City of Northfield, NJ
Atlantic County

§ A376-301 Standards of conduct and discipline.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish expected standards of conduct and outline disciplinary action which may be taken for certain types of offenses.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
The City of Northfield is involved in providing the public a number of highly responsible services. Many individuals and businesses rely on the quality and reliability of our programs and services. Thus, all employees are expected to provide excellent and reliable service to the public. Any failure to meet this high standard is cause for concern, discipline, and possible termination.
(2) 
The City of Northfield generally adheres to the concept of progressive discipline. This means that the City will take appropriate action based on the seriousness of the situation and the circumstances surrounding it. Discipline, less than termination, may take the form (or any combination) of a verbal warning, written warning, substandard performance appraisal, probation, demotion or suspension. The evaluation of the seriousness of the infraction as well as the form(s) of discipline used will be made solely by management.
(3) 
There are certain kinds of actions that cannot be permitted to occur because of their unfair impact on citizens, customers, suppliers, or coworkers.
(4) 
Some offenses may result in termination on the first occurrence. Some examples of such offenses include, but not limited to:
(a) 
Failure or refusal to carry out job assignments and management requests.
(b) 
Insubordination or serious breach of discipline.
(c) 
Unauthorized release of confidential City information.
(d) 
Engaging in abusive, harassing, threatening, or intimidating conduct toward employees, supervisors, volunteers, or members of the public.
(e) 
Horseplay, disorderly conduct or use of abusive and/or obscene language on City premises.
(f) 
Fighting or threatening another employee, supervisor, volunteer, or member of the public.
(g) 
Falsifying or altering any work or City records.
(h) 
Removal, use or misuse of City property without permission.
(i) 
Deliberate damage to City property, or property owned by City suppliers.
(j) 
Defacing walls, bulletin boards or any other City or supplier property.
(k) 
Theft or attempted theft of City funds or property or property owned by fellow employees, volunteers or visitors.
(l) 
Careless waste of materials or abuse of tools, equipment or supplies.
(m) 
Unauthorized charges against a City account.
(n) 
Dishonesty.
(o) 
Discrimination against employees, supervisors, or members of the public.
(p) 
Violation of federal, state, or city laws, rules or regulations concerning drug and alcohol use and possession.
(q) 
Possession, sale, transfer or use of intoxicants or illegal drugs on City property, at any time during work hours, or at a City-sponsored function.
(r) 
Participation in a business directly competing with the City.
(s) 
Conduct unbecoming a public employee.
(t) 
Conviction of a crime or disorderly persons offense.
(u) 
Carrying of weapons of any kind on City premises and/or during work hours, unless carrying a weapon is a function of job duties.
(v) 
Serious misconduct of any kind.
(5) 
There are other actions that should not occur, but normally it is either the repeated occurrence of the action or the commission of more than one offense that results in termination. For such actions, an employee normally will receive some lesser discipline prior to termination. Examples of such offenses include, but are not limited to, the following:
(a) 
Incompetence, inefficiency or substandard performance of an assigned duty or responsibility.
(b) 
Deliberate delay or restriction of work effort and/or incitement of others to do the same.
(c) 
Chronic or excessive tardiness or absenteeism.
(d) 
Absence or tardiness from work without notifying the appropriate supervisor (unapproved leave of absence).
(e) 
Failure to report to work the day or days prior to or following a vacation, holiday and/or leave, and/or any other unauthorized day of absence.
(f) 
Exhausting all accrued leave time such as vacation, sick and personal time.
(g) 
Unauthorized absence from work area, and/or roaming or loitering on the premises, during scheduled work hours.
(h) 
Failure to comply with safety, security or work rules and procedures, or fire regulations.
(i) 
Sleeping while on duty.
(j) 
Entering the building without permission during nonscheduled work hours.
(k) 
Soliciting on City premises during work time. This includes but is not limited to distribution of literature or products or soliciting membership in fraternal, religious, social or political organizations, and/or sales of products such as those from Avon, Amway, etc.
(l) 
Gambling on City premises.
(m) 
Unauthorized use of computers, Internet, and e-mail.
(n) 
Violation of City policies, procedures, rules or regulations.
(o) 
Other sufficient cause.
(6) 
The City of Northfield reserves the right to take disciplinary action, up to and including termination, as warranted by the seriousness of any given situation and circumstances. At the discretion of the City, disciplinary action may begin at any step, and/or certain steps may be repeated or bypassed, depending on the nature and severity of the infraction and the employee's work/disciplinary record.

