Personnel Rules and Regulations
Conduct Warranting Disciplinary Action
Disciplinary action may be taken based upon any of the items listed below. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive; it is however representative of the kinds of conduct and incidents which warrant disciplinary action.
- Failure to perform assigned work.
- Failure to perform work in a satisfactory manner.
- Failure to observe safety policies, procedures, rules, regulations or standards. (Revised 02/23/2009)
- Engaging in behavior that threatens the safety of self, co-workers or the general public. (Revised 02/23/2009)
- Possessing a record or pattern of unsafe work behavior as evidenced by multiple preventable accidents. (Revised 02/23/2009)
- Carelessness or negligence in performing work.
- Failure to call in to notify supervisor of tardiness or absence.
- Misrepresentation or failure to adequately document the need to be off work.
- Failure to maintain or operate equipment, tools or vehicle in appropriate manner.
- Misuse or mis-appropriation of City monies and/or property.
- Falsifying, misrepresenting or omitting information for the benefit of self or others.
- Engaging in behavior which is inappropriate or disruptive in the workplace.
- Discourteous treatment of others.
- Violation of the City’s Alcohol Misuse and Drug Abuse (revised June 1, 2004)
- Insubordination (revised June 1, 2004)
- Possession of unauthorized firearms, weapons, illegal drugs, alcohol or any other inappropriate item in the workplace (i.e., jobsite, vehicle or any location while engaged in city business).
- Reporting to work or working under the influence of drugs or alcohol and consuming such items during work hours.
- Giving or accepting gifts, money or favors in exchange for some benefit to self or others.
- Failure to maintain confidentiality.
- Violation of written city, departmental or division work rules, procedures or policies.
- Horseplay in the workplace.
- Misuse or misrepresentation of one’s position or authority.
- Sexual, racial, ethnic, and religious harassment in the workplace and/or while conducting city business.
- Engaging in behavior while off duty which reflects adversely upon the City.
- Absence without approval – Employees who exhaust all appropriate leave and FMLA benefits and are unable to return to full duty status work may be terminated. (Revised January 26, 2001) In those instances where an employee fails to report to work, and management has no knowledge of his/her whereabouts, an automatic termination for being absent without leave may be appropriate. The Employee Relations Division in Human Resources must be consulted before exercising this action.
- Off the Job Conduct — In order to maintain the trust of the public, it is of utmost importance that employees not engage in conduct which could be detrimental to that trust, including public intoxication, criminal activity, illegal drug activity, slandering or defaming public officials, appointees or staff and any other conduct which could damage/harm the public's perception and/or trust of the City and any of its officials, appointees or staff.
Disciplinary Action Alternatives
(For more information, please see Appendix 5: Steps in Taking Discipline) (Revised 2-10-06)
There are various types of disciplinary action a supervisor may take in order to help an employee take responsibility for their inappropriate behavior or poor job performance. The Employee Relations Division in the Human Resources Department is available for guidance and consultation. The disciplinary options available to supervisors are presented below.
The alternatives available to supervisors are presented in order of severity (counseling to probationary period). Supervisors must decide what is an appropriate disciplinary action in a given instance. Factors to consider in making this decision include: 1) severity of problem or degree of negligence; 2) number of previous disciplinary actions; 3) frequency of previous problems (time lapse between disciplinary actions); and, 4) employee’s work record.
- NOTE: If an employee is undergoing a disciplinary action and he/she has an occupational injury or non-occupational injury or illness, the injury does not stop the disciplinary process. Whenever possible, the process should proceed via correspondence utilizing certified mail. Depending upon employee restrictions, meetings, telephone conversations, and/or certified mail may be utilized to complete a disciplinary action. In some instances, the action may be delayed or deferred (Revised Jan. 26, 2001) until the employee is released to return to work. In such instances, contact the Occupational Health & Safety Office (Revised June 1, 2004) for guidance.
Counseling(s) – Supervisors should meet PRIVATELY with employees to discuss performance or behavioral problems when they first arise. A counseling session with an employee will not require the supervisor to place any written disciplinary action into an employee’s personnel file. However, the supervisor should maintain notes of the meeting held with the employee. This is a pre- or non- disciplinary action.
Oral Warning(s) – An oral warning is the first level of discipline. Oral warnings may be documented on an Employee Contact Slip or an Inter-Office Correspondence. Copies of Oral Warnings will not be sent to the Human Resources Department. The employee will be given a copy and the department will retain a copy (Oral Warnings are not grievable.)
The supervisor should meet the employee and discuss the following items:
- What is expected of the employee and why.
- How the employee has not met the personal conduct or performance requirements of the job and how his/her personal conduct or performance has been unsatisfactory.
- The employee’s reasons for his/her personal conduct and/or poor performance
- Specific actions the employee needs to take to improve conduct or performance to a satisfactory level.
- The consequences to expect if the behavior or poor performance continues.
Upon completion of the meeting with the employee, the supervisor should sign the warning, obtain the signatures of the employee and the Department Director or designee and distribute copies to the employee and the departmental file.
Written Warning(s) – A written warning is the second level of discipline. The supervisor will prepare a written summary of the problem as outlined below (Note: Either the City’s Inter-Office Correspondence or Employee Contact Slip may be used as a written warning). The supervisor will present the written warning to the employee and discuss its contents, which should include the following:
- Dates and points covered in previous warning(s).
- A description of specific problem(s).
- The employee’s reasons for his/her personal conduct and/or poor performance.
- Specific actions the employee needs to take to improve personal conduct or performance to a satisfactory level.
- A warning that continuation of the problem(s) will result in more severe disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Upon completion of the meeting with the employee, the supervisor should sign the warning, obtain the signatures of the employee and the Department Director or designee and distribute copies to the employee, the departmental file and the employee’s Human Resources Department file.
In the event that an employee refuses to sign a written warning, the supervisor should have another supervisor witness the fact that the employee was issued a written warning and refused to sign the warning by initialing the written warning
Written warnings are not grievable. (Revised January 26, 2001)
NOTE: SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE PERTAINING TO DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS WHICH IMPACT EMPLOYEES’ WAGES
When employees face disciplinary actions such as suspensions and temporary reductions in rate of pay, the manager/supervisor who presents the action to the employee must tell the employee the action being considered and give the employee an opportunity to respond to the intended disciplinary action. Once this exchange is completed, the action can be taken, unless the manager/supervisor decides to reconsider in light of what the employee has said.
Suspension(s) Without Pay (for ten (10) or less working days) – Suspensions without pay is the third level of discipline. Depending upon the nature and severity of the violation or problem, an employee may be suspended for one, two, three, four, or five days without pay. Typically, employees are not suspended for more than five days without pay, however, supervisors do have the flexibility to suspend employees for more than five days if they deem it appropriate. It should also be noted that the actual days off without pay will be determined by the supervisor. If work loads are such that it would be inconvenient to the work team and/or severely lessen productivity, an employee’s suspension without pay may be delayed a few work days or even until the following work week in order to lessen the negative impact of the employee’s absence upon the work crew. Multiple days without pay may be spread over several weeks, if deemed appropriate. This time should be coded as “D” on the timesheet. (Revised 2-10-06)
Suspension(s) Without Pay (for more than ten (10) working days) – See the Pre-Termination, Demotion, Suspension Process in the Termination and Separation Tab (Revised 2-10-06).
