subject to the availability of funds.  Department heads shall, within three (3) business days of any resignation, notify the appointing authority of any such resignation.  The job vacancy notice shall be based upon the job description and include:  the job title, major duties of the position, qualifications, salary, hours of work, a proposed closing date for applications, and application instructions.

The Personnel Officer shall review and approve all job vacancy notices, as to form, prior to commencement of recruitment activities to ensure that the advertised salary conforms with the existing town policies.
        
b.      Posting and Advertisement of Job Vacancy Notices
Department heads and the appointing authorities shall ensure that notices of vacant positions be posted for ten (10) working days on bulletin boards in all locations where employees assemble for work.  Department heads and appointing authorities are also encouraged to post vacancies on the Town’s web site and on the web sites of State and municipal organizations and agencies. Said advertisements and postings shall identify the position and duties and all advertisements and postings shall be kept on file within the department and be forwarded to the Personnel Officer prior to any appointment.

c.      Applications
All candidates applying for employment in the Town shall complete an official employment application form approved by the Personnel Board and return the form to the office of the appointing authority prior to the end of the working day of the closing date specified for the position announcement.  Each applicant shall sign the form, and the truth of all statements shall be certified by the applicant's signature.  Resumes and cover letters may also be required as necessary.  Applications received from former employees shall be subject to the same standards as set forth in this section.

d.      Examinations
The appointing authority may require an examination as one part of the selection process.  Examinations may be written, oral, practical, physical or any combination thereof and shall be relevant to the requirements of the position.

e.      References
A candidate's former employers, supervisors, and other references shall be contacted as part of the selection process.  References and other background investigations shall be documented and made part of the applicant's file.  All reference checks and investigations shall be completed prior to the offer of employment, in accordance with law.

f.      Application Records
The employment application, documentation of reference checks, and related documents submitted by the applicant shall be maintained in the employee's personnel file.  Upon appointment of an employee, the appointing authority shall turn over to the Personnel Officer applications of those applicants not selected for employment.  Such applications shall be maintained for the period required by law.  The appointing authority and the department heads, to the extent possible, shall maintain the confidentiality of all applications.

2.1.4   Appointments
Appointments shall be made from the three most qualified candidates, or from the candidate(s) applying if less than three apply, as determined by the appointing authority or the department head if such duty has been delegated to the department head.  Any appointment action which is not in compliance with the advertising procedures described may be invalid.  All appointments shall be made in writing by the appointing authority.  Further, no appointment may be made if copies of all postings and advertisements have not been forwarded to the Personnel Officer.  All appointments shall be contingent on the provisions of section 2.1.5.  The written notice of appointment shall include the salary, the starting date, any unique or unusual conditions of employment and appropriate additional information.  Copies of the letter of appointment shall be provided to the Personnel Officer and the Personnel Board.

No employment in or transfer to a paid appointed position in the Town’s service not subject to the civil service law shall take effect until the same has been approved by the Personnel Officer as being in compliance with the requirements of this plan. If such employment or transfer is in compliance with this plan, the Personnel Officer shall approve the employment.

In the case of an emergency declared by the elected officer or board having supervision of a department, such department may, subject to the limitation of its appropriation and to such reasonable requirements as the board may determine, appoint emergency employees without requirement of prior approval by the Personnel Officer, but shall promptly submit such appointments to the Personnel Officer for review. In the event the Personnel Officer shall not approve the emergency appointment, such employment shall cease as of the date of disapproval.

2.1.5   Pre-Placement Medical Examination and Drug Testing
An appointing authority shall make any appointment contingent on an applicant passing a pre-placement medical examination and a drug test prior to finalizing the appointment.  

2.1.6   Failure to Report
An applicant who accepts an appointment and fails to report to work on the date set by the appointing authority, shall, unless excused by the appointing authority, be deemed to have declined the appointment and the offer of employment shall be withdrawn.

2.1.7   Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action
        The Town recognizes the right of individuals to work and advance on the basis of merit, ability, and potential without regard to age, color, disability, gender, genetics, military service, national origin, ancestry, race, religion, past participation in discrimination complaints, or sexual orientation. Non-discrimination and equal opportunity are the policy of the Town in all of its hiring programs and activities.

        Toward this end, the Town commits itself to take affirmative measures to ensure equal opportunity in the recruitment and hiring, rate of compensation, and all terms and conditions of employment. The Town is committed to fostering and encouraging a workplace comprised of individuals of diverse ages, colors, abilities, genders, genetics, military service, national origins, ancestries, races, religions, and sexual orientations.

