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Personnel Policies

Personnel Policies
Age Criteria for Employment
Age Criteria for Employment Approved by:
Board of Trustees
Date: 01/28/00
  Revised Date:   09/12/00
4/25/06

No person under the age of 16 shall be employed with the Hall County Library System except in a volunteer capacity.

The employment of persons under the age of 18 shall be in compliance with the regulations of the US Department of Labor. In areas identified as hazardous, no person under 18 may be employed.

State paid librarians are subject to any state mandatory retirement age requirements. State paid librarians must be in compliance with the policies of the Georgia Office of Public Library Services and the laws of the State of Georgia.
Annual Leave
Appointments to Positions
 Appointments to Positions

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:

09/12/00
04/25/06

9/20/11



The library director will be appointed by the Hall County Library Board in accordance with the laws of the State of Georgia and regulations established by Georgia Public Library Services. All other appointments are made by the Library Director who shall advise the Library Board of Trustees of all hires and terminations.

The library director shall ensure that all employees have job descriptions that are reviewed periodically so that they currently describe the employee’s duties. Salaries are determined by the library board per position description.

In accordance with Georgia Code 20-5-56; Criteria for Approval of Applications for State Aid Funds for County and Regional Library Boards, Section 7; and the State Board of Certification Law and Rules, January 1986, the following definitions shall apply:

The Library Director, all persons receiving state salary grants, and all employees with the job title of Librarian or Assistant Librarian shall be defined as professional employees.
Appropriate Appearance and Dress
IV.a. Appropriate Appearance and Dress Approved by:
Board of Trustees
Date: 01/27/98
12/06/11
    Revised Date: 2/6/16
2/22/22

The library staff’s appearance and manner are a representation of the library system to the public. Staff in public service and administrative personnel will be dressed in business casual attire.  Staff members whose job requires special clothing will dress as required for their job.

All staff members should be dressed in neat, clean clothing.  T-shirts and sweatshirts with non-library related graphics are not allowed. Athletic clothing, revealing clothing, and unkempt clothing is not considered appropriate attire. All staff should avoid any shoes that could cause a safety issue. Tattoos that are vulgar, obscene, or intentionally offensive must be covered. Good personal hygiene is expected.

Employees who do not dress appropriately will be counseled on an individual basis and may be sent home on leave/unpaid time to change into appropriate attire.

If a staff member needs medical accommodation concerning the dress code, a doctor’s note should be provided to Human Resources.  The library director may authorize special dress days to promote library or community programs.
Birthday Holiday
Birthday Holiday Approved by:
Board of Trustees
Date: 07/27/99
    Revised Date: 04/25/06
12/06/11

After employees have been employed full-time for one year (12 months) they are entitled to a paid holiday in honor of their birthday each year. This is a floating holiday to be requested by the employee and must be taken within one month (30 days) of the birth date. The library director and assistant directors have authorization to grant exceptions to the required deadline.

The scheduled holiday shall not interfere with the operating schedule or function of the library system. The request requires approval of the immediate supervisor and must be made in sufficient time to arrange schedule changes.
Blood Drives and Donations
Blood Drives and Donations Approved by:
Board of Trustees
Date: 01/27/98
    Revised Date: 04/25/06 12/06/11

Employees may participate in regularly scheduled blood drives. Two (2) hours off plus time for the actual donation process will be permitted. Time off should be scheduled with the immediate supervisor. Such time will be entered on time sheet under “Other Paid Leave”.

For donor participation beyond regularly scheduled blood drives, annual leave may be requested.
Change in Ability to Carry Out Job Assignment

Change in Ability to Carry Out Job Assignment

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:

01/27/98

 

Revised Date:

4/25/06 12/06/11

The library director, at the library system’s expense, may require an independent physician or other appropriate medical professional to examine an employee to determine fitness to perform the normal work routine hired for. A written report to the library director will be provided by the medical professional stating the findings. When it is discovered that the effectiveness of the employee to perform his/her job or the continuation of the job endangers the employee or interferes with the effectiveness of coworkers to complete their assigned duties, one of the following actions will be taken:

  1. The employee shall be allowed a specified time as determined by a designated medical professional to have it corrected following library leave policy. If the employee fails to take action to address the medical issues within the specified time, the employee will be subject to disciplinary action or service separation.
  2. If in the opinion of the examining medical professional the health issue cannot be corrected, the library director will attempt to re-assign the employee to a job position which the employee can perform satisfactorily. If successful placement cannot be accomplished steps will be taken to separate the employee from employment with the library system through retirement or dismissal.
Changes of Name, Address, Marital Status, or Beneficiary
Changes of Name, Address, Marital Status, or Beneficiary Approved by:
Board of Trustees
Date: 01/27/98
    Revised Date: 12/06/11

It is the responsibility of the employee to keep the administrative assistant informed when changes occur in name, marital status, address, telephone number, and other identification and contact information.

Name changes that result from a divorce decree or other legal name change may require legal and appropriate documentation and verification such as a court order. Divorce does not automatically result in name change.

Changes in beneficiary are the responsibility of the employee.

Changes shall be requested in writing.
Check Cashing for Employees and Patrons
 Check Cashing for Employees and Patrons

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 


The library system will not cash checks for employees or patrons. The availability of bank automatic teller machines provides access to persons for this purpose.

Civic and Political Activity
Civic and Political Activity

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:

01/27/98

 

Revised Date:

    12/06/11


Employees are encouraged to be involved and interested in civic and political activity vital to a representative government in ademocratic society so long as their involvement does not infringe on their work time and does not impact library funding or support.
Compensation
Compensation

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:

1/24/06

 

Revised Date:

04/28/09

8/26/19


The library system’s compensation plan is intended to attract, retain, and motivate employees through the payment of financial compensation that is commensurate with the individual’s ability, responsibility, and contribution to the organization. It is also intended to be equitable and to treat each employee impartially. As part of the library system’s compensation plan, the library adheres to all principles of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The plan was developed with two key principles in mind:

  • Compensation should be competitive in the library’s geographic area of recruitment.
  • Compensation should reflect the relative value of the tasks performed as part of each individual position.
  • There are several components to the library’s compensation plan. These include:
  • Job descriptions,
  • Performance reviews,
  • Pay scale,
  • Pay increases.
Job Descriptions
Each job description is given a specific point on the library’s pay scale depending upon that position’s pay grade. The pay grade for each position depends upon several factors:

  • required job knowledge,
  • level of responsibility,
  • degree of supervision required and exercised,
  • type of work performed,
  • level of experience and training required
To have a positive performance review, an employee should meet all standards set in the job description.

Performance Reviews
After completing the six month working test period, each employee will be reviewed annually on their anniversary date. Reviews will be tied to merit based raises above the annual cost of living adjustment as the library budget allows.

Pay Scale
The library system’s pay scale sets a minimum and maximum range for each position’s pay grade.

An employee’s hourly wage is calculated from the minimum pay grade for his/her position. New employees are normally hired at the beginning of their salary range; however, they may be hired at higher than the minimum rate based upon years of relevant experience. Movement in the salary range is based upon years of experience and upon annual pay increases.

Library employees who are promoted to a position with a higher pay grade will receive the higher of either a 10% increase of their current salary or the minimum entry level of their new pay range. Upon the date of promotion, the employee begins a new working test period. The next performance review will be six months from the date of promotion, then every year thereafter.

Pay Increases
The maximum pay grade for each position will be raised each year by the amount of the cost of living adjustment (COLA) given to all employees. It may also be adjusted due to any subsequent wage and benefit study. Employees may also receive a merit raise based upon the results of their annual performance review. The library system may set aside one half of the annual amount budgeted for salary increases for merit based raises, and the other half will be given to all employees as a COLA unless the budgeted amount is 2% or lower. As the library budget permits, merit raises will be given to employees who score above 3.0 (meets expectations) on their annual performance review. The amount of the raise will depend upon the employee’s performance. Pay increases are also guided by the library’s most recent salary study.

Sample based upon 4% salary increases with 2% allocated for merit raises:

Performance review rating Merit increase (in addition to COLA)
1-Unnacceptable 0
2-Needs Improvement 0
3-3.5Meets Expectations 1%
3.6-4.4 Exceeds Expectations 1.5%
4.5-5-Superior 2.0%

 Employees who have exceeded the maximum pay grade for their job classification are not eligible to receive raises. These employees will be given a supplement which will equal the COLA given other staff plus the merit raise they have earned. Half of this amount will be given in November and the remainder in April of each fiscal year.
Compensatory Time
Credit Inquiries
Credit Inquiries Approved by:
Board of Trustees
Date: 01/27/98
    Revised Date: 08/25/09 12/06/11


The library system protects personnel records and manages them as privileged and confidential to the extent provided under Georgia law. No information regarding the rate of compensation of any employee will be revealed to a third party without the written authorization of the employee unless it is found in an open document or the library director has received a request under the Georgia Open Records Act. All credit requests will be referred to the library director, business manager or assistant director. Proper authorization forms for release of this information are required and will be maintained on file.
Credit Union
 Credit Union

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
  Revised Date:

Regularly scheduled library personnel are eligible to join the Hall County Federal Credit Union. Information is available from the library system administrative assistant.
Death of an Employee
 Death of an Employee

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 


Separation shall be effective as of the date of the employee’s death. All compensation due to the employee shall be paid to the estate of the employee as determined by law.

Demotions
Demotions

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
07/22/99
  Revised Date:


Demotion may be the result of reallocation of a position, reduction in force, unsatisfactory performance, disciplinary action, or at the request of the employee.

Performance Demotion

The Director, may when it is determined by the appropriate supervisor that an employee is unable to satisfactorily perform the duties of the position which the employee occupies, authorize the demotion of an employee to a position having duties which the employee can perform and which is in a class with lower compensation Such a demotion shall be based on unsatisfactory performance appraisals and associated documentation. The employee affected will retain time-of-experience (pay range scale/pay grade) status in the new class. The director shall give a written statement of the reason for demotion to the employee. The employee may appeal to the director if he or she desires. If the appeal is not satisfactory, the employee may appeal to the Library Board Personnel Committee.

Reclassification Demotion or Reduction in Force Demotion

If reclassification of an employee or reduction in force results in occupying a lower class and pay, the employee shall be demoted to the lower class. Every effort shall be made to transfer or reassign the employee to another position with the same classification and pay rate. However, in cases where reclassification or reduction in force results in the lower class and pay rate the employee will retain time-of-experience (pay range scale/pay grade). If the Director recommends, the employee may be allowed to continue at his or her current rate of pay, although it exceeds the maximum salary range in the lower class.

However, the employee’s pay rate would be "red-circled," thereby, disallowing any future salary increases until such time as:  (1) the employee transfers to a job position for which the maximum salary is higher than the employee’s current salary, or (2) the maximum salary for the employee’s current position increases to the rate that exceeds the employee’s current salary. In the case of number two (2), the employee will be eligible for percentage or performance increases at the regularly scheduled anniversary date or any other scheduled salary adjustment, but not to exceed the maximum of the salary range.

Voluntary Demotions

An employee may apply for a vacant position in a lower class. The employee shall satisfy a position of probation in the new position unless the employee had previously satisfied a position probationary period for that lower class.

An employee who is demoted voluntarily may have their rate of pay reduced to the rate applicable in the new position. The employee will retain time-of-experience (pay range scale/pay grade) status in the new position.

