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Employee Manual


Revised: August 17, 2016

RESOLUTION 16-10


RESOLUTION OF THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE IMMOKALEE WATER AND SEWER DISTRICT ADOPTING AN EMPLOYEE MANUAL AND PROVIDING FOR AN EFFECTIVE DATE.


WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of the IMMOKALEE WATER AND SEWER DISTRICT (hereinafter referred to as “the Board”) is empowered to construct, operate, and maintain a Water and Sewer System (“the System”) as described in Florida Statute Chapter 78- 494, Laws of Florida, which was amended by chapters 93-366, 94-489, and 95-492, Laws of Florida, was codified, reenacted, amended, and repealed as Chapter No. 98-495, and was amended as Chapter 2005-298.


WHEREAS, the Board is authorized and empowered to make rules and regulations for its own government and proceedings; and


WHEREAS, the Board wishes to adopt an Employee Manual in order to set forth certain policies and procedures;


WHEREFORE, the following Employee Manual is hereby approved by the Board:

ABOUT THIS MANUAL


This Employee Manual (“Manual”) is expressly intended for the use of the employees Immokalee Water & Sewer District (“the District”). This Manual sets forth basic policies and guidelines for employee conduct and also contains important summary information regarding employee benefits. If District employees have specific questions regarding the benefit plans described, they should refer to the plan documents, summary plan descriptions, or contact the Executive Director or the Human Resources Department.


Unless otherwise specified, the benefits described in this Manual apply only to regular, full-time employees of the District. By contrast, the policies outlined in this Manual apply to all employees — probationary, regular full-time, regular part-time, and temporary. In all cases of interpretation of this Manual, management decisions are final. The District reserves the right to change or delete any part of this Manual at its sole discretion, without prior notice. This Manual supersedes and replaces all previously existing District Manuals or personnel policy manuals. Employees should contact the Executive Director or the Human Resource Department with questions concerning the contents of this Manual.


Nothing contained in this Manual is intended to waive any legal, equitable, or other defense available to the District to any claim, complaint, or cause of action (collectively, “Claims”) asserted by an employee or former employee against the District. To the extent that a particular law, statute, rule, or regulation does not apply to the District as a result of its size, number of employees, or otherwise, nothing in this Manual, nor any other District policies and procedures should be construed as a waiver of any corresponding defense to any Claims asserted under any such law, statute, rule, or regulation.


NOTHING CONTAINED WITHIN THIS MANUAL IS INTENDED TO CREATE A CONTRACT FOR EMPLOYMENT, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, OR A GUARANTEE OF CONTINUED EMPLOYMENT FOR A SPECIFIC DURATION.


EMPLOYMENT AT THE DISTRICT IS AT-WILL. THE DISTRICT EXPRESSLY RESERVES THE RIGHT TO DISCHARGE AN EMPLOYEE AT ANY TIME FOR ANY REASON WHATSOEVER, WITH OR WITHOUT CAUSE, AND WITH OR WITHOUT NOTICE. NOTHING IN THIS MANUAL OR THE DISTRICT'S POLICIES, PRACTICES, OR PROCEDURES SHALL CONFER UPON THE EMPLOYEE ANY RIGHT TO CONTINUED EMPLOYMENT.


Thank you for becoming a part of the Immokalee Water & Sewer District Team!

Policy

Page Number

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY POLICY

6

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

6

Disability Accommodations

6

Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment

6

Veterans Preference

8

EMPLOYMENT POLICIES AND PROCEDURES

8

At-Will Employment

8

Job Description and Probationary Period

8

Distribution & Treatment Plant Operator Promotion

9

Collection Department Promotion

9

Immigration And Employment Eligibility

10

Employee Personnel Files

10

Employment Category Classifications

11

Job Postings, Promotions, And Transfers

12

Nepotism, Relatives, And Personal Relationships

12

Open Door Policy

13

Search, Theft, And Audit

13

Code Of Ethics

14

Conflicts Of Interest

15

Confidentiality

15

WORKPLACE SAFETY

16

Drug & Alcohol-Free Workplace

16

Health Examinations

23

Workplace Bullying

24

Violence In The Workplace

24

Firearms Or Weapons

25

Safety And Security

26

Smoke-Free And Tobacco-Free Workplace

27

Perceived Violations Policy

28

Whistleblower Policy

29

WORKPLACE EXPECTATIONS

30

Outside Employment

30

Attendance and Punctuality

31

Professionalism

32

Attire and Grooming

32

Electronic communication and Internet Use

32

Telephone Usage

35

Social Media-Acceptable Use

35

Performance Reviews

36

Vehicle Use Policy

37

Standards Of Conduct

38

TIME OFF/LEAVES OF ABSENCE

40

Holidays

40

Election Leave

41

Bereavement Leave

41

Jury Duty

42

Personal Leave

42

Sick Leave

42

Voluntary Sick Leave Donation Program

44

Disability Leave of Absence

45

Personal Leave of Absence

46

Returning from a Leave of Absence

46

Domestic Violence Leave

46

Military Leave

48

BENEFITS

48

Insurance

48

Retirement Plan

48

College/University Reimbursement and Continuing Education

48

Workers’ Compensation and Light Duty

49

Employee Assistance Program

50

COMPENSATION

51

Generally

51

Overtime

51

Compensatory Time

52

Call Back Pay

53

Cost of Living Adjustment

53

Hurricane Pay

53

“Standby” Pay

53

Time Cards/Records

54

Work Performed On District Holidays

55

ENDING EMPLOYMENT WITH THE DISTRICT

55

Separation Of Employment

55

Post Termination and Name-Clearing Meeting

56

Reductions In Force

56

Return Of District Property

56

Exit Interview

56

Payment Due At Separation

56

Health Insurance Coverage After Separation From Employment

57

Eligibility For Rehire

57

Reference Inquiries

57

RECEIPT AND ACCEPTANCE OF EMPLOYEE MANUAL

58

APPENDIX

Department of Labor Family and Medical Leave Act Poster


EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY POLICY


Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

The District is an equal opportunity employer. The District is committed to the spirit and letter of all applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations pertaining to equal opportunity. To this end, the District does not discriminate against any individual with regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or other characteristic protected by applicable law. This policy extends to all terms, conditions and privileges of employment, as well as the use of all District facilities.


No form of unlawful discrimination, including unlawful harassment, will be tolerated.


Consistent with its commitment to equal employment opportunity, the District has created a Civil Rights Committee that meets the first Tuesday of each month in the Boardroom. Employees who have a concern regarding equal employment opportunity should discuss their concern with their Supervisors, the Human Resources Department, and/or the Civil Rights Committee.


Disability Accommodations

The District will make reasonable accommodations for qualified applicants and individuals with known disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship or cause a direct threat to the health or safety of the individual or others. This policy governs all aspects of employment including application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, training, or other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.


Employees who believe they have been subject to harassing or discriminatory conduct because of a disability must follow the reporting procedures in the Anti-Discrimination and Anti- Harassment Section. Individuals should contact the Human Resources Department with any questions or request(s) for accommodation.


Anti-Discrimination And Anti-Harassment

The District endeavors to provide every employee with a work environment free from harassment and discrimination. Harassment or discrimination in the workplace negatively impacts morale, communication, teamwork, and productivity. All District employees have a right to work in an environment free from forms of discrimination and conduct which may be considered harassing, coercive, or disruptive. Consistent with the District’s respect for the rights and dignity of each employee, discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, will not be tolerated.


Under this policy “harassment” means verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of any characteristic protected by law, and that:


The District is not responsible when incorrect withholdings, wrong beneficiaries, or loss of employee benefits resulting from the failure of an employee to keep personnel records information current.


Employees are required to report any situation or incident that may affect their employment with the District or may have an impact on the image of the District, including but not limited to any alcohol and/or drug-related criminal charges, whether occurring on or off duty, to the Executive Director within three (3) days of the event.


All personnel records are the property of the District. Employees wishing to review their personnel file may schedule an appointment with the Human Resources Department. Employees may request copies of their personnel file in accordance with the District’s Public Records Request Policy.


Employment Category Classifications


Full-Time, Regular Employees

An employee who has successfully completed the probationary period of employment and who works at least thirty-five (35) hours per workweek is considered a full-time employee.


