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Personnel and Office Policies and Procedures
Sections: Basic | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | Miscellaneous

SECTION 1

CLASSIFICATION

Section 1.1 Regular Position: A regular position is a position that is created to be of a full-time, continuing nature.

Section 1.2 Temporary Position: A temporary position is a position created for a specific time duration; that is, a position not of a continuous nature.

Section 1.3 Part Time Position: A part-time position is a position created with irregular working hours, days or any combination of these and is so designated by the Executive Director.

Section 1.4 Intern Position: An intern position, like a temporary position, is created for a specific time duration. It differs in that it is generally held by a student undertaking a specific project.



























SECTION 2

PAY


Section 2.1 Pay Policy: It is the policy of the Executive Committee of the North Central Regional Planning Commission that like pay shall be given for like work and that the scales of pay in the pay plan shall be comparable with those for comparable work in private employment in the area and in other similar public jurisdictions.

Section 2.2 Pay Plan: A compensation plan, showing the salary range for each class and the intermediate steps within each range, shall be a part of and attached to this policy statement. (See Appendix 3) The Executive Director shall recommend revisions of this plan to the Executive Committee from time to time to reflect changes in responsibility, economic conditions, or other valid influencing factors.

Section 2.3 Monthly Rate and Pay Period: As determined by the Executive Director, employees in temporary or part-time positions may be paid a monthly or hourly rate, using the monthly rate established in the pay plan for the class to which they are appointed as a guide, on a once a month basis unless deemed otherwise by the Executive Director.

Section 2.5 Entrance Rates of Pay: Initial appointments shall generally be made at the minimum rate of a class salary range, except that the Executive Director may make initial appointments above the minimum rate when justified because of experience or outstanding qualifications of the appointee or the inability to recruit qualified candidates at the minimum rates. Appointments may be made below the minimum rate for trainees only.

Section 2.6 Authority to Effect Personnel Actions: Authority to appoint, promote, transfer, demote and separate personnel shall be vested in the Executive Director.

Section 2.7 Employee Evaluations: Decisions affecting actions concerning individual personnel matters shall be, in part, based upon employee evaluations whose form is found in Appendix 1. All employees shall undergo a minimum of one evaluation each year, generally on their anniversary. New employees shall undergo a minimum of two (2) evaluations, one at the end of the first six (6) months and a second at the end of their first year.

Section 2.8 Eligibility for Pay Increase: Employees shall be eligible for pay increases as follows:

a. Pay increases based on merit shall be granted only to an employee who:

1. Holds a position in a class for which there is a range of pay;
2. Holds a regular appointment;
3. Is not at or above the maximum pay rate for the class.

b. Once an employee reaches the maximum pay rate for a class, he/she shall be frozen at that rate for twenty-four (24) consecutive months. At the end of that time, the employee shall be eligible for two (2) additional pay increases before being permanently frozen at a set rate of pay.

c. Pay increases based on the rise in cost of living shall be submitted by the Executive Director to the Executive Committee for its approval on an annual basis.

Section 2.9 Rate of Pay Increases: The date on which an employee becomes eligible for a one-step proficiency pay increase shall be determined as follows:

An employee shall complete six (6) consecutive months at his present rate in order to be eligible for the next higher step EXCEPT for special situations as determined by the Executive Director and confirmed by the Executive Committee.

Section 2.10 Budgetary Provisions: Provisions will be made for pay increases in the budget of the Executive Committee according to its need.

Section 2.11 Pay Adjustment When Pay Plan is Amended: When the pay plan is amended, rates of pay for employees in the classes affected shall be changed as outlined below. Such changes shall be called "pay adjustments" and shall not affect eligibility for merit pay increases.

a. Change of Grade: When a class is changed from one pay grade to another, pay rates of employees holding positions in that class shall be changed as follows:

i. Increase: When a class is advanced from one pay grade to another, the pay of each employee in that class shall be advanced to an equal or higher paying step of the new grade at the discretion of the Executive Director.

b. Decrease: The Executive Director may recommend and the Executive Committee may adopt lower pay scales for any grade.

c. Change of Step: When the step of a pay grade is changed, pay rates of employees holding positions in that class shall be changed as follows:

i. Increase: When a pay step of range is increased, the pay of each employee at that step shall be advanced to the new rate specified.

ii. Decrease: The Executive Director may recommend and the Executive Committee may adopt lower pay scales for any step.

Section 2.11 Fiscal Year-End Bonuses: The Executive Committee may award fiscal year-end bonuses in conjunction with other pay increases if the NCRPC exceeds budgetary expectations. The amounts or percentages shall be suggested by the Executive Director with final approval vested solely with the Executive Committee.

This practice is discretionary and is not to be construed by any employee as being mandatory by the Executive Committee.








































SECTION 3

RECRUITMENT AND APPOINTMENT


Section 3.1 Recruitment Policy: Employees of the North Central Regional Planning Commission shall be selected and employed by the Executive Director. Selection for employment shall be based solely on the basis of their experience, training, and other qualifications for the class of work to be performed. Race, religion, national origin, age, sex, handicap, or political affiliation shall not be taken into account. The Executive Director shall be selected by the Chairman of the Executive Committee with the approval of the Commission and his salary shall be set by the Executive Committee.

Section 3.2 Job Descriptions:

1. The duties and responsibilities assigned to each position shall be set forth as clearly as possible in writing. (See Appendix 2) Upon entrance on duty, each employee shall be given a description of the position to which he is assigned by the Executive Director.

2. The job descriptions shall be prepared to include all those duties necessary for the accomplishment of those functions for which the position is responsible.

3. Job descriptions shall be made a part of and attached to this personnel policy, and shall be subject to revision by the Executive Director with prior approval by the Executive Committee.