        All Town employees are encouraged to take diligent, affirmative steps to ensure equal opportunity and respect for diversity. The policy of the Town is to recruit and hire without regard to age, color, disability, gender, genetics, military service, national origin, ancestry, race, religion, past participation in discrimination complaints, or sexual orientation. Decisions about employment will be made so as to encourage the development of a diverse workforce.

2.2     Orientation Period

2.2.1   Orientation Policy
Performance of all employees must meet acceptable work standards.  The orientation period shall be utilized to help new and promoted employees achieve effective performance level.  To ensure that new employees are aware of their duties and responsibilities, department heads shall inform new employees of their rights, responsibilities, duties, and obligations.  The department head shall provide the employee with a copy of these personnel rules and regulations.  Also, the Town shall supply the new employee with a comprehensive employment package containing information on all benefits and all payroll deductions required or possible by these Rules & Regulations or any other sources.

2.2.2   Orientation
The appropriate department head shall conduct periodic orientation sessions for the purpose of providing new employees with information on benefits, rights and obligations as an employee of the town.  Department heads shall provide on-site training and orientation regarding specific rules, regulations, policies and procedures of the employee's assigned department including the safety policies and procedures.

2.2.3   Probation Period
All newly appointed and promoted employees shall be required to successfully complete a probation period to begin immediately upon the employee's starting date or promotion date and to continue for a ninety (90) calendar day period which may be extended by the number of scheduled work days the employee may be absent from work.  The probation period shall be utilized to help new and promoted employees achieve effective performance standards.  The probation period shall be used by the appointing authority to observe and evaluate the employee's attitude, conduct and work habits.  Upon expiration of the probation period, the appointing authority shall notify the Personnel Officer and Personnel Board in writing that:

a.      the employee's performance meets satisfactory standards and the individual will be retained in the position; or
b.      the employee's performance, due to extenuating circumstances, requires additional observation and that the probation period will be extended an additional ninety (90) calendar days; or
c.      the employee will be discharged – in which case the employee may not appeal the removal.

2.2.4   Department Head Responsibilities
During the probation period of any employee, department heads shall at reasonable intervals discuss work performance with the probationary employee.  The department head shall be responsible for documenting these discussions and copies of such documentation shall be submitted to the Personnel Officer to be filed in the employee's personnel file.

2.3     Transfer, Promotion, Demotion, Reinstatement and Resignation

2.3.1   Transfer
Transfer of an employee from one position to another without significant change in level may be affected if the employee has been in the original position for one year and meets the qualifications for the particular position.

2.3.2   Promotion
Vacancies in positions above the lowest rank in any department in the Town’s service may be filled by the promotion of employees in the Town’s service.  Promotions must involve a definite increase in duties and responsibilities and shall not be made merely for the purpose of affecting an increase in compensation.  Any promotions are subject to the availability of funds.

2.3.3   Demotion
        An employee may be demoted to a position of lower grade for which he or she is qualified for any of the following reasons:

a.      When an employee would otherwise be laid off resulting from the abolition of a position; the employee's position is reclassified to a higher grade for which the employee is not qualified; lack of work; disciplinary action; lack of funds; or because of the return to work from authorized leave of another employee to such a position in accordance with the rules of leave.
b.      When an employee does not possess the necessary qualifications to render satisfactory service in the position.
c.      When an employee voluntarily requests such demotion.

All demotions must receive the approval of the appointing authority and all department heads concerned.  The employee must be notified in writing of his or her demotion and of the reason for such action.  Within ten (10) working days of such notice he or she may request a public hearing or executive session before the Personnel Board who must hold such hearing not less than ten (10) working days or more than twenty (20) working days after such a request.  The Personnel Board may support the action or may modify it.

2.3.4   Working at a Higher Rated Position      
An employee who is required by the appointing authority to substitute for a higher classification for more than five (5) consecutive working days (except days filling in for another employee on vacation) shall be compensated for same at the rate set forth for the higher classification beginning with the sixth (6th) working day, and ending at the conclusion of the period of substitution.  For the purposes of this provision, a day shall be the hours normally worked at the higher rated position each day.

2.3.5   Resignation
Any employee who resigns from town employment should provide notice of at least ten (10) working days to the department head.  Department heads shall within three (3) business days of any resignation notify the appointing authority of any such resignation, who shall in turn notify the Personnel Officer and Personnel Board.

 
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