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A. Employees that engage in the following conduct may be subject to disciplinary action including, but not limited to, demotion, suspension or termination of employment.

Rules of conduct include but are not limited to:

1. Theft of any kind, including theft of district property or theft of nondistrict property during working hours.

2. Willful falsification of district documents or data including but not limited to employment application, time card, mileage sheets, work orders, incident reports, meter readings, customer information or application for services, or deliberately giving false information.

3. Conviction or admission of any felony.

4. Conviction or admission to a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and/or immoral conduct.

5. The use, sale, possession, manufacture or cultivation of alcohol, intoxicants or controlled substances (drugs) during working hours or on district property, and/or reporting to work under the influence of such alcohol, intoxicants or drugs (including employees on call).

6. Soliciting contributions, accepting gratuities or accepting payment for unauthorized work or modification to district services, meters, system connections.

7. Violation of the district’s conflict of interest policy.

8. Misuse of district time, such as sleeping, sightseeing, conducting personal business or performing work other than district work assignment during paid working hours.

9. Unauthorized use of district property, materials, equipment, tools or vehicles. Willful destruction or malicious alteration of district equipment. Failure, through negligence or inattentiveness, to safeguard district equipment, materials, tools, vehicles or personnel from damage or loss.

10. Incompetence, inefficiency, lack of ability, physical or mental incapacity or failure to perform assigned duties in a satisfactory manner.

11. Failure to follow reasonable district policy or rule.

12. Failure to achieve or maintain required certification for position or classification.

13. Insubordination, disobedience to authority or supervision, refusal to carry out instructions or work duties.

14. Dereliction of duties, intentional abandonment of duties.

15. Political activity during the assigned working hours.

16. Evidence establishing careless conduct with a lack of regard for the health and welfare of employees or the public (horseplay, reckless driving, etc.).

17. Absence from duty without leave. (See also CVWDC 2.15.090(A)(1).)

18. Discourteous treatment of the public or of fellow employees, fighting, verbal or physical abuse of district personnel or public, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, racial harassment or any violation of federal or state law or violation of district workplace violence policy.

19. Conduct tending to injure or impede public service or conduct that would injure the public confidence in the integrity of the district or district services.

20. Frequent tardiness, unexcused absences and unsatisfactory attendance. Frequent unscheduled absences, excluding FMLA qualifying absences, in which the absences reduce the reliability and dependability of the employee to perform their assigned duties.

21. Violation of safety practices, procedures or policies.

22. Making false and malicious statements concerning any employee or the district.

23. Loss of driving privileges or a driving record that would jeopardize the ability to be insured by the district’s vehicle insurance carrier (only to apply to those required to drive in the normal course of job duties as defined by job description).

B. Driver’s License Suspension Policy. The following actions will take place when an employee has his/her driver’s license suspended:

1. Should the California Department of Motor Vehicles issue a suspension of an employee’s driver’s license, that employee will be suspended from work, without pay, for their normally scheduled workdays for up to a 30-day period which will coincide with the start of the DMV’s suspension.

2. An employee who does not have a valid driver’s license on the first day after their district suspension has ended will be terminated.

3. An employee who has their license suspended due to medical reasons will be considered for an accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

4. An employee who subsequently has their driver’s license suspended for a second time will be terminated.

C. Grievance Procedures (CVWDEA Members).

1. Scope of Grievance Procedures. A “grievance” is defined as an allegation by an employee, a group of employees, or CVWDEA that the district has violated this memorandum, or district or departmental policy or procedure. The grievance procedure set forth in this section shall apply to matters:

a. Concerning the alleged misapplication of a specific provision of this agreement;

b. Concerning the alleged misapplication of a specific provision of the district ordinance; and

c. Concerning the alleged misapplication of written rules or regulations governing personnel practices with the exception of rules and regulations concerning employee performance evaluations.