4. The Executive Director, as appropriate, reserves the right to assign any employee additional duties necessary for the accomplishment of the work of the Commission.

Section 3.3 Selection of Applicants:

1. Applications: Persons desiring employment shall file written applications setting forth their qualifications, experience, references and other information as may be required.

2. Examination of Rating: The qualifications of the applicant shall be appraised by an examination consisting of one or more of the following:

1. A rating of experience and training.

2. An interview by a responsible official.

3. An oral or written test.

4. A performance or demonstration test.

Section 3.4 Letter of Appointment: Each appointee shall receive a letter of appointment, showing his salary, job description, and other pertinent information, as well as a copy of this personnel policy.

Section 3.5 Letters to Failed Applicants: Each applicant who fails to be hired shall receive a letter informing them that another has been hired to fill the empty position, but thanking them for their interest and announcing their results for any test(s) taken.




































SECTION 4

HOURS OF WORK AND OVERTIME

Section 4.1 Standard Hours: The standard work week for the staff of the NCRPC is as follows:

40 hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Monday through Friday

The Executive Director may set other hours of work if he deems such hours necessary or desirable.

Section 4.2 Schedule Change: The Executive Director may at his discretion establish special standard hours for the staff for specified periods. In the interest of equity and uniformity, however, such special standard hours shall conform with the following provision:

1. The standard hours that are established for regular employees shall total 40 hours a week. (Temporary and part-time employees may have standard hours of fewer than 36 hours a week.)

Section 4.3 Overtime: Professional and supervisory employees should expect to carry out assignments that may involve working at times other than standard work hours. Normally, additional pay shall not be granted for overtime work for this class of employee; instead compensatory time off may be granted for overtime work by the Executive Director to all professional and supervisory employees on an hourly basis and in accordance with the following provisions:

1. Compensatory time off normally shall be granted within 30 days from the accrual date.

2. In certain situations, where required by law, the Executive Director may ascertain it is necessary for the agency to pay overtime for personnel other than professional and supervisory employees required to work in excess of 40 hours per week. In these situations, the Executive Director may, with Executive Committee approval, authorize payment to an employee for overtime hours worked at a rate of pay that is computed to be one and one-half times the hourly rate during normal working hours at the time the overtime work was performed.







SECTION 5

FRINGE BENEFITS


Section 5.1 Leave Defined: Leave is any authorized absence during regularly scheduled work hours. Leave may be authorized with or without pay. Absence without permission is considered unauthorized absence.

Section 5.2 Types of Leave: The following types of leave, and no others, are officially established:

Holiday

Vacation

Sick

Official Representation

Leave without pay

Military

Court

Section 5.3 Holiday Leave: The following holidays, and two (2) other holidays per year to be chosen by the Executive Director, shall be observed by the staff of the NCRPC and shall be granted to all regular employees with pay, and to temporary or part-time employees at the discretion of the Executive Director:

New Year's Day (January 1)

Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)

Independence Day (July 4)

Labor Day (1st Monday in September)

Veteran's Day (November 11)

Thanksgiving Day (4th Thursday in November)

Christmas Day (December 25)

Section 5.4 Additional Holiday: At the discretion of the Executive Director and acceptance by the Executive Committee, the NCRPC office may cease all official business during the interim period between Christmas Day and New Years Day. Employees during this period will be free to come and go as they choose.

Section 5.5 Granting Holiday Leave: Granting of holidays designated in Section 5.3 shall be subject to the following provisions:

a. In a week in which a holiday occurs the workweek shall be 32 hours and work performed beyond 32 hours shall be considered overtime except for professional and supervisory personnel. An employee who works 32 hours in a week in which a holiday occurs shall receive his regular pay as though he or she had worked 40 hours.

b. When a holiday falls on Saturday, it shall be observed on Friday. When a holiday falls on Sunday, it shall be observed on Monday.

Section 5.6 Vacation Leave: Vacation leave is discretionary leave and is to be used by an employee for personal relaxation and enjoyment or for matters of personal business. It is the only leave away from work during normal working hours afforded by the NCRPC for such purposes except as otherwise addressed in Section 4.3(a) Compensatory Time.

Section 5.7 Basis for Determining Employee Vacation Allowances:

1. All regular full-time employees shall accrue vacation leave at the rate of one (1) day per month up to a maximum of fifteen (15) days. Vacation leave the employee is otherwise entitled to thereafter shall be forfeited at the rate of one (1) day per month.

2. All part-time employees shall accrue vacation leave in a fashion parallel to that of all regular full-time employees, but at a rate proportional to the number of hours worked during each month.

3. Employees are not entitled to any vacation during the first six (6) months of employment although vacation leave shall accumulate on their behalf in the manner as stated in either "a" or "b" above.

4. Vacation should be approved by the Executive Director one (1) month in advance following written request on standard forms furnished by the agency. In considering such request, the Executive Director reserves the right to grant vacations to conform with work demands.

5. Employees resigning from the agency and providing one (1) month notice of their intention to resign and then working out this full notice period will be entitled to payment for accrued vacation.

6. Employees discharged for cause or who resign without one (1) month notice will not be entitled to payment for accrued vacation.

7. No vacation will be accrued during any period of leave without pay.

Section 5.8 Sick Leave: Sick leave shall be used only when employees are incapacitated by illness, injury or childbirth; for medical, dental, or optical diagnosis or treatment; for necessary care and attendance of death of a member of the employee's immediate family or household; as approved by the Executive Director; or exposure to a contagious disease when the attendance at duty jeopardizes the health of others, as approved by the Executive Director.

