Kent County, DE
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Levy Court of Kent County 12-22-1998 by Ord. No. 98-22. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Code of Ethics — See Ch. 41.
Grievance procedure — See Ch. 46.
County Employees' Retirement Program — See Ch. 83.

§ 68-1 Purpose.

A. 
This chapter shall amend and supersede that certain ordinance adopted in two sections on July 15 and December 9, 1975, entitled an "An Ordinance to Establish a Personnel System in Kent County Government," as amended. This chapter is adopted pursuant to and in compliance with 9 Del. C. § 4110. It shall be known as the "Kent County Personnel Ordinance of 1998."
B. 
It is hereby declared the personnel policy of Kent County that:
(1) 
Employment in the County government shall be based on merit and fitness, free of personal and political considerations.
(2) 
Just and equitable incentives and conditions of employment shall be established and maintained to promote efficiency and economy in the operation of the County government.
(3) 
Positions having similar duties and responsibilities shall be classified and compensated on a uniform basis.
(4) 
Appointments, promotions and other action requiring the application of the merit principle shall be based on systematic tests and evaluations.
(5) 
Tenure of employees covered by this chapter shall be subject to the satisfactory performance of work, necessity for the performance of work, the availability of funds and compliance with this chapter and all other applicable policies and regulations approved by Kent County Levy Court.

§ 68-2 Applicability; categories of employment service.

A. 
Employment in the Kent County government shall be divided into four services: excluded, elected, unclassified and classified.
B. 
Employees in the excluded service shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter, except that the County government shall keep appropriate personnel records on the persons in this service, and they shall be ineligible for any employee benefits, except that members of the Board of Assessment shall be eligible for specific employee benefits as determined by Levy Court. The excluded service shall include the following:
(1) 
Temporary, intermittent or seasonal employees.
(2) 
Members of appointed boards, commissions and advisory committees.
(3) 
Employees hired by the County government to perform services on a fee or fixed cost basis, including County Attorney(s) and other contracted professionals or consultants.
(4) 
The Mortgage Commissioner.
(5) 
Employees serving under the provisions of federal employment programs.
C. 
Employees in the elected service shall not be subject to the provisions of this chapter, except as prescribed by this chapter in a management role, but shall be eligible for specific employee benefits as determined by Levy Court. The elected service shall include all elected officials and their appointed deputies and/or chief deputies provided for in Delaware law.
D. 
Employees in the unclassified service shall be appointed by Levy Court, except the Secretary to the Board of Assessment, and therefore exempt from provisions of this chapter requiring competitive examinations. Notwithstanding the foregoing, employees in the unclassified service shall be subject to all provisions of this chapter and other policies and regulations approved by Levy Court; their positions shall be in accordance with the approved classification plan; their remuneration shall be administered by the Director of Personnel, who shall use the most current pay plan officially approved by Levy Court as the basis for wage and salary decisions. Employees in the unclassified service shall also be eligible for such employee benefits as are in effect during the time of their employment.
(1) 
The unclassified service shall include the County Administrator, Assistant County Administrator, Director of Community Services, Director of Finance, Director of Planning Services (Planning Director), Director of Public Safety, Director of Public Works (County Engineer) and any other nonelected department head.
[Amended 6-27-2000 by Ord. No. 00-16]
(2) 
Employees in the unclassified service shall by the nature of their positions be exempt administrative, executive or professional employees as defined under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act receiving a fixed salary and shall not be required to account for partial day absences.
E. 
Employees in the classified service are subject to all provisions of this chapter; their positions shall be in accordance with the approved classification plan; their remuneration shall be administered by the Director of Personnel, who shall use the most current pay plan officially approved by Levy Court as the basis for wage and salary decisions; and they shall be governed by all policies and regulations approved by Levy Court. The classified service shall include all County employees not included under Subsections B, C and D(1) above.
F. 
The class in which each employee shall have status shall be determined in the manner provided in § 68-5.

§ 68-3 Definitions.

The following words used in this chapter are defined as follows:
BOARD
The Personnel Administration Board.
COMPENSATORY TIME
Paid time off earned by nonexempt employees at their time-and-a-half rate in lieu of actual cash payment to be used at the request of the employee, provided that the workplace will not suffer an undue hardship.
DEPARTMENT HEAD
Includes those County officers, elected or appointed, who have been designated by the Levy Court or by Delaware law as having primary responsibility for the operation of a County office.
EXEMPT
Those employees exempt from overtime pay as provided in the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
FLSA
The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
IMMEDIATE FAMILY
Brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, grandparent, step-grandparent, grandchild, step-grandchild, parent-in-law, brother-in-law and sister-in-law. The relationship of in-law ceases at such time as an employee divorces his or her spouse or at such time as the spouse of an employee should die.
INTERMITTENT EMPLOYEE
Temporary employee hired on an occasional basis to provide services for a specific reason or event.
KEY EMPLOYEE
For FMLA purposes the exempt FMLA-eligible employee who is among the highest paid 10% of all employees employed by the County.
NEAR RELATIVE
Aunt, uncle, first cousin, niece, nephew, grandparent-in-law, great-grandparent, great-grandparent-in-law or other such person.
NONEXEMPT
Those employees that may earn overtime as provided in the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act.
OPEN RECRUITMENT
Advertising position vacancies to the general public.
OTHER APPROPRIATE STANDARD
Consist of skills, knowledge, education and experience criteria as defined for each position's description and/or as requested on an employment application.
PERMANENT EMPLOYEE
Employee satisfactorily completing a six-month or more probationary period and therefore entitled to the right to appeal disciplinary actions to the Personnel Administration Board. Permanent employees are not entitled to lifetime employment and are subject to termination as provided in this chapter.
PERMANENT PART-TIME EMPLOYEE
Employee satisfactorily completing a six-month or more probationary period and therefore entitled to the right to appeal disciplinary actions to the Personnel Administration Board, but regularly working less than full-time within their respective department. Permanent part-time employees are not entitled to lifetime employment and are subject to termination as provided in this chapter.
PROBATIONARY EMPLOYEE
Employee at initial employment serving a six-month or more introductory period and therefore not entitled to the right to appeal disciplinary actions or termination to the Personnel Administration Board.
RELATIVE
Father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, husband, wife, grandparent, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, stepmother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister or grandchild.
SEASONAL EMPLOYEE
Temporary employee hired for a limited term to perform specific duties usually during the summer months.
SERIOUS HEALTH CONDITION
An incapacity or treatment, including prenatal care, that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.
STANDARDIZED COMPETITIVE EXAMINATION
An examination administered by the Personnel Director and created in consultation with the employing department or office that fairly evaluates the abilities of an applicant or applicants for a particular position.
TEMPORARY EMPLOYEE
Employee hired by a department head or the Personnel Director for a limited term to perform certain duties at a specified rate of pay and without benefits of any kind. Temporary employees may be hired without examination or competitive recruitment or provided by an employment agency, and may be terminated without notice.
WORKING DAYS
Monday through Friday and excludes Saturday, Sunday and holidays recognized by Levy Court.

§ 68-4 Administration.

