Borough of Caldwell, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Caldwell 12-11-1990 by Ord. No. 896-90. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Code of Ethics — See Ch. 20.
A. 
The personnel policies and practices set forth in this chapter are intended to protect the rights of the citizens of the Borough of Caldwell (the "borough") and the employees of the borough. This chapter is intended to make the information available herein to all employees of the borough and all others interested in its subject matter. The provisions of this chapter apply to all employees, except to the extent modified by contract or statute. In addition to this chapter, there is an Employees Handbook which is further designed to assist municipal officials' and employees' understanding of the employment policies of the borough.
[Amended 7-8-1997 by Ord. No. 1044-97]
B. 
Municipal government exists to provide necessary services for the residents of the borough. It is imperative that everyone connected with the government of the borough continually and conscientiously render loyal, honest, efficient and courteous service in order that the borough may discharge its responsibilities to its taxpayers.
A. 
Employment in the government of the borough shall be based on merit and fitness for the job classification. In accordance with all state and federal statutes and regulations, it is the declared policy of the borough that no discrimination in any aspect of employment shall be made due to race, creed, national origin, political opinions or affiliations, age, marital status or physical disability of any individual. Every effort shall be made to stimulate high morale by fair administration of this chapter and by consideration of the rights and interests of employees consistent with the best interests of the public and the borough.
B. 
This chapter covers all employees of the borough who are not members of any collective bargaining unit recognized by the borough.
A. 
The Mayor and Council must approve by resolution the creation of any new position of employment and authorize the filling of it prior to the initiation of any action to do so. The resolution shall include the job title, job description and salary range established for the position. Before any position may be filled, the annual budget of the borough must include adequate funds to compensate the employee and as certified by the Chief Financial Officer.
B. 
The Mayor and Council must approve, by resolution, the filling of any vacancy in any previously established position before the initiation of any action to do so. The resolution shall include the job title, job description and salary range established for the position. Before any position may be filled, the annual budget of the borough must include adequate funds to compensate the employee.
C. 
Notice of vacancies in positions of employment shall be posted in the Borough Municipal Building and advertised in the official newspapers of the borough. Other newspapers and periodicals and professional associations or agencies may be utilized, as required, to attract qualified applicants.
D. 
An application for employment, which may be obtained from the Office of the Borough Administrator (the "Administrator"), shall be completed by each person applying for a position, either full-time or part-time, with the borough and submitted to the Administrator. Applications shall include employment history, educational background, qualifications and references. Willful misrepresentations or falsifications on the application will be considered as sufficient cause for immediate separation from service with the borough. Completion of the application is not required of any present employee desiring to transfer to another position within the borough.
E. 
All applications received by the Administrator shall be reviewed by the Administrator. Those applicants who appear to be most qualified shall be interviewed by the Administrator. During the interview, the applicant shall be apprised of the Borough’s personnel policies, terms and conditions of employment, duties of the position, benefits and other appropriate information.
F. 
The Administrator may require any applicant to submit to an examination by a medical doctor designated by the borough in order to ensure that the applicant can fulfill the requirements of the position.
G. 
The Administrator shall conduct a review of previous employment and driving record, if required for the position, and a background investigation of the applicant as deemed necessary.
H. 
The Mayor and Council shall act to fill a vacant position after having received and considered the recommendation of the Administrator.
I. 
A new employee shall serve a probationary period for 90 working days. An employee who does not successfully complete the probationary period shall be released from employment. Upon advice of the Administrator, the probationary period may be extended for an additional 30 working days.
[Amended 8-31-1999 by Ord. No. 1081-99]
A. 
The general hours of business for municipal offices shall be from 8:30 a.m. through 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. The Department of Public Works hours of operation are 7:00 a.m. through 3:30 p.m. with 1/2 hour for unpaid lunch. All offices shall be open to the public and staffed during these hours and including the lunch hour. In the case of an office staffed by one employee, however, that office may be closed during the lunch hour, provided that arrangements are made to minimize any inconvenience to the public.
B. 
Full-time employees are employees who shall work 7 hours per day, equaling a workweek of 35 hours. All employees shall be entitled to a one-hour lunch break each day. The lunch hour is not included in the six-and-one-half-hour workday.
C. 
Any employee hired after the effective date of this Subsection C who shall be hired to work regularly fewer than 35 hours per week shall be considered a part-time employee. The Administrator, or appropriate department head, shall, upon the hiring of a part-time employee, determine the number of hours weekly to be worked by the part-time employee and shall establish the schedule to be worked by the part-time employee each week.
