Employee Advisories

Overview

These advisories are periodically added by Human Resources as amendments, additions or points of clarification to issues not addressed in the city employee's Personnel Rules & Regulation (PRR) guide.

Absenteeism

Absence management is a key component in increasing overall workplace productivity and employee morale. The purpose of this advisory is to provide guidance in applying administrative procedures and establishing lines of communication for dealing with employee absences.

What is Absence from Duty?

An absence is any time period that an employee does not report for a scheduled workday to perform his/her assigned duties.

Department/Division Policies/Procedures Addressing Absences and Tardiness

Individual departments and larger divisions within departments need to prepare clear, written policies and procedures pertaining to absenteeism or tardiness

Absenteeism and tardiness policies should clearly address: who to call, when to call, what information to leave, what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable reasons for absences/tardiness, verification (documentation) requirements, unacceptable patterns of absenteeism/tardiness, consequences for ongoing incidents of unscheduled absenteeism/ tardiness, etc.

Human Resources staff in the Employee Relations Division and the on-site Employee Assistance Program staff are available to assist in the development of absenteeism/tardiness policies and procedures, as well as, providing guidance and counsel to address specific employee issues.

Verifying the Need to be off Work

Supervisors may require employees to bring verification of their need to be off work.

Verification of this need may include medical leave forms, house or auto repair bills (including dates of service), day care notices, etc. Any documentation that appears to verify the employee's stated reason to be off work is acceptable.

Failure of the employee to provide the requested verification of the need to be off work may and, in most instances, should result in disciplinary action.

Some Patterns to Look For

An employee absenteeism problem may emerge quite subtly. Early identification of an employee absenteeism problem may include:

  • low leave balance
  • payday Friday or Monday time off
  • frequent time without pay
  • frequent 8 hour absences
  • frequent partial day absences
  • frequent emergency time off
  • frequent "sick" leave at the last minute

What Supervisors Can Do?

Make sure employees understand the City, departmental and divisional policies and procedures pertaining to time and attendance. Make sure employees know who to contact in case of the need to be absent from work.

Supervisors may deny an employee's access to accrued leave and rescind previously approved time to be off work, if in the best interest of the City.

Monitor the employee's absences and track patterns of unscheduled time off. Coach/ Counsel/ Consult and/or Refer the employee to appropriate resources. Some of the initial resources include:

  • Deborah Cuffee: 817-392-7789
  • Workers' Assistance Program: 1-800-343-3822
  • Tarrant County MHMR Hot Line: 817-335-3022

The Employee Relations Division is developing a 2-hour course on Managing Absenteeism to be offered on-site in the very near future. Watch the Training Schedule in the HResources for details.

Employees may be referred or may refer themselves to the EAP program for assistance with any personal issues that may be affecting their performance. Some of these issues include: 

  • marital /spousal difficulties
  • family issues
  • child/elder care issues
  • personal problems
  • alcohol or substance abuse problems
  • financial difficulties

Access to city employees

Issued: Nov. 26, 2005 Reissued:Oct. 8, 2014

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

Any business or organization requesting access to City employees for the purpose of offering any type of goods or services or soliciting for contributions or assistance.

Policy

The City frequently receives requests for access to City employees for distribution of promotional materials, solicitation of charitable contributions, sales of goods and services, distribution of informational flyers, newspapers or other advertising material, and offers of discount entertainment tickets. In order to minimize disruptions in the workplace as well as the administrative requirements associated with such activities, and to avoid appearing to endorse one competitive business or organization over another, the City has established the following policy to govern such requests.

Requests

Requests for City-Wide Distribution of Materials

Requests for City-wide access to employees for the distribution of materials shall be made to the Human Resources Director. Requests will be reviewed according to these criteria:

  • No cost should be incurred by the City in distributing the materials
  • Materials promoting for-profit businesses will be considered only if the business has no local competitor or if the business has been selected through the City's normal bidding process to provide services to employees, such as insurance and investment firms
  • Materials should be directed specifically to City employees, not to the public at large

Requests for distribution of the following types of materials will not be granted: 

  • Materials that are primarily commercial advertising by for-profit businesses
  • Materials from any individual, group, or organization who has a current contract with the City (an exceptions -- Benefits updates from current vendors will be distributed to employees)
  • Materials from any individual, group, or organization who reasonably anticipates entering into a contract with the City in the 90 days following the request
  • Materials from any individual, group, or organization who has an interest in any matter on a current or future City Council agenda
  • Materials that are part of a business' regular advertising campaign being directed to the public at large

Requests for City-Wide Offers of Discount Entertainment Tickets

Requests by entertainment vendors to sell discount tickets to City employees through the Revenue Office shall be made to the City Finance Director. Requests will be reviewed giving consideration to whether the promotion provides a significant benefit to employees and is of interest to a significant number of employees and whether the vendor has a local competitor. For example, offers from Six Flags would be considered because there is no other theme-based amusement park in this area. Discount tickets to the CATS games would be considered but discount tickets to attend games of a minor league baseball team outside of Ft. Worth would not be considered, since the CATS is the local minor league baseball team.

Requests for Access to City Facilities to Sell Goods or Services

Requests by vendors who seek access to a City facility to sell goods or services to City employees shall be made to the Department Director associated with the facility. Requests will be reviewed giving consideration to whether the goods or services provide a significant benefit to the employees assigned to or using the facility and whether the goods or services are of interest to a significant number of those employees

Distribution of Informational Flyers, Newspapers or Other Advertising Material

Distributors of informational materials, newspapers or other advertising magazines leave material on City property for use by employees or visiting citizens. This practice is not encouraged or approved by the City, but it will be tolerated as long as it is done in an unobtrusive manner and in a neat and orderly fashion. Material that is found to be either offensive, controversial or not in keeping with the values of the City will be promptly removed without notification to the distributor. The City reserves the right to limit the amount and type of material left on City property as well as where this material is located.

Requests for City-wide Solicitation of Charitable Contributions

The City has a long-standing relationship with the Tarrant Area Food Bank and the United Way of Metropolitan Tarrant County, and their missions are consistent with City Council's Strategic Goals. Requests by additional charitable organizations for access to City employees for solicitation of donations shall be made to the Human Resources Director.

Requests by external organizations are evaluated according to the following

  • The organization must be tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and the contribution the organization seeks must be deductible under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • The organization must be headquartered in the City of Fort Worth and be governed by a voluntary board of directors.
  • The organization must distribute at least 85% of its charitable receipts to health, welfare, social, or other human services programs within Tarrant County and the City of Ft. Worth.

Requests made by City departments for solicitation of donations to programs initiated and conducted by the requesting department will be allowed if the program is a planned objective of the department.

Requests for Solicitations of Charitable Contributions within a Single Department or Facility

Requests by employees or external organizations for solicitation of charitable contributions within a single department or City facility shall be made to the Department Director or the Department Director associated with the facility, as appropriate. Requests should be reviewed giving consideration to whether the requested activities are consistent with the mission of the organization and whether such activities would interfere with the day-to-day business activities of the department or facility.

Questions

For additional information please contact the HR Director at 817-392-7783 or an Assistant HR Director at 817-392-8058 or 817-392-2632.


CBD oil

Issued: October 21, 2019

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.  

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

All City of Fort Worth employees.

Policy

The City prohibits an employee from being under the influence of THC while working.

Background

On June 10, 2019, Texas House Bill 1325 became effective, legalizing hemp-derived products in Texas.

What does this mean?

Cannabis is a plant with various biologically active chemical compounds, the most commonly known compounds being delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). THC is the compound that produces a psychoactive effect reported as a “high,” while CBD is reported to have health benefits without the same psychoactive effect. House Bill 1325 and its federal counterpart distinguish between “hemp,” which is a cannabis plant containing no more than 0.3% of THC per dry weight, and “marijuana,” which is a cannabis plant that contains more than 0.3% of THC per dry weight. Hemp and hemp-derived products are now legal to produce, possess, and consume. Marijuana and marijuana-derived products remain a Schedule I drug under the federal Controlled Substances Act and are illegal to produce, possess, and consume absent a prescription.

Did House Bill 1325 make CBD oils legal?

Not necessarily. CBD oil is a product made from the cannabis plant, which contains cannabidiol (CBD). If the CBD oil is derived from hemp, meaning the cannabis plant from which the oil was made had no more than 0.3% THC, then the CBD oil is legal. If the CBD oil is derived from marijuana, meaning the cannabis plant from which the oil was made had more than 0.3% THC, then the CBD oil is illegal. Currently, there is no regulatory body that oversees or enforces the sale of products purported to be hemp-derived as opposed to marijuana-derived. Importantly, even CBD oil derived from hemp may have trace amounts of THC.

Does the City of Fort Worth allow the use of CBD oils?

The City prohibits employees from working while under the influence of THC, regardless of the source.

What happens if I have to take a drug test related to my employment with the City and am using CBD oil that a retailer said was made from hemp and is legal?

First, it is important to remember that CBD oils and other related products are not regulated. A retailer may represent that their products, like CBD oil, are hemp-derived and lawful, but that may not be the case. A retailer may claim that their products are free from THC altogether and therefore pose no problems with drug tests, but there is no guarantee. Second, the City prohibits an employee from being under the influence of THC while working; thus, if an employee tests positive for THC during a drug test that is performed pursuant to City policy, the results will be handled in accordance with the City’s normal practice for positive drug screens. The positive drug screen will not be reversed because the employee presents evidence that he or she uses CBD oil.

Bottom line:

Using CBD oil is only legal if it is hemp-derived. But even hemp-derived CBD oil may have trace amounts of THC and being under the influence of any amount of THC while working is prohibited under the City’s policies absent a valid medical prescription.

 

Questions

If you have questions, please contact Candace Williams (x7419) or Kelly Strange (x7406) in the Risk-Safety Office.


Children in the Workplace

The City of Fort Worth is committed to being a family friendly employer. As such, the City recognizes the needs of its employees to be able to respond to dependent care issues in their families. Supervisors are encouraged to be sensitive to the needs of employees who require time off to deal with dependent care issues. Whenever possible, employees should plan for such time off in advance, however, it is understood that it cannot always be predicted when a family member may require medical care or when a child care or elder care arrangement may break down.

In rare cases, it may be necessary for employees to bring their children to the worksite during regular work hours for short periods of time. In such instances, this period of time should not exceed one hour. In such cases, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Prior approval must be obtained from the supervisor
  • Children must be escorted and supervised at all times
  • For safety reasons children will be prohibited from manufacturing areas, hazardous materials areas, forklift or pallet jack traffic areas, areas requiring a security clearance, and areas requiring safety equipment or clothing.
  • Children will not be permitted in public service areas.
  • Employees are responsible for the actions of their children. If the child is disruptive, the employee will be asked to take the child out of the workplace.
  • Children with contagious illnesses are not allowed at the workplace.
  • Permission to bring a child to work is a privilege, not a right or entitlement. Management reserves the right to make decisions regarding bring children to work in the best interest of the organization. These decisions are not grievable
  • Circumstances which may warrant the presence of children at the worksite during regular work hours include: a breakdown of childcare arrangements or Before or after scheduled doctor appointments.

