Borough of Rockaway, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The requirements and practices contained in this article are intended to cover all Borough Employees. Such requirements may be waived by the Mayor and Council where emergent matters of employment so require or where the proposed employment is temporary only and the circumstances require immediate employment.
The Mayor and Council must formally approve the creation of any new Borough position and authorize the filling of such position prior to the initiation of employment action. In addition, there must be provided in the proper current budget account specific and adequate funds to compensate the appointee.
[Amended 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
The Municipal Administrator, in conjunction with the Borough Clerk will coordinate the employment recruitment process for all vacancies to ensure compliance with contractual, legal, and equal opportunity requirements. The Borough Clerk will undertake to recruit qualified applicants in accordance with applicable federal and state law.
[Amended 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
Where positions are advertised, the media or other periodical utilized must have as wide circulation as possible to encourage applications from candidates from diverse backgrounds and must prominently state that the Borough is an equal opportunity employer.
The Mayor and Council must formally approve, by resolution, the filling of any vacancy which has existed for over six months in any previously authorized or established full-time position before any action is initiated to fill the same. In addition, there must be provided in the proper current budget account specific and adequate funds to compensate the Employee.
[Amended 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
All candidates must fully complete an application form. A resume will not be considered as a substitute for this form. The application is a confidential document and will not be available to anyone who is not directly involved in the hiring process, except as required by law.
[Added 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
The Borough Clerk or department head will coordinate the interview process including the scheduling of applicants, development of interview questions and standards to measure candidate responses. All questions must be in accordance with the New Jersey Division of Civil Rights Guidelines for Pre-Employment Inquiries. The Borough will make reasonable accommodations to known physical and mental limitations of all applicants with disabilities, provided that the individual is otherwise qualified to safely perform the essential functions of the job and also provided the accommodation does not impose an unreasonable hardship on the Borough.
[Amended 4-24-2014 by Ord. No. 05-14]
Criminal background checks are required of all candidates, whether paid or volunteer, that may work directly or indirectly with children/youth/minors in accordance with the procedures outlined in the section of this chapter entitled "Background checks and procedures for candidates, employees and volunteers." The nonrefundable cost of fingerprinting and the background check for employees shall be at the applicant's expense. Permanent employment is conditional upon satisfactory results.
As soon as practical after the final date specified for filing, all such applications received (including those from Borough Employees) shall be considered by the Mayor and Council.
[Amended 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
The Personnel Committee Chair shall review the supervisor's or department head's formal recommendations concerning applications for employment by the Borough and shall make a recommendation to the Mayor, including effective date. Those applicants who appear to be best qualified and most desirable for the position shall be tentatively appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council, subject, however, to a satisfactory physical examination and any further investigation of references as deemed necessary.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 61-26, Missing or misstated information in applications, was repealed 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10.
[Amended 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
A. 
Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, after an offer of employment is made and prior to commencing employment, the Mayor and Council may require applicants to pass a physical examination in order to insure that they can perform the duties of their position without injury to themselves or others. The same post-offer physical examination must be performed on all applicants for a particular position. The Mayor and Council may require periodic physical examinations to determine the Employee's continued ability to perform the duties of the position. All physical examinations must be performed by a physician chosen by the Borough at the expense of the Borough. All medical records of Employees and prospective employees are confidential and are to be maintained by the Borough Clerk separate from the Employee's official personnel file. Medical exams may include tests for drug and alcohol use.
B. 
All tentatively selected applicants for employment by the Borough shall be advised by the Municipal Administrator before taking the physical examination that their appointment is being considered on the basis of information contained in their application for employment and the physical examination form. Consequently, any misstatements therein or pertinent information withheld shall be considered sufficient cause for immediate separation from the service of the Borough.
If the medical examination required by this article is satisfactory, the application, medical examination form, reference letters and other supporting papers shall be referred to the Mayor and Council for final review.
[Added 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
The final decision will be made by the Mayor and Council after all references and other information have been verified. Every effort shall be made to offer reasonable accommodations to known physical and mental limitations of all applicants with disabilities, provided that the individual is otherwise qualified to safely perform the essential functions of the job and also provided that the accommodation does not impose an unreasonable hardship on the Borough. The employment offer must be made in a letter to the candidate outlining all terms and conditions of the offer. The letter will also establish a deadline for acceptance.
[Added 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
If the first offer is rejected, the Mayor and Council will decide to hire another candidate or reopen the position. Once a candidate accepts the employment offer, all other candidates will be notified in writing that they were not accepted for the position.