The hearing of a grievance by the arbitrator will be limited to the written grievance as originally filed by the employee to the extent that said grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved.

2. Matters Excluded from Grievance Process. This grievance procedure set forth in this section shall not apply to matters:

a. Covered by the labor relations ordinance;

b. Concerning performance evaluations, except that evaluations may be grieved to the level of the human resources director;

c. Concerning nondisciplinary oral and written counseling and retraining;

d. Concerning any discipline or termination covered by the section on discipline and dismissal; and

e. Concerning any other subjects, unless the subject is covered by the express terms of this memorandum or any portion of a district or departmental policy or procedure that relates specifically to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.

3. Informal Discussion with Employee’s Supervisor. Before proceeding to the formal grievance procedure, an employee shall discuss the grievance with the immediate supervisor and attempt to work out a satisfactory solution. The employee shall have the option to have a CVWDEA representative or steward present, provided it does not unreasonably delay the process.

4. Grievance Petition Form. If the employee and the immediate supervisor cannot work out a satisfactory solution, the employee may then choose to represent himself individually, or the employee may request the assistance of a representative or steward, in reducing to writing and formally presenting the grievance on a grievance petition form. Formal grievances must be filed on the grievance petition form. Each section of the grievance petition form must be filled out and shall specify dates, times, places, persons and other facts necessary to have an understanding of the matter being grieved. The employee or his representative must obtain and include a grievance number from the human resources director. Incomplete grievance petition forms will be rejected and must be re-filed either within the time limits or within seven calendar days after the rejection, whichever comes later.

5. Submission of Grievance to Employee’s Department Head. If the employee chooses to formally pursue a grievance, the employee shall present a filled out grievance petition form to the human resources director within 15 calendar days from the date upon which event occurred upon which the grievance is based, or within 15 calendar days from the date the employee should have known of the event upon which the grievance is based.

The human resources director will forward the grievance petition form to the department head for consideration. The department head shall return a copy of the written grievance petition form to the employee with the department head’s answer in writing within 10 calendar days after receipt of the written grievance. If the grievance is not resolved at this level, the employee shall have 10 calendar days from receipt of the department head’s answer to file an appeal to the human resources director.

By mutual agreement of the parties, the submission of the grievance to the department head may be waived and the grievance moved to the next step.

6. Submission of Grievance to Human Resources Director. The employee or his/her representative may appeal the decision of the department head to the human resources director within 10 calendar days of receipt of the department head’s response. The human resources director shall have 10 calendar days from receipt of the appeal in which to review and answer the grievance in writing.

At the option of either the employee or district, a grievance meeting may be held at this level. The employee and the employee’s representative and/or steward may be present at and participate in any such meeting. If the parties hold a grievance meeting, the human resources director shall have 10 calendar days from the date of the meeting to answer the grievance in writing.

If the grievance is not resolved at this level, the employee shall have 10 working days from receipt of the written answer within which to file an appeal to the general manager.

7. Submission of Grievance to General Manager. The employee or his/her representative may appeal the decision of the human resources director to the general manager or the assistant general manager within 10 calendar days of receipt of the human resources director’s response. Unless waived by mutual agreement of the employee, the representative and/or steward and the general manager, or the assistant general manager, a meeting is required at this level and the employee and the employee’s representative and/or steward shall have the right to be present and participate in such a meeting. The general manager or the assistant general manager shall have 10 calendar days following the meeting in which to answer the grievance in writing.

Should the grievance not be resolved at this level, it shall thereafter be subject to binding arbitration in the manner prescribed in subsection (C)(8) of this section.

8. Binding Arbitration. CVWDEA may appeal the decision of the general manager within 10 calendar days after the receipt of the written answer of the general manager or assistant general manager. After submission of a request for review, CVWDEA and the human resources director, or a designee, shall attempt to agree on an arbitrator.