Sick leave may be taken when members of an employee's immediate family are incapacitated by illness, injury or childbirth; are scheduled for medical, dental or optical diagnosis or treatment; and the immediate presence of the employee is required in a care-giving role.

Sick leave is not discretionary leave and is to be used only for the purposes it is intended to address.

Section 5.9 Basis for Granting Sick Leave:

1. All regular, full-time employees of the NCRPC accumulate sick leave at the rate of one (1) day per month.

2. Under unusual circumstances a deserving employee may, upon the approval of the Executive Director, be advanced sick leave. Such advance shall not exceed ten (10) working days.

3. An employee who is separated for any reason shall not be paid unused sick leave.

4. A doctor's certificate will be required for sick leave in excess of three (3) working days.

5. Not more than one hundred eighty (180) days sick leave may be accumulated and held at any one time.

Section 5.10 Official Representation: Official representation shall be handled as follows:

1. A leave of absence with pay may be granted at the discretion of the Executive Director to an employee to participate in official meetings, activities, examinations and institutes directly related to his work assignment.
2. A regular employee engaged in professional or technical work may be granted a leave of absence with full or partial pay for enrollment in a special institute or course of study of direct benefit to the agency, upon recommendation of the Executive Director.

Section 5.11 Leave of Absence Without Pay: The Executive Director may grant a leave of absence without pay for a two (2) week period in appropriate circumstances. Leave of absence without pay beyond that time may be granted only upon approval of the Executive Committee.

Section 5.12 Military Leave: Any employee who is a member of the reserves of the United States Armed Forces or National Guard shall be entitled to a leave of absence during the time he is engaged in ordered annual training for a period of not to exceed fifteen (15) days in any one calendar year. In the event that the pay received from the United States Government by said employee while on active duty does not equal or exceed the agency salary of such employee, the agency will pay said employee in such an amount necessary to supplement said military pay to equal his regular salary paid by the agency. Any certified employee shall be entitled to an indefinite leave of absence without pay while serving on active duty in the military branch of the United States Government during time of war. This leave allowance also shall cover absences resulting from compulsory military training orders in peacetime but shall not exceed four (4) years. The position from which an employee is on military leave, if filled, shall be filled subject to the return of the employee from military leave providing the employee is physically fit to perform the duties of his former position.

The employee shall submit a written request for military leave to the Executive Director with a copy of the training orders.

Section 5.13 Court Leave: Any regular, full-time employee of the NCRPC shall be entitled to a leave of absence if he is called to testify in a court case or is summoned to jury duty. In the event pay received by said employee for court or jury duty does not equal or exceed the agency salary of such employee, the employee can turn over to the NCRPC the pay received and the agency will pay said employee the regular hourly rate or salary.

An employee requesting a leave of absence for court or jury duty shall submit a written request to that effect to the Executive Director along with appropriate duty verification.

Section 5.14 Medical Benefits: The agency will provide a group health and hospitalization program for the benefit of regular, full-time NCRPC employees. Participation in the program will be optional at the discretion of individual employees. For those employees participating in the program, the agency will pay the full cost of individual coverage for the employee. Costs in excess of individual program coverage, such as the additional cost for family coverage, will be borne by the participating employee.

The above benefit program will be reviewed by the Executive Director annually. If after review, it is felt changes need to be made in the coverage, by a vote of the majority of those participating, the program may be altered within budget limitations.

No substitute provisions of like cost or benefit will be made to any employee choosing not to participate in the health insurance program as outlined above.

Section 5.15 Reimbursement for Tuition: Any regular employee taking a college level course whose subject matter is directly related to the duties performed by that employee may, upon successful completion of the course be reimbursed for tuition.

1. To be eligible for such reimbursement, the employee must inform the Executive Director prior to enrollment in the course, providing the Executive Director with any course description available. The Executive Director shall at that time make a decision whether or not the course will qualify. If affirmative, a written decision shall be placed in the employee's file.

Upon completion of any acceptable course, the employee shall present course grades for verification of successful completion, along with proof of paid tuition costs. Reimbursement for these costs shall be made at that time.

If the employee leaves the NCRPC for a job elsewhere within two (2) years following completion of the last course reimbursed, the employee shall in turn repay the NCRPC for all tuition payments made by the NCRPC on the employee's behalf for the preceding five (5) year period.

Section 5.16 Specialized Training: Specific job classifications may require the employee to undertake specialized training from time-to-time to enable the NCRPC to carry out projects or perform services on behalf of members or clients. The NCRPC shall pay all costs associated with this training.

Section 5.17 Retirement Program: Participation in the NCRPC retirement program is mandatory, although employees are not permitted to enroll in the program until their first anniversary date.

The program established under the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) requires the employee to contribute 4.0% of his/her annual salary with the NCRPC contributing an additional percentage on behalf of the employee. The percentage of NCRPC contribution varies each year, with that percentage being set by KPERS and announced at staff meeting.

Annual reports are given to every employee in May of each year describing the personal investment and benefits accrued on their behalf.

Section 5.18 Health Insurance: The NCRPC will maintain a health insurance program and offer coverage to all employees who elect to participate. Payment of monthly premiums will be as follows:

1. The NCRPC will pay the full monthly premium for individual coverage on the employee unless action is otherwise taken by the Executive Committee to reduce the amount paid.
2. The employee will have the opportunity to pay the additional monthly premium for family coverage.

If the employee chooses not to participate in the NCRPC health insurance program, there will be no like-compensation awarded to that employee.

Section 5.19 General: Issues dealing with additional leave and personal employee expense that may arise from time to time and that are not otherwise addressed in any of the above may fall to the discretion of the Executive Director for final decision.