§ A376-302 Disciplinary action.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish policies and procedures related to disciplinary action for City of Northfield employees.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
It shall be the policy of the City to administer discipline fairly, reasonably, and impartially. Disciplinary action is to be corrective to ensure the efficient and effective operation of the City and not punitive. Discipline shall occur when an employee violates any rules, regulations, policies or procedures of the City of Northfield. Progressive discipline is the approach used by the City to ensure that the City's policies and procedures are followed and that employees have the opportunity to correct performance and/or deficiencies. Discipline of an employee shall be imposed for just cause and, depending on the magnitude of the offense, may be in any of the following forms:
(a) 
Verbal warning.
(b) 
Written warning.
(c) 
Written reprimand or memorandum of censure.
(d) 
Minor suspension: consists of a suspension up to five days.
(e) 
Major suspension: consists of a suspension over five days.
(f) 
Demotion.
(g) 
Dismissal.
(2) 
In cases of employee misconduct, the City believes in corrective action for the purpose of correcting undesirable behavior and preventing a recurrence of that behavior. The corrective action taken will be related to the gravity of the situation, the number and kind of previous infractions, and other circumstances. In every case, employees will be given the opportunity to state the situation from their point of view.
(3) 
Other forms of discipline may include restitution to the City for financial loss caused by an employee's intentional conduct or the imposition of disciplinary probation periods. These forms of discipline may be used in any combination at any time, if warranted. Disciplinary action may begin at any level depending on the nature and severity of the offense. Employees placed on disciplinary probation may not bid on any job openings.
(4) 
Employees who object to the terms or conditions of the discipline are entitled to the applicable grievance procedure. In every case involving employee discipline, employees will be provided with an opportunity to respond to charges either verbally or in writing.

§ A376-303 Grievance procedures.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish standardized grievance procedures for non-bargaining unit employees. Grievances from union employees will be handled pursuant to the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement. All grievances from nonunion employees must be presented within five working days after arising, and failure to report a grievance within such time shall be deemed as a waiver of the grievance.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
A "grievance" shall mean a claim or dispute by an employee with respect to an application or interpretation of the City of Northfield's personnel policies and procedures and/or rules and regulations pertaining to employees. All other matters are outside the scope of this procedure.
(2) 
Step One. Any employee with a grievance shall present a written account of the grievance to the supervisor or department head within five working days of the incident. The supervisor/department head will discuss the matter with the Councilmatic Chairperson. The supervisor or department head will communicate his or her decision in writing to the employee within five working days.
(3) 
Step Two. If the employee is not satisfied with supervisor's/department head's decision or if the supervisor/department head fails to respond within five working days, the employee must submit a written grievance to the Councilmatic Chairperson, detailing the facts and the relief requested. The decision in Step One will be deemed final if the employee fails to submit a written grievance within five working days of the Step One decision. The Councilmatic Chairperson will render a written decision to the employee within five working days after receipt of the written grievance.
(4) 
Step Three. If the employee is not satisfied with the decision of the Councilmatic Chairperson, or if the Councilmatic Chairperson fails to respond within five working days, the employee must submit a written grievance to the Councilmatic Chairperson detailing the facts and the relief requested. The decision in Step Two will be deemed final if the employee fails to submit a written grievance within five working days of the Step Two decision. The Councilmatic Chairperson will forward the grievance to the Council President or, if the Councilmatic Chairperson is the Council President, to the Mayor. The Council President or the Mayor, as the case may be, shall then consider and act upon the grievance in a reasonable amount of time. The Council President or the Mayor may do the following:
(a) 
Forward the matter for a hearing before the entire City Council; or
(b) 
Appoint a neutral hearing officer for the purpose of holding a formal hearing and making a recommendation to the governing body. The formal hearing shall be convened within 20 days of the receipt of the grievance by the Mayor or Council President. The cost of the hearing officer shall be paid by the City.
(5) 
No grievance will be heard or considered by the Council President or the Mayor which has not first passed through the above-described steps. Failure of an employee to comply with the filing requirements of Steps One and Two of the grievance procedure shall be deemed as a waiver of the employee's right to pursue a grievance.
(6) 
All papers and documents relating to a grievance and its disposition will be placed in the employee's personnel file.
(7) 
No punitive action shall be carried out against the employee for utilizing the grievance procedure.
(8) 
These limitations do not apply to employee complaints made under the general anti-harassment policy, the anti-sexual harassment policy, or the whistleblower policy.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See §§ A376-104, A376-105 and A376-106, respectively.

