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SECTION 7: HUMAN RESOURCES INFORMATION

7.1 Introduction

The Human Resources Director is the Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Coordinator and the Employee Assistance Coordinator. If at any time an employee needs information for referral to other services, contact the Human Resources Department. All information is handled in a strictly confidential manner. Also, additional information is available about job advancement, testing, other agency job opportunities, etc., for those who need it. If an employee has questions regarding the policies/procedures of KSSB and/or of the state of Kansas, it is the employee's responsibility to contact his/her supervisor or the Human Resources Department to clarify or request additional information.

7.2 Kansas Civil Service

The Kansas Civil Service is divided into unclassified and classified services. Unclassified service comprises positions held by state employees at KSSB who are administrative officers, directors, and teaching personnel who are under the supervision and control of the state board of education and generally are employed on a year to year basis. Personnel regulations affecting unclassified employees are available through the Human Resources Office. These regulations are taken from three (3) primary sources: Kansas State Board of Education regulations and policies; Kansas State Department of Administration regulations and policies; and KSSB procedures.

Classified service comprises all positions now existing or hereafter created which are not included in the unclassified service. Appointments in classified service shall be made according to merit and fitness from eligible lists prepared upon the basis of examination that, as

far as practicable, shall be competitive. Personnel regulations affecting classified employees are available through the Human Resources Department. (Ref: K.S.A. 75-2935)

7.3 Legal Representation

If a KSSB employee is subpoenaed to testify or provide records CONCERNING THE AGENCY in a court proceeding, it is very important that the Superintendent AND the Human Resources Director be notified immediately. Certain state records are confidential; certain information known to state employees is confidential; thus, it is very important that legal advice be secured prior to the giving of testimony or records. Legal consultation will be obtained through the appropriate school channels according to state regulations.

Tort Claims:

When a civil suit is brought against an employee for an action taken as a part of employment, the State of Kansas will provide defense for that employee when the employee was acting within the scope of employment, subject to exceptions from liability as outlined by Kansas statute.

Defense will not be provided for the following:

· ? Acts outside the scope of employment.

· Acts or omissions due to malice or fraud.

· Cases where conflict of interest might arise for the State.

The employee must file written request for defense with the Office of the Attorney General within fifteen (15) days after service of process upon the employee. When the employee is eligible, yet is unable to receive defense from the State Attorney General or designated attorney, the employee is entitled to recover, from the State of Kansas, reasonable attorney's fees, costs, and expenses which are necessarily incurred in defending the action. Please refer to Kansas Statute Annotated 75-6101 et seq. for further information concerning this benefit.

7.4 Personnel Files

No employee is allowed to examine individual personnel files unless authorized to do so. Employees have the right to examine their own file upon request to the Human Resources

Department. Staff may review their files only while in the presence of someone from the Human Resources department. Nothing may be added or deleted without first submitting a written request to the Human Resources Director. Copies of information may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Human Resources Department.

In accordance of K.A.R. 1-13-1a and KOSE MOA the only information allowed to be given out on an employee regarding employment reference/verification inquiries includes: 1) confirmation that an individual is employed by the agency, 2) name of employing state agency, 3) current or prior title and job position, 4) current or prior rates of pay, 5) length of employment with the state, 6) length of time the employee has served in the employee's current or prior job position. Any additional information must be specified in writing with an original signature of the employee requesting the release to a specific agency/company.

Employee personnel records are required by law and deemed essential for efficient operations and will be maintained by KSSB. Employees are required to report immediately any changes in status to the Human Resources Department such as name, address, phone number, marital status, dependents, college courses completed and other training skills acquired, beneficiaries of life insurance and retirement, physical disabilities, on-the-job injuries, etc. Remember, if the change affects your group health insurance it is very important to make the change within 31 days to comply with federal regulations; otherwise you run the risk of not being covered.