If the parties cannot agree, they will select an arbitrator from the following panel of five arbitrators: Joseph Gentile; Robert Bergeson; Michael Prihar; Terri Tucker; and Mark Burstein. The arbitrator shall be selected by striking alternate names from the list. The last remaining name shall serve as the arbitrator. If unable to agree on who should strike first, the first name shall be struck by the party winning the toss of a coin. If any of the aforementioned arbitrators retires or is otherwise no longer available to serve on the panel, the parties will mutually agree on a replacement arbitrator. If either party wishes to have a transcript of the arbitration proceedings, the requesting party will be solely responsible for all costs associated with the transcript. If both parties request a transcript, the cost will be shared equally.

The expenses of the arbitrator, if any, shall be shared equally by the parties. Each party shall make arrangements for and pay expenses of witnesses that are called by such party, except that any district employee called as a witness shall be released from work without loss of compensation or other benefits for the time needed to testify at the arbitration hearing. Arrangements for employee witnesses shall be made through the human resources director, or designee, at least two working days in advance of the hearing date.

Prior to the arbitration hearing, CVWDEA and the human resources director, or a designee, shall meet and attempt to prepare a joint statement of the issues which describes the existing controversy to be heard by the arbitrator. If the parties are unable to agree on a joint statement, each shall prepare a separate statement of issues.

The arbitrator shall not decide any issue not within the statement of the issues submitted by the parties. This includes issues that have not been raised and considered at an earlier step of the grievance procedure.

If the arbitrator sustains the grievance, a remedy shall be fashioned that does not conflict with the provisions contained in this memorandum.

The rules of privilege shall be effective to the same extent that they are now or hereafter may be recognized in civil actions.

Any arbitration expenses incurred as the result of a postponement or cancellation of a hearing shall be borne by the postponing or canceling party.

The provisions of this subsection (C)(8), Binding Arbitration, shall expire upon the termination of this agreement.

9. Failure of Timely Action. Any of the timelines set forth in this section may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties. Failure of an employee to file an appeal within the required time period at any level shall constitute an abandonment of the grievance, unless an extension has been agreed upon.

10. Discipline. Disciplinary actions shall include only the following: written reprimand, suspension without pay, demotion, and dismissal.

A copy of any written notice of disciplinary action will be placed in the employee’s personnel file and a copy shall be provided to the employee with an opportunity for a written rebuttal.

Disciplinary action may be imposed upon an employee for failure to perform the duties of his/her assigned duties or for violating work rules.

11. Progressive Discipline. A progressive discipline procedure is intended to give employees advance notice, whenever possible, of problems regarding their conduct or performance in order to provide them with guidance and an opportunity to correct any problems. Progressive discipline involves informing the employee what conduct or performance is expected, what conduct or performance the employee has engaged in, and what action will be taken if the problem is not corrected.

The progression of discipline is as follows unless the human resources director or the general manager determines that the seriousness of the event warrants bypassing one or more levels:

a. Written reprimand;

b. Suspension without pay;

c. Demotion;

d. Termination of employment.

Oral counseling and/or retraining may precede discipline, but does not constitute formal discipline.

Progressive discipline must be timely and should follow, as closely as possible, the incident requiring disciplinary action.

Any written counseling or warning shall be signed and dated by the employee, indicating only acknowledgment of receipt of the document, not agreement. If the employee refuses to sign the document, an employee representative or supervisor may sign that the employee was given a copy of the document but refused to sign.

12. Administrative Leave. An employee may be placed on paid administrative leave by district during district investigations.

13. Probationary Employees. The provisions of this section shall not apply to newly hired employees who have not completed an initial probationary period. It is understood that the probationary period is a part of the selection process and designated to allow evaluation of an employee’s fitness for regular status.

