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 Disciplinary Actions | Peace Officer Disciplinary Actions | Causes for Disciplinary Actions | Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action | Emergency Circumstances | Notice of Disciplinary Action | Reprimand | Disciplinary Probation | Suspension | Reduction in Salary | Disciplinary Demotion | Dismissal | Absence-Without-Leave Termination | Statute of Limitations

Rule Twelve

 1201. Disciplinary Actions.

Any employee holding permanent status in the classified service may be disciplined for cause provided that the rules and regulations prescribed herein are followed and that any permanent employee has the right of appeal to the Commission except as herein provided. As used in this Rule, "disciplinary action" shall mean dismissal, suspension, disciplinary demotion, reduction in salary, disciplinary probation, or formal written reprimand.

1202. Peace Officer Disciplinary Actions.

If the employee disciplined is a "peace officer" as defined by Gov. Code 3301, then any disciplinary action must also comply with Gov. Code 3300 et seq., commonly referred to as the "Peace Officers Bill of Rights."

1203. Causes for Disciplinary Actions.

The following reasons shall be deemed sufficient for disciplinary action but such action shall not be limited to these reasons:

a. Willful or negligent violation of the provisions of the Civil Service law or of these Rules, or other applicable written and published departmental rules, regulations, and policies which do not conflict with these Rules.

b. Inefficiency, incompetence, or negligence in the performance of duties, including failure to perform assigned tasks or failure to discharge duties in a prompt, competent, and responsible manner.

c. Refusal to accept a reasonable and proper assignment from an authorized supervisor; insubordination.

d. Careless, negligent, or improper use of County property, equipment, or funds, including use for private purposes or involving damage or risk of damage to property.

e. Bribery or other unlawful gifts or gratuities.

f. Failure to maintain satisfactory and harmonious working relations with the public or other employees.

g. Absence without leave for five (5) consecutive working days or failure to report to work after a leave of absence has expired or after such leave of absence has been disapproved or revoked.

h. Pattern of frequent failure to report for duty at the assigned time and place.

i. Improper use of sick leave privileges.

j. Unauthorized release of confidential information from official records, as defined by law.

k. Conduct by a County officer or employee which discredits the County or which is incompatible with the due and faithful discharge of his or her duties.

l. Conviction of a crime which relates to the qualifications, functions, or duties of the employee's position.

m. Falsified job information to secure a position.

n. Engaging in incompatible employment. (See Rule Seventeen.)

o. Statements or conduct, or both, tending to interfere with the reasonable management and discipline of the County or any of the departments and divisions.

p. Political activity in violation of the law as set forth in the County Code, section 27-29 and in Rule Eighteen.

1204. Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action.

Before an appointing authority files any order referred to in Section 1206 of this Rule, which suspends, demotes, reduces in salary, or removes an employee having permanent status in the classified service, the pre-removal safeguards to the extent required by Skelly v. State Personnel Board (1975) 15 Cal. 3d 194, shall be followed. A written notice shall be furnished the employee which shall include the following:

a. Notice of the proposed disciplinary action;

b. The proposed effective date;

c. The particular facts and specific grounds for the proposed action in sufficient detail to permit the employee to understand and to respond to them;

d. An opportunity to examine any materials upon which the proposed action is based; and,

e. The right to respond, either orally or in writing, to the appointing authority.

Copies of this notice and any other materials furnished the employee shall be filed with the Personnel Director. Such notice shall be given a reasonable period of time prior to the date the discipline is to be imposed. Service of the Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action shall be made as provided in these Rules.

1205. Emergency Circumstances.

In the event an employee's conduct is of such a nature that immediate removal of the employee is essential to avert harm to the County or to the public, the appointing authority may dispense with the notice requirement imposed by Section 1204. If the notice requirements are dispensed with, the appointing authority shall attempt to personally deliver to the employee a Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action which contains the information set out in Section 1204. A copy of the notice shall be filed with the Personnel Director. If the employee cannot be found at employee's place of work or residence, the appointing authority may serve the notice by whatever means may be available and may thereafter proceed to impose discipline in the manner otherwise required by these rules.

1206. Notice of Disciplinary Action.

Disciplinary actions, except reprimands or disciplinary probation, shall be taken against an employee in the classified service having permanent status, by service upon such employee of a written Notice of Disciplinary Action. The employee may appeal such disciplinary action as provided in Rule Thirteen of these Rules. A copy of the Notice of Disciplinary action shall be furnished to the Personnel Director, and the appointing authority taking such disciplinary action shall retain a copy of said Notice.

The Notice of Disciplinary Action shall include the following:

a. The effective date of the action;
b. The nature of the disciplinary action;
c. The particular facts and specific grounds for the proposed action in sufficient detail to permit the employee to understand and to respond to them;
d. The acts or omissions upon which the causes are based, in ordinary and concise language with the dates and places thereof, when known;
e. A copy of "Appeal and Hearing Procedure" (Rule Thirteen).

Service of a Notice of Disciplinary Action shall be made as provided in Rule Thirteen.

1207. Reprimand. 

An appointing authority may reprimand an employee by furnishing him or her with a statement, in writing, of the specific reasons for such reprimand. A copy or notice of the reprimand shall be given to the Personnel Director for inclusion in the employee's personnel file. Such reprimands shall not be subject to appeal, but the employee shall have the right of rebuttal. The appointing authority may withdraw the reprimand or notice of reprimand at his or her discretion.

1208. Disciplinary Probation.

An employee may be placed on disciplinary probation for a specified period of time not to exceed one (1) year for each such instance, with the understanding that should the cause or causes for such action not be satisfactorily corrected or remedied during the period, subsequent disciplinary action may be taken. An employee shall have the right of appeal or investigation to any subsequent disciplinary action, or the Commission may conduct an investigation at its discretion.

1209. Suspension. 

As a disciplinary measure, an appointing authority may temporarily remove an employee from his or her duties without pay. Any such suspension shall not exceed ninety calendar days in any one calendar year.

1210. Reduction in Salary. 

An appointing authority may reduce the salary of an employee, for disciplinary reasons, provided that such reduction shall be to a step within the salary range of the position held by the employee. A new anniversary date shall be established in accordance with Rule Four unless otherwise recommended by the appointing authority and approved by the Personnel Director.

1211. Disciplinary Demotion.

An appointing authority may demote an employee, for disciplinary reasons, to any position with a lower salary allocation, provided the employee meets minimum qualifications for the lower-level position. Such demoted employee shall not be eligible for promotion for a period of six (6) calendar months.

1212. Dismissal.

The continued tenure of each employee who has permanent status shall be subject to his or her satisfactory conduct and the rendering of efficient service. Should the cause for disciplinary action so warrant, an employee may be dismissed.

1213. Absence-Without-Leave Termination.

An employee who is on unauthorized leave may be terminated in accordance with Rule Fourteen.

1214. Statute of Limitations.

No disciplinary action shall be valid against any County employee for any cause for discipline based on any provision of the initiative ordinance or Civil Service Rule, unless the Notice of Disciplinary Action is served within one (1) year after the cause for discipline, upon which said Notice is based, first arose. Disciplinary action based on fraud, embezzlement, or the falsification of records shall be valid, if the Notice of such is served within three (3) years after the discovery of such fraud, embezzlement, or falsification.

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Civil Service Rules