Township of Deerfield, NJ
Cumberland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Deerfield as indicted in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 2-15-1984 by Ord. No. 1984-1 as Ch. 18 of the 1984 Code.]

§ 18-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EMPLOYEE
Includes any officer or employee, whether or not compensated or part-time, who is authorized to perform any act or service for the Township of Deerfield; provided, however, that the term shall specifically exclude any independent contractor.
OFFICIAL or MUNICIPAL OFFICIAL
A present or former municipal appointed official, elected official or member of the various boards, agencies and commissions of the Township of Deerfield.

§ 18-2 Civil actions.

Subject to the limitations set forth in the subsequent sections of this article, whenever any civil action has been or shall be brought against any employee or officer holding or formerly holding any office, position or employment with the Township of Deerfield, for any action or omission arising out of or in the course of the performance of the duties of such office, position or employment, the Township shall defray all costs of defending such action, including reasonable counsel fees and expenses, together with costs of appeal, if any, and shall save harmless and protect such persons from any financial loss resulting from the litigation. The Township Solicitor, or another attorney selected by the Township Committee, shall represent the employee or officer.

§ 18-3 Criminal actions.

The Township shall not defray the costs of defending any criminal action against any employee or official as may be authorized by state statute or other municipal ordinance or resolution of the Township of Deerfield, and, in those circumstances, the responsibility for defraying the costs of defending such employee or official shall be applicable only when such criminal proceedings shall have been dismissed or result in a final disposition in favor of the employee. However, should the Township Committee determine that there is good cause to dismiss the employee or official arising out of the incident or related incidents of the criminal prosecutions, the Township will not reimburse the employee or official for legal defense and costs of defending the suit, even though criminal proceedings against the employee or official may be dismissed or the employee or official found not guilty.

§ 18-4 Exceptions.

A. 
The obligation of the Township of Deerfield to defend and indemnify its employees or officials for acts or omissions arising out of or in the course of the performance of the duties of that person shall be limited to those circumstances under which the Township itself would be liable for the acts of its employees under the doctrine of respondent superior, except that the Township shall defend any such official or employee sued under the Federal Civil Rights Act, provided that the Township Committee shall not have concluded that such act or omission was outside the scope of the responsibilities of said official or employee.
B. 
Furthermore, the Township shall not defend and save harmless any employee or official committing an intentional or willful act or willful omission arising out of or in the course of the performance of the duties of such office, position or employment.
C. 
The Township shall not be responsible for the defense or indemnification of any official or employee of the Township when the Township Committee has determined that:
(1) 
The act or omission was not within the scope of employment.
(2) 
The act or failure to act was because of actual fraud, willful misconduct or actual malice.
(3) 
The defense of the action or proceeding would create a conflict of interest between the Township and the public employee.
(4) 
The defense of the action or proceeding is provided for by an insurance policy or policies, whether obtained by the Township or by any other person.
(5) 
The public employee failed to deliver to the Township Clerk, within 10 calendar days after the time he is served with any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading, the original or a copy of the same.
(6) 
The public employee has failed to cooperate fully with the defense.

§ 18-5 Township control over litigation.

Whenever the Township provides any defense required of it under this article, the Township, through counsel, may assume exclusive control over the representation of the public employee, and such employee or official shall cooperate fully with the defense.

§ 18-6 Methods of providing defense.

The defense shall be at the option of the Township. The Township of Deerfield may provide any defense required of it under this article through the Township Solicitor or by employing other counsel at the option of the Township Committee.

§ 18-7 Extent of indemnification.

A. 
In any case where the Township is required to provide a defense under this article, the Township shall pay or shall reimburse the employee or official for:
(1) 
Any bona fide settlement.
(2) 
Any judgments entered against the employee or official.
B. 
In addition, in any case where the Township would be required to provide a defense under this article, except for the fact that such defense is provided for by insurance, the Township shall provide indemnification as aforesaid, but only to the extent not covered by insurance.

§ 18-8 Indemnification limited.

