Chapter 11 - Employee Responsibilities and Conduct
City of Redmond Personnel Manual
Chapter 11 - EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITIES AND CONDUCT
11.10 Employee Conduct Policy
Continued employment depends on each employee's on-going job performance, professional conduct and behavior. Among the City's expectations are:
- Exemplifying the City’s values of commitment to service, integrity and accountability;
- Adherence to City policies, safety rules and safe work practices;
- Compliance with direction from supervisors;
- Basic tact and courtesy toward the public and fellow employees; and
- Preserving and protecting the City's equipment, grounds, facilities and resources.
This Redmond Personnel Manual is not intended to be an all-inclusive statement of employee responsibilities. Employees are expected to use discretion and common sense. Supervisors and managers are expected to use good judgment regarding standards to which employees must adhere.
Regular attendance is a requirement for all City of Redmond positions. Employees are responsible for complying with rules regarding hours of work, holidays, and leaves of absence.
Hourly (Non-Exempt) Employee Absences
Hourly employees unable to work or unable to report on time shall notify their supervisor or supervisor’s designee as soon as possible, ordinarily before the workday begins or within 30 minutes of the employee's usual starting time. If an absence continues, the employee is responsible for reporting in each day.
Failure to Notify
An employee who is absent without notification is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. An employee who is absent without notification for three consecutive days will be considered to have abandoned his or her position and may be terminated.
Exempt Employee Partial Day Absences
To assure public accountability, an exempt employee who is unable to perform his or her work duties on any given day must use paid leave if the amount of work time missed exceeds one-half of that day’s regularly scheduled work time. If the exempt employee has exhausted all paid leave, the exempt employee must take leave without pay.
11.21 Extreme Weather Conditions and Emergency Incidents
All employees are expected to be at their jobs regardless of weather conditions or other emergency incidents. However, during extreme weather conditions or emergency incidents, employees who are unavoidably absent and who are not assigned to snow and ice control duty or other essential City services as directed by supervisor or Department Director, may charge absences as compensatory time, vacation, administrative/professional leave, or as leave without pay if approved by the employee's supervisor.
Supplemental employees are paid only for hours worked and shall not be provided pay for hours not worked under this Section.
Employees with planned and pre-approved leave time during an extreme weather condition or emergency incident will be required to use their pre-approved leave for hours not worked. Employees that do work hours during planned and pre-approved leave time, as approved by supervisor, may be eligible for pay for a partial day worked as set forth in 11.21.3.
Workweek as referred to in this Section is defined by 11.220 or by applicable CBA. If an employee is on an alternative work schedule that impacts their workweek, their alternative work schedule’s workweek will apply.
11.21.1 City Facilities Open
If City facilities are open and employees arrive late, leave early, or miss the entire workday due to extreme weather or an emergency incident, they must notify their supervisor prior to the anticipated missed hours. If that is not possible, they must notify their supervisor as soon as they are able. Employees have the following options available for hours missed due to extreme weather or emergency incidents:
- Flex time (must be made up in the same workweek; exceptions with HR Director approval)
- Use paid leave (except sick leave or unless use of sick leave is permitted by law during certain types of emergency incidents)
- Take unpaid leave (if paid leave is exhausted)
- Work a partial day in accordance with 11.21.3 below
Any combination of the above is okay. The option(s) must be approved by the employee’s supervisor.
11.21.2 City Facilities Closed
Closure of City facilities does not mean an employee does not work. Rather, it means the employee is unable to physically work at a City facility due to facilities being closed. In the case of a City-directed facility closure due to extreme weather conditions or an emergency incident, the City will require employees to work remotely or follow their department’s identified emergency/continuity of operations plan. If an employee is unwilling to work remotely and is not working in response to the emergency incident and/or extreme weather conditions, the employee has three options for any hours missed:
- Flex time (must be made up in the same workweek; exceptions with HR Director approval)
- Use paid leave (sick leave only when permitted by law or City Personnel Manual)
- Take unpaid leave (if paid leave is exhausted)
In limited circumstances, the Mayor under the authority granted by State law may decide to provide full or partial compensation to employees that are told not to work due to extreme weather or an emergency incident when City facilities are closed.
11.21.3 Partial Day Worked
Due to extreme weather or emergency incidents, an employee may need to work a partial day regardless if City facilities are open or closed. In some cases, an employee may be paid for a full day, having worked only a partial day due to extreme weather or an emergency incident. Working a partial day requires approval by the employee's supervisor prior to working a partial day, and it is not a guarantee the employee only works 5/8 of their schedule. A supervisor may require an employee who must leave early or arrive late to telecommute or flex their hours, depending upon work priorities and/or other circumstances.