7.5 Grievances

The efficiency and effectiveness of the Kansas State School for the Blind are decided mostly by the willingness of employees to do their duties as outlined in position descriptions, day-to-day instructions, and requests by their supervisors, principals, directors, or the Superintendent. Employees have a right to expect supervisors, principals, directors, and the Superintendent to treat them fairly and be alert and receptive to ways of improving working conditions. However, when people work together over a period of time, differences between supervisors and employees and with co-workers may develop.

K.A.R. 1-12-1 and KOSE MOA Article 12 require that each agency shall have a written grievance procedure for its employees. It is the intent of this agency to provide an effective mechanism for the orderly, fair, and expeditious processing and settlement of employee grievances. For this procedure, a grievance means a detailed, written expression of dissatisfaction by an employee of working conditions, employee relationships, employment problems, or departmental policies or procedures not covered by statute or Department of Administration Regulation.

However, the grievance procedure may be used for a grievance alleging discrimination based on race, color, national origin, age, sex, sexual harassment, sexual orientation, physical disability, or political or religious affiliation. The grievance procedure applies to all employees. If you have a problem you should first talk with your supervisor when you can and explain how you feel. You must act within fourteen (14) days of the alleged incident or within fourteen (14) days of the employee's knowledge of its occurrence. Please refer to your copy of the KSSB Grievance Procedure for complete details.

7.6 Nepotism

Concerning K.A.R. 1-9-21, no person shall be appointed, promoted, transferred, or otherwise employed in any position at KSSB, when as a result, he or she would supervise (directly or indirectly), or receive supervision from a member of his or her family or household. Supervising means the authority to influence, recommend or approve the individual's appointment, transfer, promotion, salary, evaluation, termination, or other similar personnel actions.

For the purpose of this policy, "Family Member" means:

  • Spouse
  • Parent

· Child (includes legally adopted & foster)

· Sibling/Half Sibling

  • Uncle
  • Aunt
  • Cousin
  • Nephew
  • Niece

· Step - Mother/Father/Sister/Brother/Daughter/Son

· Grand or Great Grand - Mother/Father/Daughter/Son

· In-Law - Mother/Father/Sister/Brother/Daughter/Son

"Household Member" means:

? Person having legal residence in, or permanently living in, the employee's place of residence.

Exceptions will be considered by the Superintendent when enforcement of this policy could result in the non-selection of an employee for a critical position for which there has been demonstrated difficulty in recruiting.

7.7 Outside Employment

All employees are expected to place the responsibilities and obligations of their job (KSSB) first, and will only be allowed to engage in outside work on off-duty time if

· there is no possible conflict of interest.

· there is no interference with the work of KSSB, and the outside employment does not interfere with the employee's job efficiency, quality, and effectiveness.

· outside employment shall not be carried on in the school nor shall KSSB equipment, supplies, or staff be used for such work or to do personal business without the specific consent of the Superintendent via your Supervisor. Failure to follow these guidelines is grounds for disciplinary action.

7.8 Promotions/Transfers

If you are interested in advancing within the school, you should perform your present job to the best of your ability and prepare yourself for advancement by taking advantage of training and educational opportunities. Before applying you may wish to contact the Human Resources Department which will acquaint you with the job description and other basic information about the job. Employees who wish to do so are often allowed to transfer from one job to another within the school. This can be done only when there is a vacancy, when there are sufficient revenues to cover any added increase of the individual's salary, when both the "sending" and "receiving" immediate supervisors have given their approval, and when the Superintendent has authorized the transfer. KSSB employees who are interested in promotion or transfer are encouraged to apply for vacancies by completing an application. Any KSSB employee who meets the minimum requirements for the position will be considered. In addition, as an employee of the school, you will be treated on an equal basis with all other applicants without regard to race, creed, color, national origin, religion, age, non-job-related disability, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status. This also applies to every aspect of work, including demotion, layoff or other terminations, recalls from layoff, rates of pay and other benefits, and selection for training. Your request for promotion/transfer will be considered based on your qualifications for the position and the needs of the school at the time.