[Amended 9-22-2016 by Ord. No. 20-16]
After acceptance, but before starting employment, all new employees shall be required to fill out an employment verification form (I9) and to provide acceptable proof of right to employment in the United States.
[Amended 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
A. 
Except where state requirements direct otherwise, new Employees (or present Employees transferring to new positions) will be hired subject to an initial employment period of not less than six months, as determined by the Mayor and Council. During this initial employment period, the new Employee or transferee will be provided with training and guidance from the supervisor. At the end of the initial employment period, the supervisor will conduct an Employee evaluation; see Performance Evaluation Procedure. New Employees may be discharged at any time during this period if the Mayor and Council conclude that the Employee is not progressing or performing satisfactorily. Under appropriate circumstances, the Mayor and Council may extend the initial employment period.
B. 
Nothing in the procedure set forth in this section shall alter the Boroughs' employment-at-will policy. Employment with the Borough is at will and may be terminated at any time with or without cause or notice by the Borough or the Employee.
[Amended 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
All applications, notes made during interviews and reference checks, job offers and other documents created during hiring process must be returned to the Borough Clerk. Documents related to the successful candidate will be placed in the Employee's official personnel file, except that medical records, including physical examinations, must be maintained in a separate file. All records documents related to other candidates must be retained for at least one year. Records and documents created during the hiring process are confidential and must be retained in a locked cabinet.
Applicants for any position or office within the Police Department shall be investigated by the Chief of Police and the Chairman of the Public Safety Committee of the Mayor and Council, with all interviews being conducted by the Chief of Police.
[Amended 4-24-2014 by Ord. No. 05-14]
A. 
The Borough's communication media are the property of the Borough and, as such, are to be used for legitimate business purposes only. For purposes of this Communication Media Policy, "communication media" includes all electronic media forms provided by the Borough, such as cell phones, smart phones, computers, electronic tablets, access to the Internet, voice mail, e-mail, and fax.
B. 
All data stored on and/or transmitted through communication media is the property of the Borough. For purposes of this policy, "data" includes electronically stored files, programs, tables, databases, audio and video objects, spreadsheets, reports and printed or microfiche materials which serve a Borough business purpose, regardless of who creates, processes or maintains the data, or whether the data is processed manually or through any of Borough's mainframe, midrange or workstations; servers, routers, gateways, bridges, hubs, switches and other hardware components of the Borough's local or wide-area networks.
C. 
The Borough respects the individual privacy of its employees. However, employee communications transmitted by the Borough's communication media are not private to the individual. All communication media and all communications and stored information transmitted, received, or contained in or through such media may be monitored by the Borough. The Borough reserves the absolute right to access, review, audit and disclose all matters entered into, sent over, placed in storage in the Borough's communication media. By using the Borough's equipment and/or communication media, employees consent to have such use monitored at any time, with or without notice, by Borough personnel. The existence of passwords does not restrict or eliminate the Borough's ability or right to access electronic communications. However, the Borough cannot require the employee to provide his/her password to his/her personal account.
D. 
All e-mail, voice mail and Internet messages (including any technology-based messaging) are official documents subject to the provisions of the Open Public Records Act (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1). Employees of the Borough are required to use the assigned municipal e-mail account for all Borough business and correspondence. The use of private e-mail accounts for any Borough business or during business hours is strictly prohibited.
E. 
Employees can only use the Borough's communication media for legitimate business purposes. Employees may not use Borough's communication media in any way that is defamatory, obscene, or harassing or in violation of any Borough rules or policy. Examples of forbidden transmissions or downloads include sexually explicit messages; unwelcome propositions; ethnic or racial slurs; or any other message that can be construed to be harassment or disparaging to others based on their actual or perceived age, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship, marital status or any other legally recognized protected basis under federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances.
F. 
All employees who have been granted access to electronically stored data must use a logon ID assigned by Borough. Certain data, or applications that process data, may require additional security measures as determined by the Borough. Employees must not share their passwords, and each employee is responsible for all activity that occurs in connection with his or her passwords.
G. 
All employees may access only data for which the Borough has given permission. All employees must take appropriate actions to ensure that Borough data is protected from unauthorized access, use or distribution consistent with these policies. Employees may not access or retrieve any information technology resource and store information other than where authorized.
H. 
Employees must not disable antivirus and other implemented security software for any reason, in order to minimize the risk of introducing computer viruses into the Borough's computing environment.
I. 