A. 
The personnel system established by this chapter shall be administered by the Director of Personnel (Personnel Director). The Personnel Director shall take such actions as may be necessary to ensure that all appointments, promotions, demotions and reductions in force concerning employees in the classified service are made solely on the basis of merit principles and in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
The Personnel Director shall perform any additional duties which may be required and/or are authorized by this chapter or the Levy Court.
(1) 
The Personnel Director shall work closely with the department heads in carrying out his/her duties.
(2) 
The Personnel Director shall:
(a) 
Administer and interpret the provisions of this chapter.
(b) 
Maintain appropriate employee and other records as provided for herein.
(c) 
Recommend revisions and amendments to this chapter and to personnel-related policies and regulations approved by Levy Court.
(d) 
Counsel and advise employees and Levy Court on personnel-related issues.
(e) 
Maintain, update and review the position classification and pay plan provided for herein.
(f) 
Prepare, administer and recommend employee benefits to the Levy Court.
(g) 
Prepare and distribute to every employee of the County general information pertaining to position title, policies, evaluations, discipline, terminations and other personnel-related matters.
(h) 
Resolve payroll and pay-related disputes in consultation with the appropriate department head and the County Administrator.
(3) 
Legitimate written complaints received from the public involving classified employees shall be directed to both the employee's department head and the Personnel Director. The Personnel Director shall ensure that the complaint is properly investigated and appropriate disciplinary action is taken by the department head as provided in this chapter. Complaints received from the public involving unclassified employees shall be directed to the County Administrator, who may direct the Personnel Director to investigate and report his/her findings to the Levy Court for its consideration.
(4) 
The Personnel Director may exercise the authority and responsibility of any department head, whenever the department head is unable, unavailable or unwilling to perform the duties or requirements of this chapter. The County Administrator or his designee may exercise the authority and responsibility of the Personnel Director in his/her absence.
C. 
A Personnel Administration Board is hereby established in accordance with the provisions of 9 Del. C. § 4151. The Personnel Administration Board shall consist of seven members.
(1) 
The members shall be appointed for a term of four years to be served at the pleasure of a majority of the Levy Court. The names of qualified appointees shall be submitted by Levy Court Commissioners for their individual districts for consideration and confirmation by a simple majority of the Levy Court.
(2) 
The term of all confirmed members shall expire with the term of the Levy Court Commissioner in whose district the appointee resides; provided, however, that in the event that no new appointment is made after expiration of the term, then the member shall continue to serve until reappointed or replaced.
(3) 
During the term of the appointment, a member must maintain primary residency within the Levy Court district from which appointed.
(4) 
Persons appointed to the Board shall be individuals with knowledge of and experience in dealing with personnel problems and issues.
(5) 
At the time of appointment and for the duration of the term, members shall be neither County employees nor candidates for, candidates-elect for or incumbents of an elective federal, state or County office.
(6) 
Vacancies shall be filled in the same manner as in the case of regular appointments.
(7) 
The Levy Court shall establish a rate and the conditions under which members shall be compensated in the Board's bylaws.
(8) 
One of the members of the Personnel Administration Board shall be elected Chairman and one member shall be elected Vice Chairman by the members of the Board. Meetings and other proceedings shall be in accordance with rules adopted by the Board, which shall be consistent with the provisions of this chapter. A simple majority of the constituted Board shall be required in order to conduct any hearing or carry any motion. Four members shall constitute a quorum.

§ 68-5 Classification.

A. 
The Personnel Director shall cause an analysis to be made, as directed by Levy Court from time to time, of the duties and responsibilities of all positions in the classified and unclassified service, and he/she shall recommend a job classification plan with pay ranges and pay rates for each grade that reflect fairly the compensation for comparable positions in other places of public and private employment. Each position shall be assigned to a job class or pay grade on the basis of the kind and level of its duties and responsibilities, and the same pay scale. The classification plan and all revisions thereto that involve the addition or deletion to classes shall be submitted to the Levy Court for review. Revisions may consist of the addition, abolishment, consolidation, division or amendment of existing classes.
B. 
Within 60 days after receiving the classification plan and pay study from the Personnel Director, Levy Court shall approve a classification plan, and the Personnel Director shall thereafter allocate each classified position to its appropriate class and pay range.
C. 
An employee may apply for reclassification of his/her position by submitting a written request for reclassification to his/her department head. The department head may forward the request for reclassification with his/her recommendation as part of the annual budget development process to the Personnel Director. The Personnel Director shall submit the request and recommendation of the department head, together with his/her recommendation to the County Administrator for consideration in the formulation of a proposed budget to be presented to Levy Court.

§ 68-6 Compensation.

A. 
The Personnel Director, in consultation with the County Administrator, shall annually prepare a pay plan establishing the pay range for each grade and any employee pay adjustments approved by Levy Court.
B. 
The Personnel Director shall submit to Levy Court an annual report of the suitability of the pay plan. Amendments either through the adjustment of rates or by reassignment of job classes to different pay ranges may be proposed at any time during the year. All amendments shall apply uniformly to all positions within the same class.
C. 
Generally, a new employee shall be paid the minimum rate for the class or grade. Exceptions to the starting salary may be granted under certain circumstances by the Personnel Director upon written request of the department head.
(1) 
The minimum rate for each class is based on the assumption that a new employee meets the minimum qualifications stated in the class specifications. If it becomes necessary to appoint a new employee of lesser qualifications, but who demonstrates the potential to become a good and effective employee, the person may be hired as an intern with a salary 5% below the minimum rate for the class.
(2) 
If a new employee exceeds the minimum qualifications stated in the class specifications, the person may be hired with a higher salary of up to, but not to exceed 5% above the minimum rate for the class.
(3) 
The beginning salary for a new employee in excess of 5% above the minimum rate for any class must be authorized by the County Administrator.
(4) 
All employees hired after January 1, 1997, shall be compensated for completed work one pay period in arrears and said payroll check shall be electronically transferred to the employee's personal bank account or other acceptable account on a regular pay day determined by Levy Court.
D. 
Any temporary vacancy may be filled by an existing employee. If an existing employee filling a temporary vacancy is presently in the same or lower pay grade than that of the vacant position or if he/she must perform the duties of a current and a temporary position, his/her salary shall be increased to the minimum rate of the temporary position, or up to but no more than 8% above the present salary, whichever is higher, for the duration of the temporary vacancy and upon written approval from the Personnel Director. An employee filling a temporary vacancy shall be returned to his/her former position and former salary when the temporary position is permanently filled or eliminated.
E. 
Employees performing additional or extra duties on a regular basis and for a specific purpose as approved by Levy Court may be compensated up to an additional 10% above current salary. When the additional or extra duties are no longer performed, the additional compensation shall cease.
F. 
Unclassified employees and those classified employees designated as exempt under the Federal Fair Labor and Standards Act shall not be entitled to additional compensation for hours worked over 40 hours per work week and shall not be eligible for compensatory time off.
G. 
Those classified employees designated as nonexempt or hourly shall be entitled to overtime compensation at the applicable rates required under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act payable as compensatory time off. The Personnel Director may authorize payment of accumulated compensatory time at his/her discretion and may suspend accrual of compensatory time for specific or all employees in favor of payment for hours worked overtime.
H. 
Classified employees working at times other than normal working hours on a regular or temporary basis shall receive additional compensation in the form of an hourly shift differential at a rate determined by Levy Court.
I. 
Classified employees required to be available at times other than normally scheduled working hours on a regular basis to respond to emergencies or other unusual situations shall receive additional compensation in the form of on-call pay at a rate determined by Levy Court.
J. 
Employees shall annually receive a longevity award in the amount of $500 for five to nine years of continuous County service; in the amount of $1,000 for 10 to 14 years of continuous County service; in the amount of $1,500 for 15 to 19 years of continuous County service; in the amount of $2,000 for 20 to 24 years of continuous County service; in the amount of $2,500 for 25 to 29 years of continuous County service; in the amount of $3,000 for 30 to 34 years of service; in the amount of $3,500 for 35 to 39 years of service; in the amount of $4,000 for 40 to 44 years of service; and in the amount of $4,500 for 45 and more years of continuous County service. Said longevity award shall not vest automatically, but shall instead be awarded, accrued and distributed in equal installments with each pay period throughout the ensuing year, or the Levy Court may direct that the requisite longevity award be conferred lump sum annually on each employee's employment anniversary date. Absences for more than 12 weeks per year shall not be counted in years of service
[Amended 6-27-2000 by Ord. No. 00-16; 7-27-2004 by Ord. No. 04-16[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that it shall be effective retroactive to 6-1-2002 upon adoption.

§ 68-7 Vacancies, recruitments and appointments.