Suspensions without pay should be documented in the same manner as written warnings.
Temporary Reduction(s) In Rate of Pay – Employees may be disciplined by reducing their rate of pay rather than suspending them without pay. The advantage of exercising this option rather than the suspensions without pay option is that the employee is required to be at work; therefore, the work group does not suffer because of the employee’s absence. Also, the employee’s pay is impacted with the hope that the employee will realize the severity of the problem.
Reductions in an employee’s rate of pay can be accomplished by completing a Personnel Action Request (PAR) Form and showing the employee’s current rate of pay and the employee’s new rate of pay due to a disciplinary action. In the justification box on the PAR, a brief explanation for the reduction in pay can be explained.
If an employee’s rate of pay is reduced 10% for one pay period, this is equivalent to one day without pay. Likewise, if an employee’s rate of pay is reduced 5%, this reduction in pay for two pay periods is equivalent to one day without pay. Therefore, if a supervisor believes a three-day suspension without pay is in order, the supervisor may reduce an employee’s rate of pay 10% for three pay periods or 5% for six pay periods. If this option is exercised, a Personnel Action Request Form to initiate the reduction must be completed and, at the completion of the disciplinary action, another PAR must be completed to restore the employee’s original rate of pay.
NOTE: Suspension without pay and reductions in rate of pay are considered to be equivalent disciplinary actions.
NOTE: SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCE PERTAINING TO EXEMPT EMPLOYEES UNDER THE FLSA:
- Employees who are exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act can be disciplined by being suspended without pay for full day increments (8, 16, etc. hours, etc.). Employees who have alternative work schedules can be disciplined by being suspended without pay for full day increments according to their work schedule (9 hours for employees on a 9/80 schedule; 10 hours for employees on a four day workweek with ten-hour days, etc.) Suspensions without pay for a full workday(s) will not jeopardize an exempt employee’s status. Suspensions without pay for less than a full work day are prohibited. (Revised Nov. 15, 2004)
- The only exception to the suspension prohibition is disciplining an exempt employee for committing a major safety violation. In such instances, a suspension without pay for less than a full work day is permitted (Revised Nov. 15, 2004). An example of a major safety violation would be igniting an open flame in the presence of volatile flammable materials.
- Reduction(s) in Rate of Pay is not a disciplinary option for exempt employees.
- The disciplinary sequence for exempt employees is the same as non-exempt employees, except for the reduction in rate of pay and suspension options. Therefore, in lieu of this prohibited option, when multiple written warnings are issued to an exempt employee, the severity of the warnings must be clearly stated in the text of the warning.
- The severity of a particular written warning can be established by noting the consequences an employee can expect if future work rule violations occur. Such consequences may include a full work week suspension, disciplinary probation, demotion or termination. The consequences for future violations stated on a given warning will establish that warning’s severity.
- Reduction in Accrued Leave Time – In lieu of suspensions without pay and reductions in rate of pay, exempt employees may be disciplined by deleting accrued vacation time (Revised December 16, 2000) in full work day increments. These actions should be documented in the same manner as written warnings.
Disciplinary Probationary Period – A disciplinary probationary period is considered to be a very serious disciplinary action. When an employee is placed on probation, the employee is one step away from termination. Therefore, supervisors must give serious consideration before they decide to place an employee on disciplinary probation. The supervisor will prepare a written memorandum outlining the provisions of the probationary period. The Probationary Period memorandum should include the following items in the order listed:
- Outline the employee’s behaviors (misconduct) which have resulted in the need to place him/her on probation.
- Identify the behaviors that are unacceptable.
- Identify the behavioral changes that must take place.
- Explain the consequences of failure to improve and to perform in an acceptable manner.
- Specify the duration of the probationary period (not to exceed six (6) months).
- Establish regular, periodic times during the probationary period to meet with the employee and discuss his/her progress in improving. Prepare and file notes of the meetings.
The supervisor must decide how long the probationary period will be. The supervisor may establish a probationary period from one month to six months in duration. Six months is the maximum length that a supervisor can place an employee on probation. (Six months is equivalent to the initial probationary period which all new City employees must complete.) When deciding how long the probationary period should be, the supervisor should take into consideration factors such as: severity and number of previous violations, time which elapsed between previous violations, work record, evaluations, and other relevant documented information, and whether the problem is "habitual" (which would suggest that a lengthier period is needed). Supervisors must meet with employees who are placed on probation on a regular basis during the probationary period to provide specific feedback on the employee’s progress.
Meet with the employee at the end of the probationary period to evaluate and discuss his/her progress and what action, if any, will be taken. Prepare and file notes of the meeting.
Please note that when an employee is placed on probation, the employee is not guaranteed employment for the duration of the probationary period. If at any time during the probationary period it becomes obvious that the employee cannot or will not change his or her behavior or improve his or her job performance, the supervisor may initiate a termination action.
Demotion – Supervisors may decide that demotion of an employee from one classification to another classification is an appropriate disciplinary action. A pre-demotion meeting must be convened in order to demote an employee from one position to another. Supervisors must follow the procedures outlined in this policy in order to avoid the possibility of having the action modified or reversed later.
If an employee, in order to avoid disciplinary action, "volunteers" to demote into a lower level position, a memo should be prepared for the employee’s signature which clearly explains the reasons for the demotion, what the employee’s new classification and rate of pay will be (a minimum 5% reduction in rate of pay will be imposed) and that the employee agrees with the action being taken. See the Pre-Termination, Demotion, Suspension Process in the Termination and Separation Tab (Revised 2-10-06).
Termination – This policy provides a detailed explanation of the process which supervisors must follow in order to terminate an employee for disciplinary reasons. The supervisor must talk with the Employee Relations Division of the Human Resources Department and discuss their intentions prior to meeting with the employee. A Pre-Termination Meeting memorandum must be prepared and a meeting must be convened in order to notify the employee of the basis for the intended termination and in order to give the employee an opportunity to respond to the reasons for considering termination. Supervisors should take notes of the employee’s comments and the information provided during this meeting should be considered in the decision making process. Persons attending the Pre-Termination Meeting should include the employee’s immediate supervisor, a member of the department’s management team, the employee, and a representative for the employee (if the employee designates such). Avoid having a large number of people in this meeting. See the Pre-Termination, Demotion, Suspension Process in the Termination and Separation Tab (Revised 2-10-06).
