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Our Mission

The East Orange Public Library helps people of all ages meet their informational, educational, and recreational needs by acquiring organizing, and assisting in the use of print and non-print resources.

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Staff Manual

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. STATEMENT OF DISCLAIMER
  3. WELCOME
  4. THE LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES
  5. EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
  6. FINANCE
  7. ORGANIZATION
  8. GENERAL EMPLOYMENT POLICIES
    1. Hours of Work
    2. Meal Time
    3. Breaks
    4. Tardiness
    5. Recruitment
    6. Probationary Employment
    7. Temporary Employment
    8. Medical Examination of Employee
    9. Job Evaluation
    10. Salary Schedule and Increments
    11. Paydays
    12. Overtime
    13. Sick Leave
    14. Family Leave
    15. Vacation Leave
    16. Holidays
    17. Bereavement
    18. Personal Days
    19. Jury Duty
    20. Military Leave
    21. Disability Leave and Worker's Compensation
    22. Other Leaves of Absence
    23. Transfers
    24. Promotions
    25. Resignations
    26. Medical Insurance
    27. Life Insurance
    28. Pension Plan
    29. Termination of Coverage
    30. Job Enrichment/Staff Development
    31. Hinsdale Scholarship
    32. Staff Meetings
    33. Personnel Records
    34. Workplace Documents
    35. Disciplinary Action
    36. Grievances
    37. Sexual Harassment
    38. Substance Abuse
    39. Substance Abuse Policy
  9. LABOR ORGANIZATIONS
  10. STAFF OBLIGATIONS AND PRIVILEGES
    1. Professional Attitudes and Conduct
    2. Department of Personnel
    3. Employee Safety
  11. Some Reminders
  12. Definitions

INTRODUCTION

This is a revised edition of the Personnel Manual of the East Orange Public Library. Each section of this edition has been reviewed and revised in accordance with federal and state legislation, court decisions and legal opinions. This manual is the personnel policy approved by the Board of Trustees of the East Orange Public Library.

This manual has been prepared in consultation with department heads, the Employee Association, the Union, and with the approval of the Board to inform the staff of the East Orange Public Library of certain policies pertaining to their employment, and, subsequently, to the total operation of the library. This document supercedes any previous personnel manuals.

Like most codes of human conduct, this staff manual does not address every situation or answer every question. For this and other reasons, the director welcomes your suggestions for its improvement.


STATEMENT OF DISCLAIMER

This employee handbook is for informational purposes. It does not either directly or indirectly constitute an employment contract or a promise of any kind by the library to the employee. The explanation of the policies contained herein may be subject to change in the event of budgetary or other unforeseen considerations. Thus, the Board retains the right to make any changes as may be deemed necessary.

Nothing in this employee manual is intended to waive, abrogate, or in any way diminish the immunities conferred upon the library pursuant to the New Jersey Tort Claims Act (N.J.S.A. 59:2-1), and the library shall not be stopped from relying on these immunities.


WELCOME

This "Personnel Manual" is for you, the Library employee, so that you may better understand our Library's mission and your role in its service plan.

It is the purpose of the Library to serve the community with books and other media in a manner that is cordial, efficient, and equitable. The "Manual" is not all-inclusive, but is does set down the obligations and rights of staff members.

The Library strives to provide the people of the community with quality library services and programs through its collections of books and other media delivered by a staff and overseen by a Board of Trustees who see the Library as the informational, educational, cultural and recreational resource of the community.


THE LIBRARY BOARD OF TRUSTEES

The governing and policy-making body of the Library is the Board of Trustees, consisting of five to seven Trustees appointed by the Mayor, together with the Mayor and Superintendent of Schools serving as ex-officio members. The Board is responsible for the use of the Library building and property, for personnel policies, hiring of staff and for the preparation and control of the budget.

The Board meets at 7:00 p.m. on the 2nd Thursday of each month. Meetings are conducted according to the Open Public Meetings Law.


EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

The Library is committed to providing equal opportunity through its employment practices and through the many activities, programs, and services it provides to the community. The Library will continue to make all personnel decisions without regard to race, color, ancestry, creed, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, religion, liability for service in the armed forces of the United States, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, or handicap in employment or the provision of library services. Furthermore, the Library undertakes affirmative action programs to expand the quality of opportunity in employment. The Library continues to initiate programs that increase sensitivity to the interests and needs of those who historically have been discriminated against.


