Personnel Rules and Regulations
Resignations should be in writing, signed by the employee, and preferably submitted at least two (2) weeks before their effective date. A brief, signed statement identifying the effective date of the resignation is adequate. The reason(s) for resigning may be presented but is not necessary.
Persons who resign in good standing are eligible to be rehired. Persons who resign in lieu of termination will not be eligible for rehire for five (5) years after the date of resignation. (Revised October 9, 1999)
Persons who want to withdraw their resignation must submit a written request to the Department Director explaining the reasons for the desired withdrawal. If the Department Director decides to rescind a resignation the City’s Re-Employment policy will be followed.
Employees who resign have access to the Discrimination and Retaliation Complaint procedure. (Revised July 1, 2003)
Indefinite Suspension - Civil Service Employees
In accordance with the Fort Worth Firefighters and Police Officers' Civil Service Rules and Regulations, Civil service employees who are indefinitely suspended will be terminated, to be effective on the date of the indefinite suspension. Such employees will be paid for any leave time for which payment is authorized. Those who are vested in the Retirement system will have the opportunity to withdraw their money from the retirement system. They will be notified by the Benefits Division of the Human Resources Department (revised June 1, 2004) of their opportunity to access benefits under COBRA in order to continue health insurance coverage. Under no circumstances will the City continue health insurance coverage for such persons as if they were still employees, even if they appeal their termination.
Filling a vacancy created by an indefinite suspension: A vacancy occurs as of the date of the indefinite suspension (termination) and will be filled in accordance with Chapter 143 of the Local Government Code.
Reinstatement of an indefinitely suspended employee: If an indefinitely suspended employee is reinstated into a promotional rank, the reinstatement will take place as directed by the Commission or the hearing examiner. In order to comply with Chapter 143 relative to the number of authorized positions within each rank, staff will present to the City Council an ordinance to increase the number of authorized positions within that rank for the reinstatement of the suspended employee. Upon reinstatement, staff will present an ordinance to decrease the number of authorized positions within that rank and in all lower promotional ranks affected by the reinstatement, as allowed under Chapter 143.085, for the efficiency of the operation of the department(s). These recommended actions, if approved, will have the effect of maintaining the number of authorized positions within each rank at a constant level.
Civil service employees affected by the reduction in force identified above will be placed on reinstatement lists, as provided by Chapter 143.085.
Layoff Policy (Revised Aug. 17, 2009)
Occasionally, a reduction-in-force is necessary due to changes in the organization and/or the availability of funds. Departments who must reduce their workforce will develop a reduction-in-force plan. This plan will use the following criteria, in order of their priority:
1) Departmental/Division goals; 2) Employee productivity; 3) Employee skills, knowledge, and abilities; and, 4) Employee tenure.
Reduction-in-force plans must be reviewed by the Human Resources Department before employees are given layoff notices.
The Human Resources Department will work with laid off employees and departments to find employment with the City. Employees will be notified as soon as possible regarding their lay-off status so they will have the opportunity to find employment. Employees who receive a notice of lay-off will be given preferential consideration for vacant positions (transfers and demotions) which they are qualified to fill. There will be no preferential consideration given when a promotional vacancy exists; the normal procedure will be followed. Employees in their initial probationary period have no layoff rights.
Preferential consideration means the laid off employee will be interviewed before other candidates. If the individual is not selected, the non-selection reason will be reviewed and approved by the Human Resources Director before other non-preferential consideration status candidates can be interviewed. Laid off employees will be given preferential consideration for one (1) year from the date of their layoff.
Preferential consideration provisions end when an employee is offered a regular position by the City. When an employee is offered a regular position and does not accept the position, future preferential interviews will not occur regardless of the reason for declining a job offer. An employee that declines a job offer as a result of a preferential referral may continue to apply for future opportunities through the normal competitive application process for advertised positions. Persons hired into an “S” key code position will continue to have preferential hiring consideration until the end of the one (1) year period.
Employees placed into positions substantially similar to the position they previously held will be placed in the salary range to minimize their loss, if any, in salary. Salaries for employees placed into significantly dissimilar positions will be at the department director's discretion in conjunction with the Human Resources Director or designee.