A. 
When vacancies occur in the classified service, the Personnel Director and the department head shall carefully evaluate the continued need for the vacant position to determine if it should be eliminated, combined with another position, enhanced with additional duties or reclassified. If a position remains vacant for a period of two fiscal years, it shall be considered eliminated. If a change in position status is desired, a recommendation to eliminate the position or submission of a new or revised position description shall be provided to the Levy Court within two weeks of the vacancy.
B. 
Appointments to vacancies occurring in the classified service shall be based on merit as determined by qualifications set forth in the classification plan and approved position description. Appointments to vacancies occurring in the unclassified service shall be made by Levy Court. Compensation for new appointments shall be as required by the assigned pay range.
(1) 
Employees shall be selected without regard to political considerations and shall not be required to contribute to any political purpose as a condition of employment.
(2) 
There shall be no discrimination against any person seeking employment or employed in the service of Kent County because of political or religious affiliation or belief, national origin, race, color, sex, age, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status or disability.
C. 
When a position becomes vacant, recruiting shall be carried out in the following manner:
(1) 
Announcements used to recruit candidates shall be advertised in either newspaper(s), journal(s), electronic media and/or employment center(s) in order to inform a maximum number of sectors of the labor force about the vacancy. Any examination requirement shall be included in the job announcement.
(2) 
At the discretion of the Personnel Director, open competitive recruitment advertisement and position posting need not be used for recruiting if any of the following conditions are met:
(a) 
There is at least one person who is already employed by the County who submits a transfer request to be considered for the vacant position and who meets the minimum qualifications designated in the position description;
(b) 
There is an existing eligibility list; or
(c) 
Recruiting has been designated as promotional. Promotional recruiting shall consider qualified employees of the County using competitive examination or other appropriate standard to determine qualification. If an employee is promoted to a position in a higher class and voluntarily requests demotion, the employee shall not be reconsidered for promotion for a period of one year from the date of voluntary demotion.
(3) 
Open competitive recruiting shall consider all eligible candidates, including employees of the County, and shall be accomplished pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
D. 
Appointment to vacancies in permanent full-time and permanent part-time positions shall be based on merit as determined by competitive examination or other appropriate standard.
(1) 
Examinations and other standards shall be in such form as will fairly measure the abilities and aptitudes of candidates for the duties to be performed and may not include any inquiry into the political or religious affiliation or belief, national origin, race, color, sex, age, pregnancy, marital status, veteran status or disability of any candidate.
(2) 
Candidates who qualify for employment shall be ranked by the Personnel Director according to examination scores and/or qualifications and shall be placed on an eligibility list for the appropriate position in that rank order. Priority in appointment shall be given according to position in the rank order.
(3) 
Veteran's preference shall be granted to qualified persons who have been members of the Armed Forces of the United States and who seek to enter the service of the County within five years immediately following their honorable discharge from military service. Such preference shall be in the form of points added to the final grades of such persons, provided that they first achieve a passing grade. The preference shall be 2 1/2 points for nondisabled veterans and five points for persons currently receiving compensation from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for service-incurred disabilities. The order of rank for persons receiving preferential credit among other eligibles shall be determined on the basis of their augmented rating. Such veterans' preference shall be given for entrance examinations but not for promotional purposes.
(4) 
When required or appropriate, a standardized competitive examination shall be uniformly administered by the Personnel Director to all candidates for the same position. Examination shall be in such form as will fairly test the knowledge and capabilities of candidates for the duties to be performed.
(5) 
Candidates must submit to and pass a substance abuse test for illegal and illicit drug use, misused prescription drugs and abusive consumption of alcoholic beverages after an offer of employment has been extended, but before actual employment begins. If the selected candidate fails to pass the test or a second confirming test, the offer of employment shall be withdrawn and he/she shall be ineligible for any appointment for a period of one year.
(6) 
Candidates must submit to a criminal background investigation after an offer of employment has been extended, but before actual employment begins in order to establish qualification for public trust and to protect fellow employees from potential harm. Those candidates found to have a criminal record must undergo an additional review process conducted by the Personnel Director and County Administrator before any final offer of employment may be extended. During the review process, the relevance of the criminal record shall be examined to determine if it will have an adverse impact on performance or place the County or its citizens at potential risk. If it is determined that a potential risk exists or performance will be adversely affected, the offer of employment shall be withdrawn.
(7) 
Male candidates born after January 1, 1960, shall have registered with Selective Service and shall certify such registration on the County employment application form. Failure to certify Selective Service registration or show proof of such, if requested, shall render the candidate ineligible for County employment, or if already hired, the employee shall be subject to termination.
[Added 10-24-2000 by Ord. No. 00-27]
E. 
Upon the written notification from an employee that he/she is vacating his/her position with the County, and upon proper notification from the department head that recruitment is exempt from posting, the Personnel Director shall post a notice of the position vacancy for the information of employees of the County, and shall advise and counsel any employee who is considered potentially eligible for the vacant position. Permanent part-time and full-time employees of the County may request to be considered for the vacant position as prescribed in this chapter. A vacancy notice shall be posted no less than six County working days prior to open competitive recruitment. Pending the availability of an eligibility list as determined by the Personnel Director to be appropriate for the position, a vacancy may be filled by temporary appointment. Such an appointment shall have a maximum duration of six months and shall be terminated as soon as is practical after selection of a candidate for the position. This appointment shall be known as "temporary status."
F. 
Applications for employment by the County shall be kept on file for a period of one year and may be updated any time within the one-year period. Applications may be made available upon request by the applicant for a vacant position in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
(1) 
The application shall require of a candidate only that information necessary to establish name, address, telephone number, person to contact in emergency, references, job-related qualifications and any other relevant information.
(2) 
Applicants who misrepresent their qualifications or commit any act of dishonesty in connection with either the application, the examination or the interview will be excluded from the eligible list or if already hired, shall be subject to termination.
G. 
When an appointment is to be made to a vacancy, the Personnel Director shall submit to the department head the names of at least three persons ranked highest on an eligibility list in the order as provided in this chapter. All of the names on a higher priority eligible list shall be exhausted before selecting names from a lower priority list. The department head may ask the Personnel Director to submit an additional three names from an appropriate list. The department head shall interview each applicant on the list and submit his/her choice to the Personnel Director who then may appoint this individual to the position, provided that all requirements of this chapter and applicable policies or laws are met. The Personnel Director shall be advised of and may participate in the candidate interviews.
H. 
No candidate who is a relative of a member of Levy Court, the County Administrator or the Personnel Director is eligible for appointment or employment in any County position. No candidate who is a relative of a department head or other elected official is eligible for appointment, employment, promotion or transfer to a position within the department of which the department head or elected official exercises jurisdiction or control. No employee shall lose his/her position as a result of marriage or election of a spouse, but the lower paid spouse in a direct supervisor/subordinate relationship shall be subject to transfer to a like position at a like rate of pay as soon as such a position may become available.

§ 68-8 Eligibility lists.

A. 
Eligibility lists, in the order of their priority, shall be reemployment lists, promotional eligibility lists and original appointment eligibility lists.
(1) 
Reemployment lists shall contain the names of permanent employees laid off, in good standing, for lack of funds or work.
(2) 
Promotional eligibility lists and original appointment eligible lists shall be created as provided in this chapter.
(3) 
Original appointment lists shall be established by the Personnel Director from those who make a passing grade on the examination or best meet the job qualifications as contained in the applicable position description. The lists shall be made in order of excellence of performance on the examination or those who best meet the job qualifications as contained in the applicable position description. Eligible names will be kept on the lists for one year. Eligibility lists will be available in the Personnel Director's office.
B. 
Probationary employees laid off for lack of work or lack of funds or resigned in good standing may have their names restored to the eligibility list from which their appointment was originally made upon request to the Personnel Director.

§ 68-9 Probation.

A. 
Classified employees appointed from original appointment eligibility lists shall be subject to an introductory period of probation. The regular period of probation shall be not less than six months. The department head may request from the Personnel Director an extension of the probation period in individual cases, but no probationary period shall extend beyond 18 months.
(1) 
A written statement establishing the conditions and length of the probationary period shall be provided by the Personnel Director to each employee at the time of initial employment.
(2) 
The Personnel Director may waive the probationary requirement for employees who have worked at least six months for Kent County as a permanent part-time employee or in a temporary capacity.
B. 
The work and conduct of probationary employees shall be subject to review and evaluation, and if found to be below standards satisfactory to the department head, and with the approval of the Personnel Director, the probationer may be terminated, reduced in grade or rank or replaced on the eligibility list. Such removal or demotion may occur at any time during the probationary period and shall not be subject to appeal to the Personnel Administration Board.
(1) 
The department head shall notify the Personnel Director in writing of his/her recommendation for approval or denial of permanent status at least 10 days prior to the expiration of the employee's probation status. The Personnel Director shall act upon the recommendation and notify the employee of permanent status or termination within five working days of the decision.
(2) 
After successful completion of the probationary period and a recommendation of approval by the department head, the employee shall be put on permanent status.

§ 68-10 Transfers, promotions and demotions.