Nothing in this article shall authorize the Township to pay for punitive or exemplary damages or damages resulting from the commission of a crime.
[Adopted 8-21-1996 by Ord. No. 1996-6 (Ch. 16 of the 1894 Code)]

§ 18-9 Creation of certain permanent positions.

There is hereby created the following permanent, full-time positions in the Township of Deerfield:
A. 
Administrative Secretary: to assist the Administrator of the Township, including the performance of secretarial duties, and to function as Deputy Municipal Clerk, Assistant Tax Collector, Deputy Dog Registrar and Alternate Deputy Registrar of Vital Statistics.
B. 
Secretary: to serve as secretary for the municipality, to assist the Township Administrator and to function as Deputy Municipal Clerk, Deputy Court Administrator, Assistant Tax Collector, Deputy Registrar of Vital Statistics and Deputy Dog Registrar.
C. 
Maintenance man: to provide general maintenance work to the municipal buildings and grounds in the Township of Deerfield.

§ 18-10 Probationary work period.

The persons appointed to the permanent full-time positions above set forth shall serve a probationary period of six months upon initial appointment to each position. During such probationary period, each employee shall be evaluated at least twice by the department head or Township Committeeperson assigned to oversee the department in which such employee is employed. The department head or Committeeperson overseeing such position shall advise the employee of the results of such evaluation and counsel the employee to improve his or her performance during the probationary period. Upon completion of the probationary period, the Township Committee shall review the performance evaluations of the employee appointed to such position and determine whether to make the appointment permanent.

§ 18-11 Permanent appointment.

Once permanently appointed to the position aforesaid, the person so appointed shall serve as a full-time permanent employee of the Township during good behavior. No further appointment shall be required by the Township Committee, and suspension or termination from such position shall only be made for cause by the Township Committee.

§ 18-12 General causes for discipline; disciplinary actions.

A. 
A permanent employee may be subject to discipline for the following:
(1) 
Incompetency, inefficiency or failure to perform duties.
(2) 
Insubordination.
(3) 
Inability to perform duties.
(4) 
Chronic or excessive absenteeism or lateness.
(5) 
Conviction of a crime.
(6) 
Conduct unbecoming a public employee.
(7) 
Neglect of duty.
(8) 
Misuse of public property, including motor vehicles.
(9) 
Discrimination that affects equal employment opportunity, including sexual harassment.
(10) 
Violation of federal regulations concerning drug and alcohol use by and testing of employees who perform functions related to the operation of commercial motor vehicles and state and local policies issued thereunder.
(11) 
Other sufficient cause.
B. 
Discipline shall include:
(1) 
Removal.
(2) 
Disciplinary demotion.
(3) 
Suspension or fine.
(4) 
Reprimand.

§ 18-13 Notice of charge and opportunity for hearing; hearing procedure.

A. 
Before discipline may be imposed upon a permanent employee, the department head or Committeeperson overseeing a department in which the employee is assigned shall first serve the employee with written charges, together with a statement of facts or specifications supporting the charges.
B. 
The employee may request a hearing within five days of receipt of the written charges. If no request is made within such five-day period, or such additional time as agreed to by the department head or Committeeperson overseeing the department, the hearing may be considered to have been waived and the Township Committee may impose discipline upon the employee.
C. 
If the employee requests a hearing, it shall be held before the Township Committee within 30 days of service of the disciplinary charges upon the employee, unless the thirty-day period is waived by the employee or a later date is agreed to by the parties.
D. 
Hearings before Township Committee. A hearing shall be held before the Township Committee or its designated representative. Where a designated representative is used, such representative shall make findings of fact and conclusions and submit his or her findings and conclusions to the Township Committee as a recommendation. The Township Committee may accept, reject or modify the recommendations of its designated representative and impose discipline appropriate to the charges of which the employee is found guilty.
E. 
At the hearing, the employee may be represented by an attorney.
F. 
The employee shall have the opportunity to review the evidence supporting the charges and present and examine witnesses on his or her behalf. The employee shall not be required to testify, but an employee who does testify will be subject to cross-examination.
G. 
Within 20 days after completion of the hearing, or such additional time as agreed to by the parties, the Township Committee shall make a decision on the charges and furnish the employee, either by personal service or certified mail, the final determination on innocence or guilt and the discipline to be imposed. Where the Township Committee designates a representative to conduct a hearing, recommendations of the designated representative shall be made to the Township Committee within 20 days of the conclusion of the hearing, and thereafter the Township Committee shall make a final determination within 20 days after receipt of the recommendation of the designated representative.
H. 
Any hearing before the Township Committee may be closed to the public at the request of the employee against whom disciplinary charges are brought. If such employee, however, requests a public hearing, then the hearing before the Township Committee or its designated representative shall be open to the public.