Re-employed employees will have their prior accrued leave benefits (for which they were not compensated) restored and they may utilize them immediately (if they worked for the City for more than six (6) months). Employees rehired into positions which are eligible to receive longevity pay will receive the same amount of longevity pay as when they left. These employees will receive an adjusted service date.
Rehired employees whose placement constitutes a demotion may compete for other positions during their six (6) month probationary period.
Non-probationary employees who are laid off will be compensated for accrued holidays (K days) and Personal Holidays (P days).
Pre-Termination, Demotion, Suspension Process (Revised Nov. 15, 2004) (moved 2/10/06)
NOTE: In those instances where criminal activity is the sole basis for termination, no pre-termination meeting is required. Employees who are on initial probation, temporary status and Division Heads and above are not entitled to a pre-termination meeting.
- CALL HUMAN RESOURCE’S EMPLOYEE RELATIONS DIVISION to discuss the problem.
- Gather all documentation which is the “evidence” that shows severe disciplinary action is warranted. This documentation may include:
- Previous disciplinary actions (oral and written).
- Time and Attendance Records.
- Performance evaluations.
- Safety Review Board Reports.
- Departmental/Division policies, procedures manuals or memoranda.
- Statements from co-workers, supervisors, or citizens.
- Identify the written policies, regulations or procedures that have been violated by the employee. (This information will be the basis for any disciplinary action that may be taken.)
- Meet and/or talk with the Employee Relation’s Representative and “present your case”. After discussing the case, specific recommendations for action should be agreed upon.
- Prepare a brief IOC (memorandum) addressed to the employee from the appropriate supervisor (typically a Division Head, in some cases an Assistant Director or the Director) and title the IOC “Pre-(Termination, Demotion, or Suspension) Meeting”. The IOC should follow this general outline:
- PARA #1 Prepare a department letterhead cover letter which will notify the employee that a pre-termination, demotion or suspension meeting has been scheduled, identifying the date, time, and place of the meeting.
- PARA #2 Background events (past disciplinary actions) which led up to and necessitates the need to consider the disciplinary action.
- PARA #3 Quote the policy, regulation or procedure the employee violated. This violation is the basis for the disciplinary action under consideration. (Do not add other violations at a later date to strengthen the case.)
- PARA #4 Briefly describe the employee’s actions which violated the policy which you have quoted above.
- PARA #5 Identify the specific disciplinary action being considered and invite the employee to respond to the content of the memorandum.
- The employee will be immediately placed off work on Business Leave until the scheduled meeting (typically three (3) working days is sufficient). The employee will be asked to turn in all City issued equipment, keys, tools, ID card, etc. before he/she leaves.
- The employee will be told they may have a representative at the meeting. If the employee can not obtain desired representation by the date of the scheduled meeting, the meeting may be rescheduled. However, any time off work beyond the original meeting date will be charged to business leave (Revised July 1, 2003). Departments should designate a specific deadline for the rescheduling and convening of the meeting. The following example may be used:
- A pre-_______ meeting is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 8th in my office. You will be off work on Business Leave until the meeting. If you can not obtain representation to meet on July 8th, you may reschedule the meeting. However, the meeting must be convened by July 15th and your time off work after July 8th will be charged to business leave (Revised July 1, 2003)
- Your pre-_______ meeting must be convened by July 15th. Failure to reschedule and convene by that date will result in your forfeiture of a pre-_______ meeting and a decision will be made based upon the information we have. You will not be penalized if, due to unforeseen events, the July 15th deadline can not be met by the department.
- If the employee fails to meet by the designated deadline, prepare a letter. The letter should note that because the employee failed to meet as directed, he/she forfeited the opportunity to discuss their employment status. Therefore, a decision was made based upon the information that had been gathered.
THE PRE-(TERMINATION, DEMOTION OR SUSPENSION) MEETING
- The meeting should include the employee, the immediate supervisor involved in the event(s) which necessitated the meeting, and one other supervisor, preferably a manager, e.g., Division Head, Assistant Director or the Director.
- Explain the purpose of the meeting – present the employee with the information (IOC described above) that has been gathered and give him/her an opportunity to respond to that information.
- As the employee discusses his/her case, listen. Take brief notes on what he/she says. Avoid arguing with the employee – try to listen and keep focused upon the information being presented.