A. 
The Personnel Director may transfer an employee to another department or another appointment involving similar qualifications, duties and responsibilities after consultation with the department heads affected by the transfer. Said transfer is nongrievable and not subject to appeal or review by the Personnel Administration Board.
(1) 
A transfer to like duties in other departments does not constitute a promotion.
(2) 
An employee request for transfer must be submitted in writing to the Personnel Director identifying the requested position and listing qualifications, with a copy to the department heads affected by the transfer.
(3) 
Any existing County employee who requests a transfer must be interviewed and extended preferential consideration if the employee meets the minimum qualifications as set forth in the position description and has been certified by the Personnel Director as qualified to fill the vacant position.
(4) 
The salary of an employee who is considered qualified for transfer to another department to a position in a higher class constituting additional duties and responsibilities shall be increased to the minimum range of the higher class. However, in the case of overlapping ranges, the salary of the transferred employee shall be increased up to, but not more than 5% above his/her previous rate of compensation.
(5) 
Probationary employees shall be eligible to transfer to another department. However, upon transfer, the employee shall be required to serve an additional six-month probation period in the department to which they have transferred, beginning with the date of transfer.
(6) 
The salary of an employee who transfers to another department and position classified in the same grade as he/she presently holds shall remain unchanged. Prior to the effective date of the transfer, the department head shall evaluate the employee for the time served in his/her department, append his/her comments to the evaluation, and submit them to the head of the department to which the employee is transferring. During the annual evaluation period, the employee shall be evaluated by his/her present department head. All evaluations conducted on the employee during the evaluation year shall be reviewed and signed by the department heads under which the employee worked.
(7) 
When the Levy Court abolishes a position as a result of a department merging with the state government, due to contracting positions to a private firm, or any other reason, the employee(s) affected by the abolishment of the positions shall have one year from the effective date to apply for transfer to any vacant posted County position for which they are qualified. The affected employee(s) requesting transfer shall submit the request, in writing, to the Personnel Director with a copy to the department heads affected by the transfer.
(8) 
Any employee may be reassigned by the department head to an existing or new position within his/her current department for which they are qualified and shall be required to assist in the training or transition of a new or other employee into his/her former position. Said reassignment is nongrievable and not subject to appeal or review by the Personnel Administration Board.
B. 
Any advance in pay grade or increase in salary beyond the limits defined in the rules for the administration of the pay plan shall constitute a promotion. The salary of an employee who is promoted to a position in a higher class shall be increased to the minimum range of the higher class; except in the case of overlapping ranges, the salary of the promoted employee shall be increased up to, but not to exceed, 8% above his/her present rate of compensation. If it becomes necessary in the judgment of the department head to promote an employee with less than minimum qualifications, the employee may be offered the promotion with an "intern status" at 5% below the minimum rate for that class. (If the intern status employee's current salary is above minimum rate, it will not be changed.) The department head and Personnel Director will establish the requirements and time frame by which the promoted employee must meet the minimum requirements for that position. Once the employee meets those requirements to the satisfaction of the department head, the employee will be given the minimum salary for that class.
C. 
The department head may demote an employee whenever in the judgment of the department head the total performance of the employee or his/her conduct so warrants, whenever there is a lack of funds or whenever the employee requests a demotion and is qualified for the lower pay grade position. A reduction in pay grade or a decrease in salary below the minimum rate of a pay grade shall constitute a demotion. When the department head determines to demote an employee, he/she shall follow the procedures outlined in § 68-15, except for requested demotions.
(1) 
If an employee is demoted from one classification to another due to poor performance or misconduct, his/her salary shall be reduced by 10% or to the maximum rate for the new classification, which ever is lower.
(2) 
If an employee is demoted from one classification to another due to lack of funds, his/her salary shall be reduced to the maximum rate for the new classification or by 5%, which ever is lower.
(3) 
If an employee requests demotion to a position in a lower classification, his/her salary shall be reduced by 5% or to the maximum rate for the new classification, which ever is lower. If an employee requests demotion to a previously held position in a lower classification, his/her salary shall be reduced to the salary previously received for the requested position.
(4) 
The salary of a demoted employee shall be reduced effective with the next pay period following the demotion.

§ 68-11 Attendance policy; hours of work.

A. 
The standard work week for nonexempt and exempt employees shall be that which is established by the Levy Court, based upon recommendations of the Personnel Director. When the needs of the County and/or department will be best served, the Personnel Director may assign certain positions or classes to a work schedule which differs from that considered to be standard for the remainder of the employees.
B. 
Part-time employment shall include all employment for less than the standard work week designated for that position or class. Part-time employment shall be performed only according to the schedules established by the department head in consultation with the Personnel Director as may be required to accomplish the assigned functions of that department.
C. 
All full-time employees shall be entitled to a lunch break and such rest periods as are determined by the Personnel Director.

§ 68-12 Training and higher education.

A. 
The Personnel Director shall encourage the improvement of service by providing employees with appropriate opportunities for job-related training.
B. 
Training programs may be made available in order to:
(1) 
Provide an employee with training to enhance skills and knowledge required to achieve optimum performance and/or certification in his/her current or next higher position.
(2) 
Acquaint an employee with rules, regulations, ordinances, policies, practice and standards of County service.
(3) 
Provide an employee with appropriate training to develop skills and knowledge required for a position within the same discipline to which he/she may desire to advance.
C. 
Employees participating in approved training courses, sessions, conferences, workshops or seminars or any other similar job enhancement activity approved by the department head shall have normal working hours, traveling expenses, lodging, seminar or conference fees, tuition and similar expenses incurred during such approved activity paid by the County. Employees shall be compensated for actual time participating in and commuting to such training courses as required by FLSA.
D. 
To be eligible for payment or reimbursement of a specific job-related training course, a written request must be submitted to the department head prior to commencement of course(s). The department head will evaluate the request and approve or deny payment for the course. If approved, the employee must provide evidence of satisfactory completion (certificate or passing grade) to his/her department head and the Personnel Director for inclusion in the employee's personnel file, at which time the employee will be reimbursed for the course and any books or specific materials required for the training course, ownership of which shall be retained by the County. If an employee attends such a training course(s) and resigns his/her position with the County within a one-year period from the time of completion of the course(s), he/she may be required to reimburse the County for any funds paid for such course(s). For the purpose of this section it shall not be considered a resignation if the employee takes another position with the County.
E. 
Employees shall be encouraged to achieve higher education to improve skills specifically related to their position. Limited tuition cost sharing may be offered to employees pursuing and successfully completing degree requirements, but shall not include books or class materials.
F. 
Permanent full-time employees achieving professional certification or an advanced educational degree in their field of responsibility shall be eligible for an increase in salary up to 5% upon request of the department head and verification of award. The Personnel Director shall develop and maintain a rating point system and a corresponding percentage for salary increases based on the relative difficulty of achieving an advanced educational degree or professional training certification.

§ 68-13 Performance evaluations.

A. 
Evaluation of the performance of each employee on probation shall be completed at least semiannually and on each permanent employee at least on an annual basis, which is herein described as the evaluation year. The evaluation year shall begin and end as designated by the Personnel Director. All evaluations shall be conducted with an official evaluation form authorized by the Personnel Director.
B. 
All such evaluations shall be conducted by the appropriate supervisor, reviewed and approved by the appropriate Department Head, if not the supervisor, and shall be signed by the employee upon completion of the evaluation.
C. 
Performance evaluations are nongrievable and not subject to appeal or review by the Personnel Administration Board.
D. 
Performance evaluations for each employee shall be filed with his/her personnel record and available for review by the department head.
E. 
Evaluations shall be completed on a more frequent basis if it is determined by the Personnel Director to be in the best interest of the County to do so. Any employee receiving a less than satisfactory evaluation will be evaluated again by the supervisor or department head within 90 days to ensure correction of deficiencies. If deficiencies are not corrected within 90 days, the employee may be reassigned, demoted or terminated.
F. 
All performance evaluations shall be carefully reviewed by the Personnel Director for accuracy and deficiencies in order to determine the training needs of employees.
G. 
The annual performance evaluation of unclassified employees shall be conducted by the County Administrator and he/she shall in turn be evaluated by the Levy Court. The evaluation form shall be individually reviewed and shall be signed by the unclassified employee upon completion of the evaluation. A report and copies of the evaluations shall be submitted to the Levy Court for its information and consideration.

§ 68-14 Disciplinary action.

