City of Seward, NE
Seward County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Seward as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Officers and employees — See Ch. 85.
Salaries and compensation — See Ch. 113.
[Adopted as Ch. 2, Art. 11, §§ 1103 through 1107, of the 1976 Code]
(Neb. RS 19-1825 et seq.)
A. 
All appointments to and promotions in the Police Department shall be made solely on merit, efficiency, and fitness, which shall be ascertained by open competitive examinations and impartial investigation by the Civil Service Commission ("Commission").
B. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
APPOINTMENT
All means of selecting, appointing, or employing any person to hold any position or employment subject to civil service.
POSITION
An individual job which is designated by an official title indicative of the nature of the work.
PROMOTION OR DEMOTION
Changing from one position to another, accompanied by a corresponding change in current rate of pay.
C. 
Requirements for civil service position applicants. An applicant for a position of any kind under civil service shall be able to read and write the English language, meet the minimum job qualifications of the position as established by the Mayor, and be of good moral character. An applicant shall be required to disclose his or her past employment history and his or her criminal record, if any, and submit a full set of his or her fingerprints and a written statement of permission authorizing the appointing authority to forward the fingerprints for identification. Prior to certifying to the Mayor the names of the persons eligible for the position or positions, the Commission shall validate the qualifications of such persons.[1]
(1) 
The Mayor shall require an applicant, as part of the application process, to submit a full set of his or her fingerprints along with written permission authorizing the appointing authority to forward the fingerprints to the Federal Bureau of Investigation through the Nebraska State Patrol, for identification. The fingerprint identification shall be solely for the purpose of confirming information provided by the applicant.
(2) 
Any fingerprints received by the Commission or Mayor pursuant to a request made under Subsection C(1) of this section and any information in the custody of the Commission or Mayor resulting from inquiries or investigations made with regard to those fingerprints initiated by the Commission or Mayor shall not be a public record within the meaning of Neb. RS 84-712 to 84-712.09 and shall be withheld from the public by the lawful custodians of such fingerprints and information and shall only be released to those lawfully entitled to the possession of such fingerprints and information. Any member, officer, agent, or employee of the municipality who comes into possession of fingerprints and information gathered pursuant to Subsection C(1) of this section shall be an official within the meaning of Neb. RS 84-712.09.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
D. 
Filling of a vacant position.
(1) 
Considerations. If the Mayor, with the approval of the Council, fills a vacancy in a position subject to the Civil Service Act (Neb. RS 19-1825 et seq.), he or she shall consider factors including, but not limited to:
(a) 
The multiple job skills recently or currently being performed by the applicant which are necessary for the position;
(b) 
The knowledge, skills, and abilities of the applicant which are necessary for the position;
(c) 
The performance appraisals of any applicant who is already employed in the department, including any recent or pending disciplinary actions involving the employee;
(d) 
The employment policies and staffing needs of the department, together with contracts, ordinances, and statutes related thereto;
(e) 
Required federal, state, or local certifications or licenses necessary for the position; and
(f) 
The qualifications of the applicants who are already employed in the department and have successfully completed all parts of the examination for the position. No person shall be reinstated in or transferred, suspended, or discharged from any such position or employment contrary to the Civil Service Act.
(2) 
Procedure for filling vacant positions. Whenever a position subject to the Civil Service Act becomes vacant, the Mayor shall make requisition upon the Commission for the names and addresses of the persons eligible for appointment and may decline to fill such vacancy for an indefinite period. If the Commission certifies fewer than three names for each vacancy to the Mayor, the Mayor may, with approval of the Council, appoint one of such persons to fill the vacancy, may decline to fill the vacancy, or may order that another examination be held by the Civil Service Commission.
(3) 
Temporary appointments. If a vacancy occurs and there is no eligible list for the position or if the Commission has not certified the eligible list, a temporary appointment may be made by the Mayor. Such temporary appointment shall not continue for a period longer than four months. No person shall receive more than one temporary appointment or serve more than four months as a temporary appointee in any one fiscal year.
To enable the Mayor to exercise the choice in the filling of positions, no appointment, employment, or promotion in any position in the service shall be deemed complete until after the expiration of a period of six months from the date of employment and successful completion of certification by the Nebraska Law Enforcement Training Center for Police Officers, as may be provided in the rules of the Civil Service Commission, during which time the Mayor, with the approval of the Council, may terminate the employment of the person appointed by him or her if, during the performance test this afforded and upon an observation or consideration of the performance of duty, the Mayor deems such person unfit or unsatisfactory for service in the department. The Mayor, with the approval of the Council, may appoint one of the other persons certified by the Commission and such person shall likewise enter upon such duties until some person is found who is fit for appointment, employment or promotion for the probationary period provided and then the appointment, employment, or promotion shall be complete.
A. 
Tenure of employment. The tenure of a person holding a position of employment under the Civil Service Act shall be only during good behavior.