14. Predisciplinary Procedure. If a regular nonprobationary employee is to be suspended, demoted, or discharged, he shall:

a. Receive written notice of the intended action, stating the specific grounds and the particular facts upon which the action is based;

b. Receive copies of any known materials, reports or other documents upon which the intended action is based;

c. Be accorded the right to respond in writing within a reasonable period of time to the intended charges;

d. Be accorded the right to meet within a reasonable period of time with the human resources director or a designated department head who has the authority to recommend modification or elimination of the intended disciplinary action; and

e. Be given the written decision of the human resources director within five business days of the meeting.

15. Appeal Procedure – Arbitration. If a regular employee is to be suspended without pay for 40 hours or more, demoted, or discharged, he shall be afforded the right to appeal that action pursuant to the appeal procedure set forth in this section.

A written request for arbitration must be filed by either the employee or CVWDEA with the human resources director within five days of receiving the decision from the predisciplinary hearing.

The parties may mutually agree upon the selection of an arbitrator or they will select an arbitrator from the following panel of five arbitrators: Joseph Gentile; Robert Bergeson; Michael Prihar; Terri Tucker; and Mark Burstein. The arbitrator shall be selected by striking alternate names from the list. The last remaining name shall serve as the arbitrator. If unable to agree on who should strike first, the first name shall be struck by the party winning the toss of a coin. If any of the aforementioned arbitrators retires or is otherwise no longer available to serve on the panel, the parties will mutually agree on a replacement arbitrator.

If either party wishes to have a transcript of the arbitration proceedings, the requesting party will be solely responsible for all costs associated with the transcript. If both parties request a transcript, the cost will be shared equally.

The expenses of the arbitrator, if any, shall be shared equally by the parties. In the event that an employee is not represented by CVWDEA in the arbitration, the expenses of the arbitrator shall be borne by the district, unless the employee elects to share the expenses. Each party shall make arrangements for and pay expenses of witnesses that are called by such party, except that any district employee called as a witness shall be released from work without loss of compensation or other benefits for the time needed to testify at the arbitration hearing. Arrangements for employee witnesses shall be made through the human resources director, or designee, at least two working days in advance of the hearing date.

Any arbitration expenses incurred as the result of a postponement or cancellation of a hearing shall be borne by the postponing or canceling party.

Within 10 days after the selection of the arbitrator, the parties shall schedule an arbitration date(s), unless all parties agree to extend this deadline.

The employee may be represented by legal counsel in the arbitration.

The arbitration shall be informal and the rules of evidence prescribed for duly constituted courts shall not apply.

Hearings shall be conducted in accordance with rules and procedures adopted or specified by the arbitrator, unless the parties mutually agree to other rules or procedures for the conduct of such hearings.

The arbitrator shall, within 30 days of the conclusion of the aforementioned arbitration, render his decision, in writing, and shall direct copies to the human resources director or designee, the employee and the employee’s representative (if any).

The decision of the arbitrator shall not add to, subtract from, or otherwise modify the terms and conditions of this memorandum.

The decision of the arbitrator may sustain, modify, or revoke the disciplinary action and shall be final and binding on the parties.

The decision of the arbitrator can be appealed pursuant to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1094.5.

D. Grievance Procedures (ASSET Members).

1. Scope of Grievance Procedures. A “grievance” is defined as an allegation by an employee, a group of employees, or ASSET that the district has violated this memorandum, or district or departmental policy or procedure. The grievance procedure set forth in this section shall apply to matters:

a. Concerning the alleged misapplication of a specific provision of this agreement;

b. Concerning the alleged misapplication of a specific provision of the district ordinance; and

c. Concerning the alleged misapplication of written rules or regulations governing personnel practices with the exception of rules and regulations concerning employee performance evaluations.

The hearing of a grievance by the arbitrator will be limited to the written grievance as originally filed by the employee to the extent that said grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved.

2. Matters Excluded from Grievance Process. This grievance procedure set forth in this section shall not apply to matters:

a. Covered by the labor relations ordinance;

b. Concerning performance evaluations, except that evaluations may be grieved to the level of the human resources director;

c. Concerning nondisciplinary oral and written counseling and retraining;

d. Concerning any discipline or termination covered by the section on discipline and dismissal; and

e. Concerning any other subjects, unless the subject is covered by the express terms of this memorandum or any portion of a district or departmental policy or procedure that relates specifically to wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.

