Personnel Rules and Regulations
Employee Development & Training
The City of Fort Worth recognizes and appreciates the fact that its employees are the City’s most valued asset. The development and training of our employees is critical to meet our goal of providing quality service to all our citizens.
Incentives such as Education (Revised 2-10-06) Reimbursement, certification pay, and assignment pay are available to assist those employees who desire to enhance their productivity and effectiveness in performing their assigned duties.
In-house and on-site training are provided by the Human Resources Department. Funds are made available in departmental budgets so employees may attend seminars, workshops, and training opportunities to develop and increase their work skills and abilities.
The City’s performance appraisal process is designed to improve communication between supervisors and employees to align employees’ work efforts with City and department goals.
All employees occupying regular, authorized positions will have their (Revised 5-8-07) performance reviewed at least twice each year. Supervisors and employees are encouraged to establish the objectives to be rated during the coming year, the performance standards to be utilized, and the way their job should be accomplished. All new employees' (Revised 5-8-07) performance shall be reviewed at the completion of their initial 6 month probationary period (Revised January 26, 2001)
Employees who successfully completed their initial probationary period may appeal annual (not mid-year) performance appraisal ratings (within 5 working days after receiving the appraisal) (Revised January 26, 2001) which they believe do not accurately reflect their job performance to the Department Director or designee. (Revised October 9, 1999) Employees placed into a probationary status because of overall rating of Unsatisfactory or Needs Improvement (Revised 5/8/2007) on a mid-year appraisal can not file a grievance. (Revised January 21, 2002) (Revised 02/23/2009)
Education Reimbursement Policy (Revised Nov. 15, 2004)
Statement of Purpose
The City of Fort Worth is committed to employee growth and development. To support this commitment, the Education Reimbursement program (ER) has been established. The program is designed to meet organization goals by assisting employees who elect to improve job performance or increase skills through education. Participation should be mutually beneficial to both the employee and the City of Fort Worth.
General Eligibility Requirements
- Regular, full-time employees who are participants in the City’s retirement fund, and who have successfully completed their initial probationary period, are eligible to receive Education Reimbursement.
- An employee who is interested in participation in the Education Reimbursement program must have the approval of their supervisor and Human Resources before attending the course.
- In any graded course, an employee must attain a course grade of “C” or higher. In circumstances where the course is non graded, a “pass” grade must be earned to be eligible for reimbursement.
- All course work must be taken on the employee’s own time. When there is an unavoidable conflict between class and job responsibilities, a supervisor may make a reasonable effort to accommodate the class schedule. Any accommodation of an employee’s class schedule is at the supervisor’s discretion.
- College programs such as mini-terms/sessions, distance learning or quarters that are not set on a semester basis will be considered for reimbursement if they are job related or part of a degree program and are taken for credit. The employee must meet the established application deadline for the spring, fall or summer semester that precedes the course.
- Courses must be taken at an accredited school, junior college, college, university, technical or trade school. School accreditation shall be through the Southern Association of Schools or its regional counterparts, or technical training by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools or Colleges of Technology.
- An employee may receive reimbursement for only one degree at each level: high school diploma or GED, associate, undergraduate (bachelor’s) and graduate (master’s). A Doctorate degree (PhD, JD, etc) may be eligible for Education Reimbursement when the program is mutually beneficial to the employee and the City of Fort Worth and is a part of the employee’s Individual Growth Plan. Department Head or Assistant City Manager and Human Resources approval is required prior to attending any doctorate level studies.
Not Eligible for Reimbursement
- Temporary or part-time employees are not eligible for Education Reimbursement.
- Seminars and conferences that meet for the short duration of two weeks or less, are not eligible for education reimbursement. Seminars, training and review courses that deal with professional certifications or licensing are not eligible for tuition reimbursement. Individual departments may reimburse for short seminars, review courses or certifications.
- Reimbursement shall not be paid for audited courses or for non-credit, continuing education courses for which there is no grade.
- Credits obtained by the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) are not eligible for Education Reimbursement.
- Fees and expenses other than tuition and mandatory, course-related fees are excluded from reimbursement. Although not limited to the following, excluded expenses are: books, supplies, parking fees, health insurance fees, room & board.
- Incomplete forms or forms without all required documents attached will not be processed. Forms and requests turned in more than ten working days beyond the published deadline will not be approved, processed or paid.
Administration, Payments & Maximum Reimbursement
Human Resources shall administer and oversee the program. All applications and paperwork shall be submitted by the deadlines set by Human Resources. Education Reimbursement shall be paid only once for each approved course. Payments will be made as soon as practicable after receipt of all required paperwork.
The total maximum reimbursement amount for tuition and mandatory, course related fees is $1,500 per semester (Spring, Summer and/or Fall). Maximum reimbursement in a semester, or corresponding time period, shall not exceed the amount paid by the employee or $1,500, whichever is less. In no case shall the yearly maximum reimbursement exceed $4,500. These conditions will be reviewed periodically.
An employee who receives financial assistance for their education from another source must disclose the source and amount on the Education Reimbursement Application. The City shall not pay the cost of tuition and mandatory fees that are paid by other sources such as scholarships, grants, Veterans benefits or other subsidies. In all instances, total financial assistance and Education Reimbursement shall not exceed the educational expenses incurred by the employee.
Continuation of Employment & Reimbursement Payback Provisions
If an employee resigns or is terminated for any reason prior to course completion, the City shall not be obligated to pay reimbursement.
An employee who terminates or retires from the City of Fort Worth after receiving reimbursement shall pay back 100% of all reimbursement received during the twelve (12) months immediately preceding termination and 50% of all reimbursement received during the 13-24 month period prior to termination.
Employees terminated due to a reduction in force, medical disability or as a result of occupational injuries or illnesses shall not be required to pay back the monies received for educational reimbursement and are not subject to the payback provision.
Education Reimbursement Appeals
The City’s Personnel Committee shall hear appeals regarding education reimbursement matters. The committee shall consider matters submitted by a Department Director, upon which the requesting Department Director and the Human Resources Department have been unable to reach consensus. The Personnel Committee shall render final decisions on the appeal in accordance with the provisions of this policy.
For more information regarding Educational Reimbursement, please see Appendix 7. (Revised 2-10-06)