§ A376-304 Lobbying before State Legislature or other governmental agency.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to assure that the official policies of the City or the legislative and administrative branches of the City are properly expressed before legislative bodies or other governmental agencies.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
In order to assure that the official policies of the City of Northfield are expressed during appearances before legislative bodies or other governmental agencies, the following policies apply:
(a) 
All testimony or statements, written or oral, given by an employee of the City before any governmental legislative body or other agency shall strictly comply with the policies set forth by the City Council, action by a motion, resolution or ordinance.
(b) 
When there is a lack of formal action by the Council, written authorization must be obtained from the Councilmatic Chairperson prior to any activity by any employee of the City.
(c) 
The policies expressed in Subsection B(1)(a) and (b) above shall also apply to any correspondence written on City or departmental stationary and any verbal conversation when a speaker represents himself or herself as an employee of the City of Northfield.
(d) 
All the items above apply to all employees during normal working hours, except that any written statement on City or departmental stationary applies at all times. Any employee who appears before any governmental legislative body or other agency during hours other than working hours will not represent himself or herself as an employee of the City, unless all information given is in compliance with this policy. If, during the course of an appearance or verbal interchange, the fact emerges that the person is an employee of the City, then a disclaimer will be issued that the information or testimony given represents the views of the employee and not that of the City. If information or testimony is given that is contrary to official policies of the City of Northfield, then a statement to that effect will be given if the person has been identified as an employee of the City.
(2) 
"Lobby" or "lobbying" each mean attempting to influence the passage or defeat of any legislation or the adoption or rejection of any rule, standard, rate or other enactment that will or could have any impact on the City of Northfield. Any violation of this policy procedure may result in disciplinary action.

§ A376-305 Personal appearance.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish general guidelines related to the personal appearance of the City employees.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
It shall be the responsibility of all employees to represent the City of Northfield to the public in a manner which shall be courteous, efficient, and helpful.
(2) 
Dress, grooming and personal hygiene must be appropriate for the position. Uniforms are required for certain jobs and are to be worn in accordance with applicable departmental standards or collective bargaining agreements. All other employees are required to dress in a manner that is normally acceptable in similar business establishments and consistent with applicable safety standards. Employees shall not wear suggestive attire, jeans, athletic clothing, shorts, sandals, T-shirts, novelty buttons, baseball hats and similar items of casual attire that do not present a businesslike appearance. Hair, sideburns, moustaches and beards must be clean, combed and neatly trimmed. Shaggy, unkempt hair is not permissible, regardless of length. Body piercings, other than earrings, may not be visible. With the advance approval of the Mayor, the City will make reasonable accommodations for clothing and personal hygiene based on bona fide religious beliefs or medical needs that do not violate safety standards. Employees violating this policy shall be required to take corrective action or will be sent home without pay.

§ A376-306 Electronic communications and records.

A. 
Purpose.
(1) 
The purpose of this section is to provide for control of incoming and outgoing personal telephone calls, mail, and faxes. The City of Northfield's telephones, cell phones, faxes, and voice mail are for official business and use for non-business purposes is prohibited. Employees may make a personal call only to inform family of unexpected overtime. Charges for all other personal calls must be reimbursed to the City. The use of hand-held phones while driving City vehicles or while driving on City business is prohibited. All faxes, mail, and voice mail are official public records subject to possible disclosure to the public pursuant to the provisions of the Open Public Records Act.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.
(2) 
Employees must exhibit a high level of ethical and business standards when using City telephone, mail, and electronic communications technology. Telephones, cell phones, fax machines, and mail are provided for and intended to be used for City-related business. Employees must use these communication systems in an efficient, ethical and lawful manner. The use of these communication systems is a privilege that may be withdrawn at any time without notice, and an employee's use of these systems may be suspended immediately upon discovery of a possible violation of these policies.
B. 
Statement of policy.
[Amended 4-27-2010 by Res. No. 68-2010]
(1) 
The City of Northfield reserves the right to monitor, obtain, review and disclose all voice mail and fax communications as deemed necessary and appropriate. By using City voice mail and fax equipment, each user agrees that the City has unrestricted access and the right to disclose all information communicated or stored on voice mail and sent by fax for any security, health, employment or other legitimate business reasons. Legitimate reasons also include systems maintenance, message routing, retrieval of business information, troubleshooting hardware and software problems, preventing system misuse, protecting confidential proprietary information, ensuring compliance with software license policies and complying with legal and regulatory requests for information. Records of phone use are difficult or impossible to erase. The City can trace and view an employee's voice mail. Use of voice mail or other electronic resources that violates any other City policy (harassment/sexual harassment) will be dealt with under the provisions of that policy.
(2) 
Except in emergency situations or as part of their officially assigned or regular or permitted duties, employees are prohibited from taking any photographs, pictures, digital images, or audio recordings of any crime scenes, traffic crashes, arrestees, detainees, people, or job-related incident or occurrence with any personal analog or digital device, camera, imaging device, audio recorder or cellular telephone. This subsection also applies in off-duty scenarios regarding any law enforcement related activities. Any photographs, images, or recordings taken with any personal device pursuant to or in violation of this subsection are considered evidence and are subject to applicable laws, codes, guidelines or directives concerning storage, release, and disposal. Employees who have recorded any photographs, images or recordings with any personal device shall notify their supervisor as soon as practical. For the purposes of this subsection, 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 flight from accidents or crimes.
(3) 
Employees are prohibited from releasing or disclosing any photographs, pictures, or digital images of any crime scenes, traffic crashes, arrestees, detainees, people, or job-related incident or occurrence taken with a personal or agency analog or digital device, camera or cellular phone to any person, entity, business, or media or Internet outlet, whether on or off duty, without the express written permission of the Mayor.
(4) 
Employees who maintain personal web pages and web sites, including but not limited to Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, etc., shall not post information on such sites that would constitute a violation of the personnel policies of the City of Northfield if expressed or published using any other medium or in any other manner. The posting of words, phrases, photographs, images or any kind of information on a personal web site may be grounds for the imposition of disciplinary action against the employee if the words, phrases, photographs, images or information adversely reflects on the employee's fitness for duty or constitutes a violation of the personnel policies of the City of Northfield.
(5) 
An employee whose activities violate this policy will be disciplined in accordance with the seriousness of the violation. Employees should be aware that the misuse of the electronic resources may subject the City to grave liabilities and, as a result, discipline for violation may be serious, up to and including termination.