If you were a full-time employee and were laid off (unrelated to performance or disciplinary issues), you will be considered a full-time, regular employee upon return to work, provided that you were not on layoff for longer than one (1) year.


If you were a full-time, regular employee and have been on an approved leave of absence, upon return, you will be considered a full-time employee, provided you return to work as agreed in the provisions of your leave.


Part-Time Employees

An employee who works less than a regular thirty-five (35) hour workweek is considered a part- time employee. If you are a part-time employee, you are not eligible for benefits described in this Manual, except as required by provision of state and federal laws.


Exempt Employees

The District has full-time employees who are Department Supervisors and who are “exempt” employees for the purposes of overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Additionally, other employees may qualify for exempt status, depending on their job duties, as well as certain requirements as set forth with applicable law. Exempt employees are also not eligible for compensatory time.


Temporary Employees

From time to time, the District may hire employees for specific periods of time or for the completion of a specific project. An employee hired under these conditions will be considered a temporary employee. The job assignment, work schedule and duration of the position will be determined on an individual basis.


Summer employees, if any, are considered temporary employees.


If you are a temporary employee, you are not eligible for benefits described in this Manual,

except as required by provision of state and federal laws.


Job Postings, Promotions, And Transfers

Whenever a position becomes available, every effort will be made to fill it by promoting a qualified District employee. The District may look outside the District for potential employees as well. Previous work history and qualifications will be considered when applicants for positions are evaluated.


Transfer from one position to another, in another Department may be required or requested from time to time, depending on the business and operational needs of the District. Such transfers (up, down, or laterally) will be made with a possible adjustment in pay. Employees transferred to a new position will generally be subject to a 90-day probationary period.


Nepotism, Relatives, And Personal Relationships

For the purpose of this section, “relative” is defined as: husband, wife, domestic partner, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, half-siblings, step parent, step children, step siblings, first cousins, and domestic partner relatives.


Relatives of District employees may apply and, if qualified, will be considered for employment in accordance with District Policy and Florida law. Under no circumstances will relatives be allowed to work in positions in which one relative directly or indirectly supervises another or has any decisional responsibility with respect to employment, performance reviews, work assignments, transfer, salary, promotion, or discharge of another relative. Moreover, relatives will not be permitted to work in the same work unit or crew. The District also prohibits domestic partners or members of the same household from having any supervisory or decisional authority over one another. These individuals are also prohibited from working on the same work unit or crew.


Specifically, in accordance with Florida Statute § 112.3135, no public official or employee of the District may appoint, employ, promote or advance, or advocate for the appointment, employment, promotion or advancement, in or to a position in the District, in which the public official or employee is serving or over which the official/employee exercises jurisdiction or control over any individual who is a relative of the public official or employee. Additionally, no individual may be appointed, employed, promoted, or advanced in or to a position in the District if such action has been advocated by a District official or employee, serving in or exercising jurisdiction or control over the agency, who is a relative of the individual or if such action is made by the Board of Commissioners of which a relative of the individual is a member.


If employees begin a dating relationship or become relatives, domestic partners, or members of the same household during employment, and if one party is in a supervisory position, that person is required to inform the Executive Director and the Human Resources Department of the relationship. In the District’s sole discretion, the individuals involved may be required to transfer or one may be required to separate employment to ensure compliance with this policy.

The District reserves the right to apply this policy to situations where there is a conflict or the potential for conflict because of the relationship between employees, even if there is no direct- reporting relationship or authority involved.


Open Door Policy

Immokalee Water & Sewer District is committed to open communication. The District wants to ensure that its employee’s idea, suggestions, and concerns are heard by management. It is also the policy of management to attempt to resolve concerns and disputes that may arise between or among fellow employees or between employees and their supervisors. The District encourages any employees who have concerns about the workplace to bring such concerns to the attention of their supervisor or other management. This expectation applies to all employees, whether full- time or part-time, or temporary. Employees should feel free to voice ideas, suggestions, concerns, or complaints without fear of reprisal or retribution.


Search, Theft, And Audit

Property theft or misappropriation of resources of any type will not be tolerated by the District and is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of employment. Among the types of conduct that is prohibited under this policy are the following:



An employee is required to notify the Human Resource Department if the employee, his/her spouse, or other member of his/her immediate family is engaged in a business that is similar in nature to the District or that is under contract with the District. Likewise, an employee must notify the Executive Director if a relative is employed by an organization that is under contract with the District.


Whenever there is a possible conflict of interest, it should be discussed with the Human Resources Department. Violations of this Policy will be considered grounds for termination of employment.


Confidentiality

Although the District is subject to Chapter 119 of the Florida Statutes, under no circumstances should any District employee use information that he/she learned in the course of his/her employment with the District for personal gain, personal use, or personal business. To that end, disclosing confidential information to persons not entitled to such information and/or assisting others in gaining unauthorized access to District records or information are direct violations of this policy. Any violation of this policy may result in discipline, up to and including termination of employment.


This policy is intended to alert employees to the need for discretion at all times and is not intended to inhibit normal business communications.


Employees should direct all requests for interviews and comments from members of the news media to the Executive Director or his or her designee and shall not respond to such inquiries. However, employees responsible for records retention are authorized to promptly respond to public records requests for the news media.


WORKPLACE SAFETY


Drug & Alcohol-Free Workplace

The District is committed to creating and maintaining a Drug-Free Workplace Policy pursuant to Fla. Stat. section 440.101 et seq. This Policy applies to applicants for employment and to all employees in all job classifications.


The District is committed to providing a safe work environment and to fostering the well-being and health of its employees. That commitment is jeopardized when an employee illegally uses drugs and alcohol on the job, comes to work under the influence, or possesses, distributes, or sells drugs and alcohol in the workplace. The following policy is adopted as set forth by section

    1. of the Florida Drug-free Workplace Program.


      • It is a violation of this policy for any employee to possess, sell, trade, or offer for sale or purchase illegal drugs or otherwise engage in the illegal use of drugs on the job.

      • It is a violation of this policy for anyone to report to work under the influence of illegal drugs or alcohol.

      • It is a violation of this policy for anyone to use prescription drugs illegally. (However, nothing in this policy precludes the appropriate use of legally prescribed medications provided they do not interfere with workplace safety or performance.)

      • It is a violation of this policy to unlawfully manufacture, distribute, dispense, possess, or use controlled substances in the workplace.

      • It is a condition of employment to abide by the Drug-Free Workplace Policy.

      • Violations of this policy subject all employees to disciplinary action up to and including immediate termination.


The goal of this policy is to balance our respect for individuals with the need to maintain a safe, productive, and drug-free environment. The intent of this policy is a drug-free workplace, while sending a clear message that the illegal use of drugs or alcohol, or reporting to work under the influence, is incompatible with employment with the District.


Overview of policy

All District employees are prohibited from:


  1. Selling any drug, including alcohol or prescription drugs, whether on or off duty, unless the employee is legally entitled to sell the substance in question under the circumstances.

  2. Possessing any alcoholic beverage or unlawful drug while on duty or on District’s premises at any time.

  3. Using any illegal drug, at any time. (“Illegal drugs” includes prescription drugs prescribed for someone else, or used contrary to prescribed dosages.)

  4. Using any other substance (including legal drugs, prescription drugs, alcohol, or any other substance), which runs an unnecessary risk of adversely affecting job performance. This includes use while on duty and any actual effect on job performance, which occurs or can be demonstrated. It includes the use of any substance which use creates an unnecessary risk of absenteeism, tardiness, or safety hazards.


Employees taking prescribed drugs must ensure that such use does not pose an undue risk to safety or performance. If a drug is prescribed in connection with treatment of a disability, employees are urged to advise the Human Resources Department of the use so that we can protect workplace safety and consider accommodations, where appropriate.


Definitions

As used in this policy, the following definitions will apply:


CONFIRMATION TEST, CONFIRMED TEST, or “CONFIRMED DRUG TEST” – A second

analytical procedure used to identify the presence of a specific drug or metabolite in a specimen. The confirmation test must be different in scientific principle from that of the initial test procedure. The confirmation method must be capable of providing requisite specificity, sensitivity, and quantitative accuracy.