A. 
Deficiencies in the performance of an employee based upon the position classification and description or misconduct committed on the job shall be remedied by a procedure for progressive disciplinary action as follows:
(1) 
For a first offense, the department head or supervisor of the employee shall give an oral warning and maintain written documentation of the same.
(2) 
For a second offense, the department head or supervisor of the employee shall issue a written reprimand to the employee within five working days of learning of the offense, outlining the offense and serving a warning that subsequent offenses may result in demotion, suspension and/or termination. The employee shall have an opportunity to review, comment upon and sign the reprimand before it is sent to the Personnel Director for inclusion in the employee's personnel file. If the employee refuses to sign the notification, the refusal shall be duty noted and witnessed.
(3) 
A third offense shall constitute just cause for suspension with or without pay pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, after the employee is afforded a pre-suspension hearing. Such hearing shall be scheduled within five working days of learning of the offense.
(4) 
Subsequent offenses shall be just cause for further suspension, demotion or termination of employment pursuant to the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that in the event of further suspension or termination, the employee shall be afforded a pre-suspension or pre-termination hearing, whichever is appropriate. Such hearing shall be scheduled within five working days of learning of the offense and held at a time and date selected by the Personnel Director.
B. 
Serious deficiencies in the performance of an employee based upon the position classification and description; gross misconduct that is committed on the job; repeated violation(s) of/or disregard for any rules, directives or procedures approved by the department head or policies or ordinances adopted by Levy Court; absence without leave; or conviction of a felony or Class A misdemeanor shall be just cause for:
(1) 
Immediate demotion pursuant to the provisions of this chapter;
(2) 
Immediate suspension with or without pay pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, or
(3) 
Immediate termination of employment pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Offenses committed more than three years prior to the date of an offense in question shall not be considered in determining progressive or immediate disciplinary action.
D. 
Pre-suspension hearing. Prior to suspending a permanent employee, the department head shall issue written notification to the employee of the intent to suspend with or without pay. Said written notification shall state the reason(s) why the employee is being suspended and shall include the date, time and place of a pre-suspension hearing before the department head or his/her designee in order to afford an opportunity for the employee to respond to the stated reasons for the suspension. Said notification shall be drafted in consultation with and a copy sent to the Personnel Director, who may also attend the hearing.
E. 
Pre-termination hearing. Prior to terminating a permanent employee, the department head shall issue written notification to the employee of the intent to terminate. Said written notification shall state the reason(s) why the employee is being terminated and shall include the date, time and place of a pre-termination hearing before the department head or his/her designee, in order to afford an opportunity for the employee to respond to the stated reasons for termination. Said notification shall be drafted in consultation with and a copy sent to the Personnel Director and County Attorney, both of whom may also attend the hearing.
F. 
Any employee may be placed on administrative leave with pay by the Personnel Director during a continuing investigation as provided in this chapter.
G. 
The imposition of progressive or immediate disciplinary action shall be based upon the severity of the infraction or conduct as determined by the offending employee's department head or the Personnel Director.
H. 
Exempt employees shall not be suspended without pay for periods of less than one week.

§ 68-15 Tenure of service.

A. 
The tenure of every permanent employee shall be based on standardized evaluation reports prepared by the department head and reviewed and maintained by the Personnel Director in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Whenever there is lack of work or lack of funds requiring a layoff or reduction in the number of employees in a department, a reduction may be made in such job class or classes as the department head may designate, provided that within the designated department employees shall be laid off in inverse order of their relative length and quality of service, as determined by evaluation reports and records maintained by the Personnel Director. Within each affected job class, temporary employees shall be laid off before probationary employees, and probationary employees shall be laid off before permanent employees.
C. 
Any employee may be demoted when, in the judgment of his/her department head, the employee's work performance or conduct justifies disciplinary action short of termination. The demotion shall be to the next lowest available position for which the employee is qualified. The department head shall indicate the substantial reasons for the action in a written notification, discuss the decision with the employee, and shall file final copies of the notification with the employee and the Personnel Director. The employee shall have an opportunity to comment upon the notification of demotion and forward any additional written comments within five days to the Personnel Director and his/her department head. The notification shall be signed by the employee indicating that he/she has reviewed it and that he/she understands its contents. If the employee refuses to sign the notification, the refusal shall be duly noted and witnessed.
D. 
Any employee may be suspended by his/her department head with or without pay following a pre-suspension hearing. A suspended employee may not request a hearing before the Personnel Administration Board unless the suspension is for more than three working days, or unless the employee has already received a previous suspension within one year immediately prior thereto.
(1) 
When an employee has been suspended by a department head following a pre-suspension hearing, the department head shall within two working days of the hearing file with the employee a written notification containing a statement of the reason(s) for the action. The employee shall have an opportunity to see and comment upon the notification of suspension before it is sent to the Personnel Director. The notification must be signed by the employee indicating that he/she has reviewed it and that he/she understands its contents. If the employee refuses to sign the notification, the refusal shall be duty noted and witnessed.
(2) 
Upon receipt of a notification of suspension, the Personnel Director shall review its contents to determine whether the reasons for the action indicated by the department head are consistent with the provisions of this chapter. If the Personnel Director determines that the suspension is not justified, the Personnel Director may modify or rescind the suspension after consultation with the appropriate department head, or as provided in this chapter initiate a hearing before the Personnel Administration Board.
E. 
Any permanent employee may be terminated by his/her department head following a pre-termination hearing. When the department head decides to take such final action following a pre-termination hearing, he/she shall within two working days of the hearing file with the employee a written notification containing a statement of the reason(s) for the action. The notice shall inform the employee that he/she shall be allowed five working days to file a written request for modification to the Personnel Director. If the Personnel Director determines that the termination is not justified, he/she may modify or rescind the action following consultation with the appropriate department head. If the Personnel Director determines the action is justified, a copy of the written request will be forwarded to the Personnel Administration Board within one week as notification of a potential appeal.
F. 
Progressive or immediate disciplinary measures may be imposed for:
(1) 
Unauthorized use of working hours. This shall include the following: an unreasonable amount of lost time or abuse of sick leave; absence without leave; excessive tardiness; and pursuing any non-job-related activities during work hours without the permission of the department head.
(2) 
Conduct unbecoming an employee. This shall include the following: conviction of a felony or Class A misdemeanor; insubordination; inefficiency and incompetency; knowingly giving false statements to supervisors or the public; acceptance of undisclosed gifts, gratuities or loans for personal benefit from organizations, business concerns or individuals with whom one has official relationships on business of the County government in return for special consideration; threatening, harassing or intentionally inflicting harm or mental distress to a County employee or member of the public while on County property or in the performance of one's official duties; two consecutive years of less than satisfactory performance evaluations; sexual harassment; profane, obscene, insulting words or gestures toward the public or any County employee.
(3) 
Unfitness for work which causes hindrance to service and to fellow employees. This shall include the following: consumption of intoxicating beverages or nonprescription narcotic drugs while in the scope of employment, on County property or in County-owned vehicles; being under the influence of intoxicating beverages or nonprescription narcotic drugs while in the scope of employment, on County property or in County-owned vehicles; possession of or offering to others intoxicating beverages or narcotic drugs while in the scope of employment, on County property or in County-owned vehicles.
(4) 
Abuse of County property or the use of County supplies, materials, equipment or other property for personal purposes or securing the same for others.
(5) 
Gambling on County property or in a County-owned vehicle. This shall include the following: possession on County property or in a County vehicle of any device under any denomination by which any game of chance played for anything of value, or any other gaming device whatsoever; possession on County property or in a County vehicle of any books, device, apparatus or paraphernalia for the purpose of receiving, recording or registering bets or wages for personal profit.
(6) 
Violation of state statutes, County ordinances, administrative regulations or department rules.
(7) 
Loaning of money at interest to other County employees.
(8) 
Unlawful political activity or other activity as provided in this chapter.
G. 
The County Administrator shall be responsible for taking disciplinary action, up to but not including termination, against unclassified employees when deemed appropriate and as provided in this chapter. Unclassified employees may be terminated by Levy Court as provided in Delaware law.
H. 
Whenever an employee is unable to work due to physical or mental incapacity or disability, the Personnel Director may lay off the employee or place the employee on a disability leave of absence for up to one year. If continued incapacity or disability prevents the employee from returning to work at the conclusion of the leave of absence, the employee shall be placed on long-term disability, if applicable, and his/her employment shall be terminated.

§ 68-16 Procedure of appeals.