Non-exempt employees may be approved to work a partial day and if so, may be paid a full day (coded as “regular”) for working 5/8th of their schedule with a supervisor’s prior approval during extreme weather conditions or an emergency incident. For example:
6-hour schedule Must work 3.75 hours to get paid 6 hours
8-hour schedule Must work 5 hours to get paid 8 hours
9-hour schedule Must work 5.625 hours to get paid 9 hours
10-hour schedule Must work 6.25 hours to get paid 10 hours
Employees who work less than five hours (or equivalent proportion) are paid for the actual hours worked, and the remainder of the day is charged against accrued compensatory time, vacation time, or administrative/professional leave, or may be taken as leave without pay. As an alternative, employees may telecommute or make up time lost due to extreme weather or emergency incidents during the same workweek if approved by the supervisor.
Exempt employees shall be paid for partial day absences as set forth in Section 11.20.
11.30.1 Voluntary Telecommuting
The City of Redmond provides varied and holistic customer service to meet the needs of the community. Employees are expected to physically work within the City as necessary in order to be a part of the community they serve. If telecommuting impacts an employee’s ability to provide required internal or external customer service, telecommuting will be discontinued.
Telecommuting means performing normal work duties away from the office, either at home or at an alternative worksite chosen by the employee, provided the location allows for the employee to work productively. Workdays that include attendance at trainings, conferences, representing the city at approved/recognized events, and similar activities are not considered telecommuting under this policy.
Telecommuting is a voluntary work alternative, and supervisors shall determine if an employee’s work is conducive to telecommuting. Telecommuting is not an entitlement and is not a citywide benefit. Telecommuting in no way changes the terms and conditions of employment with the City.
The amount of time the employee is expected to work per day or pay period will not change as a result of telecommuting. Telecommuting is not designed to be a replacement for the care of children or other individuals. Total telecommuting hours per week are discussed between supervisor and employee, with the intent that employees work at least three or more days a week in the office. There is no minimum hourly requirement for telecommuting. Temporary schedule adjustments can be made as necessary at supervisor approval.
Final decisions to allow telecommuting, the duration, and the employee’s schedule are approved by management.
11.30.2 Program Description
Telecommuting is voluntary and is a mutually agreed upon work alternative between the employee and supervisor. Either an employee or a supervisor can suggest telecommuting as a possible work arrangement. The employee or the supervisor may end the telecommuting arrangement at any time with fifteen (15) calendar days’ written notice. All telecommuting arrangements are made on a case-by-case basis, focusing on the business need of the City. Employees may work away from the office for an agreed upon period of time. Writing, reading, phone calls, data analysis, computer programming, word processing, and data entry are some of the tasks amenable to telecommuting. Work must be specific, measurable, and have attainable performance expectations.
Employees and supervisors contemplating telecommuting as a work option must comply with the following requirements:
- The employee must complete a telecommute request form, available on the Human Resource Department's intranet page;
- The employee must complete another telecommute request form if the employee would like to modify or terminate the telecommuting schedule;
- The employee must establish and maintain a safe work area that facilitates productivity and adheres to City policies regarding City equipment. If an employee would like an ergonomic review of their workspace, they may request one by contacting Human Resources;
- The City shall not be required to provide additional equipment to facilitate the employee’s ability to telecommute unless it is related to safety or disability accommodation; however, employees may be permitted to use City equipment (laptops, tablets, etc.) issued to them as part of their employment while telecommuting;
- The employee must ensure that City-owned equipment will be well cared for, secure, not used by anyone other than employee, and returned as requested;
- The supervisor must be satisfied that the telecommuting employee will be able to carry out work tasks in an acceptable manner;
- The employee must adhere to all requirements of the employer for hours tracking while telecommuting;
- The employee must adjust their time to ensure their participation at required meetings and City events;
- A telecommuting employee must be a resident of Washington State; and
- A supervisor may require an employee to appear in-person at City facilities during their normally scheduled telecommuting work hours after providing the employee reasonable notice based upon the employee’s circumstance.
11.30.4 Tax Liability
Employees agree to be responsible for their own compliance with tax laws. The City is not responsible for substantiating an employee's claim for tax deductions for operating a home office. If a telecommuting employee has questions concerning whether home office expenses are tax deductible, that employee should seek advice from their tax consultant.
11.30.5 Residency and Working Out of State
For employees who telecommute, each employee’s residence must be within the State of Washington. Tax requirements differ from state to state, and Payroll cannot set up and file taxes outside the state of Washington. If an employee fails to retain Washington residency, the employee will be expected to immediately resign or return to Washington State. Otherwise, the City will initiate the employment termination process.
If separation occurs, the employee is expected to return any City equipment by submitting a Help Desk ticket in advance for instructions on how to return equipment.
Working Out of State
Telecommuting during temporary travel or moving out of the State of Washington is allowed with supervisor approval and cannot exceed a total of thirty (30) calendar days in a calendar year (January 1 through December 31). Extension of telecommuting for working out of state in excess of 30 calendar days must have HR Director approval.
The employee is responsible for creating a mutually agreed upon work schedule with their supervisor. The work schedule cannot cause undue hardship to the division or department.
There is no guarantee that continued out-of-state telecommuting shall be permitted.
