Township of Hamilton, NJ
Mercer County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Hamilton as Ch. 106 of the 1994 Code of Ordinances. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Contracting procedures — See Ch. 19.
Criminal history background checks — See Ch. 24.
Political campaign practices — See Ch. 66.
A. 
Employment in the Township shall be based on merit and fitness, free of personal and political considerations.
B. 
Appointments, promotions and other personnel actions shall be on a merit basis.
C. 
Qualified Township personnel shall be given first consideration for vacancies and new positions.
D. 
The Township shall have a personnel manual, which shall be updated periodically.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
The Township Council may by ordinance abolish, increase, decrease or modify the terms and compensation of any office of the Township, except that the Township Council may not abolish or alter the terms of an office that has been or is created by general law. Except where an office is abolished, no decrease or modification of its terms and compensation shall affect any incumbent holding such office for the duration of the term for which he was appointed.
All employees, officers and department heads of the Township shall be appointed and promoted by the Mayor, except as may be otherwise provided by ordinance, general law or civil service regulations.
Original appointments to fill vacancies or for new positions of the Township shall be limited to qualified persons who have been interviewed or tested concerning such factors as education, experience, aptitude, knowledge, character and physical and mental fitness.
Provided they are qualified for the positions for which they have applied, preference shall be given, in appointments to fill vacancies and new positions of the Township, first, to employees of the Township, and, secondly, to persons who are residents of the Township at the time of their appointment. The Township Council may by ordinance provide that all officers and employees shall be residents of the Township.
[Amended 2-2-1994 by Ord. No. 94-002]
All persons appointed by the Mayor as employees of the Township shall be residents of the Township at the time of application for employment, which residency shall be continuously maintained up to and including the date of appointment. See N.J.A.C. 4A:4-2.11(b). This section shall not apply to those positions which are exempted from residency requirements by state statute.
A. 
Applicants for employment with the Township shall apply on forms provided by the Division of Personnel and which have been designed to obtain pertinent information concerning the applicant's education, training, experience, character and other factors necessary to determine his fitness and qualification for service to the Township. All applications shall be filed with the Division of Personnel.
B. 
The Division of Personnel shall be charged with processing all applications for appointment to vacancies or new positions and reporting thereon to the Administrator or department heads. Where it appears that an applicant is otherwise qualified for employment, the Division of Personnel shall require that the applicant furnish evidence that he is physically fit for the position for which he seeks employment.
C. 
Application for membership in the Police Division shall be channeled through the Division of Personnel in conjunction with the Chief of Police.
An applicant for employment with the Township may be rejected where he:
A. 
Is not qualified for appointment to the position for which he has applied.
B. 
Is physically unfit to perform the duties of the position for which he has applied.
C. 
Is addicted to the habitual or excessive use of drugs or intoxicants.
D. 
Has been convicted of any crime or offense, including disorderly persons offenses involving moral turpitude.
E. 
Has received other than an honorable discharge from the Armed Services of the United States.
F. 
Has been dismissed from previous employment for delinquency, insubordination or misconduct.
G. 
Has practiced or attempted to practice any deception or fraud in his application or in furnishing other evidence of eligibility for appointment.
H. 
Is not within age limits that have been established for the position for which he seeks appointment.
A. 
Except when provided by law, every person appointed to a new position of the Township shall be deemed to be on probation in the position to which he shall have been appointed for a period of three months, but such probation shall not affect the permanent status of any other Township employment that such person may have achieved. To determine whether he shall be granted permanent status or dismissed, the employee or officer, prior to his completion of the probationary period, shall be evaluated by the department head or division head, or, in the case of a member or employee in the Police Division, by the Chief of Police, and such evaluation shall be submitted to the Division of Personnel. The Division of Personnel will require reports and recommendations from immediate superiors and department heads for this purpose.
B. 
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 52:17B-69, a probationary or temporary appointment as a police officer may be made for a total period not exceeding one year for the purpose of enabling a person seeking permanent appointment to take a police training course as required by law.
The Division of Personnel shall initiate a personnel file for each new employee of the Township, and all records of such employee concerning qualification, permanent status, work history, accumulated vacation and sick leave, leave time and the like shall be maintained for such employee in such file. The Division of Personnel shall make such files available for inspection by the employee on a reasonable basis.
The hours of work for employees of the Township, including lunch hours, shall be as specified by the Mayor.
A. 