Transfer – There are occasions when an employee who is experiencing difficulties on the job could benefit by being moved under another supervisor. There are instances where supervisory styles or personalities are such that an employee may not be able to function well under one supervisor’s direction, whereas, if the employee were placed under a different supervisor, they may be able to function very well. If the decision is made to transfer an employee, this action would not, in and of itself, be considered a disciplinary action. To transfer an employee for the purpose of giving an employee an opportunity to succeed under another supervisor is considered a preventative measure. It is a positive action in giving the employee an opportunity to demonstrate that he or she can be a productive member of a work team.
When it is apparent that both the City and the employee will benefit and where the Human Resources Director or designee approves, efforts will be made to assist the employee in obtaining a transfer. Under these circumstances, the following procedures are suggested: 1) enlist the aid of the Human Resources Department in facilitating the transfer; and, 2) allow the employee reasonable opportunities to meet with hiring authorities within the City who can assist with the transfer. The consideration of a transfer should be a sincere desire to transfer without prejudice and malice toward the employee. It should not be used to provide a method of "compromise" or a method by which the "problem" is passed on to another supervisor.
NOTE: Charging employees for lost or damaged tools, equipment, etc. Employees may be charged to recover costs for the replacement and/or repair of city equipment which is lost and/or damaged due to negligence, carelessness, and/or abuse. Monies cannot be recovered by reducing or deducting an employee’s wages. Employees may be charged and required to pay or face additional disciplinary action.
Grievances and Appeals
All eligible employees (excluding temporary and initial probationary employees) may appeal disciplinary actions through the City’s Appeal or Grievance Procedures.
Employee Assistance Program (also see EAP) (Revised 2-10-06)
In addition to the disciplinary actions which have been presented above, the supervisor should be mindful of the fact that on occasion, problems, difficulties, and/or stresses on or away from the job can adversely impact an employee’s ability to perform their assigned duties or conduct themselves properly on the job. Therefore, supervisors may exercise the option of suggesting or requiring an employee meet with the Employee Assistance Program Coordinator. This meeting will give the employee an opportunity to express and reveal non-job related problems in a confidential setting and perhaps find assistance to resolve those problems.
Supervisors need to know that the Employee Assistance Program is not limited to alcohol and drug abuse problems. Personal counseling in order to deal with personal crises such as, financial problems, marital problems, parental problems, and any other life stressors can be effectively addressed through the Employee Assistance Program.
If a supervisor observes a significant adverse change in an employee’s behavior and there are no apparent signs of alcohol or drug abuse, it would be wise for the supervisor to suggest or, if deemed appropriate, to require that the employee meet with the Employee Assistance Program Coordinator.
Removal Of Disciplinary Actions - Disciplinary actions will become void 24 months after their issuance, however, actions involving harassment, inappropriate conduct, and other serious violations will not be voided 24 months after their issuance. Employees may request the removal of "voided" disciplinary documents from their City personnel file. (Revised December 3, 2001)
Tape Recording Disciplinary Action Meetings – Management will decide whether or not a given meeting will be tape recorded. If management wants to record a meeting, it will be recorded. If an employee wants to record a meeting, management will decide whether or not to allow the recording. Management’s decisions on this matter are final.
Alcohol Misuse and Drug Abuse Policy
(For policy information please see Appendix 1) (Revised 2-10-06)
This regulation delineates the City's policy with regard to alcohol misuse and drug abuse in the workplace and the use of these substances that affect employees' performance during work hours. It is also applicable to applicants seeking employment with the City.
All departments and applicants seeking employment with the City are covered by this policy. Police and Fire operations are excluded from Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) provisions, but are included in all non-DOT provisions of this policy.
Policy (For more information about violations see Appendix 2)(Revised 2-10-06)
It is the policy of the City of Fort Worth to maintain a safe work environment conducive to effective city government operations. All personnel, equipment and operating practices are required to be consistent with the highest standards of health and safety. The presence of alcohol and drugs in the workplace and/or the abuse of alcohol or drugs by employees is inconsistent with effective government.
The City complies with DOT requirements for affected positions
City employees are subject to a "two strike" policy for alcohol and illegal use of prescription drugs: the first positive test before and/or after 5-1-99 (Revised January 26, 2001) (alcohol or illegal use of prescription drugs) results in treatment and/or education opportunities; the second positive test results in termination regardless of the number of years between positive tests. (Revised January 26, 2001)
City employees are subject to a "zero tolerance" or "one strike" policy for illegal controlled substances. The first positive test results in termination, except for prescription drugs as outlined in more detail below.
Applicants who are not hired because they fail an alcohol or drug test and employees who violate this policy and are terminated are not eligible for employment or re-employment for five years.
Possession and/or illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol on the job is prohibited.
Those departments whose employees may operate commercial-type vehicles and for which a commercial drivers license (CDL) is required are subject to alcohol misuse and drug abuse regulations as mandated under the Federal Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991.The consumption of alcohol and the illegal use, possession, distribution, dispensation, transportation, sale, or manufacture of dangerous drugs is prohibited in the workplace. This prohibition includes any violation of state and federal controlled substances acts.
Employees are also prohibited from performing official duties while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs or, if performance is impaired, while under the influence of lawfully prescribed or over-the-counter substances. Any employee in this category will be referred to the City’s EAP/SAP (Employee Assistance Program/ Substance Abuse Professional).
The City has a zero tolerance policy for use of illegal controlled substances (amphetamines/methamphetamines, cocaine, opiates, PCP and marijuana). Therefore, any employee who fails a drug screen will be scheduled for a pre-termination meeting, except as outlined below for prescription drugs. A DOT safety sensitive employee will also be referred to the EAP/SAP (DOT mandated). This referral does not negate the zero tolerance policy.
Prescribed Drugs – The legitimate use of prescribed or over-the-counter drugs is not prohibited if performance is not impaired. If an employee is unable to perform his or her assigned duties or perform any duty in a safe manner, the employee will be subject to temporary reassignment of duties or be required to take leave. (See Personnel Regulation "Medicines on the Job.")
An applicant or employee using a prescription drug containing an opiate, narcotic or amphetamine which is prescribed for him or her will have a "medically explained" negative test — thus no violation of this policy. There will be no loss of employment nor loss of promotion or transfer. An employee may be referred to the EAP to evaluate his/her ability to safely perform safety-sensitive job functions while using the medication. In cases where an employee is misusing or abusing a prescription drug, the EAP will work with the employee in addressing the issue.
The use of someone else's prescription drug containing a controlled substance (listed above) is considered to be a positive drug screen. An applicant will have the employment offer withdrawn and cannot reapply for five (5) years. An employee will be referred to the EAP for evaluation (will have one chance). An employee whose test resulted from a promotion or transfer will have the job offer withdrawn and cannot reapply for a period of six (6) months.
Within ten (10) working days of notification from the EAP of a positive test, the employee is responsible for providing documentation from the Medical Review Officer that the positive drug screen was based upon the illegal use of a prescription drug, in order for the two strike policy outlined above to apply (if the employee believes the positive result to be prescription related). The employee will be off on his/her own time (accrued leave if available) while obtaining the requested documentation from the Medical Review Officer. If such documentation is not provided within the time frame specified, the employee will be scheduled for a pre-termination meeting.