[Amended 6-22-2010 by Ord. No. 1213-10]
The borough shall pay its employees biweekly. The hourly rate of each employee shall be computed by dividing the annual salary of the employee by the number of hours in the employee's prescribed work year. If a payday falls on a holiday, then paychecks shall be issued on the immediately preceding workday.
A. 
Overtime shall be kept to a minimum and must be authorized, in writing, by the Administrator prior to the period of overtime, unless there exists a danger to the public that necessitates such overtime, such as snow emergencies, sewer backups and similar exigent circumstances, or no payment will be made for such time.
B. 
Overtime pay shall be paid at the equivalent hourly rate or shall be paid with equivalent time off at the discretion of the Administrator.
C. 
Employees who are required to attend meetings in the performance of their duties, when the municipal offices are normally closed, shall not be paid overtime for their attendance at such meetings. Present employees receiving compensation before the date of enactment of this chapter are exempted. The Administrator shall not be paid overtime for any reason.
D. 
Overtime shall be paid or taken in the same year as it is earned.
A. 
Full-time employees of the borough who were hired prior to January 1, 1992, shall receive longevity pay for years of continuous service within the borough as follows:
[Amended 5-28-1996 by Ord. No. 1009-96]
(1) 
More than five years but fewer than 10 years: 2%.
(2) 
More than 10 years but fewer than 15 years: 4%.
(3) 
More than 15 years but fewer than 20 years: 6%.
(4) 
More than 20 years but fewer than 25 years: 8%.
(5) 
More than 25 years: 10%.
B. 
The amount of longevity pay shall be computed by multiplying the employee's base salary by the percentage set forth in this section.
A. 
The following days shall be considered as holidays, with borough offices closed and normal operations suspended: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and the employee's birthday.
[Amended 7-8-1997 by Ord. No. 1044-97; 8-31-1999 by Ord. No. 1081-99]
B. 
Whenever New Year's Day, Independence Day or Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, the immediately preceding Friday shall be considered a holiday. Whenever any of these holidays falls on a Sunday, the immediately following Monday shall be considered a holiday.
C. 
The Mayor and Council may approve, by resolution, the exchange of a normal working day for a holiday. Such exchange shall apply to all employees governed by this chapter.
A. 
Vacations are intended for rest and relaxation and should be used in the calendar year that they are earned. All vacation days earned by an employee must be taken during the year in which they are earned and may not be carried over from year to year, except that when the demands of an employees' position do not permit the employee to use all earned vacation days, the unused vacation days may be carried over to the next calendar year, provided that the employee receives the written approval of the Administrator. Vacation days carried over to the succeeding calendar year must be used during the next calendar year or be forfeited. No compensation shall be paid for vacation days not used during the next calendar year.
B. 
No compensation shall be paid for vacation days accrued and unused, except that upon termination of employment, an employee shall receive payment for all accrued vacation days earned and unused during the calendar year of the employee's separation of service from the borough.
C. 
An employee whose employment is terminated prior to the expiration of the probationary period shall not be entitled to the accrual of vacation days or payment in lieu thereof.
D. 
An employee shall submit a request for vacation, in writing, to the Administrator no later than May 15. The request shall include a proposed vacation schedule and an alternative schedule. In determining whether the request should be granted, the Administrator shall consider, among other things, department seniority. This is to ensure that borough activities will be carried on with a minimum of interruption and inconvenience.
E. 
A request for a vacation proposed to be taken before April 1 should be submitted to the Administrator at least two weeks in advance of the proposed vacation.
F. 
All employees governed by this chapter are eligible for paid vacations, except that part-time employees who work fewer than 20 hours per week shall not be eligible to earn vacation days. Part-time employees who work 20 hours or more per week are eligible for vacation days on a pro rata basis.
G. 
A new employee is entitled to accrue one vacation day per month during the first year of employment. The annual vacation entitlement for full-time employees is as follows:
(1) 
For one to five years of service with the borough: 12 days.
(2) 
For six to 10 years of service with the borough: 15 days.
(3) 
For 11 to 15 years of service with the borough: 17 days.
(4) 
For 16 to 20 years of service with the borough: 20 days.
(5) 
For more than 20 years of service with the borough: 22 days.
A. 
Sick leave shall mean paid leave that is granted to an employee who through sickness or injury becomes incapacitated to a degree that makes it impossible for the employee to perform his/her duties.
B. 
All employees governed by this chapter are eligible for paid sick leave up to 12 days per year, accumulated at a rate of one day per month of employment with the borough, except that part-time employees who work fewer than 20 hours per week shall not be eligible for paid sick leave on a pro rata basis. A new full-time employee is entitled to accumulate one day of sick time for every month of employment during the first year of employment.