Disciplinary Demotion

The Director may demote an employee to a lower grade and position for disciplinary reasons. The Director shall furnish a written statement of the reasons for the action to the employee with notification of the right to appeal. The employee may appeal to the director if he or she desires. If the appeal decision is not satisfactory to the employee, the employee may appeal to the Library Board Personnel Committee. Disciplinary demotion may be an alternative disciplinary action to dismissal.
Disability of an Employee
 Disability of Employee

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
4/25/06
12/6/11

Policy has been renamed Change in Ability to Carry Out Job Assignment
Disciplinary Action of Employee
Disciplinary Action of Employee Approved by:
Board of Trustees
Date:

01/27/98

    Revised Date:





06/09/98
04/27/99
05/25/99
07/27/99 
04/25/06
9/20/11

Action will be taken when an employee’s performance is unsatisfactory or when conduct is unacceptable. Nothing following is inclusive and the library system maintains its right to discipline or terminate an employee at will.

Examples of unsatisfactory behavior or unacceptable conduct include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Abuse of leave;
  2. Deficiencies in performance;
  3. Frequent tardiness;
  4. Theft;
  5. Alcohol/substance abuse;
  6. Sexual harassment.
Possible actions that may be taken include - but are not limited to - written reprimand, referral to Employee Assistance Program,documented conference with supervisor, interim performance review, demotion, suspension with or without pay, interview with the Library Board, and dismissal.

The following are causes which may result in dismissal:

  1. Failure to fulfill work obligations and assignments;
  2. Discourteous treatment of the public or co-workers;
  3. Inefficiency, incompetence, or negligence in the performance of job responsibilities;
  4. Misuse or misappropriation of library supplies, materials, property, equipment, or funds;
  5. Refusal to carry out a reasonable or proper assignment from an appropriate supervisor;
  6. Conviction for commission of a misdemeanor;
  7. Engaging in activity that would adversely affect job performance;.
  8. Abuse of leave;
  9. Absence without leave.
The following will result in immediate dismissal:

  1. Gross misconduct that could bring contempt, ridicule, or public derision of the library system;
  2. Conviction for a felony;
  3. Publication or distribution of legally protected information from official or library system records;
  4. Falsified job information presented for employment;
  5. Willful damage or destruction of library system property;
  6. Willful acts on the job that endanger the lives of others or co-workers;
  7. Possession of firearms or lethal weapons on the job;
  8. Working while under the influence of alcohol and non-prescribed controlled substances;
  9. Possession of illegal substances on the job.
Disclosing of Conflicts of Interest
Disclosing of Conflicts of Interest

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
4/25/06
9/20/11

No employee of the Hall County Library System shall maintain a business or financial interest, or engage in any outside business or financial activity, which conflicts with the interests of Hall County Library System or which interferes with his or her ability to perform job responsibilities. An employee may not benefit directly or indirectly from a third party who furnishes products, materials or services to the Hall County Library System.

Financial interests held by immediate family members that may be in conflict with the interests of the Hall County Library System are to be disclosed so that the library director may make a determination as to whether a conflict exists.

Hall County Library System employees may not use public resources, equipment, or services for personal use or to support a business or entity that is not related to the operation of the Hall County Library System.

Any inventions, publications, products, discoveries, improvements, and ideas that are conceived and developed through the course of work and which result in tangible rights and gain shall be the sole property of the Hall County Library System.

It shall be the responsibility of all employees to disclose in writing any conflicts of interest issues to the library director.

Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action.
Disclosure of Confidential Information
Disclosure of Confidential Information

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
4/25/06

The disclosure of information pertaining to patrons, staff, or the business operations of the library system, other than in the conduct of official business, is prohibited and may result in immediate dismissal of the employee.

Official legal requests such as subpoenas or open record requests should be submitted to the Library Director.
Discount Book and Media Purchases
Discount Book and Media Purchases

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
  Revised Date:

All library personnel and library board members are eligible for the purchasing discounts offered by selected library book and materials jobbers. The guidelines for purchase and level of discount are determined by the vendor. Purchases shall be for personal use only. Sales tax is charged. Invoices shall be paid in-full monthly. Information is available from the library system administrative assistant.
Dismissal
  Dismissal

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06

 

The library system may dismiss an employee when his/her job performance or personal conduct is unsatisfactory.

The employee, if not a part-time or six-month test period employee may request in writing within ten days of the dismissal a review of the dismissal by the Library Board Personnel Committee. The request should clearly state the reasons for disagreement with the action of dismissal. The Personnel Committee will provide a timely hearing including written notice to the complainant. The Personnel Committee will recommend final action to be approved by the Library Board if the dismissal is contested.

Employees will be fully informed of reasons for dismissal, and documentation of incidents leading to the dismissal action will be placed in the employee’s personnel file.

The advice and counsel of an attorney may be sought by the library system in the dismissal process.
When appropriate an employee may be suspended without pay and the employee may request, in writing, a review by the Library Board Personnel Committee. If the employee is cleared after investigation, restitution of unpaid salary will be made.

Drug Free Workplace
  Drug Free Workplace

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
01/25/05

 

The Hall County Library System is committed to providing a safe work environment and to fostering the well-being and health of its employees. That commitment is jeopardized when any Hall County Library employee illegally uses drugs on or off the job, comes to work under their influence, possesses, distributes or sells drugs in the workplace, or abuses alcohol on the job. Therefore, the library board has established the following policy to ensure a safe and productive workplace.

VIOLATIONS

  • It is a violation of library policy for any employee to use, possess, sell, trade, offer for sale, or offer to buy illegal drugs or otherwise engage in the illegal use of drugs on or off the job.
  • It is a violation of library policy for any employee to report to work under the influence of or while possessing in his or her body, blood, or urine illegal drugs in any detectable amount.
  • It is a violation of library policy for any employee to report to work under the influence of or impaired by alcohol.
  • It is a violation of library policy for any employee to use prescription drugs illegally, i.e., to use prescription drugs that have not been legally obtained or in a manner or for a purpose other than as prescribed. Nothing in this policy precludes the appropriate use of legally prescribed medications.
  • Violations of this policy are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
  • As a condition of employment, employees must abide by the terms of this policy and must notify the Hall County Library System in writing of any conviction of a violation of a criminal drug statute occurring in the workplace no later than five calendar days after such conviction.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE

The Hall County Library System offers resource information on various means of employee assistance in our community, including but not limited to drug and alcohol abuse programs. Employees are encouraged to use this resource file, which is located in the office of the Assistant Director for Human Resources. In addition, the library distributes this information to employees for their confidential use by placing a copy in the staff lounge and listing information in the general electronic files maintained for staff information.

GENERAL PROCEDURES

An employee reporting to work visibly impaired will be deemed unable to properly perform required duties and will not be allowed to work. If possible, the employee's supervisor will first seek another supervisor's opinion to confirm the employee's status. Next the supervisor will consult privately with the employee to determine the cause of the observation, including whether substance abuse has occurred. If, in the opinion of the supervisor, the employee is considered impaired, the employee will be sent to a medical facility by taxi or other safe transportation alternative--depending on the determination of the observed impairment--and accompanied by the supervisor or another employee if necessary. A drug test may be in order. An impaired employee will not be allowed to drive.

OPPORTUNITY TO CONTEST OR EXPLAIN TEST RESULTS

Employees and job applicants who have positive confirmed test result may explain or contest the result to the library system within five (5) working days after the library contacts the employee or job applicant and shows him/her the positive test result as it was received from the laboratory in writing.

CONFIDENTIALITY

The confidentiality of any information received by the employee through a substance abuse testing program shall be maintained, except as otherwise provided by law.

PRE-EMPLOYMENT DRUG TESTING

All job applicants at the Hall County Library will undergo testing for the presence of illegal drugs as a condition of employment. Any applicant with a confirmed positive test will be denied employment.

Applicants will be required to submit voluntarily to a urinalysis test at a laboratory chosen by the library system, and by signing a consent agreement will release the library from liability.

If the physician, official, or lab personnel has reasonable suspicion to believe that the job-applicant has tampered with the specimen, the applicant will not be considered for employment.

The library system will not discriminate against applicants for employment because of a past history of drug abuse. It is the current abuse of drugs, preventing employees from performing their job properly, that the library will not tolerate.

Individuals who have failed a pre-employment test may initiate another inquiry with the library after a period of not shorter than six (6) months, but they must present themselves drug-free as demonstrated by urinalysis or other test selected by the library.

EMPLOYEE TESTING

The Hall County Library System has adopted testing practices to identify employees who use illegal drugs on or off the job or who abuse alcohol on the job. Failure to submit to a required substance/alcohol abuse test is misconduct and shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination. It shall be a condition of employment for all employees to submit to substance abuse testing under the following circumstances:

A. When there is reasonable suspicion that an employee is using illegal drugs or abusing alcohol. "Reasonable suspicion" is based on a belief that an employee is using or has used drugs or alcohol in violation of the employer's policy drawn from specific objective and articulable facts and reasonable inferences drawn from those facts in light of experience. Among other things, such facts and inferences may be based upon, but not limited to, the following:

    1. Observable phenomena while at work such as direct observation of substance abuse or of the physical symptoms or manifestations of being impaired due to substance abuse;
    2. Abnormal conduct or erratic behavior while at work or a significant deterioration in work performance;
    3. A report of substance abuse provided by a reliable and credible source;
    4. Evidence that an individual has tampered with any substance abuse test during his or her employment with the current employer.
    5. Information that an employee has caused or contributed to an accident while at work; or
    6. Evidence that an employee has used, possessed, sold, solicited, or transferred drugs while working or while on the employer's premises or while operating the employer's vehicle, machinery, or equipment.

B. When employees have caused or contributed to an on-the-job injury that resulted in a loss of worktime, which means any period of time during which an employee stops performing the normal duties of employment and leaves the place of employment to seek care from a licensed medical provider. The library may also send employees for a substance abuse test if they are involved in on-the-job accidents where personal injury or damage to company property occurs.

C. As part of a follow-up program to treatment for drug abuse when an employee has involuntarily entered a rehabilitation program because of a positive confirmed test result. The frequency of such testing shall be a minimum of at least once a year for a two year period after completion of the rehabilitation program. Advance notice of testing shall not be given to the employee.

ALCOHOL ABUSE

The consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages on the library's premises is prohibited. An employee whose normal facilities are impaired due to the consumption of alcoholic beverages, or whose blood alcohol level tests .05 or higher while on duty/library business shall be guilty of misconduct, and shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination. Failure to submit to required substance abuse tests is misconduct and also shall be subject to discipline up to and including termination. Professional activities which may include the serving of alcoholic beverages are not included in this provision.

The goal of this policy is to balance the library system's respect for individuals with the need to maintain a safe, productive, and drug-free environment. The intent of this policy is to offer a helping hand to those who need it, while sending a clear message that the illegal use of drugs and the abuse of alcohol are incompatible with employment at the Hall County Library System.

Education Leave
 Education Leave

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06
04/24/07
01/22/08
09/23/08
11/29/22

 

The library director may grant 40-hour full-time employees leave with pay at up to a maximum of 4 hours per week during work hours or .75 hours leave for each credit hour of class taken in order to take courses beyond the minimum educational requirements for initial employment.