Due to the emergency nature of the work of the Police Division, the provisions of this section shall not be applicable to members of the Police Division.
B. 
Paid holidays observed by the Township shall be as specified in respective labor agreements.
C. 
If any observed holiday falls on a Sunday, it shall be observed on the following Monday.
D. 
If an observed holiday falls on a Saturday, it shall be celebrated on the preceding Friday.
E. 
If an official holiday is observed during an employee's vacation, he shall be entitled to an additional vacation day. Should an official holiday occur while an employee is on sick leave, he shall not have that holiday charged against his sick leave.
F. 
Employees are eligible for holiday pay.
G. 
Employees who are on leave of absence without pay will not be eligible for holiday pay.
Employees of the Township will be included in the following units:
A. 
Management employees.
B. 
Lower level supervisors bargaining unit. Majority representative: Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Local #1040.
C. 
Lower level supervisors bargaining unit. Majority representative: Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO, Local #1032.
D. 
Police superior officers bargaining unit. Majority representative: Superior Officers Association.
E. 
Police rank and file bargaining unit. Majority representative: New Jersey State Policeman's Benevolent Associations Inc. Local 66.
F. 
White collar bargaining unit. Majority representative: Communications Workers of America, AFL-CIO.
G. 
White collar bargaining unit. Majority representative: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, AFL-CIO, Local 2475.
Fringe benefits may vary in the groups listed in § 45-13, in which case they will be outlined in their respective labor agreements as well as the personnel policy manual.
[Amended 6-4-2020 by Ord. No. 20-029]
A. 
Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT
Any form of nonmunicipal employment, self-employment or business relationship involving the provision of personal services, whether or not for compensation. It includes, but is not limited to, services as an officer, director, employee, agent, advisor, attorney, consultant, contractor, general partner, trustee, teacher, or speaker. It includes writing when done under an arrangement with another person or entity for production or publication of the written product. Outside employment includes the provision of consultative or professional service or involves a fiduciary relationship (definitions for which follow below). The definition of "outside employment" does not include positions as trustee for a family trust for which the only beneficiaries are the employee, the employee's spouse, the employee's minor or dependent children, or any combination thereof. The definition also does not include participation in the activities of a nonprofit charitable, pro bono, religious, professional, social, fraternal, educational, recreational, public service, political or civil organization.
(1) 
CONSULTATIVE SERVICE — Consultative service, which shall be included in the definition of "outside employment," shall mean the provision of personal services by an employee, including the rendering of advice or consultation, which requires advance knowledge in a field of science or learning customarily acquired by a course of specialized instruction and study in an institution of higher education, hospital or similar facility.
(2) 
PROFESSIONAL SERVICE — Professional service, which shall be included in the definition of "outside employment," shall mean the provision of personal services by an employee, including the rendering of advice or consultation, which involves the application of the skills of a profession which is defined as a calling requiring specialized knowledge and often long and intensive preparation, including instruction in skills and methods as well as in the scientific, historical or scholarly principles underlying such skills and methods. It is characteristic of a profession that those in the profession, through force of organization or concerted opinion, establish and maintain high standards of achievement and conduct, and commit its practitioners to continued study of the field. Consulting and advising with respect to subject matter that is generally regarded as the province of practitioners of a profession shall be considered a profession.
(3) 
FIDUCIARY RELATIONSHIP (SERVICES INVOLVING) — A profession which involves a fiduciary relationship, which shall be included in the definition of "outside employment," means a profession practiced by an employee in which the nature of the services provided causes the recipient of those services to place a substantial degree of trust and confidence in the integrity, fidelity and specialized knowledge of the practitioner. Such professions are not limited to those whose practitioners are legally defined as fiduciaries and include practitioners in such areas as law, insurance, medicine, architecture, financial services and accounting.
B. 
No Township full-time employee shall perform outside employment for more than 10 hours per week without obtaining annual prior written approval from their Director. No Township full-time officer shall perform outside employment for more than 10 hours per week without obtaining annual prior written approval from the Personnel Officer, Assistant Business Administrator and the Director of Law. Any Township employee or officer who has previously received approval for outside employment of more than 20 hours per week shall now obtain annual written approval for more than 10 hours per week of outside employment. The employee's or officer's position with the Township is the priority consideration in making the annual determination as to whether the outside employment is compatible or incompatible with Township employment. Township officers and employees may engage in outside employment that is compatible with the proper discharge of their official duties and as long as such employment does not:
(1) 
Bring disfavor or disrespect upon the officer or employee, the Township, or the department or office in which the officer or employee works, in accordance with the judgment of the director of his or her department or office.