DRUG – Alcohol, including distilled spirits, wine, malt beverages, and intoxicating liquors; amphetamines; cannabinoids; cocaine; phencyclidine (PCP); opiates; hallucinogens; methaqualone; barbiturates; benzodiazepines; synthetic narcotics; designer drugs; or a metabolite of any of the substances listed herein.


DRUG TEST or TEST – Any chemical, biological, or physical instrumental analysis administered for the purpose of determining the presence or absence of a drug or its metabolites.


EMPLOYEE – Full-time or part-time employee of the District, whether introductory, regular, or temporary.


EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM – An established program for employee assessment, counseling, and referral to an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program.


FOLLOW-UP DRUG TESTING – Drug testing which occurs as a follow-up to an employee entering an employee assistance program for drug related problems, or an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. Follow-up testing must be conducted, without prior notice, on a quarterly, semi-annual, or annual basis for two (2) years thereafter.


INITIAL DRUG TEST – A sensitive, rapid, and reliable procedure to identify negative and presumptive positive specimens. All initial tests will use an immunoassay procedure or an equivalent, or will use a more accurate scientifically accepted method approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration or Agency for Health Care Administration.

JOB APPLICANT – A person who has applied for a mandatory testing position and has been offered employment conditioned upon successfully passing a drug test, and may have begun work pending the results of the drug test.


MANDATORY TESTING POSITION – A position that requires the employee to carry a firearm, perform life-threatening procedures, work with heavy or dangerous machinery, work as a safety inspector, work with children, work with detainees in the correctional system, work with confidential information or documents pertaining to criminal investigations, or work with controlled substances, or a position in which a momentary lapse in attention could result in injury or death to another person.


RANDOM DRUG TESTING – Drug testing based upon a neutral selection process of those employees occupying mandatory testing positions.


REASONABLE SUSPICION DRUG TESTING - Drug testing based on a belief that an employee is using or has used drugs in violation of the District’s policy drawn from specific objective and articulable facts and reasonable inferences drawn from those facts in light of experience, or as otherwise defined in sec. 440.102 of the Florida Statutes. Reasonable suspicion drug testing must be approved by Human Resources Department or the Executive Director. Such facts and inferences may be based upon:


    1. ail

      The District has established a policy with regard to access and disclosure of electronic mail messages created, sent or received by District employees using the District's electronic mail system. The District reserves the right to change the policies set forth below at any time, as may be required by the circumstances:


      • The District maintains an e-mail system. The system is provided by the District to assist in conducting District business only.

      • The e-mail system is District property. Additionally, all messages composed, sent, or received on the e-mail system are and remain the property of the District. They are not the private property of any employee.

      • The use of the e-mail system is reserved solely for the conducting of business at the District. It may not be used for personal business.

      • The e-mail system may not be used to solicit for commercial ventures, religious, or political causes, outside organizations or other non-job-related solicitations.

      • The e-mail system is not to be used to create any offensive or disruptive messages. Among those which are considered offensive are any messages which contain sexual implications, racial slurs, gender-specific comments, or any other comment that offensively addresses someone's age, sexual orientation, religious or political beliefs, pregnancy, national origin, disability, or other category protected by applicable law.

      • The e-mail system shall not be used to send (upload) or receive (download) copyrighted materials, trade secrets, proprietary financial information, obscene materials, or other similar materials.

      • The District reserves the right to review, audit, intercept, access, and disclose all messages created, received or sent over the District's e-mail system for any purpose. The contents of e-mail properly obtained for legitimate business purposes may be disclosed within the District without the permission of the employee.

      • The confidentiality of any message should not be assumed. Even when a message is erased, it does not guarantee confidentiality. Further, the use of passwords for security does not guarantee confidentiality.

      • All passwords must be disclosed to the District or they are invalid and cannot be used.

      • Notwithstanding the District's right to retrieve and read any e-mail messages, such messages should be treated as confidential by other employees and accessed only by the intended recipient. Employees are not authorized to retrieve or read any e- mail messages that are not sent to them. Any exception to this policy must receive the prior approval of the Executive Director.

      • Employees shall not use a password, access a file, or retrieve any stored information, unless authorized to do so. Employees should not attempt to gain access to another employee's messages without the latter's permission. All computer passwords must be provided to supervisors. No password may be used that is unknown to the District.

      • Employees are prohibited from sending global messages of a personal nature and/or chain letters on District computers, without exception.


        Employees may use the District’s email system to discuss terms and conditions of employment or to address work-related grievances.


        Any employee who violates this policy or uses the e-mail system for improper purposes shall be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.


        Right to Monitor

        All District supplied technology and District related work records belong to the District and not the employee. The District routinely monitors use of District-supplied technology. Inappropriate or illegal use or communications may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.


        Telephone Usage

        District telephones and voice message systems are to be used for District business only. Personal telephone calls during business hours are to be confined to those which are absolutely necessary and be kept to a minimum. Employees should not use the District's telephones, including cell phones, for personal long distance calls. Employees who are hosting or attending meetings with the Board of Commissioners, clients, vendors, or employees from another company are restricted from answering non-emergency personal cell phones. Any employee caught in the process of answering a non-emergency personal cell phone call or sending/receiving text messages during a professional business meeting while representing the District will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.


        District employees are required to answer all business telephone calls promptly and courteously. Employees are required to return all missed business calls promptly.


        Field staff are restricted from the use of cell phones while operating heavy equipment or motor vehicles to emergency situations. Otherwise, staff should allow cellular telephone calls to go to voicemail. Work-related messages should be retrieved and returned when it is safe to do so. In the absence of an emergency, personal messages shall be retrieved and returned only after scheduled duties are complete or while the employee is on an authorized break.


        Texting while driving on or off duty while driving a District vehicle is strictly prohibited. Employees are also prohibited from texting while operating District equipment.


        Social Media-Acceptable Use

        Below are guidelines for social media use:


      • Employees shall not make statements on behalf of the District, without proper authorization, or make statements that could be construed as establishing the District’s official position or policy on any particular issue.

      • Employees may not post financial, confidential, sensitive or proprietary information about the District, citizens, vendors, employees, or Board Members.

      • Employees may not post discriminating remarks, harassment, bullying, or threats of violence. Behavior that is not tolerated in the workplace will not be tolerated in social media.


Employees are permitted to discuss terms and conditions of employment but, when posting such information on social media sites, employees must use the following disclaimer when discussing job-related matters, “The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the District.”


The District may monitor or review content on the Internet available for public consumption. Policy violations may result in discipline up to and including termination of employment.


Performance Reviews

The first day you report to work is your anniversary date. In this regard, employees will be reviewed on or near the anniversary of their employment. A review may also be conducted in the event of a promotion or change in duties and responsibilities. Otherwise, an employee is considered to be “in good standing” unless they have been the subject of disciplinary actions as previously outlined in the Standards of Conduct section or rated below the score discussed below.


Formal performance reviews will consider the following things, among others:



The evaluation for each job shall relate directly to the job description for that job.


The primary reason for performance reviews is to identify your strengths and weaknesses in order to reinforce your good habits and develop ways to improve in your weaker areas.


An employee needs to receive a total average point score of 2.0 or greater on a scale of 3 points to be considered an “Employee in Good Standing”. If the employee receives less than a 2.0 score, they will need to be reevaluated in 30, 60, and 90 days. If there is not improvement to a

    1. score at the time of the last evaluation, termination of employment will be recommended.


      Supervisors and Department Supervisors will be evaluated annually via various procedures, including possible use of an anonymous questionnaire, as developed by the Evaluation Committee.


      The Executive Director shall be evaluated by the direct reports on a set of anonymous questionnaires, which shall be submitted to the Board of Commissioners prior to their annual evaluation of the Executive Director.


      Wage and salary increases, if any, are based on performance evaluations.


      Vehicle Use Policy

      Persons allowed to take vehicle home are:


      • Supervisors, excluding the Administration Supervisor

      • Distribution, Collection, or Maintenance personnel who are “on standby” status;

      • Operator/Operator Trainee responsible for responding to the auto dialer at water plants;

      • Prior to the adoption of this Manual, Distribution or Collection personnel who had achieved Tech III level or higher were allowed to take home their vehicles. This policy allows only those who attained that level before the prior version of the Employee Manual was adopted on October 15, 2014, to continue to have this benefit.