B. 
Causes for disciplinary action. Any such person may be removed or discharged, suspended with or without pay, demoted, reduced in rank, or deprived of vacation, benefits, compensation, or other privileges, except pension benefits, for any of the following reasons:
(1) 
Incompetency, inefficiency, or inattention to or dereliction of duty;
(2) 
Dishonesty, prejudicial conduct, immoral conduct, insubordination, discourteous treatment of the public or a fellow employee, any act of omission or commission tending to injure the public service, any willful failure on the part of the employee to properly conduct himself or herself, or any willful violation of the Civil Service Act or the rules and regulations adopted pursuant to such Act;
(3) 
Mental or physical unfitness for the position which the employee holds;
(4) 
Drunkenness or the use of intoxicating liquors, narcotics, or any other habit-forming drug, liquid or preparation to such an extent that the use interferes with the efficiency or mental or physical fitness of the employee or precludes the employee from properly performing the functions and duties of his or her position;
(5) 
Conviction of a felony or misdemeanor tending to injure the employee's ability to effectively perform the duties of his or her position; or
(6) 
Any other act or failure to act which, in the judgment of the Civil Service Commissioners, is sufficient to justify the offender to be an unsuitable and unfit person to be employed in the public service.
C. 
Disciplinary action procedure.
(1) 
No employee in the civil service who shall have been permanently appointed or inducted into civil service shall be removed, suspended, demoted, or discharged, except for cause and then only upon the written accusation of the Police Chief, Mayor, or any citizen or taxpayer.
(2) 
The written accusation shall set forth the alleged misconduct, charges, or grounds for investigation against the employee. The written accusation shall be filed by the complainant with the Secretary of the Commission, who shall cause a copy of such written accusation to be delivered within 72 hours after the filing to a) the Police Chief, b) the Mayor, and c) the employee personally or by certified mail, addressed to the employee at the residence address of the employee shown in the personnel records. The Secretary of the Commission shall cause a return showing such delivery or mailing to be executed and filed in the Secretary's office.
(3) 
The Police Chief shall have the authority to immediately suspend, with pay, an employee against whom such written accusation has been filed, pending the confirmation of the suspension, or a decision of the Mayor to reinstate the employee, remove, demote, discharge, or suspend the employee, with or without pay.
(4) 
Prior to the decision of the Mayor to reinstate the employee or remove, demote, discharge, or suspend the employee, with or without pay, the Police Chief shall, within a reasonable period of time, investigate the alleged misconduct, charges, or grounds against the employee and explain the basis of the employer's evidence to the employee and provide the employee an opportunity to present his or her version of the circumstances which resulted in the filing of the written accusation. If the Chief's investigation reveals other misconduct, charges, or grounds, the Chief shall amend the written accusation to include the other misconduct, charges, or grounds by filing an amendment to the written accusation with the Secretary of the Commission, who shall cause a copy of such amended accusation to be delivered within 72 hours after the filing to a) the Police Chief, b) the Mayor, and c) the employee personally or by certified mail, addressed to the employee at the residence address of the employee shown in the personnel records. The Secretary of the Commission shall cause a return showing such delivery or mailing to be executed and filed in the Secretary's office. In the event that a Police Chief is being disciplined, the Mayor shall follow the same procedures as are followed by the Police Chief in disciplining employees under the Act. Upon completion of this procedure within a reasonable period of time, the Police Chief shall recommend in writing to the Mayor that the alleged misconduct, charges, or grounds set forth in the written accusation be deemed 1) to be without merit; 2) to not warrant disciplinary action, 3) to warrant disciplinary action less severe than removal, demotion, discharge, or suspension, with or without pay, such as an oral or written reprimand, or 4) to warrant removal, demotion, discharge, or suspension with or without pay.
(5) 
Within 20 calendar days after receiving the written recommendation of the Police Chief, the Mayor shall decide to accept the recommendation of the Police Chief, or shall decide that the alleged misconduct, charges, or grounds for investigation against the employee set forth in the written accusation be deemed: a) to be without merit, b) to not warrant disciplinary action, c) to warrant disciplinary action less severe than removal, demotion, discharge, or suspension, with or without pay, such as an oral or written reprimand, or d) to warrant removal, demotion, discharge, or suspension, with or without pay. If a discharge is being recommended, Council approval shall be required. The Mayor shall file a copy of his or her decision, within 25 calendar days after receiving the written recommendation of the Police Chief, with the Secretary of the Commission, who shall cause a copy of such decision to be filed within 72 hours after the filing to 1) the Police Chief, and 2) the employee, personally or by certified mail, addressed to the employee at the residence address of the employee shown in the personnel records. The Secretary of the Commission shall cause a return showing such delivery or mailing to be executed and filed in the Secretary's office.