Alcohol and/or Prescription Drug Abuse
Any employee who fails an alcohol screen and/or who has a positive drug test related to the illegal use of a prescription drug the first time must agree in writing to comply with EAP developed requirements. As an example, a non-DOT employee must agree to EAP unannounced alcohol and/or drug screens for a period of 24 months, or for an employee in a DOT safety sensitive position, 60 months. Failure to agree in writing and/or failure to successfully comply to the EAP requirements will result in the scheduling of a pre-termination meeting.
Any employee who fails an alcohol screen or whose positive test for drugs is due to illegal use of prescription drugs, will be evaluated by the EAP for the need to be referred. The EAP will assist the employee in determining the need for chemical dependency counseling and/or rehabilitation (formal treatment program).
An employee who undergoes an alcohol screen in conjunction with a promotion or transfer and fails the alcohol screen will have the job transaction withdrawn and can not reapply for a period of six (6) months. (Revised January 26, 2001)
Employees not Qualifying for Treatment:
If an employee fails to meet the criteria to be placed in a program, the positive alcohol screen or illegal use of a prescription drug still qualifies as a first positive. Such employees will be required to participate in an appropriate educational program as determined by the EAP Coordinator. Refusal or failure to participate in the EAP required program will result in the scheduling of a pre-termination meeting.
Employees Qualifying for Treatment:
If counseling/treatment/rehabilitation criteria is met, the employee will be referred. Refusal to participate or failure to successfully comply with a counseling program or treatment program to which an employee is referred will result in the employee being scheduled for a pre-termination meeting.
Failure to successfully comply with a counseling program and/or treatment program may involve any of the following examples, which are not intended to be all inclusive:
- checking one’s self out of the program against medical advice;
- being dismissed from the program (therapeutic discharge);
- non-compliance in fulfilling the program plan as designed by the program staff/counselors;
- non-compliance in attending the EAP’s required aftercare meetings.
Upon a negative return-to-work alcohol screen or drug screen, any subsequent positive alcohol screen and/or illegal use of prescription drug positive test will result in the employee being scheduled for a pre-termination meeting regardless of the number of years between positive tests. (Revised January 26, 2001)
(For more information about testing procedures, see Appendix 3) (Revised 2-10-06)
Final candidates for employment with the City will be required to undergo a drug screening procedure. Final applicants for Federal Department of Transportation (DOT) safety-sensitive positions will be required to undergo a drug screening procedure which may, if ordered, include an alcohol screen.
The City will not engage, employ, or otherwise give a commitment of employment to a final applicant for a position unless that person passes a drug test and/or alcohol test, if required.
Employees can be tested in six circumstances:
- Random test if employee is in a DOT or city-sensitive position
- Promotion/transfer/demotion/reclassification into DOT or city-sensitive position
- Reasonable cause test
- Post accident test
- EAP return to work test*
- EAP follow-up test*
*Only applies after a previous positive test has occurred.
Criteria for Inclusion in Random Tests and Promotion/Transfer/Demotion/ Reclassification Tests
Employees in city-sensitive and DOT positions are subject to random testing.
A city-sensitive position is any position meeting one or more of the following parameters:
- Operation of city vehicles or personal vehicles on city business or non-DOT equipment;
- Direct youth activities; and/or
- High level of safety consciousness (example: zoo animal keepers). (Revised October 9, 1999)
A DOT position is one that does or may require a commercial driver's license. Such a safety-sensitive position has safety-sensitive functions which includes, all time from the time a driver begins to work or is required to be in a readiness to work until the time he/she is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work. The employee is expected to be drug and alcohol free. A DOT position employee may not consume any alcohol from any source within four hours prior to reporting for duty.
- Random Testing: — Employees in city-sensitive positions and/or DOT positions will be selected for testing on a random basis in a manner to ensure that each covered employee has a substantially equal chance of selection. The testing frequency and selection process will be such that an employee’s chance of selection continues to exist throughout his or her employment in a sensitive position.
- The City will ensure that employees in city-sensitive positions are tested for drugs on a random basis at an annual rate of approximately 20% of the number of employees in City sensitive positions.
- Employees in DOT positions will be selected for testing on a random basis. Annually 50% of the covered employees will be tested for drugs; 25% will be tested for alcohol.
- Employees in positions with D, E, and F key codes will be tested for drugs on a random basis at an annual rate of 20%. (Revised January 26, 2001)
- Promotion, Demotion, Transfer, Reclassification — Employees moving into city- sensitive and/or DOT positions will be tested for drugs prior to the promotion, demotion, transfer, reclassification, etc.
- Reasonable Cause – When a supervisor who is trained to detect drug abuse or alcohol misuse determines that an employee may be under the influence of either, the supervisor must require the employee to be tested for alcohol and drugs (See Appendix 2). The City’s EAP Coordinator may also initiate an EAP reasonable cause alcohol and/or drug screen, with the approval of the Human Resources Director or designee. In special circumstances involving public safety issues, a City department may order a reasonable cause alcohol and/or drug screen, if approved by the Human Resources Director or designee.
- Post-Accident – Any accident in which a City employee is operating a City vehicle or personal vehicle on City business will require a post accident alcohol and drug test in the following circumstances:
- Any accident involving a fatality.
- Any accident in which a person is transported for medical attention.
- Any accident where a citation for a traffic violation is issued to the City driver or operator.
- In those accidents where the supervisor and/or the City’s Safety Officer can find no reasonable explanation for the cause of the accident, the supervisor and/or the City’s Safety Officer may request a post-accident alcohol and drug test. (The supervisor and/or the City’s Safety Officer must have had the two hours alcohol/drug misuse recognition training.)
- The City’s EAP Coordinator may also initiate an EAP post-accident alcohol and drug screen when deemed appropriate.
- Commercial Type Vehicle – In the event of a fatality and/or extreme damage to property and/or serious injury arising out of the use or the operation of a commercial type vehicle, other employees (e.g., mechanics) may also be required to undergo an alcohol and drug test.
Post-accident Testing Procedures:
Alcohol Testing – When an accident meets the testing criteria, the employee must be tested for alcohol within two hours following the accident. If an alcohol test is not administered within two hours, the supervisor must prepare and maintain a record which explains why a test was not administered. If the employee is not tested within 8 hours, the supervisor must prepare and maintain a record which explains why a test was not administered. If the alcohol test is not conducted within 8 hours, all alcohol testing efforts must cease, and a report explaining why no test was done will be prepared. A copy of the report must be sent to the EAP Coordinator.
Drug Test – When the accident meets the testing criteria, the employee must be tested for drugs within 32 hours following the accident. If the drug test is not administered, the supervisor must prepare and maintain on file a record stating why the test was not conducted. A copy of the report must be sent to the EAP Coordinator.
A DOT position employee may not consume any alcohol for eight hours following an accident, or until taking the post-accident alcohol test, whichever comes first. An employee violating this provision will be scheduled for a pre-termination meeting.