[Amended 6-23-1992 by Ord. No. 930-92; 7-8-1997 by Ord. No. 1044-97]
C. 
If an employee is absent for reasons that entitle the employee to sick leave, then the employee shall notify his/her immediate supervisor and/or the Administrator of the absence within 1/2 hour after the start of the working day. An employee's failure to report the illness as required in this section may be cause for denial of sick leave for that absence and may constitute cause for a disciplinary hearing.
D. 
An employee who is absent on sick leave for three or more consecutive working days may be required to substantiate the illness with a letter from his/her physician.
E. 
An employee who has been absent due to personal illness may be required to be examined by a physician designated by the borough as a condition of the employee's return to duty. The purpose of such examination is to ascertain whether an employee is capable of performing the normal duties of the position and to ensure that the employee's return will not jeopardize his/her health or that of other employees.
F. 
Sick leave with pay will not be allowed under the following conditions:
(1) 
If the employee, when under medical care, fails to carry out the orders of the attending physician.
(2) 
If, in the opinion of the physician designated by the borough, the employee's disability or illness is not of sufficient severity to justify the employee's absence from duty.
G. 
One-half day of a work day shall be the smallest unit to be considered computing sick leave used.
H. 
An employee shall not receive credit or payment of any kind from the borough for sick leave earned for services rendered to a governmental entity other than the borough.
I. 
Employees who were hired before July 26, 1988, may accumulate sick days (which are then deemed vacation days) to a total not to exceed 225 days. Upon the employee's retirement, he/she will be paid his prevailing wage for a period of time equal to his accumulated sick days (referred to as vacation days).
J. 
Employees hired after July 26, 1988, may accumulate 180 sick days (which are then deemed vacation days). For information, please refer to the section on terminal leave.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 37-11H.
K. 
Employees hired before July 26, 1988, but who have been promoted or transferred are also covered under the section on terminal leave.
A. 
Funeral leave. In the event of a death of a close relative of an employee, the Administrator may grant to the employee up to three days of leave with pay. Such leave shall be in addition to vacation leave and sick leave. Close relative designation is limited to: the employee's father, mother, spouse, child, foster child, sister, brother, father-in-law and mother-in-law.
B. 
Jury duty. If an employee is required to serve jury duty, then the employee shall be paid the regular rate of pay upon presentation of proper evidence of jury service and shall not be required to remit the jury pay to the borough.
C. 
Parental leave. Parental leave shall be granted for a maximum of six calendar months and shall be leave without pay, except that an employee may use any or all accumulated sick leave for purposes of parental leave. The Mayor and Council may approve a further extension of parental leave for an additional three months without pay. Requests for parental leave shall be made in writing, with at least 30 days' notice, in advance of the anticipated beginning of leave. Upon the completion of parental leave, the employee shall have the right to resume the job held when the employee began parental leave, at a salary and with benefits equal to or greater than when parental leave began. Sick leave and vacation leave shall not accrue during the period of parental leave.
D. 
Leave without pay. For exceptional and unusual circumstances, the Mayor and Council may authorize leave without pay for a period not to exceed six months to any employee. The employee seeking such leave shall submit a written request for leave without pay to the Administrator far enough in advance, where possible, to allow the Administrator to ensure coverage of the employee's position. Such a request should include a written statement from the Administrator setting forth the effect of the proposed leave on municipal services. Leave without pay shall be granted only when the employee has used all available sick and vacation leave. Vacation and sick leave shall not continue to accrue during leave without pay.
E. 
Military leave.
(1) 
Any full-time employee who is a member of the National Guard or Reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States and is required to engage in field training shall be granted a military leave of absence for the period of such training as authorized by law. The employee on military leave shall be paid the difference between his/her regular salary and the service pay. If an employee is called to temporary active duty in the National Guard Reserve, the maximum period of military leave shall be 30 days. Military leave shall be in addition to vacation, holidays, sick leave or other forms of leave. Part-time salaried employees shall be eligible for military leave and shall receive pay for such leave on a pro rata basis.
(2) 
If a full-time employee is called to active duty into the Armed Forces, an indefinite military leave of absence without pay shall be granted for the duration of the military service, provided that the employee does not voluntarily extend such service. An employee, after his/her tour of duty, will be reinstated in the same or a similar position upon receipt of an honorable discharge from military service. In all cases involving military leave, the employee should provide the Administrator a certificate verifying the call to military duty prior to the beginning of military leave.
F. 
Personal leave. An employee may take his/her birthday as a personal day. Employees who elect not to take their birthday may select one personal day at their own discretion. This personal day may not be taken before or after a holiday or vacation day. This day may not be carried over to the next year.
