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Chapter 8 - Employee Responsibilities and Conduct

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Chapter 8-Employee responsibilities and conduct.

8.1  General policy.


(a)  The City expects all employees to represent the City to the public in a professional, courteous, efficient, and helpful manner. Employees must maintain a clean and neat appearance appropriate to their work assignment, as determined by their position and department head.

(b)  Because the proper working relationship between employees and the City depends on such employee’s ongoing job performance, professional conduct and behavior, the City has established certain minimum standards of personal conduct.  At a minimum, the City expects  basic tact and courtesy towards the public and fellow employees; adherence to City practices, procedures, safety rules and safe work practices; compliance with directions from supervisors; preserving and protecting the City’s equipment, grounds, facilities and resources; and providing orderly and cost efficient services to its citizens. 

8.2   Outside employment and conflicts of interest.


(a)  Employees shall not, directly or indirectly engage in any outside employment or financial interest that may conflict, in the City’s opinion, with the best interests of the City or interfere with the employee’s ability to perform his/her assigned City job.

Examples include, but are not limited to, outside employment which:

(1)  Prevents the employee from being available for work beyond normal working hours, such as emergencies or peak work periods, when such availability is a part of the employee’s job;

(2)  Is conducted during the employee’s work hours;

(3)  Utilizes City telephones, computers, supplies, or any other resources, facilities or equipment;

(4)  Is employment with a firm which contracts with or does business with the City; or

(5)  May be reasonably perceived by members of the public as a conflict of interest or otherwise discredits public service.

(b)  An employee, who has an additional job, contractual commitment or self-employment, may do so provided he/she obtains prior approval from the Mayor.  The Mayor may not unreasonably withhold approval.

8.3     Political activities.

(a)  City employees may participate in political or partisan activities of their choosing if City resources and property are not utilized, and the activity does not adversely affect the responsibilities of the employees in their positions.  Employees may not campaign on City time, in City uniform, or while representing the City.  Employees may not allow others to use City facilities or funds for political activities.

(b)  Any City employee who meets with or may be observed by the public or otherwise represent the City to the public, while performing his/her regular duties may not wear or display any button, badge or sticker relevant to any candidate or ballot issue during working hours.  Employees shall not solicit, on City property or City time, for a contribution for a partisan political cause.

(c)  Except as noted in this policy, City employees may fully exercise their constitutional First Amendment Rights.

8.4   No tobacco use policy.

For health and safety considerations, the City prohibits tobacco use by employees in all City facilities, including City-owned buildings, vehicles, and offices or other facilities rented or leased by the City, including individual employee offices.

“Tobacco” includes any lit or unlit cigarette, cigar, pipe, blunt, bidi, clove cigarette and any other tobacco product, and spit tobacco, also known as smokeless tobacco, dip, chew and snuff, in any form.

“Use” means the chewing, lighting, smoking and any other usage of any tobacco product.

 8.5   Use of City vehicles and equipment.

Employees shall keep the use of City telephones for local personal phone calls to a minimum.  Long distance personal use is prohibited.  Other City equipment, including vehicles, should be used by employees for City business only

8.6   Contact with news media.

The Mayor, or his or her specific and express designee, is responsible for all official contacts with the news media during working hours, including answering of questions from the media or providing information to the media.  Other employees of the City shall refrain from such official contacts.

8.7   Seat belt policy.

Per Washington law, anyone operating or riding in City vehicles must wear a seat belt.

8.8  Driver’s license requirements.

(a)  As part of the requirements for certain specific City positions, an employee may be required to hold a valid Washington State Driver’s license.

(b)  If an employee’s license is revoked, suspended or lost, or is in any other way not current or valid, the employee shall promptly notify his/her department head. The City will immediately suspend his/her driving duties.  The employee may not resume driving until he/she provides proof of a valid, current license to his/her department head.

8.9  Safety.

(a)  Every employee maintains a safe work environment and following the City’s safety rules.  Each employee shall promptly report all unsafe or potentially hazardous conditions to his/her department head.  The City will strive to remedy problems quickly.
(b)  If an employee is involved in an accident involving a personal injury, regardless of how serious, he/she shall immediately notify his/her department head or the Mayor.
(c)  Annually, as scheduled by the Safety Committee, safety procedures will be reviewed in a mandatory employee meeting. Biannual evacuation drills will be practiced.

8.10  Substance abuse.

No employee shall possess, consume, control, sell or use alcohol, illegal drugs or other controlled substances during work hours. No employee shall exhibit an on-going dependence on drugs or other controlled substances, which, in the City’s opinion, impairs the employee’s work performance, poses a threat to the public confidence, or is a safety risk to the City or others.  The City will support employees who undergo treatment and rehabilitation for alcohol or other chemical dependency, subject to the above rules.

8.11  Drug-free workplace.

(a)  The City strictly prohibits the manufacturing, distribution, dispensation, possession and use of unlawful drugs or alcohol on City premises or during work hours by City employees.
(b)  Employees must notify the City within five days of any conviction for a drug violation in the workplace.

8.12  No solicitation.

(a)  The City desires to conduct its operations in an orderly and efficient manner. The City believes its employees and the public should work and receive City services without interference from persons pursuing a purpose unrelated to the City’s normal business.

(b)  With this in mind, the City does not allow non-employees to come onto City property or buildings to solicit employees or other members of the public or to distribute literature or other materials for any purpose.  The City prohibits employees from distributing any form of literature or other materials in their work areas unrelated to the City’s business purpose or authorized by the Mayor.  The City also prohibits employees from soliciting other employees for any cause during their assigned work time. For this purpose, working time means time during which either the soliciting employees or the employees who are the object of the solicitation are expected to be engaged in their assigned work.

8.13 Internet and email use policies and protocol.

The City has an independent Use of City Resources Policy, which is adopted by this reference.