Article A - Employment Practices & Legal Compliance

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.1. Purpose & Objectives of Manual  
Prepared by: Date:
Submitted to: Date:
Approved by: Date:

A.1. Purposes & Objectives of Personnel Manual

NOT YET REVISED

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.2. "At-Will" Nature of Employment  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: December 2, 2016
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 7, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: April 20, 2017

A.2. "At-Will" Nature of Employment

All employees of Athens Regional Library System are "at-will" employees with no expectation of continuing employment. Employment with ARLS is entered into on a voluntary basis, and all employees are employed for an indefinite time period unless specifically arranged by the Executive Director upon hiring. Either the library or the employee is free to terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason. In order to remain eligible for consideration for re-hire, non-exempt employees should offer two weeks’ notice of resignation; exempt employees should offer one month’s notice. The library’s personnel policy and/or procedures manuals do not create a contract of employment between the library and its employees. Statements of salary in annual, monthly, or weekly intervals are for information purposes and do not create a contract for the specified time.

No supervisor or other representative of ARLS (except the Executive Director) has authority to enter into any agreement for employment for any specified period of time, or to make any agreement contrary to the policy above. Further, any employment agreement entered into by the Executive Director will not be enforceable unless it is in writing.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.3. Equal Employment Opportunity  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised Date:

A.3. Equal Employment Opportunity

It is the policy of the Athens Regional Library System to provide equal opportunity to any applicant or employee in all aspects of the personnel system and employment process. Employment with ARLS is based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, or medical conditions related to pregnancy and childbirth. Exceptions may be made where a specific age, sex, or physical requirement constitutes a warranted occupational qualification necessary to required, proper, and efficient job performance. 

Personnel policies and procedures shall at all times be conducted in accordance with applicable current federal, state, and local government guidelines, regulatory provisions, and laws. In achieving compliance, the Library may provide reasonable accommodations to enable an otherwise qualified employee to perform the essential requirements of his or her job. 

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.4. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised Date:

A.4. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Compliance

Athens Regional Library System is committed to complying fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.). The library does not discriminate against "a qualified individual with a disability" in recruitment, placement, promotion, transfer, reduction in force, separation, training, compensation, benefits, or other employment related activities.

ARLS will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals to allow them to perform their jobs, provided that the reasonable accommodations would not impose an undue hardship on the library or on the operation of the library’s business.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.4.a. How to Request Accommodation  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised: Date:

A.4.a. How to Request Accommodation

An employee must notify the supervisor or Personnel Office that an accommodation is needed because of the employee’s disability or condition. Accommodation will be coordinated with the employee, supervisor, and Administration.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.5. Discrimination & Harassment  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017

A.5. Discrimination & Harassment

The Athens Regional Library System does not and will not tolerate discrimination or harassment of employees in the workplace. No employee shall be subject to unlawful discrimination or harassment based on race, sex, religion, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, or any other reason.

It is unlawful to retaliate against an individual for opposing employment practices that discriminate based on sex or for filing a discrimination charge, testifying, or participating in any way in an investigation, proceeding, or litigation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.5.a. Sexual Harassment  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised Date:

A.5.a. Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In compliance with applicable federal and state laws, the Library will be a place that is free of any form of harassment, including sexual harassment. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission advises that "Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual harassment when this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual's employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual's work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment." Sexual harassment also includes the following: unwanted flirtations or propositions; sexually degrading words to describe an individual or group; graphic or suggestive comments; requests for sexual favors. It includes the display in work areas of sexually suggestive pictures or objects, including photographs or illustrations of nude or seminude figures.

All employees are responsible for assuring that the workplace is free of sexual harassment and should promptly report incidents or possible incidents of sexual harassment to the Executive Director, according to established procedures. After investigation, any employee found to have engaged in sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary actions that range from counseling and education up to, and including, termination of employment.

Patrons are not permitted to sexually or otherwise harass other patrons or staff members. An employee may refuse to assist a patron if he or she believes that such assistance will require the employee to view printed or computer screen materials that the employee finds to be sexually offensive or interprets as harassment. The Library employee must immediately ask a supervisor for assistance with the patron’s request. Patrons who harass staff or other patrons will be told to leave the library, may be banned according to policy and established procedures, and, if appropriate, the behavior will be reported to local law enforcement authorities.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.5.b. Bullying  
Prepared by: Resource Team Date: November 20, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: November 21, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: January 18, 2018
Revised: Date:

A.5.b. Bullying

Athens Regional Library System considers workplace bullying and harassment unacceptable and will not tolerate it under any circumstances. This policy shall apply to all employees, regardless of employee status (i.e. managerial, hourly, full-time, part-time, regular employees, and/or independent contractors) and applies to bullying or harassment by supervisors, co-workers, or subordinates. Any employee found in violation of this policy will be disciplined, up to and including immediate termination. Independent contractors found to be in violation of this policy may be subject to contract cancellation. The library defines bullying as persistent, malicious, unwelcome, severe, and pervasive mistreatment, whether verbal, physical, or otherwise, that harms, intimidates, offends, degrades, or humiliates an employee at the place of work and/or in the course of employment.

The library will protect an employee who reports bullying conduct from retaliation or reprisal.

ARLS considers the following types of behavior to constitute workplace bullying. This list is not meant to be exhaustive and is only offered as example:

  • Staring, glaring, or other nonverbal demonstrations of hostility.
  • Exclusion or social isolation.
  • Being held to a different standard than others in the employee's work group.
  • Consistent ignoring or interrupting of an employee in front of co-workers or patrons.
  • Personal attacks (angry outbursts, excessive profanity, or name-calling).
  • Encouragement of others to turn against the targeted employee.
  • Sabotage of an employee's work product or undermining the employee's work performance.
  • Stalking.
  • Unwelcome or unconsented-to touching.
  • Invasion of one's personal space.
  • Unreasonable interference with an employee's ability to do his or her work.
  • Repeated infliction of verbal abuse, such as the use of derogatory remarks, insults, and epithets.
  • Conduct that a reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to the legitimate work of the library. 

