HR Weekly News
City Information Reporting Deadline for City Clerks -- January 31
KRS 83A.085 requires the city clerk to provide to the Department for Local Government (DLG) a list containing the names of the mayor, legislative body members, and the following appointed officials who are serving as of January 1 of each year:
a. City clerk;
b. City treasurer;
c. City manager;
d. City attorney;
e. Finance director;
f. Police chief;
g. Fire chief; and
h. Public works director.
In addition, the clerk should also provide the correct name of the city, mailing address for city hall, telephone number of city hall and the name and telephone number of either an elected or appointed official to serve as a contact person that may be reached during normal business hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The form (https://kydlgweb.ky.gov/Entities/cityHome.cfm) provided by DLG identifies the information needed. This information must be received by DLG no later than January 31 of each year. The Kentucky League of Cities is also requesting that this information be sent to KLC, so that we will also have the most accurate information. Information on how to submit this form for both entities is below.
Cities and Special Districts Branch
Department for Local Government
1024 Capital Center Drive, Ste. 340
Frankfort, KY 40601
Kentucky League of Cities
100 East Vine Street, Ste. 800
Lexington, KY 40507
Mileage Reimbursement for 2016
For cities that use the IRS rate to reimburse for mileage, be aware that on January 1, 2016, the IRS lowered the standard mileage reimbursement rates. That rate went down from $0.575 to $0.54 on January 1, 2016.
For more information, sample policies or questions contact Andrea Shindlebower at email@example.com. Or for the IRS article go here.
This article was published on the United States Department of Labor website at http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/spouse/index.htm.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. The FMLA also includes certain military family leave provisions.
The Department of Labor issued a Final Rule on February 25, 2015 revising the regulatory definition of spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).
The Final Rule amends the regulatory definition of spouse under the FMLA so that eligible employees in legal same-sex marriages will be able to take FMLA leave to care for their spouse or family member, regardless of where they live. This will ensure that the FMLA will give spouses in same-sex marriages the same ability as all spouses to fully exercise their FMLA rights.
The effective date for the final rule is March 27, 2015.
Major features of the Final Rule
- The Department has moved from a “state of residence” rule to a “place of celebration” rule for the definition of spouse under the FMLA regulations. The Final Rule changes the regulatory definition of spouse in 29 CFR §§ 825.102 and 825.122(b) to look to the law of the place in which the marriage was entered into, as opposed to the law of the state in which the employee resides. A place of celebration rule allows all legally married couples, whether opposite-sex or same-sex, or married under common law, to have consistent federal family leave rights regardless of where they live.
- The Final Rule’s definition of spouse expressly includes individuals in lawfully recognized same-sex and common law marriages and marriages that were validly entered into outside of the United States if they could have been entered into in at least one state.
More information on the change as well as FMLA can be found at http://www.dol.gov/whd/fmla/spouse/index.htm.
Cities should review applicable leave policies to ensure compliance. If you need assistance or a sample policy contact Andrea Shindlebower.
Weekly HR – Workplace Violence
How to Identify Workplace Violence Before It Turns Deadly
Unfortunately, workplace violence does happen. Your job as an employer is to take steps now to prevent it or at least be ready to deal with it in the event that it does happen. You can start preparations by reviewing Violence Free, a global violence prevention firm’s list of seven factors that can lead to workplace violence, which are listed below:
1. A weak, misunderstood or nonexistent policy against all forms of violence in the workplace.
2. Failure to educate managers and supervisors in recognizing early warning signs or symptoms of impending violence and their responsibility to take action.
3. No appropriate and safe mechanism for reporting violent or threatening behavior.
4. Failure to take immediate action against those who have threatened or committed acts of workplace violence.
5. Inadequate physical security.
6. Negligence in the hiring, training, supervision, discipline and retention of employees.
7. Lack of employee support systems.
In addition to being aware of the signs, be sure to address the specific safety needs of all of your city departments. Are your locks, alarms and emergency exits all in working order? Do you have a procedure for preventing unauthorized access to city buildings? Are your walkways, parking lots and other outdoor areas well lit? Can an employee easily signal for help? Be certain to consider preventative measures and safe practices for the following specific situations within your violence prevention policy:
- Exchanging money with the public
- Working with volatile, unstable people
- Working alone or in isolated areas
- Providing services
- Working late at night
- Working in areas with high crime rates
Take the time now to look at your own city. Have you addressed the specific safety needs of all your departments? What do your policies state about workplace violence? Do you even have a policy? Does the policy provide an appropriate mechanism for reporting violent conduct? Are your employees and supervisors trained on your policies? If an employee files a complaint of workplace violence who should handle it? How do you handle it? If you ignore it and say “It couldn't happen here,” you may come to regret that decision.
For policies and training on this or other personnel matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower Main, personnel services specialist.
Weekly HR News – Hiring Practices
Succession planning … What is it and how can it help your city?
I’ve been asked to present on succession planning at the KLC Conference, so after all the research and statistics that I have reviewed I want to give an overview of some of the main points of succession planning and how it can be beneficial to your city.
First, succession planning can help cities prepare for the expected and the unexpected. If you know that an employee will be retiring in the next one to five years, it is a good idea to start transferring some of their knowledge to others that work within the city. And even if you are not expecting an employee to be leaving, it is a good idea to have this process in place for all of your key employment positions.
So what are a city’s key positions? They are the positions that if left vacant could present extreme hardship on the city. For example, a city clerk, city manager, public works director or police chief could be considered a key position. Once you have designated your key positions review the job description for the essential functions and necessary characteristics for that position. Do you have current employees that if brought up to speed could take on those roles? If so, put a plan in place that allows for the transfer of knowledge through training and mentoring.
Having a succession plan in place will not guarantee a successful candidate for the job, but it will put you on better ground while you go through the hiring process. Also important to note, that if your city participates in civil service, the city cannot guarantee a position to any employee, as all potential hires would still have to go through the city’s hiring process. Even if that is the case, cross-training employees is always a good idea.
In some instances there are also statutory requirements for succession planning. Examples of this include emergency management, or the mayor’s absence in the mayor-council form of government and a mayor pro tem in the commission form of government. Being aware of these requirements will help keep you in compliance with the law.
For questions on this or other personnel matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower Main, Personnel Services Specialist, with the KLC Legal Department.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has posted an updated version of the Social Security Number Verification Service (SSNVS) Handbook for employers. Keep in mind that an employer may be penalized for filing the Form W-2 on which an employees' social security number (SSN) is incorrectly reported. To avoid costly tax penalties, the city as an employer should verify that its employees' names and SSNs are correct by using SSNVS, which is a free online service.
The updated SSNVS Handbook, provides instructions for employer registration and use of SSNVS, and includes new information on the correct use of SSNVS. The Handbook also explains what an employer should do if an SSN fails to verify.
For more information on this or other personnel matters, contact Andrea Shindlebower Main with the KLC Legal Department.