Town of Groton, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Groton 10-21-2013 by Art. 20.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Finance Committee — See Ch. 13.
[1]
Editor's Note: This article also superseded former Ch. 48, Personnel, adopted 10-19-2009 ATM, Art. 22.

§ 48-1 Membership; terms of office.

There is hereby established a Personnel Board consisting of three members to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen, and each member shall serve for a term of three years; provided, however, that of the members originally appointed, one shall serve for a term of one year, one for a term of two years and one for a term of three years as designated by the Selectmen. No person shall serve upon said Board who is, at the same time, an employee of the Town.

§ 48-2 Powers and duties.

The Personnel Board shall have the following powers:
A. 
To act as an advisory board to the Human Resources Director, Town Manager and Board of Selectmen in the management of human resources for the Town of Groton.
B. 
To advise the Town's Finance Department in the preparation and maintenance of the wage and salary classification schedule which is voted by the Town in accordance with the provisions of MGL C. 41, §§ 108A and 108C, as well as advise on all other wage and salary schedules for all Town employees.
C. 
To have access to such facts, figures, records and other information relating to the personnel of Town departments as will enable it to fully perform its duties, in accordance with federal, state and local laws.
D. 
To assist the Town Manager and Board of Selectmen, upon their request, in the issuance, amendment or revocation of administrative orders for the purpose of giving effect to the provisions of all bylaws and votes of the Town pertaining to personnel administration as said Town Manager and Board of Selectmen may be responsible for administering and/or enforcing. Each such order shall be numbered in sequence and shall be maintained in the Town Clerk's office in a file for all such orders issued, said file to be open to public inspection.
E. 
To participate in the grievance procedure pursuant to Administrative Order No. 3.
F. 
At the request of the Town Manager or Board of Selectmen, to designate a Personnel Board member to sit on the screening committee formed to fill one or more Town positions.
G. 
To perform any other duties as assigned by the Board of Selectmen consistent with the provisions of Chapter 81 of the Acts of 2008 (the "Town Charter"), as it may be amended.

§ 48-3 Human Resources Director.

The person appointed to this position shall:
A. 
Manage the daily operations of the Human Resources Department, consistent with the job description for this position.
B. 
Work in an advisory capacity with department heads, the Town Manager and Personnel Board in the administration of the grievance procedure, advise department heads and the Town Manager in resolving conflicts at their respective steps in the process.
C. 
Have access to such facts, figures, records and other information relating to the personnel of Town departments as will enable him/her to fully perform his/her duties.

§ 48-4 Severability.

The provisions of this bylaw are hereby declared to be severable, and if any such provision or the application of any such provision to any person or circumstances shall be held to be invalid, illegal or unconstitutional, such invalidity, illegality or unconstitutionality shall not be construed to affect the validity, legality or constitutionality of any of the remaining provisions or the application of said bylaw to persons or circumstances other than those to which it is held invalid, illegal or unconstitutional.

§ 48-5 Construal of provisions.

Nothing in this bylaw shall be construed to conflict with Chapter 31 of the Massachusetts General Laws.

§ 48-6 Establishment.

A. 
This bylaw authorizes a personnel administration plan for Town employees, hereinafter called the "plan," which classifies the several positions of Town service into groups, establishes salary schedules, a system of personnel records and an employee grievance procedure in accordance with the authority vested in the Personnel Board, the Town Manager and the Board of Selectmen. The plan shall include all Administrative Orders set forth herein.
B. 
The Town Manager, pursuant to Section 4-2 of the Town Charter, shall administer this plan and shall determine all questions arising thereunder, with assistance from the Human Resource Director and the Personnel Board. Any increase in wages or salaries under the plan shall be effective only if approved by the Finance Committee and the Board of Selectmen, and funds are available for the purpose, provided that nothing in this subsection shall be construed as authorizing the implementation of any contract, or part thereof, negotiated with a labor union prior to the approval of an appropriation for the contract by vote of Town Meeting.

§ 48-7 Administrative Order No. 1: Employee classification.

