SECTION 1. AUTHORITY TO DISMISS, SUSPEND, REDUCE IN STEP OR DEMOTE: The appointing authority may dismiss, suspend, reduce in step or demote any employee in the classified service provided the rules and regulations of the Commission are followed, and provided further that any permanent classified employee shall have the right to appeal such an action to the Commission in accordance with the provisions of Rule XIV.
All employees, except those represented by the California Nurses Association, are covered by the Non-Punitive Discipline Program. For covered employees, a disciplinary letter, which equates to a suspension of a specified length (e.g.; one day, three days, etc), may be issued in lieu of a suspension. For the purpose of establishing progressive discipline, the disciplinary letter carries the same weight as a suspension. The disciplinary letter is subject to the same appeal rights under Rule XIV as other disciplinary actions.
SECTION 2. NOTICE: The appointing authority or designee shall give not less than five working days notice of intent to take any action as described in Section 1 against a permanent employee. The notice of intent shall be in writing and shall set forth the grounds for the disciplinary action in sufficient detail to permit the employee to understand them and to respond to them. If, after providing the opportunity to respond, the appointing authority or designee determines that action is warranted, he/she will provide a written notice of the decision to take the specified action. The notice will be delivered to the employee either by personal delivery or by certified return receipt mail to the mailing address of the employee last known to the appointing authority. Notice by mail shall be deemed given as of the time it is deposited with the United States postal service.
SECTION 3. COMMISSION/EMPLOYEE NOTIFICATION: Immediately after giving notice of decision to take disciplinary action on a permanent classified employee the appointing authority shall send a copy of the notice of decision of the action to the Director. The Director shall thereupon inform the employee, either in person or by mail, that the disciplinary action has been taken and shall give or send to the employee a copy of the Commission Rule concerning hearings. The Director shall record the action on the agenda for the next regular meeting of the Commission.
SECTION 4. CAUSES FOR DISMISSAL, SUSPENSION, REDUCTION IN STEP OR DEMOTION: A permanent classified employee may be dismissed, suspended, reduced in step or demoted for cause only. The following, among others, are causes which, if shown to the satisfaction of the Commission to be related to work performance, are sufficient for such action:
A. Absence Without Leave. Absence without leave shall mean any time an employee is absent from the workplace without authorization or without an explanation satisfactory to the appointing authority. This includes an employee’s failure to report to work after a leave of absence has expired or after such leave of absence has been disapproved or revoked.
B. Conviction of a criminal offense that is substantially related to the qualifications, functions or duties of the employee’s position. Conviction shall mean a termination of criminal proceedings adverse to the employee upon a verdict, by plea of guilty, upon a judgment against the employee, or upon a plea of nolo contendere, without regard to subsequent disposition of the case by suspension of sentence, probation, or otherwise.
C. Dishonesty or any act contrary to commonly accepted standards of justice.
D. Permanent or chronic physical or mental disability that incapacitates the employee from properly performing assigned duties. Determination of what constitutes permanent or chronic disability for purposes of this subsection shall be made by the Director in his/her sole discretion in accordance to applicable laws.
E. Abuse of sick leave.
F. Unacceptable Performance. Unacceptable performance shall mean want of ability suitable to the work, either as regards natural qualities or experience or deficiency of disposition to use one’s ability and experience properly, or failure to continue to perform at an acceptable level.
G. Through willful misconduct, causing damage to public property or waste of public supplies, or waste of public time.
H. Being, or having been at the time of employment, unqualified as an applicant for employment and having willfully concealed or misrepresented facts relating to qualifications in an application for employment.
I. Insubordination. Insubordination shall mean that the employee, having then the ability to do a reasonable act that he/she is directed to do by an officer or employee of the County with authority to direct his/her activities on the job, willfully fails or neglects to perform the directed act.
J. Disrespectful or discourteous conduct toward a County officer or official, another employee, or a member of the public.
K. Willful violation of any of the provisions of the County Charter, the County Ordinance Code, or of the Civil Service Commission Rules, relating to the conduct of County officers and employees.
L. Failure to submit to a special examination in accordance with Rule X of the Civil Service Commission or failure to appear at the designated time and place for such examination, or failure to sign authorizations and/or waivers as required by Rule X of the Civil Service Commission.
M. Excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness.
N. Impairment of an employee’s ability to perform his/her duties at a satisfactory level due to being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while at work or the use of alcohol or drugs during working hours, except where such drugs have been prescribed and are being used in accordance with specific instructions from a licensed physician. For employees covered by the Department of Transportation Alcohol and Drug Testing Program, refusal to submit to an alcohol or drug test which is ordered in accordance with the County’s Policy and Procedures or a positive alcohol or drug test shall also constitute cause for disciplinary action.
O. Sexual Harassment and/or discrimination toward a County officer or official, another employee, or a member of the public.
P. Misuse of Position. Misuse of position shall mean knowingly using one’s position or one’s status as a County employee for personal gain or for the gain of another; or knowingly using one’s position or one’s status as a County employee to obtain or provide information or services in a manner other than that available to the general public. Acceptance of discounts normally available to all County employees shall not be considered misuse.
Q. Failure to follow policy(ies), procedure(s) or work rule(s), or negligence in the performance of one’s duties.