The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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March 26, 2014

More work for handbook

CLINTON — More polishing is needed before the Clinton County Area Solid Waste Agency will vote on an employee handbook.

With the help of Human Relations consultant Paul Gruefe, the CCASWA has been working on creating an employee handbook for the past several months. The board on Thursday discussed several points listed in the handbook Gruefe designed for the agency, before tabling the approval of it.

“We have to live with it, so we might as well pick it apart and be done with it,” Chairman Doug Goodall said.

Some of the changes mentioned by the board were minor wording issues. Clinton representative Grant Wilke questioned the word “illegal” in front of harassment in that policy section, asking if there is any form of harassment which is legal or allowed. Camanche representative Trevor Willis stated that the handbook needs to list who performs the evaluations, as well as a definition of overtime.

Larger concerns dealt with employees’ right to a private life and their personnel files, as well as a grievance policy.

For months, the board has asked for a grievance policy, which the employee handbook does not include. Director of Operations Brad Seward presented the board Thursday with an “open door” policy that Gruefe e-mailed to him. Willis and the rest of the board agreed that this three-sentence addition is not good enough for a full grievance policy.

The handbook also addresses a section on outside employees, ensuring there is no conflict of interest. Willis posed the question if it is the CCASWA’s business on what an employee does in his or her free time. Seward said it was put into the handbook to make sure employees do not use outside employment as a reason to not come in and do their jobs.

A section related to the security of personnel files states an employee must submit a written request in advance to review his or her personnel file. Wilke and Willis said employees should be able to see their files as soon as they ask. Wilke suggested the agency could require employees to sign a log to show that they’ve seen their file.

Seward will take these questions to Gruefe for clarification. Discussion on the handbook will be on the April agenda.

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