G. 
On-the-job injury. The Borough of Caldwell carries workers’ compensation insurance to protect all employees in case of accident and injury while at work. If an employee is injured while at work, the employee must report the accident immediately to his/her supervisor. An injured employee may be required, at the sole discretion of the employee’s supervisor, to be examined medically and/or treated. The provisions of N.J.S.A. 34:15-1 et seq., the New Jersey Workers Compensation Act, shall govern the rights of the injured employee and the obligation of the Borough with regard to that employee.
[Amended 4-27-2010 by Ord. No. 1206-10]
H. 
Terminal leave.
(1) 
This subsection relates to those employees who were hired after July 26, 1988, or who received a promotion or requested a transfer after the above date.
(2) 
Upon termination or retirement, the employee shall be entitled to a terminal leave allowance of one day's salary for each five days of accumulated sick leave, not to exceed a total of 36 days' salary.
(3) 
Upon termination or retirement of any employee who has received or requested a promotion or transfer, that employee may retain the sick day accumulation prior to his/her promotion or transfer. Any additional time accumulated would be subject to the terminal leave clause, and such time, including all prior accumulation, may not exceed 180 days.
A. 
Gratuities, donations, etc. No employee shall solicit or accept any gift, gratuity, loan, fee, trip or any other thing of value which might tend to influence or might be perceived to influence (directly or indirectly) the actions of the employee or any other employee in the matter of borough business. No department head or those employees who are employed on an administrative level may solicit or receive any gratuity from their subordinates.
B. 
Outside employment. No employee shall accept outside employment unless the employee first makes application to the Borough Administrator and the Borough Administrator determines that such outside employment will not interfere with the employee's performance or compromise the employee's position with the borough through a conflict of interest.
C. 
Nepotism. Persons related to each other will not be employed within the same department. This policy is not for the purpose of depriving any citizen of equal employment opportunities within the borough, but is intended to prevent the potential for preferential treatment of the relatives of municipal personnel.
D. 
Political activity.
(1) 
It shall be the policy of the borough to appoint, promote, demote and remove all nonpolicymaking employees without regard to political considerations. Employees of the borough shall serve all borough residents equally, and the political opinions or affiliations of any resident shall in no way affect the level of service received from the borough.
(2) 
Employees shall not engage in political activities during work hours nor shall employees, at any other time, participate in political activities so as to impair their performance in the position in which they are employed. Employees shall not directly or indirectly use their authority to influence, control or modify the political actions of another person.
E. 
Official personnel history files. Official personnel history files are confidential records and shall be maintained in the office of the Administrator, Clerk and Chief Financial Officer. These files shall be available for inspection only by the Administrator, Mayor and Council, the employee's Department Head and the employee whose file is sought to be inspected. Inspection must occur in the presence of the Clerk or representative. Records cannot leave the building. Copies will be supplied at appropriate cost posted and at staff availability to process the same.
A. 
The Mayor and Council may approve, by resolution, a request by a full-time employee to attend a program of continuing education. Continuing education programs shall include conferences, seminars, nonaccredited courses and certification programs. The purpose of such continuing education is to improve the quality of service provided to taxpayers.
B. 
The borough may reimburse an employee for the employee's registration and tuition for a continuing education program if all of the following criteria are satisfied:
(1) 
The employee is in good standing for at least six months immediately prior to the commencement of the continuing education program.
(2) 
The continuing education program is directly related to the employee's current position.
(3) 
Funds have been budgeted and are available for the continuing education program.
(4) 
Attendance at the continuing education program does not adversely affect the functioning of the employee's department during the employee's attendance at the continuing education program.
(5) 
The employee completes the continuing education program with a grade of "C" or better or with a satisfactory completion if the course is ungraded.
(6) 
The employee receives written approval to attend the continuing education program from the Administrator prior to the commencement of the continuing education program.
A. 
Causes for dismissal include, but are not limited to the following:
(1) 
Neglect of duty.
(2) 
Absence without leave or failure to report after authorized leave has expired or after such leave has been disapproved or revoked.
(3) 
Incompetency or inefficiency or incapacity due to mental or physical disability.
(4) 
Insubordination or serious breach of discipline.
(5) 
Intoxication while on duty.
(6) 
Commission of a criminal act or offense.
(7) 
Participating in any prohibited political activity.
(8) 
Disobedience of borough or departmental rules and regulations.
(9) 
Unauthorized use or acquisition of borough equipment or property.
(10) 
Conduct unbecoming a public employee.
B. 
Suspensions.