Drug and Alcohol Testing Procedures
Drugs - The controlled substances for which a test may be conducted are:
- Phencyclidine (PCP)
Alcohol Testing — Alcohol testing will be done by breath analysis or other such method as may be approved by the U. S. Department of Transportation.
- Non-DOT Employees
- For employees in non-DOT positions a violation will occur when an employee has a breath alcohol concentration confirmation test level of 0.04 or greater. He/she will be referred to the EAP/SAP.
- If an employee in a non-DOT position has an alcohol confirmation test of 0.02 up to 0.04, he/she may not perform any city-sensitive function for 24 hours. He/she will be referred to the EAP/SAP.
- DOT Employees
- For DOT positions, a violation will occur when the employee has a breath alcohol concentration confirmation test level of 0.04 or greater. He/she shall be referred to the EAP/SAP.
- If the confirmation test level is 0.02 to 0.04, the employee may not perform any DOT safety-sensitive functions for 24 hours after the test and will be referred to the EAP/SAP.
Testing Procedures – An individual who is required to undergo an alcohol or drug test, will be requested by a supervisor to sign a consent form to be prescribed by the City, and to report to the designated health clinic or laboratory. All alcohol and drug tests will be conducted at City expense with the exception of retests as discussed below. Refusal to sign a consent form will result in the scheduling of a pre-termination meeting.
Appeal and Retesting – A final applicant or employee may appeal the results of a positive drug test by requesting in writing through the collection site that a portion of the original urine sample be provided to another Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) approved laboratory for retesting, and by procuring the services of a licensed physician meeting the qualifications of the medical review officer to interpret the test result, all at the expense of the final applicant or employee.
- Following notification of a positive drug screen by the department or the EAP, the employee or final applicant will be allowed three (3) working days to notify the EAP (in writing) of the decision to request a retest using the split sample from the original urine specimen. The employee or final applicant will then be given up to five (5) working days to make payment in full (money order or cashier's check; no cash) for the retest expense. An employee will not be allowed to return to work until the retest results are received by the EAP or the department. The employee may use any accrued leave time with the approval of the department. Note: The retest process is conducted by an independent laboratory and results may take up to ten (10) business days for the City EAP to receive the test results. (Revised 02/23/2009)
- In the event that the result of the retest is negative, indicating the positive result of the first test was erroneous, the City will reimburse the final applicant or the employee for the cost of the retest. If an employee was required to use accrued leave time while waiting for the retest results and the positive result of the first test was erroneous the leave time used will be changed to "B" time so the employee will not suffer a loss due to the erroneous test result. (Revised 02/23/2009)
Confidentiality, Records and Retention – All information related to the alcohol and drug testing of individuals will be held in strict confidence consistent with the provisions of applicable law.
- The EAP and the designated Health Clinic shall be responsible for retaining all confidential records relating to the substance abuse program which include training, testing, rehabilitation, and litigation. All documentation which contains information related to an employee’s positive test result will be retained by the EAP and/or the Clinic in a locked file separate and apart from the employee’s personnel file. All records of individuals who pass a test will be retained for at least one year. All records of individuals who do not pass a test will be retained for at least five years.
Refusal To Test
- An employee who refuses to consent to an alcohol or drug test will be scheduled for a pre-termination meeting. A final applicant who refuses to consent to testing will not be considered for employment.
- If a DOT position employee refuses to undergo a test, he/she will be referred to the EAP/Substance Abuse Professional (SAP), in addition to being scheduled for a pre-termination meeting. (The SAP cases covered by the DOT regulations are handled by a third party vendor.) (Revised January 21, 2002)
Refusal to test includes:
- An employee who fails to provide adequate breath for alcohol testing without a valid medical explanation.
- In the event of a controlled substance test, an employee who fails to provide adequate urine for testing, without a valid medical explanation. A non-DOT employee may voluntarily agree to permit blood serum to be taken to avoid being terminated for refusing to be tested. A DOT employee does not have the blood serum options. (Revised January 21, 2002)
- An employee who engages in conduct that "clearly obstructs" a testing procedure.
- After an accident that mandates post-accident testing, the driver/operator fails to make himself or herself available for a test within the time frame specified.
Supervisors - DOT – Supervisors and managers of DOT employees will be provided with 60 minutes of training in the recognition and signs of alcohol misuse and 60 minutes training in drug abuse recognition and signs. Supervisors are responsible for requesting this training through Human Resources. Supervisors and managers must retake this training every three years.
The EAP also conducts a four-hour EAP/Alcohol/Substance Abuse workshop throughout the year. This will qualify for the required DOT supervisors/managers training. Non-DOT supervisors/managers are encouraged to take this workshop once every three years. Non supervisors/managers may also take this workshop with their supervisor’s approval.
DOT employees will be provided educational material concerning the alcohol misuse/drug abuse rules and a copy of this policy.
Classes on alcohol and substance abuse will be available for all employees who wish to attend.
If a substance which appears to be an illegal drug is found within an area under the effective control of an employee, an investigation will be conducted by appropriate law enforcement agencies. If warranted, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken. The employee may also be subject to criminal charges.
City-Sponsored Case Management of Rehabilitation Program Participation (Revised 02/23/2009)
An employee may self-refer to the City’s Employee Assistance Program for a chemical dependency problem (drugs and/or alcohol). A self referral will not count as a positive test. The EAP Coordinator (Revised July 1, 2003) assists employees in obtaining help for alcohol and/or drug problems. An employee may not self-refer once a test (random, post-accident, reasonable cause, promotion/transfer, or EAP follow-up) has been scheduled.
An employee will be encouraged to place himself/herself under formal EAP case management. Those employees who place themselves under the EAP’s management will be required (Revised 02/23/2009) to:
- Sign a "consent to disclose document" allowing the EAP to contact the appropriate persons in the employee’s department
- Comply with the EAP/treatment/ rehabilitation program conditions. (Revised Oct. 9, 1999)
- Report any incidence of relapse, interruption or discontinuation in the rehabilitation program to the EAP immediately. (Revised 02/23/2009)
Random drug testing will be temporarily suspended during the employee's participation in the rehabilitation program case managed by the EAP. Testing will resume upon completion of the rehabilitation program or when there is evidence that the employee has failed to comply with the rehabilitation program guidelines. (Revised 02/23/2009) An employee's self-referral does not prevent the department from taking appropriate disciplinary action for the employee's performance and/or conduct for other work-rule violations (e.g. time/attendance, insubordination, conflict with co-workers, etc.) (Revised 02/23/2009)
Non-City Sponsored Case Management of Rehabilitation Program Participation (Revised 02/23/2009)
Employees who are involved in a rehabilitation program that is not sponsored or associated with the City must notify the City’s EAP Coordinator about the program within five (5) working days after entering the program. Notification is necessary to ensure proper handling of those situations when an unannounced drug test arises and the employee is actively engaged in a rehabilitation program. (Revised 02/23/2009)
If an employee is involved in a bona fide rehabilitation program (as determined by the City’s EAP Coordinator) and a random drug test occurs the following provisions apply: if the employee has been compliant with the protocols of the rehabilitation program for 28 days or less prior to the random drug test date and if the test result is positive, a pre-termination meeting will not be convened. The City’s EAP Coordinator will meet with the employee and the department to determine what course of action will be taken. (Revised 02/23/2009)
- Alcohol Misuse and Drug Abuse Policy - Appendix 1
- Alcohol Misuse and Drug Abuse Policy - Appendix 2
- Alcohol Misuse and Drug Abuse Policy - Appendix 3
- Alcohol Misuse and Drug Abuse Policy - Appendix 4
The Charter of the City of Fort Worth forbids City employees from bidding in City auctions and having anyone represent them at such an auction. Only persons who are non-City employees and who have properly registered to participate may bid at City auctions.
