City of Hoboken, NJ
Hudson County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Hoboken 4-6-2011 by Ord. No. Z-92. Amendments noted where applicable.]

§ 29-1 Purpose.

A. 
The intent of this article is to create a workplace environment for City government that will not tolerate violence or incivility. Violent acts or threats made by an employee, elected official or member of the public against another person will be acted upon immediately and with the full resources of the City. This includes any violence or threat made on City property, at City events (including Council Meetings) or under other circumstances that may negatively affect the City's ability to conduct business.
B. 
Prohibited conduct includes:
(1) 
Causing physical injury to another person.
(2) 
Making threatening remarks.
(3) 
Name-calling, verbal taunts, heckling, hissing, booing, mocking and similar activities.
(4) 
Aggressive, hostile or bullying behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury to another person or subjects another individual to emotional distress.
(5) 
Intentionally damaging employer property or the property of another employee.
(6) 
Possession of a weapon while on City property or while on City business.
(7) 
Committing acts motivated by, or related to, political retaliation or workplace harassment.
C. 
Any potentially dangerous situations must be reported. The City will actively intervene in any hostile or violent situation.
D. 
The need for mutual respect and the opportunity to work together in a peaceful, mutually rewarding and efficient work environment provides the foundations upon which these rules are established.

§ 29-2 Workplace misconduct defined.

A. 
It is important to remember that all City employees spend considerable time together during the workday. It also must be remembered that we represent the City when interacting with vendors and members of the public. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us to be careful in how we interact with co-workers, vendors and members of the public and how they interact with us. What may be inoffensive language or conduct to one person may be offensive to another. We all must be aware of our actions and maintain a professional, respectful and courteous demeanor at all times.
B. 
Workplace harassment can range from verbal (oral, written or pictorial) abuse or body language and gestures, which create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment, to physical violence. Examples of workplace harassment include teasing, bullying, racial, ethnic or gender slurs and other derogatory remarks.
C. 
In addition to preventing workplace harassment, the City is dedicated to promoting professionalism, efficiency, productivity and cooperation among its employees, elected officials and members of the public. Therefore, the City requires the various stakeholders to be sensitive to how we comport ourselves in the workplace and at public meetings. Although the City cannot possibly provide an exhaustive list of impermissible behavior, the following provides some examples for guidance:
(1) 
Insubordination or failure to cooperate with fellow employees and/or supervisors;
(2) 
Loss of time by absence, tardiness or leaving assigned job without supervisory approval;
(3) 
Loss of material, tools, equipment or supplies occasioned by wasteful practices or negligence;
(4) 
Damaging or defacing the City's property or products;
(5) 
Creating or contributing to unsanitary conditions;
(6) 
Unauthorized use of materials, tools, equipment, vehicles or supplies;
(7) 
Failure to comply with safety rules and regulations or engaging in conduct that creates a safety or health hazard;
(8) 
Horseplay, gambling or instigating or participating in a fight;
(9) 
Vending, soliciting or distributing goods or printed matter for other than charitable purposes;
(10) 
Unsatisfactory performance;
(11) 
Theft;
(12) 
Falsifying/making a material omission on, or altering, the City's records, time cards, report forms, application materials, etc.;
(13) 
Intolerant, abusive, demeaning, prejudicial comments (including yelling) and/or actions towards fellow employees, members of the public, elected or appointed officials or any other person;
(14) 
Using, processing or being under the influence of alcohol or unlawful drugs while on duty, while on the City's property;
(15) 
Bringing unauthorized firearms, explosives or other dangerous materials on the City's property without explicit prior authorization by the City;
(16) 
Divulging confidential information to others without express authorization by the City;
(17) 
Violation of the City's security regulations;
(18) 
Immoral conduct or indecency, including name-calling, verbal taunts, heckling, hissing, booing, mocking and similar activities; and/or
(19) 
Engaging in unlawful harassment of another person.

§ 29-3 Mandatory anti-sexual harassment training for municipal employees.

A. 
Every City employee, including, but not limited to, all municipal, police and fire personnel and elected and appointed officials, shall participate in an anti-sexual harassment training program when authorized, directed and made available by the Business Administrator.
B. 
All new City employees and officials hired after the execution date of this article shall participate in such an anti-sexual harassment training program when authorized, directed and made available by the Business Administrator.
C. 
Every City employee, including, but not limited to, all municipal, police and fire personnel and elected and appointed officials, shall participate in an anti-sexual harassment training program every year following his or her initial training session pursuant to this section.
D. 
Every City employee shall submit a signed statement certifying his or her participation in each training session pursuant to this section, which statements shall be placed in his or her personnel file.
E. 
The Office of the Corporation Council shall coordinate with the Business Administrator to establish regular training sessions sufficient to allow affected individuals to comply with this article.
F. 
Any violation of this section may result in dismissal or other appropriate lesser sanctions as determined by the Business Administrator with the Mayor's consent.