SECTION 6

TRAVEL


Section 6.1 Authorization: All travel, other than that associated with the daily conduct of normal routine, must be authorized in advance by the Executive Director. Out-of-state travel (other than to Kansas City, Missouri), unless otherwise accounted for in the budget, must be submitted to the Executive Committee for approval; however, in those instances when the need for essential out-of-state travel arises prior to the next regular Executive Committee meeting, the Executive Director shall receive verbal approval from the Executive Committee Chairman, or in his absence, from the Vice-Chairman, or Secretary-Treasurer of the Executive Committee.

Section 6.2 Eligible Expenses: Cash advances for anticipated expenses may be issued; or reimbursement of expenses incurred for authorized travel will be made upon presentation of properly prepared and executed travel vouchers for the following items and subject to the following conditions:

1. Tourist (coach or other similar class) fare for railroad or airplane, based upon the shortest practical route. When necessary because of accommodations and schedules, pullman fares on railroads may be approved.

2. Taxicab or auto rental charges.

3. All official telegrams and telephone calls, actual expenses incurred in registration and attendance at official meetings and conferences; and other miscellaneous expenses not specifically listed herein but incurred on official business for the agency, including tips.

4. Expenses for lodging and meals if employee is out overnight on NCRPC business, provided all such expenses do not exceed allowable costs published in the most current Federal Register under the General Services Administration section regarding federal per diem rates. Any amounts over those allowable costs shall be borne by the employee.

5. Expenses for out-of-town travel in employee's personally owned vehicle when authorized by the Executive Director shall be reimbursed to the employee at the accepted rate found in the current Federal Register under General Services Administration rules governing federal travel expense, but not in excess of otherwise approved fare for railroad, pullman, or airplane, based on the shortest practical route.

6. Employees attending evening meetings on behalf of the NCRPC more than fifteen (15) miles from their home and/or office shall be reimbursed up to $7.50 for their supper on the approval of the Executive Director.

7. Before reimbursement can be made, the traveler will be required to submit a travel expense voucher on the prescribed form and furnish all the information thereon, including, but not limited to, receipts for hotel/motel expense and meals.

1. As a matter of policy, reimbursement will be made to the employee from that program responsible for employee travel. If, however, the program places limitations of its own on travel costs, then the program will pay up to those limits, with the NCRPC paying any remaining amount from its General Fund.

Section 6.3 Use of Employee's Automobile: Employees may use their own vehicle for agency business when approved by the Executive Director. Allowance for automobile travel shall be paid in accordance to the policy stated above. All mileage records must be accurately kept on forms provided by the agency and submitted monthly to the Secretary-Bookkeeper.

Section 6.4 Insurance on Employee's Automobile: Any staff member permitted to use his own car for office use must carry adequate insurance.

Section 6.5 Travel Expenses of Applicants: On the recommendation of the Executive Director, the Executive Committee may approve the payment of travel expenses for employment interviews incurred by applicants for regular professional and supervisory positions. Such expenses shall be subject to the same limitations applied to travel expenses described in Section 6.2 of these Personnel Policies and Procedures. The approval of such payment shall include a determination that the expense is reasonable and necessary.

Section 6.6 Moving Expenses of New Employees: The Executive Committee may approve the payment of moving expenses incurred by the Executive Director including immediate family, household goods, and personal effects. The approval of such payment shall include a determination that the expense is reasonable and necessary.

















SECTION 7

SEPARATION FROM EMPLOYMENT


Section 7.1 Resignation: It is the responsibility of an employee who plans to resign to notify the Executive Director in advance as follows:

1. At least one (1) month notice for regular employees.

2. At least two (2) weeks notice for temporary or part-time employees.

Section 7.2 Separations and Lay-offs: The Executive Director may lay off or separate an employee when the position to which said employee has been assigned is abolished or when funds are not available to pay the salary. If it is necessary to reduce personnel, the selection of employees to be retained shall be based primarily upon their relative efficiency. Other things being equal, temporary employees shall be separated before regular employees. At least one (1) month advance notice shall be given an employee prior to dismissal except in cases of improper conduct as referred to in Section 7.3, when no notice will be required but may be given at the discretion of the Executive Director. Dismissal papers shall reflect the reason for separation.

Section 7.3 Dismissals: An employee who gives unsatisfactory service, who is guilty of conduct unbecoming the agency, shall be subject to dismissal after a fair review before the Executive Director.

Section 7.4 Separation of the Executive Director: Upon recommendation of the Executive Committee Chairman, the Commission may, by majority vote, separate the Executive Director from employment on 30 days notice.

Section 7.5 Appeals: If any employee feels there is ground for appeal from lay-off or separation from employment, the employee may appeal to the Executive Committee in writing within fourteen (14) calendar days and a hearing shall be held by the Executive Committee. In no event shall the hearing be delayed later than sixty (60) calendar days after lay-off or separation.

Section 7.6 Suspension from Employment: The Executive Director may suspend any employee from his position for cause without pay pending a hearing by the Executive Committee after fifteen (15) days written notice has been given to all parties involved.





SECTION 8

GENERAL OFFICE PROCEDURES


Section 8.1 Dress Code: Casual business attire is warranted at all times by office personnel who come into daily contact with member representatives or business clientele. Formal business attire is mandated only when the employee is representing the NCRPC at meetings with federal or state officials present or at public meetings and conferences where such attire is considered to be the "dress-of-the-day".

Field personnel are to dress appropriate to the demands of the job being performed.

COMMON SENSE once again is the rule. Employees represent the NCRPC when performing tasks associated with individual position and at times image is everything. It is important those served perceive NCRPC employees as being professional and representative of their best interests.