3. Informal Discussion with Employee’s Supervisor. Before proceeding to the formal grievance procedure, an employee shall discuss the grievance with the immediate supervisor and attempt to work out a satisfactory solution. The employee shall have the option to have an ASSET representative or steward present, provided it does not unreasonably delay the process.

4. Grievance Petition Form. If the employee and the immediate supervisor cannot work out a satisfactory solution, the employee may then choose to represent himself individually, or the employee may request the assistance of a representative or steward, in reducing to writing and formally presenting the grievance on a grievance petition form. Formal grievances must be filed on the grievance petition form. Each section of the grievance petition form must be filled out and shall specify dates, times, places, persons and other facts necessary to have an understanding of the matter being grieved. The employee or his representative must obtain and include a grievance number from the human resources director. Incomplete grievance petition forms will be rejected and must be re-filed either within the time limits or within seven calendar days after the rejection, whichever comes later.

5. Submission of Grievance to Employee’s Department Head. If the employee chooses to formally pursue a grievance, the employee shall present a filled out grievance petition form to the human resources director within 15 calendar days from the date upon which event occurred upon which the grievance is based, or within 15 calendar days from the date the employee should have known of the event upon which the grievance is based.

The human resources director will forward the grievance petition form to the department head for consideration. The department head shall return a copy of the written grievance petition form to the employee with the department head’s answer in writing within 10 calendar days after receipt of the written grievance. If the grievance is not resolved at this level, the employee shall have 10 calendar days from receipt of the department head’s answer to file an appeal to the human resources director.

By mutual agreement of the parties, the submission of the grievance to the department head may be waived and the grievance moved to the next step.

6. Submission of Grievance to Human Resources Director. The employee or his/her representative may appeal the decision of the department head to the human resources director within 10 calendar days of receipt of the department head’s response. The human resources director shall have 10 calendar days from receipt of the appeal in which to review and answer the grievance in writing.

At the option of either the employee or district, a grievance meeting may be held at this level. The employee and the employee’s representative and/or steward may be present at and participate in any such meeting. If the parties hold a grievance meeting, the human resources director shall have 10 calendar days from the date of the meeting to answer the grievance in writing.

If the grievance is not resolved at this level, the employee shall have 10 working days from receipt of the written answer within which to file an appeal to the general manager.

7. Submission of Grievance to General Manager. The employee or his/her representative may appeal the decision of the human resources director to the general manager or the assistant general manager within 10 calendar days of receipt of the human resources director’s response. Unless waived by mutual agreement of the employee, the representative and/or steward and the general manager, or the assistant general manager, a meeting is required at this level and the employee and the employee’s representative and/or steward shall have the right to be present and participate in such a meeting. The general manager or the assistant general manager shall have 10 calendar days following the meeting in which to answer the grievance in writing.

Should the grievance not be resolved at this level, it shall thereafter be subject to binding arbitration in the manner prescribed in this chapter.

8. Binding Arbitration. ASSET may appeal the decision of the general manager within 10 calendar days after the receipt of the written answer of the general manager or assistant general manager. After submission of a request for review, ASSET and the human resources director, or a designee, shall attempt to agree on an arbitrator.

If the parties cannot agree, they will select an arbitrator from the following panel of five arbitrators: Joseph Gentile; Robert Bergeson; Terri Tucker; Paul Crost; and Lou Zigman. The arbitrator shall be selected by striking alternate names from the list. The last remaining name shall serve as the arbitrator. If unable to agree on who should strike first, the first name shall be struck by the party winning the toss of a coin. If any of the aforementioned arbitrators retires or is otherwise no longer available to serve on the panel, the parties will mutually agree on a replacement arbitrator.