§ 29-4 Mandatory ethics training for municipal employees.

A. 
Every City employee, including, but not limited to, all municipal employees, Police Department, Fire Department and elected and appointed officials, shall participate in an ethics training program when authorized, directed and made available by the Business Administrator.
B. 
New City employees, including, but not limited to, all municipal employees, Police Department, Fire Department and elected and appointed officials, shall participate in such ethics training program when authorized, directed and made available by the Business Administrator.
C. 
Every City employee, including, but not limited to, all municipal employees, Police Department, Fire Department and elected and appointed officials, shall participate in an ethics training every year following his or her initial training session pursuant to this section.
D. 
Every City employee shall submit a signed statement certifying his or her participation in each training session pursuant to this section, which statements shall be placed in his or her personnel file.
E. 
The Office of the Corporation Council shall coordinate with the Business Administrator to establish regular training sessions sufficient to allow affected individuals to comply with this section.
F. 
Any violation of this article may result in dismissal or other appropriate lesser sanctions as determined by the Business Administrator with the Mayor's consent.

§ 29-5 Anti-nepotism policy in municipal employment.

A. 
Unless he or she obtains a waiver pursuant to the Business Administrator, with the consent of the Mayor, no official or employee may appoint or hire his or her spouse or domestic partner/civil union partner, child or step-child, sibling or step-sibling, parent or member of his or her household for employment, including by contract (unless competitively bid), with the City.
B. 
No official or employee may supervise or be in a direct line of supervision over his or her spouse or domestic partner/civil union partner, child or step-child, sibling or step-sibling, parent or member of his or her household. If an official comes into a direct line of supervision over one of these persons, he or she will have six months to come into compliance or to obtain a waiver.

§ 29-6 Forfeiture of municipal employment benefits.

In accordance with N.J.S.A. 40A:10-23, the City shall only assume the cost of a retiree's health benefits if the retiree has accrued the requisite years of honorable service as determined by the Department of Pensions. Starting immediately upon adoption of this section, with regards to all new hires and employees already receiving City health benefits, the City intends to follow any final determination of the Department of Pensions in its eligibility review as to years of service deemed dishonorable when determining employee eligibility for paid City health benefits. Effective immediately, forfeiture of health insurance/benefits for dishonorable service is hereby mandated if the requisite years of honorable service fall below that mandated in N.J.S.A. 40A:10-23.

§ 29-7 (Reserved)

§ 29-8 Complaint procedure, violations policy and penalties.

Unless complaint procedures, violation policies or penalties are otherwise described within the sections of this article, the following shall apply:
A. 
Public meetings. Any person who comports him/herself in such a manner which violates any section of this article shall be warned once to cease and desist from such actions. If the person refuses or fails to stop such activities, he/she shall be removed from the meeting by the police and warned that future similar actions shall result in the filing of a defiant trespass action.
B. 
Employee at workplace. Any employee who believes he or she has been subjected to offensive and/or insulting behavior by a co-worker, member of the public, elected official, supervisor or vendor has an obligation to directly inform the offending person that the conduct is offensive and must stop.
(1) 
If this direct communication with the offending person is not successful, the employee should promptly report the incident(s) and the names of the individuals involved to his or her supervisor or, in the alternative, to the Business Administrator, who will investigate all such claims and take appropriate corrective action, if any.
(2) 
Confidentiality to the extent possible will be maintained, and no reprisals or retaliation will result from the good faith reporting of intolerant behavior.
C. 
In determining whether the alleged conduct constitutes a violation of this article, the totality of the circumstances, the nature of the conduct and the context in which the alleged conduct occurred will be investigated. Any employee found to have engaged in such impermissible behavior shall be subject to sanctions, including, but not limited to, warning, suspension or termination, subject to applicable procedure requirements. Nonemployees, violating any section of this article may be subject to removal from City property and/or prohibition from appearing on City property or at City events.
D. 
A violation of any provision of this article shall be considered a violation of the City Code of Ethics and may subject the municipal official employee or appointee to disciplinary action.

§ 29-9 Intent.

The intent of this article is to create an independent and efficient government workforce and workplace and a government that is undermined by neither the fact nor appearance of improper influence of political contributions on government decisions which require the prohibition of political fund-raising in rooms or buildings occupied in the discharge of official duties or through the use of public property or equipment.