Employees who work 20 hours to 28 hours will have their education leave prorated at a max of two hours per week or .35 hours leave for each credit hour of class taken. The employee shall be enrolled in a clearly defined program of study that will improve the performance of the job currently held. The employee must submit an Educational Leave Request Form to their immediate supervisor every semester. Requests that conflict with the library schedule or deplete library coverage will be denied. A staff member approved to use educational leave must submit a progress report at the end of each semester and is required to successfully complete each class with a passing grade of C or higher to be eligible to be granted educational leave the following semester or more than once in a six (6) month period.

Emergency Bereavement Leave
 Emergency Bereavement Leave

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06
12/6/11
11/16/20


Full-time employees may receive up to three (3) days of emergency leave with pay for a death in the immediate family. "Immediate member of family" shall be defined as grandparent, parent, guardian, spouse, child, grandchild, sibling, dependent or other relative living in the immediate household, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and stepparent, stepchild, step-grandparent, and step-sibling.

Employees should notify their immediate supervisor as soon as practical regarding the leave request. The first three days will not be charged against annual or sick leave.

A leave form is required to be completed on return to work requesting emergency bereavement leave. Documentation substantiating an Emergency Bereavement Leave request may be required. Leave in excess of the approved leave will be charged against the employee’s annual leave or sick leave if no accrued annual leave is available. Emergency leave may not be granted more than two (2) times in a twelve-month period.

Any other Bereavement Leave granted will be based on staffing at the time and approved by the work supervisor. This leave will be charged against the employee’s annual leave; if no annual leave is available, it will be charged against sick leave.

Employee Assistance Program
 Employee Assistance Program

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
02/24/09
 
Revised Date:
09/20/11

 

It is the policy of the library board to support programs that will assist employees and their eligible dependents to resolve problems arising from emotional distress, some types of family conflict, and alcohol and drug abuse, recognizing that these problems may adversely affect an employee’s personal health and job performance. As such, all permanent full and part-time library staff members are offered the benefit of participation in an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at no cost to the employee.

Employees’ current job and future advancement will not be jeopardized by using EAP services. EAP records will be maintained in a confidential manner. Supervisors and managers are responsible for confronting employees about unsatisfactory as well as acceptable but deteriorating performance, and referring employees to the EAP when appropriate. Employees are responsible for correcting unsatisfactory performance.

Employees may refer themselves to the EAP, in which case the library will have no knowledge of their use of this service. A supervisor may refer an employee to EAP for evaluation if the employee's work performance is inadequate or deficient, his or her behavior is aberrant or otherwise outside commonly accepted standards of conduct, or if there is reason to believe a threat of violence may exist. When giving an EAP referral, supervisors should first notify the Human Resources Department. Refusal by an employee to participate in the program will not incur reprisal. Appropriate disciplinary actions pertaining to any policy violation will still be given.

Employees attending EAP sessions based upon a referral made by a library supervisor may use work time to keep the appointments. Employees who are self-referring must use sick leave or annual leave as appropriate.

Employee Lunch and Break Schedule
  Employee Lunch and Break Schedule

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
01/24/06
2/22/22

An employee is entitled to one fifteen-minute break for each 4 hours worked per day. Breaks must be scheduled and must be taken as time and service to the public permits. Breaks should be scheduled by the supervisor. Break time may not be taken in public areas of the building. Break time may not be used to shorten the length of the workday, lengthen a meal, add to accumulated leave time, or count as overtime if not taken at the designated time. Break time is a paid portion of the scheduled work time. Break time length shall be adhered to, and abuse may be cause for disciplinary action.

 

Employees shall not abandon service to a patron in order to take a break or leave a secure or public area unattended. Co-workers should be advised when an employee is taking his/her break.

 

Meal periods are normally thirty (30) minutes long and provided to all employees that work at least six hours in a day. Employees working less than six hours per day may take a meal period at their request at the discretion of the supervisor. Scheduled meal periods may not be changed without authorization of the supervisor. Employees are not paid for meal periods.

 

Employee Security and Safety Screening
  Employee Security and Safety Screening

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

All new employees and any employee changing job assignments, and who has not had a criminal background investigation screening for the Hall County Library System, shall have a criminal investigation screening performed by the Hall County Sheriff’s Department.

All library employees who operate library vehicles will be required to maintain a valid driver’s license and may be subject to a driver’s license status review and report from the Georgia State Patrol.

Employee Stipend
  Employee Stipend

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
11/28/23
 
Revised Date:
 

 

HCLS offers the following options for providing employees with wireless communication devices and related services. Utilization of these options must be for the benefit of the Library, rather than the convenience of the employee.

Option 1: Library Provided Devices and Service

The Library will purchase devices and related usage/service plans for assigned employee use in the following circumstances personnel responsible for protecting physical safety of the library facilities or responding to library emergencies who will may be called upon at any time.

Approval to purchase these devices rests within the library’s regular purchasing process. These devices and their related service plans are primarily for official business purposes. Personal use should be infrequent (emergencies or extenuating circumstances) and charges incurred as a result of this use should be reimbursed to the Library.

For all purchases included in Option 1, the Library owns the device and will directly contract with a provider to purchase software/applications and any applicable usage/service plans. The Library will not enter into a usage/service contract for personally owned devices. For all purchases included in Option 1, library departments must:

  • Demonstrate and document the need and justification for such equipment and services.
  • Regularly review service bills and identify any personal use for reimbursement.
  • Conduct regular reviews of assigned devices and related service plans to ensure that the devices and the requisite service plan align with the job requirements of the employee using the device.

The IRS has issued guidance to clarify the tax treatment of employer-provided cell phones. Notice 2011-72 provides that in the case of an employee's use of an employer-provided cell phone for reasons related to the employer's trade or business, the IRS will treat such use as a working condition fringe benefit, the value of which is excludable from the employee's income.

Option 2: Reimbursement for Business Use of Personal Devices

Staff with less frequent business communication needs than outlined in Option 1 who utilize a personally-owned device may request reimbursement of business use of their personal device. It is recommended that staff with regular business communication needs be provided a Library owned device and those with infrequent business use of a personal device submit for reimbursement.

According to IRS document IR-2011-93 (9/14/2011), employees who use their personal cell phones primarily for non-compensatory business reasons may treat reimbursements of expenses for reasonable cell phone use as nontaxable. This treatment does not apply to unusual or excessive expenses.

Right to Monitor Communications and Open Records

The Library reserves the right to investigate, retrieve, read, or listen to any communication or data composed, transmitted or received through the Library’s voice services, its online connections, and/or stored on its servers and/or property, without further notice to employees, to the maximum extent permissible by law. Information stored on wireless communication devices which is prepared and maintained or received in the performance of a service or function by or on behalf of the University is public information and may be subject to disclosure under the Georgia Open Records Act.

Criteria for Determining Need

The Library Director shall determine if a dedicated internet or other service plan access or partial reimbursement of internet/other service plan is necessary for an employee to perform his or her duties.

Reimbursement to employees for partial business-related internet access or other service plan access will be for 50% of the monthly access fee (excluding taxes and other charges) or $20 per month, whichever is less.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Employee Travel Policy
Employee Travel Policy

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
09/12/00
10/25/05
12/06/11
04/28/20


A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to set forth guidelines governing employee travel and reimbursement.  It is the Library’s policy to allow travel on a limited basis provided that (a) funding is available; (b) travel is duly authorized; (c) travel is within the scope of the employee’s employment and discharge of their official duties; and (d) travel is conducted in a cost-effective manner.

B. Reference Sources 

This policy is modeled on guidelines, standards, and reimbursement rates established by the State of Georgia (Statewide

Travel Policy issued by the State Accounting Office), the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia (Business Procedures Manual of the Board of Regents), and Hall County (Travel and Reimbursement Policy).  Portions of those guidelines that are applicable to the Library’s operations have been adapted for inclusion in this policy.

 

In addition, to assist employees in understanding expectations of this policy, the Library will maintain a list of the current travel allowances, resources, and procedures on the HCLS network. This information will be updated regularly to reflect any changes to Georgia’s Statewide Travel Policy

C. Applicability

This policy applies to all HCLS employees or other individuals traveling on official business for the Library.

 

Financial guidelines outlined in this policy are the same for all employees; however, related issues (such as compensation during travel) may involve different procedures depending on whether an employee is classified as nonexempt or exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. 

D. Requirement of Reasonableness

All individuals traveling on official business for the Hall County Library are expected to utilize reasonably priced facilities for meals, lodging, and travel.  The Library reserves the right to pay only reasonable allowances if there is not sufficient justification for an actual expenditure.  Employees are reminded that travel expenses are subject to open records, and good judgment should always be used in expending public funds.  Any questions about this policy should be referred to library administration. 

E. Conduct During Travel

Employees who travel in the performance of official duties for the Library are representing the Hall County Library.  Employees are expected to adhere to all Hall County Library policies when traveling as referenced in the Personnel Policy Manual.  All conduct reflecting discredit upon Hall County Library is subject to disciplinary action.

F. Authorization for Travel

Employees who travel in the performance of official duties for the Library must receive proper authorization prior to commencing travel.  Subject to the provisions outlined in this policy and related procedures, employees may be reimbursed for travel-related expenses incurred during approved travel for the following expenses:

  • Meals associated with overnight lodging (and in certain circumstances where there is no overnight lodging);
  • Lodging expenses;
  • Mileage for use of personal vehicle;
  • Transportation expenses such as airfare, taxi, shuttle, parking, and toll fees; and
  • Certain miscellaneous expenses associated with travel.

G. Exceptions to Travel Guidelines 

Occasionally situations may arise that require employees to incur travel expenses that are generally not reimbursable under these guidelines.  In such situations, the Library Director may consider granting a one-time exception for unusual circumstances; however, such exception would only apply to a single situation, and should not be considered a blanket waiver of the travel guidelines.  

H. Receipts

Valid receipts must be submitted to support all expenditures except meals.  All references to receipts in this policy refer to original receipts.  In the event that a receipt is not available, the employee must include an explanation with the expense report, and the expense will be reviewed for potential reimbursement.

If an employee should incur an expense that exceeds the applicable limit, the employee must provide a written justification on the expense form, and the expense will be reviewed for potential reimbursement.

I.   Procedures for Payment or Reimbursement of Travel Expenses

Approved travel expenses may be paid using cash, a Library credit card (except meals), the employee’s personal credit card, or direct-billing.    Employees may request use of a Library credit card.

All expenses must be reported on an expense form, with receipts to support all expenses except meals.  Forms and detailed procedures are available on the HCLS network.

Employees must sign the expense form, attesting that the information presented on the form is accurate.  Employees who provide false information are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination, and possible criminal penalties.

Employees should submit all required paperwork in a timely manner.  Employees not following established procedures for requesting reimbursement may be denied reimbursement.

 

J. Dual Reimbursement

Dual payments for the same expenses are not allowed under this policy.  If expenses reimbursed by the Library are also reimbursed by another source (such as a professional organization or another public agency), the employee must immediately reimburse the Library.

K. Unallowable Expenses

Certain expenses are not reimbursable, including (but not limited to):

  • Normal commute mileage, which is the standard number of miles traveled on a regular basis between the employee’s residence and the assigned work location (a library branch or library headquarters). Reimbursements will be made only for mileage that exceeds the employee’s normal commute mileage.  (See Appendix A for examples.)
  • Expenses incurred while the employee is taking personal leave during the travel.
  • Alcoholic beverages, laundry, valet, theater, entertainment, tipping for hotel maids or concierge, room service charges, or ATM fees.
  • Amounts in excess of established allowances set forth in this policy and related procedures.
  • Any expense not relating to the authorized person or the authorized purpose of the business travel.
  • Any expense that does not comply with the guidelines set forth in this policy.

