City of Charlottesville, VA Fire
|Chapter:||V - Personnel Policies and Procedures|
To provide disciplinary policies, guidelines and procedures for the Charlottesville Fire Department.
A. The establishment and maintenance of discipline is the responsibility of all officers. Officers' treatment of their subordinates shall be impartial and without prejudice. Favoritism or unjust discrimination of duties or orders will not be tolerated.
B. No unfair advantage shall be taken of a subordinate because of their obligation to obedience. Spite orders, petty persecutions or nagging will not be tolerated.
C. Officers shall see that rules are enforced.
D. Officers shall strive to adjust differences or disputes between their subordinates.
E. Charges must be preferred for any offense of a serious nature, but minor or merely technical infractions of the rules should be corrected, either on the spot or privately when advisable. These types of infractions, generally speaking, shall not be made the subject of charges unless repeated or persisted in.
F. Extenuating circumstances will be taken into account, but alleged ignorance or misunderstanding of rules will not be accepted as an excuse. Previous conduct, good or bad, will be taken into account in determining the penalty.
G. Whenever employee performance, attitude, work habits or personal conduct on the job falls below a desirable level, supervisors shall inform employees promptly and specifically of such lapses and give counsel and assistance. I appropriate and justified, a reasonable period of time for improvement may be allowed before initiating disciplinary action.
H. In some instances a specific incident may justify severe disciplinary action in and of itself. However, the action to be taken depends on the seriousness of the incident and the whole pattern of the employee's past conduct and performance.
A. All charges shall be made in writing and signed by the individual preferring the charges.
B. Charges shall be brought for the following violations:
1. Violation of any rule, regulation or lawful order of a superior officer.
2. Inefficiency or incapacity in the performance of duty.
3. Neglect of duty.
4. Reporting for duty while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
5. Drinking any alcoholic beverage or taking drugs that might incapacitate an individual while on duty.
6. Absence without leave.
7. Refusal to obey orders.
8. Careless or reckless operation of a motor vehicle.
9. Speaking disrespectfully of any officer or person connected with the fire department.
10. Making a false report or statement.
11. Conduct prejudicial to good order or discipline such as: gambling; disorderly behavior; provoking or harmful mischievous conduct; quarreling, threatening, fighting or assaulting; creating discrediting public spectacle; unnecessary disturbance of sleeping persons between 2200 hours and 0600 hours or during other permitted times; meddling with property or belongings of others; hazing or similar acts.
12. Thievery - The taking of property belonging to the department or an individual.
C. No charges shall be brought unless it is believed the charges can be proved.
D. Charges and complaints brought against a person of higher rank by members of the department shall be in writing to the next highest ranking paid officer above the person that the charges are being brought. Such charges and complaints shall be signed by the individual bringing them.
E. Any officer or member of the department charged with an offense shall plead either "guilty" or "not guilty".
F. Any officer or member charged with an infraction of departmental rules shall have the right to answer the charges against him/her and face his/her accuser(s) if he/she so desires.
A. Oral Reprimand - Shall consist of an oral statement of reprimand made to the member. A written record of this oral statement shall be made and kept in the member's personnel file in the Fire Department Records for a period of one (1) year.
B. Written Reprimand - Shall consist of a written statement of reprimand delivered to the member, a copy of which shall be placed in the member's personnel file in the Fire Department Records and shall become a permanent part of he/her records.
C. Suspension From Duty - Shall consist of a written notice to the member to the effect that he/she is suspended from duty for a specified number of days without pay upon grounds stated in the notice.
Any member who is arrested and charged with a felony may be removed from work during the period between arrest and the end of the trial. During this period he or she may be considered in a leave without pay status, except that the employee may request vacation or compensatory time if he or she wishes. (Refer to the City Personnel Regulations for further information)
D. Reduction In Pay - Shall consist of a written notice to the member to the effect that his/her pay has been lowered a step in the pay range and the grounds for the action. A copy of this notice shall be placed in the members personnel file.
E. Demotion In Rank - Shall consist of written statement notifying the member of a demotion in rank and the grounds for this action. A copy of this notice shall be placed in the members personnel file.
F. Dismissal - Shall consist of dismissing the member from the Fire Department after written notice to that effect is given the member which shall state the grounds thereof.
G. Dismissal Alternative - Commonly called a "Decision Day", this alternative to dismissal consists of a conference between the supervisor and the employee to review the history of the problem and to ask the employee's intentions to work within the rules. If the employee intentions are to work within the rules, he/she is then advised to take the next day off with pay, and use the time to decide whether he/she will correct the problem and continue working or quit. If the employee commits to work within the rules, the supervisor writes a letter to the employee which makes a record of the agreement reached between them and the consequences of failure to live up to it. Both sign the agreement and both retain copies of the agreement. The employee then returns to work. When two (2) years have elapsed after the agreement, and there have been no failures, the written agreement may be destroyed. If the employee decides to quit, process the termination.
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