As applied in this bylaw, the following words and phrases define employee classifications:
A. 
Full-time employee: an employee who is scheduled to work 40 hours per week.
B. 
Benefit-eligible employee: an employee who is regularly scheduled to work 20 hours or more per week.
C. 
Part-time employee: an employee who is scheduled to work less than 20 hours per week. Such employees are not eligible for benefits, including but not limited to vacation leave, sick leave, and health insurance coverage under MGL C. 32B.
D. 
Intermittent employee: an employee who works any shift or a portion of a shift as needed. Such employees are not eligible for benefits, including but not limited to vacation leave, sick leave, and health insurance coverage under MGL C. 32B.
E. 
Seasonal/Temporary employee: an employee who is hired for a limited duration of time, not to extend beyond six months. Such employees are not eligible for benefits, including but not limited to vacation leave, sick leave, and health insurance coverage under MGL C. 32B.
F. 
Exempt employee: an administrative, executive or professional employee as defined by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).[1] Such an employee is typically paid on a salary basis.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq.
G. 
Nonexempt employee: an employee who is paid for the hours worked each week, and entitled under the FLSA to overtime for hours actually worked in excess of 40 hours per week. These employees are typically paid on an hourly basis.

§ 48-8 Administrative Order No. 2: Personnel records.

There shall be maintained in the office of the Human Resources Director an individual file for each employee of the Town, subject to state and federal laws.

§ 48-9 Administrative Order No. 3: Grievance procedure.

A. 
A "grievance/complaint" is defined as a request by an individual or group of individuals for personal relief in any matter of concern or dissatisfaction which is subject to the control of Town management. The grievance/complaint procedure is subject to the provisions of the bylaw or federal and state statutes. This section shall not apply to grievances or complaints that are otherwise governed by any applicable collective bargaining agreement. Procedure for seeking redress is as follows:
(1) 
Step 1: Any grievance will first be presented to the immediate supervisor or Board member, within the time frame set forth in Subsection B below. That supervisor will make whatever investigation he/she deems necessary to clarify the matter in question and to resolve the problem or misunderstanding if possible. The immediate supervisor or board member should notify the Human Resources Director of the grievance and the steps the immediate supervisor is taking to address the grievance. The Human Resources Director shall advise the immediate supervisor or board on how best to resolve the grievance. The immediate supervisor's/board member's decision will be made as soon as practicable after full discussion by the parties concerned but not later than five business days from the date of the presentation of the grievance. Every attempt should be made by both parties to resolve the grievance at this step. If the grievance cannot be resolved at this Step 1, the grievant may proceed to Step 2A (if the grievant's immediate supervisor is not the Town Manager) or to Step 2B (if the grievant's immediate supervisor is the Town Manager).
(2) 
Step 2A: Formal procedure (If the grievant's immediate supervisor is not the Town Manager). If the grievant is dissatisfied with the decision at Step 1, he/she may take up the matter, in writing, with the Town Manager within five business days of the decision. Within 14 business days after receipt of the written grievance, the Town Manager will meet with the grievant and/or grievant's immediate supervisor. An investigation or inquiry into the grievance by the Town Manager, including discussion with principal parties concerned, may take place. The Town Manager will render a decision, in writing, within 30 calendar days from the date of the meeting with the grievant and/or grievant's immediate supervisor, a copy of which will be provided to the grievant. The Town Manager shall keep a separate record of his/her proceedings which shall not be open to public inspection, except as may otherwise be required by law.
(2B) 
Step 2B: Formal procedure (if the grievant's immediate supervisor is the Town Manager): The Town Manager will render a decision, in writing, within 30 calendar days from the date of the meeting with the grievant and/or grievant's immediate supervisor, a copy of which will be provided to the grievant. The Town Manager shall keep a separate record of his/her proceedings which shall not be open to public inspection, except as may otherwise be required by law.
(3) 
If the grievant is dissatisfied with the decision at Step 2, he/she may, prior to bringing the grievance to Step 3, request an advisory opinion from the Personnel Board on the validity of the grievance and request that the Personnel Board file said advisory opinion with the Board of Selectmen at Step 3. The Board of Selectmen may, at their discretion, utilize said opinion when ruling on the grievance at Step 3. Said request to the Personnel Board for an advisory opinion shall be made within five business days of the Town Manager's decision. The Personnel Board's advisory opinion will be rendered, in writing, and filed with the Board of Selectmen within 30 calendar days from receipt of the request. The Personnel Board shall keep a separate record of its proceedings which shall not be open to public inspection, except as may otherwise be required by law.
(4) 
Step 3: If a grievant is dissatisfied with the Town Manager's decision at Step 2, the grievant may appeal that decision to the Board of Selectmen. The appeal shall be in writing and submitted within five business days after the date on which the grievant received the Step 2 decision, or within 35 business days of the request to the Personnel Board of an advisory opinion. A decision will be issued to the grievant in writing by the Board of Selectmen within 20 business days from the receipt of the appeal.
B. 
Any grievance which is not taken up by the grievant with his/her immediate supervisor at Step 1 within 15 calendar days after the last occurrence of the action or event out of which the grievance arose shall not be presented or considered at a later date.
C. 
All time limits provided for herein may be extended by mutual agreement between the grievant and the Town Manager or the Board of Selectmen. Failure of the Town to observe the time limits with respect to any step in the grievance procedure shall entitle the grievant to advance the grievance to the next step. Failure of the grievant to observe the time limits provided shall constitute withdrawal of the grievance.
D. 
Any grievance that has not been processed through the informal step (Step 1) may not be processed through the formal step(s). Any grievance not processed through Step 2 may not be processed to the Board of Selectmen.
E. 
Unless mutually agreed otherwise, identical grievances to which this order applies will be processed under the procedures of the order by having one grievance processed, the result of which will be binding on the other grievance(s). Identical grievances herein referred to are those where the dissatisfaction expressed and relief requested are the same.