11.30.6 Ad Hoc Telecommuting
Ad hoc telecommuting arrangements may be requested by the employee in writing and approved by a supervisor for circumstances such as extreme weather, special projects, health-related accommodations, business travel, or other unexpected circumstances. The employee will not be required to complete a telecommute request form during ad hoc telecommuting. These arrangements are approved on an as-needed basis only, with no expectation of ongoing continuance, and focusing first on the business needs of the organization. Ad hoc telecommuting may last a maximum of eighty (80) hours per circumstance leading to the need to ad hoc telecommute, or the employee and supervisor must complete a telecommuting request form.
11.30.7 Telecommuting During Extreme Weather Conditions and Emergency Incidents
In the event of extreme weather conditions or emergency incidents that provides time for notice to employees, the City may require employees to work from home as set forth in the Extreme Weather Conditions and Emergency Incidents policy in Section 11.21.
11.40 Outside Employment
City employees are prohibited from engaging in outside employment that may, in the opinion of the department director, create a conflict of interest or interfere with the employee's regular work schedule or job performance.
11.50 Conflicts of Interest
Employees at all levels should avoid both real conflicts of interest and the appearance of conflicting interests in the exercise of their City duties.
Conflicts Prohibited by Federal Contracting Law
City employees who are engaged in the selection, award, and administration of contracts cannot:
- Have a substantial financial interest in a firm considered for a contract;
- Receive a tangible personal benefit from a firm considered for a contract;
- Solicit gratuities, favors, or anything of monetary value from contractors or parties to subcontracts; or
- Accept gratuities, favors, or anything that has more than nominal value (i.e., more than $5) from contractors or parties to subcontracts.
These prohibitions also apply to the employee’s immediate family members, partners, and any organization which employs or is about to employ the City employee, the employee’s immediate family member, or the employee’s partner.
In the event these standards are violated, disciplinary action will be taken.
Conflicts Prohibited by the State Code of Ethics
City employees cannot:
- Have a beneficial interest in any contract made by the employee or the employee’s subordinates;
- Accept any compensation, gratuity, or reward in connection with a contract the employee or the employee’s subordinates either drafted or signed;
- Use their position to secure special privileges or exemptions for themselves or others;
- Accept any compensation, gift, reward, or gratuity from a source other than the City for performing his or her job duties;
- Accept employment or engage in business or professional activity that the employee might reasonably expect would require or induce the employee to disclose confidential information acquired through their position with the City;
- Disclose confidential information acquired because of their position with the City;
- Use confidential information acquired because of their position with the City for their own personal gain or benefit.
Other Conflicts of Interest
Employees may also be subject to other conflict of interest requirements that are not listed above, such as:
- Departmental requirements (e.g., Police Department Manual of Standards); or
- Conflict of interest standards imposed by an agency regulating the practice of engineering or law.
If any employee becomes aware of a real or apparent conflict of interest in which the employee's actions on behalf of the City might personally benefit the employee or any member of the employee's family, it is the employee's responsibility to bring the potential conflict of interest to the attention of the supervisor and department director.
The potential conflict of interest shall be investigated for a determination as to whether the employee may continue in his/her position or assignment without compromising the interests of the City and/or the public.
If No Conflict Found
If the investigation concludes that there is no conflict, the department director shall report this finding to the employee and forward the finding, in writing, to the Human Resources Department for inclusion in the employee's central personnel file. The department director’s written statement must describe the potential conflict, the investigation, and the finding that the employee may continue in the position or assignment.
If A Conflict Is Found
If the investigation concludes that there is a conflict, the department director may reschedule hours, change an employee's assignment, reassign the employee to a different position, or take other needed steps to correct the situation. A description of the investigation and findings shall be placed in the employee's central personnel file.
11.60 Political Activities
Employees, in their individual capacities, have the same right to campaign in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate or a ballot proposition as any other citizen. However, employees are not permitted to use or authorize the use of City facilities, property, or assets in support of, or in opposition to, a candidate or ballot proposition except as authorized under RCW 42.17A.555.
Examples of Prohibited Activities
- Using City stationery, postage or copying equipment to make campaign literature;
- Compiling a mailing list from a list of business licenses or utility customers;
- Publishing a statement supporting a candidate in the City newsletter or including such a statement on or with utility billings;
- Campaigning by City employees on City time;
- Using City telephones, at any time, to make calls in support of a candidate;
- Using City vehicles, including assigned vehicles, to attend rallies, to drop off mailers at a printer or to distribute campaign materials;
- Wearing a City uniform while campaigning.
Examples of Permitted Activities
- Stating an opinion regarding any political issue in ordinary conversation during working hours, providing that such a conversation does not interfere with the employee's assigned job duties;
- Stating an opinion regarding a political issue while on breaks or lunch time in non-public areas of City facilities;
- Campaigning by individual employees of the City so long as it is not done on City time and no City funds are used to subsidize the campaigning;
- Endorsements by employees so long as the employee clearly indicates the opinion is an individual one and that it is not expressed or implied that the City itself is supporting the measure;
- Wearing a pin or button promoting or opposing a cause or candidate while on duty, provided the employee does not have direct citizen contact;
- Making individual campaign contributions.