        If you are authorized to use a District vehicle for District business, you must adhere to the following rules:


      • You must be a licensed driver;

      • You must maintain weekly mileage reports;

      • You are responsible for following all the manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules;

      • You are responsible for paying any moving violation tickets;

      • You must keep the vehicle clean at all times, and washed and vacuumed as often as necessary.

      • You must not allow persons not authorized or employed by the District to operate or ride in a District vehicle.

      • You must report any traffic violations you receive to the Human Resource Department.


        As noted above, while driving a District vehicle, you are responsible to obey all traffic rules and regulations. Any fines or traffic violations are your personal responsibility. In addition to paying fines, you will be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in this Employee Manual, up to and including termination of employment. If you are authorized to operate a District vehicle in the course of your assigned work, or if you operate your own vehicle in performing your job, you will be considered completely responsible for any traffic incidents, fines, or traffic violations incurred. Your Supervisor will advise you on what procedures to follow in the event of a traffic incident.


        If your job duties involve operation of a motor vehicle and you become uninsurable, due to traffic violations, either while working or off duty, or your license is suspended or revoked, you must notify the District. Your employment may be subject to reclassification or termination.


        In addition to the foregoing, employees are specifically prohibited from using District-assigned vehicles for personal purposes including, but not limited to, transporting contraband, illegal

        materials, or lawful items not directly related to the employee’s work at the District. Employees are prohibited from using District vehicles for any purpose other than performing assigned tasks or as otherwise permitted by the Vehicle Use Policy or related procedures.

        The District may create additional procedures relating to the foregoing Vehicle Use Policy.


        Standards Of Conduct

        Every employee has the duty and the responsibility to be aware of and abide by existing rules and policies. Employees also have the responsibility to perform their duties to the best of their ability and to the standards as set forth in the job description or as otherwise established.


        The District supports the use of progressive discipline to address employee conduct and performance issues. However, the District retains the right to initiate disciplinary action at any level to improve and prevent a recurrence of undesirable behavior and/or performance issues.


        Violations of any of these policies and procedures are considered misconduct and appropriate disciplinary procedures will be initiated. Disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to: verbal warnings, written warnings, suspensions with or without pay, and termination. Disciplinary actions are noted in the employee's personnel file.


        Serious misconduct may result in immediate suspension and/or immediate termination, without notice. The appropriate disciplinary action will be determined by the Executive Director. There is no guarantee that one form of disciplinary action will necessarily precede another. The following is a partial list of examples of misconduct that may constitute cause for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment:


        • Violation of the District's Equal Opportunity or Anti-Discrimination and Anti- Harassment policies;

        • Disclosure of confidential District or employee information to unauthorized parties;

        • Behavior resulting in resident, customer, vendor, or employee complaints;

        • Supplying false or misleading information or falsifying any District record;

        • Possession or use of weapons on or off premises while performing duties for the District;

        • Immoral or indecent conduct; soliciting persons for immoral purposes;

        • Loafing or sleeping on the job;

        • Wasting valuable work time such as talking about the private affairs of others in a malicious manner, spreading gossip, and other unproductive behavior;

        • Insubordination, including but not limited to, failing to perform job duties, refusing to obey an order or directive of a Department Supervisor, or the Executive Director;

        • Disruptive conduct, including but not limited to: gambling; fighting; horseplay; coercion; intimidation or threats against District employees or residents; vulgarity; or abusive treatment to the public or fellow employees;

        • Theft or unauthorized possession or removal of property or money belonging to the District, employees, or a third party;

        • Making or publishing false, vicious, or malicious statements concerning a resident, customer, employee, supervisor, or other District official or District services;

        • Destruction or misuse of property;

        • Use of District computers, equipment, and/or software for inappropriate purposes;

        • Failure to work overtime when requested;

        • Excessive absenteeism or tardiness;

        • Failure to remain and work at employee's designated District work station unless required to step away from the designated work station in order to perform District-related business; or,

        • Any other conduct which violates a District policy or which is not in the best interest of the District.


          Outlined below are the steps of the District’s discipline procedure. The District reserves the right to combine or skip steps in this process depending on the facts of each situation and the nature of the offense. The level of disciplinary intervention may also vary. Some of the factors that will be considered are whether the offense is repeated despite coaching, counseling, and/or training; the employee’s work record; and the impact the conduct and performance issues have on our organization.


          The following outlines the District’s general discipline steps. The nature of the discipline will depend on the nature of the infraction and will be determined in the District’s sole discretion and judgment.


        • Verbal Warning: A Supervisor verbally counsels an employee about an issue of concern, and a written record of the discussion is placed in the employee’s file for future reference.

        • Written Warning: Written Warnings are used for behavior or violations that a Supervisor considers serious or in situations when a Verbal Warning has not helped change unacceptable behavior. Written Warnings are placed in an employee’s personnel file. Employees should recognize the serious nature of the written warning.

        • Performance Improvement Plan: Whenever an employee has been involved in a disciplinary situation that has not been readily resolved or when he/she has demonstrated an inability to perform assigned work responsibilities efficiently, the employee may be given a final warning or placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (“PIP”). PIP status will last for a predetermined amount of time not to exceed 90 days. Within this time period, the employee must demonstrate a willingness and ability to meet and maintain the conduct and/or work requirements as specified by the Supervisor and the district. At the end of the performance improvement period, the Performance Improvement Plan may be closed or, if established goals are not met, dismissal may occur. An employee may be terminated before, during, or after a PIP, in the District’s sole discretion and judgment.

        • Suspension with or without pay: an employee may be temporarily relieved of duties as final disciplinary action or while review of an employee’s conduct or

          performance is pending final disciplinary action.

          • Termination: an employee may be separated from employment at any time, without prior notice or cause.


TIME OFF/LEAVES OF ABSENCE


Holidays

The District observes the following paid holidays:


Only full-time, regular employees are eligible for paid holidays.


If a holiday falls on a day you are not scheduled to work, i.e., Saturday or Sunday, the holiday will be celebrated in the proceeding or following work day, whichever is closer. If a holiday occurs during your scheduled vacation, you will be paid for a holiday instead of using vacation time.


To receive holiday pay, the scheduled workday before and the scheduled workday after the holiday must also be a paid day for the employee. This means that the employee must work the day before and the day after the holiday OR be on a pre-approved vacation OR be out on authorized sick leave to receive holiday pay.


Vacation Leave

Only regular full-time, regular employees are eligible for paid vacation. You are able to accrue, but not use, vacation time during your probationary period. You are not eligible for paid vacation if you are a part-time or temporary employee.


The vacation accrual rate is based on length of employment, as follows:


Length of Employment

Vacation Accrual Per Pay Period

(Hours)

Total Annual (Calendar)

Accrual (Hours)

Less than five (5) years

3.077

80

Five (5) years but less than ten (10) years

4.616

120

Ten (10) years but less than fifteen (15) years

6.154

160

Fifteen (15) or more years

7.69

200


Vacations cannot interfere with your Department's operation and therefore, should be submitted two (2) months ahead of the requested first day of the vacation. Any conflicts will be resolved at that time, by your Supervisor. All vacation requests are subject to review and approval and are subject to the business and operational needs of your Department and the District.


You may not receive advance vacation pay (for vacation time taken in excess of your vacation accrual balance) without written authorization from the Director.


If you are eligible for three (3) or four (4) weeks of vacation, you may take only two (2) weeks at one time unless you receive written approval from the Executive Director.


If you are on an approved leave of absence for less than thirty (30) days, your vacation accrual will not be affected. However, should the leave extend beyond thirty (30) days, vacation time will not continue to accrue.


If a District-paid holiday falls during your scheduled vacation period, you will receive the normal holiday pay and your vacation leave balance will not be deducted for that day.


Eligible employees may carry over accrued, but unused vacation from calendar year to year, up to a maximum of 240 total hours at any one time. At the end of the calendar year, any unused vacation leave in excess of 240 total hours will be forfeited.


The purpose of a vacation is to provide you with a time to rest and relax. However, employees may cash in up to forty (40) hours of vacation time, subject to review and approval by the Human Resources Department. Additional amounts require Executive Director approval.