Children under the age of eight should not be in the workplace except under the following circumstances:

  • Children may come in to visit parents briefly at worksites to see their parents' work environment and to meet the parents' co-workers.
  • Children may be allowed at the worksite on a regular basis when it is necessary to pick a parent up from work. In such cases, children must be supervised by the accompanying adult, and must wait outside of the work area. If children are disruptive, the accompanying adult will be asked to take them out of the workplace.

Site management may set additional guidelines to fit the operations at a particular location. In addition, locations may choose to participate in "Take Your Child to Work" day events at the discretion of the Site Management.


Civil Service Worker's Compensation Leave

Applicability

This Advisory applies to all employees who have sustained a compensable injury or occupational disease under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act (Texas Workers' Compensation Actand a line of duty injury under the Local Government Code, Chapter 143.073, and has a scheduled medical appointment (doctor or physical therapy) related to the compensable injury or occupational disease.

Policy (New)

Employees are allowed up to two (2) hours of paid time off as "Workers' Compensation Leave" (WCL) from work in order to attend a scheduled medical appointment related to the compensable injury or occupational disease under Texas Workers' Compensation Act. In the event the appointment requires the employee to stay longer than two hours at the medical appointment, additional WCL time will be allowed if the employee brings a note signed by the doctor or physical therapist that states the time of arrival and departure to and from the doctor or physical therapist's office. WCL shall be paid at the employee's regular rate of pay and does not count toward their 40-hour work week. Workers' Compensation Leave is not hours worked and does not count toward the number of hours worked for overtime purposes.

Interpretation

Below are several scenarios that provide guidance to employees, supervisors and timekeepers in the application of this policy.

Scenario 1: Employee is on limited duty because of a compensable workers' compensation claim, and has a doctor or physical therapy appointment during duty hours.

  • Question: Will the employee be paid for time to attend the medical appointment?
  • Answer: The employee will be allowed (2) hours of Workers' Compensation Leave (WCL) to attend a medical appointment (See also Scenario 5).

Scenario 2: Employee is off work and is receiving Disability Supplement Pay (DSP). Employee also wants to be paid additional DSP or WCL for time to attend medical appointments.

  • Question: Can the employee receive DSP or WCL for time to attend medical appointments in addition to full duty pay (DSP)?
  • Answer: If the employee is already receiving DSP, then additional pay for time to attend a doctor or physical therapy appointment is not allowed. The employee has been made whole by virtue of receipt of DSP full pay for civil service employees , or in the case of a non-civil service employee, the employee is receiving temporary income benefits from workers' compensation and DSP if eligible.

Scenario 3: Employee works night shift limited duty and has doctor appointments during the day. Employee wants to be paid for time to attend doctor or physical therapy appointments during the day.

  • Question: Can the employee receive Workers' Comp Leave (WCL) or DSP for the medical appointments?
  • Answer: The employee is allowed up to two (2) hours WCL to attend a medical appointment during the day. In addition, the employee may receive the appropriate shift differential for the two (2) hours. ()  The employee will be required to modify the schedule to work two (2) hours less during the week of the appointment.

Scenario 4: Employee works day shift limited duty and has doctor appointments on his/her days off. The employee is paid 40 hrs REG for a normal shift. Employee wants to be paid for time to attend doctor/physical therapy appointments on days off, due to a compensable workers' compensation injury.

  • Question: Can the employee receive Workers' Comp Leave (WCL) or DSP for the medical appointments on days off?
  • Answer: The employee is allowed up to two (2) hours WCL to attend a medical appointment during the day on his/her day(s) off. The employee will be required to modify their work schedule to work two (2) hours less during the week of the appointment.

Scenario 5: Employee works day shift limited duty and has doctor or physical therapy appointments during duty hours. Appointments take more than 2 hours, which is beyond the normal policy to allow time off to attend the appointment. Employee wants to be paid for the full amount of time it takes to attend the appointment, which is more than 2 hours, and not be limited to 2 hours.

  • Question: Can the employee receive Workers' Comp Leave (WCL) for the medical appointments that require greater than 2 hours to attend?
  • Answer: The employee will be allowed up to two (2) hours of WCL to attend a medical appointment. If circumstances require the employee to stay longer than two (2) hours for the medical appointment, additional WCL time may be allowed if the employee brings a note signed by the doctor or physical therapist that state the time of arrival and time of departure. If applicable the employee is required to amend their work schedule and reduce time worked by the time approved to attend the medical appointment in the impacted work week. Additional paid time will be allowed to travel to and from the appointment if necessary with coordination through the employee's supervisor.

 


 

1 The Texas Workers' Compensation Act is codified in the Texas Labor Code, Title 5, Subtitle A. Return.

2 The Local Government Code requires a municipality to provide to a fire fighter or police officer a leave of absence for an illness or injury related to the person's line of duty. The leave is with full pay. The City of Fort Worth's Personnel Rules and Regulations provide that civil service employees, who are subject to Chapter 143, will receive full salary equivalent to AWW for up to one (1) year in accordance with Chapter 143 of the Texas Local Government Code for a leave commensurate with the nature of a compensable on the job injury. Full salary is defined as average weekly wage (AWW) of the employee and includes shift differential. If AWW is less than regular pay, (40) forty hours for Police Officers and (40) forty or (56) fifty-six hours for Firefighters, the employee will receive full salary pay while off work for an occupational injury. Therefore, if the employee is already receiving DSP, then additional pay for time to attend a doctor or physical therapy appointment is not allowed. Return.

3 The shift differential will need to be added to the pay line for payroll purposes. Return.

4 It has been the City's practice to provide up to two (2) hours of time away from work (WCL) to attend a workers' compensation medical appointment.

 

 


Continuous furloughs

Issued: May 4, 2020

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

All City employees except sworn civil service employees in the fire and police departments.

Definitions

Continuous furlough - A specific period of time during which the employee is not permitted to work because of a lack of work, lack of funds, or other non-disciplinary reason and is not paid. For the purpose of calculating deadlines under the Personnel Rules and Regulations, a day that has been declared by the City Manager as a mandatory furlough day shall not be considered a working day.

Process

Employee furloughs may be declared by the City Manager when necessary for financial issues or other reasons that require a monetary reduction in the City’s expenses. A furlough may be declared for all employees or for specific groups of employees. Furloughs can be declared by the day or partial days, or for any period of time.

The City Manager or designee has the right to cancel a scheduled furlough and reschedule it for another day as necessary.

Intentional violations of the City's furlough policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including a prospective reduction in pay, days off without pay, and discharge.

Continuous furloughs declared for a specific period of time

The following rules apply only to employees subject to a continuous furlough, as defined below.

Continuous furloughs declared for a specific period of time

The following rules apply only to employees subject to a continuous furlough, as defined below. 

  • An employee who is subject to a continuous furlough will not be permitted to work for a specific period of time (Ex. Employee is subject to a continuous furlough designated from April 30-July 31 and, therefore, not permitted to work any hours from April 30-July 31), unless the exception described in this section applies. An employee subject to a continuous furlough will not have an assigned work schedule and will not be paid during the specified furlough period. As a result, an employee’s annual earnings from the City will be reduced.
  • The furlough period shall be designated by the City Manager.
  • Accrued leave benefits, such as vacation or compensatory time, cannot be taken or used in lieu of a furlough. Any previously approved vacations will need to be rescheduled to a later date that falls outside of the designated furlough period.
  • An employee's performance review date will be adjusted if it occurs during a designated furlough period.
  • Exception to a mandatory furlough for a specific period of time – Departments may temporarily recall certain employee(s) to staff special events or to address other operational needs during a designated furlough period. The department in conjunction with the assigned Assistant City Manager will determine if it is necessary to recall any employees based on operational needs.
  • Health benefits – A furlough day does not affect an employee's health insurance benefits. The City recognize the importance of health care benefits at this time, and as such, there will be no changes to employees' health care benefits. The City will send a monthly bill for the employee’s share of health care premiums during the furlough period. Voluntary benefits paid through a third party City vendor will be billed to employees directly. Employees who participate in the Flexible Spending Account (FSA), will not be billed for those contributions during the furlough period, but upon return, the contributions will be assessed and collected based on the number of paychecks remaining.
  • Leave accrual and benefits – Employees shall not accrue leave benefits during the pay periods in which a furlough is mandated.
  • Worker's compensation benefits – Worker's compensation weekly benefits (temporary income benefits) will not be affected by furlough days. Worker’s compensation supplements will not be paid during the furlough period. Employees injured during a declared furlough period may not qualify for worker’s compensation benefits because furloughed employees are on an off-duty status.
  • Pension benefits – While on furlough, the City will not make employer contributions because there will be no wages paid to employees during the furlough. This will have an impact on an employee who is in his or her high 5 years because of the reduced earnings due to the furloughs. If the furlough does not last longer than 90 days, service time will not be affected. 

 

Continuous Furlough FAQS

1. Why are employees being furloughed?

Employees are being furloughed because of the current economic downturn that the city is experiencing. Revenues for this fiscal year are expected to be lower than originally projected. In order for city expenditures to be covered by expected lower revenues, the City Manager recommended numerous budget reduction proposals to the City Council, including the mandatory furlough of certain employees until such time that revenues begin to increase.

2. What other options could the city have taken instead of requiring furloughs?

The other options under consideration were the permanent lay-off of staff and across the board salary reductions. However the City determined that furloughs represented a better alternative for all employees, even for those impacted employees.

3. What employees will be furloughed?

All employees except sworn civil service employees of the fire and police departments are subject to the furlough policy and must take furlough days if declared by the City Manager. A number of departments may currently have affected employees due to the cancellation of scheduled events such as conventions, conferences, and exhibits. Each department, in conjunction with the City Manager's Office will determine whether furloughs are necessary.

4. Can I work from home and get paid on a furlough day?

No. Employees are strictly prohibited from working at home or anywhere else during a designated furlough period, whether continuous or intermittent. This restriction includes reading and responding to emails via the internet to conduct City business.

5. Does the furlough policy affect part-time employees, temporary employees, seasonal employees, probationary employees, and newly hired employees?

Yes. The policy applies to temporary employees, seasonal employees, employees who are on probation, and newly hired employees in the same manner as for regular, permanent employees. Additionally, the City Manager may institute a hiring freeze (with the exception of Sworn Personnel) in conjunction with mandatory furloughs. Departments must have the approval of the department’s Assistant City Manager to fill open positions considered essential to the operation of a program or department if the City Manager has instituted a hiring freeze.

6. Are employees who are in grant funded positions or in positions funded through enterprise funds, special funds or internal service funds subject to furlough days?

Yes. All civilian, non-sworn civil service employees may be furloughed regardless of the position's funding source.

7. How is Family Medical Leave (FML) impacted by a furlough?

Individuals on FML may be included in any declared furloughs and are required to take all designated furlough time. All furlough time will be considered time worked for the purposes of calculating an individual's eligibility for FMLA. Furlough time will not count against an employee's entitlement for FMLA.

8. If I am required to be on jury duty on a furlough day, will I be required to take the furlough day?

Yes. Furloughed employees shall not be permitted to work, during the declared furlough period. As such, this time is not considered City work time and should not affect any jury duty.

9. How will the appeal procedure be impacted by the furlough period?

Employee appeals will be suspended and restart at the conclusion of the furlough period. If a furlough day occurs during a period of suspension under the disciplinary action policy, the suspension period is extended by the number of furlough days occurring during the disciplinary suspension period.