Criminal Convictions (New Policy effective 2-10-06)
Employees must inform their supervisors as soon as possible (within five (5) working days of notification of conviction) (Revised May 8, 2007) upon their conviction for criminal activity. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Upon being informed of a conviction for criminal activity, the department will, in consultation with the Human Resources Department and the Department of Law, determine whether there should be any changes to the employee’s duties or employment status.
The City of Fort Worth is committed to having a drug-free workplace. The possession and/or consumption of illegal drugs by employees at the workplace, and being at the workplace while under the influence of such drugs is prohibited and will result in severe disciplinary action.
In addition to the City’s commitment to have a drug-free workplace, the Omnibus Drug Initiative Act of 1988 requires recipients of federal contracts over $25,000 and all grantees to certify that they maintain a drug-free workplace.
The City does post-employment offer, random, post-accident, and reasonable cause drug testing. An Employee Assistance Program is available to assist employees who need help in dealing with drug related issues. The presence of drugs on the job will not be tolerated. Help is available for those who desire to be helped.
Firearms At The Workplace
Employees shall not carry or possess a firearm in the course and scope of their employment except in the following circumstances:
- They are required to do so by the City Manager as part of their assigned duties
- They are retired Peace Officers who have been issued a Certificate of Proficiency by the Fort Worth Police Department in compliance with Section 1701.357 of the Texas State Occupations Code and are required to carry a firearm by the City Manager as part of their assigned duties.
Employees who are licensed by the State of Texas under Article 4413 (29ee), Texas Revised Civil Statutes, to carry a concealed handgun likewise shall not carry or possess a concealed handgun in the course of scope of their employment unless required to do so by the City Manager as part of their assigned duties.
Nothing in this policy shall be construed to prohibit or regulate the carrying of handguns in employee-owned motor vehicles by an employee who has a valid license to carry a concealed handgun under Article 4413 (29ee), Texas Revised Civil Statutes. (revised June 1, 2004)
Any employee found in violation of this regulation shall be disciplined. Such discipline may include termination.
Prayer in the Workplace
Added Nov. 12, 2010
This policy gives guidelines for religious expression and prayer in the workplace. The City of Fort Worth is prohibited from discriminating against employees on the basis of belief in any religion, or non-belief in religion. The City is required to allow its employees to individually express their religious beliefs to the greatest extent possible, consistent with the requirements of the law and workplace efficiency. Additionally, religious harassment will not be permitted.
The City is prohibited from requiring its employees to participate in religious expression as a condition of employment. This includes situations such as staff meetings, conferences, holiday luncheons, retirement receptions, and office parties. This policy is not intended to prohibit employees from engaging in religious practices on an individual basis, such as reading a religious book at the employee's desk during a break.
Many workplaces plan holiday parties for the employees, especially during November and December. In lieu of a prayer, the employees may begin the luncheon with a moment of silence.
Invocations at City Council Meetings are excluded from this policy.
It is the policy of the City of Fort Worth to treat all employees with respect. Employees have the right to work in an environment that is free of conduct that is harassing or inappropriate. No employee shall be subjected to unsolicited and unwelcome sexual, ethnic, racial or religious overtures or conduct, either verbal or physical by any persons while engaged in legitimate city business. No employee shall encourage or condone such overtures or conduct, either verbal or physical. Any employee who engages in, perpetuates or condones inappropriate behavior shall be subject to disciplinary action. Likewise, any persons conducting business with the City (contractors, vendors, citizens, interns, volunteers, or agents thereof) are expected to treat our employees with respect and to conform to the same workplace standards of conduct as City employees.
Employee’s Responsibilities — It is the responsibility of each employee of the City of Fort Worth to engage in and promote workplace behaviors that create and maintain an environment of respect and that promote effective teamwork. It is likewise the responsibility of each employee to report those behaviors that damage this environment, especially those of a harassing nature.
Managers and Supervisors Responsibilities – Managers and supervisors have a greater responsibility, not only to model respectful, professional conduct at the workplace, but also to maintain an environment of respect and effective teamwork in their work areas. Managers and supervisors should monitor the workplace for inappropriate behavior and must immediately report all incidents of harassing behavior to the Human Resources Department.
Appropriate corrective action will be taken in response to harassing behavior toward City employees or by employees toward non-employees.
The definitions below are from the regulations adopted by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Sexual Harassment – Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal (slurs, jokes) or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment if:
- Submission to such conduct is made either a term or condition of employment or,
- Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an employee is used as the basis for employment decisions or,
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an employee’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Ethnic/Racial Harassment – Ethnic or racial slurs or jokes, and other verbal or physical conduct relating to an employee’s national origin or race constitute harassment when this conduct:
- Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment or,
- Has the purpose or effect of interfering with an employee’s work performance or,
- Adversely affects an employee’s employment opportunities.
Religious Harassment – Religious slurs or jokes, and other verbal or physical conduct relating to an employee’s religious beliefs constitute harassment when the conduct:
- Has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment or,
- Has the purpose or effect of interfering with an employee’s work performance or,
- Adversely affects an employee’s employment opportunities.
An employee’s intentions and motives are not the decisive factors in considering alleged harassment behavior. The effect of one employee’s behavior upon another employee is the decisive factor. If an employee’s behavior is considered to be offensive by another employee or if it has an intimidating effect upon another employee, racial, sexual, ethnic, or religious harassment may be present. The welcomeness, frequency, and severity of the behavior determine whether or not harassment has occurred.
Investigation of Complaints
Any employee who feels that he or she has been the victim of racial, sexual, ethnic, or religious harassment or any employee who witnesses behavior that rises to the level of harassment as defined above should notify the Human Resources Department immediately. If there is a question whether the behavior meets the definition(s) above, the Human Resources Department should be contacted for assistance.
Any complaint alleging harassment shall be construed as being a claim against the City of Fort Worth. Each complaint, unless determined by legal counsel to be facially invalid, shall be investigated as if it were a claim. Legal counsel overseeing the claim shall instruct the Human Resources Director or designee to investigate the complaint and claim on behalf of the City of Fort Worth.