Election Leave

All employees should be able to vote either before or after regularly assigned work hours. However, when this is not possible due to work schedules, employees will receive up to two (2) hours during the work day to vote. Time off for voting should be reported and coded appropriately on timekeeping records.


Bereavement Leave

The District offers bereavement leave to provide a time for mourning after the loss of an immediate family member. You are allowed to take off up to (5) work days with pay for this purpose. The employee’s immediate Supervisor authorizes the use of bereavement leave.


Immediate family includes: spouse, domestic partner, child, step-child, mother, father, sister, brother, mother-in-law and father-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, grandparent and grandparent-in-law. Extended family includes aunts, uncle, nieces, and nephews. If additional time is needed, vacation or unpaid personal leave may be taken with Supervisor approval.

With your Supervisor's approval, you may take up to two (2) full days without pay to attend funerals of other relatives and friends.


Pay for a funeral leave will be made for actual time lost from work. If the death occurs at a time when work is not scheduled, payment will not be made. If a holiday or part of your vacation occurs on any of the days of absence, you may not receive holiday or vacation pay in addition to paid funeral leave.


An excused absence for family death may not be retroactive or postponed.


Upon request of the District, you may be required to provide documentation to support the requested or taken bereavement leave.


The Executive Director has authority to change, modify, or approve exceptions to this policy at any time with or without notice.


Jury Duty

If you are called for jury duty, you may take the necessary time off. If you have completed your probationary period, the District will reimburse you for the difference between your jury pay and your regular pay, not to exceed your normal work day.


Employees should notify their Supervisor as soon as a summons is received. A copy of the summons and proof of jury service, including dates and times, should be provided to your Supervisor as soon as possible.


Employees are expected to return to work if excused from jury duty during regular working hours, unless otherwise excused by their Supervisor.


In order to receive jury duty pay, you must present a statement of jury service and pay to your Supervisor and the Human Resources Department.


Personal Leave

Following completion of the probationary period, regular, full-time, “non-exempt” employees, are eligible to take two (2) days of paid personal leave during each fiscal year. You may use your personal leave in units of no less than one-half day at any one time, unless otherwise approved by the Executive Director and your Supervisor. You are required to request personal leave time from your Supervisor, in advance, and obtain his or her approval. During your first fiscal year, the earned personal leave time is prorated. Personal leave may not be accumulated. As such, any personal leave not used during a fiscal year will be forfeited. Further, employees are not eligible to receive payment in lieu of a personal leave day. Finally, unused personal leave days will not be payable at the time of separation of employment.


Sick Leave

To qualify for sick leave, you must be a full-time, regular employee and must have completed your probationary period. Time taken off before completion of the probationary period, will be without pay. Sick leave days will be paid at your regular straight time pay and will accrue as

follows:



Employees should advise their Supervisor, as soon as possible if they will be absent from work due to illness or a medical appointment.


Sick leave may be used for the purpose of visiting doctors, dentists, or other medical professionals. This time may also be used for tending to a serious illness suffered by a member of your immediate family, in the event the illness requires your personal time and attention. For purposes of this section, “immediate family” includes: spouse, domestic partner, child, step- child, mother, father, sister, brother, mother-in-law and father-in-law, brother-in-law and sister- in-law, grandparent, and grandparent-in-law.


Accrued, unused sick leave hours will not be payable at the time of separation of employment. The District reserves the right to request documentation to substantiate the use of sick leave.

Excessive use of sick leave may adversely affect your performance.


If you are required to take a disability leave of absence, any accrued sick leave will begin to be paid at the time the leave commences. In the event of a disability leave of absence of up to thirty

  1. days, sick leave will continue to accrue during such time period. Following such thirty (30) disability leave of absence, sick leave will not continue to accrue.


    If you are on an approved personal leave of absence for less than thirty (30) days, your sick leave eligibility will not be affected; should the leave extend beyond thirty (30) calendar days, sick leave time will not continue to accrue.


    In the event of an illness or injury covered by workers' compensation, this sick leave policy will not apply and workers' compensation benefits will apply. However, employees may supplement their income using sick leave to the amount of their normal pay.


    Sick days may accumulate from calendar year to calendar year, up to a maximum of 240 hours, at which point no further sick leave days will accrue. If you have accumulated unused sick leave days totaling at least eighty (80) hours at the end of a calendar year, you may be paid for up to forty (40) hours at your regular base rate determined as follows:


    Days Of Sick Leave Taken During Calendar Year

    Amount That May Be “Cashed In” (Hours)

    0

    40

    1

    32

    2

    24

    3

    16

    4

    8


    Thus, while employees may only accrue 240 hours of sick leave, an employees may receive cash for in excess of 240 hours (according the schedule above). Thus, for example, an employee with 280 hours of accrued unused vacation at the of the calendar year with no absences, may cash in forty (40) hours of sick leave, leaving him or her with the cap amount.


    Voluntary Sick Leave Donation Program

    District employees can donate sick leave hours to, and receive sick leave hours from, other employees within the District according to the procedures outlined in this section.


    Requests to donate sick leave hours to another employee are strictly voluntary. Employees must not coerce or pressure another employee to donate sick leave hours. Donors do not receive compensation or favors in return for the sick leave donation. The receiving employee is not in debt to the donor in any way. Employee(s) in violation of this policy are subject to disciplinary action.


    Donated sick leave hours are for absences associated with documented illnesses beginning with the sixth (6th) missed workday or partial workday, or the first day the employee has exhausted all leave hours, whichever is later. There is a five (5) day absence requirement and the Human Resources Department will review each request.


    Donated leave can be used consecutively, intermittently, or in increments of a quarter hour (.25), as needed.


    The District Human Resources Department and the Executive Director will investigate alleged abuse of the sick leave donation plan. If abuse is found, the participating employee(s) are not allowed to donate or receive sick leave hours and the employee(s) may be subject to disciplinary action.


    Once an employee’s donation has been credited to another employee, it cannot be cancelled.


    An employee who separates from employment with the District with unused donated hours is not paid for the unused hours. Unused hours are credited back to the donating employee.


    Transferring sick leave hours is a manual process performed by the Human Resources Department.


    Donating employees must meet the following eligibility requirements in order to donate sick leave:


Employees requesting to use sick leave donations must:


Disability Leave Of Absence

The District may grant an unpaid leave of absence for illness, disability, or pregnancy. To request a disability leave of absence, you should submit, or have someone submit for you, a statement of ill health or disability from your medical provider to the Human Resources Department. An approved disability leave may be granted for up to ninety (90) days. If necessary, you may request extensions in thirty (30) day increments for a maximum of six (6) months. Whenever possible, you are required to give as much notice as possible of your pending need for a disability leave of absence.


In the case of pregnancy, please inform your Supervisor as soon as possible of the date you, and your medical professional, anticipate that you will begin your leave.


The job status of employees on disability leave will be protected to the extent that we will make every effort to allow them to return to their former position, or similar work if available, for which you may be qualified. Pregnancy leave will be granted in every circumstance but will not extend beyond ninety (90) days, without a physician’s statement.


At the time the disability leave begins, any accrued sick leave will be paid. Vacation time previously earned (but not used) at that time will also be paid if the employee so desires. These benefits do not continue to accrue during an unpaid leave of absence exceeding thirty (30) days. This policy applies to all employees. Your group insurance booklet should be reviewed to determine your insurance coverage during a leave of absence. In this regard, you will be responsible for paying the total premiums for your coverage and that of your dependents while on leave. Short-term disability and long-term disability insurance may be used by eligible employees.


Employees who must remain away from work for more than the period of time allowed above will be considered terminated from employment. They are welcome to re-apply subject to the District's usual hiring policies.


Employees who develop an illness or physical condition, which requires medical treatment or restrictions and precautions as to their health will be required to submit a medical provider’s fitness-for-duty statement. This statement must give approval that continued full-time

employment in their present position will not jeopardize their health or the safety of others, in the event they continue to work. A similar fitness-for-duty statement is required upon return from a disability leave.


Personal Leave Of Absence

Employees who require time off in addition to vacation leave may request a personal leave of absence without pay for up to a maximum of thirty (30) days. An extension may be approved in limited circumstances.


All regular, full-time employees who have completed their probationary period are eligible for an unpaid personal leave of absence. Job performance, absenteeism, District, and Department requirements will be taken into consideration before the request is approval.


