Chapter 2 - General Policies
Redmond Personnel Manual
Chapter 2 - GENERAL POLICIES
2.10 Non-Discrimination/Equal Employment Opportunity
The City is an equal opportunity employer. The City employs, retains, promotes, terminates, and otherwise treats its employees on the basis of merit, qualifications, and competence, without regard to any individual’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, pregnancy, age (over 40), marital status, sexual orientation, disability, veteran’s status, or any other status protected by federal, state, or local law.
The City strives to foster and maintain a harmonious nondiscriminatory working environment. Conduct that is discriminatory will not be tolerated and will be cause for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Sexual harassment as well as harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, pregnancy, age (over 40), marital status, sexual orientation, disability, veteran’s status, or any other protected status is absolutely forbidden.
Harassment, in general, can take many forms. The following are examples of harassment and are all prohibited:
- Verbal (e.g., racial, sexual or ethnic jokes, stereotypes, and insults);
- Physical (e.g., sexually suggestive or unwelcome touching or obscene gestures);
- Visual (e.g., exposure to insulting cartoons, sexually suggestive pictures, or lewd pictures or photographs).
Sexual harassment can take many forms and may occur through words or behavior. Examples of sexual harassment may include physical behavior such as pats, squeezes, or repeatedly brushing against someone’s body; obscene or rude sexual comments, jokes, or suggestions; use of slang words or labels that others find offensive; talking about or calling attention to another employee’s body or sexual characteristics in a negative or embarrassing way; displaying nude or sexual pictures in or on City property; requests for dates that do not stop after a person has said no; and, continuing unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature after a person has objected to that behavior.
Sexual conduct of the type described above is improper, and may be illegal if:
- Submission to the conduct is either an explicit or implicit term or condition of employment;
- Submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting the person involved; or
- The conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
If you feel that you have experienced or witnessed harassment, you should take the following action:
1. Identify the offensive behavior to the harasser, if appropriate, and request that it stop;
2. If you are uncomfortable confronting the harasser, or the conduct does not stop, you must discuss your concern with a non-involved supervisor, department director, or the Human Resources Director.
3. Participate in the investigation about the offensive behavior. Although the City cannot assure confidentiality for employees who report incidents of harassment, every effort will be made to protect the rights and feelings of all parties involved.
Additionally, you are free at any time to contact the City’s Employee Assistance Program at 800-553-7798 (Wellspring Family Services EAP).
All complaints of harassment will be promptly and thoroughly investigated. After the investigation is finished, the complainant will be notified of the investigation’s conclusions. Any employee who is found to have engaged in harassment will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
No retaliation of any type will result as a consequence of reporting harassment or cooperating in an investigation.
2.30 Reasonable Accommodation of Disabilities
The City complies fully with its duties under applicable federal and state law to provide disabled employees with reasonable accommodation. Any employee who has a physical or mental impairment and who desires some form of reasonable accommodation should provide notice to the Human Resources Department. Upon receiving such notice, the Human Resources Department, on behalf of the City, will begin an interactive process with the employee to ascertain what accommodations, if any, may be appropriate.
2.40 Reasonable Accommodation of Religious Beliefs
The City complies fully with its duty to provide a reasonable accommodation of any employee’s sincerely-held religious beliefs. If an employee desires an accommodation such as, for example, a modified work schedule, particular days off for religious observance, or to dress in a manner that varies from a dress code adopted by the City or its departments, that employee must contact the Human Resources Department to request accommodation. The City will seek to provide reasonable accommodation unless doing so would constitute an undue hardship or would be contrary to the City’s commitment to equal opportunity for all employees.
2.50 Workplace Violence
The City is committed to providing, to the extent it reasonably can, a safe workplace. The City will not tolerate acts of workplace violence to either persons or property by or against its employees. Additionally, the City will not tolerate communicated or reasonably perceived threats of harm to persons or property.
All employees are responsible to refrain from participating in violent actions. Additionally, all employees are expected to report to a supervisor or manager any threatening or dangerous situations occurring within the workplace. Any employee who feels an immediate threat and who cannot reach a supervisor or manager should call 911 and leave the area as soon as possible.
Any employee who obtains a court-issued restraining order or anti-harassment order prohibiting another individual from contacting the employee at work should promptly notify his or her supervisor or manager of the court’s issuance of the order.