A. 
A classified or unclassified employee may appeal a disciplinary demotion, a suspension of greater than three days or a termination any time within two calendar weeks after being notified that he/she is the subject of the adverse personnel action and a request by the employee for modification by the Personnel Director has been denied. The appeal is to be filed in writing with the Personnel Director, who will transmit it to the Personnel Administration Board. It should consist of an original and 10 copies (one copy to the department head, one copy to the County Attorney, one copy to the legal counsel for the Board, and seven copies for the Personnel Administration Board), and it should set forth the facts and reasons why the demotion, suspension or termination was unwarranted.
(1) 
If the employee files an appeal and the Board has jurisdiction, the Personnel Director in consultation with the Chairman of the Personnel Administration Board shall schedule a hearing within 15 working days after receiving the appeal. At the discretion of the employee, the hearing may be private or open to the public. A transcript of all proceedings during the hearing may be made should the employee be willing to bear the full cost of the preparation of such transcript. Otherwise, a general record of proceedings shall be prepared by Personnel Department staff for the Board.
(2) 
The burden of proof in any hearing before the Board shall rest upon the department head or Personnel Director, whichever may be applicable. All testimony shall be given under oath, and each side shall have a right of cross-examination. Witnesses may be sequestered upon the request of any party to the proceeding. Witnesses shall be assured freedom from restraint, interference, coercion, discrimination and reprisal.
B. 
If the Board finds the adverse personnel action is erroneous as a matter of law, arbitrary and capricious or otherwise unsupported by substantial evidence, the employee shall be reinstated to his/her former position without loss of pay.
C. 
The Board's finding of facts and decision shall be made in writing within 10 working days after the conclusion of the hearing, and shall be forwarded to both sides promptly thereafter.
D. 
Unclassified employees desiring to appeal termination shall do so in the manner as provided in Delaware law.

§ 68-17 Resignation and reemployment.

A. 
An employee may resign by filing a letter of resignation with the Personnel Director and his/her department head. To resign in good standing, an employee should give his/her department head advance notice of at least two calendar weeks. Failure to comply with this section may result in denial of reemployment.
B. 
An employee resigning in good standing may be rehired or reinstated without advertisement or examination to any position in the same class if there is need for his/her services within two years after the date of resignation.

§ 68-18 Records.

A. 
The Personnel Director shall maintain adequate records of the proceedings of the Personnel Administration Board, his own official acts, the examination record of every applicant and the employment record of every employee. Employee records shall be kept in the Personnel Director's office and they shall remain confidential, except as provided by law.
(1) 
Employees may review personal employment records, including performance evaluations, by appointment and a reasonable number of copies shall be provided upon written request.
(2) 
Department heads may review individual employment records, including performance evaluations, for those employees working within or requesting transfer to their respective departments.
B. 
The Personnel Director shall maintain appropriate medical/health records and related insurance records separate from employment records and they shall remain confidential. Such records shall not be available for review by department heads and may be used only as provided by law.
C. 
The Personnel Director shall maintain appropriate records of a confidential nature separate from employment and medical records. Such records shall not be available for review by department heads and may be used only as provided by law.
D. 
Records of disciplinary action shall be removed from an employee's personnel file and placed in the employee's confidential file after a three-year period.

§ 68-19 General prohibitions.

A. 
No person shall be appointed or promoted to, or demoted or dismissed from, any position in the classified or unclassified service, or in any way favored or discriminated against with respect to employment because of his/her political or religious affiliation or belief, national origin, race, color, sex, age, pregnancy, marital status, veterans status or disability.
B. 
No person shall seek or attempt to use any political endorsement in connection with any appointment to a position in the classified service.
C. 
No person shall use, directly or indirectly, any official authority or influence, whether possessed or anticipated, to secure for any person an appointment or advantage in appointment to a position in the classified service, or an increase in pay or other advantage in employment in any such position, for the purpose of influencing the vote or political action of any person, or for any consideration.
D. 
No employee in the classified service or unclassified service shall be demoted, suspended, terminated or otherwise discriminated against in respect to his/her position because of refusal to pay, or promise to pay any assessment, subscription, or contribution, or perform any service for any political party, or solicit or take any part in soliciting any such assessment, subscription, contribution or service of any employee.
E. 
No employee in the classified or unclassified service shall, during regular working hours, take any part in the management of affairs of any political party or in any political campaign, except to exercise his/her right as a citizen, privately, to express his/her opinion and to cast his/her vote.
F. 
No employee in the classified or unclassified service shall use his/her position in the classified or unclassified service as a means of implementing or promoting any political or personal gain.
G. 
No person shall make any knowingly false statement, certificate, mark, rating or report with regard to any test, certification or appointment made under any provision of this chapter or in any manner commit or attempt to commit any fraud preventing impartial execution of this chapter.
H. 
No person shall, directly or indirectly, give, render, pay, offer, solicit or accept money, service or other valuable consideration for, or on account of any appointment or proposed appointment, promotion or proposed promotion to, or any advantage in, a position in the classified or unclassified service.
I. 
No person shall defeat, deceive or obstruct any person in his/her right to examination, eligibility, certification or appointment under this chapter, or furnish to any person any confidential information for the purpose of affecting the rights or prospects of any person with respect to employment in the classified service.

§ 68-20 Holidays.

A. 
All classified and unclassified employees, except part-time employees and temporary employees, shall receive their regular rate of pay for eight hours, 7.5 hours, or seven hours as assigned and exempt employees shall have the day off on the following listed holidays and for any other date or portion of a day proclaimed by the President of Levy Court as a holiday:
[Amended 9-22-2009 by Ord. No. 09-23]
New Year's Day
Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Presidents’ Day
Good Friday
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Election Day in even-numbered years
Veterans Day
Thanksgiving Day
Day after Thanksgiving
Christmas Day
Day after Christmas
B. 
When any holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding business day shall be considered the legal holiday.
C. 
When any holiday falls on a Sunday, the following business day shall be considered the legal holiday.
D. 
If efficient operations require an employee's services to be performed on any holiday, some other mutually agreeable compensating day off shall be granted by the department head and the employee shall be compensated at a rate double his/her normal hourly rate for any work on the holiday.
E. 
For the nonexempt employee to be eligible for holiday pay, he/she must have worked on the last scheduled workday prior to and the next scheduled work day after said holiday unless the employee is on approved absence with pay in accordance with this chapter, or absent with pay with prior approval of the department head.
F. 
Special holidays or reduced working schedules declared due to inclement weather, emergencies or some other specific reason shall not be substituted with a compensating day off for employees on approved or unapproved absence or unaffected by the circumstances demanding the declaration.

§ 68-21 Sick leave.