The Library reserves the right to question any unsupported expense or to deny reimbursement of any expense that does not appear to meet guidelines for reimbursement.

L. Meal Expenses

Employees on travel status may be reimbursed for meals (including taxes and tips), equal to the maximum limits established in these travel regulations.  Limits are set by the State of Georgia and are subject to change.  The Library will reimburse expenses based on the allowances in place at the time an expense is incurred including additional reimbursement for areas designated by the state of Georgia as high cost.  To assist employees in understanding expectations of this policy, HCLS will maintain a list of travel allowances on the HCLS network.

  1. Meals Associated with Overnight Travel in Georgia – Employees may only receive reimbursement for meals occurring while officially on travel status. Employees traveling within the State of Georgia or “In State” overnight are eligible for per diem amounts designed to cover three (3) meals per day for all days of travel including the day of departure and the day of return.  If the per diem rate allows $28 total reimbursement, the traveler would receive a full daily reimbursement amount, less any provided meals (i.e. complimentary breakfast at hotel or lunch provided at conference).  For example, if lunch is provided at a conference, the total allowable for the day would be $21 ($28 less $7 lunch).
  2. Meals Associated with Overnight Travel Outside of Georgia – Employees traveling outside of Georgia may be reimbursed for meals equal to the federal per diem rates for that area.
  3. Meals Included in Meeting/Event – If a meal is included in the cost of a business meeting/event (such as a conference), employees are expected to participate in such meals. Reimbursement for a meal outside the event would not be authorized.
  4. Meals associated with Same-Day Travel – HCLS does not reimburse for meals related to same-day travel. Meals directly associated with conference or training attendance are an exception to this rule. 

M. Lodging Expenses

  1. Lodging Allowances –Employees who travel more than 50 miles from their assigned work location may be reimbursed for lodging expenses associated with approved overnight travel, provided the expenses are reasonable. To ensure the most reasonable lodging rates are obtained, employees should:
    • Use economical accommodations rather than “deluxe” hotels;
    • Make reservations in advance, whenever practical; and
    • Obtain corporate/government rates, whenever possible.
  1. Lodging Within 50-Mile Radius – Lodging within a 50-mile radius of the employee’s assigned work location may be allowed when late night or early morning meetings are required, and the overnight stay is approved in advance by the Director.

 

  1. Lodging Associated with a Meeting or Seminar – Employees who stay at a conference hotel or one that is holding a scheduled meeting/seminar may incur lodging expenses that exceed the rates generally considered reasonable. The higher cost may be justified to avoid excessive transportation costs between a lower cost hotel and the meeting site. In this case, the employee should reflect the justification on the expense form.
  2. Shared Lodging – Employees are not required to share lodging when traveling with other employees.
  3. Taxes on Lodging Expenses – Employees traveling on business are expected to take advantage of any tax exemptions or discounts that apply to the travel. Tax exemption documents should be presented at check in. A library issued check or library credit card must be used in order to receive the lodging tax exemption.
  4. Documentation – Lodging receipts must be submitted with an expense form reflecting daily breakdown of expenses. Any expense that exceeds the maximum must be explained, and individuals responsible for approving travel expenses should review explanations to determine whether higher costs are justified and allowable.

 

N. Travel by Vehicle (Library Vehicle or Personal Vehicle)

When traveling on official business, employees are strongly encouraged to:

  • Use a Library vehicle rather than a personal vehicle whenever possible;
  • Carpool to minimize the number of vehicles traveling; and
  • Follow the most efficient trip route (mileage and/or time).

Use of Library Vehicle – Library employees must take Defensive Driving training through Hall County in order to be authorized to use library vehicles. Once approved, employees who have should reserve use of a Library vehicle for travel.  No mileage reimbursement is made when using a Library vehicle. 

Personal Vehicle – When a Library vehicle is not available, a personal automobile may be used for official travel. Mileage reimbursement for use of a personal vehicle will be made at current rates published in the State of Georgia’s Statewide Travel Policy.  The reimbursement rate is intended to reimburse employees for all vehicle expenses.  Any damage to an employee’s personal vehicle while on Library business must be paid for by the employee or the employee’s insurer.  

  1. Determining Amount of Mileage – Employees may be reimbursed for mileage incurred from the point of departure to the travel destination. If an employee departs from their assigned work location, mileage is calculated from work to the destination point. If an employee departs from their residence, mileage is calculated from the residence to the destination point, minus normal one-way commuting mileage.  For the return trip, if an employee returns to work, mileage is calculated based on the distance to the work location.  If an employee returns to their residence, mileage is calculated based on the distance to the residence, minus normal one-way commuting mileage.  For multi-day travel, only deduct one round-trip normal commute.  Also, travel outside normal schedule (i.e., weekend or holiday) is reimbursable with no deduction of normal commute.

Employees may also be reimbursed for business miles traveled to pick up additional passengers, to obtain meals for which employee is eligible for reimbursement, or for travel to multiple work sites.

  1. Prohibited Mileage Reimbursement – Employees are not entitled to mileage reimbursement for:
    • Travel between their place of residence and their assigned work location; Normal commute mileage on a scheduled day off; or
    • Personal mileage incurred while on travel status.
  1. Parking Fees and Tolls – Employees may be reimbursed for parking and toll expenses while on official travel, whether using a Library vehicle or personal vehicle. While there are no maximum allowances for parking, employees should utilize low-cost, long-term parking to minimize cost. 

 

  1. Documentation – Requests for mileage, parking, or toll fee reimbursement must be submitted on an expense form. Employees are expected to obtain receipts for parking fees and tolls.

 

O. Travel by Commercial Transportation

When commercial transportation is necessary, employees may be reimbursed for actual expenses incurred, provided appropriate steps were taken to obtain a reasonable rate.  Travel by commercial transportation must be approved by the Library Director prior to the date of travel.  When considering such a request, designated personnel should consider the distance to be traveled, the travel time, and the cost.

Commercial Air Transportation – Commercial air transportation should be used when it is more cost effective and efficient than use of a vehicle.  Employees who choose to travel by personal vehicle when air travel is more cost effective may only be reimbursed for the cost of the lowest available airfare to the destination.  

  1. Costs – Employees should always select the lowest priced airfare that meets their approved, most logical itinerary and Library Policy. Employees are expected to use their best judgment to save on airfare cost, considering points of departure and destination, flight times and schedules, etc.  Employees traveling by commercial air will not be reimbursed for any portion of non-coach (first class, business class, etc.) airfare that exceeds the cost of the lowest available fare on the same flight. 
  2. Extra Fees Any extra fees are unallowable except for checked baggage fees.
  3. Airline Indemnification Due to Travel Inconveniences – On occasion an airline may overbook, change, delay, or cancel flights, thereby imposing travel inconveniences on its passengers. In such instances, airlines often offer the impacted passengers. indemnification for these inconveniences (e.g., vouchers for meals or lodging, upgrades to non-coach travel, credits toward future flight costs).  Employees are authorized to accept such indemnification if the travel inconvenience was imposed by the airline and there is no additional cost to the Library. 

Rental of Vehicles – Employees may be reimbursed for rental of passenger vehicles used for travel on Library business as approved by the Director.  The paid rental contract must be attached to the employee's expense form.  Reimbursement may include gasoline purchases associated with the business use of the vehicle, provided appropriate receipts are included.  Employees are expected to share rental vehicles whenever possible.  

Rental reimbursement is not authorized if a Library vehicle is reasonably available for the travel, or when the vehicle involved is not obtained from a recognized vehicle rental agency.

Travel by Mass Transportation, Taxi, Ride-share, or Airport Van – Employees officially on travel status may be reimbursed for necessary costs of transportation by bus, rapid transit train, taxi, ride-share, or airport vans in the following situations: 

  • Between the employee’s departure point and the common carrier’s departure point;
  • Between the common carrier’s arrival point and the employee’s lodging or meeting place; and
  • Between the lodging and meeting place if at different locations and if no conference shuttle is available.

It is expected that airport/hotel shuttles will be utilized when available and when they are the lowest cost alternative. 

Documentation – All transportation expenses must be recorded on the expense form.  Receipts are required for commercial airline, railroad, bus, and rented vehicle expenses.  For travel by mass transportation, taxi, ride share, or airport vans, receipts are not required; however, the employee must explain any expense without a receipt.

P. Miscellaneous Travel Expenses

Other expenses will be considered for reimbursement as described below.

  1. Registration Fees – Registration fees required for participation in workshops, seminars, or conferences that an employee is directed and/or authorized to attend will be allowed when supported by a paid receipt or a copy of the check showing payment.
  2. Telephone/Fax/Internet Expenses – Employees may be reimbursed for work-related telephone, fax, and Internet expenses incurred while on travel status. Employees must provide details of the expense on the expense form.  Personal calls made while on travel status are not reimbursable. 
  3. Supplies/Postage Expenses – Expenses for supplies, postage, or duplicating services may be reimbursed, provided the expense is work-related and the cost is reasonable. Employees must explain the purpose of each expense on the expense form and attach receipts/invoices. 
  4. Travel by Library Board Members –Library Board members traveling for official Library business may be reimbursed for necessary, documented expenses.
  5. Travel by Job Applicants – To facilitate recruitment for key positions, applicants traveling significant distances for interviews may be allocated a travel allowance to cover transportation, lodging and meals, at the discretion of the Director.
Employment of Non-United States Citizens
  Employment of Non-United States Citizens

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

The employment of persons who are not citizens of the United States shall be in compliance with appropriate laws and regulations pertaining thereto.

Equal Opportunity Employment
Equal Opportunity Employment

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

The employment and promotional opportunities available in the Hall County Library System will be given without discrimination on the basis of political affiliation, religion, race, sex, mental or physical impairment, national origin, or age.

An employee who feels he/she has been discriminated against on the basis of one of these factors should contact the Library Director, Hall County Library System, 127 Main Street NW, Gainesville, Georgia 30501, or call 770-532-3311.

Family Leave
Disclosure of Confidential Information

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06
08/25/09
02/16/16
05/17/22

Under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) any employee eligible under federal law may take up to twelve (12) weeks of leave during any 12 month period for the birth or adoption of a child, the placement of a foster child, the serious illness of a child, dependent, spouse or parent, or due to the employee’s serious illness. The twelve (12) weeks includes total accrued annual and sick leave balances and unpaid leave. 

Eligible employees may take up to twelve (12) weeks to care for a covered service member on active duty or call to active duty in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation including attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial or legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings.

FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to twenty-six (26) weeks of leave during any 12 month period to care for a covered service member who has sustained a serious injury or illness while on active duty that has rendered him physically unable to perform his or her duties. The service member is undergoing medical treatment or is recuperating or in therapy; or is in outpatient status; or is on the temporary disability retired list.

A request for family leave stating the dates of leave requested must be submitted in writing to the employee’s supervisor and approved by the library director. In the case that such leave is foreseeable, as in the case of the birth or adoption of a child, the employee shall submit the leave request thirty (30) days in advance of the expected date of commencement of the leave.

The employee is required to submit the medical provider’s written certification of the medical condition of the employee, employee’s spouse, child, or parent including the date on which the condition began, the predicted duration of the condition, a statement that the employee is needed to care for the family member, and an estimated time period that the employee is needed.

Employees on family leave should report every four (4) weeks on the status of the leave and intention to return to work.