Employees may not install or modify any hardware device, software application, program code, either active or passive, or a portion thereof, without the express written permission from the Borough. Employees may not upload, download, or otherwise transmit commercial software or any copyrighted materials belonging to parties outside of the Borough or licensed to the Borough. Employees shall observe the copyright and licensing restrictions of all software applications and shall not copy software from internal or external sources unless legally authorized.
J. 
Social media and its uses in government and daily life are expanding each year. However, information posted on a website is available to the public. Therefore, employees must adhere to the following guidelines for their participation in social media. Only those employees directly authorized by the Municipal Administrator may engage in social media activity during work time through the use of the Borough's communication media, as it directly relates to their work, and it is in compliance with this policy.
[Amended 9-22-2016 by Ord. No. 20-16]
K. 
Employees must not reveal or publicize confidential Borough information. Confidential proprietary or sensitive information may be disseminated only to individuals with a need and a right to know and where there is sufficient assurance that appropriate security of such information will be maintained. Such information includes but is not limited to the transmittal of personnel information such as medical records or related information. In law enforcement operations, confidential, proprietary or sensitive information also includes criminal history information, confidential informant identification, and intelligence and tactical operations files.
L. 
No Borough employee shall post internal working documents to social media sites. This includes, but is not limited to, screenshots of computer stations, pictures of monitors and/or actual documents themselves without the prior approval of the Municipal Administrator. In addition, employees are prohibited from releasing or disclosing any photographs, pictures, digital images of any crime scenes, traffic crashes, arrestees, detainees, people or job-related incident or occurrence taken with the Borough's communication media to any person, entity, business or media or Internet outlet, whether on or off duty, without the express written permission of the Municipal Administrator. Except in emergency situations, employees are prohibited from taking digital images or photographs with media equipment not owned by the Borough. For purposes of this section, an "emergency situation" involves a sudden and unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action, assistance or relief, and may include accidents, crimes and flights from accidents or crimes, and the employee does not have access to the Borough's communication media. If such situation occurs, the employee agrees that any images belong to the Borough and agrees to release the image to the Borough and ensure its permanent deletion from the media device upon direction from the Borough.
[Amended 9-22-2016 by Ord. No. 20-16]
M. 
No media advertisement, electronic bulletin board posting, or any other communication accessible via the Internet about the Borough or on behalf of the Borough, whether through the use of the Borough's communication media or otherwise, may be issued unless it has first been approved by the Municipal Administrator. Under no circumstances may information of a confidential, sensitive or otherwise proprietary nature be placed or posted on the Internet or otherwise disclosed to anyone outside the Borough. Such unauthorized communications may result in disciplinary action.
[Amended 9-22-2016 by Ord. No. 20-16]
N. 
Because authorized postings placed on the Internet through use of the Borough's communication media will display on the Borough's return address, any information posted on the Internet must reflect and adhere to all of the Borough's standards and policies.
[Amended 9-22-2016 by Ord. No. 20-16]
O. 
All users are personally accountable for messages that they originate or forward using the Borough's communication media. Misrepresenting, obscuring, suppressing, or replacing a user's identity on any communication media is prohibited. "Spoofing" (constructing electronic communications so that it appears to be from someone else without a legitimate authorized purpose and authorized by the Municipal Administrator) is prohibited.
[Amended 9-22-2016 by Ord. No. 20-16]
P. 
Employees must respect the laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, and other Borough and third-party rights. Any use of the Borough's name, logos, service marks or trademarks outside the course of the employee's employment, without the express consent of the Borough, is strictly prohibited. To minimize the risk of a copyright violation, employees should provide references to the source(s) of information used and cite copyrighted works identified in online communications.
Q. 
Employees shall not knowingly represent themselves as a spokespersons of the Borough; post any comment, text, photo, audio, video or other multimedia file that negatively reflects upon the Borough; express views that are detrimental to the Borough's mission or undermines the public trust; or act in a manner that is insulting or offensive to other individuals or to the public in regard to religion, sex, race or national origin. Borough employees are encouraged to exercise extreme caution posting photographs of themselves in uniform, or in situations where they can be readily identified as Borough employees.
[Amended 9-22-2016 by Ord. No. 20-16]
R. 
Nothing in these policies is designed to interfere with, restrain or prevent employee communications regarding wages, hours or other terms and conditions of employment. Borough employees have the right to engage in or refrain from such activities.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 61-33.1, Systems privacy (including e-mail, voice mail, computer and Internet usage policy), added 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10, as amended, was repealed 4-24-2014 by Ord. No. 05-14.
[Added 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
Borough telephones are for official business and Employees may make a personal call only to inform their family of unexpected overtime. Charges for all other personal calls must be reimbursed to the Borough. The use of hand-held cell phones while driving Borough vehicles or while driving on Borough business is prohibited.