§ 48-10 Administrative Order No. 4: Classification and Wage/Salary Schedule.

A. 
The following regulations shall govern the administration of the Classification and Wage/Salary Schedule.
(1) 
New personnel.
(a) 
A new employee will be hired consistent with the Wage and Salary Classification Schedule subject to appropriation and consistent with the Town Charter, as it may be amended.
(b) 
The first six months of employment will be a probationary period, during which time an employee may be discharged without recourse for poor potential or performance.
(2) 
Reclassification of employees. No employee will be reclassified from one position to another without prior approval of the Town Manager as to the consistency of the action with the provisions of this order.
(3) 
In-grade advancement.
(a) 
Subject to the approval of the appropriate department head and the Town Manager, every employee subject to the plan who has been in continuous employment of the Town for at least six months prior to the start of the Fiscal Year (July 1), and who has a satisfactory performance record, shall be eligible for advancement within the range associated with the grade, pursuant to the Performance Incentive Program, as amended, originally adopted and approved by the Board of Selectmen on July 1, 2012, until the maximum for the job is reached.
(4) 
Position titles, descriptions and employment agreements.
(a) 
No person shall be appointed, employed or paid as an employee in any position subject to the provisions of the personnel administration plan under any title other than those of the classification and wage/salary schedule or under any title other than that of the job the duties of which are actually performed. The job title in the classification and wage/salary schedule shall be the official title for all purposes having to do with the position and shall be used to designate the position in all payrolls, budget estimates and official reports and in every other connection involving personnel and fiscal processes.
(b) 
Job descriptions shall be developed by the Town Manager and Board of Selectmen. Job descriptions shall be maintained by the Town Manager and Human Resources Director for each position subject to the provisions of the personnel administration plan. All changes to any of these job descriptions shall be reviewed and commented on by the Personnel Board and must be approved by the Town Manager and Board of Selectmen.
(c) 
No employment agreement shall be entered into by the Town with employees subject to the personnel administration plan without prior approval of the Town Manager and Board of Selectmen.