A. 
Sick leave shall be granted to employees in the classified and unclassified services for the following reasons:
(1) 
Personal illness or physical incapacity resulting from causes beyond the employee's control.
(2) 
Illness in the household of the employee requiring quarantine as certified by a physician or public health officer.
(3) 
Medical, dental or optical appointments which cannot be scheduled for after duty hours.
(4) 
Illness requiring care of a member of the immediate family (limited to 28 hours for 35 hours per workweek employees, 32 hours for 40 hours per workweek employees within a calendar year).
(5) 
Personal leave hours annually for undisclosed reasons in accordance with this chapter, which shall be charged against accrued sick leave.
B. 
Full-time employees in the classified and unclassified services shall accrue sick leave at the following rate:
35-hour workweek employees
8.75 hours per month
40-hour workweek employees
10.00 hours per month
(1) 
Unused sick leave for full-time employees may be accumulated up to a maximum of 120 working days.
(2) 
Full-time employees earning more than 120 work days of sick leave shall be credited one day of vacation leave in exchange for each additional three days of sick leave earned.
(3) 
Full-time employees achieving perfect attendance during any one calendar year shall be credited with one additional day of vacation leave for the following year.
(4) 
Permanent part-time employees shall accrue sick leave at 50% of the allowable rate of full-time employees, based on the normal work schedule of the department.
(5) 
Unused sick time for part-time employees may be accumulated up to a maximum of 60 part-time working days.
C. 
In the event of extended illness beyond accumulated sick leave and vacation, a permanent employee may submit to the Personnel Director a request for an extension of sick leave at one-half pay up to 15 days. Such a request must be in writing and must be accompanied with supportive statements from a licensed practicing physician. The Personnel Director may approve such a request if, in his/her opinion and in consultation with the department head, the previous service of the employee warrants favorable consideration, and if medical statements indicate that the employee will be able to return to work at the end of the extension period. An employee may, for a period following return from sick leave, work on a part-time basis if approved by the Personnel Director in advance. Compensation will be for time actually worked. All advanced sick time must be paid back as new time accrues.
D. 
After an absence of three consecutive working days, the Personnel Director or department head may require the employee to present a statement from a licensed practicing physician certifying that the employee's condition prevented him/her from performing the duties of his/her position. Sick leaves in excess of three days without medical certificate shall be charged to vacation leave, unless waived by the Personnel Director.
(1) 
An employee who is absent the day prior to or the day after a legal holiday may be required to provide the Personnel Director or department head with a statement from a licensed practicing physician certifying that the employee's physical condition prevented him/her from performing the duties of his/her position.
(2) 
An employee may be required to present a statement from a licensed practicing physician for absences less than three consecutive working days if the Personnel Director or department head suspect abuse of sick leave.
E. 
When absent on sick leave, it is the responsibility of the employee to promptly report his/her inability to be on duty. Failure by an employee to notify the supervisor or department head prior to the time established for beginning his/her duties may result in loss of pay for that day or other appropriate disciplinary action.
(1) 
Absence by classified employees for a fraction of a day that is chargeable to sick leave in accordance with these provisions shall be charged in increments not smaller than 15 minutes.
(2) 
An employee absent from work on a legal holiday, during paid sick leave, on vacation leave, for disability arising from injuries sustained in the course of his/her employment, on authorized leave or on leave of absence without pay for less than one month in any calendar year shall continue to accumulate sick leave and vacation leave at the regularly prescribed rate during such absence as though he/she were on duty.
F. 
Sick leave entitlement shall include any accumulation and the days earned in the current year in which the illness occurs, computed as of the first day of illness.
G. 
Sick leave shall be used concurrently with any allowable absence mandated by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, as amended.
H. 
Upon retirement from active service, layoff, or in the event of death, the employee or his/her estate will be compensated for 50% of unused sick hours to a maximum of 45 working days. If an employee leaves service for any other reason, the employee will not be reimbursed for unused sick leave.
I. 
Individual records of all sick leave credit and use shall be maintained as part of the payroll records of the County.
J. 
Full-time employees in the classified service are eligible to take up to three working days per calendar year of personal leave for undisclosed reasons, which shall be charged against accrued sick leave. Personal leave hours may be used as follows:
(1) 
The employee must have completed the probation period prior to requesting personal leave hours.
(2) 
The employee must have accrued sick leave from which to draw.
(3) 
The employee must apply for personal leave hours to his/her department head at least 48 hours in advance, in writing, except in the case of an extreme emergency and only if such leave will not interfere with the proper operating efficiency of the County.
(4) 
Personal leave hours may be used consecutively.
(5) 
Personal leave hours shall be used in increments of not less than 15 minutes. Individual records of all personal leave hours used shall be reported to the payroll office by the department heads. Personal leave hour records shall be maintained as part of the payroll records of the County. All personal leave must be taken during the year accrued. New classified employees shall receive a prorated allocation for the remainder of the year.
K. 
Permanent part-time employees shall accrue personal leave annually at 50% of the allowable rate of full-time employees subject to the rules outlined in this chapter.
L. 
Exempt employees are eligible to take five personal days annually for undisclosed reasons, which shall not be charged against accrued sick leave. Personal leave must be requested in writing at least 48 hours in advance to the department head, except in the case of an extreme emergency and only if such leave will not interfere with the proper operating efficiency of the County as determined by a case-by-case basis. Unclassified employees must request approval for use of personal leave from the County Administrator. All personal leave must be taken during the calendar year accrued. New exempt or unclassified employees shall receive a prorated allocation for the remainder of the calendar year.
[Amended 6-27-2000 by Ord. No. 00-16]

§ 68-22 Vacation leave.

A. 
Vacation leave shall be granted to classified and unclassified employees according to the provisions of this chapter. Requests for vacation shall be submitted to the department head on approved forms provided by the Personnel Director. Approval of vacation requests is at the discretion of each department head subject to the provisions of this chapter and verification by the payroll office that the employee has sufficient accumulated vacation time to cover the period requested.
B. 
Eligibility for vacation with pay shall begin on the date of hire.
C. 
Accrual of vacation time shall be as follows:
(1) 
Permanent full-time employees who are in their first year through their fourth year, inclusive, shall accrue paid vacation at a rate of 5.83 hours per month for thirty-five-hour-workweek employees and 6.67 hours per month for forty-hour-workweek employees. Accruals will be applied at the end of each month.
(2) 
Permanent full-time employees beginning their fifth year of continuous service through their ninth year, inclusive, shall accrue paid vacation at the rate of 8.75 hours per month for thirty-five-hour-workweek employees and 10 hours per month for forty-hour-workweek employees.
(3) 
Permanent full-time employees beginning their 10th year of continuous service through their 14th year, inclusive, shall accrue paid vacation at the rate of 10.5 hours per month for thirty-five-hour-workweek employees and 12 hours per month for forty-hour-workweek employees.
(4) 
Permanent full-time employees beginning their 15th year of continuous service through their 19th year, inclusive, shall accrue paid vacation at the rate of 12.25 hours per month for thirty-five-hour-workweek employees and 14 hours per month for forty-hour-workweek employees.
(5) 
Permanent full-time employees beginning their 20th year of continuous service through their 24th year, inclusive, shall accrue paid vacation at the rate of 14 hours per month for thirty-five-hour-workweek employees and 16 hours per month for forty-hour-workweek employees.
(6) 
Permanent full-time employees beginning their 25th year of continuous service and any consecutive years thereafter shall accrue paid vacation at the rate of 15.75 hours per month for thirty-five-hour-workweek employees and 18 hours per month for forty-hour-workweek employees.
(7) 
If a person is terminated or laid off, or in the event of death, the employee or his/her estate will be compensated for accrued vacation up to the maximum amount permitted in this chapter. In the event of voluntary resignation, two weeks' notice of intention to resign is required in order to be eligible for this payment in lieu of vacation. The aforesaid vacation allowance shall not, under any circumstances, be considered as salary used as the basis for calculating an employee's pension benefits or compensatory time.
D. 
Accrual of vacation leave shall begin on the date of hire. A maximum of the following hours of vacation may be accumulated:
[Amended 6-27-2000 by Ord. No. 00-16]
35-hour-workweek employees
210 hours
40-hour-workweek employees
240 hours
Exempt employees
480 hours
E. 
Permanent part-time employees shall accrue annual and maximum vacation leave at 50% of the allowable rate of permanent full-time employees, based upon the normal work schedule of the department.
F. 
Department heads shall schedule vacation leaves with particular regard to the operating requirements of the office, seniority of employees and employee requests insofar as the latter are practical. The scheduling of vacation periods is always subject to be changed at the discretion of the department head in the event of changing circumstances or emergency needs. Responses to requests for vacation shall be made promptly by the department head.
G. 
Individual records of vacation leave shall be maintained as part of the payroll records of the County. All employee records of vacation leave shall be available to the employee and supervisor(s) with whom the records are concerned.

§ 68-23 Family and medical leave.

A. 
After completion of 12 months of service and working a minimum of 1,250 hours during the preceding 12 months, an employee shall be entitled to 12 workweeks (except in the case of leave to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness) of unpaid leave or a combination of paid and unpaid leave per rolling twelve-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any eligible leave as provided in the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), as amended, when taken as follows:
[Amended 11-13-2012 by Ord. No. 12-18]
(1) 
For the birth of the employee’s son or daughter, and to care for the newborn child;
(2) 
For the placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care, and to care for the newly placed child;
(3) 
To care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition;
(4) 
For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform one or more of the essential functions of his or her job; and
(5) 
For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a covered military member on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) in support of a contingency operation.
B. 
Upon return from FMLA leave, an employee shall be restored to his/her original position or to an equivalent position with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. If, on the day following the expiration of leave, an extension has not been requested and granted, and the employee has not returned to his/her position, the employee shall be considered to have resigned.
C. 
Restoration of employment may be denied to a key employee if restoration of the employee to employment will cause substantial and grievous economic injury to the operations of the County.
(1) 
Written notice shall be given to any key employee at the time FMLA leave is requested or when FMLA leave commences, if earlier, if the County intends to deny restoration to employment on completion of the FMLA leave. The notice will explain the basis for the finding for substantial and grievous economic injury will result, provide a reasonable time considering the circumstances in which the key employee is to return to work, and the urgency of the need for the key employee to return to work.
(2) 
If the key employee does not return to work in response to the notification of intent to deny restoration, the employee is still entitled to all rights under FMLA. These rights will cease when the key employee gives notice of intent not to return to work or at the conclusion of the twelve-week leave period.
D. 
Employees on FMLA leave will continue to receive all benefits provided to other employees for the twelve-week leave period and the County will continue pay for its portion of those employee benefits. Normal deductions will continue from payments of accrued sick leave for eligible dependent or other coverages. The employee must pay all premiums and other costs not covered by accrued sick leave in advance or upon return the costs will be deducted from the employee's pay.
E. 
Employees must contact their supervisor at least once per month while on FMLA leave and indicate their intention to return to work as scheduled. Employees choosing not to return to work at the end of the FMLA leave period shall reimburse the County for all insurance premiums paid by the County on the employee's behalf during the unpaid portion of the FMLA leave. However, the employee will not be liable to reimburse the County if the reason the employee does not return to work is due to the continuation, recurrence or onset of a serious health condition (either affecting the employee or a direct family member) that would entitle the employee to FMLA leave or does not return to work due to other circumstances beyond the employee's control.
F. 
Seniority, vacation leave, sick leave and longevity shall accrue during FMLA leave. FMLA leave shall not be considered a break in employment for pension or other reason.
G. 
Employees must provide 30 days advance notice to the department head when the need for FMLA leave is foreseeable or as soon as practicable. The employee must provide timely medical certification to support the request for leave, with medical recertification required every 30 days. Said certification must provide at a minimum the information suggested by the U.S. Department of Labor, so that eligibility for leave can be sufficiently established. If leave is taken due to serious health condition of the employee, a fitness-for-duty certification must be provided by the employee's physician prior to his/her return to work.
H. 
Spouses employed full-time by the County are jointly entitled to a combined total of 12 weeks of FMLA leave during any twelve-month period for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care and/or to care for a child or parent (but not parent-in-law) who has a serious health condition.
I. 
Employees requesting and eligible for FMLA leave for a reason which would be allowable under another section of this chapter must use all applicable accrued sick leave concurrently with and during the FMLA leave period. At the employee's option, he/she may retain one week of sick leave.