[Amended 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
A. 
The Borough encourages Employees with contagious diseases or life-threatening illnesses to continue their normal pursuits, including work, to the extent allowed by their condition. The Borough shall make reasonable accommodations to known physical and mental limitations of all Employees, provided that the individual is otherwise qualified to safely perform the essential functions of the job and also provided that the accommodation does not impose an unreasonable hardship on the Borough.
B. 
The Borough will take reasonable precautions to protect such information from inappropriate disclosure, including the following:
(1) 
Medical information may be disclosed with the prior written informed consent of the person who is the subject of the information.
(2) 
Information may be disclosed without the prior written consent to qualified individuals for the purpose of conducting management audits, financial audits, and program evaluations, but these individuals shall not identify, either directly or indirectly, the person who is the subject of the record in a report or evaluation, or otherwise disclose the person's identity in any manner. Information shall not be released to these individuals unless it is vital to the audit or evaluation.
(3) 
Information may be disclosed to the Department of Health as required by State or Federal law.
C. 
Managers and other Employees have a responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of Employee medical information. Anyone inappropriately disclosing such information shall be subject to disciplinary action.
[Amended 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
A. 
The Borough recognizes that the possession or use of unlawful drugs and the abuse of alcohol pose a threat to the health and safety of all Employees. Any Employee who is observed by a supervisor or department head to be intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or drugs during working hours or is under reasonable suspicion of same shall be immediately tested and is subject to discipline up to and including termination. The supervisor or department head will immediately report any reasonable suspicions to the Municipal Administrator.
B. 
An Employee will be required to submit to alcohol, drug or controlled substance testing when the Employee's work performance causes a reasonable suspicion that that Employee is impaired due to current intoxication, drug or controlled substance use, or in cases where employment has been conditioned upon remaining alcohol-, drug-, or controlled-dangerous-substance-free following treatment. Refusal to submit to testing when requested may result in immediate disciplinary action, including termination. Supervisors or department heads who observe behavior constituting reasonable suspicion are required to institute testing and do not have the option of sending the Employee home as an alternative.
C. 
The manufacturing, distribution, dispensation, possession, and use of alcohol or unlawful drugs on Borough premises or during work hours by Employees are strictly prohibited.
D. 
Employees must notify their supervisor within five days of conviction for a drug- or alcohol-related violation, whether or not the violation occurred in the workplace.
E. 
Employees who are required to maintain a commercial driver's license (CDL) are subject to random drug testing as required by the federal government.
F. 
Employees using prescription drugs that may affect job performance or safety must notify the Municipal Administrator who is required to maintain the confidentiality of any information regarding an Employee's medical condition in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Protection Act. Borough personnel who hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) are subject to the provisions of the commercial driver's licenses drug and alcohol testing policy.
G. 
No prescription drug should be used by any person other than the individual to whom it is prescribed. Such substances or nonprescription (over-the-counter) drugs should be used only as prescribed or indicated. Employees are prohibited from consuming prescription drugs that are not prescribed in their name on Borough property or while performing Borough business. Soliciting or distributing prescription drugs for or to other Employees is also strictly prohibited.
[Added 4-24-2014 by Ord. No. 05-14]
A. 
The Borough may install video surveillance camera systems within public buildings and throughout public areas within the Borough, primarily as visual deterrents of criminal behavior and for the protection of employees and municipal assets. In implementing these video camera systems, the Borough will ensure compliance with federal, state and local laws governing such usage.
B. 
The Borough's video surveillance camera systems are a significant tool to which the employees of the Borough will avail themselves in order to complete the goals and objectives of the Borough. Employees are only permitted to use the video surveillance camera systems for a legitimate purpose and with proper authorization. The Borough's designee will be responsible for authorization of users. The improper use of these systems can result in discipline up to and including termination.
C. 
No employee is permitted to view, continually watch, search, copy or otherwise use one of the Borough's video surveillance camera systems or tamper with access, archive, alter, add to, or make copies of any data that has been recorded and stored within any of these systems without 1) a specific legitimate purpose and 2) permission from the designee of the Borough.
D. 
The Borough shall designate a person to be responsible for the maintenance and administration of the video surveillance camera system. Such designee will be responsible for maintaining a user access log detailing the date and name of individuals who view/access a stored recording.
E. 
Any employee who becomes aware of any unauthorized disclosure of a video record in a contravention of this policy and/or a potential privacy breach has the responsibility to ensure that the Mayor, Municipal Administrator, and/or Chief of Police are immediately informed of such breach.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former §§ 61-36, Drug-free workplace, and 61-37, Drug convictions, were repealed 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10.