If either party wishes to have a transcript of the arbitration proceedings, the requesting party will be solely responsible for all costs associated with the transcript. If both parties request a transcript, the cost will be shared equally.

The expenses of the arbitrator, if any, shall be shared equally by the parties. Each party shall make arrangements for and pay expenses of witnesses that are called by such party, except that any district employee called as a witness shall be released from work without loss of compensation or other benefits for the time needed to testify at the arbitration hearing. Arrangements for employee witnesses shall be made through the human resources director, or designee, at least two working days in advance of the hearing date.

Prior to the arbitration hearing, ASSET and the human resources director, or a designee, shall meet and attempt to prepare a joint statement of the issues which describes the existing controversy to be heard by the arbitrator. If the parties are unable to agree on a joint statement, each shall prepare a separate statement of issues.

The arbitrator shall not decide any issue not within the statement of the issues submitted by the parties. This includes issues that have not been raised and considered at an earlier step of the grievance procedure.

If the arbitrator sustains the grievance, a remedy shall be fashioned that does not conflict with the provisions contained in this memorandum.

The rules of privilege shall be effective to the same extent that they are now or hereafter may be recognized in civil actions.

Any arbitration expenses incurred as the result of a postponement or cancellation of a hearing shall be borne by the postponing or canceling party.

The provisions of this subsection (D)(8), Binding Arbitration, shall expire upon the termination of this agreement.

The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding on the parties.

The decision of the arbitrator can be appealed pursuant to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1281.

9. Failure of Timely Action. Any of the time lines set forth in this section may be extended by mutual agreement of the parties. Failure of an employee to file an appeal within the required time period at any level shall constitute an abandonment of the grievance, unless an extension has been agreed upon.

10. Discipline. Disciplinary actions shall include only the following: written reprimand, suspension, demotion, and dismissal.

A copy of any written notice of disciplinary action will be placed in the employee’s personnel file and a copy shall be provided to the employee with an opportunity for a written rebuttal.

Disciplinary action may be imposed upon an employee for failure to perform the duties of his/her assigned duties or for violating work rules.

11. Progressive Discipline. A progressive discipline procedure is intended to give employees advance notice, whenever possible, of problems regarding their conduct or performance in order to provide them with guidance and an opportunity to correct any problems. Progressive discipline involves informing the employee what conduct or performance is expected, what conduct or performance the employee has engaged in, and what action will be taken if the problem is not corrected.

The progression of discipline is as follows unless the human resources director or the general manager determines that the seriousness of the event warrants bypassing one or more levels:

a. Written reprimand;

b. Suspension;

c. Demotion;

d. Termination of employment.

Oral counseling and/or retraining may precede discipline, but does not constitute formal discipline.

Progressive discipline must be timely and should follow, as closely as possible, the incident requiring disciplinary action.

Any written counseling or warning shall be signed and dated by the employee, indicating only acknowledgment of receipt of the document, not agreement. If the employee refuses to sign the document, an employee representative or supervisor may sign that the employee was given a copy of the document but refused to sign.

12. Administrative Leave. An employee may be placed on paid administrative leave by district during district investigations.

13. Probationary Employees. The provisions of this section shall not apply to newly hired employees who have not completed an initial probationary period. It is understood that the probationary period is a part of the selection process and designated to allow evaluation of an employee’s fitness for regular status.

14. Predisciplinary Procedure. If a regular nonprobationary employee is to be suspended, demoted, or discharged, he shall:

a. Receive written notice of the intended action, stating the specific grounds and the particular facts upon which the action is based;

b. Receive copies of any known materials, reports or other documents upon which the intended action is based;

c. Be accorded the right to respond in writing within a reasonable period of time to the intended charges;

d. Be accorded the right to meet within a reasonable period of time with the human resources director or a designated department head who has the authority to recommend modification or elimination of the intended disciplinary action; and

e. Be given the written decision of the human resources director within five business days of the meeting.