7.9 Resignations/Terminations

All employees who are resigning from their position must submit a signed and dated letter of resignation. The letter should be addressed to the Superintendent and delivered to the Human Resources Director. A copy should also be sent to your immediate Supervisor. This must be done at least two weeks prior to the date of the resignation in order to resign in good standing. This is necessary in order to coordinate your employee benefits, i.e., medical and life insurance, KPERS, leave, etc.

All terminating employees will be provided an exit survey form by the Human Resources Director. The main purpose of this interview is to be certain that the reasons for an employee's termination are not founded on a misunderstanding that might be corrected by either the school or the employee. In addition, KSSB wants to collect any information that may improve future working conditions.

Unclassified Certified Teachers are covered under the Kansas continuing contract statute;

7611a05 "written notice of intention to non-renew a contract shall be served . . . . . .on or before

May 1st. A teacher shall give written notice . . . . . .that the teacher does not want continuation of contract on or before May 15th." (per Office of Revisor of Statutes and subject to legislative review.)

In addition to voluntary resignation the following conduct shall also be deemed a resignation:

· Unauthorized and unexplained absence from work for five (5) consecutive working days may be considered by the Superintendent as abandonment of the job and a presumed resignation. The Superintendent or designee must make a reasonable effort to contact (via phone, postal mail, or email) the employee before proceeding with the resignation of the employee.

· Failure to return to work at the expiration of an authorized leave of absence, or upon notice by the Superintendent that a leave has been terminated.

· The Superintendent will consider the resignation of any employee that is submitted in writing. Failure to return an Employment Contract (Unclassified staff) by the stipulated date shown on the contract may be considered a form of resignation and that position may be considered open for receipt of applications to fill the position. The Superintendent will accept such resignations only when he/she believes it will be in the best interest of the State of Kansas. The protection of public interest is a proper consideration in the determination of possibility of liquidated damages. A teacher who has signed his/her contract and accepted a teaching position at the Kansas State School for the Blind for the coming year MAY NOT BE RELEASED from that contract to accept another position until a competent replacement has been contracted in his/her place. The Superintendent may accept a late resignation in the case where a spouse is transferred outside the Kansas City metropolitan area; a health problem and/or disability exists; or where a significant change, as decided by the Superintendent, has occurred due to family circumstances. (Ref: GBO-R KSSD Board Policy)

Any layoff or furloughs for classified staff will be in accordance with K.A.R. 1-14-6 thru 1-14-11. Unclassified staff will be in accordance with KSDE and KSSB policy.

When employment ends, regardless of the reason, employees must return to their immediate supervisor all government-owned equipment. This includes office and building keys, electronic gate openers, access cards, books, computer equipment, supplies, etc...

7.10 Sexual Harassment

It is the policy of KSSB to maintain an environment free of discrimination for all employees. Part of maintaining a good working atmosphere includes freedom from unwelcome sexual advances.

All employees are responsible for assuring that the workplace is free from sexual harassment. Therefore, it is important for all employees to know KSSB's policy is "zero tolerance",

and understand that no form of harassment will be tolerated. To help clarify what is unlawful sexual harassment, the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines say that unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature will constitute unlawful harassment when

Submission to sexual conduct is an explicit or implicit term or condition of an individual's employment.

The submission to or rejection of sexual conduct by an individual is the basis for any employment decision affecting the individual.

Sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

Any employee who has a complaint of sexual harassment at work concerning anyone, including supervisors, co-workers, or visitors, must bring the problem to the attention of a responsible school official immediately. As a result, there may be situations in which we find a violation of our sexual harassment policy occurred that would not actually be a violation of law. Employees may bring their complaints to their supervisors, and/or the Human Resources Director/EEO Coordinator. If the complaint is against the complainant's supervisor, then the employee may bring the complaint to another supervisor, the next level of management, or the Human Resources Director. All such complaints will be promptly handled through the school's complainthandling process, except that special privacy safeguards will be applied. The privacy of both the charging party and the person accused of sexual harassment will be strictly maintained. The school will retain confidential documentation of all allegations and investigations and will take appropriate corrective action, including disciplinary measures when justified, to remedy all violations of this policy. Please refer to the KSSB Policy (REF: P-6200) on Sexual Harassment for the complete policy. The KSSB Grievance Procedure is available to make a formal complaint and is specifically designed to handle Sexual Harassment issues. All new employees receive a copy of the Grievance Procedure.

7.11 Substance Abuse

Employees are the State of Kansas' most valuable resource and, therefore, their health and safety is a serious concern. The State of Kansas will not tolerate substance use or abuse that imperils the health and well-being of its employee. Furthermore, employees have a right to work in an environment free of substance abuse and with persons free from the effect of drug or alcohol abuse. It shall therefore be the policy of the State of Kansas to maintain a workforce free of substance abuse.

· Reporting to work or doing work for the state while impaired by or under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited.

· The illegal use, possession, dispensation, distribution, manufacture or sale of a controlled substance by an employee at the worksite, during work hours, or while the employee is on duty, official state business, or standby duty is prohibited.

· Violation of such prohibitions by an employee is considered conduct detrimental to state service and will result in discipline according to K.S.A. 75-2949d and K.A.R. 1-10-6, or other appropriate administrative regulations.

· Employees are required by federal law to notify the Superintendent or Human Resources Director within five (5) days of any criminal drug statute conviction where such conviction was due to an occurrence at the worksite, during work hours, while on duty, official business or standby duty.

An employee who is convicted of violating any criminal drug statute in such workplace situations as stated above will be subject to discipline according to K.S.A. 75-2949d and K.A.R. 1-10-6, or other appropriate administrative regulations.

A conviction means a finding of guilt (including a plea of nolo contendere) or the imposition of a sentence by a judge or jury, or both, in any federal, state, county, or city court.

· Employees are given a copy of the Substance Abuse Policy to read and sign during the initial orientation process by the Director of Human Resources. Employees must abide by the terms of the policy as a condition of employment, and by the consequences of any violation of such policy.

7.12 Disciplinary Process

From time to time it may be necessary to discipline due to deficiencies in work performance or because of personal conduct detrimental to the school (Ref: K.S.A. 75-2949e & 75-2949f). Disciplinary action can be anywhere from a verbal warning to termination. Typical disciplinary steps are:

1. Verbal warning

2. Written warning

3. Suspension without pay

4. Termination

There may be circumstances when a situation is serious enough to warrant immediate dismissal, demotion, suspension, or bypassing steps in the progressive discipline process.

(Depending on the seriousness of the infraction, some steps may be eliminated.)

Supervisors may obtain progressive discipline forms from the Human Resources Department. These forms become part of an employee's personnel file. The Human Resources Director is to be consulted immediately by the supervisor regarding any step beyond step two. Supervisors need to be aware of the correct procedures for Classified versus Unclassified staff. For further clarification, contact the Human Resources Director.

Any regular Classified employee may be suspended, demoted, or dismissed in adherence to proper Civil Service procedures. Staff covered within the working units established by KOSE MOA will follow Article 13. Classified employees with regular status (second year or longer) shall have the right to a hearing as provided by Civil Service regulation. Unclassified employees and Classified employees within one year, and temporary and provisional appointments do not have a Civil Service right of appeal.

Unclassified employees, i.e., Administrators and Instructional Assistants, serve at the pleasure of the Superintendent.

Unclassified certified teachers are covered under the Kansas continuing contract statute (K.S.A. 72-5435, et seq.). (A teacher must have been offered a contract following three consecutive years of satisfactory teaching at KSSB to become tenured REF: K.S.A. 76-11a13).