[Added 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
A. 
Background checks required. Background checks are required of all candidates aged 16 and above, whether for paid or volunteer positions, working directly or indirectly with children/youth/minors. Background checks will also be administered for each Employee or volunteer who works directly or indirectly with children/youth/minors every three years. The exact titles of Employees subject to background checks are all recreational positions, school crossing guards, library positions, and maintenance and administrative positions pertaining to such programs.
[Amended 12-9-2010 by Ord. No. 26-10]
B. 
Background check procedure.
(1) 
The Borough Clerk will perform or initiate background checks and be the recipient of reports from outside agencies or contractors. The Borough Clerk will discuss disqualifying information received with the Employee's or volunteer's department head. Written information received as a result of a request for criminal history record information for a noncriminal justice purpose will be destroyed immediately after it has served its authorized purpose, as required by the State Police. Such information will be kept confidential and will not be published or disclosed in any manner not consistent with the procedures listed herein. Such information will not be deemed a public record under P.L. 1963, c. 73 (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented by P.L. 2001, c. 404 (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5 et seq.).
(2) 
The Borough Clerk will inform the candidate, volunteer, or Employee, in writing, of any information that would disqualify the person from working with children/youth. If the Borough contracts with an outside vendor to process the background checks, that contractor may be authorized to inform the person in writing of any information that would disqualify the person from working with children/youth/minors. Existing Employees or volunteers will be placed on immediate suspension pending the outcome of a hearing or appeal. Employee suspensions may be with or without pay at the discretion of the Mayor and Council.
C. 
Conditions under which an Employee will be disqualified from working with children/youth.
(1) 
A candidate, volunteer, or Employee may be disqualified from employment in a position that works with children/youth/minors if that person's criminal record history background check reveals a record of conviction of any of the following crimes and disorderly persons offenses as defined by New Jersey law or by analogous laws in other States:
(a) 
Homicide (N.J.S.A. 2C:11).
(b) 
Assault, reckless endangerment, threats, stalking (N.J.S.A. 2C:12).
(c) 
Kidnapping (N.J.S.A. 2C:13).
(d) 
Sexual offenses (N.J.S.A. 2C:14).
(e) 
Offenses against the family, children and incompetents (N.J.S.A. 2C:24).
(f) 
Controlled dangerous substances (N.J.S.A. 2C:35 except for 2C:35-10, Paragraph a, Subsection [4]).
(g) 
Robbery (N.J.S.A. 2C:15).
(h) 
Theft (N.J.S.A. 2C:20).
(2) 
A disqualification from any position will be based only on a conviction for one or more of the above disqualifying crimes and offenses. An acquittal, a dismissal, successful completion of pretrial intervention (PTI), or an expungement of a criminal offense, including a disqualifying criminal offense, is not a disqualifying conviction.
D. 
Appeal process.
(1) 
The Appeals Committee will be comprised of the Personnel Committee Chair, Police Chief or other designated superior officer, and the Borough Clerk.
(2) 
Once a candidate, Employee or volunteer has been notified of a disqualifying conviction, the Employee has 14 calendar days to file a notice of appeal with the Borough. Such notice of appeal must be sent in writing to the Borough Clerk. The notice of appeal shall include a notice of rehabilitation and/or a notice that the information is inaccurate or incorrect, pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:59-1.6.
(3) 
During the fourteen-day period listed above, and until the issuance of the decision of the Appeals Committee, an Employee will be on a suspension with pay, pending the outcome of the notice of appeal.
(4) 
In making a determination on the appeal, the following information will be considered:
(a) 
The nature and responsibility of the position which the convicted individual would hold, has held, or currently holds, as the case may be.
(b) 
The nature and seriousness of the crime or offense.
(c) 
The circumstances under which the crime or offense occurred.
(d) 
The date of the crime or offense.
(e) 
The age of the individual when the crime or offense was committed.
(f) 
Whether the crime or offense was an isolated or a repeated incident.
(g) 
Any social conditions which may have contributed to the commission of the crime or offense.
(h) 
Any evidence of rehabilitation, including good conduct in prison or in the community, counseling or psychiatric treatment received.
(i) 
Acquisition of additional academic or vocational schooling, successful participation in correctional work-release programs, or the recommendation of those who have had the individual under their supervision.
(5) 
The Borough will issue a written determination on the Employee's appeal of their disqualifying conviction, setting forth the reasons for the determination.