§ A376-307 Computer and network usage.

A. 
Statement of purpose. The purpose of this section is to promote the use of Northfield government's computing resources in an efficient, ethical and lawful manner. This policy provides administrative guidance relating to the responsible and legal use of Northfield government's computer information systems, including equipment hardware, software, network and electronic communications, for its employees, authorized co-locating agency employees, vendors and consultants.
B. 
Responsibilities.
(1) 
City government strives to maintain access for its employees and authorized co-locating agency employees to both local and national sources of information through the Internet and network connections as well as software to assist in work flow and to provide an atmosphere with the ability to perform efficiently.
(2) 
Department heads and Councilmatic Chairpersons are responsible to ensure that employees under their direction follow this policy.
(3) 
Users of the City's computer information systems and its resources have the responsibility not to abuse this privilege, to act honestly and to respect the rights of the membership of its user community by the following:
(a) 
Every user is responsible for the integrity of the information system's resources.
(b) 
All users must respect the integrity of the physical facilities, equipment and controls, and respect all pertinent license and contractual agreements related to the City's information systems.
(c) 
Users are required to protect computer equipment from loss, damage or theft.
(d) 
All users must act in accordance with these responsibilities, and the relevant local, state and federal laws and regulations.
[1] 
Failure to conduct oneself in compliance with this policy may result in denial of access to the City's information systems and/or disciplinary action.
[2] 
In addition to City discipline, users may be subject to criminal prosecution for unlawful use of the City's information systems.
C. 
Definitions. For the purpose of this policy, the following definitions shall apply:
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS
Includes the use of the information systems in the communicating or posting of information or material by way of electronic mail, bulletin boards, the World Wide Web (Internet), City's Intranet, or other such electronic tools.
IMMORAL
With respect to immoral material shall mean material that an average person applying community standards would find the material to be unbecoming a public employee, including interest in sexual content, racial, or any other content that would reflect negatively on the City of Northfield if disclosed to the public.
INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Includes computers, networks, servers, printers, video conference units and other similar devices that are administered by the City of Northfield and for which the City is responsible.
NETWORKS
Includes video, voice and data networks, routers and storage devices.
USERS
Individuals and/or groups accessing the City's information systems. This list includes City employees, co-locating agency employees, vendors and consultants.
D. 
Policy.
(1) 
Accepting an account and/or participating in the use of the City's information systems shall constitute an agreement on behalf of the user or other individual accessing such information systems to abide and be bound by the provisions of this policy.
(2) 
Users are bound by the most recent version of this policy just as if they had signed the policy.
(3) 
The City may restrict or prohibit the use of its information systems at its sole discretion.
(4) 
When it has been determined that a violation has occurred, the City may restrict or prohibit access by the offending party to its information systems and, if warranted, institute other disciplinary action up to and including termination.
(5) 
The City reserves the right to immediately terminate user access and disconnect any computer that is causing a disruption of service to the City's network.
(6) 
The computer and networking services provider staff will work with the user and his/her computer to resolve the issue and restore service in a timely fashion.
(7) 
The City has the right to modify this policy document as necessary without permission or consent of users.
E. 
Procedures.
(1) 
Access and permitted use authorized.
(a) 
Access to City information systems.
[1] 
All access to the City's information system must be authorized and approved by the user's department head.
[2] 
Unauthorized access to the City's information systems is prohibited.
[3] 
Approved users will be assigned a logon ID and password.
[4] 
Users are responsible for the security and use of this information.
[5] 
No one should use the ID or password of another; nor should anyone provide his or her ID or password to another, except in cases necessary to facilitate computer maintenance and only then when authorized by the user's department head.
[6] 
When any user terminates his or her relationship with the City or if the user is placed on a long-term absence, the department head must notify the computer and networking services provider to have the user account(s) deactivated.
(b) 
City business use.
[1] 
The City information systems are created and maintained to conduct official City-related business.
[2] 
Use of the information systems is a privilege which shall be curtailed at the sole discretion of the City of Northfield.
[3] 
City information systems, including e-mail and the Internet, are for official business and use for non-business purposes is prohibited. All e-mail and Internet messages are official documents subject to the provisions of the Open Public Records Act.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.
(2) 
Misuse of computers and network systems or violations of any other provisions set forth in this policy.
(a) 
Misuse of the City's information systems is prohibited. Misuse includes, but is not limited to, the following:
[1] 