FINANCE

The Library is supported primarily from tax money appropriated annually by the City. The total operating budget includes funds from State Aid, Federal Aid, and fines for overdue material, endowments, grants, and gifts.


ORGANIZATION

The Library is divided into Departments, each with its own areas of responsibility:

The Administration Office - headed by the Director, manages the business of the Library, maintains the business files and personnel records, and is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the Library facilities. All departments report to the Library Director.

The Adult Services Department - coordinates all adult services for the Library, collection development for adults, provides information and advisory services, arranges interlibrary services, conducts information referral service, and coordinates all reference service as well as periodical, pamphlet and other document acquisition for the Library.

The Junior Department - coordinates all services, programs, and book selection for children and youth from preschool through the 8th grade; acts as the Library liaison to the schools for these grades and provides services to children as individuals and in groups.

The Technical Services Department - centralizes the acquisitions, cataloging and processing of all materials for the Library.


GENERAL EMPLOYMENT POLICIES

Hours of Work

The regular work schedule for full time employees is a 37.5-hour workweek, Monday through Saturday. The Director will approve any variations from this schedule. The Library may offer "flex-time" scheduling for all employees provided it meets with the objectives of their position and the overall goals of the Library. "Flex-time" scheduling is the assumption that a 37.5-hour workweek is required of all employees. It can be of mutual benefit to the employee and the Library to allow some flexibility in the time and length of the work day, provided the employee's schedule reflects the needs and objectives of his/her position and promotes greater efficiency for the Library operation as a whole. The Director or supervisor has a right to schedule working hours to meet Library needs; however, preference should be considered.

Administrative and Support Personnel may find it necessary to work beyond the normal workweek in order to discharge their duties and responsibilities. Overtime compensation at time and a half shall be provided to salaried employees who are assigned to work in excess of the regular workday.

For Sunday work, compensation is paid double-time for salaried staff, double time for hourly staff, and an additional $1.50/hr for monitors.

Change of schedule requests must be submitted to Department Head or immediate supervisor for approval.

Personnel scheduled to work in the evening from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m., or on Saturday from 9-5 (7 hours) receive credit for a full 7.5-hour day. Absence results in a 7.5-hour debit. In emergencies, split schedules will be credited at the full-day rate.

Minors under 16 may not work after 7 p.m.

Any staff member falsifying time records will be subject to dismissal.

Meal Time

Staff members will receive one (1) hour for lunch/dinner in an eight-hour period. New Jersey Child Labor Laws require that anyone under 18 "must receive a 30 minute meal period after five consecutive hours of work.

Breaks

A full-time employee is entitled to a ten (10) minute break each full working period; morning, afternoon and evening.

Breaks must be taken on Library property. Exceptions must have prior supervisor approval. Within the limits of the schedule, and subject to the approval of the Department Head, breaks may be taken in one (1) or two (2) periods. Evening breaks occur at the discretion of the Supervisor in charge. Break-time does not accumulate and may not be added to lunch or supper hour, arrival or departure times.

Tardiness

All staff must be at their duty location ready for work by the scheduled starting time. Late arrival, after lunch or supper hours, will be considered tardiness, even if reported or approved in advance. Leaving before the scheduled departure time will result in docking of pay. Supervisors must be informed of all tardiness.

Habitual tardiness cannot be tolerated and will be subject to disciplinary action.

Recruitment

The authority and responsibility for the selection and appointment of the Director rests with the Board of Trustees. The Director, conforming to the Equal Opportunity And Affirmative Action plans of the Library, New Jersey Department of Personnel rules and regulations, recruits and recommends to the Board of Trustees individuals to be hired. The Board of Trustees, acting on the Director's recommendation, makes the final employment decision.

Probationary Employment

All new employees serve a probationary period of three months. Successful completion may lead to permanent status. If, however, the probationary period has not been completed successfully, s/he may be dismissed. Nothing contained in this section is construed to prohibit the suspension or dismissal of an employee at any time during the probationary period, if, in the judgment of the Director, such action would be in the best interest of the Library.