The employee’s permanent position and all accrued benefits held by the employee prior to the family leave shall remain in place pending the employee’s return to work. No annual or sick leave will accrue during the leave without pay period. Upon an employee’s return to work, they will once again accrue annual and sick leave and may request that time on an as needed basis during the year following their Family Medical Leave.  However, no further unpaid Family Leave may be granted after the 12 week period has been exhausted. 

A request for family leave in excess of twelve (12) weeks in any twelve month period must be made in writing to the library director. Consideration in granting the request will be made based on the employee’s time of service, previous performance reviews and other extenuating circumstances in the employee’s home (or life) and will be for no more than four (4) additional weeks. 

 

The library system may employ a temporary employee to execute the duties of the position during the permanent employee’s absence.

Garnishments of Payroll
 Garnishments of Payroll

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

The Hall County Library System considers the acceptance and settlement of just and honest debts to be the mark of personal responsibility. The library system may respond in appropriate legal fashion to requests for garnishment.

General Housekeeping Duties
General Housekeeping Duties

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
12/06/11


A neat and orderly service area and building reflects positively on the service image of the library system. While public service personnel do not dress for work to perform heavy custodial tasks some light housekeeping activity is expected of all personnel. Efforts should be made to keep service areas clean and orderly.
Georgia Merit System Benefits
Georgia Merit System Benefits

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

All full-time employees of the Library System are eligible for a "cafeteria plan" of benefits under the State of Georgia, Georgia Flexible Benefits Program. These include health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, dental insurance and several savings account benefits plans. All eligible employees are offered participation in these benefits; however, an employee declining coverage must complete the appropriate form. Each new employee is advised regarding the guidelines for each program, and an annual orientation and open enrollment session is offered each year.

Information is available from the administrative assistant.

Gifts and Gratuities
Gifts and Gratuities

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

Individual employees may not accept gifts or gratuities from vendors or patrons for services performed during library work hours. This includes meals. The only exception would be a gift or gratuity to be designated for the library system and approved by the library director.

Grievances Against Employees
Grievances Against Employees

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
12/06/11

Should a patron bring a grievance against a library employee, the employee should withhold comment, offer the patron a copy of the library system "Patron Grievance Form" and associated policy, and immediately report such to his/her immediate supervisor or staff member in charge. The library director will respond to the patron’s formal complaint, reach a solution if required, and document the circumstances regarding the complaint copies of all documents may be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
Grievances From Employees
Grievances From Employees

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
06/09/98
04/27/99
05/25/99
04/28/09
12/06/11


All complaints of dissatisfaction with some aspect of employment, over which the employee has no control and which can be changed by the Hall County Library System will be made in writing to the library director.

An employee who has a grievance against a co-worker or management should report the issue to their immediate supervisor. If the supervisor cannot resolve the matter to the satisfaction of the employee, the employee may request a hearing with the library director. Grievance(s) against the library director will be made in writing to the library director. If satisfaction is not achieved, the employee may submit a written request to the Library Board Chair for a hearing with the Library Board. The Library Board may choose to call upon a professional mediator of the Board’s choice to hear and make a recommendation regarding the grievance(s). The ultimate decision of the full Board will be considered final. All interaction in the grievance process will be documented and may be placed in appropriate personnel files.

All employees will be given fair, equitable, and prompt treatment in matters affecting their employment. There will be no reprisal, coercion, harassment or other negative consequences or treatment toward the employee who makes the complaint. Evidence of negative action should be reported to the library director.


An employee may be granted up to four hours during work time to prepare a complaint. This time is to be arranged with the employee’s supervisor according to the unit’s workload and schedule.

The employee complaint may not be used to address matters regarding the following:

  1. Issues being addressed by other administrative procedures;
  2. Work assignments which do not result in demotion or salary reduction;
  3. Budget and organizational structure;
  4. Manner and method of performing work assignments;
  5. Content and rating of reports of performance;
  6. Selection to fill a position;
  7. Internal security practice.

The employee’s complaint and request for solution must be within the scope of the Hall County Library System’s legal, financial, and logistical ability to resolve.

Hiring Practices
 Hiring Practices

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06
10/27/09
04/27/10
08/24/10
02/22/22
11/28/23

Positions will be posted in the staff announcement areas of all library branches, library bulletin boards, with local job announcement services such as the Gainesville-Hall County Personnel Department, and the Georgia Department of Labor. If a certified librarian is needed, advertisements for the position may be posted on the Georgia Public Library Services’ job line, placed in professional publications and may be placed in the local newspapers. Positions will be filled by promotion from within when appropriate. Selected applicants will be interviewed by a minimum of two administrative or management staff. In case of a promotion from within, there is no minimum number of candidates that must be interviewed. However, if no acceptable candidate is found within the organization, the opening will be filled according to external posting requirements and a minimum of three candidates will be called for interview. All candidates will be required to answer the same questions and perform the same demonstrations or take the same exams as all other candidates for a position including any internal candidates.

Parties interested in any position will apply by filling out an online application found on the library’s webpage. All candidates must complete an application for each position they are interested in applying for only. All new hires will be given written salary information, job description, reporting supervisor, and date and time to report to work.

Immediate family members will not be considered for permanent employment including those related to the library director or trustee. Substitutes and temporary workers may be relations of library staff members as long as they are not working in the same branch/department as their immediate family member. Immediate family members for the purpose of this policy are defined as grandparents, parents, spouse, children, grandchildren, dependents living in the household, in-laws, stepfamily, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles, first cousins, and siblings. Employees who are not related when hired but later become family members will not be considered for promotion or transfer if the new position is under or is supervised by an immediate family member.

If hired all new employees will be required to pass a substance abuse test and their background check returned acceptable for the position they were hired based on the basic requirements in the job description before they can report to work.


All new employees will undergo special training for circulation procedures. Along with employees assuming a new job position or laterally transferring to a new work location, new hires shall be on "working test" for a six month period subject to dismissal at any time during the test period for reasons related to job performance.

Holiday Schedule
Holiday Schedule

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
09/12/00
04/25/06
08/23/22


The library system shall observe the following days as holidays for full-time employees and will be closed to the public for library service.

New Year’s Eve (close at 5:30pm)
New Year’s Day
Martin Luther King Birthday Holiday 
Easter Sunday (no employee is scheduled for work)
Memorial Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Veteran’s Day (usually Nov. 11)
Thanksgiving Day
Friday following Thanksgiving
Christmas Eve
Christmas Day
Day following Christmas

If a holiday falls on Saturday or Sunday, the library director is authorized to designate the appropriate weekday for the holiday observance based on the Hall County government and business community closing schedule.

Part-time employees working less than 20 hours per week and temporary employees are not typically paid for holidays. Part time employees will be paid for six hours per day on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and one floating holiday of their choice per fiscal year. Other hours that would normally be scheduled on a day that is closed for a holiday may be re-scheduled as convenient for the library system’s operation. 


Full-time employees will be entitled to take a different day off if their scheduled day off falls on a library closing holiday. The day off will be scheduled with the approval of their immediate supervisor.

Hours of Work
  Hours of Work

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06

 

Employees are to be at their work stations at the time they are assigned to start work. Saturday, Sunday, and evening hours will be rotated among public service staff members. Non-public staff members will be assigned public services duties on an as-needed basis.

Changes in individual employee schedules shall be approved by the employee’s supervisor. Supervisors are responsible for monitoring and supervising staff work attendance and assigned activities.

Jury Duty
  Jury Duty

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06

 

All employees are eligible to be granted time off without loss of pay based on their regularly scheduled work day when performing jury duty or when subpoenaed to appear before a court, public body, or commission in connection with library business. If an employee is excused with more than four hours left in the scheduled work day, the employee shall report to work.

Layoff and Recall
Layoff and Recall

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/22/08
 
Revised Date:
 

  1.  An employee may be laid off when it becomes necessary by reason of, but not limited to:
  2. shortage of funds;
  3. lack of work;
  4. the elimination of a position;
  5. material changes in job duties;
  6. change in organizational structure;
  7. any other reasons within the discretion of the library board.

  

  1. A layoff shall not be implemented in conflict with any State or Federal regulations or laws.

 

  1. Layoff
  2.  In the event of a reduction in work force, employees in the same classification and department affected shall be laid off in the following order:
  3.  Temporary employees;
  4.  Probationary employees;
  5.  Permanent employees.
  6.  In the event of a layoff, employees in the same classification and department with the highest values of the following factors as determined by the employer shall be retained:
  7.  Ability to do the work;
  8.  Qualifications to do the work;
  9.  Performance evaluation ratings.

 

 If these factors are relatively equal, the least senior employee in the same classification and department shall be laid off first.

  1.  Recall
  2.  Laid off employees shall be recalled to the same classification and department from which they were laid off in reverse order in which they were laid off, provided that the employees have not been laid off for more than twelve (12) consecutive months.
  3.  Laid off employee fails to respond within three (3) days of receiving a certified, return receipt requested letter addressed to the last known address on record  of the employee.
  4.  A laid off employee who is recalled or rehired shall not utilize or accrue vacation or sick leave benefits during the period laid off.
  5.  For purposes of vacation and sick leave accrual rates an employee recalled to any permanent position shall retain credit for prior service.
  6.  Furloughs

In the event the library system needs to furlough employees as a temporary measure to deal with a pending fund crises, it may offer employees by classification group to voluntarily take time off depending on the library systems needs.

Leave Bank
Leave Bank

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
10/24/06
 
Revised Date:
12/15/06
11/27/18

All fulltime library staff members are invited to participate in a voluntary employee leave bank.  This bank should not be considered a substitute for accumulated leave but as a supplement to accumulated leave in the event an employee or employee family member experiences an extended illness or catastrophic accident. Employees who have been unable to accumulate any sick or annual leave are not eligible to withdraw from the bank. An employee must use all accumulated annual or sick leave before withdrawing from the bank.  

In January of each year, employees are offered the opportunity to enroll in the leave bank. Participants must contribute a minimum of one day annually to retain their membership.  In order to request leave days from the bank, employees must have made an annual contribution. Should the bank become low during the course of a year, the library will offer a second enrollment period in July. New employees will be offered the chance to enroll upon completion of their six month working test period if it comes before the first enrollment period following their hire date. 

Employees may donate a maximum of three days of annual or sick leave, or any combination thereof, per year. Donations and withdrawals are done in 8 hour/work day increments. Withdrawals are limited to a maximum of one month a year per employee. A minimum of three days absence is necessary to qualify for withdrawal. Employees may not use banked leave in conjuncture with short or long term disability insurance. Employees will not accrue sick or annual leave while using time from the leave bank. Holiday pay will be granted when leave bank is being utilized.

The employee leave bank is not intended to cover all types of absences for which an employee has insufficient leave. Criteria for using banked leave should fall within the guidelines set by the Family and Medical Leave Act. Requests should be made in writing by the requesting employee, accompanied by a doctor’s explanation, and submitted to the Human Resources department, which will verify the employee’s eligibility. Human Resources will then submit a recommendation to the Library Director for approval. 

Leave Benefits
Leave Benefits

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06
02/16/16

Leave is a benefit granted to employees who work twenty (20) hours or more per week. Leave benefits are prorated for employees that work less then forty (40) hours per week. All leave requests must be submitted in writing. Annual leave must be approved by the immediate supervisor prior to use. Employees who work less than the twenty (20) hours per week may be granted unpaid leave at the discretion of their supervisor. Abuse of leave time off may be cause for reprimand and if repeatedly misused dismissal.