Federally Funded Programs
Political activities of employees whose positions are funded with federal money are governed by rules established by the United States Civil Service Commission and the Office of Personnel Management. Additionally, City employees who administer federal funds may also have their political activities limited under federal contract or rules.
Legislative Advocacy Permitted
The Mayor may authorize employees to attend meetings or hearings to present the City's position regarding legislative issues under consideration.
11.70 Duties in Adversarial Litigation
An employee who is asked or required to testify in person or by deposition in any trial or hearing to which the City is a party or that involves the employee’s work for the City should immediately notify his or her department director. An exception would be if the employee is involved in an arbitration process through the Police or Fire collective bargaining agreement.
Expert Witness for Adversary
No employee may voluntarily serve as an expert witness on behalf of the City's adversary party.
11.80 Driver's License Requirements
As part of the requirements for certain specific City positions, an employee may be required to hold a valid Washington State driver's license. Additionally, while other positions may not require the employee to have a driver’s license, it may still be the case that the employee drives on organizational business. Any employee who operates a motor vehicle while conducting City business is required to hold a valid driver’s license. This requirement applies whether the vehicle being used is a City vehicle, a personal vehicle, or a rental car.
Loss of License
In the event a driver’s license is revoked, suspended, lost or in any other way not current, valid and in possession of the employee, the employee should promptly notify his/her supervisor and department director. The employee will be immediately suspended from driving duties and may not resume driving until proof of a valid, current license.
Depending on the duration of license suspension, revocation or other inability to drive, an employee may be subject to disciplinary action including termination.
City Right to Check Status
The City reserves the right to check whether an employee has a valid driver’s license.
11.90 Use of Vehicles on City Business
Use of City Vehicles
City vehicles are available for employees to use while conducting City business. Except for incidental personal business which may be accomplished along the route (such as for example stopping at a bank, City vehicles are to be used only for City business. Any employee driving a City vehicle must have a current and valid driver’s license.
Employees must observe all traffic laws while driving City vehicles. Employees are responsible for any driving infractions and resultant fines or penalties occurring as a result of their driving.
Use of Personal Vehicles
Employees may opt to use their personal vehicles on City business. An employee doing so may seek reimbursement of expenses as provided for and limited by the City's mileage reimbursement policy. Any employee using their own vehicle on City business must have a valid driver’s license as well as insurance providing coverage for any accident that may occur. If an employee using a personal vehicle is involved in an accident or any damage is incurred to the vehicle, claims should be made to the employee's personal automobile insurance carrier.
11.100 Use of City Resources in the Event of an Employee Death
The death of an employee, whether on-duty or off-duty, results in feelings of grief within the workplace. In the interests of healing and productivity, camaraderie, and mutual support, limited use of City resources may be used to express sympathy and recognize and honor the contributions to the community of the deceased employee.
Off-duty Employee Death
When the death of an employee occurs off-duty, limited use of City resources are permitted for the following purposes:
- Notify employees of memorials for the employee.
- Notify employees as to where to send condolences and memorial funds to the employee’s survivors.
- Use of City facilities and light refreshments for meetings of employees to facilitate the healing process. Such use, scheduling, and de minimis expense should be approved by the department director in consultation with the Human Resources Department.
- Participation of employees in group meetings to facilitate the healing process, provided there is adequate coverage of ongoing City business functions, with the approval of the supervisor and department director.
- Liaison services of the City’s Benefits Administrator to explain and resolve beneficiary questions and concerns.
On-duty Employee Death
When the death of an employee occurs on-duty, limited use of City resources is permitted to the same extent as for an off-duty employee death. Additionally, each of the following are permitted:
- Liaison assistance to the immediate survivors of the employee by a City representative designated by the department director.
- Limited use of City vehicles as part of a public demonstration of support, such as participation in a funeral procession or other memorial event.
Non-permissible Use of City Resources
Public funds may not be used to purchase gifts or flowers or to make donations to the family or loved ones of the deceased employee. Further, employees are prohibited from attending an off-site memorial or funeral service while on paid time unless expressly permitted to do so by a department director or the Mayor.
11.110 Employees Serving as City Volunteers
Employees may volunteer hours to the City provided such services are different from those normally performed by the employee in their regular job. In other words, an individual will not be considered a volunteer if the individual is employed by the City to perform the same type of services as those for which the individual proposes to volunteer. As an example, a Police Officer may volunteer as a basketball coach.
Nominal reimbursement to employees who volunteer does not affect their volunteer status.
11.120 Medical Examinations
Employees may be required to submit to medical examinations for such purposes as evaluating fitness for duty, prognosis for recovery from an injury or illness, or evaluation of medical limitations in the context of reasonable accommodation of a disability to the extent permitted by applicable state and/or federal law. When required by the City, the cost of any such examinations shall be paid by the City.
11.130 Contact with News Media
Only the Mayor, representatives designated by the Mayor and the department directors are authorized to communicate with the media in an official capacity on behalf of the City. If an individual City employee is contacted by a representative of the media, the employee should refer the media representative to the above designated individuals for a response. The Mayor and department directors reserve discretion to authorize specific individuals to make statements on behalf of the City regarding particular subjects.
