Borough of Rockaway, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 8-12-2010 by Ord. No. 17-10]
Employees have the right to formally or informally report any statement, act, or behavior by a co-Employee, supervisor, elected official or visitor that they believe to be improper.
A. 
Reporting. Employees should be asked to report complaints in writing utilizing the Employee complaint form, but are not compelled to do so.
B. 
Identification/screening.
(1) 
The supervisor, department head, Borough Clerk or Borough Attorney must report all written or verbal complaints to the Mayor and Council unless the complaint is against a member of the governing body.
(2) 
Upon receipt, the Mayor and Council will determine if the complaint was made pursuant to the general anti-harassment policy, the anti-sexual-harassment policy, the whistle blower policy, a grievance procedure or is another form of complaint.
(3) 
A file will be established including the written complaint, the investigation procedure followed and the response action plan.
(4) 
As soon as possible but no later than 10 days after receiving the complaint, the Mayor and Council or investigator appointed by the Mayor and Council will interview the Employee.
(5) 
If the Employee is reluctant to sign a written complaint, the Mayor and Council or investigator will prepare written notes of the date, time and place of the complaint and the specific allegations. These notes will be read back to the Employee who will be asked to affirm, preferably in writing, the information's accuracy.
C. 
Investigation.
(1) 
The Mayor and Council will seek the advice of the Borough Attorney when planning the investigation. The investigation should be conducted by the Borough Attorney or county prosecutor if it involves potential criminal charges.
(2) 
The investigation should establish the frequency and nature of the alleged conduct and whether the complaint coincides with other employment events such as a poor performance evaluation. The investigation should also determine if other Employees were subjected to similar misconduct. It is important to protect the rights of both the person making the complaint and the alleged wrongdoer.
D. 
Response plan: no corrective action required.
(1) 
The Mayor and Council will discuss the conclusions with the Borough Attorney and render a decision within 14 days after the investigation is complete.
(2) 
If the validity of a complaint cannot be determined or the complaint is groundless, the complaining Employee should be notified in writing. Care should be taken to avoid being too specific, confrontational or accusatory and to avoid any language that might be construed as defamatory. A general statement is usually more appropriate that the claim was thoroughly investigated, but could not be sufficiently documented or confirmed to justify taking formal action.
(3) 
The Employee should be assured that future complaints will be investigated and that the Borough is committed to eliminating wrongful employment practices when they are found to exist.
(4) 
If the investigation reveals that the complainant intentionally and maliciously levied false charges against the alleged wrongdoer, the complainant must be notified of the seriousness of filing a false complaint, and the appropriate disciplinary penalty under the circumstances, up to and including termination.
E. 
Response plan: corrective action required.
(1) 
If the investigation reveals that the complaint is justified and substantiated, the Mayor and Council will formulate, with the advice of the Borough Attorney, a corrective action plan as well as possible disciplinary action.
(2) 
The complaining Employee will be notified, in writing, that it appears that the complaint was justified and an appropriate response plan has been formulated. A copy of the response plan should be attached to the letter. The response plan should provide for appropriate remedial action to prevent a recurrence of the wrongful act or behavior