Employees who satisfactorily complete the probationary period receive regular employment status dependent upon appropriate behavior and satisfactory job performance.

Also, the three-month probationary period pertains to an employee promoted to a higher classification. Such probationary status will in no way affect the rights and status in the original lower classification.

Nothing contained in this section is construed to prohibit the discipline, suspension or dismissal of an employee for any reason before, during or after the probationary period.

Temporary Employment

The Director may hire staff to fill vacancies in temporary or seasonal positions, or in the case of emergencies. Such temporary appointments have a maximum duration of twelve months. No temporary appointment is construed to confer tenure or office upon the employee, and the Director may terminate temporary appointments at any time.

Medical Examination of Employee

The Library Board may require a medical examination of any employee, including the Director, by a medical expert chosen by the Library Board, and may require further, periodic examinations of the same, upon receipt of knowledge of any serious health condition of an employee, which condition impacts on performance of the job and the essential functions of the job, assuming reasonable accommodations. The Library will pay for all medical examinations, which it requires.

Upon receipt of the medical report, the Board may take such action as it deems necessary with regard to the continued employment of said employee if it is determined that the medical condition of the employee impacts upon the employee's ability to perform the essential functions of the job with reasonable accommodation subject to applicable law with respect to persons with disabilities.

Job Evaluation

The purpose of performance evaluations is to advise employees of their job performance, and to assist them with their professional development. Annual reviews will be considered as one factor in determining salary increases, promotions, reclassification or dismissal.

Performance evaluations are prepared for all regular employees after the first three months of employment and upon transfer or promotion, and annually thereafter. Each evaluation is prepared by the employee's immediate supervisor and submitted in writing to the Director. Each performance review must be accompanied by a personal conference with the supervisor in which the employee may examine the review and have an opportunity to ask questions or make comments. S/he will sign the evaluation form.

Salary Schedule and Increments

The latest salary schedule approved by the Board of Trustees is on file with each Department Head and may be consulted for minimum and maximum salary and merit increments, which may be granted within each job classification range.

Increments are not automatic in any range, but require satisfactory job performance. Job performance is determined by written performance evaluations. An increment, when awarded, is for the previous year's service. Staff who works only part of the previous year will receive a prorated increment based on time worked in the previous year. Hourly employees are paid only for the hours worked, and increments are considered on the recommendation of the Department Head.

Paydays

Paydays occur on alternate Fridays or as designated by the City of East Orange. Hourly workers are paid on the same day as salaried staff. For new employees, there is a deferment of ten (10) days pay.

A written request must be submitted if another person is to receive the check of a staff member. Checks will be mailed if the staff member submits a stamped self-addressed envelope.

The payment of vacation salary in advance is a privilege, which is extended by the City. A request form must be completed and returned to the Administration Office at least one (1) week prior to the date on which payment is requested.

Overtime

Overtime shall not apply with respect to exempt salaried professional, administrative and executive employees, as provided under the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act and the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law.

Overtime is any time worked in excess of the full time employee's regular workday or workweek. The Director authorizes all overtime.

Sick Leave

Sick Leave is paid leave which is granted to each Library employee who, through sickness or injury, becomes incapacitated to a degree that makes it impossible for him/her to perform the duties of his/her position, or who is quarantined by a physician because he/she has been exposed to a contagious disease.

The Library Board may require a medical note determining fitness and ability to resume work responsibilities after 5 consecutive days of absence due to illness.

The Library Board may require an employee to be examined by a physician designated and compensated by the Library as a condition of the employee's continuation of sick leave or return to work.

  1. Such an examination shall establish whether the employee is capable of performing his or her work duties and whether return to employment would jeopardize the health of the employee or that of other employees.
  2. The Library Board and the Director shall set the date of the examination to assure that it does not cause undue delay in the employee's return to work. (N.J.A.C. 4A6-1.4, p.6-7, 1-19-93)

All full-time staff receive 15 days of Sick Leave with pay per year, earned at the rate of 1¼-days for each full month of service. The unused portion of such Sick Leave is cumulative. New Staff, although they earn Sick Leave at the rate of 1¼ working day for each full month of employment, are not eligible to use any until they have worked three full months. For part time salaried staff, who work more than 20 hours per week, Sick Leave is proportionate in accrual and use.