(2) 
Impede, or adversely affect directly or indirectly, the performance or proper discharge of the officer's or employee's official duties.
(3) 
Take place during the time the officer or employee is being paid for or is conducting Township work, in Township uniform, or while wearing a badge or other insignia that identifies him or her as a Township officer or employee; using any Township-owned or leased resources, such as telephones, vehicles, printers, computers, or other supplies or equipment.
(4) 
Engage in any employment, enterprise or outside activity which is in conflict with the duties, functions, responsibilities, or the department by which the officer or employee serves.
C. 
A Township officer or employee may not perform outside employment during the same 24 hours during which the Township officer or employee is receiving sick leave or injury benefits from the Township. An officer or employee who is injured, disabled or becomes ill as a result of his or her outside employment shall not be given injury benefits by the Township.
D. 
Failure to comply with this chapter by any Township officer or employee, or to comply with additional policies adopted by the Division of Personnel and/or individual departments or offices in accordance with this chapter, shall be considered grounds for dismissal and other disciplinary action, and for recovery of wages and benefits paid by the Township.
E. 
A director, the Assistant Business Director and/or the Personnel Officer shall have the unilateral right to rescind the approval of outside employment of a Township employee or officer, should the outside employment become incompatible with the proper discharge of the employee's or officer's official duties or for any other reason listed in Subsection B, above.
F. 
Conformance with other laws. Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to authorize a Township officer or employee to engage in outside employment in violation of any other applicable federal, state or local law or regulation, including but not limited to laws and regulations governing conflicts of interest and other ethics concerns.
G. 
A Township officer or employee authorized to engage in outside employment is obligated to report outside sources of income on any required annual financial disclosure statements he or she is required to file.
H. 
Should written approval be denied to a Township employee or officer to engage in outside employment or revoked, the Township employee or officer may appeal the decision in writing to a committee consisting of the Personnel Director, the Business Administrator and one additional employee or officer (including a union representative) of the Township employee's or officer's choice. The committee shall have 20 days to convene and make a written determination on whether to approve or disapprove the request to engage in outside employment.
A. 
General procedure. All employees of the Township who have acquired permanent status, except those appointed by the Mayor pursuant to § 5-4A(4), shall be disciplined in accordance with civil service regulations.
B. 
Hearings. Hearings with respect to disciplinary actions and grievances shall be conducted in accordance with civil service rules and regulations or respective labor agreements.
C. 
Exceptions. The provisions of this section shall not apply to members of the Police Division, who shall be governed by the provisions established by the Council.
It is hereby declared to be the policy of the Township to recognize and encourage meritorious actions on the part of its officers and employees. To this end, letters of commendation concerning Township employees from their superiors and from members of the public with whom they deal shall be directed to the attention of the Mayor and then recorded in the employee's personnel file. In addition, the Mayor may, on his own motion, commend the work of particular officers and employees and cause such commendation to be inserted in their personnel files.
[Amended 3-19-2013 by Ord. No. 13-012; 10-20-2015 by Ord. No. 15-042]
A. 
Township officers and/or employees under the jurisdiction of the New Jersey Local Finance Board shall comply with the following provisions:
(1) 
No Township officer and/or employee or member of his or her immediate family shall have an interest in a business organization or engage in any business, transaction, or professional activity, which is in substantial conflict with the proper discharge of his or her duties in the public interest;
(2) 
Actions following termination of service.
(a) 
No independent Township authority shall, for a period of one year next subsequent to the termination of office of a member of that authority:
1. 
Award any contract which is not publicly bid to a former member of that authority;
2. 
Allow a former member of that authority to represent, appear for or negotiate on behalf of any other party before that authority; or
3. 
Employ for compensation, except pursuant to open competitive examination in accordance with Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes and the rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, any former member of that authority.