11.140 Smoke Free Workplace
As required by Chapter 70.160 RCW and King County’s Smoking in Public Places Regulations (King County Board of Health Code, Title 19), smoking and the use of electronic smoking devices, commonly known as e-cigarettes, are prohibited in all City workplaces, facilities and within twenty-five feet of entrances, exits, windows that open, and ventilation intakes of City facilities.
11.150 Substance Abuse and Drug and Alcohol Testing
The City is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment, free from drugs or alcohol that may cause employees to present a danger to themselves or others, and/or that adversely impact job performance.
In the event that drug or alcohol use impairs an employee’s job performance, the City encourages the employee to seek help through counseling, the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or through their Health Care Provider. Employees who report a dependency will not be subject to retaliation or discrimination. Employees who voluntarily seek treatment may use sick leave to attend a bona fide treatment or counseling program. As part of a disciplinary action, the City may condition continued employment on successful completion of treatment or counseling program and future avoidance of drugs and alcohol.
On-duty employees are prohibited from being under the influence, or in possession of:
- Any illegal controlled substance.
- Any prescription drug not approved for the employee’s use by a physician.
The following conduct is prohibited:
- Use of or impairment by any illegal drug; use of or impairment by illegally obtained prescription drugs; use of prescription or non-prescription drugs that hinder the employee’s ability to do the job effectively and/or that jeopardizes the safety of the employee or others.
- The manufacture, possession (except as necessary for law enforcement officers to perform their duties), distribution, or use of alcohol and prohibited substances in the workplace, at any City worksite, in a City vehicle, or while on duty. Note: This policy does not prohibit an employee from possessing a gift of unopened alcohol (e.g., giving or receiving a bottle of wine as a holiday gift) at work, nor does it prevent employees with take-home cars from transporting unopened alcohol beverages in their assigned vehicle during off duty hours.
- Coming to work or being on duty while under the influence of marijuana, alcohol (including medication containing alcohol), or controlled substances.
- Refusal to take a drug or alcohol test.
- Attempting to falsify drug or alcohol test results.
Prescription or Over-the-Counter Medications
An employee who is taking a drug, whether prescribed or over-the-counter, and who has reasonable notice that the drug’s usage may adversely impact the ability to perform work in a safe and productive manner is required to report the drug usage to their supervisor and/or to Human Resources. Once an employee has made such a report, a determination will be made as to whether the employee should be reassigned, temporarily relieved of duty, or whether some other action should be taken. Records relating to legal drug usage will be treated as confidential health care information and maintained in separate medical files in the City’s Human Resources Department. The Human Resources Department will provide information regarding the drug usage only to supervisors who need to know limitations on the employee’s work activity and, if necessary, to emergency or first aid personnel.
Drug and Alcohol Testing
Types of Testing:
- Pre-Employment (Safety Sensitive Positions): The City may require pre- employment drug and alcohol testing when hiring for safety-sensitive positions. Offers of employment for such positions will be conditioned on the applicant submitting to and passing a drug and alcohol test. Testing may also be required when an employee transfers to a safety-sensitive position.
- Reasonable Suspicion (All Positions): Employees who are reasonably suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol shall be suspended from their job duties with pay pending an investigation and verification of condition. All employees are subject to a drug or alcohol test when there is a reason to suspect impairment immediately prior to, during, or immediately after performing job duties. A referral for testing will be made on the basis of documented objective behavior, speech, appearance, or other facts and circumstances. While the method of drug testing typically requires a urine sample, the employee has discretion to choose a blood test rather than a urine sample as the testing methodology. The City will pay any cost associated with the administration of either a urine test or a blood test.
- Other: Individual employees may be subject to testing as a result of a last chance agreement, a return-to-work agreement, or when continuing employment has been conditioned upon remaining drug or alcohol free.
Compliance with Testing: Any employee who refuses to comply with a request for testing, who provides false information in connection with a test, or who attempts to falsify test results shall be immediately removed from duty with pay. Following investigation, if substantiated, any refusal to be tested or falsification of a test will be treated as misconduct and will constitute grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Employees are permitted to collect money for their fellow co-workers for reasons such as birthdays, weddings, childbirth, retirement or anniversary celebrations, or for charities and related activities so long as the solicitation does not cause a nuisance or otherwise interfere with the work of other employees. Other solicitations, collections, or distributions of literature by employees of the City are prohibited without prior approval of the department director or the Mayor.
11.170 Charitable Giving
As an employer, the City values and supports the willingness of its employees to make charitable contributions. At the same time, the City recognizes that its employees should feel welcome to participate in charitable causes without feeling obligated. Therefore, opportunities to give will be coordinated and limited.
A variety of sponsored charitable giving opportunities, including the City’s annual pledge campaign, will occur each year but will not exceed one per month. Employees who wish to do so may participate in City-sponsored charitable giving events during their workday as their workload allows. Participation in any charitable giving activity is voluntary.