Attempting to modify or remove computer or network equipment, software, or peripherals without proper authorization.
[2] 
Accessing, without proper authorization, computers, software, or networks which belong to the City regardless of whether the resource used to access is owned by the City or abuse takes place from a non-City site.
[3] 
Taking action, without authorization, which interferes with the access of others to information systems used by the City.
[4] 
Circumventing logon or other security measures.
[5] 
Using the City's information systems for any illegal or unauthorized purpose.
[6] 
Personal use of the City's information systems or electronic communications.
[7] 
Sending illegal or fraudulent electronic communication.
[8] 
Violating any software license or copyright, including copying or redistributing copyrighted software, without written authorization of the software owner.
[9] 
Using electronic communications to harass, torment or disparage another party. Offensive and harassing communications are unacceptable and prohibited.
[10] 
Using electronic communication to disclose proprietary information without the explicit permission of the owner.
[11] 
Reading other users' information or files without permission or City authorization from a direct Supervisor, department head, or Councilmatic Chair.
[12] 
Using electronic communications to steal another individual's works or otherwise misrepresent one's own work.
[13] 
Knowingly launching a computer worm, computer virus or other rogue program not authorized by the City.
[14] 
Downloading, posting or transporting illegal, proprietary, or damaging material across the City's network or information systems.
[15] 
Personal use of any City information system to access, download, print, store, forward, transmit or distribute immoral material.
[16] 
Violating any local, state or federal law or regulation in connection with the use of the City's information system.
[17] 
Installation of any hardware, software and networks without authorization from the department head and Councilmatic Chair.
(b) 
Consequences of misuse can include, but may not be limited to, the following:
[1] 
The City has the right to control or refuse access to its information systems to anyone who violates this policy or who threatens the rights or integrity of its users and networks.
[2] 
The City has the authority to temporarily suspend information systems access without notice of a user who is believed to have violated this policy pending investigation and resolution.
[3] 
If it has been determined that a City employee has violated this policy, the employee will be subject to review and discipline up to and including termination.
[4] 
If the policy has been violated by a co-locating agency employee, vendor and or consultant, access will be immediately terminated and warranted action will be taken, including prosecution if a criminal offense occurred.
(3) 
Privacy.
(a) 
The City reserves the right to monitor, obtain, review and disclose all e-mail messages, computer files and Internet messages on the computer and communications systems of the City of Northfield as deemed necessary and appropriate.
(b) 
The City information system hardware and software is the property of the City of Northfield. By using City e-mail, computer systems, and the Internet, each user agrees that the City has unrestricted access and the right to disclose all information communicated or stored on the e-mail, computer systems and the Internet for any security, health, employment or other legitimate business reasons. Legitimate reasons also include systems maintenance, message routing, retrieval of business information, troubleshooting hardware and software problems, preventing system misuse, protecting confidential proprietary information, ensuring compliance with software license policies and complying with legal and regulatory requests for information. Users should have no expectation of privacy regarding any use of City computers.
[1] 
When the City's information systems are functioning properly, a user can expect the files and data that he or she generates to be secure from third parties outside the City of Northfield unless the creator of that file or data takes action to reveal it to others.
[2] 
Users should be aware that no information system is completely secure. Persons both inside and outside the City's network may find ways to access files.
[3] 
Through the use of logon ID and passwords, firewalls, network address translation and other security measures, the City has taken necessary measures to limit this possibility. Accordingly, the City cannot and does not guarantee user privacy and users should be continuously aware of that fact.
(c) 
Monitoring.
[1] 
The equipment owned by the City and/or non-City-owned equipment connected to the City's information systems and network is subject to monitoring and auditing by the computer and networking services provider for business, security and/or network management reasons as well as the use of unauthorized software.
[2] 
If, during the course of this monitoring, any misuse of the City's information system is identified, as described in Subsection E(2) of this policy, regarding misuse of computers and network systems, the user shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination. Users should be aware of this monitoring. Non-City users will be subject to termination of network services.
(d) 
Repair and maintenance of equipment.
[1] 
All files created on or stored on the City information system are the property of the City of Northfield. Duly authorized computer and networking services provider staff have authority to access individual user files or data in the process of performing repairs or maintenance of computing equipment, including the testing of systems equipment in order to ensure adequate storage capacity and performance for City needs.
[2] 