Any act of violence will be treated seriously and will be dealt with promptly utilizing administrative, managerial, legal, and/or disciplinary actions to minimize risk to persons and property.
2.60 Whistleblower Policy
The City (1) encourages reporting by its employees of improper governmental action taken by City of Redmond officials or employees and (2) protects City employees who report improper governmental actions in accordance with the City's policies and procedures.
Definitions of Improper Governmental Action
“Improper governmental action” means any action by a City officer or employee:
1. That is undertaken in the performance of the officer's or employee's official duties, whether or not the action is within the scope of the employee's performance; and
2. That is in (a) violation of any federal, state, or local law or rule; (b) an abuse of authority; (c) of substantial and specific danger to the public health or safety; or (d) a gross waste of public funds.
“Improper governmental action” does not include personnel actions, including employee grievances, complaints, appointments, promotions, transfers, assignments, reassignments, reinstatements, restorations, re-employments, performance evaluations, reductions in pay, dismissals, suspensions, demotions, violations of Civil Service rules, alleged violations of labor agreements or reprimands.
1. City employees who become aware of improper governmental actions shall make a written report to their supervisor or department director. The written report shall state in detail the basis for the employee’s belief that an improper governmental action has occurred. If the employee reasonably believes that the improper governmental action involves his or her supervisor, the employee shall make the written report to the department director. If the employee reasonably believes that the improper governmental action involves the department director, the employee shall make the written report directly to the Mayor.
2. In the case of an emergency, where the employee believes in good faith that damage to persons or property may result if action is not taken immediately, the employee may report the improper governmental action directly to the appropriate government agency with responsibility for investigating the improper action.
3. The supervisor, department director, or the Mayor, as the case may be, shall take prompt action to assist the City in properly investigating the report of improper governmental action. City officers and employees involved in the investigation shall keep the identity of reporting employees confidential to the extent possible under law, unless the employee authorizes the disclosure of his or her identity in writing. After the investigation has been completed, the employee reporting the alleged improper government action shall be provided a written summary of the results of the investigation, except that personnel actions taken as a result of the investigation may be kept confidential to the extent allowable by law.
4. After receiving a summary of the results of the investigation, if the employee reasonably believes that (a) an adequate investigation was not undertaken by the City, (b) insufficient action has been taken by the City to address the improper governmental action, or (c) for other reasons the improper governmental action is likely to reoccur, then the City employee may report information about the improper government action directly to the appropriate governmental agency with responsibility for investigating the improper action. A list of governmental agencies to which the employee may wish to report is provided below.
5. A City employee who fails to make a good faith attempt to follow these procedures in reporting improper governmental action shall not receive the protections provided by the City in these procedures.
List of Agencies
Following is a partial list of government agencies responsible for investigating and/or enforcing federal, Washington State, and local laws pertaining to various forms of improper governmental action.
King County Prosecuting Attorney King County Court House
516 Third Avenue, Room W554
Seattle, WA 98104-2362
Main Office: 206-296-9000
Office of the Attorney General
1125 Washington Street SE
Olympia, WA 98504
State Auditor's Office Insurance Building
Capitol Campus P.O. Box 40021 302 Sid Snyder Avenue SW
Olympia WA 98504-0021
Washington State Department of Transportation Washington Division Office
310 Maple Park Avenue SE PO Box 47300
Olympia, WA 98504-7300
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
7273 Linderson Way SW
Tumwater, WA 98501-5414
PO Box 44000
Olympia, WA 98504-4000
Washington State Department of Ecology
3190 160th Avenue SE
Bellevue, WA 98008
Washington State Department of Health
111 Israel Road SE
Tumwater, WA 98501
PO Box 47890
Olympia, WA 98504-7890
U.S. Department of Treasury Internal Revenue Service (Local Office)
915 2nd Avenue
Seattle, WA 98174
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity "E Opportunity" Commission
Federal Office Building
909 1st Avenue, Suite 400
Seattle, WA 98104-1061
Federal Emergency Management Agency Federal Regional Center
130 228th Street SW
Bothell, WA 98021-9796
Protection Against Retaliatory Actions
1. City officials and employees are prohibited from taking retaliatory action against a City employee because he or she has in good faith reported an improper governmental action in accordance with this policy.
2. Employees who believe they have been retaliated against for reporting an improper governmental action are encouraged to follow the reporting procedures outlined above. The City shall take appropriate action to investigate and address complaints of retaliation.