Employees may volunteer to assist with charity related event planning with prior supervisor approval. Organizations eligible to receive City-sponsored contributions will be vetted by the Charitable Giving Advisory Committee.
11.180 Access to Secure Areas
All areas fitted with locks (including file cabinets, desks, offices and lockers) are City property and must be accessible to fellow employees and supervisors for business reasons, such as retrieving files or other documents. Supervisors or a designated department representative should maintain duplicate keys to all areas with locks.
Searches of locked areas must be for cause and necessary for work related purposes and not unduly intrusive in light of the reason for the search.
11.190 Social Media
The City of Redmond, with the many high technology companies located in our community, is at the center of societal changes brought by widespread use of the internet. As such, the City understands that social media can be a rewarding way to participate in interactive discussions and share information. However, the use of social media also presents risks to the City, including unauthorized disclosure of confidential information, exposure to discrimination and harassment claims, and activity detrimental to the City’s mission and values. To assist employees in making responsible decisions about the use of social media, the City has established these guidelines. This policy applies to all City employees.
Compliance with City Policy
Employees are required to use good judgment with regard to use of social media.
Employees should recognize that there is interplay between the use of social media and other City policies that might be relevant in a particular fact scenario. For example, inappropriate use of social media, even while off duty, may constitute sexual harassment against a coworker, discrimination against a coworker based on membership in a protected class such as race or religion, or comments may be perceived as threats of violence against a coworker.
Social Media Rules
Social media use that adversely impacts an employee’s job performance, the performance of other City employees, or that otherwise adversely impacts the City’s mission and functions may result in disciplinary action. At the same time, the City recognizes that each employee has First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and freedom of association, and no discipline will be sustained that violates an employee’s constitutional rights.
The following rules apply to employees’ use of social media:
- Social media should not be used to unlawfully harass, discriminate against, or retaliate against another employee.
- Social media should not be used to communicate threats of violence inviolation of the City’s Workplace Violence policy.
- Social media content that relates to City business may be a public record subject to retention and disclosure under state law. For that reason, except when assigned to do so as part of their official duties, employees are prohibited from using social media to conduct City business.
- Although employees may identify themselves in personal social media accounts, blogs, or websites as employees of the City, employees shall not identify themselves in a manner that suggests or implies they are speaking as a representative of the City. If any confusion is reasonably likely, the employee shall expressly state with a disclaimer that he/she is speaking in a personal individual capacity and not for or on behalf of the City.
The following additional rules apply to employees’ use of social media on City devices:
- Employees shall not post, upload, or create any social media content that is known to be false, misleading, or fraudulent, or that involves pornographic, sexually explicit, or obscene materials (except by law enforcement as part oftheir official duties).
- Employees shall not use social media for political purposes, including partisan campaigning.
No Expectation of Privacy
The City prefers that employees use their personal cell phones or tablets to access social media sites while on breaks during the workday. However, to the extent that an employee chooses to use the City’s computer system to access the internet and/or social media sites, any such use must be brief in both duration and frequency and must comply with all requirements of the City’s Information Technology Usage Policy. See Section 11.200 Information Technology Usage. Further, the employee must remain mindful of the fact that all electronically stored communication in City computers is City property and employees have no expectation of privacy whatsoever in any message, file, data, document, social media post, or other kind of communication received, stored, or recorded in any manner on the City’s computers. Finally, electronically stored information on City computers is subject to public inspection and disclosure.
The City prohibits retaliation against any employee who reports violations of this policy or who cooperates with an investigation into alleged violation of this policy.
11.200 Information Technology Usage
The intent of the Information Technology Usage Policy is to define the appropriate and acceptable use of technology at the City of Redmond and to ensure that the City complies with all legally mandated requirements. It outlines the responsibilities of those who work for and on behalf of the City in contributing to the maintenance and protection of its information resources in a secure, stable and cost-effective manner.
The City of Redmond’s Information Technology Usage Policy defines the oversight, use and protection of the City of Redmond’s computing equipment, network, voice, electronic communications and data repositories. This includes the acquisition, access and use of all software, hardware and shared resources, whether connected to the network, configured off the network, or while in transit (mobile).
It applies to all those who work on behalf of the City of Redmond including, but not limited to, employees, contractors, consultants, temporaries, supplemental employees, volunteers and other workers including all personnel affiliated with third parties, hereafter referred to as the user. This policy also applies to all equipment that is owned or leased by the City regardless of project and program funding sources.
Acquisition of Technology Resources
No technology resources including, but not limited to, software, hardware, cloud services, portable devices, removable devices and related maintenance and support contracts, may be purchased or used in connection with City business without first obtaining authorization from the Technology and Information Services Department (TIS). An employee desiring to obtain a technological resource should first contact the Service Desk.
Access to Technology Resources
- Passwords: Users are responsible to establish and maintain passwords consistent with the City’s standards. A user who forgets his or her password should contact the Service Desk from an internal City telephone for assistance, use the password reset tool available on the City’s Intranet or the password reset tool available online. User accounts and passwords represent your identity and should not be shared with anyone. This prohibition on sharing of passwords applies even in emergent situations. In the event access to a user account is necessary while an employee is away or otherwise unavailable, the Service Desk should be contacted.
