§ X. Disciplinary Action—(Except Probationary Employees)  


Latest version.
  • A. Reasons for Action.

    The following are among the actions for which a regular employee may be subject to dismissal, demotion, or suspension:

    (1) Absence without approved leave.

    (2) Habitual tardiness or excessive absentism.

    (3) Conduct unbecoming any employee in the public service.

    (4) Conviction of a criminal offense (felony) or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude.

    (5) Insubordination.

    (6) Incompetence or inefficiency.

    (7) Violation of any lawful or reasonable regulation, order, rule, ordinance and these personnel policies and procedures, as the same may be amended from time to time, including, but not limited to, the City's policies of Affirmative Action Plan (Attachment A); Policy Prohibiting Discrimination and Sexual Harassment (Attachment B); and, the Policy of Drug Testing and Providing a Drug Free Work Place (Article XX).

    (8) Violation of the Drug and Alcohol Policy.

    (9) Intentional failure or refusal to carry out instructions.

    (10) Negligence or willful damage to public property.

    (11) Employee subsequently becomes physically or mentally unfit for the performance of duties. (Refer to ADA)

    (12) Gambling on city property.

    (13) Disorderly or immoral conduct.

    (14) Neglect of duty.

    (15) Use of city property or equipment for personal gain.

    (16) For any reason deemed in the best interest of public service.

    B. Dismissal and demotion.

    Notice of dismissal or demotion shall be in writing and will state:

    (1) The reason for the action.

    (2) The date dismissal or demotion is to become effective.

    (3) Any other appropriate information.

    Notice will be given to the employee no later than the effective date of the action.

    C. Suspension.

    Any employee may be suspended without pay for improper behavior. Such suspension may not exceed five (5) working days for any single offense or ten (10) working days cumulative in any one (1) year of service.

    D. Appeal.

    (1) If a disciplinary action involves suspension without pay, demotion or dismissal of a regular status employee, the Mayor shall submit a written notice of the proposed action to the City Council and to the employee giving the reason or reasons for the proposed action. The notice shall state the reasons for the proposed disciplinary action of suspension without pay, demotion, or dismissal and shall contain a short and plain statement of the facts showing the reasons for the proposed disciplinary action, and shall inform the regular status employee that he or she has 10 days to request, in writing, a pre-disciplinary hearing before the Mayor. If the regular status employee fails to request a pre-disciplinary hearing within 10 days from receiving notice, the right to any pre-disciplinary hearing shall be deemed waived. Regardless of whether or not the employee elects to have a pre-disciplinary hearing with the Mayor, if the Mayor decides to suspend without pay, demote, or dismiss the employee, the Mayor shall give notice to the employee of the Mayor's action by providing notice by personal service, by United States Postal Service registered or certified mail with postage paid thereon to the employee's last known address, or by private mail carrier for overnight delivery, signature required, with postage prepaid thereon to the employee's last known address. Such notice shall be in writing and shall inform the employee of the right to contest the Mayor's action by filing with the civil service board a written notice of contest if the employee is not the head of a department or with the city council, if the employee is a head of a department, within 10 days after receipt of the notice of the decision of the Mayor. If the contest is not timely taken, the Mayor's decision shall be final. No regular status employee may be suspended without pay, demoted, dismissed or otherwise deprived of any right in his or her job unless he or she has been afforded the opportunity of a pre-disciplinary hearing before the Mayor, in which he or she may hear the charges being brought against him or her, and offer statements of the employee in his or her defense prior to the action being taken.

    A permanent employee shall have the right to appeal disciplinary actions of dismissal, demotion or suspension. The appeal should be handled through the regular departmental chain of command when possible. Any employee desiring further appeal shall within ten (10) calendar days after receiving notice of such action, file with the civil service board, through the EEO Officer for the City, a written answer to the charges and request a hearing before the civil service board. The written answer shall contain:

    (1) The reason put forth for dismissal, demotion or suspension.

    (2) An admission or denial of guilt.

    (3) Reasons why the dismissal, demotion, or suspension should not be put into effect.

    Upon receipt of the appeal, the EEO officer shall establish a date for hearing before the civil service board, notify the employee of the time, place, and date of the hearing and of the right to be represented by a person of the employee's choosing.

    E. Hearing.

    The hearing shall begin within fifteen (15) days after receipt of the notice of appeal by the EEO Officer. Such hearing shall be held by the civil service board to determine whether or not the employee merits reinstatement to service, removal from service or disciplinary action as planned. The civil service board shall render its decision within ten (10) days after the conclusion of the hearing. Copies of the decision shall be delivered to all parties of interest, by United States Postal Service registered or certified mail with postage paid thereon to the employee's last known address, or by private mail carrier for overnight delivery, signature required, with postage prepaid thereon to the employee's last known address.

    All hearings before the board shall be recorded and transcribed. In all cases, the decision of the board shall be reduced to writing and entered in the record of the case. The board may in its decision uphold the action by the mayor, modify the action, set aside the action, or impose some other action determined by the evidence and pursuant to the law. The mayor may authorize the city attorney to appear and represent the interest of the city.

    The board and its specially authorized representatives shall have the power to administer oaths, take depositions and certify official acts. If the board finds it necessary to compel the attendance of witnesses and production of papers necessary as evidence in connection with any hearing, investigation, or proceeding within the purview of this act, the board or its representatives may invoke the aid of the Circuit Court of Colbert County to produce testimony or evidence. Upon proper showing, the court shall issue a subpoena or order requiring the person to appear before the board or its representative and produce all evidence and give all testimony relating to the matter in issue. The fees of witnesses for attendance and travel shall be the same as fees for witnesses in the circuit courts of this state and shall be paid from the treasury of the city.

    Any party, including the Mayor and City Council, aggrieved by a final decision of the board shall be entitled to a review of the decision by the Circuit Court of Colbert County, by filing a petition in the court within thirty (30) days after the final decision is rendered. The petition shall be accompanied by a security for the cost of the appeal as approved by the clerk of the court. Upon the filing of any petition and approval of the security, notice thereof shall be served upon the chair of the board or on the petitioner. The petition shall be heard by the court at the earliest practicable date. Review by the court shall be without a jury and confined to the record, including a transcript of the evidence. The court may, upon the terms and conditions it deems proper, at any time before the hearing of the petition, permit the taking of additional evidence before the board and allow modification of the findings and final decision of the board. The court upon a hearing of the petition shall have the power to affirm or reverse and render the decision of the board unless or reverse and remand the matter to the board for further proceedings consistent with the judgment of the court. The court shall affirm the decision of the board unless it finds that the substantial rights of the petitioner have been prejudiced because the final decision of the board included any of the following:

    (a) Unsupported by substantial evidence in the record submitted.

    (b) In excess of the authority conferred by this act on the board.

    (c) Violation of constitutional provisions.

    (d) Arbitrary or capricious.

    (e) Affected otherwise by substantial error or injustice. An appeal may be taken from any final judgment of the circuit court to the Court of Appeals of Alabama or the Supreme Court of Alabama. The appeal shall be perfected as provided in the Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure. The decision or order of the board shall not be superseded by any review or appeal, and the city shall not be obligated to pay the salary of any employee who is not working during the pending of any review or appeal.

    All cases pending before the board pursuant to prior legislative requirements on the effective date of this act shall be transferred to the board and the proceedings shall be held and consultation on specific matters before the board.

(Ord. No. 07-0702, 7-2-2007)