15. Appeal Procedure – Arbitration. If a regular employee is to be suspended without pay for 40 hours or more, demoted, or discharged, he shall be afforded the right to appeal that action pursuant to the appeal procedure set forth in this section.

A written request for arbitration must be filed by either the employee or ASSET with the human resources director within five days of receiving the decision from the predisciplinary hearing.

The parties may mutually agree upon the selection of an arbitrator or they will select an arbitrator from the following panel of five arbitrators: Joseph Gentile; Robert Bergeson; Terri Tucker; Paul Crost; and Lou Zigman. The arbitrator shall be selected by striking alternate names from the list. The last remaining name shall serve as the arbitrator. If unable to agree on who should strike first, the first name shall be struck by the party winning the toss of a coin. If any of the aforementioned arbitrators retires or is otherwise no longer available to serve on the panel, the parties will mutually agree on a replacement arbitrator.

If either party wishes to have a transcript of the arbitration proceedings, the requesting party will be solely responsible for all costs associated with the transcript. If both parties request a transcript, the cost will be shared equally.

The expenses of the arbitrator, if any, shall be shared equally by the parties. In the event that an employee is not represented by ASSET in the arbitration, the expenses of the arbitrator shall be borne by the district, unless the employee elects to share the expenses. Each party shall make arrangements for and pay expenses of witnesses that are called by such party, except that any district employee called as a witness shall be released from work without loss of compensation or other benefits for the time needed to testify at the arbitration hearing.

Arrangements for employee witnesses shall be made through the human resources director, or designee, at least two working days in advance of the hearing date.

Any arbitration expenses incurred as the result of a postponement or cancellation of a hearing shall be borne by the postponing or canceling party.

Within 10 days after the selection of the arbitrator, the parties shall schedule an arbitration date(s), unless all parties agree to extend this deadline.

The employee may be represented by legal counsel in the arbitration.

The arbitration shall be informal and the rules of evidence prescribed for duly constituted courts shall not apply.

Hearings shall be conducted in accordance with rules and procedures adopted or specified by the arbitrator, unless the parties mutually agree to other rules or procedures for the conduct of such hearings.

The arbitrator shall, within 30 days of the conclusion of the aforementioned arbitration, render his decision, in writing, and shall direct copies to the human resources director or designee, the employee and the employee’s representative (if any).

The decision of the arbitrator shall not add to, subtract from, or otherwise modify the terms and conditions of this memorandum.

The decision of the arbitrator may sustain, modify, or revoke the disciplinary action and shall be final and binding on the parties.

The decision of the arbitrator can be appealed pursuant to Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 1094.5.

E. Discipline and Dismissal for ACVWDM Members. A management employee has a higher level of performance expectations, including maintaining competent job performance and conducting themselves in a manner that exhibits professionalism and good judgment.

Disciplinary action may be imposed upon a management employee for failure to perform the duties of his/her assigned duties or for violating work rules.

1. Counseling and Coaching. Prior to proceeding with the discipline process, management employees will receive counseling and coaching from the general manager or their department head, depending upon to whom they directly report. This should be an ongoing process for the purpose of continuing improvement. As a result of effective coaching and counseling, it should never be a surprise when the discipline process begins. Coaching and counseling are by definition not part of the discipline process.

2. Discipline. The disciplinary process will consist of the following steps, unless the general manager determines that a serious event warrants jumping past one or more levels:

a. Informal Meeting (Verbal Warning). The management employee meets with the general manager or department head to discuss performance concerns and ways to improve performance and meet expectations.

b. Jeopardy Meeting (Written Warning). The management employee meets with the general manager or department head to discuss performance and warns that the management employee’s job is in jeopardy and continued employment is unlikely unless performance expectations are met. This will result in a written warning.

c. Decision-Making Leave (Final Written Warning). If the management employee’s performance fails to improve, the employee will be placed on administrative leave with pay for two days. During the administrative leave, the management employee will decide whether: (i) they can and will correct the unsatisfactory performance (and if so, how); or (ii) to resign the position with the district. The management employee will be given a last chance warning if he/she chooses not to resign.