- Logging off: Users should lock their computer by pressing the Windows and L key simultaneously or log off their computer whenever they leave their work station to prevent unauthorized activity. All users should log off of their computer and leave it powered on at the end of their shift to enable off-shift maintenance and security updates.
- Responsibility for access: All activity resulting from device, network or software application access is the responsibility of the person assigned the user account.
- Personal hardware and devices: Personal hardware and devices should not be connected to the City’s computers by any employee.
- Personal software: Personal software should not be installed on the City’s computers by any employee.
Security of Technology Resources
Effective security requires the participation and support of every user in the organization. It is the responsibility of every user of City technology to remain vigilant in their awareness and protection of the City’s technology resources. Specific due diligence requirements are outlined below:
- Intruding or attempting to intrude into any gap in system or network security is prohibited. Sharing of information with others that may facilitate their unauthorized access to the City’s data, network or devices, or their exploitation of a security gap, is also prohibited.
- User accounts and passwords may not be shared.
- It is the responsibility of each user to prevent unauthorized access to personal, sensitive or confidential information that could present a risk of identity theft, thus jeopardizing a person’s privacy, financial security or other interests.
- In general, it is not permissible to download personal, sensitive or confidential information to any removable/portable device, including laptop computers, USB devices or thumb drives unless access to that information is within the scope of your job, and the data or device is encrypted. Transmitting personal, sensitive or confidential data in part or full via e-mail or other unencrypted medium is prohibited. Personal, sensitive or confidential data should be stored in a file folder or SharePoint site that is accessible only to those who need to view it.
- Prior to accessing a removable device such as a USB or thumb drive, other mobile devices, cameras, etc., the user should scan for viruses and malware to avoid infecting the City’s systems.
- Leaving personal, sensitive or confidential information exposed to view while unattended, either on paper or on screen, is prohibited.
- Whenever possible, laptop and desktop hard drives and removable devices should only contain copies of source files, not the original file. Original source files should be stored on the City’s network or within SharePoint sites to ensure they are backed up to prevent loss.
- Lost or stolen computers, laptops, mobile devices, etc. must be reported immediately to the local Police Department. A report should also be made to a supervisor, manager or director and to the TIS Service Desk at 425-556-2929 at the first available opportunity.
- Lost or stolen devices (including portable media such as thumb drives, CDs, DVDs) or hardcopy reports that contain personal, sensitive or confidential information and/or information that is subject to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (pertaining to processing of credit card payments), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (see Chapter 16 HIPAA Privacy and Security Policy of this Manual), Criminal Justice Information Services Security Policy, or other legal mandate should be reported immediately to the TIS Service Desk at 425-556-2929 to determine any action that must be taken under those regulations.
Use of Technology Resources
The City's technology resources are City property and are intended to be used for the conduct of City business.
Use of City technology resources is not permitted when the use is related to the conduct of an outside business; is for the purpose of supporting, promoting, or soliciting for any non-City sponsored outside organization or group; religious, campaign or political use; commercial use; to conduct illegal activities; any entertainment use; use which results in the City being placed on electronic mailing lists related to prohibited uses; downloading personal email to the City’s system or attaching a personal email box.
Limited personal use is permitted as long as the use does not result in a cost to the City, does not interfere with the user’s responsibilities and fulfillment of job duties, is brief in duration and frequency, does not distract from the conduct of City business, and does not compromise the security or integrity of City information or software. It is strongly advised that personal devices should be used to access the Internet or personal email while on breaks.
When using City technology, it is a good idea to ask yourself this question: Can I directly support a work purpose for this use? If the answer is yes, there should be no problem. If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t do it unless you are confident that the use is permitted as a limited personal use described above. If you have questions about the appropriateness of using City technology resources for any particular purpose, contact the Technology and Information Services (TIS) Director or designee for guidance.
There is no right to privacy when using the City’s technology resources, whether for City business or incidental personal use. The City owns all data stored on its network and peripheral devices and reserves the right to inspect and monitor any use at any time (examples include e-mail, voicemail, internet logs, computers, laptops, mobile devices, etc.).
Internet and Intranet Usage
- Content and images posted on the City’s intranet and Internet sites should conform to the same professional standards as with written business correspondence. A professional tone should prevail.
- All information that is posted, copied or shared, either on the City’s Intranet, servers and desktops, the City’s website or social media sites, should conform to laws that govern copyrighted materials including, but not limited to, photographs, magazines, books, music or the installation of any software for which the City does not have an active license.
- The installation of pirated software is prohibited.
- Web usage that significantly impacts network bandwidth may be restricted. Individuals should utilize only the City’s tools (such as the City-standard browser) and recommended best practices to manage their connections when viewing, downloading, sharing and printing information to ensure that these shared resources are not negatively impacted.
- Any attempt to misrepresent one’s identity on the Internet (via newsgroups, chat rooms, blogs, etc.) is prohibited.