§ 18-14 Suspension prior to hearing.

A. 
An employee may be suspended immediately and prior to a hearing where it is determined that the employee is unfit for duty or is a hazard to any person if permitted to remain on the job, or that an immediate suspension is necessary to maintain safety, health, order or effective direction of public services. However, notice of charges and specifications with opportunity for a hearing must be served in person or by certified mail within five days following an immediate suspension. In such event, the suspension shall be without pay.
B. 
An employee may be suspended immediately when the employee is formally charged with a crime of the first, second or third degree, or a crime of the fourth degree on the job or directly related to the job.
C. 
Where an employee is not suspended immediately as provided for herein, such employee shall continue working, with pay, pending the disciplinary hearing and a determination as to the validity of the charges and the imposition of discipline.

§ 18-15 Decision of Township Committee final.

Where discipline is imposed upon a permanent employee after a hearing as provided for herein, the discipline imposed shall be final. In the event that a disciplined employee wishes to file an appeal, such employee may appeal to the Superior Court of the State of New Jersey. In such an appeal, the review to be made by the Court is whether there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the decision made by the Township Committee and the discipline imposed as a result thereof. The Court shall not substitute its opinions for the actions taken by the Township Committee unless it determines that the action of the Township Committee is arbitrary or capricious and not supported by substantial evidence in the record.

§ 18-16 Payment of salary; attorney's fees.

In the event that disciplinary charges brought against an employee are not sustained by the Township Committee, or by a court in the event of appeal, the Township shall pay the reasonable attorney's fees incurred by the employee in defending against the charges and the discipline imposed. In such event, the employee's attorney shall be paid at the same hourly rate as the Municipal Attorney hired to represent the municipality in the prosecution of the disciplinary charges. In the event that one or more of the disciplinary charges are sustained, and some discipline imposed, then the Township shall not be obligated to reimburse the employee for any cost incurred in the defense of the disciplinary action. Additionally, where all charges are dismissed, or the discipline originally imposed is reduced, the employee shall be paid back salary for all pay lost as a result of suspension or removal.

§ 18-17 Probationary period waived for current employees.

No current employee serving in the position of Administrative Secretary, Secretary or maintenance man on the date of adoption of this article shall be required to undergo a probationary period. Such employee shall be given credit for all time served in the current position prior to adoption of this article and shall be a permanent full-time employee as of the date of adoption.

§ 18-18 Duties of permanent employees.

The Township Committee, the Township Committeeperson overseeing the department in which a permanent full-time employee serves or a department head shall assign such duties to the employee appointed under this article as may be required by the Township of Deerfield, provided that such duties are consistent with the position created by this article.

§ 18-19 Annual salary.

The persons appointed to the permanent positions created by this article shall be paid within the salary range set forth in the current Salary Ordinance of the Township of Deerfield,[1] and the yearly salary of each permanent employee shall be determined by ordinance of the Township Committee. Full-time employment shall be at least 30 hours per week. In the event that a permanent employee appointed under this article does not work on a full-time basis, his or her yearly salary shall be apportioned according to the number of weeks or months actually worked or according to the number of hours which such employee works during an average week.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 29, Salaries and Compensation.

§ 18-20 Adoption of rules and regulations.

The Township Committee may adopt such rules and regulations applicable to the permanent positions created by this article as it may deem appropriate or necessary, including a specification of job duties for each position hereby created.