3. Suspension without Pay, Demotion or Dismissal. A management employee may be disciplined by the general manager with concurrence from the human resources director and, if the management employee is not a direct report of the general manager, the department head. The general manager, when determining the range of discipline, shall file with the human resources office written charges in support of the discipline recommendation. The employee shall be notified, in writing, at least five working days prior to the effective date of the action and provided, in writing, his/her rights to appeal the decision through the Skelly process.

The written notice to the management employee will:

a. Notify the employee in writing of the nature of the charges, which will include a copy of the complaint against the employee and which will identify the objectives, directives, policies, procedures, work rules, regulations, or other order of district, which appear to have been violated;

b. State the range of discipline that is being considered;

c. Afford the affected employee an informal opportunity to respond to the charges orally or in writing, normally within seven working days from receiving such written notice.

4. Skelly Hearing. The opportunity to respond may occur at a meeting conducted and presided over by the general manager’s designee with authority to impose or recommend the proposed disciplinary action. The meeting shall be informal, but sufficient to assure the employee full opportunity to be heard, respond to the charges, and have the employee’s response considered prior to the imposition of discipline.

The employee shall have the right to answer the charges in writing and orally.

At all meetings with the management employee wherein discipline is being considered, the employee shall be entitled to representation.

Five working days prior to the date of the scheduled hearing, each party shall serve upon the other party a list of all witnesses and a list and copy of all exhibits. Once the hearing commences, additional witnesses may be called to rebut evidence offered by either party.

All disciplinary hearings will be recorded by audiotape. If a court reporter is requested by either party, that party shall pay the cost of the court reporter. If both request a court reporter, the cost will be shared equally. If an audio recording transcription is used by either party, it must be transcribed by a certified court reporter at the expense of the requesting party.

The general manager’s designee will issue a written decision imposing discipline, exonerating the employee or taking any other action deemed appropriate.

5. Administrative Leave. An employee may be placed on paid administrative leave by district during district investigations.

6. Probationary Employees. The provisions of this section shall not apply to newly hired employees who have not completed an initial probationary period. It is understood that the probationary period is a part of the selection process and designated to allow evaluation of an employee’s fitness for regular status. All rights listed within this memorandum protect a regular employee on promotional probation.

F. Grievance Procedures (ACVWDM Members). Before entering into the grievance process, a management employee may discuss concerns with the general manager and attempt to resolve issues without entering into the formal process.

1. A “grievance” is defined as an allegation by a management employee or a group of management employees that the district has failed to provide a condition of employment that is established by the memorandum of understanding, or by a district or departmental policy or procedure. This grievance procedure shall not apply to matters:

a. Covered by the labor relations ordinance; or

b. Concerning nondisciplinary oral and written coaching and counseling; or

c. Concerning any discipline or termination covered by the Skelly procedures in discipline and dismissal; or

d. Concerning any other subjects, unless the subject is covered by the expressed terms of the current MOU or any portion of a district or departmental policy or procedure that relates specifically to wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment.

2. Informal Discussion with Department Head. Before proceeding to subsection (F)(3) of this section, a management employee shall discuss the grievance with the department head and attempt to work out a satisfactory solution. If the employee and the department head cannot work out a satisfactory solution, the employee may then choose to proceed to subsection (F)(3) of this section. Direct reports to the general manager will proceed to subsection (F)(3) of this section.

3. Verbal or Written Grievance to the General Manager. If a satisfactory solution has not been reached though informal discussions, the management employee may then present the grievance verbally or in writing to the general manager. The general manager will have 15 working days in which to review and answer the grievance in writing. (Ord. 1425.10 § 7, 2018)

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