Leave Without Pay and Absence Without Leave
Leave Without Pay and Absence Without Leave

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06
12/06/11
11/28/23

Absence without leave, without prior approval, is cause for disciplinary action and may be cause for dismissal.

Written requests for absence without accrued leave must be submitted to the library director for approval. Absence without leave is granted through the Family Medical Leave Act or for other extraordinary circumstances. Employees must exhaust their accumulative annual and sick leave before requesting absence without leave. No other types of leave will accrue while the employee is on absence without leave. In extraordinary circumstances an employee on absence without leave may be placed in a different job assignment within the library system but will retain previous position title and level of compensation.

Approval for personal leave of absence may be considered in certain circumstances that are not covered by other leaves discussed in library policy, under the following conditions:

  • As of the date the requested time off would begin, the employee must have at least one year of continuous employment with HCLS and must have a satisfactory performance record in their current position.
  • The leave must be for a justifiable reason (as determined by the Director) and must not qualify for coverage under provisions of other leaves outlined in HCLS policy.  Examples may include:
  1. An employee wishes to devote time to an educational program.
  2. An employee needs time off for medical reasons but is not eligible for leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (e.g., an employee has not worked the required 1,250 hours per year, or a new employee has not worked the required 12 months).
  3. An employee needs time off to deal with personal matters (such as caring for an ill friend or distant relative, or handling family matters following a death in the family).

A personal leave of absence may be paid or unpaid, depending on availability of accrued leave benefits.  The absence would be charged to any accrued annual or sick leave (based on nature of absence) until such benefits are exhausted or the employee returns to work, whichever happens first.  Once any accrued benefits are exhausted, the remaining absence will be unpaid.

The employee must submit a written request for personal leave of absence to the immediate supervisor as early as possible before the proposed leave date.  The request should include the reasons for the leave, anticipated start and return dates, and any details supporting the request. As with any request for time off, the supervisor should take into consideration factors such as anticipated workload during the absence, departmental staffing needs, urgency of the situation, and timeliness of the request.  The supervisor should forward their recommendations to the Human Resources Manager, who will review the employee’s benefits and eligibility for leave and forward the request with recommendation to the Director.

The Library reserves the right to initiate a personal leave of absence on behalf of an employee when warranted (such as when the reasons for absence might normally qualify for coverage under the FMLA but the employee has not met the FMLA’s eligibility criteria, or when the employee is unable for medical reasons to initiate the request him/herself).

The Director will consider each request on its own merits.  A leave must not impair the proper functioning of the Library or its programs or services.  Approval may be granted only at the discretion of the Director, and will be based on circumstances surrounding the request, including the reasons for leave, requested duration, anticipated workload during the requested leave time, the critical nature of the employee's position, and the practicality of replacing the employee for a temporary period.

 Employees are expected to return to work promptly at the end of the approved leave period.  An employee who fails to return to duty for three (3) consecutive workdays following expiration of an approved leave of absence will be deemed to have abandoned his or her position and to have resigned without notice as of the end of the third day (unless an acceptable reason is given or an extended leave is approved).

The status of employee insurance benefits during a personal leave of absence is governed by the plan documents of each benefit plan, and will vary based on the situation. 

If a specific date of return is not confirmed at the time of leave approval, then at least two (2) weeks prior to end of the leave the employee must provide the supervisor with written confirmation of his or her intent to return to work.  An employee who wishes to return earlier than originally approved should submit to the supervisor a written request to return on a different date; the request will be considered and the employee will be notified of the status of the request.

Employees may not engage in other employment during a personal leave of absence unless such employment has received prior approval by the Director or is covered by law (such as military duty).  If it is determined that an employee on personal leave of absence has violated this guideline, the leave of absence will be cancelled and employment with HCLS will be terminated.

Long Term Disability Insurance Benefit
 Long Term Disability Insurance Benefit

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

A long term disability package is available to all full-time library system employees with the premium paid by the Hall County Government. Information is available from the library system administrative assistant.

Maternity Leave
Maternity Leave

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06
04/28/09
12/06/11

After six (6) months employment, any employee may take up to six (6) weeks maternity leave within the first year following the birth of their child, adoption or placement of a child in their home for foster care. It must be requested in writing to the library director. Accumulated sick leave is to be used first followed by annual leave. If the employee has exhausted his or her leave he or she may request to be granted leave-without-pay under Family Medical Leave but may not be out of work on maternity leave for more than three months total.

A female employee may work prior to the time of delivery as long as her pregnancy does not adversely affect her work performance. If her medical provider determines her pregnancy or health may be adversely affected by her job then a medical statement regarding her inability to work will be required.

Military Leave
Military Leave

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:

02/05/02
04/25/06

 

An employee is entitled to have a leave of absence from his/her duties while engaged in the performance of ordered military duty and while going to and returning from such duty. All such leave must be documented with military orders.

During active service, the employee will be paid the difference between their normal base pay and total amount of military compensation for up to six months total in a 24-month period. The employee must provide proof of military salary in order to take advantage of transitional pay.

Health insurance benefits will cease at the time the leave of absence begins. It will be restored when the employee returns to work. Through payroll deductions, Hall County Library will continue to pay for family coverage for the month following 30 days of leave. The family is eligible for COBRA extension to continue current health coverage. All military personnel and family are eligible for coverage through CHAMPUS following 31 days service.

Long term disability coverage provided by the library system will be suspended at the start of military leave.

Annual personal leave accrual and sick leave accrual stops while on military leave but accrued sick and annual leave will remain intact.

If the employee’s active service does not exceed 5 years, they may return to their current job or equivalent job if the Hall County Library is notified within ninety (90) days following discharge from active service. Discharge information and documentation must be submitted. The returning employee shall be entitled to any increase in salary or any advancement in grade which would normally be accorded to the employee of the position with the exception of any increase or advancement in grade which would normally be dependent on meritorious performance.

The library system reserves the right to modify or discontinue the Military Leave Policy at any time should conditions makes this necessary.

Open Door Policy
  Open Door Policy

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06

 

The library system promotes two-way communications between its employees, particularly between employee and supervisor. All employees are encouraged to discuss problem areas with their immediate supervisor. Should the problem not be resolved to the satisfaction of the employee, the employee is encouraged to review the matter with the department manager or the library director.

Outside Employment
  Outside Employment

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06

 

It is recognized that some employees are also employed by other organizations or individuals. It is not the desire of the library system to interfere with the employment or income opportunities of employees except where such employment might interfere with the satisfactory performance of the work of the library system.

Under the following circumstances, accepting or continuing outside employment is prohibited:

1. When employment negatively affects the mental and physical capacity of the employee and results in lowered efficiency.

2. When outside employment would place the employee in a conflict of interest position.

3. When the official position of the employee may otherwise be compromised by reason of the outside employment.

4. When outside employment prevents the employee from working their scheduled hours.

Pay Schedule
Pay Schedule

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
02/16/16
02/20/18

HCLS employees will be paid on the 10th and 26th of each month beginning July 1, 2018. If a payday falls on a weekend or holiday, employees will be paid one business day prior.

Employees will also be given the option to be paid once a month on the 26th .This selection may be changed annually in December to take effect in January. State paid employees will be paid monthly, following the state grant disbursement schedule. 

HCLS does not provide advances in pay or loans.  

Electronic payroll deposits will be scheduled for the 10th and 26th of each month. Bank transaction delays or other emergencies may result in deposit delays. Should this occur, employees will be notified and funds will be deposited as soon as possible.

Pay will include anticipated work time through the end of the month for full-time employees. Hourly (part-time) employees are paid on the same schedule as full time employees. Pay includes hours actually worked through the 5th and 19th of each month. No exceptions will be made to this regulation.

When an employee terminates employment with the library system, pay due to the employee will be deposited after the employee has completed the exit process with Human Resources.

Pay will include pay for accrued and unused annual leave up to 160 hours.

 

Performance Reviews
 Performance Reviews

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
07/26/05

 

The first performance review for a permanent employee will be conducted at the end of the first six months from start date and then annually during anniversary month by the employee’s immediate supervisor. If the review is unacceptable then it will be performed quarterly in the following six months. Two consecutive unacceptable ratings are cause for immediate dismissal.

A. Purpose

• To ensure that employee’s performance meets job description standards.
• To provide opportunities for an employee’s personal and professional growth.
• To identify an employee’s strengths and problems.
• To develop an employee’s objectives for job performance.
• To communicate administrative expectations for appropriate job performance.
• To reinforce an employee’s strengths.

B. Procedure

The supervisor/designated authority:

• Schedules meetings with the employee who is to receive a performance review.
• Appraises the employee’s performance based on the submitted performance review forms and relevant job descriptions.
• Discusses the employee’s performance review with the employee.
• Assists the employee in identifying his/her strengths and problems.
• Assists the employee in assessing progress toward his/her career objectives.
• Communicates to the employee administrative expectations for appropriate job performance.
• Gives positive reinforcement to employee strengths.
• Documents discussion with employee regarding his/her job performance on performance review forms.
• Obtains the employee’s signature on the completed Performance review form.

Supervisor submits the completed performance review to the library director. A copy of the completed performance form is provided to the employee. The performance review is filed in the employee’s personnel record.

Within ten days of the completion of a performance review, the employee may request in writing the library director reconsider the performance review. Within ten days of the completion of the library director’s reconsideration and response, the employee may request in writing that the Hall County Library Board of Trustees reconsider the performance appraisal and library director’s response. The review by the Library Board will be considered final.

Personal Use of Library Services
Personal Use of Library Services

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
08/25/09
04/26/11
12/06/11

All library employees are encouraged to be library patrons and users. However, whenever using the library as an individual or for personal purpose, each employee shall abide by the same rules and regulations that apply to the public. Library personnel should set the standard rather than expect the exception.

Non-circulating or items waiting to be processed may not be taken from buildings without the approval of the Division Directors for Adult or Youth Services. All items that are being used for personal purposes should be properly checked out. Photocopy fees, fax fees, and other charges for personal use shall be paid.

Library personnel may reserve library resources for personal checkout, but should not use knowledge of library operations to give themselves an advantage of access to new or popular materials.

Personnel Records
 Personnel Records

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:

07/26/05
04/25/06
04/28/09

 

The personnel records of all employees shall be maintained by the library. Access to these records is limited to the library director, assistant directors and an employee’s immediate work supervisor when appropriate for conducting personnel business. All information is confidential, shall be treated as such, and shall only be released upon the consent of the director or designated acting director, the employee, or upon the order of an appropriate legal order or process or as otherwise required by Georgia law.

Each employee’s file contains forms and documents related to hiring, employment history, re-assignment, promotion, payroll assignments and deductions, and performance evaluations.

Other documentation may include, but is not limited to, written grievances, commendations, job certification information, resumes, attendance records, staff development information, letters of reference, written reprimands, and insurance and retirement information.

Personnel Reference Requests
Personnel Reference Requests

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

All requests for personnel information, by mail or phone, shall be handled by the library director and administrative assistant.

A telephone request for employment confirmation or verification regarding a former employee may be handled by the administrative assistant or receptionist but is limited to dates of employment, job title, and department in which the employee worked.

All other information release will require written authorization from the former employee specifying the information to be released. A copy of the release will be maintained in the employee’s file.

Nothing in this policy may preclude a supervisor from offering a personal reference on a former employee.