 

 

Questions

For additional information please call the Human Resources Hotline at 817-392-7737.


Driver's license checks, driving privileges and clearing an employee's driver's license record due to a suspended or revoked license

Issued: Oct. 5, 2011 Revised: Oct. 8, 2014

Applicability

This Advisory applies to all employees who drive or operate a City-owned or leased vehicle or a privately-owned vehicle in the performance of City business and who has had their driver’s license suspended or revoked.

Policy

Refer to the City’s Personnel Rules and Regulations for General Employees, Chapter 1, Section 1.6 "Driver’s License Verification and Record Check".

Procedures for clearing an employee’s driver’s license record

  1. Once every six months, the HRIS/Records Division obtains from the DPS a Motor Vehicle Record Check on every employee who drives on City business.
  2. Upon receipt of the Motor Vehicle Record Check, The Occupational Health & Safety Division (OHS) of Human Resources shall notify each department head or designee of the names and employee ID’s of each employee on the list and the status of their driver’s license. The notification to the department shall be via memorandum from the OHS Safety Coordinator to the department head.
  3. Employees who do not drive on city business but whose names appear on the DPS Motor Vehicle Record Check Report shall notify the department head or designee that their job duties do not require driving on city business. The department head or designee shall verify the job duties with the employee’s supervisor and manager. If driving on City business is not required of the employee, the department head or designee shall return the DPS Report Summary to OHS within 10 days with an annotation in the “comments” column that “This position does not require a driver’s license”. The department head or designee shall also contact the HR Classification and Compensation Division to coordinate any necessary revisions to job descriptions.
  4. Employees on the list whose driver’s license is invalid (i.e., has expired or been revoked, suspended, or withdrawn for any reason) shall have their City driving privileges suspended and shall not be allowed to drive on City business or to drive onto City premises.
  5. Upon receipt of notification from OHS that an employee’s City driving privileges have been suspended, the department head or designee shall prepare a memorandum to the employee to inform the employee of the suspension of driving privileges and to inform the employee of procedures to follow in order to clear his/her driving record with DPS and to have their driving privileges reinstated by the City (Sample Memorandum attached).
  6. The affected employee’s City driving privileges shall be suspended upon his/her receipt of the memorandum from the department head. The affected employee must acknowledge receipt of the memorandum with his/her signature.
  7. Employee Awareness. The safety and well-being of each unlicensed or invalidly licensed employee and those around them is paramount. For this reason, the department should inform each affected driver that he/she: * Should not be driving, even to work, until they have cleared their driving record with DPS. Urge them to carpool with coworkers or employ a family member to drive them to and from work. * Shall not operate City-owned or leased vehicle or personally owned vehicle on City business until they have cleared their license with DPS and have a valid license and current records check in their possession.
    * Shall not operate City fleet vehicles until they have cleared their license with DPS.
    * Shall not drive a personally owned vehicle onto City property until they have cleared their license with DPS. An employee acknowledgment form that the employee has been informed of the above awareness items is provided as an attachment.
  8. In order for an employee’s City driving privileges to be reinstated, the employee must follow the driver’s license verification process below. 

Driver’s License Verification Process

  1. The employee should contact the DPS Driver Improvement Office at 512-424-2600 to determine their driving status. DPS will disclose the employee’s driving status and explain what they must do to clear it.
  2. The employee must obtain from DPS a copy of their DPS Status Record (Type 1 or higher) and provide the copy to their supervisor. The supervisor shall provide a copy to the department’s Human Resources Coordinator. A copy of the DPS Status Record (Type 1) can be obtained for a minimal fee at the DPS website www.texas.gov/driver. The employee is responsible for paying this fee. The DPS Status Record (Type 1 or higher) is the only acceptable verification document.
  3. Verbal assurances and/or explanations from the employee will not be accepted. Driver’s licenses in the possession of those on the DPS suspension/revocation list shall be considered invalid until receipt of the DPS Status Record indicating the driving record has been cleared.
  4. The employee will be allotted ten (10) working days from the date of their notification to complete the verification process.
  5. The department Human Resources Coordinator shall forward a copy of the DPS Status Record verification received from the employee to the OHS Safety Coordinator.
  6. The OHS Safety Coordinator will review and approve the DPS Status Record verification and will send an email reinstating the employee.
  7. OHS will coordinate approved DPS Status Record verification records with the HRIS/Records Division. A new Motor Vehicle Record Check Report will be obtained from DPS for posting on PeopleSoft.

 

Questions

For additional information please contact the HR Director at 817-392-7783 or the OHS Safety Coordinator at 817-392-8414.

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.


Dress code

Issued: Nov. 15, 2004 |Reissued: Oct. 8, 2014

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

All non-uniformed City employees

Guidelines

For examples of appropriate and inappropriate dress refer to the table below.

This table does not differentiate male and female attire. These guidelines are for non-uniformed personnel. Department Directors or designees may modify these guidelines based on business needs.

For additional information please call the HR Employee Relations Manager at 817-392-7757 or HR Director at 817-392-7783. This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director for clarification.

Style  Business Casual  Business Professional
What  Business casual provides employees with an opportunity to dress more informally while maintaining a professional appearance.  Business professional attire is the traditional, formal business look.
When  Business casual is appropriate on normal business days when employees' duties don't involve the necessity to dress more formally.  As needed to present a professional appearance for meetings or special events, including but not limited to regular city council study sessions, council meetings, meetings with businesses, and/or when representing the city.

 

Always appropriate

Everything listed for business attire, plus the following:

  • Slacks (twill, khaki, --not jeans)
  • Blazer/sport coat
  • Sweaters/cardigans
  • Knit golf shirts, polo shirts, City logo shirts
  • Neat jeans and/or tennis shoes, if in a field environment or approved by the Department Director as appropriate for the work assignment.
  • Sports shirts with collars (short or long sleeve)
  • Banded collar shirts
  • Vests (with appropriate shirt)
  • Skirts
  • Leather boots, loafers, pumps
  • Hosiery when appropriate
  • Traditional two or three-piece suit with tie
  • Slacks and sports coat, dress shirt with collar and tie
  • Hosiery when appropriate
  • Dress shoes
  • Leather boots
  • Two piece dress
  • Business dresses, coat dresses
  • Pant suits
  • Blouse/shells
  • Skirts

Not appropriate

  • Shirts with non-City slogans or large emblems
  • Sweat suits (shirts or pants)
  • Wind suits
  • Jeans and/or tennis shoes, unless in a field environment or approved by the Department Director as appropriate for the work assignment.
  • Shorts
  • Short skirts (more than 6” above the knee)
  • Capri pants unless approved by the Department Director as appropriate for the work assignment.
  • Shower shoes/”Flip-flops”
  • Overalls
  • Skorts
  • Provocative or revealing attire
  • Halter tops
  • Sweats/yoga pants
  • Exercise tights
  • Leggings or Jeggings
  • T-shirts of any kind
  • Clothing with inappropriate advertising (e.g., cigarettes, beer or anything which portrays a negative image).
  • Clothing not properly laundered or not in good condition (e.g., having tears, wrinkles or holes).
  • Visible tattoos and body art deemed offensive.
  • Nose, eyebrow or tongue rings/studs or similar types of facial jewelry deemed offensive.
  • Anything listed as inappropriate for business attire. * Leggings
  • Shorts
  • Shirttails not tucked in
  • T-shirts
  • Tank tops
  • Skirts with revealing splits
  • Jeans
  • Tennis shoes
  • Anything listed as inappropriate for business casual.

 


Education certification for City Marshals

Issued: March 26, 2013 | Revised: October 8, 2014

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

This advisory applies to only City Marshals.

Education/Certification pay criteria

Education/certification payments are based upon the following criteria:

  • Completion of basic or advanced law enforcement related courses at an accredited college or university.
  • Attainment of higher level state certification.
  • Semester hours on any college subjects earned as part of an approved degree plan from a four-year college or university are acceptable. College courses must be directly related to an approved degree plan or must be part of an approved degree to qualify for education incentive pay.
  • Work experience semester hours are accepted for education payment only if they are part of an approved degree or an approved degree plan from a four-year college or university.
  • Examination-type semester hours and correspondence course hours are acceptable for education payment only if they are part of an approved degree plan or an approved degree.
  • Education reimbursement rules governing courses taken at colleges and universities outside of Tarrant County apply to the education incentive pay program. The only exception is any case where a City Marshal resides close to the school and the reimbursement was approved by the Human Resources Department.
  • Repeat or duplicate courses are not accepted for credit towards education incentive pay, nor are duplicate training courses accepted for credit towards certification pay. Some basic courses taught on a more advanced level may be deemed acceptable after review by the Human Resources Department.
  • Credit for courses held on the same day at the same time is granted for only one of the courses.

Procedures

When a City Marshal qualifies for incentive pay, the assigned departmental personnel sends the verifying transcripts and other pertinent documentation to the Human Resources HRIS/Records Division, along with the Incentive/Assignment Pay Authorization (IPA) forms. The IPA form must show:

  • Date of qualification.
  • The level of qualification.
  • The amount of education/certification incentive pay.
  • The date payment begins.

The City Marshal’s Office is responsible for notifying the Human Resources Department of any changes in an officer’s education or certification level.

Proof of eligibility for education incentive pay must be established by the City Marshal. The City Marshal must establish eligibility for incentive pay for courses or degrees completed by submitting official transcripts to the Human Resources Department. The documentation must be submitted when the City Marshal is eligible for education incentive pay.

The Human Resources Department enters changes into the payroll system. After entry into the payroll system is complete, the copies of IPA, transcripts and certificates are filed in the City Marshal’s folder.

Payment of education/certification pay

Education/certification payments are included in first paycheck of each month, with appropriate retirement and tax deductions withheld.

City Marshals may draw either education incentive pay or certification pay but not both.

Education/certification payments start within one month after the Human Resources Department is notified of a City Marshal’s qualification for such pay. In the event there is a time lapse between qualification and notification, there are no retroactive payments.

Education/Certification Pay Schedule for City Marshals

$60.00 per month – Associate Degree

$120.00 per month – Four Year Degree

or

$30.00 per month – TCLEOSE intermediate certificate

$60.00 per month – TCLEOSE advanced certificate

$120.00 per month – TCLEOSE master certificate

 

Questions

For additional information please call the Staffing Services Manager at 817-392-7758 or the Assistant HR Director at 817-392-2632.

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.


Education Reimbursement

Issued: Aug. 4, 2004 | Revised: Aug. 30, 2022

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

The City of Fort Worth is committed to employee growth and development. To support this commitment, the City provides Education Reimbursement (formerly Tuition Reimbursement) to employees who elect to improve job performance or increase skills through education.

Steps to apply for Education Reimbursement

Read and become familiar with the provisions of the Education Reimbursement Policy. Know the Education Reimbursement procedures and all application and grade/receipt timelines established by HR.

 

The Tuition Reimbursement application process follows the traditional academic calendar (Spring, Summer, & Fall semester). If your institutional period is something other than the standard 15 weeks, you will need to fill out an application at the beginning of the semester that coincides with your courses.

For example: 4 courses scheduled from January to March and 4 more courses scheduled from March to May should all be added to your Spring application. (May-Mester) courses can be added to a Spring or Summer application.