§ 68-24 Military leave.

A. 
Any employee of the County for more than 90 days who is either inducted or who volunteers for active military service in the United States Armed Services shall be granted a military leave of absence without pay which shall extend for 90 calendar days beyond the termination of compulsory or voluntary service, activation for service or enlistment, as applicable. Such employee shall be entitled to be restored to the position which he/she vacated without loss of seniority, provided that application for reemployment is made with the Personnel Director within the ninety-day period after honorable discharge from military service and provided that he/she is physically and mentally capable of performing satisfactorily in the position.
B. 
In the event that a position vacated by a person entering the armed services no longer exists at the time he/she qualifies to return to work, such person shall be entitled to be reemployed in another position of the same class in the County service.
C. 
Any permanent or permanent part-time employee who is a member of the National Guard or an organized military service of the United States is entitled to a military leave of absence not to exceed a total of 20 scheduled working days in any one calendar year for the purpose of military training or special duty. Employees who are serving as obligated members of such military organizations shall receive full pay for up to 20 days of military leave of absence for military training or special duty purposes. The County shall not be liable for wages beyond this twenty-day period. The employee must request military leave at least 10 days prior to the effective date of the leave and submit his/her request to the department head and Personnel Director with a copy of the orders assigning him/her to active duty for training.
[Amended 4-8-2008 by Ord. No. 08-11]
D. 
Military training or special duty leaves of absences shall not be deducted from vacation leave or in any other way result in loss of seniority, accumulated sick leave or any other benefits provided to County employees. Military training regularly scheduled on the weekend may be deducted from the annual 20 days of military leave, vacation leave or taken without pay as the discretion of the employee, if he/she is normally scheduled to work on weekends.
[Amended 4-8-2008 by Ord. No. 08-11]
E. 
Any permanent employee who is a member of an organized military reserve of the United States or the National Guard and who is ordered to perform emergency duty under the supervision of the United States Government or the State of Delaware shall be granted a leave of absence during the period of such activity. Any such employee shall receive the pay differential in the amount by which the employee's normal wages, calculated on the basis of a standard work week, exceeds any pay received as a result of performing duty. A copy of the employee's military pay voucher shall be submitted with his/her request for pay differential compensation.

§ 68-25 Compassionate leave.

A. 
Compassionate leave time of five working days shall be granted to an employee upon the death of a lawful spouse, child, stepchild, foster child, parent or stepparent. Compassionate leave of three days, consisting of the day before, the day of and the day after the funeral shall be granted to employees upon the death of any other member of the immediate family or other person with whom the employee has made his/her home at the time of death.
B. 
Leave due to the death of a near relative shall be deducted from sick leave. If the funeral services are held on an employee's scheduled workday, within a fifty-mile radius of where the employee resides, sick leave shall be limited to one workday, consisting of the day of the funeral. If the funeral services are held between 50 and 200 miles from where the employee resides, two consecutive workdays of sick leave shall be permitted, consisting of the day of and the day after the funeral. If the funeral services are held over 200 miles from where the employee resides, three workdays of sick leave shall be permitted, consisting of the day before, the day of and the day after the funeral. Absences beyond three days shall be charged to vacation or taken as unpaid leave. If the funeral is held on an unscheduled workday or holiday, additional scheduled workdays will not be permitted unless it falls within the guidelines of the day before, the day of and the day after the funeral.
C. 
Compassionate leave shall be granted only to employees who actually attend or personally plan the family member's funeral service. Employees may be required to submit a copy of the family member's death certificate or a statement of attendance from the funeral director.
D. 
Unclassified employees shall be granted compassionate leave without loss of pay, vacation, sick leave or personal leave to attend funeral services, memorial services or a viewing for subordinates, coworkers, professional associates, colleagues, elected officials and dignitaries.
E. 
Permanent part-time employees shall be granted compassionate leave at 50% of the allowable rate of permanent full-time employees.

§ 68-26 Special leaves of absence.

A. 
Any County employee whose place of employment is in a town wherein he/she is a resident, active volunteer fireman may, with the approval of his/her department head, be permitted to respond to fire calls during his/her regular hours of employment without loss of pay, vacation leave, sick leave or personal leave.
B. 
Any employee may be placed on an administrative leave of absence with pay by the Personnel Director for such time as is required to conduct an investigation into alleged misconduct, performance deficiencies, repeated violation of rules, policies or procedures approved by the department head or Levy Court or arrest for a felony or Class A misdemeanor; to review documents or documentation; to evaluate job-related qualifications; to research charges or claims; or any other reason. While on administrative leave the employee shall be prohibited from engaging in any job responsibilities or visiting the work site unless specifically directed in writing. Administrative leave shall not be construed as an adverse disciplinary action and the employee shall continue to receive all employee benefits. Placement on administrative leave during a continuing investigation shall extend as necessary the amount of time permitted for the Personnel Director or department head to take disciplinary action.
C. 
Any employee may apply for, and the Personnel Director may grant, a leave of absence without pay for personal and/or undisclosed reasons for a period or periods not to exceed 30 days in any calendar year. Such leave of absence requests shall be submitted to the department head for consideration by the Personnel Director. Employees must have used all accrued vacation before applying for a personal leave of absence.
D. 
A permanent or permanent part-time employee ordered to serve as a juror or witness in a court of law shall be permitted a leave of absence from his/her regular position during his/her regular working hours for this purpose without loss of pay. Employees scheduled to work at times other than normal working hours shall be afforded a rest period of at least eight hours before a scheduled appearance in a court of law as a juror or witness. Employees are expected to return to work, if so scheduled, upon completion of his/her obligation to the court of law.
E. 
A disability leave of absence without pay may be granted or assigned for up to nine months by the Personnel Director, if the employee's previous service warrants favorable consideration and medical statements indicate the employee is likely to return to work at the completion of the leave and the employee has some temporary disability, has suffered a work-related physical injury, is required to be absent because of physical or mental disability, or if such illness requires the intensive care of a member of his/her immediate family. Employee requests for a leave of absence shall be submitted to the department head for consideration by the Personnel Director.
F. 
Leaves of absence without pay may be granted up to 12 months, and may be approved by the Personnel Director if the employee proposes to embark upon a course of study or training for improving the quality of his/her service. Such leave of absence requests shall be submitted to the department head for consideration by the Personnel Director.
G. 
Any employee is entitled to a leave of absence for up to seven working days to serve as a bone-marrow donor and/or up to 30 working days to serve as an organ donor without loss of or reduction of pay, leave to which otherwise entitled, credit for time or service or performance appraisal evaluation.
[Added 10-10-2000 by Ord. No. 00-24]

§ 68-27 Incorporation of certain policies.

Except as specifically provided herein, any personnel-related policy duly adopted by the Kent County Levy Court, as amended from time to time and to the extent not inconsistent herewith, shall be and is hereby incorporated into this chapter.

§ 68-28 Effective date.

This chapter shall become effective on July 1, 1999.