(1) 
The Borough Administrator may, when in his opinion the circumstances surrounding disciplinary charges pending against a permanent employee are sufficiently serious, temporarily suspend such employee until final decision is reached. In the event that the disciplined employee elects to appeal to the Borough Council, the temporary suspension by the Borough Administrator shall continue until the final opinion of the Borough Council is rendered.
(2) 
When, in the judgment of the Borough Administrator, any employee's work performance or conduct justifies disciplinary action short of dismissal, the employee may be suspended in lieu of dismissal, without pay, for a period not exceeding 20 working days.
C. 
Demotion. The Borough Administrator may, as an alternative to dismissal, demote an employee.
D. 
Written warnings. The Borough Administrator may issue warnings as a lesser sanction, and these warnings are to be maintained in the employee's personnel file.
A. 
Functions.
(1) 
It shall be the duty of the Borough Council to hear grievances and render final written opinions on employee disciplinary matters, hereinafter described.
(2) 
The Borough Clerk, in the course of his duties, shall provide the Borough Council with clerical help in the keeping of minutes, in the writing of opinions and in other necessary clerical work.
B. 
Matters that may be brought before Borough Council; procedure.
(1) 
Any employee who is subject to any of the following disciplinary measures shall be entitled, at his option, to present his side of the case to the Borough Council:
(a) 
Suspension without pay for more than three days, at any one time.
(b) 
Demotion for disciplinary reasons.
(c) 
Dismissal for disciplinary reasons.
(2) 
An employee may, in writing, request the Borough Council for leave to present any other grievance matter, provided that his written request is submitted to the Borough Council within 10 days of the disciplinary action. If the Borough Council decides that, on the basis of the written request, the grievance is important enough to justify further Borough Council investigation, it may grant the request and permit the employee to present to it such grievance matter. The decision of the Borough Council on such a request shall be given, in writing, to the employee within two weeks from receipt of such written request.
(3) 
The Mayor shall preside over the Borough Council investigation and hearing, but shall only vote to break a tie.
C. 
Review procedure.
(1) 
Whenever the Borough Administrator, on the basis of careful investigation and an interview with the employee concerned, contemplates any disciplinary action of the type allowing for a hearing, he shall furnish the employee and the Borough Council with his reasons, in writing, together with a statement of his intended action.
(2) 
The employee concerned may then furnish the Borough Council and the Borough Administrator with a written statement setting forth reasons for objecting to the proposed disciplinary action within seven days of receipt of the Borough Administrator's reasons.
(3) 
The Borough Council shall then schedule a meeting of its members for the purpose of reviewing the matter and rendering its final opinion. Such opinion shall be submitted to the Borough Administrator within 15 days of the receipt of the employee's statement referred to in Subsection C(2).
(4) 
The proceedings of the Borough Council meetings shall be informal. The Council may render a final opinion based upon the written statements of the principals or may, in its discretion, call in the employee and the Borough Administrator and any other person having knowledge of the matter under discussion or may call for any records relating thereto.
(5) 
Meetings of the Borough Council shall be private. The Council's final opinion shall be binding on all parties.
D. 
Scope and applicability. Nothing in this section shall be construed to apply to the procedure for the suspension, removal, fine, reduction or demotion in rank of any qualified officer or employee of the municipality who by reason of an applicable statute of this state has acquired tenure and is entitled to a public hearing. In such case the procedure for preferring charges against such officer or employee, the notice thereof and the public hearing or trial thereon before the Borough Administrator shall be in accordance with the provisions of the applicable statutes. See N.J.S.A. 40A:9-161.
A. 
Types of separation. Employees may be temporarily suspended from the borough employ by layoff or suspension or permanently separated by resignation or dismissal, as set forth in this chapter.
B. 
Layoff procedure. Whenever there is a lack of work or a lack of funds requiring a reduction in the number of employees in a department of the borough government, the required reductions shall be made in such job classification or classifications as the Borough Administrator may designate in consultation with the Department Head. Within each affected job class, all temporary employees shall be laid off before probationary employees, and all probationary employees shall be laid off before permanent employees. Employees so affected shall be given a minimum of two weeks' notice or two weeks' pay in lieu thereof.
[Amended 7-26-1994 by Ord. No. 974-94; 2-14-1995 by Ord. No. 980-95]
C. 
Resignation procedure. An employee may resign from his position by tendering a written resignation to his Department Head, who in turn shall forward it to the Borough Administrator. Unless there are disciplinary charges pending against the employee, the Borough Administrator shall notify the employee, in writing, of acceptance of his resignation in good standing. An employee shall give a minimum of two weeks' notice before the effective date of his resignation.