Professional Activities
Professional Activities

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
06/09/98
09/12/00
08/28/18

All personnel are encouraged to participate and establish membership in the activities of library professional organizations. A maximum of $150.00 for each certified library professional may be paid by the library system for professional memberships if budgeted for this purpose. Licensing fees will be reimbursed for those positions requiring a license from the state of Georgia. 

Within budgetary and personnel schedule limitations, staff members may receive professional leave time and reimbursement for all or part of the employee's expenses to attend meetings of library professional organizations or workshop training. Attendance must be pre-approved by the library director.

The library director will be granted a maximum of 10 professional leave days annually to attend meetings not required by the Georgia Office of Public Library Services. Any days in excess of ten must be pre-approved by the Board Chairman.

Other certified library professionals will be granted a maximum of 6 professional leave days annually. Days in excess of six may be granted upon approval of the library director.

Salaried employees are exempted from the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Compensatory time is not granted.

 

All professional leave time and anticipated reimbursement compensation shall be pre-approved by the library director. 
Professional and Public Conduct
Professional and Public Conduct

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
02/16/16

Respect and a professional demeanor, as well as consistency with policy and decisions made by library administration, are expected of all employees. Constructive criticism shall be made through appropriate channels and never to persons outside the library system.

All staff members, regardless of position, shall remember that they represent the library system. The library’s reputation is built one employee at a time with every encounter with a co-worker or patron.

Friendly, prompt, equitable, and efficient service is mandatory of all employees. Patience, poise, tact, and self-control are essential in all contacts. Staff members are expected to be courteous, dependable, cooperative, and adaptable in all situations.

Library employees should be mindful of patron privacy and may not reiterate specific work related incidents regarding patrons or co-workers on any form of social media.

Promotions
  Promotions

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

Promotions will be based on qualifications and performance of duties. Although priority consideration will be given to promotion from within the system, whenever possible, it is sometimes necessary to hire from outside the library system for positions requiring special skills or education.

Qualifications for Professional Librarians and State Paid Positions
  Qualifications for Professional Librarians and State Paid Positions

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

Any state paid employee of the Hall County Library System must meet the professional certification requirements and qualifications established by the State of Georgia for the position.

Professional librarians must hold professional certification at Grade 5 or higher as established in Georgia law by the State Board of Certification of Librarians.

The employee is responsible for maintaining current certification and qualifications and notifying the library system of changes in certification status. Certification must be renewed in the appropriate renewal cycle and the employee shall pay the renewal fee.

A copy of the employee’s certification information and appropriate certificates shall be maintained in the employee’s personnel file.

Failure to maintain the appropriate certification or qualifications for the state paid position may be cause for dismissal.

Reinstatement of Employee Benefits
  Reinstatement of Employee Benefits

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
06/09/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

Employees who are reinstated into the Hall County Library System will maintain their original anniversary date for those governed by the anniversary date. The policy will be as follows:

  1. Employees who voluntarily leave the library system, but who remain within the Georgia Teacher’s Retirement System, may have the option to transfer earned sick leave accrued with each TRS employer, back to the Hall County Library System. Seniority for annual leave benefits earned with the Hall County Library System at the time of voluntary termination may be reinstated if the employee is re-employed within 12 months of the termination date. Annual leave and sick leave benefits are subject to the accrued leave caps established by the Hall County Library System.
  2. Employees who voluntarily leave the library system and who fail to maintain participation or vestment in the Georgia Teacher’s Retirement System, but return to work within 6 months, shall have the option to retain earned sick leave benefits and have seniority reinstated for annual leave benefits subject to the accrued sick leave caps established by the Hall County Library System.
  3. Employees who are laid off and who fail to maintain participation or vestment in the Georgia Teacher’s Retirement System but return to work for the Hall County Library System within 12 months, shall have the option to retain earned sick leave benefits and have seniority reinstated for annual leave benefits subject to the accrued sick leave caps established by the Hall County Library System.

Verification of earned sick leave benefits from other TRS employers will be required for reinstatement of applicable benefits.

Remote Work
Remote Work

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
08/24/20
 
Revised Date:
 

The nature of work for HCLS staff positions and public library work is to be present and available in an office and library setting.  The library system does not have positions designated as remote. In general, remote work is a privilege, which may be approved under appropriate circumstances to eligible employees whose job responsibilities are suited to such an arrangement, including long term library closures.  

Employees eligible for remote work:

  • An employee must be full time or in a part time administrative role, no longer in a trial period, and have completed the Remote Work Agreement forms. Part time public service employees may be considered for remote work during long term library closures or when an emergency plan has been activated by the Library Board and Library Director.
  • The employee position must be conducive to working remotely.
  • Employees who are on probation, suspension, or disciplinary leave are not eligible. The Library Director may suspend this guideline on a case-by-case basis during long term or emergency closures.   
  • Employees who are not able to report to work on library property due to personal illness may not use remote work as a way to avoid taking sick leave.
  • Employees on FMLA or long-term disability are not eligible for remote work.
  • Remote work may be used during travel on official library business.

 Staff members may work remotely under the following guidelines: 

  • All remote work requests beyond emergency closures must be approved by the Library Director.
  • The employee must be able to demonstrate their ability to complete essential job duties while working remotely.
  • Employee requesting periodic or a set time of remote work must sign a remote work agreement form and update their form yearly during the employee's annual review. Remote working hours must comply with the staff member’s regular working schedule; variations to that schedule must be approved by the Library Director.
  • Staff members must be available to the library during their scheduled work hours. When scheduled to work from home, staff should reply to email, chat, and/or phone within a reasonable amount of time and typically on the same business day.
  • Staff members will not be reimbursed for phone calls, Internet access, equipment, or other expenses incurred.
  • If the Library requests a staff member work remotely, the staff member is responsible for communicating to the Library Director or Assistant Director if they do not have the necessary technology or equipment to perform the work so that accommodations can be made.
  • Employees conducting remote work will follow all privacy laws, PINES policies, and library privacy policies while conducting remote work. The employee will apply safeguards, which are approved by the Library Director, to protect records and patron accounts from unauthorized disclosure and/or damage.  All records, papers, and correspondence must be safeguarded for their return to the official work location.  

Liability

When used for remote work, the employee’s home workspace is an extension of the department workspace. The remote worker is covered under the State’s Workers’ Compensation Law for injuries occurring in the course of the actual performance of official duties at the alternate workplace.

If an injury occurs during remote work hours, the employee shall immediately report the injury to their supervisor or Human Resources. The employee and supervisor will follow the Library’s procedure regarding the reporting of injuries for employees injured while at work. Hall County Library System is not responsible for any injuries to family members, visitors, and others in the employee’s home. The remote worker may not have business guests at the alternate workplace.

To the extent permitted by law, the employee will not attempt to hold the Hall County Library System responsible or liable for any loss or liability in any way connected to the employee’s non-work related use of his or her own home.

The remote worker is responsible for contacting the remote worker’s insurance agent and a tax consultant and consulting local ordinances for information regarding home workplaces.

Curtailment of Agreement

The employee may request to stop participating in remote work at any time. The Library Director has the right to remove an employee from eligibility of remote work if employee participation fails to benefit the library’s needs or work performance outside of the library setting is not satisfactory.

Responsibilities for Service to Library Patrons
  Responsibilities for Service to Library Patrons

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

Employees are expected to assume all duties as listed in their job descriptions. Additionally, every library staff member needs to understand standard operational procedures in order to carry out procedures related to circulation of books and materials.

Service to the public is the primary responsibility of all employees. The patron who enters a library facility and the patron seeking assistance by telephone or through other modes of communication shall receive priority for library assistance over other related job responsibilities.

Retirement Benefits
Retirement Benefits

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
10/24/06
09/20/11
02/16/16
05/17/22
03/19/24

All employees contribute to Social Security. 

All employees who work twenty (20) hours or more per week and who work in non-excluded positions are required to participate in the Georgia Teacher’s Retirement System. Contribution to this program is shared by the employee and the employer as specified by the Georgia TRS formula for contribution, and participation is required under Georgia law. Conditions for eligibility, payment of benefits, and withdrawal of contributions are determined by Georgia Teacher’s Retirement System.

Full-time employees are also encouraged to participate in an annuity plan offered by the library system. Staff members may enroll, change deductions, or discontinue participation in the annuity plan at any time between monthly payroll runs. After an employee has been with the library system for one year, they are eligible to receive an annual contribution from the employer to this fund on behalf of the employee. Amounts of this contribution will vary depending on the library’s budget, and may be suspended at any time. Employer contributions will be made in June of each year. Employer contributions will be based upon available funds and determined using a percent of the funds contributed by the employee. 

Separation from Service
Separation from Service

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
08/22/23


RESIGNATION

All non-state paid employees and non-supervisory employees are expected to give a two week notice of resignation in writing. State-paid employees and supervisors are expected to give a four week notice of resignation in writing. Benefits will accrue through the last working day. Required forms (separation notice, etc.) will be completed with human resources on or before the employee’s last working day.

The final paycheck will include final hours worked plus any unused annual leave hours. Annual Leave will not be paid out if a new employee does not complete their six-month working test period. Accrued annual leave will not be paid to an employee who does not submit a minimum of one week’s notice. All property owned by the library system such as laptops and library issued attire must be returned before annual leave hours will be paid.

REDUCTION IN FORCE

If staff reduction becomes necessary, consideration will be based on seniority, classification of position, employee reviews and disciplinary actions, and staffing priorities for the system.

Employees who are separated from service because of reduction in force shall be given a minimum two week notice or pay in lieu of notice or a combination of the two above the annual leave compensation for which the employee is entitled.

Employees separated due to reduction in force and who are re-employed within a 12-month period shall have their sick leave credits, at the time of separation, restored upon reemployment.
Sexual Harassment
  Sexual Harassment

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

It is illegal and against the policies of the Hall County Library System for any employee, male or female, to sexually harass another employee by (a) making unwelcome sexual advances or requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical contact of a sexual nature a condition of an employee’s continued employment, or (b) making submission to or rejections of such conduct the basis for employment decisions affecting the employee, or (c) creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment by such conduct.

No person shall threaten or insinuate, either explicitly or implicitly, that an employee’s refusal to submit to sexual advances will adversely affect the employee’s employment, evaluation, wages, advancement, assigned duties, shifts or any other condition of employment or career development.

Any employee who believes he or she has been the subject of sexual harassment should report the alleged act immediately to their immediate supervisor or appropriate supervisor. Upon receiving a complaint, the library director must be notified and an investigation of all complaints will be undertaken immediately. Employees have the right to appeal the findings of such investigations in accordance with the appeals process. Any supervisor, agent, or other employee who has been found by the library system, after appropriate investigation, to have sexually harassed another employee will be subject to appropriate sanctions, depending on the circumstances, from a warning in his or her file up to and including termination.

It is the responsibility of each supervisor, manager, and administrator to maintain the work place free of sexual harassment. This duty includes discussing and reviewing this policy with all employees and assuring them that they are not to endure insulting, degrading, or exploitive sexual treatment. If any supervisor, manager, or administrator becomes aware of or suspects sexual harassment, it is their official duty to immediately report such information to the library director.