- When the employee completes his/her rebuttal, explain that a final decision will be made and a certified letter containing your decision will be mailed within 3 working days. (Revised July 1, 2003)
All work time (employee’s work schedule) between the conclusion of the meeting and the effective date of either the employee’s return to work or his/her termination will be charged to business leave. (Revised July 1, 2003)
- The employee’s time spent during the meeting will be charged to city business.
- If the employee’s rebuttal contained some valid points or raised questions regarding the accuracy of the information that had been gathered, investigate as needed. Report the results of your investigation to the employee in the decision letter which must be mailed within 3 working days after the meeting.
If the employee is not able to attend a pre-meeting (due to illness, incarceration, etc.) or if the department determines it is in the best interest of the City to conduct a pre-__________ meeting through correspondence by sending a copy of the IOC described above to the employee and inviting the employee to provide a written response within five (5) working days, this method may be used in lieu of a face-to-face meeting. Before this option is exercised, the Employee Relations Division must be contacted to discuss the matter.
THE DECISION LETTER
- Upon completion of your investigation, if disciplinary action is still warranted, prepare a brief letter on department letterhead. This letter should reference the pre-___________ meeting, summarize the employee’s rebuttal to the charges and state the decision that has been made.
- The Decision Letter must be sent via certified mail within 3 working days after the meeting.
- If the disciplinary action under consideration is modified or not executed based upon the findings of the investigations, the letter should explain what decision has been made and direct the employee to return to work on a specific date and report to a specific person. Upon his/her return to work, the employee should be given a complete written explanation of the decision and the terms and conditions under which he/she is returning to work.
Departments are responsible for obtaining all city-issued property (e.g., I.D. cards, keys, purchasing cards, tools, beepers, manuals, protective gear, etc.) during the termination process. The cost of city property not returned by employees will be deducted from the employee’s final paycheck. A completed Out-Processing form should indicate any city property not returned and the cost of each item listed.
Departments must notify the Human Resources Department’s Compensation Division in writing when an employee who had access to the Personnel/Payroll screens terminates. The employee’s access to the mainframe will be removed upon receipt of the notification.
Final paychecks will be sent to the employee by certified mail on the next regular pay day following the termination. Departments must provide the employee’s current mailing address in Box E of the Personnel Action Request form.
Employees terminated during their initial probationary period will not be compensated for any accrued leave time.
Employees who have successfully completed their initial probationary period will be compensated for all accrued Vacation and Short Term Sick/Family leave. (Revised January 21, 2002) Non-exempt employees will be paid for accrued compensatory time. Exempt employees will not be paid for accrued compensatory time.
Employees who terminate during a payperiod will not be paid for Vacation Leave or Short Term Sick Leave/Family Leave accrued during their final payperiod. Employees who terminate at the end of a payperiod (who worked the entire payperiod) will be paid for Vacation Leave and Short Term Sick Leave/Family Leave accrued during that payperiod. (Revised December 16, 2000)
Employees who terminate in a payperiod in which a personnel transaction or pay rate change occurs that increases the rate of pay, terminal leave will not be paid at the higher rate.
Employees who retire will be paid for up to 720 hours of unused old Sick Leave (they will not be paid for unused Major Medical Sick Leave).
Retirement Withdrawal forms must be completed and returned to the Retirement Office before refund processing begins. Approximately 30 days will pass before the refund check is sent by certified mail to the employee.
If an employee signs an authorization to do so, that outstanding loans with the City Credit Union may result in an employee’s final check and/or retirement refund check being held by the Credit Union, if the employee has authorized (through Credit Union loan papers) such action to be taken.
Health insurance coverage remains in effect after termination of employment through the end of the month for which payment is made for health care coverage. There will be no exceptions for employees who are appealing involuntary terminations. (revised June 1, 2004) Information about health insurance coverage available under COBRA will be sent to employees by the City’s plan administrator.(revised June 1, 2004)
Employees who resign their employment with the City for any reason forfeit their right to have access to the Appeal Procedure. Attempted withdrawal of a resignation shall not give an employee access to this Appeal Procedure. However, in such cases there is access to the Discrimination and Retaliation Complaint procedure. (Revised July 1, 2003)