The only exception to this section is in departments regulated by Chapter 143 of the Local Government Code, (Fire and Police). Violations involving sworn personnel may be reported through the chain of command, directly to the Chief’s office, or to the appropriate Division (either Internal Affairs or Human Resources). This in no way precludes any individual from reporting directly to the Human Resources Department. Investigations may be conducted by the department in accordance with the statute and the Fort Worth Firefighter’s and Police Officers’ Civil Service Rules and Regulations.
All allegations of harassment will be investigated and all findings, decisions, and recommendations will be made on an individual case-by-case basis. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken when the findings warrant such action. The disciplinary action will be decided upon in an executive summary meeting between representatives from Law, Human Resources and the Department. If there is a disagreement between the three representatives, the Department’s Assistant City Manager will determine the disciplinary action to be taken. (revised June 1, 2004)
Allegations of harassment shall be dealt with in strict confidence and any serious breach of confidentiality will result in disciplinary action.
No employee shall be retaliated against for filing a complaint, participating in an investigation, reporting an alleged violation or opposing any action which is believed to constitute a violation of this policy. Disciplinary action will be taken against any employee who engages in retaliatory actions.
It is the responsibility of each employee to engage in and promote workplace behavior that creates and maintains an environment of respect and promotes effective teamwork. It is likewise the responsibility of each employee to report behavior that damages this environment.
Horseplay, pranks and any other inappropriate, non-work related behaviors are strictly prohibited. Jokes (verbal, electronic, printed or in any other medium) that demean people (individuals) or have sexual , racial, ethnic or religious themes are inappropriate in the workplace.
This policy prohibits behaviors that may not reach the level of harassment as defined in the City’s "Harassment-free Workplace" policy, but that nonetheless is inappropriate in the workplace. Such behavior includes bringing sexually explicit pictures, photographs, cartoons or objects to the workplace; repeated requests for dates, sexual bantering, jokes or teasing; sexual innuendoes, gestures or leers, obscene, profane or abusive language; terms of endearment such as "doll", "honey", "sweetheart" or "babe"; sending sexual, racial, ethnic, religious jokes, cartoons, etc. on e-mail, faxes, etc.; and, using racial, ethnic or religious slurs or demeaning comments.
Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken when violations of this policy occur. See the "Disciplinary Action" policy for guidance.
Inappropriate behavior as defined in the "Harassment-Free Workplace" policy or this policy, should be reported to the Human Resources Department immediately. The Human Resources Department, in conjunction with the Department of Law, will decide how the incident/allegation/complaint will be investigated. Departments should not investigate such matters without consulting the Human Resources Department. After completing an investigation, it will be determined which policy, if any, has been violated. The welcomeness, frequency, and severity of the inappropriate behavior determine whether or not harassment has occurred.
Medicines On The Job
The City of Fort Worth supports a safe and productive work environment. Employees may use over-the-counter and/or prescribed medicines on the job as long as the employee’s performance is not adversely affected. If an adverse affect is observed that could result in an unsafe action or condition, the supervisor should relieve that employee from duty and arrange to safely transport the employee to his/her residence.
If an adverse affect on the employee’s performance is observed, the employee will be required to justify the use of the medicine during working hours, through his/her physician. Failure to justify the use of such medicines will result in the employee being off work until the matter is resolved.
Non-civil service employees (except employees at the department head level or above) may take an active part in another person’s political campaign for an elective position of the municipality. Taking active part includes making a political speech, making financial contributions, distributing campaign literature, writing a letter, signing a petition, and actively soliciting votes. Political activities of non-civil service employees cannot be performed during working hours or while wearing a city uniform.
Political activities of civil service employees cannot be performed during working hours or while wearing a city uniform. Off-duty political activities of civil service employees are not restricted. These rules are found in the Texas Local Government Code, Section 143.086 (Revised Jan. 21, 2002)
City employees may actively campaign in any national, state, county or school board election on their own time and away from their job site.
All City employees are encouraged to exercise their constitutional rights and vote.
Professional Dress Policy (Revised 2-10-06)
Each employee of the City of Fort Worth shall maintain a neat, professional appearance, appropriate to his or her assigned duties in serving the community. It is the responsibility of each employee to use good judgment, wear appropriate attire, and to present an appearance that meets the professional standards of the City of Fort Worth. Departments may modify the dress code as needed due to worksite conditions and safety issues. (Revised 2-10-06)
On normal business days, “business casual” attire is acceptable for most City employees. Occupations within the City structure that require or encourage uniforms shall recognize the uniform as appropriate dress for that job, even if “appropriate uniform” (e.g., shorts) is not appropriate for non-uniformed” employees.(Revised 2-10-06)
“Business Professional” or city sanctioned work attire are required to present a professional appearance for meetings, special events, presentations, Council meetings or representing the City on special occasions. (Revised 2-10-06)
The following shall be the minimum acceptable standard for City employees.
- Condition of clothing - Clean clothing and appropriate footwear shall be worn daily and shall be in good condition. All clothing shall be free of holes, wear and tears, maintained in a clean condition.
- Grooming - All employees are expected to maintain high standards of good grooming and personal hygiene.
Each department may define specific requirements, depending on assignments and working environments and safety aspects (Revised 2-10-06). These requirements must be in writing and must be approved by the Human Resources Director prior to implementation.
“Special occasion” days may be declared by the City Manager or, in some cases, by the department director. Such days may include: Stock Show Day(s), training days, and heritage celebration days. On such days, the City Manager or the department director will specify the appropriate dress guidelines to follow. Such special occasion days should be rare. The practice of “Friday casual days” is no longer acceptable.
Unusual circumstances, such as weather conditions, special work assignments, medical reasons, worksite conditions and/or non-normal working hours and situations, may be sufficient reasons to grant exceptions to the dress guidelines.
See Appendix 6 for additional information and specific attire guidelines. (Revised 2-10- 06)
The position held by an employee of the City shall take precedence over any other occupational interest of the employee. No employee of the City shall engage in any occupation that is incompatible with their employment with the City or presents a conflict of interest. (Revised 2-10 -06)
Any employee desiring to engage in secondary employment shall request approval from the department head or designee prior to accepting or engaging in such employment, by completing and gaining approval of the Secondary Employment Request form.
No person may occupy more than one (1) regular position (full-time or part-time) with the City. Regular employees may occupy temporary/seasonal (extra help) positions, if the duties of the temporary position are significantly different from those of the regular position.
If a conflict of interest or incompatibility exists, the request to engage in secondary employment will be denied.
If a request is approved, such approval may be withdrawn at anytime when such employment results in a conflict of interest or incompatibility with City employment.
Seeking or Accepting Gifts (New Policy 02/23/2009)
- City of Fort Worth employees are expected to avoid improper influence or the appearance of improper influence in all their dealings with the public. Employees are expressly prohibited from soliciting or accepting, directly or indirectly, any gift (as defined below) from any existing or potential City supplier or customer. This prohibition includes gifts to family, friends, or any other third party relation to the employee.