The library system recognizes that the question of whether a particular action or incident is a purely personal, social relationship without a discriminatory employment effect requires a factual determination based on all facts pertaining the incident. Given the nature of this type of discrimination, the library system recognizes also that false accusations of sexual harassment can cause serious effects on innocent women and men. False accusations will result in severe disciplinary action up to and including termination. We trust that all employees of the library system will continue to act responsibly to maintain a pleasant working environment free of discrimination. The library system encourages any employee to raise questions he or she may have regarding discrimination or affirmative action to the director or appropriate supervisor.

Sick Leave
Sick Leave

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
06/09/98
04/27/99
05/25/99
07/27/99
10/24/00
01/20/03
04/25/06
10/27/09
12/06/11
06/04/19
03/19/24

Sick leave may be used by an employee for the illness of the employee or illness or death of immediate members of the employee’s family or an extension for bereavement leave. "Immediate members of family" shall be defined as grandparents, parents, spouse, children, grandchildren, siblings, dependents living in the household, in-laws, and stepfamily.

Full-time (40 hour) employees will accrue at a rate of nine (9) hours of sick leave per month. Sick leave will be prorated for full-time employees who work less than forty (40) hours per week. Employees are requested to work three (3) months in a full-time position before utilizing any sick leave benefits. However, employees may request the use of available sick leave during their first three (3) months of full-time employment subject to approval in writing from the Library Director, Deputy Director, or head of Human Resources. Sick leave balances may carry over from year to year, up to a maximum of 720 hours.  After reaching this maximum, no additional leave will be credited until leave time is used and the balance falls below 720 hours.  Upon retirement, any forfeited sick leave will be reported to the Teachers’ Retirement System (TRS) for use in calculating potential sick leave credit.

Employees rehired less than one year (365 days) after terminating employment may request reinstatement of previous earned sick leave balances. State paid employees transferring to Hall County may request their unpaid leave balances be transferred up to the maximum amount allowed by the library.

Sick leave requests shall be made in increments of one hour. Sick leave requests for pre-arranged appointments should be reported as soon as possible.

Sick leave that extends beyond two (2) days requires a medical statement regarding the employee’s inability to report to work and expected return to work date.

If an employee requires more sick leave than accumulated, annual leave will be used for this purpose. All leave must be exhausted before leave without pay can be requested under Family Medical Leave.

A medical release is required before an employee can return to work from being out of work on sick leave due to hospitalization or serious injury. The medical release needs to state conditions the employee is expected to work under and the duration of any restrictions.

Abuse of sick leave or failure to follow sick leave policy is cause for dismissal.

In case of termination of employment, no payment shall be made for unused sick leave. Upon retirement, unused sick leave may be applied toward retirement service credit as determined by the Teacher’s Retirement System of Georgia.

 Staff Development
 Staff Development

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
01/24/06
08/25/09
12/06/11
08/23/22


The Hall County Library System is committed to recruiting, training and retaining the most competent personnel available. Opportunities for staff development are provided to employees of the system. Staff members are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities outside the system as the library’s schedule and budget permits. 

Full time staff members are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education per year. Part time staff members will have their continuing education hours pro-rated based upon the number of hours worked. Upon completion of a continuing education activity, the employee will submit appropriate documentation to Human Resources. This will be included in the employee’s personnel file and factored in their annual performance review. The annual performance review should also list any specific training the employee is requested to complete during the upcoming year. 

The Hall County Library offers an annual training day for all staff, organized around current library needs. This is a mandatory training session for all staff; anyone unable to attend must have their absence approved in advance by the Library Director.  In addition, at least one online training session must be completed annually. Other examples of continuing education credits include but are not limited to: 

  • Computer workshops
  • Conference attendance 
  • College coursework in library and information science
  • Other college or vocational coursework that would improve the staff member’s job-related skills (to be approved by supervisor)
  • Drug Free Workplace education
  • Online training through such organizations as Webjunction
  • Workshops sponsored by library organizations such as Georgia Public Library Service, North Georgia Associated Libraries, Lyrasis, or Public Library Association
  • Specific training developed for an employee by library administration or supervisor

Employees enrolled in an accredited college or university seeking an undergraduate degree will receive one hour of continuing education credit for every class credit hour passed. Employees enrolled in an accredited college or university seeking an MLIS degree will receive five hours of continuing education credit for every class credit hour passed. At the discretion of the staff member’s supervisor, one hour of credit for pertinent vocational classes may also be given. Official documentation of passing grades will need to be submitted for credit to be granted.

Staff members who wish to attend workshops offsite should complete a Travel Authorization Form, which should be approved by their supervisor and the Library Director. Time spent at continuing education events is part of the staff member’s scheduled workday. For more specific information, please see Employee Travel Policy.

Staff Parking
Staff Parking

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
12/06/11

Staff parking spaces may be assigned at each location. Parking spaces may be limited; therefore, assignments will be made to full-time staff first and on a seniority basis and/or disability needs as determined by Human Resources. Part-time staff will then be assigned spaces on a seniority basis.
Staff Purchase of Surplus Library Property
Staff Purchase of Surplus Library Property

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
04/28/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

Library system staff members may request annual leave time to attend the public sale of library materials or property declared surplus or withdrawn from the library system.

Special consideration for purchase of or access to library surplus materials will not be given to library staff members over the general public.

Tardiness
  Tardiness

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

Punctuality is expected of all library employees at all times. Employees not at appointed work stations on time without an excuse approved by the supervisor may be notified in writing that behavior must be modified.

If the employee receives two or more reprimands for tardiness within a quarter, the library director will be notified. Documentation will be placed in the employee’s personnel file and disciplinary action will be taken for frequent tardiness.

Telephone Calls and Other Communications Activity
Telephone Calls and Other Communications Activity

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
12/06/11

Library telephone and data communication lines are intended for library business purposes only.

For efficiency in answering the phone and for emergency contact purposes, the employee’s supervisor should be notified when an employee is leaving and returning to a building outside the regular schedule.

Phone calls, texts, and other communications of a personal nature during working hours should be limited to emergency or very important circumstances only and shall not interfere with performance of job responsibilities or library service. Employees are responsible for advising family and other persons who might contact them at work about library communication policies. Calls, texts, and communications should be taken or conducted outside of public service areas.

Patrons who have emergency need for use of library telephones will be assisted by library staff members in dialing appropriate numbers, made under the supervision of library staff members, and patrons will be requested to complete calls as quickly as possible to leave library telephone lines available for business use.

Non-emergency personal calls to library personnel and patrons may be screened and information recorded for return calls to be made at a later date.

Personal long distance charges may not be made on library system phones.

Time Sheets
Time Sheets

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
02/16/16
05/24/21

Time sheets will be completed monthly or twice monthly by each staff member and turned over to the immediate supervisor. These will be reviewed by the supervisor, approved, and forwarded to Human Resources. All employees should submit timesheets to supervisors on the 5th or 19th of each month unless otherwise directed. 

Full time staff members should attach signed, approved leave requests for the pay period to their timesheet.

Part time staff members’ timesheets should reflect time worked from the 20th of the preceding month through the 19th of the current month. Pay includes hours actually worked through the 5th and 19th of each month. 

 

Tobacco Use
Tobacco Use

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
10/28/03
12/06/11


Use of tobacco in any form in any facility or on any campus of the Hall County Library System is prohibited under state law.
United Way of Hall County
United Way of Hall County

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

Regularly scheduled library personnel may have contributions to Hall County United Way deducted from their payroll checks. Information is available from the library system administrative assistant.

Volunteers
Volunteers

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
01/24/06
10/17/09
12/06/11

The Hall County Library System welcomes volunteer workers. Volunteers are used to benefit the library system. Volunteers must be at least fourteen years of age. They may assist staff to meet patron needs by performing routine tasks that will allow paid personnel to delegate more time to specialized activities. The library system is not obligated to accept every volunteer request to work. Volunteers will be treated like paid library staff. They are required to complete a Volunteer Job Application. They may be required to participate in a formal training process and undergo criminal background screening. They will be assigned areas and job duties by library staff. Volunteers may not be assigned to work under an immediate family member, nor may they volunteer in the same department as an immediate family member. Volunteers are expected to abide by the rules, regulations, and guidelines established by the library system. Volunteers whose activity disrupts library operations will be suspended. The Hall County Library System does not accept workers performing court –ordered community service as volunteers.
Voting
  Voting

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
04/25/06
05/23/23

 

Employees shall be permitted two hours of unpaid leave to vote on election day or during early voting. Time off to vote must be pre-authorized by their immediate supervisor. Employees should take into consideration the extended hours of voting precincts as well as early voting opportunities and vote on the way to or from work when possible.

Weather Or Emergency Closings
Weather Or Emergency Closings

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
02/23/10
10/17/17

If the library system closes because of weather or for other appropriate emergencies, no loss of wages or leave is charged against staff.  Closing decisions are made by the Library Director, who typically follows the guidance of Hall County Government or state emergency management.

If the library system opens its branches late as the result of emergencies, employees are expected to report to work at the adjusted opening time. Employees who do not report on time will have lost time charged to annual leave at the discretion of the Library Director.

Employees are urged to use discretion in attempting to travel to work during hazardous conditions. If conditions are such that the employee judges he/she cannot travel to work or will be late to work, he/she should contact the appropriate authority as soon as possible. All employees should follow established operations procedures for weather related and other emergencies.

Work Site Assignment
  Work Site Assignment

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
 

 

Employees of the Hall County Library System may be assigned or transferred to any work site as required by the system in order to efficiently conduct library service to the community. Employment is with the system and no position and job assignment should be considered as permanent to any one location or department.

Work Week
Work Week

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
02/10/04
12/06/11

The official work week begins on Saturday and runs through Friday. Employees in all departments will be expected to share in staffing the library during all hours the library is open including evenings and weekends.

Full-time employees are defined as those working an average of twenty (20) hours or more per week. No employee will be scheduled for more than forty (40) hours per week. Full-time, hourly paid employees, who miss work because the library schedule has changed may have those hours re-scheduled in order to work the number of hours for which they have been employed to work.

Part-time employees shall work no more than an average of eighteen (18) hours per week. If a part-time employee is scheduled to work and he/she missed work because of illness or for other excused reasons or if the library is closed on a day when the employee normally is scheduled to work, the supervisor may re-schedule lost work hours up to eighteen (18). The schedule is adjusted at the convenience of the library operating schedule. Missed hours for part-time employees are not required to be re-scheduled.

Worker's Compensation Benefits
Worker's Compensation Benefits

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
09/20/11

Employees of the Hall County Library System are covered by Worker‘s Compensation medical coverage when performing normal functions of their jobs. Any employee who is injured on the job, whose injury results from reckless behavior, being under the influence of alcohol or illegal controlled substances, or deviation from the normal work assignments, may jeopardize their coverage under Worker‘s Compensation and receive no benefit.

Should an employee be injured on the job, it is the responsibility of the employee and the supervisor to complete Worker’s CompReport of Injury form. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to provide the employee with prompt medical attention (if deemed necessary), allowing the employee to select a physician from the posted medical panel displayed on the bulletin board in the break room of each branch, and to notify the library director and Human Resources or Administrative Assistant.

Working Test Period
Working Test Period

Approved by:
Board of Trustees

Date:
01/27/98
 
Revised Date:
05/24/21

The first six months of work for all employees, who are hired new to the Hall County Library System or who change job positions with the system, shall be a six-month working test. During this time the employee will be closely monitored and evaluated by the employee’s supervisor as to meeting the job requirements set forth in the applicable job description. Strengths and weaknesses in performance will be documented. No appeal is available for dismissal during the working test period.