 

The following information will be needed to start your Tuition Reimbursement application:

  • Course Number
  • Course Description
  • Name of Institution
  •  Degree Plan
  • Estimate of Fees and Tuition

Visit CFW Intranet, Tuition Reimbursement Form  to learn more about our program and begin the application process. 

 

How much reimbursement can an employee receive?

The yearly pre-tax amount that can be received by an employee is $5,250.00 per calendar year.

Who is eligible for the Education Reimbursement program?

Regular, full-time employees who are participants in the City’s retirement fund, and who have successfully completed their initial probationary period. The Education Reimbursement program for General and Fire employees must be approved by the City Council each budget year. Sworn Police employees are eligible by contract approved by the City Council.

Other considerations

Employees must have the approval of their supervisor and Human Resources before attending the course.

In any graded course, the employee must obtain a course grade of “C” or higher. In circumstances where the course is non-graded, a “pass” grade must be earned to be eligible for reimbursement.

College programs such as mini-terms/sessions, distance learning or quarters that are not set on a semester basis will be considered for reimbursement if they are job related or part of a degree program and are taken for credit. The employee must meet the established application deadline for the spring, fall or summer semester that precedes the course.

Courses must be taken at an accredited school, junior college, college, university, technical or trade school. School accreditation shall be through the Southern Association of Schools or its regional counterparts, or technical training by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools of Colleges of Technology.

An employee may receive reimbursement for only one degree at each level: Associate, Undergraduate (Bachelors) Graduate (Masters) and approved Ph.D.

Education Reimbursement payback requirement

An employee who terminates from the City of Fort Worth after receiving tuition reimbursement shall pay back 100% of all reimbursement received during the twelve (12) months immediately preceding termination and/or 50% of all reimbursement received during the 13-24 month period prior to termination.

Departments should notify the Benefits office when an employee who has received Tuition Reimbursement in the preceding 24 months terminates so that the amount that needs to be paid pack can be calculated. It is important to notify the Benefits office as soon as an employee who is receiving tuition reimbursement turns in a resignation. This will prevent a payment being made during the time between the employee’s resignation and the actual out processing date, and will mean less money for the City to try to recoup from the employee. If the employee's last check is not enough to satisfy the total amount owed to the city, the employee will receive a printed bill by mail for the difference owed to the city. 

Employees who are terminated due to a reduction in force, medical disability, or due to occupational illness or injury are not subject to the Payback provision.

 

 

 

 

 

  

Education Reimbursement Overview

Type of Education Reimbursement What's Reimbursable Education Reimbursement Rate Procedure

Degree Program - Job Related Courses 

NEW: Doctorate level degrees (Ph.D.) are covered only if in a field highly-related to the employee’s current classification with the approval of the Human Resources Director or designee. 

 

• Tuition paid by student or loan 

• General University Fee(s)

• Registration Fee(s)

• Course Fee(s)

• Lab Fee(s)

• Library Services Fee(s)

• I.T. or Distance Learning Fee(s)

 

Pre-tax reimbursable max per calendar year is $5,250.00

Submit form with the following:

  • Individual Degree Plan
  • Estimate of fees and tuition
  • Total amount of Grant or Scholarship/Award

On completion of Course turn in:

  • Official lettering grade 
  • Official itemized, paid receipt

 

Questions

For additional information please call the Benefits office at 817-392-7782 

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.


Education Substitution Criteria

Issued: March 2017

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

The City of Fort Worth Human Resources department has announced an exciting change to its’ hiring policy that will allow potential job candidates to substitute relevant work experience for traditional education requirements when applying for open positions. The HR team will implement a 2 to 1 ratio of work experience to education in order to qualify talent for open positions. This means all internal and external job candidates, regardless of their level of traditional education, will be considered for open positions if they have significant, relevant work experience.

Here’s how it works:

 

A Master Degree requirement

  • Bachelor Degree + 4 additional years relevant job experience
  • Associate Degree + 8 additional years relevant job experience
  • High School/GED + 12 additional years relevant experience

 

 

A Bachelor Degree requirement

  • Associate Degree + 4 additional years relevant job experience
  • High School/GED + 8 additional years relevant job experience

 

Example

A 2 to 1 ratio (Experience to Education) means candidates applying for a job requesting a Bachelors degree and three years of relevant job experience can have:

  • Associate Degree + 7 years relevant job experience (4 additional years of relevant job experience + the 3 years relevant job experience requirement of the position)
  • High School/GED + 11 years relevant job experience (8 additional years of relevant job experience + the 3 years relevant job experience requirement of the position)

This new policy change is designed to contribute to the size and depth of the talent pool that the city can tap into, while also increasing the level of diversity of candidates and allowing the city to be more competitive when recruiting in the current job market. The only exceptions to this policy will be when a degree is absolutely required in order to perform the essential duties of the position (i.e. an attorney must have a Juris Doctorate to legally practice law).

For positions that require only a high school diploma or GED, candidates without a high school diploma or GED will be considered if they have at least two additional years of job related experience. However, those candidates will not be considered for positions that require an Associate degree or above. Additionally, candidates hired who do not possess a high school diploma or GED will not be eligible for promotion to positions that require an Associate Degree or above. (Example: For a position that requires a high school diploma or GED, plus two years’ experience, candidates without a high school diploma or GED must have at least four years of job-related experience to be considered.)

For questions please contact the Human Resources Department.


Effective Date of Termination

Now that we are in PeopleSoft, I need to share a nuance with you regarding termination effective dates. The effective date of the termination that you put on the PAR is the day that the employee is no longer an employee of the City.

No time entered in the timesheet on the termination effective date, or after the effective date, will be paid by PeopleSoft. All time worked for which the employee should be paid, must be completed by the day before the termination effective date.


Existing  Policy Peoplesoft (ERP) Changes

With the launch of ERP, several policies outlined in the PRRs have been updated. A summary of policy changes(PDF, 42KB) is available now, and the relevant sections will be updated soon.


 

Firearms at the Workplace

History

In 1995 the Texas Legislature passed the concealed-carry law that allowed Texans with a permit to carry concealed firearms. Lawmakers specified exceptions for hospitals, courtrooms, churches, bars and at government meetings. (Article 4413 (29ee), Texas Revised Civil Statutes)

In 1997 the Legislature gave private-property owners the authority to ban concealed handguns on their premises.

In 2003, the Legislature approved SB 501, which took away the ability of local governments to ban concealed handguns in public places. This means that concealed-handgun license holders can carry their firearms onto local government property, except into buildings where courts meet and, if properly posted, in rooms where governmental meetings are being held.

Application

This new law applies to the City of Fort Worth, which means citizens who are properly licensed to carry concealed weapons can carry them into City facilities. However, the City’s Personnel Rules and Regulations forbid employees to carry firearms while on duty unless they are required to do so as part of their assigned duties.

The PRR’s do not apply to citizens, but they do apply to ALL City employees. Therefore, employees do not have the right to carry a weapon at work due to this new law. The policy for employees is as stated below.

Policy

Employees shall not carry or possess a firearm while on duty unless they are required to do so by the City Manager as part of their assigned duties. This policy includes employees who have a license from the State of Texas to carry a concealed handgun.

If an employee has a valid Texas license to carry a concealed handgun, he/she may carry a handgun in his/her personal vehicle while parked on City facilities or while using his/her personal vehicle on City business.

Employees who carry a handgun while on duty in violation of this policy shall be disciplined. Such discipline may include termination.

For more information, please see the Personnel Rules & Regulations or call Employee Relations at 817-392-7790.


FMLA Process

Issued: June 18, 2010 | Revised: Oct. 8, 2014

Family and Medical Leave Act

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

All City employees.

Definitions

Qualified exigency leave – is one of the two military family leave provisions. It may be taken for any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a covered military member is on active duty or call to active duty status. The Department of Labor’s related regulations include a broad list of activities that are considered qualifying exigencies and will permit eligible employees who are family members of a covered military member to take FMLA leave to address the most common issues that arise when a covered military member is deployed, such as attending military–sponsored functions, making appropriate financial and legal arrangements, and arranging for alternative childcare.

Intermittent leave – leave taken in separate blocks of time due to a single FMLA qualifying reason.

Immediate family member – For the purpose of Family Leave under FMLA, immediate family members are limited to an employee’s spouse, children and parents.

Spouse – For the purposes of FMLA, a spouse is defined as a husband or wife with whom an individual has entered into marriage as defined or recognized under State law for purposes of marriage in the State in which the marriage was entered into or, in the case of a marriage entered into outside of any State, if the marriage is valid in the place where entered into and could have been entered into in at least one State. This definition includes an individual in a same–sex or common law marriage that either (1) was entered into in a State that recognizes such marriages or, (2) if entered into outside of any State, is valid in the place where entered into and could have been entered into in at least one State.

Policy

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 Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave in a 12–month period. The Support for Injured Service members Act of 2007 (Military Family Leave) provides eligible employees up to 26 weeks of leave in any 12–month period in compliance with the expansion of FMLA. This advisory is intended to provide an overview and process information regarding the FMLA leave process is not a substitute for the pertinent Federal Regulations. If there is a conflict, the Federal Law and Regulations take precedence. See the Personal Rules and Regulations for various policies related to FMLA.

Leave Entitlement

Eligible employees may take up to 12 workweeks of leave in a 12–month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The birth of a son or daughter or placement of a son or daughter with the employee for adoption or foster care;
  • To care for a spouse, son, daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition;
  • For a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the essential functions of his or her job; or
  • For any qualifying exigency arising out of the fact that a spouse, son, daughter, or parent is a military member on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status.

An eligible employee may also take up to 26 workweeks of leave during a “single 12-month period” to care for a covered service member with a serious injury or illness, when the employee is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the service member. The “single 12-month period” for military caregiver leave is different from the 12-month period used for other FMLA leave reasons. For purposes of FMLA, “serious health condition” means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a health care provider.

Intermittent Leave

Under some circumstances, employees may take FMLA leave on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis. That means an employee may take leave in separate blocks of time or by reducing the time he or she works each day or week for a single qualifying reason. When leave is needed for planned medical treatment, the employee must make a reasonable effort to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. If FMLA leave is for the birth, adoption, or foster placement of a child, use of intermittent or reduced schedule leave requires the employer’s approval. Examples of intermittent leave include leave taken on an occasional basis for medical appointments, or leave taken several days at a time spread over a period of six months, such as for chemotherapy. Employees taking intermittent leave are required to comply with their department’s call–in procedures before taking unscheduled intermittent leave, except in certain emergency cases. Reduced leave is a leave schedule that reduces the usual number of hours per work week, or hours per work day, of an employee.

Only the time taken as FMLA leave may be charged against the employee’s entitlement when leave is taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule. Leave charges are in hours. The hours charged should be cumulative until such time as the total is equivalent to 12 normal workweeks.

The City can temporarily transfer an employee to an available alternative position with equivalent pay and benefits if the alternative position better accommodates the intermittent or reduced schedule. The temporary transfer may occur in instances when leave for the employee or employee’s family member is foreseeable and for planned medical treatment, including recovery from a serious health condition or to care for a child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care.

City Leave and the FMLA

Employees who request FMLA leave must use accrued City leave applicable to the leave request (Vacation, Vacation Leave, Short Term Sick Leave/Family Leave, Major Medical Sick, Sick and Family Illness Leave, Compensatory Leave). FMLA leave is used concurrently with appropriate, accrued city leave.