While you are on any other type of unpaid leave of absence from the District, you will be responsible for paying the total premiums for your coverage and that of your dependents while on leave. Failure to do so may result in loss of coverage and possible refusal by the insurance carrier to allow your coverage to be reinstated.


If you accept any employment or go into business while on a leave of absence from the District, you will be considered to have voluntarily resigned from employment with the District as of the day you began your leave of absence.


Please contact the Human Resources Department for more information on request procedures.


Returning From A Leave Of Absence

You must notify the District at least fifteen (15) days prior to your expected return date, that you intend to return from a leave of absence. When you return, you will be placed on your regular job if such position remains and is available. If the District has had to eliminate or fill your position while you were on leave, you will be assigned to an open position for which you are properly qualified. If no such position exists, you will be separated from employment.


If you do not return from your leave of absence on the day indicated in your original application or in any approved extension, or within three (3) working days of release by your medical provider, if you have been on a disability leave of absence, you will be considered to have voluntarily resigned from employment with the District as of the day on which you began your leave of absence.


If you have been on a disability leave of absence, you will be required to submit a statement from your doctor indicating that you are fit to return to your normal duties. You will receive seniority credit for the time that you have been on disability leave of absence.

Domestic Violence Leave


Domestic Violence Leave

Eligible employees will be granted up to three (3) days of unpaid Domestic Violence Leave in any twelve (12) month period, measured forward from the first date domestic violence leave is used, according to Section 741.313, Florida Statues, as amended from time to time. The District

shall not discriminate against an employee for exercising rights under this policy.


Domestic Violence means any assault, aggravated assault, battery, aggravated battery, sexual assault, sexual battery, stalking, aggravated stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, or any criminal offense resulting in physical injury or death of one family or household member by another family or household member. Domestic violence shall also include any crime the underlying factual basis of which has been found by a court to include an act of domestic violence.


Family or Household Member means spouses, former spouses, persons related by blood or marriage, persons who are presently residing together as if a family or who have resided together in the past as a family, and persons who are parents of a child in common regardless of whether they have been married. Except for persons who have a child in common, the family or household members must be currently residing or have in the past resided together in the same dwelling unit.


Employees may be permitted to use the leave for:


  1. Seeking an injunction for protection against domestic, repeat, dating or sexual violence;

  2. Obtaining medical care or mental health counseling for the employee and/or family/household member to address physical or psychological injuries resulting from the domestic violence;

  3. Obtaining services from a victim-services organization as a result of the act of domestic violence;

  4. Making the employee’s home secure from the perpetrator of domestic violence, or to seek new housing to escape the perpetrator;

  5. Seeking legal assistance or to attend and prepare for court-related proceedings arising from the act of domestic violence.


    Notice

    Except in cases of imminent danger to the health or safety of the employee, or to the health of safety of a family household member, an employee shall provide notice to the Human Resources Department as soon as possible after the employee learns of the need for the leave. If the leave is foreseeable, such as court dates, the employee must provide thirty (30) days’ notice. The request for leave must be accompanied with sufficient documentation of the act of domestic violence, if applicable.


    Eligibility

    To be eligible for Domestic Violence Leave, an employee must have been employed by the District for three (3) or more months. Domestic Violence Leave shall be granted if the employee or a family or household member of the employee is the victim of domestic violence and provides sufficient notice and documentation regarding same.


    An employee seeking leave under this section must, before receiving the leave, exhaust all vacation and sick leave available.


    Military Leave

    The District is committed to protecting the job rights of employees absent on military leave. In accordance with federal and state law it is the District’s policy that no employee or prospective employee will be subjected to any form of discrimination on the basis of that person’s membership. Employees who serve in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or the State of Florida or are engaged in military reserve service will be provided time off or other benefits in accordance with any and all applicable federal and state laws.


    BENEFITS


    Insurance

    The District offers or provides certain benefits for regular, full-time employees, subject to certain eligibility, plan, and participation rules and requirements, including:



In each case, specific provisions are set forth in the official policy or plan description. If there is any conflict between the descriptions contained in this Manual or any other publication of the District and the official policy or plan description, the language of the official policy or plan description will control. Employees are directed to read their plan documents or consult the Human Resources Department for detailed information.


Retirement Plan

The District has a retirement plan. This plan is paid for partly by the District. Employees are eligible to participate in the retirement plan beginning on the 91st day after their employment date. Please contact the Human Resources Department for additional information.


College/University Reimbursement And Continuing Education

Requests for education assistance may be made after ninety (90) days of employment to regular, full-time employees. If an employee leaves the employ of the District, any tuition, exam, or text book fees paid by the District within one (1) year prior to leaving, must be refunded to the District by the employee.


With pre-approval by your Supervisor, the District will pay tuition costs and required textbook costs for any field-related classes, or classes to improve job required skills. Tuition costs and text book costs for college courses will be limited to the State of Florida cost per credit hour for Florida residents. Degree programs approved for educational assistance must relate directly to the employee's present job and enhance the knowledge, skills, and abilities used in that job.


Elective courses that are not job-related are not eligible for assistance. Remedial courses are not eligible for assistance, unless required by the Executive Director. Other related materials are the responsibility of the employee. The employee must pass the class with a "C" or better. For graduate level courses, a passing grade of "B" or better shall be required in order to receive assistance. If the employee drops out, fails to obtain the requisite grade, or does not complete the class, all costs must be repaid to the District. Employees must take courses that will not interfere with their job responsibilities or their normal working hours. Education assistance will not be provided for mileage or other study materials. Employees taking college or university classes will not be paid for their time or travel time.


With pre-approval by your Supervisor, the District will pay tuition costs, required textbook costs, and hotel fees for field-related classes or conferences, including those for the attainment of certain professional or technical certifications or licenses (for example, attainment of a Florida water/wastewater operator license). The District will pay for one (1) test and one (1) retest only. This applies to license exams, GED, and/or related exams. If the employee drops out or does not complete the class, the costs related to the course will be deducted from their annual education budget. The employee may be paid for travel time and mileage for approved courses, conferences, and for CEU purposes.


Educational assistance will be subject to budgetary restraints. If an employee uses their entire budgeted annual education amount, another person in their Department may donate some of their available education dollars, provided they have been employees for a minimum of two years.


Employees must obtain pre-approval from the District in connection with any tuition assistance or reimbursement.


Safety Committee members may attend safety-related conferences or classes, which shall not count against their allocated education assistance.


Workers’ Compensation And Light Duty

Workers' compensation insurance is provided in accordance with Florida law. Work-related accidents and injuries, no matter how minor, must be reported to the employee's Supervisor immediately. Following a work-related injury, an employee is required to return to work as soon as possible. Failure to follow the District's well-established reporting procedures will result in disciplinary action. Employees should consult their Supervisors for detailed information on the District's workers' compensation coverage and reporting procedures.


After medical attention, if the employee is released for regular or light duty, if available, as determined by the department, the employee shall obtain from the attending physician a certification that the employee can return to work, identifying any applicable restrictions. Employees shall be required to release all medical information relative to the injury to the District or its authorized agents. In addition, the employee shall be responsible for securing the necessary documentation to justify worker's compensation payments. In the case of an employee who has been released for light duty, said employee may be placed on light duty, if available and at the discretion of the Department Supervisor, in a temporary position consistent with the light

duty conditions specified by the attending physician and at the employee's normal rate of compensation, until such time that the attending physician releases the employee for regular duty.


For purposes of this policy, “light duty” is defined as a modification or adjustment in the employee’s regular job duties. Such an assignment permits the employee to continue to work for a limited time by making a temporary adjustment, where possible, including (but not limited to): Temporarily transferring some or all of the non-essential functions of the employee’s job to another employee on a temporary basis; or transferring the employee to another assignment on a temporary basis, if possible.


The District will only attempt to place an employee in a light duty assignment when it is expected that the employee will be able to return to his or her normal job assignment within a time period that does not adversely impact on the District’s ability to have the employees essential functions properly performed. Additionally, light duty assignments are made on a case- by-case basis in light of all the circumstances and are not guaranteed. Employees assigned to light duty under this policy will continue to receive their regular rate of pay.


The District reserves the right to evaluate the status of all employees assigned to light duty or reassigned to another position under this policy at any time to determine whether and when the employee will be able to return to his or her regular job duties.