Section 8.2 Correspondence and Handling of Mail

a. Receipt and Distribution of Mail

All mail except mail that is marked "Personal" or "Confidential" or which is obviously so, shall be opened by the Secretary. All incoming mail shall be date-stamped. Documents attached to incoming letters shall NOT be date-stamped. In the case of booklets and other material received in bulk, only the transmittal or the top copy shall be stamped. The back cover of single booklets, pamphlets and magazines shall be date-stamped. In addition, where appropriate, material to be placed in the library shall be so stamped. Each copy of transmittal sheets or procedure changes and new procedures received from federal or state agencies shall be date-stamped. In no event should a date-stamp be placed where it would obliterate or make illegible any text or title. At the time of opening the mail, the envelope or wrapping in which the material came shall be saved ONLY if necessary to identify to whom or from whom the letter or material originated. Telegrams and special delivery letters shall be delivered promptly to the Executive Director.

All mail except letters, etc., addressed specifically to another staff member, shall be forwarded to the Executive Director. All mail addressed to the Executive Committee, the Commission or its officers shall be forwarded to the Executive Director.

Staff members are requested to read, initial and forward mail as rapidly as possible. The purpose of this procedure is to insure that maximum use and benefit result from publications received while distributing the reading workload for the entire office and preventing a backlog of material from piling up on any one desk.

Publications and other material, which relate to a specific function, the responsibility for which is clearly set forth in the job description, shall be routed to that person with further routing as determined by that individual.

IN NO EVENT ARE ORIGINAL INCOMING LETTERS OR FILE COPIES OF OUTGOING LETTERS TO BE RETAINED OR PLACED OTHER THAN IN THE CENTRAL FILES AFTER INITIAL ROUTING.

If the incoming letter requires no answer, but a copy of it is desired, the letter shall be photocopied, and the original letter, after routing, shall be forwarded promptly to the Secretary-Bookkeeper for filing.

In the routing of mail the rule of common sense shall apply. Any urgent items which are the responsibility of someone absent from the office or from the city shall be called to the attention of another who may be able to handle the matter.

b. Preparation of Letters and Memoranda

Each staff member will normally be responsible for preparing answers to mail relating to his function. Where appropriate, drafts shall be prepared for consideration by the Executive Director. Letters to an elected representative (Governor, Mayor, Congressman, etc.) shall be prepared only for the signature of the Executive Director, or, in appropriate instances, of the Chairman or other Officers of the Executive Committee and Commission. This also applies to other than routine correspondence with the other local governmental units. Letters to federal or state agencies shall usually be prepared for the signature of the Executive Director EXCEPT when such correspondence is a matter of regularly assigned duties or generated from specifically assigned responsibilities.

The Secretary-Bookkeeper shall prepare and shall sign all correspondence relating to insurance, claims, bills and related subjects except for those letters at her discretion which should be signed by the Executive Director or the Chairman of the Executive Committee.

Correspondence, other than submission of information, with the attorneys of the agency and with other professional consultants shall be signed by the Executive Director.

Copies of correspondence shall be prepared in addition to those designated by the dictator as follows:

Personal correspondence file copy.

Subject file copy.

Dictator's and typist's initials shall be shown on all copies in the lower left corner. Information copies shall be photocopied, and unless otherwise specified, the names of recipients of information copies shall be shown on all copies, including the original. If a blind copy is specified, the recipient's name shall appear only on his copy and on the file and reader copies preceded by "bcc", unless otherwise specified.

Letters which are to be sent Registered, By Special Messenger, Special Delivery, or Air Mail Special Delivery, or which are "Personal" or "Confidential", shall be so identified on the face of the original and on all copies. The envelope shall be so stamped on both sides.

Mail shall generally be sent by First Class, except as may be noted by the sender.

Except in unusual circumstances, no letter shall be presented for signature unless all enclosures are with that letter and the letter is ready in every respect for signing and dispatching. Enclosed documents or forms requiring signature shall be so marked with clips.

Mail prepared for signature shall be assembled as follows:

1. Original letter to be signed together with any enclosures clipped under the fold of a reversed envelope appropriately addressed and of the appropriate size.

2. Information copies, if any, with appropriate faced envelopes addressed and clipped thereto.

3. File copies of the letter with original of incoming letter, if any, stapled below it, so the person signing may refer to it if necessary. Copies of any enclosures sent with the outgoing letter shall also be stapled to the file copies, or if not feasible, shall be identified on the file copies.

After mail is signed, it shall be returned to the Secretary-Bookkeeper for checking and appropriate insertion into envelopes. The file copies also go to the Secretary-Bookkeeper for filing.

As often as necessary throughout the day, the Secretary-Bookkeeper for checking and appropriate insertion into envelopes. The file copies also go to the Secretary-Bookkeeper staff members.

Interoffice memoranda shall be used to report matters of any consequence or to raise pertinent questions with copies sent to appropriate persons. Only the Executive Director shall address memoranda to the staff, although memoranda addressed or referred to them may be further routed to other or all staff members for their information or action. ALL MEMORANDA SHALL BE SIGNED OR INITIALED: The signature or initials indicate that the memorandum says what the writer means and that all necessary information is included.

All material to be filed shall be routed as promptly as possible to the Secretary-Bookkeeper who shall file it promptly. The Secretary-Bookkeeper shall be responsible for the central files of the office. The Secretary-Bookkeeper shall receive all outgoing mail and shall seal, stamp and dispatch same as often as appropriate.

Section 8.3 Use of Telephones: The Receptionist shall have the primary responsibility for answering the telephone as well as for receiving callers to the office. If the Receptionist is absent or otherwise engaged, an employee shall be designated to assume these responsibilities.

The typical telephone greeting shall be,

"Good morning, or good afternoon, North Central Regional Planning Commission. This is (state your first name)."