§ 29-10 Purpose.

The purpose of this article is to ban the use of government buildings, property and equipment for political fundraising.

§ 29-11 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A. 
Any individual seeking election to public office of the federal, state, county or municipal government, or school district or political party; and
B. 
Any individual who shall have been elected or failed election to any such office;
MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL, EMPLOYEE AND APPOINTEE
Any person holding elective municipal office or holding an appointed position in the municipal government, or in any agency, commission, board or office thereof, whether the position is full time or part time, compensated or uncompensated, and any employee of municipal government, or of any municipal agency, commission, board or office thereof, whether the position is full time or part time.
MUNICIPALITY
The government of the municipality of the City of Hoboken, including any officer, department, board, commission or agency thereof.
POLITICAL CONTRIBUTION
Any loans and transfers of money or other things of value to any candidate, elected municipal official, employee or appointee or representative of any political organization, or other commitments or assumptions of liability to make any such transfer for the purpose of supporting a candidate. A political contribution shall be deemed to have been made upon the date when such commitment is made or liability assumed.
POLITICAL ORGANIZATION
Any two or more persons acting jointly, or any corporation, partnership or other incorporated or unincorporated association which is organized to, or does, aid or promote the nomination, election or defeat of any candidate or candidates for federal, state, county, municipal or school board office or political party office. "Political organization" includes, but is not limited to, organizations defined in N.J.S.A. 19:44A-3 as a "political committee," "joint candidates committee," "continuing political committee," "political party committee," "candidate committee," or "legislative leadership committee."
PUBLIC PROPERTY
All personal property owned, leased or controlled by the municipality where employees of the City of Hoboken perform their job duties and all real property owned, leased or controlled by the municipality for use by municipal employees. Such public property includes but is not limited to vehicles, phones, fax machines, computers, stationery, including municipal letterhead, postage and other office equipment, and specifically excludes the property identified in § 29-12C(1), (2) and (3).
SOLICIT
To direct, request or ask for, by oral or written communication, a political contribution as that term is defined herein.

§ 29-12 General regulations.

A. 
Prohibition against soliciting or accepting political contribution while in or utilizing public property. No municipal official employee and/or appointee may solicit or receive payment of or a commitment to pay any political contribution for any candidate, elected official or political organization while in or utilizing any public property. This section shall include solicitation or acceptance of political contributions made over a private cell phone or by use of a private computer, if the person soliciting or accepting the political contribution, or using the cell phone or computer for purposes of soliciting or accepting the political contribution, is in or utilizing any public property.
B. 
Prohibition against use of public property for political fundraising. No municipal official employee and/or appointee may solicit or receive payment of or a commitment to pay any political contribution for any candidate, elected official or political organization while utilizing public property.
C. 
Prohibited forms of fundraising. Prohibited forms of fundraising shall include but are not limited to:
(1) 
Soliciting or accepting contributions using municipal telephones, fax machines or computers.
(2) 
Soliciting or accepting contributions using personal telephones while on the property of the municipality.
(3) 
Soliciting or accepting contributions through the use of publicly owned computers or privately owned personal computers while on the property of the municipality.
(4) 
Using municipal letterhead to solicit or accept contributions.
(5) 
Sending correspondence from municipal buildings or by the use of municipal services, equipment or postage.
(6) 
Face-to-face soliciting of an individual or an owner or representative of a business entity while on the property of the municipality.
(7) 
Use of automobiles owned or leased by the municipality to accept or solicit contributions.
D. 
Reporting requirements. It shall be the responsibility of any employee, appointee or elected official who observes any prohibited forms of fundraising to report such conduct to the Business Administrator or the Corporation Counsel who shall report same to the Mayor and the governing body.
E. 
Whistleblower provision. It shall be unlawful for any employee, elected official or appointee to be dismissed, reprimanded, retaliated against or otherwise intimidated for complying with the reporting requirements mandated by this chapter.
F. 
Exceptions. The prohibition contained in Subsections A and B above shall not apply to:
(1) 
Public facilities which are made available to any group for use as a meeting facility or gathering place, such as a park. Fundraising among members of such groups during the time such groups have reserved exclusive use of the meeting facility or gathering place is not prohibited.
(2) 
Residents of a public housing authority who engage in fundraising in their residences.
(3) 
Library materials available for public use.
G. 
Violation. A violation of any provision of this article shall be considered a violation of the City Code of Ethics and may subject the municipal official, employee or appointee to disciplinary action.