In the case of any unauthorized software, spyware, or applications found during the course of these repairs or maintenance, the computer and networking services provider staff has the right to remove all such programs immediately and report this information to the department head and Councilmatic Chair.
(e) 
Response to misuse of computers and network systems.
[1] 
Computer and networking services provider staff may access any account, file or other data controlled by any user and share such account information, file or other data with the department head, who in turn shall inform the Councilmatic Chair, who will work with the employee's department head to investigate and implement sanctions in association with the misuse of the City's information systems.
[2] 
Should any computer and networking services provider staff member reasonably believe a misuse is present or imminent such that the potential damage to the system or the information stored within it is genuine and serious (e.g., hacking, spamming, theft or illegal use of licenses), then the services provider staff member may take action as is necessary to protect the information systems of the City and the information stored in it.
[a] 
The computer and networking services provider shall contact the department head as soon as possible to confirm that any protective actions taken were appropriate and within the parameters of this policy.
(f) 
Access to information concerning business operations.
[1] 
Employees regularly carry out the business functions of the City using the City's information systems.
[2] 
Should any employee become unavailable, either through illness or other reasons, or refuse to provide the information necessary to carry out the employee's job responsibilities in a reasonably timely manner, then, following consultation with and approval by the employee's department head, the computer and networking services provider, department head or other staff member as assigned may access the employee's records, files, and computer in order to carry out City business operations on behalf of the unavailable or uncooperative employee.
(4) 
E-mail. All policies stated herein are applicable to e-mail.
(a) 
Applicability.
[1] 
E-mail should reflect careful, professional and courteous drafting, particularly since it is easily forwarded to others.
[2] 
Never assume that only the addressee will read your e-mail.
[3] 
Be careful about sending attachments and broad publication messages.
[4] 
Copyright laws and license agreements apply to e-mail.
(b) 
Nonallowable usage.
[1] 
The transmission of e-mail should not be used for illegal, unlawful, or immoral purposes.
[2] 
Examples of this include but are not limited to the use of e-mail services to transmit violent, threatening, defrauding, obscene materials or to harass, intimidate, or otherwise annoy another person.
(5) 
Software.
(a) 
General information software licensing.
[1] 
All software on the network is owned by or licensed to the Northfield government and is protected by copyright and other laws, together with licenses and other contractual agreements.
[2] 
Users shall not to make unauthorized copies of licensed software for their own use.
[3] 
City employees who violate the City's software policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
[4] 
Co-locating agency employees, vendors, and consultants who violate this policy will be subject to termination of systems access and prosecution if a criminal offense has occurred.
[5] 
The City reserves the right to periodically run unannounced software audits of all computer systems attached to the network.
[6] 
The City has the right to remove all such programs immediately and implement sanctions in association with the misuse of the City's information systems as per Subsection E(3)(e), Response to misuse of computers and network systems, of this policy.
[7] 
No personal software may be installed on any City-owned computers.
[8] 
All software must be procured through the City according to the procedures described in this policy.
[a] 
Software includes any for which the user may have extra licenses for home computers, freeware, shareware, beta/test software and all other software not authorized by the City.
[b] 
These machines are owned by the City and the City must be the license holder.
[9] 
Financial and criminal penalties incurred by the City for pirated/nonlicensed software shall be passed on to the offender.
[10] 
Software piracy and license fraud is a serious crime and results in extraordinarily high fines (usually twice the value of the pirated software title).
[11] 
Contact your department head should you have any questions or comments regarding software licensing at the City.
(b) 
Anti-virus software.
[1] 
All PC workstations, notebooks, and servers that are or will be connected to the City's data network must have anti-virus software installed and running with latest virus definitions prior to connection.
[2] 
All City-owned and co-locating agency owned PC workstations, notebooks, and servers must standardize on Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus Software, Corporate Edition.
[3] 
Any devices connected to the City's network without this software will be removed and denied access to the network, and any employee or co-locating agency employee who knowingly attempts to circumvent or disregard this policy will be subject to removal from the network. City employees will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.
[4] 
Any co-locating agency, vendor and consultant PC workstation, notebook, and/or server that connects to the City network must have anti-virus software installed and must have this device checked by the computer and networking services provider to ensure that it has the latest virus definitions prior to connection.
(c) 
An employee whose activities violate this policy will be disciplined in accordance with the seriousness of the violation. Employees should be aware that the misuse of the electronic resources may subject the City to grave liabilities and, as a result, discipline for violations may be serious, up to and including termination.