The Receptionist or the person answering the phone shall promptly refer all calls by means of the intercommunication line to the person the caller names and that staff member shall identify himself when he takes the call.

In the routing of all calls by the intercommunication line the person buzzing shall identify the line the call is on by number as appropriate and the name of the caller IF KNOWN. The Receptionist is to await a response from the target individual to confirm that person understood the message before returning to work. This avoids callers being on hold for an extended period of time.

The Receptionist should make a reasonable effort to identify the caller by simply asking, "May I say who is calling?" The information sought is the first and last name of the individual and the firm or organization represented.

In short, callers must not feel that it is difficult to get to talk to anyone, nor should they ever have to identify themselves more than once unless it is how to spell their name. However, it is important the caller be able to talk to the person who can best help him or her.

All the telephones in the office are for business use primarily and the number of lines adequate to serve our purposes for business use. It is understandable that there will be times when personal calls are made or received. All employees shall keep such calls to a minimum and as short as possible so as not to tie up any one line for an unreasonable length of time.

Staff members are authorized to receive collect calls and are authorized to place long distance calls that are necessary to the performance of their duties. All such calls shall be promptly logged in the agency long-distance telephone log kept by the Receptionist for that purpose. Discretion in the number of calls and checking with other staff members to avoid duplication of calls or communications is expected.

COURTESY, TACT, AND COMMON SENSE SHOULD CHARACTERIZE OUR USE OF THE TELEPHONE.

Section 8.4 Use of Cells Phones, Office Vehicles, Office Computers, Internet and E-mail:

Use of cell phones, office vehicles, office computers or Internet and e-mail services for personal business or pleasure during normal working hours is to be avoided whenever possible. It is recognized that exceptions do occur, but for reasons of efficiency and production, each staff member is to keep such use at a minimum.

Use of office cell phones and vehicles after hours for personal business or pleasure is prohibited unless an emergency situation exists and similar personal items are not at hand.

Playing computer games during regular office hours is prohibited.

Again, COMMON SENSE should dictate what is and what isn't appropriate.

Section 8.5 Use of Office Copier for Personal Reasons: Employee use of the office copier for personal reasons is permitted provided the employee reimburses the office at the rate of $0.025 per copy if more than four (4) copies are made.

Section 8.6 Use of Shredder: Documents destined to be thrown away that contain personal or proprietary information on clients (individual persons or businesses, not member governments) are to be shredded before they are discarded in the trash.

Section 8.7 News Media and General Public Relations: Every employee shall have a responsibility for performing his work in such a manner as to insure the best possible public relations, which will lead to the recognition of and support for the agency. This relates to personal contacts, both official and unofficial, and contacts by mail and telephone.

It will be the responsibility of all the professional staff to be prepared to present to interested groups or organizations, presentations explaining our work and specific studies.

In dealing with official and unofficial agencies, it is essential that a cooperative relationship be maintained to develop mutual support for present and future programs and confidence in our organization.

In accordance with this policy adopted by the Executive Committee, dealings with the press shall be by the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary-Treasurer or the Executive Director. The purpose of this policy is to avoid the appearance of disagreement or lack of coordination, which quite often results from news media inquiries directed to various members of a board or organization on the same subject.

In carrying out this policy, several guidelines should be considered:

1. Strive to do your best and remember that teamwork is a necessity if we are to accomplish agency goals.

2. Information and education are the key facilities to utilize in obtaining public acceptance of agency goals.

3. Honesty is always to be practiced in agency and public relations.

4. Relationships with people during everyday activities will be the basis for cooperation on future projects.

5. Everyone deserves recognition and praise for their share of agency accomplishments.

In conclusion, always remember that the proper development of community and public relations is essential to the success of our undertaking.

Section 8.8 Purchasing and Budget Control: In purchasing equipment and supplies, the Executive Director and the Secretary-Bookkeeper shall have the responsibility for obtaining the best possible merchandise at the lowest possible price. Where the cost is no greater, we will do business insofar as possible with firms within the region. Purchase of equipment and other substantial expenditures should be considered fully before any recommendation is made since it is essential that we have the most economical operation possible consistent with our needs and our objectives.

The Executive Director shall be the responsible Purchasing Agent for the agency.

Purchases in behalf of the agency not exceeding $5,000.00 may be authorized by the Executive Director within budget limitations approved by the Commission. Employees shall not buy anything for any purpose without the prior authorization of the Executive Director on such forms he may prescribe.

Purchases in behalf of the agency in excess of $5,000.00 shall have the prior authorization of the Executive Committee. When such purchases are required prior to an Executive Committee meeting, the Executive Director will secure the approval of the agency's Secretary-Treasurer or in his absence the agency's Chairman or Vice-Chairman.

Purchases in behalf of the agency in excess of $5,000.00 shall be authorized by the Executive Committee after the Executive Director shall have solicited, orally or in writing, competitive quotations from at least three (3) suppliers, if so many be available in the region. A tabulation of the competitive quotations shall be presented to the Executive Committee prior to their selecting one quotation and authorizing purchase, and such tabulation shall be kept on file.

Only the Executive Director, as Purchasing Agent for the agency, shall authorize the establishment of open accounts with potential suppliers and vendors.

Section 8.9 Standards of Conduct in the Procurement of Goods and Services

All employees shall adhere to the following standards for conduct in the procurement of goods and services by the Commission:

1. No employee shall solicit or accept gratuities, favors or anything of monetary value from either contractors or potential contractors of the NCRPC.

2. No employee shall restrict the free and open competition by contractors or potential contractors in the procurement of goods and services through conflict of interest, discriminatory or non-competitive practices or other methods, which may restrict or eliminate competition or otherwise restrain trade.