Employees approved for FMLA leave who have no accrued City leave are carried in a “without pay” status. Employees must use all appropriate, accrued City leave before being allowed to take FMLA leave without pay, with the exception of employees eligible for Major Medical Sick Leave.

Employees who are off work for more than three consecutive calendar days must be notified that their time off is being designated as FMLA leave.

Spouses Employed by the City

If spouses are employed by the City, and each wishes to take leave, the combined total leave for the birth or adoption of a child, placement of a child in foster care, or to care for a parent (but not a parent in–law) with a serious health condition, may be limited to 12 weeks. This limitation does not apply to leave for either the husband’s or wife’s own serious health condition or the serious health condition of a child.

If a husband and wife work for the City and each wishes to take leave to care for a covered injured or ill service member, the husband and wife may only take a combined total of 26 weeks of leave.

Health Care Benefit Continuation

The City maintains its responsibilities towards the employee’s group health coverage during FMLA leave. The City and employee maintain the same coverage under the same conditions that they would had the employee been working.

If an employee is on FMLA leave, the employee is expected to pay his or her required group health contributions to keep their coverage in effect. Employees should make payment arrangements with the Human Resources Department Benefits Division. Failure to make required contributions can result in cancellation of the employee’s and their dependent’s (if any) coverage. The employee is also solely responsible for making payment arrangements directly with any other entity (dental coverage, optional life insurance, employee association dues, Credit Union, etc.) for which payroll deductions are in place. If the employee fails to return from FMLA leave, the City may recover the costs for maintaining the employee’s health care coverage during the period of absence. The cost will be deducted from the employee’s final check or billed to the employee if the employee fails to return to work for a reason other than the continuation, recurrence or onset of a serious health condition or because of other circumstances beyond the employee’s control.

Circumstances not addressed by this regulation should be referred to the Human Resources Department’s Employee Relations Division.

FMLA Leave Process

General Overview

Only eligible employees are entitled to take FMLA leave. An eligible employee is one who:

  • Has worked for the employer for at least 12 months;
  • Has at least 1,250 hours of service for the employer during the 12 month period immediately preceding the leave. The 12 months of employment do not have to be consecutive. That means any time previously worked for the same employer (including temporary or seasonal work) could, in most cases, be used to meet the 12–month requirement. If the employee has a break in service that lasted seven years or more, the time worked prior to the break will not count unless the break is due to service covered by the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), or there is a written agreement, including a collective bargaining agreement, outlining the employer’s intention to rehire the employee after the break in service.

 

The MRC’s responsibilities regarding the protection of medical information are outlined in Administrative Regulation D-10. To obtain additional information regarding FMLA, please visit the Department of Labor website.

Questions

For additional information please call the HR Employee Relations Manager at 817-392-7757.

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.


Furloughs

Issued: March 2, 2010

Reissued: October 8, 2014

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

All City employees except sworn civil service employees of the fire and police departments.

Definitions

Furlough - A temporary layoff from work, during which an employee is without duties or pay because of a lack of work or funds or for other non-disciplinary reasons. For the purpose of calculating deadlines under the Personnel Rules and Regulations, a day that has been declared by the City Manager as a mandatory furlough day shall not be considered a working day.

Process

Employee furloughs may be declared by the City Manager when necessary for financial issues or other reasons that may require a monetary reduction in the City’s expenses. A furlough may be declared for all employees or for specific groups of employees. Furloughs can be declared by the day or partial days.

When a mandatory furlough is implemented, all furloughed employees shall be paid on an hourly basis during that workweek. Subject to the exceptions described below, furloughed employees shall neither be required nor allowed to work more than the number of allowable work hours in that workweek. Allowable work hours are determined by reducing a 40 hour work week by the number of mandated furlough hours for that week. If an employee works more than the number of allowable hours during a furlough week, the number of hours worked over the allowable hours, up to 40 hours must be taken as a furlough during another workweek.

Employees whose regular day off falls on a furlough day will be furloughed on a different day during that workweek. If an employee’s wages are reduced in lieu of a furlough day, those wages shall not fall below the federal minimum wage.

Non-exempt employees – During the week in which a furlough is mandated, non-exempt employees shall have their normal workweek reduced to the allowable number of hours in the workweek.

Exempt employees – When a furlough is mandated, exempt employees will be considered non-exempt during the week in which a furlough has been ordered and shall work only the allowable hours in that workweek. A mandatory furlough and the resulting deductions from pay shall not disqualify an exempt employee from being paid on a salary basis except in the workweek during which the furlough occurs and for which the employee’s pay is accordingly reduced.

Exceptions – Situations may arise which will require exceptions to the furlough policy. Department directors are authorized to use their discretionary authority to require employees to work more than the allowable work hours during a furlough week. In addition, certain departments may need to modify an individual employee’s furlough schedule because of operational needs.

If a situation occurs that requires an employee to work more hours in a workweek in which a furlough has been mandated, the additional hours will be compensated at straight time for hours worked up to 40 and at time and one-half for hours over 40.

During a furlough week, an employee who is called back to work on an emergency basis after regular working hours and after having left the job site, or to work a double shift, shall earn callback pay at 1 ½ times for a minimum of 2 hours (4 hours for civil service employees). The employee must limit total hours worked during the furlough week, including emergency callback hours, to the maximum allowable work hours if at all possible. If the emergency callback causes the employee’s total hours worked to exceed the allowable hours, the number of hours worked over the allowable hours and up to 40 must be furloughed in another workweek.

Supervisors and managers need to closely monitor and approve emergency callback to control unnecessary overtime costs.

  • Leave benefits – Benefit leave accruals shall be reduced during the pay period in which a furlough is taken in proportion to the reduction in the number of hours worked. If an employee’s wages are reduced in lieu of a furlough day, the employee’s leave accruals shall similarly be reduced in proportion to the reduction in pay. Accrued leave benefits, such as vacation or compensatory time, cannot be taken or used in lieu of a furlough.
  • Major medical sick leave – Furlough days can be used to access Major Medical Sick Leave and shall not be considered a break in service for employees who are on Major Medical Sick Leave.
  • Worker’s compensation benefits – Worker’s compensation weekly benefits (temporary income benefits) will not be affected by furlough days. Worker’s compensation supplements will not be paid on furlough days.
  • Violations of policy – Intentional violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including a prospective reduction in pay, days off without pay, and discharge.
  • Cancellation of furlough days – The City Manager or designee has the right to cancel a scheduled furlough day and reschedule it for another day as necessary.

Furlough questions and answers:

1. What is a furlough?

A furlough is the term used when employees are placed in a temporary non-duty, non-pay status because of a lack of work or funds or for other non-disciplinary reasons. It is a mandatory, temporary leave of absence from work without pay.

2. What are the designated furlough days?

The number of days furlough days and the dates the furloughs will occur are designated by the City Manager and approved by the City Council. Information on furlough days can be provided under the following headers:

FURLOUGH DAY DAY OF WEEK FURLOUGH DATE PAYCHECK REDUCED ON

3. Is the furlough an unpaid day?

Yes, a furlough day is an unpaid day. Full-time employees will receive no pay for 8 hours on each mandatory furlough day.

4. Why are employees being furloughed?

Employees are being furloughed because of the current economic downturn that the city is experiencing. Revenues for fiscal year 20xx are expected to be lower than originally projected. In order for city expenditures to be covered by expected lower revenues, the City Manager recommended numerous budget reduction proposals to the City Council, including x furlough days.

5. What other options could the city have taken instead of requiring furloughs?

The other option could have been to implement across the board salary reduction. However during the budget process, feedback was received from many employees that furloughs were preferable to across-the-board pay cuts.

6. What employees will be furloughed?

All employees except sworn civil service employees of the fire and police departments are affected by the furlough policy and must take furlough days.

7. Does the furlough policy affect part-time employees, temporary employees, seasonal employees and probationary employees?

Yes. The policy applies to temporary employees, seasonal employees, and employees who are on probation, in the same manner as for regular, permanent employees.

8. Will new employees be required to take furlough days?

Upon being hired, new hires will be required to take furlough days for the remaining furlough days in fiscal year 20xx.

9. Are employees who are in grant funded positions or in positions funded through enterprise funds, special funds or internal service funds required to take furlough days?

Yes. All civilian, non-sworn civil service employees must take furlough days regardless of funding source.

10. Are all employees required to take the same amount of days and hours off for furloughs?

Full-time employees regardless of work schedules will be furloughed for eight (8) hours on each of the x (x) designated furlough days. The total number of furlough hours for a full-time employee is xx hours in Fiscal Year 20xx. Part-time employees will be furloughed for an equivalent proportional amount of their normal work day. For example, a part-time employee working 20 hours per week will be furloughed for four (4) hours on each designated furlough day, for a total of xx hours during the fiscal year. All employees must be off work on furlough days, unless otherwise directed to work by their department.

11. What will be the impact of furlough days on my wages and annual earnings? Will I see a reduction in pay for the furlough day?

A full-time employee whose normal work week is 40 hours will be reduced by 8 hours on the furlough day. Hours of part-time employees will be reduced on a proportionate basis (4 hours unpaid leave for a 20 hour part-time employee). Therefore, an employee’s gross earnings amount during a furlough pay period will be reduced by 10% from regular earnings. On an annual basis, a full-time employee will be reduced by xx hours which will result in annual wages being reduced by approximately x%.

12. May the furlough days be taken in partial days or does the furlough day have to be taken in full day increments?

Employees are required to take furlough days on the designated days in 8-hour increments unless the department requires the employee to reschedule the furlough hours to an alternate date, or to an alternate partial work schedule, because of the operational needs of the department.

13. If an employee is authorized or required to reschedule furlough days, how long does the employee have to reschedule the furlough?

The employee, supervisor and manager should reschedule the furlough as soon as practicable based on the operational needs of the department. The rescheduled furlough must be taken within fiscal year 20xx.

14. How will furlough days be scheduled?

Unless directed otherwise, an employee’s furlough day will be on the days designated as city furlough days (see #2 above). Certain departments may require different scheduling for operational purposes. Employees required to work on a furlough day shall receive an equivalent alternative furlough day in accordance with operational needs of the department. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring that employees take the day off on designated furlough days, or on alternative furlough dates as rescheduled.

15. What happens when a furlough day falls on a day that I have a regularly scheduled day off?

Supervisors and employees must re-schedule a day off during a furlough week to occur on a different day from the designated furlough day. The employee must not work on a designated furlough day, and the furlough day will be without pay.

16. What happens if I have previously scheduled a vacation day on a furlough day and my supervisor has previously approved the leave?

If your vacation occurs during a designated furlough day, the time coded for the furlough day will be WF (without pay, furlough day).

17. What happens when a supervisor or manager requires an employee to work a furlough day?

An employee who is required to work on a furlough day should report to work as directed by his or her supervisor. The furlough day must be re-scheduled to a different day.

18. If I am required to work or I am called back to work on a scheduled furlough day because of the nature of my job, am I required to reschedule my furlough day? If so, how will the furlough day be rescheduled?

Yes, a civilian employee required to work on a furlough day will be paid for that work day and the employee will be required to reschedule the furlough day. Rescheduling will be handled by department supervisors and managers in accordance with the department’s operational needs, subject to the approval of the department head.

