Borough of Highland Park, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Highland Park as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Officers and employees — See Ch. 57.
[Adopted by Ord. No. 1056 (§ 2-29 of the 1987 Code)]

§ 61-1 Legislative findings.

The Mayor and Council of the Borough find and declare that the Borough recognizes that equal employment opportunities should be afforded to all its employees and applicants for employment regardless of their race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, sexual orientation, physical or mental handicap, marital, military, or veteran's status and that the Borough should use as a basis for selection in employment only those characteristics which are demonstrably related to job performance or requirements which serve to increase the effectiveness of Borough government and that fair and nondiscriminatory treatment for all its employees promotes the merit principle, and that these principles apply to the administration within each employment category of personnel actions such as recruitment, hiring, promotion, training, compensation, transfers, layoffs, return from layoffs, terminations and benefits. The Mayor and Council further find that:
A. 
Discrimination in employment opportunities because of race, color, age, national origin, political or religious affiliation, marital status, sex, ancestry, sexual orientation, handicap, veteran's service or liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States constitutes a violation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; and
B. 
That there shall be and is hereby established a Borough goal of eliminating all possibilities of discrimination in Borough employment and personnel practices, including but not limited to the following areas: recruitment, selection, hiring, placement, promotion, demotion, transfer, termination, training, rates of pay, fringe benefits, and use of all facilities, through the implementation of an Affirmative Action Plan, hereinafter called "the Plan"; and
C. 
That the Plan shall apply to all employees within the municipal government of the Borough, and that this article shall constitute the Affirmative Action Plan of the Borough.

§ 61-2 Purpose of Plan.

It is the public policy of the Borough to provide equal employment and business opportunities for all persons, partnerships, companies and corporations and to prohibit discrimination in employment and business practices because of race, color, religion, sex, ancestry or national origin, and to promote the full realization of equal employment and business opportunity through a positive and continuing program within each department, division, board, commission, agency or component of the Borough. This policy of equal employment and business opportunity shall apply to every contractor, subcontractor or bidder holding or seeking a public contract with the Borough, and is intended to provide minority businesses equal opportunity to participate in the filling of the Borough's nonbid purchase orders up to legal nonbid limit. This policy of equal employment opportunity applies to every aspect of municipal employment policy and practice.

§ 61-3 Affirmative Action Officer.

Implementation of this policy shall be with the Borough's Affirmative Action Officer. The Affirmative Action Officer shall be the Borough Administrator or his or her designee. In the absence of anyone holding the position of Borough Administrator, the Chairperson of the Human Rights Commission will be the Affirmative Action Officer until the Borough Administrator is named. The Affirmative Action Officer shall administer and enforce the Borough's Plan and establish procedures to effectuate such policy; hold and conduct hearings relative to violations of this article, make all determinations as to compliance with this article; use the resources of the Borough's personnel and records and shall have access to other agencies which may be under contract with the Borough. The Affirmative Action Officer shall report directly to the Mayor and Council, and shall submit to the Mayor and Council for their review an annual report which shall include Borough employment statistics and an analysis of the statistics in relation to both short-term and long-range goals. The Affirmative Action Officer shall monitor all hiring and training practices through the use of an Affirmative Action File and preparation of annual reports as to its status. In addition, the Officer will complete all EEO-4 reports in accordance with federal government requirements. Any complaints regarding an action or failure to take action by the Borough Administrator which is alleged to be in violation of this article shall be heard by the Community Affairs Committee of the Borough Council. Additionally, the Affirmative Action Officer shall perform the following duties:
A. 
Advise and counsel all employees upon request;
B. 
Maintain a skill bank to identify those employees who may qualify for training and/or promotions;
C. 
Review the Employee Grievance Procedure and, when necessary, recommend improvements therein;
D. 
Review all promotional procedures and requirements to eliminate all possible discriminatory practices over which the Borough has control;
E. 
Ensure that all fringe benefits continue to be made available on a nondiscriminatory basis;
F. 
Review all transfer applications to ascertain whether discriminatory factors were involved in such transfers;
G. 
Interview all employees who shall leave the Borough's employment to ascertain whether discrimination was a factor in the termination of such employment;
H. 
Make an annual review to determine if any pattern of discrimination exists;
I. 
Conduct seminars to ensure that all department heads and supervisors have knowledge of the Plan; and
J. 
Review selection procedures to eliminate non-job related factors over which the Borough has control.

§ 61-4 Distribution of Plan and statement of policy.