The District will regularly review the status of all employees assigned to light duty or reassigned to another position under this policy to determine whether and when the employee will be able to return to his or her regular job.


Employees may be required to submit to a medical evaluation in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation process as part of this re-evaluation process.


If, at any time, the employee is not expected to be able to return to his or her regular job within a reasonable period of time, the employee will be subject to termination for inability to perform the essential functions of his or her job.


Notwithstanding any provision of this policy, the District and the employee/claimant shall retain all statutory rights under the Workers’ Compensation Statute.


An employee on leave or light duty resulting from an injury or accident compensable under workers’ compensation may also be eligible for reasonable accommodations or unpaid time away from work under the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Note: The District will also attempt to place pregnant employees requesting light duty in a light duty assignment consistent with any restrictions and consistent with the policy above.


Employee Assistance Program

The District has adopted an Employee Assistance Program that offers three (3) hours of free counseling each year. The contact and telephone number is: Employee Assistance Program

Services, LLC – 239-435-0400. Please also contact the Human Resources Department for additional details. The District may also refer you to the EAP for performance related issues.


COMPENSATION


Generally

The District's work week begins on Monday at 12:01 a.m. and ends on Sunday at midnight. Employees are paid every two (2) weeks on Fridays. The District encourages direct deposit for all of its employees. Any changes due to holidays or other events that may interfere with this pay schedule will be announced in advance by the Human Resources Department.


The District is required by law to make mandatory deductions from earnings. Amounts withheld may vary according to how much the employee earns, marital status, government employment regulations, and other factors. Mandatory withholdings include Medicare and social security, and any other taxes or deductions required to be withheld by state and/or federal law.


In addition to mandatory payroll deductions, the District is required by law to comply with certain court orders, liens, or wage assignments and to make payroll deductions pursuant to those orders.


The District assigns certain employees to work on a second or third shift operation. Such employees are not paid an additional amount per hour over and above the regular rate of pay for that job as a shift premium.


Governmental agencies are prohibited by state law from paying bonuses or extra compensation. The District does not pay bonuses or extra compensation.


Overtime


Generally

Department Supervisors should make every effort to maintain service level standards while keeping overtime use to a minimum. However, when overtime is worked, the District compensates employees for the overtime hours in accordance with applicable law.


Overtime Eligibility

All non-exempt employees shall be compensated for periods worked in excess of forty (40) hours worked per workweek, at a rate of one and one-half (1 and ½ ) times their regular straight- time rate of pay. Hours paid, but not worked, such as for vacation or sick leave, do not count toward hours worked for the calculation of overtime pay.


In lieu of overtime payments, the District may elect to provide Compensatory Time to the non- exempt employees as further outlined in the section below.


Employees exempt from the overtime provisions of applicable law are expected, as part of their responsibility, to work in excess of forty (40) hours per week from time to time as required by special circumstances. Exempt employees do not receive overtime compensation or

compensatory time off relating to hours worked.


Employees Not Eligible For Overtime

Generally, employees considered “exempt” from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of applicable law include those employees holding executive, administrative, learned professional, and outside sales positions, among others. Employees at the District who are unsure of their status as an exempt or non-exempt employee should ask their immediate Supervisor or the Human Resources Department. Exempt employees are not eligible for overtime or compensatory time off.


Prior Approval Required

All overtime work must be approved by the Department Supervisor or the Executive Director, or their designee.


Compensatory Time


Defined

In lieu of overtime compensation, a non-exempt employee may, at the employee's discretion, select to be compensated in paid time off from work in accordance with applicable law. The choice of overtime or compensatory time should be reached prior to the performance of the assigned overtime.


Accrual

Compensatory time off shall be accrued at a rate equal to one and one-half (1 and 1/2) hours of compensatory time for each hour of overtime worked. Non-exempt employees may accrue up to 60 hours of compensatory time.


While exempt employees do not earn or accrue compensatory time off or overtime, the Executive Director, in his or her sole discretion, may grant other time off to exempt employees in recognition of extraordinary efforts, such as storm events or other emergencies.


Record Keeping

Department Supervisors are responsible for keeping individual logs for each employees, which lists the date, number of hours, and reason for all Compensatory Time. Compensatory Time earned and used shall also be reported as part of the employee’s regular time sheet. Finally, employees using Compensatory Time shall complete a request for leave form and have that form submitted and approved by their Department Supervisor prior to the use of compensatory time.


When Taken

Accrued Compensatory Time may be taken by the employee at times mutually agreeable to the employee and the Department Supervisor. Generally, an employee will be able to take Compensatory Time, unless doing so would unduly disrupt the operations of the District.


Maximum Accrual

Non-employees may accrue up to 60 hours of compensatory time.

Application and Payout

The District reserves the right to pay out compensatory time, in its sole discretion and judgment, at any time. Additionally, overtime pay, instead of compensatory time, may be paid to employees in the District’s sole discretion and judgment. Compensatory time will not be included in “hours worked” for purposes of calculating additional overtime (or compensatory time).


Termination of Employment

Any employee leaving the District shall be compensated for compensatory time accrued and used as of the date of separation at the employee’s straight-time rate of pay.


Call Back Pay

Occasionally, you may be asked to return to work after you have left the premises for the day. If this occurs more than one (1) hour after you ended your work, you will be guaranteed a minimum of two (2) hours pay in connection with such call back time. If you work longer than two (2) hours, you will be paid for the time you actually work. Total paid time cannot exceed actual time, except for the two (2) hour minimum. You must clock in for work after hours unless it is an emergency, which requires immediate response (for example, chlorine leaks, etc.). In the case of emergency, you should note your begin and start time to ensure accurate recording of actual time worked, and advise your Supervisor as soon as possible.


Cost of Living Adjustment

The District may provide a cost of living adjustment on October 1st based on a pre-determined formula. A cost of living adjustment, if any, will impact both exempt and non-exempt employees and are subject to approval of the Board of Commissioners during the budgeting process. Wages shall not be downward adjustment based on the cost of living formula.


Hurricane Pay

Employees will be placed on “standby status” during a “Hurricane Watch” or “Hurricane Warning.” During such “standby time,” employees will receive their regular rate of pay for their normally scheduled work time.


The District pays double time to non-exempt employees who are called into work during a Watch. In addition, working non-exempt personnel will be paid triple time (at their regular rate) during a Warning.


“Standby” Pay

Each week, one employee in the Water Department, one licensed Water Operator, one employee in the Wastewater Collection Department, and one employee in Maintenance Department will be assigned to “standby” status. They will receive “standby” pay in the amount of $75.00 per week, plus a minimum of one (1) hour pay if they are called out. Total paid time cannot exceed actual time, except for the one (1) hour minimum. You must clock in for work after hours unless it is an emergency, which requires immediate response.


In the event they fail to respond to a call out, they will forfeit the $75.00. The employee on “standby” will have the right to take a District vehicle home during on “stand by” time. In the event the employee on “standby” needs additional assistance, they will call the Supervisor. The

Supervisor will assess the situation and have the authority to call in additional staff as needed. Employees who are not on standby, but who are called back, will receive a minimum of two (2) hours, or time actually worked.


Time Cards/Records

The District has an “eight minute rule.” This rule applies both to regular pay and overtime. If you are late eight (8) minutes or more, your start time will be at the next quarter of an hour (:15) increment. If you are late less than eight (8) minutes, you will have been considered to have started at your regular start time. The same rule applies to overtime. By way of example, an employee who works eight (8) minutes past the end of their shift will be credited with having worked until the next quarter of an hour (for example, if a shift end time was 8:00 p.m., but the employee worked until 8:08 p.m., he or she would be credited from time keeping purposes with working until 8:15 p.m.).


Subject to the procedures above, employees who are late for work, and as such, clock in late, will not be paid for the time in which they did not work. Excessive incidents of tardiness will be treated as a disciplinary issue.


All non-exempt employees (except Operators) are required to clock out for meal breaks and must clock in at the end of a meal break. All meal breaks must be at least thirty (30) minutes, without exception, and not exceeding one (1) hour. During meal breaks, non-employees are not permitted to perform any work. The Supervisor and employee must report this on a time card prior to submit to payroll. The time in which meal breaks are scheduled will vary among Departments, depending on business and operational needs. Please contact your Supervisor.