- A gift is defined as any benefit, favor, service, advantage, privilege or thing of value which could include, but not be limited to: trips, money of any amount, merchandise, foodstuffs, and tickets to sports, civic or cultural events; also included are personal services or work provided by City suppliers or customers, as well as offers of future employment from City suppliers or customers.
- Items with a retail value of less than $50.00 will not be considered gifts. These items would not ordinarily be interpreted as affecting an employee’s impartiality and could include, but not to be limited to: an occasional business lunch, potted plants or flowers, boxes of candy for office personnel, small promotional items like caps, t-shirts, and advertising office supplies such as pencils, calendar, or pens.
- If the value of the “gift” does exceed $50.00 or if the employee believes the offered item would provide an appearance of improper influence, the employee should thank the individual offering the gift for the gesture, explain the City’s policy preventing acceptance of gifts and return or refuse the gift. If the gift has already been shipped or delivered without the employee’s knowledge and consent, it should be returned to the sender. If the sender does not want to accept the return of the gift, the employee should document the receipt of the gift and forward the gift to a local charity, along with a letter of transmittal documenting the situation. [Send a copy of the letter to the Chair of the Accountability & Integrity Committee and retain a copy in the administrative offices of the affected department.
- A supplier refers to any existing or potential City vendor, consultant, contractor, developer, regulatory agency, or any public utility corporation having a franchise granted by the City.
- A customer refers to any person, firm or business that purchases, obtains or receives information, commodities or services from the City.
- Employees may:
- Attend public functions sponsored by suppliers or customers (e.g., groundbreaking ceremonies, receptions, dedications, completion of project parties, exhibitor receptions at conferences, etc.) as approved by their departmental supervisor.
- Participate in educational activities sponsored by current or potential City suppliers when the educational activity is part of a contractual agreement with the City of Fort Worth or is open to other customers or potential customers of the suppliers; provided that, when travel is required, transportation expenses will be paid by the City, except those activities associated with the purchase, study, review of apparatus or equipment and/or supplies for the City and as may be provided in an approved contract.
- Participate in discount purchasing when such discounts are part of a marketing program sponsored by a current or potential supplier, or local merchant, provided such discount is for an entire group of employees (e.g., all City employees, all Public Safety employees, all Water Department employees, etc.).
- Under state law it is a Class A misdemeanor for an employee in any City department performing regulatory functions or conducting inspections or investigations to solicit or accept any gift from a person the employee knows to be subject to regulation, inspection or investigation by the employee or his/her department (Texas Penal Code, Sec. 36.08, Gift to Public Servant by Person Subject to His Jurisdiction). The inference of the gift would be to influence the City employee in carrying out his/her duty.
- Under state law it is a Class A misdemeanor for any City employee who has authority to recommend or approve contracts, purchases, payments, claims, or other pecuniary transactions of the City to solicit or accept any gift from a person the employee knows is interested in or likely to become interested in any contract, purchase, payment, claim, or transaction involving the exercise of his/her discretion. Again, the inference of the gift would be to influence the City employee’s recommendations or approvals (current and future).
- Employees should contact their supervisor or department director if they have questions about accepting gifts of any type or to request further interpretation of one of these guidelines. Requests from any department director for advice or for an interpretation should be in writing and directed to the Human Resources Director. The Human Resources Director shall respond in writing to the department director making the inquiry.
- Employees who violate these guidelines are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal, as described in the City’s Personnel Rules and Regulations.
Smoking In The Workplace
All City of Fort Worth buildings and facilities are "Smoke Free" areas by City Ordinance No. 13009. City employees share in the responsibility for adhering to this policy and for bringing it to the attention of persons visiting City buildings and facilities. City vehicles are considered designated work areas under this policy and as such are "smoke free".
Employees who take "smoke breaks" must comply with the City’s Rest Periods policy. No additional breaks or rest periods will be granted to employees who smoke.
Solicitation of funds by or of City employees on the job without the approval of the Department Director or designee or Human Resources Director is prohibited. Solicitation includes, but is not limited to charitable or personal profit activities such as, selling products of any kind, raffle tickets, religious donations, admissions to events and donations to assist persons experiencing a personal crisis.
Prohibitions under this policy do not apply to City sanctioned solicitations such as the annual United Way campaign.
Theft And/Or Misuse Of City Property
As a public employer and as public employees who are entrusted with the responsibility of administering public funds efficiently, the City of Fort Worth and its employees must ensure that City property, equipment, and facilities are utilized for the sole purpose of providing services to the citizens of Fort Worth.
The use of any City property, equipment, or facility for personal business or gain is strictly forbidden and any such action could result in immediate termination. Examples include:
Theft or borrowing of tools or any other equipment; removing property from a City work-site including new, used, or discarded materials; using City vehicles; office supplies, photocopy machines, mailing services, long distance telephone service, computers, Internet services, or any other service under city auspices is strictly prohibited.
Violence in the Workplace
Violence or the threat of violence has no place in any of the City’s work locations. It is the goal of the City to have a workplace free from acts or threats of violence. It is the shared obligation of all employees, customers, and citizens, individually and together, to prevent and/or defuse actual or implied violent behavior (verbal or physical) at work.
All City employees are expected to treat one another, and our customers and citizens, with mutual respect and to value one another on the job. The City has a responsibility to provide a safe workplace for its employees and customers.
Any person who engages in a violent or threatening manner, either verbal or physical in nature, will be removed from the premises as quickly as safety permits. At the City’s discretion, employees and/or the public may be barred from City premises pending the outcome of an investigation. Any employee who engages in such behavior may be suspended and/or terminated.
Workplace violence is any behavior which is sufficiently severe, offensive or intimidating to cause an individual to reasonably fear for his/her personal safety and/or property; such behavior creates a hostile, abusive or intimidating work environment for one or more City employees. Any behavior that is personally offensive, threatening or intimidating will not be tolerated.
Violent behavior on the job includes, but is not limited to: 1) threatening physical or aggressive contact directed toward another person; 2) intentional destruction or threat of destruction of City or another person’s personal property; 3) expressing intent to cause physical harm or emotional duress; 4) creating a hostile work environment through unwelcomed words, actions or physical contact not resulting in physical harm to another person; 5) surveillance; 6) stalking; 7) veiled threats of physical harm or similar intimidation; 8) expression of suicidal or homicidal intent or thoughts; and 9) unusual agitation or excitement which may be accompanied by incoherent and/or irrational or harassment based upon their report.
Response to Imminent Threats and/or Acts of Violence
- Take personal safety precautions.
- Contact Police or Fire Department, if necessary.
- Report to supervisor.
- Supervisor report to Manager/Department Director
- Report to Human Resources Department, Employee Relations Division; or Employee Assistance Program.(Revised July 1, 2003)
Response to Non-Imminent Threats
- Employee report to supervisor, or the supervisor’s supervisor if he/she is involved in making threat.
- Employee and/or supervisor report the Human Resources Department, Employee Relations Division. (Revised July 1, 2003)