Section Two: General Information
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Conditions of Employment
Equal Employment Opportunity
Pre-Employment Background Checks
In addition to the pre-employment screening conducted by the Library, after a conditional offer of employment has been accepted, a background check will be made by an external agency which will include a criminal history background check and verification of social security number and address. Additional checks such as a driving record or credit record may be made for positions where it is job-related.
For those positions that are subject to pre-employment screening and background checks, all applicants who have accepted a conditional offer for employment will be screened.
All applicants subject to background screening are asked to sign a release form authorizing the appropriate background checks. Any applicant who refuses to sign a release form will no longer be eligible for employment. If an applicant is denied employment in whole or in part because of information obtained in his/her background screening, the applicant will be informed of this and given the name, address and phone number of the screening provider to contact if s/he has specific questions about the result of the screening or wants to dispute the accuracy of the information.
All screenings are conducted in strict conformity with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA). Any applicant who provides misleading, erroneous or willfully deceptive information to the Avalon Free Public Library on an employment application form, resume or in a selection interview, will immediately be eliminated for further consideration for employment with the Avalon Free Public Library.
Policy against Harassment
Harassment is defined as unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual directed at individuals because of their color, race, sexual orientation,ancestry, religion, national origin, age, physical handicap, medical condition, disability, marital status, military status, citizenship status, or other protected group status. The Library will not tolerate harassing conduct which interferes with an individual's work performance, or that creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.
Sexual harassment consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, sexually motivated physical contact or other verbal or physical conduct or communication of a sexual nature when:
Other sexually harassing conduct in the work place, whether committed by supervisory or non-supervisory personnel, is also prohibited. This includes, but shall not be limited to:
Sexual harassment also occurs when one person harasses another solely because of the person’s gender. This type of sexual harassment may involve unwelcome sexual demands or overtures, but it may also take the form of other harassing conduct not necessarily sexual in nature, such as comments about the lesser abilities, capacities, or the "proper role" of females or males. It may also include subjecting a woman or a man to non-sexual harassment solely because of her or his gender. Sexual harassment is prohibited whether the harasser is male or female, and whether the harassment is directed to the same or the opposite sex.
Conflict Resolution in the Event of Harassment
If the complaint is against the Library Director you should report the incident to the President of the Board of Trustees.
You should notify the alleged harasser that you consider the behavior in question to be offensive and unwelcome. However, failure to inform the alleged harasser that the behavior is unwelcome does not prevent you from filing a complaint.
The Library encourages the prompt reporting of complaints so that rapid response and appropriate action may be taken. Any complaint should be reported within 120 days to be considered current. Nevertheless, due to the sensitive nature of these problems, all complaints will be investigated, regardless of when they are filed. However, complaints submitted as much as one or two years after the event(s) will be difficult to process because of the delay.
Based on the report findings, the accused may face immediate and appropriate disciplinary action. Disciplinary action may include a written warning, suspension, demotion, or termination of employment. At the discretion of the Library Director, the accused may be suspended without pay with the notification of the Board President, not to exceed three days.
In the event that the Library Director and Attorney for the Library determine the complaint to be without any merit and, in fact, a fabrication, appropriate disciplinary action may be taken against the employee who caused the complaint to be executed.
All persons involved in a harassment complaint will be given the utmost protection of privacy. The Library will strive, both during and after the investigation, to maintain confidentiality to the fullest extent possible, including confidentiality of the identities of all persons involved or alleged to be involved in the incident. Only those particulars of the matter necessary for a thorough investigation will be revealed. Any employee who unnecessarily compromises the confidentiality of an investigation will be subject to appropriate discipline.
Responsibility of Supervisory Personnel
Employee Relations/Problem Solving Procedure
Many employees and supervisors are able to handle concerns in an informal and confidential manner through discussion. Whenever possible, this method should be used with the goal being an equitable solution to the problem at a point closest to its origination.
Employees who after discussing their concerns with their supervisor believe that their concerns are still unresolved may use the following problem-solving procedure which is designed to provide employees with an easy, yet formal way to resolve any problem. Fostering sound employee-supervisor relations through communication and reconciliation of work-related problems is the goal.
If the grievance relates specifically to the Library Director, the employee must meet with the Library Director to try to resolve their concerns. The employee may choose to invite his or her supervisor, or another advocate, to be present at this meeting. If the matter cannot be resolved, the employee may choose to file a written complaint to the President of the Board of Trustees. The President will determine whether or not it is appropriate for the Board to become involved in the issue and if involvement is warranted, determine the appropriate forum for resolving the employee’s concern.
Final decisions will not necessarily be precedent-setting or binding on future situations unless they are officially stated as Library policy.
Drug and Alcohol - Free Workplace
Violations include, but are not limited to, possessing illegal or non-prescribed drugs and narcotics or alcoholic beverages at work; being under the influence of these substances while working; using them while working; or dispensing, distributing, or illegally manufacturing or selling them on Library premises.
The employment status of any person found to be in violation of this policy will be subject to a review by the Director and the immediate supervisor within the provisions of local, state, and federal law. Violation of this policy may result in suspension without pay or termination of employment.
In addition, in the event that an employee is involved in an on-the-job accident where personal injury or damage to the Library occurs, the employee may also be sent for medical examination that may include a drug and/or alcohol test. Moreover, as part of a follow-up program for treatment of drug and or alcohol abuse, the employee may be required to submit to an alcohol and/or drug test.
An employee will be required to submit to alcohol, drug or controlled substance testing when the employee’s work performance causes a reasonable suspicion that employee is impaired due to current intoxication, drug or controlled substance abuse or in cases where employment has been conditioned upon remaining alcohol, drug, or controlled dangerous substance free following treatment. Refusal to submit to testing when requested may result in immediate disciplinary action, including termination.
Employees must notify their supervisor within five (5) days of conviction for a drug or alcohol related violation, whether or not the violation occurred in the workplace.
Employees using prescription drugs that may affect job performance or safety must notify the Library Director who is required to maintain the confidentiality of any information regarding an employee’s medical condition in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Protection. (A program to assist employees who may have a drug/alcohol problem may be provided through the Borough’s Employee Assistance Program.)
The Library recognizes the health implications of alcohol or substance abuse on its employees and considers it a treatable illness. As with other illnesses, the Library’s primary objective is to assist in the employee’s rehabilitation. The Library designed this policy to encourage employees to seek help for any substance-abuse problems.
An employee may voluntarily admit to the Library that he or she has an alcohol- or substance- abuse problem without fear of discipline or discharge. However, such admission does not immunize an employee against discharge if his or her alcohol or substance abuse harms others. Upon admission of an alcohol or substance-abuse problem, the individual must immediately enroll in a rehabilitation program. The Library will not take disciplinary action against an employee who voluntarily admits having an alcohol or substance-abuse problem unless that employee refuses to enroll in and complete a rehabilitation program.
Employees who admit to drug or alcohol abuse shall not be deemed to have voluntarily sought rehabilitation under this policy if:
If an employee is found to have a drug or alcohol problem, the Library will provide the employee with information on where to seek counseling. The costs of counseling may be covered by the employee’s medical insurance. If not, the cost of such outside services is the employee’s responsibility.
Any employee who is abusing drugs or alcohol may be granted an unpaid leave of absence if required by the provisions outlined in the Family and Medical Leave Act to undertake rehabilitation treatment. The employee may not return to work until certification is presented to the Library Director that the employee is capable of performing his or her job.