Individuals who experience conduct they believe violates this policy, or who have  their supervisors, the Human Resources manager, or the Executive Director before the conduct becomes pervasive. Individuals are not obligated to report their complaints to their immediate supervisor first before bringing the matter to the attention of one of the other designated representatives identified above. The availability of this complaint procedure does not preclude individuals who believe they are being subjected to bullying conduct from promptly advising the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and requesting that such behavior immediately stop.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.6. Immigration Law Compliance  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: December 2, 2016
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 7, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: April 20, 2017

A.6. Immigration Law Compliance

Athens Regional Library System is committed to full compliance with federal and state immigration laws, and will hire only individuals with the legal right to work in the United States.

Pursuant to Section 2 of the Georgia Security and Immigration Compliance Act, all employees must complete Form I-9 and provide legal documentation of citizenship and / or work status as set forth on the form. Within three business days of hire, the ARLS Personnel Office electronically verifies accuracy of the employee’s Social Security number and the other documentation through the U. S. Department of Homeland Security verification system. In the event of tentative non-confirmation of an employee’s Social Security number, ARLS will follow the procedures designated under the E-Verify Program concerning employee notification, case referral to the Social Security Administration, continued employment during the confirmation process, monitoring of case status, and final confirmation after case resolution.  A final non-confirmation from E-Verify will result in immediate termination.

Should any portion of the related Act, immigration laws, or regulations be amended, modified, revised, or repealed, or if other or additional controlling federal or state immigration laws or regulations become adopted in the future, the processes and requirements set forth in such Act, laws, or regulations shall govern until library policy can be revised.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.7. Workplace Safety & Security  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised Date:

A.7. Workplace Safety & Security

It is the policy of Athens Regional Library System that every employee is entitled to work under the safest conditions reasonably possible. Every reasonable effort will be made to provide and maintain a safe and healthy workplace, safe equipment, and proper materials, and to establish and insist upon safe methods and practices at all times.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.7.a. Responsibilities  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised Date:

A.7.a. Responsibilities

It is the basic responsibility of all employees to make safety a part of their daily concerns. Employees are obligated to observe all guidelines and established procedures governing safety and appropriate conduct, to properly use safety equipment provided, to follow common-sense safety practices, and to report all safety-related hazards or incidents to supervisors and/or according to established procedures. Supervisors are expected to conduct and/or implement safety training, monitor the workplace, identify any unsafe conditions, and address safety issues and violations. Branch Managers, Department Heads, and Administration are expected to ensure safe conditions and adhere to safety guidelines within their assigned areas by implementing and training safety practices, coordinating safety inspections, investigating accidents and injuries, and correcting deficiencies.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.7.b. Workplace Security  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised Date:

A.7.b. Workplace Security

It is the intent of Athens Regional Library System to take the necessary actions to safeguard employees while on the job, as well as to protect ARLS property.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.7.b. Workplace Security – Buildings Subsection  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised Date:
Buildings

Athens Regional Library System controls access to library facilities. Access keys and/or security codes are assigned to employees who are designated as responsible for opening, closing, or securing an assigned area or building. Any employee assigned a key or access code must follow all applicable procedures regarding use of the buildings and equipment. Employees may use access keys and codes only when scheduled or required to be present in facilities. Employees will be required to sign for each key issued to them, and will be held accountable for proper use. Anyone duplicating, possessing, or using access keys or codes in an inappropriate manner or without proper authorization will be subject to disciplinary action or criminal charges where appropriate. All keys remain property of ARLS and must be returned upon request, upon transfer from the responsible position, or upon separation from employment.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.7.b. Workplace Security – Personal Property Subsection  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised Date:
Personal Property

The Library is not responsible for any lost, damaged, or stolen personal property of employees. (See also I.4.)

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.7.c. Workplace Violence  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised Date:

A.7.c. Workplace Violence

Athens Regional Library System is committed to the prevention of workplace violence and the maintenance of a respectful working environment. Acts of violence and/or threats of violence are strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. Workplace violence is any conduct that is severe, offensive, or intimidating enough to make a reasonable individual fear for her or his personal safety or the safety of family, friends, co-workers, or property.

After investigation, any employee found to have engaged in workplace violence will be subject to disciplinary action, including termination of employment or criminal charges where appropriate.

Title: ARLS Personnel Policy: ARTICLE A.8. Mandated Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect  
Prepared by: Valerie Bell & Donna Brumby Date: March 28, 2017
Submitted to: ARLS Policy Committee Date: April 25, 2017
Approved by: ARLS Board of Trustees Date: July 20, 2017
Revised Date:

A.8. Mandated Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect

As a public organization that serves children, Athens Regional Library System is subject to Georgia law governing mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse (O.C.G.A. § 19-7-5). All library staff and volunteers, regardless of whether they work directly with children, are considered mandated reporters under the law and are legally required to report any suspected incidents of child abuse or neglect within 24 hours of witness. Mandated reporters should contact officials as described in local library procedures.

Newly hired staff will receive training on this topic and the library’s procedures, and reference information will be made available on staff-accessible shared electronic resources. Library volunteers will be informed of their legal obligations.

Mandated reporters knowingly and willfully failing to report is considered a misdemeanor under the law. It will also be cause for disciplinary action by the Library, up to, and including, termination of employment.

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