Non-exempt employees are entitled to paid two (2) fifteen (15) minute rest breaks each day. Normally, these rest breaks will be scheduled in mid-morning and mid-afternoon. These times will be determined by your Supervisor. Employees should not clock out during these periods.


All non-exempt employees must also clock out during absences from the workplace due to medical appointments, dental appointments, to attend to personal affairs, etc. Employees are required to keep their Supervisor aware of any departure and absence during the workday.


All non-exempt employees are required to clock out at the end of the workday. Employees may not continue to work after they clock out. If additional work is required, the employee must get permission from their Supervisor and must clock back in to ensure time records reflect actual time worked.


In the event an employee is unable to clock in or out, for any reason, he or should contact an appropriate Supervisor immediately. Employees who fail to clock in and out to properly and accurately reflect all hours worked shall be subject to disciplinary action.


Employees must review and sign their time cards. Their Supervisor is also required to initial each time card. Any deviations from the posted scheduled should be noted and identified for payroll. Employees are prohibited from punching in or recording hours worked for another employee.


While not required under applicable law, the District requires exempt employees to also clock in and out for record-keeping purposes. Exempt employees are not required to clock out for lunch.


Work Performed On District Holidays

Full-time, regular, non-exempt employees who work on a District holiday will receive their normal wages for the paid holiday. Additionally, they will be paid their overtime rate for hours worked on the District holiday regardless of the number of hours they work that workweek.


ENDING EMPLOYMENT WITH THE DISTRICT


Separation Of Employment

Separation of employment within an organization can occur for several different reasons.


Resignation: Although we hope your employment with us will be a mutually rewarding experience, we understand that varying circumstances cause employees to voluntarily resign employment. Resigning employees are encouraged to provide two (2) weeks’ notice, preferably in writing, to facilitate a smooth transition out of the organization. Management reserves the right to relieve an employee of all duties prior to the end of the notice period. In this situation an employee will be paid through the last day actually worked. If an employee provides less notice than requested, the employer may deem the individual to be ineligible for rehire depending on the circumstances regarding the notice given.


Retirement: Employees who wish to retire are required to notify their Department Supervisor and the Human Resources Department in writing at least (1) month before planned retirement date.


Job abandonment: Employees who fail to report to work or contact their Supervisor for three (3) consecutive workdays shall be considered to have abandoned the job without notice, effective at the end of their normal shift on the third day. The Supervisor shall notify the Human Resources Department at the expiration of the third workday and initiate the paperwork to separate the employee. Employees who are separated due to job abandonment are ineligible to receive any accrued benefits for which they would otherwise be eligible, and are ineligible for rehire.


Death: In the event of the death of an employee, the last date of employment shall be the date of death. Any wages or travel expenses due through the date of death shall be payable to the wife or husband of the employee. If there is no spouse, then such amounts are paid to the child or children, provided the child or children are over the age of 18 years. If there is no child or children, then such amounts are payable to the father or mother. If there is no father or mother, such amounts shall be payable to the estate of the employee. For purposes of calculating the payment of wages due, the District shall also make payment on any accrued and unused vacation in accordance with those policies in effect on the date of death.


Termination: Employees of the District are employed on an at-will basis, and the District retains the right to terminate an employee at any time.


Post Termination Name-Clearing Meeting

All employees are entitled to a name-clearing meeting when false and stigmatizing information is placed in files, subject to the public records laws, attending their termination. Employees wishing to avail themselves of this procedure must submit a request for name-clearing meeting in writing to the Human Resources Department within ten (10) calendar days of the date of termination. Within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of same, the District will schedule a name- clearing meeting. Presiding at said meeting will be a representative of the Human Resources Department and one Department Supervisor chosen by the Executive Director. At the meeting, the terminated employee shall be permitted to present information relative to the falsity of the stigmatizing information. The District will also be permitted to present information relative to the veracity of the stigmatizing information.


In lieu of attending a name-clearing meeting, the employee may instead choose to submit a written statement regarding the falsity of the stigmatizing information that will be included in the employee’s personnel file.


The name clearing meeting is not an appeal of the termination decision and former employees will generally not be reinstated. The process is designed to allow the employee to present information in the public record regarding the information forming the basis of the termination.


Reductions In Force

If it is necessary for the District to undergo a reduction in force, employment decisions regarding layoffs, demotions, etc., will be based upon the business needs of the District as determined in its sole discretion.


Return Of District Property

The separating employee must return all District property at the time of separation, including but not limited to, tools, uniforms, cell phones, keys, PC and identification cards. The Human Resources Department or designee shall document the return of all property. Failure to return some items may result in deductions from the final paycheck in accordance with applicable wage and hour laws. An employee will be required to sign the Wage Deduction Authorization Agreement to deduct the costs of such items from the final paycheck.


Exit Interview

Employees resigning or retiring from employment shall contact the Human Resource Department as soon as notice is given to schedule an exit interview. The interview will be on the employee’s last day of work or another day, as mutually agreed upon.


Payments Due At Separation

Employees will be paid all hours worked through the last day of employment. Accrued and unused vacation leave will be paid in the last paycheck up to a maximum of 240 hours. Employees will not receive accrued, unused sick leave upon termination.


Health Insurance Coverage After Separation From Employment

Health insurance terminates on 15th day of the month of employment, unless an employee requests immediate termination of benefits. Information for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) continued health coverage will be provided. Employees will be required to pay their share of the dependent health and dental premiums through the end of the final month of employment.


Eligibility For Rehire

Former employees who left the District in good standing and were classified as eligible for rehire may be considered for reemployment. An application must be submitted to the Human Resources Department, and the applicant must meet all minimum qualifications and requirements of the vacant position, including any qualifying exam, when required.


Rehired employees begin benefits just as any other new employee.


An applicant or employee who is terminated for violating policy or who resigned in lieu of termination from employment due to a policy violation is generally ineligible for rehire.


Reference Inquiries

All inquiries about current or former employees or requests for verification of employment made by outside entities to the District must be referred to the Human Resources Department. The District will only provide the employee's length of employment and job title in response to any such request, unless otherwise required by law or regulation or written approval from the employee is obtained. Employees should refrain from writing letters of reference in their capacity as District employees. Employees are prohibited from using District letterhead and resources to write any letter of reference.

RECEIPT AND ACCEPTANCE OF EMPLOYEE MANUAL

I have this day received a copy of the District's Employee Manual, and I understand that I am responsible for reading the policies and practices described within it.


I AGREE TO ABIDE BY THE POLICIES AND PROCEDURES CONTAINED IN THIS EMPLOYEE MANUAL. I UNDERSTAND THAT THE POLICIES, PROCEDURES AND BENEFITS CONTAINED IN THIS MANUAL MAY BE ADDED TO, DELETED, OR CHANGED BY THE DISTRICT AT ANY TIME. I UNDERSTAND THAT NEITHER THIS MANUAL NOR ANY OTHER WRITTEN OR VERBAL COMMUNICATION BY ANY EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OR OTHER DISTRICT OFFICIAL IS INTENDED TO IN ANY WAY CREATE A CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT.


I UNDERSTAND THAT MY EMPLOYMENT IS AT-WILL, WHICH PERMITS THE DISTRICT TO TERMINATE THE EMPLOYMENT RELATIONSHIP AT ANY TIME, FOR ANY REASON, WITH OR WITHOUT NOTICE. NOTHING IN THIS MANUAL IS INTENDED TO GUARANTEE EMPLOYMENT FOR A SPECIFIC DURATION.


If I have any questions regarding the content or interpretation of this Manual, I will bring them to the immediate attention of the Executive Director or the Human Resources Department.


NAME


DATE


EMPLOYEE SIGNATURE

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF THE

IMMOKALEE WATER AND SEWER DISTRICT, in public meeting assembled that the following Employee Manual be adopted.


This resolution shall become effective on .


PASSED AND DULY ADOPTED by the Board of Commissioners of the IMMOKALEE

WATER AND SEWER DISTRICT, this _____ day of 2016.


BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS IMMOKALEE WATER ANDSEWER DISTRICT BY:


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Joseph Brister Chairperson


BY:


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Bonnie Keen Secretary