3. All transactions shall meet the minimum following requirements:

1. ARM'S LENGTH transactions are transactions consummated through deals made between independent and unrelated persons. They are competitive, straight forward, involving no favoritism or irregularity, providing the NCRPC and the seller an opportunity to freely act, each seeking his own best economic interest and agreeing upon a mutually acceptable price.

2. All costs or expenses from transactions between persons or businesses, which are related or associated with NCRPC personnel shall be examined for reasonableness and appropriateness. Such associations include but are not limited to:

1. Family
2. Ownership of a business by an NCRPC employee;
3. Members of the NCRPC Board of Directors, conducting business with the NCRPC; and
4. When the transactions are found to be NON-ARM'S LENGTH as defined above, the goods and services charged will be limited to the amount that would be allowable as the normal cost of ownership.

4. All bids and contracts signed with the NCRPC shall have the following disclaimer:

"The undersigned bidder/contractor hereby declares the only parties interested in this proposal are named herein; that this proposal is made without collusion with any other person, firm or corporation and that no employee, officer or agent of the North Central Regional Planning Commission is directly or indirectly financially interested in this bid/contract."

5. Any employee who purposely violates the spirit and intent of this statement shall be

disciplined according to the personnel policies of the NCRPC.

Section 8.10 Complaints and Responses to Complaints: Complaints from member governmental units, contractors or beneficiary clientele will occur from time-to-time given the nature and diversity of work performed by NCRPC personnel. While never welcomed, once a complaint occurs the individual(s) involved will follow the prescribed procedures of the program having precedence over the project. If no such procedures exist, the following shall constitute the minimum response.

1. The Executive Director is to be notified of all complaints, be they verbal or written.

2. Verbal complaints are to be logged in the project file and are to be addressed at the time they are received if immediate solution is possible. Any action taken is to be noted in the file by the employee handling the complaint.

3. When immediate solution is not possible, the complainant should be directed to put the issue or issues in writing. All written complaints are to be signed and dated by the complainant and directed to either the Program Director or Executive Director.

4. Each issue raised in the complaint is to be identified and itemized by the Program Director or Executive Director, with the employee(s) most capable of explaining the circumstances to return a written response to each issue within five (5) consecutive days.

5. The Program Director and/or Executive Director will use this information to then seek resolution of the matter(s) brought forth in the complaint in a timely manner.
































SECTION 9

GENERAL NON-HARRASSMENT POLICY


Section 9.1 Purpose: It is the policy of the North Central Regional Planning Commission (NCRPC) to maintain a work environment free of intimidation, insult, and harassment based upon race, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry or disability. The NCRPC is also opposed to any employee being harassed on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry or disability by a board member, public member, vendor, client or customer. To insure that this policy is strictly adhered to, the NCRPC will not tolerate the harassment of any of its employees, and will take immediate disciplinary action if such behavior should occur.

Section 9.2 Definition: Harassment on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, national origin or ancestry or disability is a form of discrimination and is an "unlawful employment practice" under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. It is illegal when it is part of a manager's or supervisor's decision to hire or fire someone; when it is used to make other employment decisions such as pay, promotion, or job assignment; when it interferes with the employee's work performance; or when it creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

For clarification purposes, sexual harassment is defined as:

1. The threat or insinuation by one employee or group of employees or by anyone representing one of those categories named in Section 9.1, either explicitly or implicitly, that his/her refusal to submit to sexual advances will adversely affect his/her employment, evaluation, wages, advancement, assigned duties, shifts or any other condition of employment or career development; or,

2. The subjecting of an employee(s) by another employee(s) to unsolicited and unwelcomed sexual overtures or conduct, either verbal or physical, so as to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Section 9.3 Policy: The NCRPC's policy on harassment is as follows.

1. No employee, whether supervisory or non-supervisory, may harass another employee.

2. Any employee who believes that they are the victim of harassment shall immediately report the incident(s) in the manner prescribed in Section 9.4.

3. All complaints involving claims or harassment shall be promptly and confidentially (as practical) investigated. The employee filing the complaint shall be advised of the results of the investigation.

4. Any employee, supervisory or non-supervisory, found to have engaged in harassment of another employee will be disciplined, up to and including discharge. When appropriate, the employee filing the complaint will be encouraged to file criminal charges against the harasser.

Section 9.4 Complaint Procedure: Any employee who feels he/she is being subjected to harassment should immediately contact one of the persons listed below with who the employee feels the most comfortable. Complaints may be made orally or in writing to:

1. The employee's immediate supervisor;

2. The Executive Director; or

3. The Chairman of the NCRPC Executive Committee.

The employee should be prepared to provide the following information:

1. Employee's name and position title.

2. The name of the person or persons committing the harassment.

3. The date(s) and approximate time(s) of the harassment.

4. The specific nature of the harassment, how long it has gone on, and any employment action (demotion, failure to promote, dismissal, refusal to hire, transfer, etc.) taken against him/her as a result of the harassment, or any other threats made against him/her as a result of the harassment.

5. Witnesses to the harassment, if any.

6. Whether he/she has previously reported such harassment and, if so, when and to whom.

After receiving a harassment complaint, the recipient of the complaint shall assist the employee filing the complaint with documenting the incident in writing and the employee shall affix their signature attesting to the accuracy and truthfulness of the complaint. All information disclosed in the complaint procedure will be held in strictest confidence and will only be disclosed on a need-to-know basis in order to investigate and resolve the matter.

Section 9.5 Review of a Harassment Complaint: It shall be the responsibility of the Executive Director to coordinate the investigation and review of harassment complaints. The Executive Director may delegate the investigation to the appropriate NCRPC employee. If the Executive Director is the subject of the complaint, the Chairman shall coordinate the investigation of the complaint. The following procedures shall apply to the receipt, review, and handling of such complaints.