Examples of Permissible Internet and Intranet Use
The following are examples of Internet/intranet use that will be allowed, so long as the previously stated permissible use requirements are met:
- Use of the Internet to view job announcements.
- Viewing the City intranet page to learn about City Wellness Programs.
- Use of the Internet to investigate issues surrounding an employee’s commute. This could include viewing pages at Metro to learn about transit schedules or WSDOT to look at freeway traffic conditions.
- Use of the Internet to check the weather for the upcoming weekend.
- Use of a City computer to do some comparative shopping during your break.
Examples of Impermissible Internet and Intranet Use
- Use of the Internet to access nude or sexually explicit materials (text, photographs, graphics, etc.) that are not related to the user’s job duties.
- Supporting, promoting, or soliciting for any non-City sponsored outside organization or group.
- Conducting illegal activities.
- Engaging in activity that would violate the City’s ethics and/or conflict of interest policies.
- Email communications should conform to the same professional standards as with written business correspondence. A professional tone should prevail.
- Minimal personal use of the City’s email system is permitted. However, personal e-mail must conform to limited use standards and may not be related to activities listed as prohibited uses.
- Use of e-mail systems other than the City’s email system to conduct City business is not advised due to records retention and public disclosure laws.
- E-mail is considered a public record and is subject to disclosure under Washington State law. Managing individual email storage and retention is the responsibility of each individual, consistent with the City’s document and records-retention guidelines. Users should avoid unnecessary e-mail traffic and are encouraged to minimize the size of attachment files and use network drives or SharePoint sites to share file attachments.
- The City-wide (!_City) email distribution list should be used for critical and time- sensitive City business information only.
- Any attempt to misrepresent one’s identity when using City e-mail is prohibited.
Examples of Permissible Email Use
The following are examples of email use that will be allowed, so long as the previously stated permissible use requirements are met.
- Sending an email communication home to make sure one’s children have arrived safely from school.
- Receiving an email from a son or daughter, who is away at college, solely for the purpose of telling the parent he or she is coming home for the weekend.
- When the user had planned to fly to visit relatives, but flight plans have changed, and the user sends an email solely for the purpose of informing the relative of the new arrival time.
- Use of City email to solicit for a charity or fundraiser must be approved by the Mayor for City-wide distribution or department director for departmental distribution.
Examples of Impermissible Email Use
- Use of City email to conduct illegal activities.
- Use of City email to conduct an outside business.
- Engaging in activity that would violate the City’s ethics and/or conflict of interest policies.
- Use of City email to campaign in support of or in opposition to a political candidate or ballot issue.
Text and Instant Message Use
- Text and instant messages should conform to the same professional standards as with written business correspondence. A professional tone should prevail.
- The use of Text Messaging and Instant Messaging to conduct City business from personal cell phones is prohibited. This prohibition applies even if the employee receives a stipend from the City to use the personal cell phone. The rationale behind this prohibition is that text messaging and instant messaging on personal cell phones are not backed up on the City’s server but, nevertheless, are government records subject to records retention laws and the Public Records Act, RCW 42.56.
- Text and Instant Messaging for conducting City business is permitted only on City equipment.
- Text and instant messaging should be used for transitory communication only.
- Any attempt to misrepresent one’s identity when using City text or instant messaging is prohibited.
Examples of Permissible Text and Instant Message Use - City-Owned Devices Only
- “I’ll be late to the meeting.”
- “I’ll meet you at 9:00.”
- “Are you available for a quick chat?”
Examples of Impermissible Text and Instant Message Use
- “I authorize you to spend the $300,000 for that project.”
- “City Council should authorize the ordinance pertaining to homelessness.”
- Sending content (photo) that is subject to records retention laws instead of using email.
Reporting and Administration
Anyone who observes or suspects a violation of these policies and requirements, or a potential gap in security or protection of the City’s assets or data, should immediately make a report to their department supervisor, a manager or director, or the Human Resource Department. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Exceptions to this Information Technology Use Policy
Requests for exceptions to any provision of this Technology Usage Policy must be submitted in writing by a department director to the TIS Director. Exceptions require the approval of both the requesting department’s director and the TIS Director. Approvals must be documented in writing and limited in duration to provide for periodic re- evaluation.
11.210 Security Communication Procedures
Reporting an Emergency
In the event an employee becomes aware of an emergency event that threatens employee(s) and/or life safety, the employee should call 911 as soon as making the call can be safely accomplished. The employee is encouraged to be prepared to provide any details the 911 dispatcher may ask for such as a description of the incident, a description of the persons or vehicles involved, and the location of the incident.
Reporting a Non-Emergency
In the event an employee becomes aware of a non-emergency situation in which there is no safety risk to employee(s) and/or people, the employee can report the situation to his/her supervisor.
Reporting a Lost or Stolen Key Card
If an employee’s key card is lost or stolen, the employee should timely report the missing card to the Service Desk at extension 2929. Service Deck staff will deactivate the card in order to prevent unauthorized access to City facilities.