Employees scheduled for a furlough day who are called back to work will be compensated for the hours worked, and the supervisor and employee will work together to reschedule the furlough to another day.

19. How will furlough days affect me if I work a 9, 10, or 12 hour per day shift?

All employees must be off work on a designated furlough day unless otherwise required to work. Schedules during a furlough week may need to be adjusted or flexed to reschedule the remaining 32 hours on other days of the furlough week. Employees working 9, 10, or 12 hour shifts may use leave beyond the 8 furlough hours, to avoid being furloughed for more hours than is required.

20. Can I use personal leave time (vacation, sick, compensatory time, personal holiday, holiday time earned) instead of taking unpaid leave on a furlough day?

No. Furlough days are unpaid leave. However, appropriate leave time approved by a supervisor may be used during a furlough week as long as 8 hours of unpaid leave is recorded on the furlough day and no more than 32 hours are paid during the furlough week.

21. Will the furlough hours count towards the calculation of overtime eligibility?

No. Time that employees take on furlough days will not be counted toward overtime eligibility.

22. Can I work overtime to make up for time and wages lost on a furlough day?

No, overtime defeats the purpose of the furlough day in terms of salary savings. In addition, an employee and supervisor may not schedule overtime work at a later date or pay period specifically for the purpose of making up for time and wages lost on a furlough day.

23. What if I work more than 32 hours during a furlough week, will I be paid overtime pay?

Overtime pay for a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) non-exempt employee does not begin to accrue until the employee has worked 40 hours. If an FLSA non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours, then overtime must be paid for the number of hours over 40, according to overtime requirements of the FLSA. An employee who works over 32 hours up to 40 hours will be paid straight time. Any hours over 40 must be paid at time and one-half.

An FLSA exempt employee is considered to be non-exempt during a furlough week, and the same rules for overtime will apply. Supervisors and managers must avoid any overtime during a furlough pay period unless a bona fide emergency situation exists.

If employee works more than 32 hours in a designated furlough week, the furlough hours will need to be made up later.

24. Can I work overtime or accrue compensatory time in the work week in which I take a furlough day?

No. Overtime work defeats the purpose of the furloughs in realizing cost savings to the city. FLSA Non-exempt civilian employees may not work overtime and may not accrue compensatory time in the furlough work week. During a furlough pay period and depending on departmental operational needs, FLSA non-exempt civilian employees may work overtime during the work week when the furlough day does not occur. FLSA exempt civilian employees may accrue compensatory time during the work week of the pay period when the furlough day does not occur.

25. Will an exempt (non-hourly) employee be allowed to work additional hours and/or take flex time in the same work week as furlough time?

No, unless additional hours of work are authorized by the department director.

26. Can I work from home and get paid on a furlough day?

No. Employees are strictly prohibited from working at home or anywhere else on a furlough day. This restriction includes reading and responding to emails via the internet and using a Blackberry to conduct City business.

27. If I am out on Family Medical Leave (FML) during furlough day(s), do I have to take furlough day(s)?

If the employee is out on paid FML during furlough day(s) the employee’s time will be entered WF on the furlough day(s) during fiscal year 20xx.

If the employee is out on unpaid FML during furlough day(s), the employee would not need to make up the furlough(s) during fiscal year 20xx.

28. If I am required to be on jury duty on a furlough day, will I be required to take the furlough day?

Yes. An employee required to serve on jury on a furlough day can take court leave for the jury duty, or the employee can take the furlough day as scheduled. If the employee takes court leave on a furlough day, the employee is required to reschedule the furlough day as soon as it is feasible based on department operational needs.

29. Will furlough days affect my leave accrual?

Yes. Annual leave and sick leave accruals during a furlough pay period will be affected by a furlough day. Leave accrual for vacation and sick leave is based on hours paid. Generally, leave accruals will be reduced by 10% during the furlough pay period. All leave accrual reductions will occur in the pay period that contains the furlough day.

30. How do I mark a furlough day on the timesheet?

The timesheet code for a furlough day is WF (without pay, furlough). Department timekeepers / human resources coordinators must ensure correct coding of furlough days, including rescheduled furlough days.

31. How will a furlough day affect the requirement for being off work for 56 hours prior to going into Major Medical Leave?

If an employee is off work on a furlough day due to a medical condition, the hours off work on the furlough day will count toward the required 56 hours off work in order to qualify to use Major Medical Sick Leave. However, the 8 hours during the furlough day will be unpaid leave, rather than other personal leave.

32. How will furlough days impact workers’ compensation and an employee who is off on injury leave due to a compensable workers’ compensation injury? How will furlough days impact salary supplementation?

Furlough days being unpaid leave will slightly affect calculations of Average Weekly Wage (AWW) during the 13 weeks prior to an injury. Because wages are reduced by the unpaid leave hours on furlough days, then AWW will be slightly reduced.

A furlough day does not affect income benefit payments to injured employees. The City’s third party claims administrator is required by state statute to pay income benefits if the injured employee is taken off work by his or her treating physician. If the off duty status includes a furlough day, the workers’ compensation income benefit is not affected by the furlough day.

A furlough day will affect any salary supplement benefits for employees who are off work due to a compensable workers’ compensation injury. Salary supplement benefits will not be paid on a furlough day, since the furlough day is unpaid leave.

33. How will the grievance procedure be impacted by a furlough day?

A furlough day is not considered a work day for the purposes of grievance timelines. If a furlough day occurs during a period of suspension under the disciplinary action policy, the suspension period is extended by the number of furlough days occurring during the disciplinary suspension period.

34. Will furlough days affect my health benefits?

No. A furlough day does not affect an employee’s health insurance benefits. Health insurance premiums will be deducted as normal from an employee’s paycheck.

35. Will furlough days affect my pension benefits?

Furlough days may have an impact on an employee who is in his or her high 5 years in 20xx and 20xx because of the reduced earnings due to the furloughs.

36. Will furlough days affect employees who selected the high option supplemental life insurance? Will the furlough result in less coverage for employees?

Supplemental life insurance is based on projected annual earnings. It is possible that the amount of life insurance coverage may be reduced because of earnings lost from the furlough days.

37. Will performance review dates be affected by furloughs?

No, an employee’s performance review date will not be affected by furloughs.

38. What does a furlough day not affect?

Furlough days do not affect any of the following:

  1. Longevity pay
  2. Health benefits coverage
  3. Pension benefits, unless 20xx or 20xx are part of an employee’s “high five” years
  4. Probationary period for new hires
  5. Performance review date

39. Will city offices and buildings be closed on furlough days?

Yes. City offices and buildings will be closed, unless it is occupied by a department that is excepted from closure. Exceptions include departments such as Police, Fire, Water, Aviation and Public Events. Management in these departments will identify alternate furlough days for employees who are not sworn Civil Service employees.

40. Will an employee who is required to work on a holiday during a furlough week earn holiday overtime pay?

Yes. Holiday pay will be paid in accordance with Personnel Rules and Regulations to a regular employee who must work on a designated City holiday during a furlough week. Employees must limit their hours worked during the furlough week to 32 hours. Hours worked over 32 must be furloughed during another week, based upon the operational needs of the individual department.

41. Will an employee who is on call and is called back to work due to an emergency on a furlough day or a holiday during a furlough week earn emergency callback pay?

Yes. Emergency call back pay will be paid in accordance with Personnel Rules and Regulations to a regular employee who is on call and responds to an emergency call back on a furlough day or on a designated City holiday during a furlough week. Employees must limit their hours, including emergency call back hours, during the furlough week to 32 hours. Hours worked over 32 must be furloughed during another week, based upon the operational needs of the individual department.

42. How will the pay of an employee who is receiving “acting pay” be affected?

An employee who is receiving “acting pay” must take the furlough day off “without pay.” The employee will receive acting pay for the remaining 9 days of the furlough pay period if still working in an acting capacity.

43. Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Contact your designated Departmental Human Resources Coordinator (HRC) should you have additional questions.

 

 

Questions

For additional information please call the Assistant HR Director at 817-392-7783 or another Assistant HR Director at 817-392-2632.

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.


Inappropriate Conduct

Did you know:

  • Inappropriate conduct includes bringing sexually explicit photographs, cartoons or objects to the workplace;
  • Horseplay, pranks, and other non-work related behaviors may be examples of inappropriate conduct;
  • Jokes (verbal, electronic, printed, or in any other medium) that demean people or have sexual, racial, religious or ethnic content are considered inappropriate; such inappropriate behavior can lead to harassment;
  • Workplace violence is any behavior which is severe, offensive, and intimidating enough to cause an individual to reasonably fear for his/her personal safety; and Inappropriate conduct, sexual harassment, and workplace violence are serious offenses and investigated thoroughly

What happens when violence or inappropriate conduct cases are reported?

  • Employee makes report/complaint to their immediate supervisor (or next in chain of command) or contacts HR’s Employee Relations Division;
  • In meeting with the employee, the supervisor gathers all preliminary information, without going into a full investigation;
  • Supervisors contact Employee Relations in HR to discuss the situation;
  • HR determines whether an internal (without HR) or external (HR + department) investigation should be made;
  • If the employee contacts HR’s Employee Relations Division, HR determines if an investigation is warranted. HR Cannot honor requests of confidentiality from the employee if it will hinder an investigation of the allegations.

If HR determines the matter does not warrant investigation, the matter will be dropped unless more information arises that warrants investigation. If an investigation is warranted, it is conducted.

How is disciplinary action determined?

  • After investigation of a complaint, representatives from the Department of Law, Human Resources, and the department in which the complaint was made convene an Executive Summary meeting to discuss appropriate disciplinary action;
  • Disciplinary actions may include suspension, termination, mandatory referral to EAP, demotion, or other actions deemed appropriate.

What happens if there is a difference of opinion on disciplinary action?

The ACM for the department decides what action to take. Typically a range of disciplinary actions is recommended from the Executive Summary meeting.

This process insures consistency in the application of the policies and disciplinary decisions.

For additional information please refer to the Harassment-free and Inappropriate Conduct policies in the Personnel Rules and Regulations or call the Employee Relations Division at 817-392-7790.


Leave of Absence

Issued: Oct. 5, 2011

Revised: Oct. 8, 2014

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

This policy applies to all regular (non-temporary) employees of the City of Fort Worth.

Definitions

Leave of Absence – Absence from duty for more than one full pay period.

Leave of Absence without pay – Employee will not receive any type of pay/income from the City during the absence from duty. Placing an employee on a leave without pay will stop all leave accruals; holiday pay; and holiday accruals during the absence. Leave of absence without pay will also stop all additional pays including bilingual pay; certification pay; educational incentive pay; etc. For shorter periods without pay, use the TRC “WPY” on the timesheet for the hours (less than one full workday) without pay or use the absence event “Absence Without Pay Take” for full day absences without pay. For these shorter periods of absence without pay (less than a pay period) leave accruals will be prorated.

Leave of Absence with pay - Employee will receive some type of pay while absent from duty.

Any pay for leave will be in accordance with the policy for the specific leave that the employee is utilizing.

Policy

Generally, a leave of absence without pay may be granted by a department director for reasons that benefit both the City and the employee. The specific policies regarding the circumstances and approval authority for placing an employee on a leave of absence with or without pay are cited in the Personnel Rules and Regulations. Please see the full Personnel Rules and Regulations for details on leave of absence and leave policies.