1. The person to whom the complaint is made shall immediately present it to the Executive Director.

2. An investigation into the alleged incident shall be promptly started.

3. The investigator shall make and keep a written record of the investigation, including notes of verbal responses made to the investigator by the person complaining of harassment, witnesses interviewed during the investigation, the person against whom the complaint of harassment was made, and any other person contacted by the investigator in connection with the investigation.

4. The investigator shall notify the employee accused of the harassment as promptly as possible of the complaint and the severity of the allegations (immediate notification is not necessary if such notification would jeopardize the investigation.)

5. The employee accused of the harassment shall be given appropriate opportunity to refute the allegation and present information and/or witnesses on his/her behalf.

6. Based upon the investigation report, the Executive Director shall determine whether the conduct of the person against whom a complaint of harassment has been made constitutes harassment. In making that determination, the Executive Director shall look at the record as a whole and at the totality of circumstances, including the nature of the conduct in question, the context in which the conduct, if any, occurred. The determination of whether harassment occurred will be made on a case-by-case basis.

7. If the Executive Director determines that the complaint of harassment is founded, he/she shall take immediate and appropriate disciplinary action against the employee guilty of harassment.

8. The disciplinary action shall be consistent with the nature and severity of the offense, whether a supervisory relationship exists, and any other factors the Executive Director believes fair and efficient administration of the NCRPC, including the effect of the offense on employee morale, public perception of the offense, and the light in which it casts the NCRPC. The disciplinary action may include demotion and/or suspension, dismissal, warning or reprimand. A determination of the level of disciplinary action shall also be made on a case-by-case basis.

9. If the Executive Director determines that the complaint of harassment is unfounded, he/she shall notify the employee accused of harassment on the determination and advise that no disciplinary action is warranted.

10. The employee making the complaint shall be notified of the results of the investigation and the discipline, if any, to be administered.

11. If the Executive Director determines after reviewing the investigation report that the complaint was intentionally falsified by the employee filing the complaint, the Executive Director shall take immediate and appropriate disciplinary action against said employee.

Section 9.6 Appeal of the Decision: Within ten (10) working days of the postmark of the written notification to the employee of the Executive Director's decision, the complaint or respondent may make a written request for a final review of the record by the NCRPC Executive Committee.

The NCRPC Executive Committee, in response to a timely appeal, will either:

1. Review the record and provide a final decision within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the appeal, or

2. Schedule an executive session with the appealing party to hear his/her appeal within ten (10) days following the receipt of the appeal.

1. The meeting date can be scheduled on any date, convenient to all parties, with mutual consent (including beyond the ten (10) day period).

2. A final decision will be made by the NCRPC Executive Committee within five (5) days following such meeting.

3. Copies of the decision shall be sent to the complainant and respondent by registered mail, return receipt requested, and a copy will be given to the Executive Director.

Section 9.7 Records of Harassment Complaint: All records, except those affected by Kansas Open Records Act, concerning a harassment complaint shall be confidential and kept in a separate locked file. Access shall be only with the Executive Director's approval to parties who have a direct and relevant need to know.















SECTION 10

SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY


Section 10.1 Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to deal with relationships that may cause some employees to be uncomfortable in the workplace. Harassment on the basis of sex is unlawful and forbidden.

Section 10.2 Filing: To file a complaint, NCRPC staff is to follow the procedures outlined in Section 9.4 of these Personnel Policies.

Section 10.3 Investigation of Complaints: Any filing of a sexual harassment claim (as outlined in Section 9.4) will be investigated by the Executive Director, or the appropriate authority, who will inform the complainant of the options and procedures available, and then will take appropriate action pursuant to this policy.

Section 10.4 Confidentiality and Reporting

1. All investigations surrounding sexual harassment will be designed to maintain confidentiality and to protect the privacy of parties involved.

2. Breach of confidentiality by any of the involved parties may be the reason for disciplinary action.

3. Any employee who is aware of or suspects any occurrence of sexual harassment will report the matter confidentially and directly as explained in Section 9.4.

Section 10.5 Investigation Procedure: When an allegation of sexual harassment is made concerning an employee, the Executive Director (or appropriate authority) and/or his or her designee will take immediate steps to:

1. Obtain a written statement of grievance from the complainant regarding the time, dates, places and circumstances surrounding the allegations.

2. Discuss the matter with the alleged offender.

3. Obtain a statement from the witnesses or possible witnesses from both sides of the issue, if any.

4. Prepare a written report of the investigation to support any further actions taken.

Section 10.6 Action and Resolution: Based on the report, steps shall be taken for immediate and appropriate action for determining whether or not the alleged conduct constitutes sexual harassment. A determination of a sexual harassment claim shall be made by the facts on a case-by-case basis.










































MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS


Section 11.1 Decision of the Executive Director: The Executive Director may, if he or she wishes, submit any situation which may arise as a result of authority vested in him/her by these Personnel Policies and Office Policies and Procedures to the Executive Committee for consideration and action, either at a special or regular meeting, whether an employee has entered written appeal or not.

Section 11.2 Matters Not Covered: If personnel matters not covered in these Policies and Procedures arise, the Executive Director may render a decision and refer the matter to the Executive Committee for confirmation.

Section 11.3 Creation of New Positions: The Executive Director may establish new positions as needed in the Classification and Pay Plan subject to the approval of the Executive Committee.

Section 11.4 Authority in the Executive Director's Absence: In the absence of the Executive Director, the person in next highest authority designated by the Executive Director shall have the authority to act for the Executive Director, within an area of authority described by the Executive Director.

 

Updated 12/6/11
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