§ A376-308 Smoking.

A. 
Purpose. The New Jersey Legislature has declared that in all governmental buildings the rights of nonsmokers to breathe clean air supersedes the rights of smokers. In accordance with state law, the City of Northfield has adopted a smoke-free policy for all buildings.
B. 
Statement of policy. The City of Northfield's facilities shall be smoke-free and no employee or visitor will be permitted to smoke anywhere in City buildings. "Smoke or "smoking" refers to smoking or carrying of any kind of lighted pipe, cigar or cigarette. Employees are permitted to smoke only outside and to the rear of City buildings and such locations as not to allow the re-entry of smoke into building entrances. Smoking is also prohibited at all times in City vehicles or near equipment that may be sensitive to smoke. This policy shall be strictly enforced and any employee found in violation will be subject to disciplinary action.

§ A376-309 Solicitations.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish a uniform policy for solicitations by sales representatives or agents in order to alleviate disruption of City employees during normal working hours.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
With the exception of City-approved activities, peddling or soliciting for sale or donation of any kind on City premises during normal working hours is not allowed. Exceptions may be granted by the governing body.
(2) 
Working hours include the working times of both the employee doing the soliciting or distributing and the employee to whom such activity is directed.
(3) 
Employees are free to discuss these matters before or after normal working hours, and during lunch or rest periods in nonworking areas.

§ A376-310 Contributions and honorariums.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish a policy and procedure for reporting contributions and honorariums.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
Speeches and presentations which are related to City services delivered by City employees to community and professional organizations are made without charge. If an organization wishes to give contributions and honorariums for such a presentation, the remuneration must be made to the City of Northfield, not the individual employee.
(2) 
A contribution or honorarium for a speech or presentation made by a City employee to a group outside the City, either during working time or for which the City provided travel expenses, will also be made to the City of Northfield. Such contributions and honorariums shall be turned over to the CFO for deposit.

§ A376-311 Employee ethics.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish guidelines for ethical standards of conduct which shall govern City employees in the performance of City business and the duties of their respective jobs. This policy is intended to provide positive direction to employees in order to prevent conflicts of interest.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
Conflicts of interest.
(a) 
Employees, including City officials, must conduct business according to the highest ethical standards of public service. Employees are expected to devote their best efforts to the interests of the City. Violations of this policy will result in appropriate discipline, including termination.
(b) 
The City of Northfield recognizes the right of employees to engage in outside activities that are private in nature and unrelated to City business. However, business dealings that appear to create a conflict between the employee and the City's interests are unlawful under the New Jersey Local Government Ethics Act.[1] Under the Act, certain employees and officials are required to annually file with the City Clerk a state-mandated disclosure form. The City Clerk will notify employees and City officials subject to the filing requirements of the Act.
[1]:
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40A:9-22.1 et seq.
(c) 
A potential or actual conflict of interest occurs whenever an employee, including a City official, is in a position to influence a City decision that may result in a personal gain for the employee or an immediate relative, including a spouse or significant other, child, parent, stepchild, sibling, grandparent, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandchild, niece, nephew, uncle, aunt, or any person related by blood or marriage residing in an employee's household. Employees are required to disclose possible conflicts so that the City may assess and prevent potential conflicts. If there are any questions whether an action or proposed course of conduct would create a conflict of interest, immediately contact the Mayor or the City Solicitor to obtain clarification.
(d) 
Employees are allowed to hold outside employment as long as it does not interfere with their City responsibilities. Employees are prohibited from engaging in outside employment activities while on the job or using City time, supplies or equipment in the outside employment activities. The Mayor may request employees to restrict outside employment if the quality of City work diminishes. Any employee who holds an interest in, or is employed by, any business doing business with the City must submit a written notice of these outside interests to the Mayor.
(e) 
Employees may not accept donations, gratuities, contributions or gifts that could be interpreted to affect their City duties. Under no circumstances shall an employee accept donations, gratuities, contributions or gifts from a vendor doing business with or seeking to do business with the City or any person or firm seeking to influence City decisions.
(f) 
Recognizing that personal friendships often precede and can evolve from official contact between employees and persons engaged in business with the City, reasonable exceptions to this section are permitted for those occasions which are social in nature and are not predicated on the employee's ability to influence, directly or indirectly, any matter before the City.
(g) 
The employee will be guided in interpretation of this section by the distinction between a gift, gratuity, or favor given or received which has a significant monetary value and is offered or accepted in expectation of preferential treatment, and an expression of courtesy. Examples of acceptable courtesies include: a meal or social event; exchange of floral offerings or gifts of food to commemorate events such as illness, death, birth, holidays, and promotions; a sample or promotional gift of nominal value ($25 or less). Meals and other entertainment valued in excess of $25 are also prohibited. Employees are required to report to the Mayor any offer of a donation, gratuity, contribution or gift, including meals and entertainment, that is in violation of this policy.
(2) 
Political activities.
(a) 
Employees have exactly the same right as any other citizen to join political organizations and participate in political activities, as long as they maintain a clear separation between their official responsibilities and their political affiliations. Employees are prohibited from engaging in political activities while performing their public duties and from using City time, supplies or equipment in any political activity. Any violation of this policy must be reported to the supervisor, department head, Mayor, or the City Solicitor.
(b) 
With the approval of the governing body, an exception may be allowed when the subject of an election has received the endorsement and support of the City Council (i.e., bond issue).
(c) 
No City employee shall be eligible for appointment or election to any public office when the holding of such office would be incompatible with or would substantially interfere with the discharge of official duties.
C. 
Hatch Act.
(1) 
An employee shall not directly or indirectly use his or her authority or influence of his or her position to control or modify the political action of another person.
(2) 
An employee, during the hours of duty, shall neither engage in political activity nor promote political activities so as to impair his or her usefulness in the position in which he or she is employed.
(3) 
An employee who is contemplating running for political office should notify his or her immediate supervisor and should contact the City Clerk's office, which will contact the City Solicitor to discuss the possible application of the Hatch Act to the employee's candidacy.[2]
[2]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(4) 
The Hatch Act is enforced by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, and the telephone number is 1-800-854-2824 and the fax number is 202-653-5151. The final determination lies with the Office of Special Counsel. Any employee who wishes an advisory opinion as to the effect of the Hatch Act on his or her candidacy should contact the Office of Special Counsel.
D. 
Procedures.
(1) 
Interpretations of this policy shall be referred to the City Solicitor. The City Solicitor shall investigate, or caused to be investigated, all suspicions, allegations and written complaints of unethical conduct.
(2) 
Complaints which are considered by the legal counsel to be serious may be referred to an ethics panel, composed of City employees appointed by the Mayor and Council.
(3) 
An ethics panel, when constituted, shall investigate and hear the complaint, and recommend to the governing body any action deemed appropriate. Complaints or allegations which may be criminal in nature may be referred to an appropriate outside agency for investigation. The ethics panel will be appointed when the need arises.