Illustrations

Once it has been determined that the employee meets the criteria for a leave of absence with or without pay, a PAR should be initiated using one of the following action/reason code combinations.

Unpaid leave of absence

  • Education - CFW Action/Reason (LOA/EDU) combination used to indicate an unpaid leave of absence for educational reasons. Employee has exhausted all entitlement balances.
  • Family and medical leave act - CFW Action/Reason (LOA/FML) combination used when an employee goes out on an approved unpaid FMLA leave. Employee has exhausted all entitlement balances.
  • Health reasons - CFW Action/Reason (LOA/HEA) combination used to indicate an unpaid leave of absence for health reasons. Employee has exhausted all entitlement balances and does not qualify for FMLA leave. (even if the employee qualified for FMLA but didn’t have any leave available the employee should be on an unpaid leave)
  • Military service - CFW Action/Reason combination (LOA/MIL) used to indicate an unpaid leave of absence for military service reasons. Employee has exhausted all entitlement balances, is no longer entitled to military supplement and is receiving no compensation.
  • Worker’s compensation leave - CFW Action/Reason (LOA/WKC) combination used to indicate an unpaid leave of absence for a worker’s compensation incident. Employee has exhausted all leave/pay entitlements and is no longer receiving any compensation.

Paid leave of absence

  • Administrative leave - CFW Action/Reason (PLA/ADL) combination used to place an employee on an approved paid leave of absence for administrative reasons, in accordance with the PRRs. In these cases the employee is not using their paid leave balances. Hours on the timesheet should be coded with the TRC REG. Also, comments should be added to the comment bubble on the timesheet for the first day of the absence period indicating that this is an administrative leave.
  • Donated leave - CFW Action/Reason (PLA/DNL) combination used to place an employee on a paid leave of absence while they are using voluntary leave bank hours OR donated leave. This is used in conjunction with the appropriate absence name on the employee’s timesheet (donated leave or voluntary leave bank).
  • Military deployment - CFW Action/Reason combination (PLA/MIL) used to place an employee on a paid leave of absence for military deployment leave. This action/reason is the trigger that is used when the employee is determined to be eligible for a manually calculated military supplement using the TRC MLS on the timesheet. It is also used if the employee is using an approved paid leave such as vacation or comp time used to cover all or a portion of their deployment time.
  • Military training leave - CFW Action/Reason (PLA/MTL) combination used to place an employee on a paid leave of absence for military training leave for more than one full pay period and used in conjunction with the military leave TRC (MLV) on the employee’s timesheet

 

 

 

Questions

For additional information please call the HR HRIS Manager at 817-392-7567 or the Assistant HR Director at 817-392-2632. Any questions regarding Workers’ Compensation should be referred to OHS at 817-392-8529.


Mandatory Use of Compensatory Time

Issued: Jan. 26, 2001

Reissued: Oct. 8, 2014

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

Non-exempt General employees

Definitions

Compensatory Time – Paid time off earned by Non-exempt employees at a rate of one and one-half times the hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a work week. The FLSA allows non-exempt employees to earn compensatory time in lieu of overtime pay. A non-exempt employee may earn up to 120 of compensatory time. When an employee obtains 120 hours of compensatory time in a work week, any hours worked above 40 hours in that work week must be paid as overtime.

Procedure

Under appropriate circumstances, a supervisor may require an employee to use accrued compensatory time. Required use of compensatory time is used to control overtime expenses and to effectively use employee time. When productive work is not available or it is not essential that the employee be at work, the supervisor may release the employee from work requiring the employee to use compensatory time.

The required use of compensatory time should be planned in advance where possible. A supervisor may release an employee for a partial work day, but should take into consideration the amount of time the employee has already worked and how convenient it is for the employee.

Required use of compensatory time is especially appropriate for those jobs that tend to have periodic cycles of work volume. During certain periods, employees may be required to accrue large amounts of compensatory time. In other parts of the cycle, the work volume is such that the employee has considerable non-productive time on the job.

Examples

Required use of compensatory time can be used to even out the hours worked in this cycle. An example is work crews who must put in considerable hours during cold periods in the winter repairing potholes or broken water pipes. Then, in the summer, the workload is considerably less allowing employees to take off time without impacting productivity.

Another example is an employee who is required to work considerable hours at special events such as Mayfest or the Stock Show. When the event is over, or at interim times during the normal work cycle, there may be insufficient productive work for the employee to perform, allowing the employee to take off using the earned compensatory time.

In some cases, it may be appropriate for a supervisor to require use of compensatory time instead of vacation leave when an employee requests use of vacation leave. The supervisor should first check to determine if the employee is in a “use or lose situation” in regards to vacation leave. If the employee has already used the required number of vacation leave hours in a year or is otherwise in no danger of losing vacation leave, use of compensatory time can be required rather than allowing the employee to use vacation leave. If the employee is in a “use or lose situation” with vacation leave, the supervisor must evaluate the probability that the employee will have sufficient opportunity to use the required number of vacation leave hours during the remainder of the year.

 

 

Questions

For additional information please call the HR Class and Comp Manager at 817-392-7772 or HR Director at 817-392-7783.

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.


Major Medical Leave for Worker's Compensation 

Applicability

This Advisory applies to all general employees who have sustained a compensable injury or occupational disease under the Texas Workers' Compensation Act ( and is taken off work by a medical doctor related to the compensable injury or occupational disease.

Police officers and fire fighters receive full pay for a line of duty injury leave of absence under Local Government Code, §143.073 and therefore, this policy does not apply to those groups.

Background

Below are several scenarios that provide guidance to employees, supervisors and timekeepers in the application of this policy.

Currently, general employees of the City of Fort Worth who sustain work-related injuries receive benefits through the City's Self-Insured Workers' Compensation Program that cover approximately 70% of their income (pre-injury average weekly wage) during their initial recovery. In addition, the City provides a salary supplement for eligible employees at the following levels based upon the employee's length of service with the City:

  • Greater than 10 years = 100% of the gap *
  • 5 to 10 years = 75% of the gap
  • Six months to 5 years = 50% of the gap
  • Less than 6 months = 0% of the gap

* The "gap" is the difference between the employee's normal or base pay for regular scheduled hours minus the workers' compensation income benefit payment.

Policy (New)

In addition to other available accrued personal leave, general employees may request approval to use accrued major medical sick leave to supplement their income while off work on workers' compensation. To access accrued MML, the injured employee must use 56 consecutive hours of accrued leave time (vacation, short term sick, old sick, personal holiday, compensatory time, etc.) and/or time off without pay before MML may be used.
This policy change is effective December 15, 2012. The policy does not apply retroactively to prior pay periods.

Procedures

The City of Fort Worth provides Major Medical Leave to any non-civil service employee who occupies a full-time or part-time non-elected position, is a member of the Retirement fund, and has completed their initial probationary period. Accrued leave usage is limited to the amount of hours needed for the employee to receive base salary.

Base salary is defined as the employee's hourly rate times their normal scheduled work hours (40 hours week). Base salary does not include overtime, shift differential, certification, or any other pay the employee may have received prior to the date of injury. The workers' compensation benefit, plus salary supplement, plus accrued leave usage supplement cannot exceed the employee's normal base salary.

To use accrued leave supplement, employees must submit a written request to his/her department Medical Records Coordinator (MRC). The employee's workers' compensation benefit, salary supplement benefit (if eligible), and accruals of appropriate leave and compensatory time will be reviewed. The MRC shall notify the employee of his/her eligibility to use available accrued leave, including Major Medical Leave.

The department MRC and the employee will work together to determine the amounts and the types of leave that will be used to supplement his/her salary.

1 The Texas Workers' Compensation Act is codified in the Texas Labor Code, Title 5, Subtitle A. Return.


 

Non-Immigrant Work Visas (H-1B Status)

 Issued: Aug. 23, 2011

Reissued: Aug. 17, 2017

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

All City departments and non-immigrant workers

Definitions

The following words and terms, when used in this advisory shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

Alien – any person who is not a citizen or national of the U.S.

Immigrant – all aliens, but some aliens are defined as non-immigrants under the immigration laws. “Non-immigrant” includes an alien who is a resident of a foreign country, who has no intention of abandoning his or her country of residence, and who is visiting the U.S. temporarily for business or pleasure.

Background

Individuals who reside outside the United States, but work here on a temporary basis are admitted to the Country solely to perform services in a specialty occupation under a non-immigrant work visa. A specialty occupation means an occupation that requires a theoretical and practical application of a body of specialized knowledge and attainment of a bachelor’s degree or higher.

The vast majority of non-immigrant workers have H-1B status, which is a general category. Employees from Chile and Singapore are classified as H-1B1 due to the free trade agreements the United States has with these countries. Employees from Australia are classified as E-3 and have different requirements due to treaties with that country. Requests for City of Fort Worth sponsorship have primarily been for non-immigrant workers with H-1B status.

The City of Fort Worth has chosen not to be an H-1B visa sponsor due to the associated direct and indirect costs.

 

Questions

For additional information please call the HR Staffing Services Manager at 817-392-7758 or Assistant HR Director at 817-392-2632.

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.


Parental Leave 

Issued: Oct. 1, 2020

Flexible and family-friendly policies are essential to cultivating an atmosphere where employees can thrive professionally without sacrificing essential family obligations.  The City of Fort Worth provides paid parental leave to employees following the birth of an employee’s child or the placement of a child with an employee in connection with adoption, foster care or other legal placement. The purpose of paid parental leave is to enable the employee to care for and bond with a newborn, newly adopted child, new foster child or other legal placement.

Parental Leave Policy(PDF, 131KB)


Payroll Deductions 

Issued: Oct. 8, 2014

Reissued: April 18, 2018

Human Resources (HR) Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

Employee organizations, associations and City-approved businesses or services.

Policy

Payroll deductions are available for legally-mandated deductions and deductions associated with City-sponsored programs. Payroll deductions are also available for membership dues for employee organizations, associations and other City-offered services.

Guidelines

Payroll deductions are available under the guidelines and procedures that follow:

Employee Groups/Associations

  • Employees may authorize or cancel a payroll deduction by completing and signing a Voluntary Payroll Deduction form or completing enrollment/registration with the City’s employee voluntary benefits and savings program vendor.
  • The organization appropriately supports the values and strategic mission of the City as determined by the Human Resources Director or designee.
  • Employee organizations must be chartered by the Texas Secretary of State to qualify for the payroll deduction service.
  • There is no minimum membership requirement for employee organizations; however, administrative charges may be higher if the membership is small.
  • Employees are assessed a minimum charge each payday for each deduction.
  • No changes will be made to an employee’s payroll deduction without the authorization of the employee.

The City reserves the right to withdraw payroll deduction privileges for Employee Groups/Associations with 60 days advance notice for failure to meet the above requirements or when deemed in the best interest of the City.