3. In order to obtain protection under state law, the employee must provide a written notice to the City Council within thirty days after the occurrence of the alleged retaliatory action specifying:
a. the alleged retaliatory action, and the relief requested.
4. The City Council shall respond to the charge of retaliatory action and request for relief within thirty days.
5. After either (a) the employee receives the response of the City Council, or (b) thirty days have passed since the employee delivered the complaint of retaliation to the City Council and the City Council has not responded, the employee may request a hearing before a state administrative law judge to establish that a retaliatory action occurred and to obtain appropriate relief. An employee seeking a hearing shall deliver the request for hearing to the Mayor or City Council within the earlier of either fifteen (15) days after the City Council delivers its response to the charge of retaliatory action, or forty-five (45) days after the employee delivers the charge of retaliation to the City Council.
6. Within five working days of receipt of the request for hearing, the City shall apply to the state office of administrative hearings for an adjudicative proceeding before an administrative law judge.
2.70 Dispute Resolution Procedure
The City recognizes that situations may arise in which an employee feels he/she has not been treated in a manner consistent with the provisions of this Manual. For this reason, the City provides its employees with the complaint procedure specified below:
Step 1: Informal Resolution – An employee should first try to resolve any problem with his/her immediate supervisor.
Step 2: Written Complaint – If the problem is not resolved at Step 1, the employee may personally submit a written complaint to his/her immediate supervisor.
- The written complaint must be presented within ten (10) working days after the event giving rise to the complaint.
- The complaint must be presented on a Complaint Form. Submission of a letter, fax, email or any form of communication other than presentation of a completed Complaint Form is inadequate and will not constitute submission of a complaint.
- To be considered valid, a written complaint must include all of the following:
- The specific provision of the Redmond Personnel Manual the employee contends has been violated;
- A statement of facts describing the alleged violation;
- The date of the alleged violation;
- The requested remedy.
- The employee’s immediate supervisor will respond to the complaint, in writing, within ten (10) working days.
Step 3: Appeal to Department Director – If the complaint is not resolved at step 2 above, the employee may appeal to his/her department director.
- An appeal to a department director must be made within five (5) working days after the employee receives his/her immediate supervisor’s step 2 complaint response (or, in the event the supervisor fails to respond to the step 2 complaint, within five days after the supervisor’s response was due).
- An appeal to a department director must be made in writing and must include the following:
- A copy of the written Step 2 complaint;
- A copy of the immediate supervisor’s written response;
- A written statement as to why the immediate supervisor’s step 2 complaint response is not satisfactory.
- The department director (or the department director’s designee) may, at his or her discretion, schedule a meeting with the employee to listen to the employee’s concerns and/or to discuss the complaint.
The department director (or the department director’s designee) will respond to the appeal, in writing, within ten (10) working days after meeting with the employee, or, if no such meeting is scheduled, within ten (10) working days after the appeal was received.
Step 4: Appeal to the Mayor – If the complaint is not resolved at step 3, the employee may appeal to the Mayor.
- An appeal to the Mayor must be made within five (5) working days after the employee receives the department director’s Step 3 complaint response (or, in the event the department director fails to respond to the step 3 complaint, within five days after the department director’s response was due).
- An appeal to the Mayor must be made in writing and must include the following:
- A copy of his/her written Step 2 complaint;
- A copy of the immediate supervisor’s written response (if one was made);
- A copy of his/her appeal to the department director;
- A copy of the department director’s written response;
- A written statement as to why the department director’s written response is not satisfactory.
- The Mayor (or the Mayor’s designee) may, at his or her discretion, schedule a meeting with the employee to listen to the employee’s concerns and/or to discuss the complaint.
- The Mayor (or the Mayor’s designee) will respond to the appeal, in writing, within thirty (30) working days after meeting with the employee, or, if no such meeting is scheduled, within thirty (30) working days after the appeal was received.
- The decision of the Mayor (or the Mayor’s designee) will be final.
Policy Against Multiple Filings
Employees represented by a bargaining unit or who are covered under Civil Service rules should follow the grievance procedure set forth in their respective labor contract or in applicable Civil Service rules where applicable. In all other cases, the complaint procedure described in this chapter is to be used. An employee may file a grievance or a complaint, but not both, on any issue that is addressed in this manual and also in a labor contract or Civil Service rule.