This statement and Plan shall be distributed to all current employees, both full- and part-time. It shall be given to all employees at the time of hire. The Plan will be posted in all areas where applications for employment in the Borough are received. Also, it shall be distributed to all Borough departments and divisions to be posted permanently.

§ 61-5 Recruitment.

A recruitment program shall be designed to effectuate the Plan. The program shall include recruitment and outreach procedures to attract those segments of the population which have been underrepresented heretofore. The recruitment procedures shall include, but not be limited to the following:
A. 
Open posting of all employment opportunities on bulletin boards within the municipal government buildings;
B. 
Mailing all employment opportunities to minority and women's organizations and all other interested groups;
C. 
The Affirmative Action Officer or the Officer's designee, shall speak before any interested group and provide information on existing employment opportunities;
D. 
Establishment of a continuous line of communication with minority and women's organizations to inform them of the progress of the Affirmative Action Plan;
E. 
Utilization where possible of minority and women's organizations as employments recruiters;
F. 
Advertisement of employment opportunities in local newspapers; and
G. 
Inclusion of the statement, "An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer", in all newspaper advertisements and notices of employment opportunities.

§ 61-6 Hiring of applicants.

All persons desirous of employment with the Borough shall be given the opportunity to submit applications. After completion of such application, all applicants will receive a confirmation of the application received, the time period for which it will be held, the availability of the position currently, and shall be notified by the department when their applications are under present consideration and the disposition of the same. All applications shall remain active for a period of six months and shall remain on file for a period of two years.

§ 61-7 Training and promotion of employees.

The Borough shall make every reasonable effort to make training and educational experiences which are necessary for promotion to higher-level positions available to all interested and qualified employees. The review and implementation of all training procedures shall be conducted by the Affirmative Action Officer. The scope of the Officer's authority shall include, but not be limited to:
A. 
Review of the effectiveness of training and education experience;
B. 
Evaluation of all promotion requirements to eliminate, wherever possible, all restrictions on age, sex, physical characteristics and experience unless job-related; and
C. 
Conducting workshops in human relations.

§ 61-8 Employee grievance procedures.

A. 
Any employees who believe that they have been the subject of discrimination, for any reason whatsoever, may present grievances in the manner prescribed in the Borough's personnel manual.
B. 
If the employee complies with this procedure and the employee is dissatisfied with the outcome of the matter, the employee may notify the State of New Jersey, Division of Civil Rights at one of the following locations:
1100 Raymond Boulevard
Newark, New Jersey 07102
201-648-2700
436 State Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08625
609-92-4605
C. 
The procedures outlined are available to employees on a voluntary basis. A claim of discrimination may be filed with the State of New Jersey, Division of Civil Rights, at any time.

§ 61-9 Union contracts.

If the Borough determines that any agreement entered into between the Borough and its employees contains any provision contrary to the provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination as set forth in Title 10:5-1 et seq. of New Jersey Statutes Annotated, the Borough will undertake appropriate legal or administrative action to seek a determination by the appropriate authority to declare the portion of the contract null and void after first seeking to redress the provision by negotiation. Nothing in this article shall be construed as denying or limiting the right of any employee to file and vigorously pursue a grievance under a labor agreement covering such employee.

§ 61-10 Objectives and timetable of Plan.

The objectives of the Affirmative Action Plan shall be as follows:
A. 
Communication of the Plan. Upon adoption of this Plan, the Affirmative Action Officer shall transmit copies of the Plan to all employees of the Borough, department heads, and to other parties who may be interested.
B. 
Review of employment procedures. The Affirmative Action Officer and each department head shall review the employment structure of their departments to eliminate any vestiges of discrimination. The first of the reviews shall be made within 90 days of the adoption of the Plan and then annually thereafter.
C. 
Ensuring equal consideration of all qualified applicants. The Affirmative Action Officer shall review all interview and recruitment procedures to ensure that all provisions outlined in the Plan are strictly complied with and that all employment advertisements contain the statement "Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer." To this end, a form shall be developed by the Affirmative Action Officer which shall be completed when any application is received, but employment not offered at that time. Copies of the form shall be kept on file in the office of the Borough Clerk.
D. 
Maintaining discrimination-free selection, appointment and promotion procedures. All procedures outlined herein shall be strictly complied with; in addition, all new employees as of January 1, 1986, not previously interviewed by the Borough Administrator shall be interviewed.
E. 
Offering of training and education programs on a nondiscriminatory basis. In addition to compliance with all procedures outlined herein, the Affirmative Action Officer shall conduct workshops and seminars for supervisory personnel to familiarize them with all phases of the Plan. Seminars and workshops shall also be made available whenever possible for all interested employees.
[Adopted by Ord. No. 1363 (§ 2-38 of the 1987 Code); amended 3-17-2009 by Ord. No. 09-1756]

§ 61-11 Use and maintenance of municipal vehicles.