§ A376-312 Drugs and alcohol.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish policies and procedures regarding the abuse of drugs and alcohol in City offices and work sites.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
The City of Northfield 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 Mayor.
(2) 
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 the 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.
(3) 
The manufacturing, distribution, dispensation, possession, and use of alcohol or unlawful drugs on City premises or during work hours by employees is strictly prohibited.
(4) 
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.
(5) 
Employees who are required to maintain a commercial driver's license (CDL) are subject to random drug testing as required by the federal government.
(6) 
Employees using prescription drugs that may affect job performance or safety must notify their department head, Councilmatic Chair, or the Mayor, 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. City personnel who hold a commercial driver's license (CDL) are subject to the provisions of the commercial driver's license drug and alcohol testing policy.
(7) 
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 City property or while performing City business. Soliciting or distributing prescription drugs for or to other employees is also strictly prohibited.

§ A376-313 Use of City vehicles.

[Amended 8-23-2011 by Res. No. 120-2011]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish policies regarding employee use of City-of-Northfield-owned vehicles.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
City-of-Northfield-owned vehicles shall be used only on official business, and all passengers must be on City business. (An employee who is also employed by another governmental entity may use a City vehicle for that employment only if the employment is pursuant to an interlocal agreement between the City of Northfield and the other jurisdiction.)
(2) 
Vehicles may be taken home only with the advance approval of the Councilmatic Chairperson, except a department head may also grant temporary approval to facilitate responses to after-hours emergency calls. Department heads/key personnel must be designated to be "on twenty-four-hour call" by resolution and/or contract and must gain written approval from the Councilmatic Chairperson to take home any City-owned vehicles.
(3) 
Employees may take a City-owned vehicle home when attendance to an out-of-City meeting takes place late at night after normal working hours or early in the morning prior to normal working hours with approval from the Councilmatic Chairperson. When an employee takes home a City vehicle, it is to be used only for official City business; any other use is not permitted. Any violation of this policy constitutes cause for disciplinary action.
(4) 
In accordance with Internal Revenue Service guidelines, municipalities are required to value commuting usage under the Commuting Valuation Rule. In accordance with this rule, a flat $1.50 each way ($3 round trip per day) must be assessed to employees in taxable earnings.

§ A376-314 Contagious or life-threatening illnesses.

A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish policies regarding confidentiality, continued employment, and reasonable accommodation of employees with life-threatening illnesses.
B. 
Statement of policy.
(1) 
The City encourages employees with contagious diseases or life-threatening illnesses to continue their normal pursuits, including work, to the extent allowed by their condition. The City 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 pose an unreasonable hardship on the City. The City will take reasonable precautions to protect such information from inappropriate disclosure, including the following:
(a) 
Medical information may be disclosed with the prior informed consent of the person who is the subject of the information.
(b) 
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.
(c) 
Information may be disclosed to the Department of Health and Senior Services as required by state or federal law.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(2) 
Managers or other employees have a responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of employee medical information. Anyone inappropriately disclosing such information shall be subject to disciplinary action. Employees with questions or concerns about contagious or life-threatening illnesses are encouraged to contact the Mayor.