(6) 
Any employee so removed, suspended, demoted or discharged may, within 10 calendar days after receiving written notice of the Mayor's decision, file a written demand for an investigation and public hearing by the Civil Service Commission. The employee shall file the request for the hearing with the Secretary of the Commission and simultaneously send a copy of the request to the Mayor. The failure to file such request with the Secretary of the Commission within 10 calendar days of receipt of notice of the action by the Mayor shall constitute a waiver of the employee's right to review by the Civil Service Commission and the Mayor's decision shall become final.
(7) 
Within 10 calendar days of receipt of the employee's notice of appeal, the Mayor shall cause to be mailed or delivered the following notice to the employee and Secretary of the Civil Service Commission:
(a) 
A statement of the charge(s);
(b) 
The names of the witnesses who will be called on behalf of the Mayor and a general statement of the nature of their testimony; and
(c) 
Copies of the documents to be introduced.
(8) 
Within 10 calendar days of the filing of the written demand for an investigation and public hearing by the Commission, the employee shall mail or deliver the following upon the Mayor and Commission:
(a) 
A response to the statement of the charge(s);
(b) 
The names of the witnesses who will be called on behalf of the employee and a general statement of the nature of their testimony; and
(c) 
Copies of the documents to be introduced.
(9) 
Upon receipt of a written demand, the Commission shall conduct an investigation. The Commission may be represented in such investigation and public hearing by the City Attorney if authorized by the Mayor. If the City Attorney does not represent the Commission, the Commission may be represented by special counsel appointed by the Commission for any such investigation and hearing. The investigation shall consist solely of a review of the written submissions of the Mayor and employee to determine whether any individuals or documents should be subpoenaed by the Commission for the subsequent public hearing before the Commission ultimately to determine whether the Mayor acted in good faith for cause. "Good faith for cause" shall mean that the action was not arbitrary or capricious and was not made for political or religious reasons.
(10) 
The Commission shall schedule a public hearing no less than 10 calendar days nor more than 20 calendar days from the date of filing of the employee's written demand for an investigation. The Commission shall notify the Mayor and employee of the date, time and place of the hearing, in writing, at least five calendar days prior to the date of the hearing.
(11) 
The Mayor shall be permitted to appear in person and by counsel and to present his or her case. The Mayor may present evidence by testimony and documents and shall be permitted to cross-examine the employee's witnesses. At the hearing, the employee shall be permitted to appear in person and by counsel and to present his or her defense. The employee may present evidence by testimony and documents and shall be permitted to cross-examine the witnesses called by the Mayor.
(12) 
The Commission may affirm the action taken by the Mayor if such action is supported by a preponderance of the evidence. If the Commission finds that the removal, suspension, demotion or discharge was made for political or religious reasons or was not made in good faith for cause, it shall order the immediate reinstatement or reemployment of such employee in the position or employment from which such employee was removed, suspended, demoted, or discharged, which reinstatement shall, if the Commission in its discretion so provides, be retroactive and entitle such person to compensation and restoration of benefits and privileges from the time of such removal, suspension, demotion, or discharge.
(13) 
After the hearing, in lieu of affirming the removal, suspension, demotion, or discharge, the Commission may modify the order of removal, suspension, demotion, or discharge by directing a suspension, with or without pay, for a given period and the subsequent restoration to duty or demotion in position or pay. No later than 10 calendar days after the hearing, the Commission shall certify its findings in writing to the employee and the Mayor, who shall enforce them.
A. 
Establishment. In establishing a reduction in force policy, the Mayor and Council shall consider recommendations from the Civil Service Commission, but shall not be bound by them. Prior to the adoption of a reduction in force policy, the Mayor and Council shall, after giving reasonable notice to each police officer by first class mail, conduct a public hearing.
B. 
Factors. The Mayor and Council shall adopt a reduction in force policy which shall consider factors including, but not limited to:
(1) 
The multiple job skills recently or currently being performed by the employee;
(2) 
The knowledge, skills, and abilities of the employees;
(3) 
The performance appraisal of the employee, including any recent or pending disciplinary actions involving the employee;
(4) 
The employment policies and staffing needs of the department, together with contracts, ordinances, and statutes related thereto;
(5) 
Required federal, state, or local certifications or licenses; and
(6) 
Seniority.
A leave of absence with or without pay may be granted by the Mayor to any person under civil service. The Mayor shall give notice of such leave to the Commission. all appointments for temporary employment resulting from such leaves of absence shall be made from the eligible list, if any, of the civil service.
[Adopted 12-15-1981 by Ord. No. 49-81 (Ch. 2, Art. 13, of the 1976 Code)]
In matters of employee salary benefits and administrative personnel actions and policies, the Library Board, the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners, the Municipal Cemetery, and the Civic Center Commission shall comply with the uniform policies as outlined in the current wage and benefit survey and personnel manual of the City of Seward, Nebraska, and ensure that personnel forms required on all City personnel in their employ and under their supervision are filed with the City Clerk-Treasurer.