A. 
The unauthorized use of any municipal vehicle of the Borough of Highland Park is strictly prohibited. Subject to Subsections A, B, C, D and E of this section, municipal vehicles may only be used for official Borough business within the Borough of Highland Park.
B. 
All requests to travel outside the Borough with a municipal vehicle for a nonemergency shall be reviewed by the Department Head or Borough Administrator and/or their designees. In evaluating the request, the reviewing party shall evaluate the necessity for the request, the destination, expected time the vehicle will be returned, and the need for the vehicle within the Borough.
C. 
In the event of an emergency, where prior approval cannot be obtained, the municipal vehicle may be driven outside the Borough, provided that within the following 24 hours, a written report as to the reason the vehicle was driven outside the Borough, the destination, and the length of time that vehicle was outside the Borough is provided to the Department Head or Borough Administrator and/or their designees.
D. 
An employee who is also employed by another governmental entity may use a Borough vehicle for that employment only if the employment is pursuant to an interlocal services agreement between the Borough and the other jurisdiction.

§ 61-12 Permissible drivers.

A. 
All drivers of municipal vehicles must possess a current driver's license from the State of New Jersey or from their state of residence, for the type of municipal vehicle which will be driven. A copy of this license shall be submitted yearly to the Borough Clerk, Administrator, and Department Head and shall be placed in the employee's official personnel file. Semiyearly DMV checks will be made to insure validity of driver's license by the Highland Park Police Department.
B. 
All employees who drive a municipal vehicle or their personal vehicle for official Borough business are subject to all New Jersey laws, motor vehicle requirements and the ordinances of the Borough of Highland Park governing the operation of motor vehicles.
C. 
All accidents involving a municipal vehicle or an employee whose job duties require him to drive for the Borough, whether or not said accident occurred during the course of Borough business, must be reported to the Department Head in writing within the following 24 hours. The Department Head will forward the report of the accident to the Borough Administrator, Borough Clerk, and Chief of Police.
D. 
Any summons, ticket, or warning received by any Borough employee whose job duties require him to drive for the Borough, received during the course of Borough business, are to be reported in writing to the Department Head within the following 24 hours. Any summons, ticket or warning received for a moving violation by a Borough employee whose job duties require him to drive for the Borough, whether or not received during the course of Borough business, are to be reported in writing to the Department Head within the following 24 hours. The Department Head will forward a copy of that report to the Borough Administrator, Borough Clerk and Chief of Police. Within 24 hours following the disposition of any summons or ticket, the employee shall provide a written report to the Department Head. The Department Head will forward that report to the Borough Administrator, Borough Clerk and Chief of Police.
E. 
Annually, not later than March 1 of each year, said Department Head shall provide to the Borough Administrator a list of all employees who drive vehicles for the Borough along with a copy of their current driver's license. It is the Department Head's obligation and responsibility to continually update and revise that list when necessary.

§ 61-13 Use of private vehicles.

With the approval of the Borough Administrator and/or his/her designee, an employee may, on occasion, use his/her personal vehicle for official Borough business. No request can be approved unless the employee requesting to use his/her vehicle has done so in writing and has presented a valid insurance card and valid registration for the private vehicle being used.

§ 61-14 Take-home policy.

A. 
Subject to Subsection E of this section, no municipal vehicle may be taken home. With the prior approval of the Borough Administrator and/or his/her designee, a municipal vehicle may be taken home by a Borough employee to be used for emergency calls. "Emergency calls," for purposes of this section, shall be defined as calls for assistance initiated by a Department Head, Borough Administrator, or from the Highland Park Police Department.
B. 
If authorized, the vehicle, except when responding to emergency calls, shall be driven directly to the employee's home and then back to work.
C. 
Monthly reports for the use of municipal vehicles taken home by Borough employees must be submitted to the Department Head with copies to the Borough Administrator.
D. 
Use of police vehicles, under this section, shall be subject to a policy promulgated by the Chief of Police of the Highland Park Police Department.

§ 61-15 Disciplinary action for offending employees.

It shall be the obligation of the employee to satisfy and fulfill the requirements of this article. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action being taken against the offending employee.