Businesses and organizations may submit their products or services (including donations for charitable giving) for review of eligibility for payroll deduction to the Human Resources Director and for submission to the City’s voluntary employee benefits and savings program vendor. Requests to provide business services through payroll deduction are evaluated on the following:

  • Appropriateness of product or services to the employees of the City
  • Nature and amount (discount) of the benefit to employees
  • The anticipated level of employee interest in the product or service
  • Impact on the City’s or the City’s voluntary employee benefits and savings program vendor’s administration system and personnel

Businesses approved for payroll deduction may be assessed an initial setup charge, a service fee for each deduction each payday, and an individual service fee for each employee’s deduction for each pay period by the City’s voluntary employee benefits and savings program vendor.The City has relationships with local organizations (e.g. the United Way of Metropolitan Tarrant County, YMCA, and Brotherhood For the Fallen), whose missions are consistent with City Council’s Strategic Goals. These organizations will remain exempt from this Policy as determined by the Human Resources Director or designee. The Human Resources Director or designee, in consultation with the City’s voluntary employee benefits and savings program vendor, will also make the final decision if a product or service or charitable organization will be offered through payroll deduction under this Policy.

The City reserves the right to limit the approval to a reasonable number of providers with duplicate services. The City also reserves the right to withdraw payroll deduction privileges for businesses and organizations with 60 days advance notice when deemed in the best interest of the City.

 

Questions

For additional information, please call the Assistant HR Director at 817-392-8058 or another Assistant HR Director at 817-392-2632.

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.


Personnel Action Requests (PAR)

 Issued: March 11, 2013

Reissued: Oct. 8, 2014

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

HRCs (Human Resources Coordinators) in all departments.

Definitions

Personnel and Position Action Request – a paper or electronic form used to submit personnel transactions on personnel or positions to the HRIS/Records Division of Human Resources for input into PeopleSoft for record keeping.

Pay group or work group – A pay group is a logical grouping of employees based on shared characteristics that facilitate payroll processing because of common requirements such as employee class and pay frequency. A workgroup is a group of time reporters who share identical compensation requirements such as FLSA requirements, rate of pay (hourly, exception hourly, salaried), and types of TRCs.

Additional Information

All Personnel Action Requests (PARs) should be submitted to Human Resources (HR) Records a week prior to the effective date on the PAR. PARs that change an employee’s pay group or work group must have an effective date of the beginning of the pay period. Exceptions: Approved new hire PARs must be received in HR Records by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, the week before the Scheduled New Employee Orientation (NEOP). Terminations must be received by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday of non-payroll week. The effective date of the termination is the date the employee is no longer an employee of the City.

The employee is not paid for any time the employee has on the timesheet after the termination effective date.

Attachments are required for all the action reasons related to Pay Rate changes listed below:

  • PAY/ACT = Acting pay start
  • PAY/DRR = Disciplinary reductions
  • PAY/REC = Job reclassifications
  • PAY/ADJ = Market adjustments
  • PAY/MIC = Merit increase special
  • PAY/EQY = Pay equity adjustment
  • PRO/PRO = Promotions

Questions

For additional information please call the HR HRIS/Records Manager at 817-392-7567 or Assistant HR Director at 817-392-2632.

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.


Off-Cycle Checks

Issued: March 11, 2013

Reissued: Oct. 8, 2014

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

All employees.

Definitions

Off cycle check – A check produced outside of the scheduled payroll processing period, created for a specific purpose such as a pay correction or reimbursement.

Purpose

Timekeepers and HRCs need to be knowledgeable of the guidelines and timeframes for processing corrections and off-cycle checks. Requests for off-cycle checks and corrections should be made using these guidelines and timeframes.

Timeline

Request for off cycle checks must be submitted to HRIS no later than 10AM on the Friday of payroll processing week or no later than 10AM on Wednesday of a non-payroll processing week.

HRIS will complete the form by 11AM on Friday of payroll processing week or by 11AM on Wednesday of a non-payroll processing week, and deliver the correction to Payroll for same day off-cycle processing. There will be exceptions if HRIS or Payroll encounters problems.

Please note, the number of corrections received and the time it takes to make the corrections will determine the number of off-cycle check requests that may be submitted to Payroll by 11AM. The earlier a department can submit a correction for an off-cycle check to HR will increase the probability the correction will be processed for submittal to Payroll in a timely manner.

Corrections and off-cycle checks that cannot be completed on the payday Friday will be processed the following Wednesday.

Processing Timeline

Timelines for processing off-cycle checks and corrections will be based on the days and hours when Absence and Time and Labor corrections can be made in PeopleSoft.

Corrections and off-cycle checks will only be processed on the two following days:

  • Payday Friday
  • Wednesday of the following non-payroll week.

The correction must be submitted as early as possible to HRIS so that HRIS has sufficient time to review and process the correction form. If HRIS can process the corrections and submit the corrections to Payroll before 11AM, the off-cycle check will usually be processed as a Direct Deposit (ACH) on payday Friday or Wednesday of the following week.

However, there are many reasons why an off-cycle check request may take longer to resolve and miss the cut-off timeframe. Payroll will verify all corrections that are submitted and if Payroll arrives at different results than provided by the Department or HRIS, the correction must be reconciled.

Since requests for off-cycle checks are most frequently submitted to HRIS on a payday, HRIS has a very short window to process corrections and send the off-cycle check requests to Payroll by 11AM Friday.

This emphasizes the importance of timekeepers and HRCs checking their queries and variance reports and making the appropriate corrections before payroll runs to reduce the number of off-cycle checks that are needed each payday.

Payroll will process the corrections received by 11AM from HRIS and send the funds through ACH (direct deposit) on Payday Friday. Any corrections received after 11AM from HRIS on payday Friday but before 11AM on the following non-payroll Wednesday will be processed through ACH on Wednesday of the non-payroll week. Funds should be available the following business day. The availability of the funds may vary due to the employee’s financial intuition.

General information

Corrections for off-cycle checks will be done only to ensure that an employee receives 80 hours of pay for the pay period. Corrections for such pay categories as shift differential, acting pay, special pays, pay rate changes, etc. will be processed for inclusion on the next pay period check unless this will create a hardship for the employee. Corrections for pay categories such as overtime must meet a minimum of $175 before taxes.

Correction forms should only be submitted to HRIS for the following reasons:

  • The correction form is outside the 28 days in which timekeepers have access to the timesheets.
  • The Timekeeper needs assistance in determining and correcting the issue.
  • The employee is requesting an off-cycle check.

If an off-cycle check is not being requested and the timekeeper is able to make the correction, you do not need to submit a correction form to HRIS. Correction forms should only be submitted for the three reasons listed above.

There is no minimum dollar amount for an off-cycle check if an employee has received less than their standard hours (usually 80 hours) of base pay. The minimum dollar amount needs to be based on the level of hardship the employee would experience if required to wait until the next paycheck to receive the pay. Before a request for an off-cycle check is sent to HR, the timekeeper and/or employee authorized to approve the correction must ascertain if a hardship will exist or if the employee can wait until the next paycheck to receive the pay. If there is no hardship, the correction needs to be done as an on-cycle payment for the next paycheck. HR may contact a department to validate the need for an off-cycle check if the pay amount is minor.

 

 

Questions

For additional information please call the HR HRIS/Records Manager at 817-392-7567 or the Assistant HR Director at 817-392-2632.

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.


Overtime Grant 

Issued: June 7, 2011

Revised: Oct. 8, 2014

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of Personnel Rules & Regulations, provide guidelines on procedures, provide additional detail or information on a Rule, describe Best Practices or serve as a teaching resource.

Applicability

This policy applies to all sworn and non-sworn personnel working under grants that are intended to supplement the city’s activities with overtime resources. Examples include STEP, Click-It-Or-Ticket, etc. This does not apply to grant programs that directly fund positions or portions of positions.

Definitions

Supplanting – to deliberately reduce or reallocate state, local or agency funds because of the acceptance or anticipated acceptance of federal grant funds.

Hours Worked – Hours actually worked and leave categories that are counted as hours worked for the purpose of computing overtime (Holiday Leave, Holiday Leave Accrued, Personal Holiday Leave, Special Personal Holiday Leave)

Policy

In order to avoid supplanting, the City must meet its 40 hour obligation to an employee by paying regular or leave time and not replacing any of that obligation with grant funds. The rate of pay will only be time-and-a-half for hours

 

Illustrations

If an employee wants to ensure that they are eligible to receive compensation for the grant activity at a time and a half rate, he or she should avoid taking time off during weeks they work on grant funded projects. However, if it is unavoidable, it is recommended that they charge the leave in the following cascading order: Holiday Leave (HOL), Holiday Leave Accrued (HLA), Personal Holiday Leave (PHL), Special Personal Holiday Leave (SPHL). All other leave types will not be considered time worked and may result in Scenario 1 below.

1. An employee uses 8 hours of sick leave during a week that he/she also works 12 hours of a grant detail. This policy would result in the employee receiving 32 hours of regular pay, 8 hours of sick pay (and sick leave balance would be reduced by 8 hours) plus 8 hours of straight-time OT and 4 hours of OT paid at the employee’s normal overtime rate, funded from the grant.

Sa Su M T W Th F
Regular shift 0 0 8R 8R 8S 8R 8R
Grant Activity 6 STOT 2 STOT/4 OT

2. An employee on a 4/10 shift works a holiday and works 12 hours of a grant detail in the same week. The employee would receive 30 hours of regular pay, 10 hours of holiday overtime pay and accrue 8 hours of holiday leave to use in the future. In addition, they would be paid 10 hours of STOT and 2 hours of OT from the grant. Since the holiday is already being paid at time and a half, the employee would not be paid under the grant at a time and a half rate until they exceed a the equivalent of 40 hours worked at straight time.

Sa Su M T W Th F
Regular shift 10HOT/8 Holiday Accrued 10R 10R 10R 0
Grant Activity 6 STOT 4 STOT/2 OT

3. An employee on a 4/10 shift does not work the holiday and works a 12-hour grant detail during the same week. The employee would receive 30 hours of regular pay, 8 hours of holiday pay, and 2 hours of vacation pay. The grant would pay 2 hours of STOT and 10 hours of OT. The holiday taken counts as time worked but the vacation taken does not.

Sa Su M T W Th F
Regular shift 8 holiday pay/2 hours of vacation leave 10R 10R 10R 0
Grant Activity 2 STOT; 4 OT 6 OT

Questions

For additional information please call the HR Classification and Compensation Manager at 817-392-7772 or the HR Director at 817-392-7783.

This HR Advisory is a brief synopsis of policy and any questions or apparent conflicts between an Advisory and City policy should be directed to the Human Resources Director or an Assistant HR Director for clarification.

Overtime Premium

Before we converted to PeopleSoft, the FLSA overtime premium for General employees was calculated and paid twice a year-in May and December. And it was based on the overtime hours worked and paid over the previous six month period.

With PeopleSoft, employees no longer have to wait six months. In PeopleSoft the FLSA premium is calculated and paid on the overtime hours each pay period. You probably noticed on the pay advice (since we have gone live with PeopleSoft) that overtime is now paid at the FLSA overtime rate which includes the overtime FLSA premium.

For this first pay-check in December, on the pay advice, you will notice a separate line item called FLSA OT. This onetime payment is for the FLSA premium due to the employee for overtime worked and paid from May 2010 until we went live in October. From this point on, the FLSA overtime premium will be paid each pay period as I stated above.


 

Payroll Deductions

Issued: June 7, 2011

Revised: Oct. 8, 2014

HR Advisories are intended to assist with the clarification or interpretation of