(b) 
The restrictions contained in this subsection shall also apply to any business organization in which the former authority member holds an interest;
(3) 
No Township officer and/or employee shall use or attempt to use his or her official position to secure unwarranted privileges or advantages for himself, herself or others;
(4) 
No Township officer and/or employee shall act in his or her official capacity in any matter where he, she, a member of his or her immediate family, or a business organization in which he or she has an interest, has a direct or indirect financial or personal involvement that might reasonably be expected to impair his or her objectivity or independence of judgment;
(5) 
No Township officer and/or employee shall undertake any employment or service, whether compensated or not, which might reasonably be expected to prejudice his or her independence of judgment in the exercise of his or her official duties;
(6) 
No Township officer and/or employee, member of his or her immediate family, or business organization in which he or she has an interest, shall solicit or accept any gift, favor, loan, political contribution, service, promise of future employment, or other thing of value based upon an understanding that the gift, favor, loan, contribution, service, promise, or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing him or her, directly or indirectly, in the discharge of his or her official duties. This provision shall not apply to the solicitation or acceptance of contributions to the campaign of an announced candidate for elective public office, if the Township officer has no knowledge or reason to believe that the campaign contribution, if accepted, was given with the intent to influence the Township officer in the discharge of his or her official duties;
(7) 
No Township officer and/or employee shall use, or allow to be used, his or her public office or employment, or any information, not generally available to the members of the public, which he or she receives or acquires in the course of and by reason of his or her office or employment, for the purpose of securing financial gain for himself, herself, any member of his or her immediate family, or any business organization with which he or she is associated;
(8) 
No Township officer and/or employee or business organization in which he or she has an interest shall represent any person or party other than the local government in connection with any cause, proceeding, application or other matter pending before any agency in the Township in which he or she serves. This provision shall not be deemed to prohibit one Township employee from representing another Township employee where the Township agency is the employer and the representation is within the context of the official labor union or similar representational responsibilities;
(9) 
No Township officer shall be deemed in conflict with these provisions if, by reason of his or her participation in the enactment of any ordinance, resolution or other matter required to be voted upon or which is subject to executive approval or veto, no material or monetary gain accrues to him or her as a member of any business, profession, occupation or group, to any greater extent than any gain could reasonably be expected to accrue to any other member of such business, profession, occupation or group;
(10) 
No elected Township officer shall be prohibited from making an inquiry for information on behalf of a constituent, if no fee, reward or other thing of value is promised to, given to or accepted by the officer or a member of his or her immediate family, whether directly or indirectly, in return therefor; and
(11) 
Nothing shall prohibit any Township officer or employee, or members of his or her immediate family, from representing himself, herself, or themselves, in negotiations or proceedings concerning his, her, or their, own interest.
B. 
Township officers, employees and/or members of certain Township boards or commissions subject to the provisions of the New Jersey Local Government Ethics Law or any successor statute, elected, appointed, or otherwise, shall receive and acknowledge receipt and understanding thereof, in writing, on an annual basis, the Code of Ethics of the Township. The Code of Ethics of the Township, which shall supplement the provisions of Subsection A above, may be amended from time to time; however, the Code of Ethics must always apply equally to any individual subject thereof by virtue of this section.
C. 
Township officers, employees and/or members of certain Township boards or commissions subject to the provisions of the New Jersey Local Government Ethics Law or any successor statute, elected, appointed, or otherwise, shall be required to attend ethics training which shall be provided by Hamilton Township in the same manner as other personnel-based training as required from time to time by the Mayor.
D. 
Township officers, employees and/or members of any Township board or commission, elected, appointed, or otherwise, shall receive and acknowledge receipt and understanding thereof in writing, on an annual basis, the gifts and gratuities policy of the Township. The gifts and gratuities policy of the Township may be amended from time to time by the Mayor; however, the gifts and gratuities policy must always apply equally to any individual subject thereof by virtue of this section.
A. 
Defense of action. The Township shall provide for the defense of any action brought against a public employee on account of any act or omission in the scope of his employment, and this obligation shall extend to any cross-actions, counterclaims or cross-complaints against such employee.
B. 
Exceptions. The provisions of Subsection A of this section shall not be applicable when the Township Attorney determines 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, whether obtained by the Township or by any other person.
(5) 
The public employee fails to deliver to the Township Attorney the original or a copy of any summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading within 10 days of the time of service of the summons, complaint, process, notice, demand or pleading upon the employee.
(6) 
The public employee has failed to cooperate fully with the defense.
C. 
Methods of providing defense. The Township may provide any defense required of it under this section through an attorney from its own staff or by employing other counsel.
D. 
Township control over litigation. Whenever the Township provides any defense required of it under this section, the Township, through counsel, may assume exclusive control over the representation of the public employee, and such employee shall cooperate fully with the defense.
E. 
Indemnification.
(1) 
In any case where the Township is required to provide a defense under this section, the Township shall pay or shall reimburse the public employee for:
(a) 
Any bona fide settlement agreements entered into by the Township.
(b) 
Any judgments entered against the employee.
(c) 
If the Township has failed to provide such required defense, all costs of defending the action, including reasonable counsel fees and expenses, together with costs of any appeal.
(2) 
In any case where the Township would be required to provide a defense under this section except for the fact that such defense is provided for by insurance, the Township shall provide indemnification as provided in this subsection, but only to the extent not covered by insurance.
(3) 
Nothing in this section shall authorize the Township to pay for punitive or exemplary damages or damages resulting from the commission of a crime.
[Added 3-17-2004 by Ord. No. 04-013; amended 4-7-2020 by Ord. No. 20-020]
A. 
Unless otherwise provided by law (or the New Jersey Department of Personnel rule if the position is subject to civil service) or collective bargaining unit agreements, immediate relatives of a Township elected official, director, Business Administrator, or Assistant Business Administrator shall not be hired, transferred or recommended to a regular full-time or regular part-time position. No immediate relative of any Township employee shall have the authority to appoint, remove, discipline, evaluate the performance of, or audit the work of a related municipal employee.
B. 
No Township officials or employees identified in § 45-20A shall advocate for an immediate relative related to the full spectrum of Township commercial activities, including but not limited to buying, contracting, licensing, or leasing or otherwise involving the expenditure of Township funds or use of Township resources.
C. 
For purposes of this section, "immediate relative" includes:
(1) 
Spouse, domestic partner, civil union partner or romantic significant other of the Township officials and employees identified in § 45-20A;
(2) 
Child, stepchild, daughter-in-law or son-in-law of the municipal officials or employees identified in § 45-20A or of those individuals identified in § 45-20C(1);
(3) 
Parents of the municipal officials or employees identified in § 45-20A or of those individuals identified in § 45-20C(1);
(4) 
Grandparents or grandchildren of the municipal officials or employees identified in § 45-20A or of those individuals identified in § 45-20C(1);
(5) 
Siblings and half-siblings of the municipal officials or employees identified in § 45-20A or of those individuals identified in § 45-20C(1); and
(6) 
Any person related by blood or marriage residing in the household of the municipal officials or employees identified in § 45-20A or of those individuals identified in § 45-20C(1).
D. 
Any employee immediately related to another employee will not be employed within the same division. This policy is not for the purpose of depriving any person of equal opportunities within the Township, but is intended to prevent the potential for preferential treatment of immediate relatives of Township personnel.
E. 
This section does not apply to instances of work relationships of immediate relatives that existed before the enactment of this section. Any existing relationships must be disclosed immediately to the Business Administrator, Township Attorney and Director of Personnel to be evaluated and managed in the best interests of the Township and in accordance with law and any relevant collective bargaining agreements, as applicable.
[Added 3-4-2014 by Ord. No. 14-011]
A. 
In any case where the Township provides group health care benefits to its employees pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40A:10-16 et seq., any employee who is eligible for other health care coverage may waive coverage under the Township's plan should they be eligible to receive such coverage.
B. 
If an employee elects to waive health care coverage under the Township's plan, said employee must notify the Division of Personnel on the proper form.
C. 
In consideration for filing a waiver of health care coverage under the Township's plan, pursuant to the calculation in N.J.S.A. 40A:10-17.1, the Township, at its discretion, may pay the employee filing such waiver, annually, 25%, or $5,000, whichever is less, of the amount saved by the Township because of the employee's waiver of coverage. Employees will not receive compensation if the waiver is based upon coverage provided to their spouse, who is also a Hamilton Township employee, or Hamilton Township retiree.
[Amended 6-16-2020 by Ord. No. 20-032]
D. 
An employee who waives coverage shall be permitted to resume coverage under the same terms and conditions as apply to initial coverage if the employee ceases to be covered through the employee's spouse for any reason. An employee who resumes coverage shall repay, on a pro rata basis, any amount received which represents an advance payment for a period of time during which coverage is resumed. If an employee elects to resume coverage, said employee must notify the Division of Personnel on the proper form.
E. 
Payments, if approved at the Township's discretion, will be made semiannually on January 1 and July 1.
[Amended 6-16-2020 by Ord. No. 20-032]