Sick Leave must be taken in half hour increments.

Sick Leave may be granted for medical or dental appointments.

Sick Leave may be granted for the illness of a member of the employee's immediate family where attendance is needed to assure care for the member of the immediate family.

"Immediate Family" means mother, father, mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandmother, grandfather, grandchild, spouse, child, foster child, sister or brother of the employee. It shall also include relatives of the employee residing in the employee's household. If an ill person not falling into the foregoing relationships nevertheless lives with and is part of the household of the employee and that by reason of the absence of another suitable person, the employee's presence is essential to the care of such person, then such person may be deemed to be a member of the immediate family.

Illness must be reported daily before 9:30 a.m. to the appropriate department, or to the Administrative Secretary or assistant in the Administrative Office. It is not acceptable to report illness to the maintenance staff on duty, or anyone other than the above.

A staff member absent on Sick Leave for five (5) or more consecutive working days shall be required to submit a doctor's statement.

A staff member absent on Sick Leave for periods totaling fifteen days in one calendar year consisting of periods of less than five days, shall submit acceptable medical evidence for any additional Sick Leave in that year unless such illness is of chronic or recurring nature requiring recurring absence of one day or less in which case only one doctor's certificate shall be necessary for a period of six (6) months.

Proof of illness may be required of an employee on Sick Leave whenever such requirement appears reasonable. Abuse of Sick Leave shall be cause for disciplinary action.

Make up of lost time is a privilege and granted at the discretion of the Department Head.

When all accumulated Sick Leave has been used, additional Sick Leave should be taken as follows:

  1. From accumulated Compensatory Time.
  2. From Personal Days
  3. From Vacation
  4. When all of the above have been used, consult with the Director for possible placement on Leave of Absence without pay.

Staff members who retire (except for deferred retirement), and who have unused accumulated sick leave of 100 or more days, shall be entitled to receive a lump sum payment of ½ of the unused accumulated sick leave, based on the average last year of employment, up to a maximum of $7,500.

Family Leave

Family leave applies only to employers who employ 50 or more employees. Family leave may be granted for a period of up to twelve weeks. This leave may be extended for an additional twelve weeks upon review and agreement of the administration and employee. The employee should apply for reinstatement at least 30 days prior to the date on which he/she intends to return.

Upon their return, he/she will be offered a comparable or similar position if the original position is not available. The employee will be reinstated into her or his original position without loss of seniority.

Employees of the Library who have worked at least 12 months are eligible for an unpaid 12 weeks leave within any 24 month period in order to provide care made necessary by reason of:

  1. The birth of a child of the employee
  2. The placement for adoption of a child with an employee, or
  3. The serious health condition of a family member (child, spouse, or parent) of the employee where the serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, physical or mental condition which requires:
    1. In patient care in the hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility.
    2. Continuing medical treatment or continuing supervision by a health care provider.

The leave shall be taken at a time determined by the employee in conjunction with and confirmed by written verification from the physician. Request for family leave must be made in writing 30 days prior to the commencement of the leave, except where emergent circumstances warrant shorter notice, and be favorably endorsed by the Director and approved by the Board of Trustees before becoming effective.

Disability leave is separate from, and in addition to, any family leave provided by the Family Leave Act. Disability benefits are available to employees who are unable to work because of pregnancy. Accumulated vacation time may be used for maternity purposes either prior to or immediately following childbirth.

Federal law requires that group health insurance be paid by the employer for the unpaid 12-week family leave. The Library may extend access to group health insurance beyond the required 12 weeks by offering the employee the option of paying the full premium on a regular basis.

Vacation Leave

A vacation is primarily for change and relaxation. Every attempt will be made to grant earned vacations as they are requested; however, it must be understood that the Library has the first priority.

For vacation purposes, the work year is September 1st through August 31st. Vacations may be taken at any time during the year, and in as many parts as are desirable, with the approval of the Department Head, and the Director. All vacations must be completed by January 31st following the August 31st date. Requests to carry over vacation time must be submitted in writing to the Director.

New employees become eligible for vacation leave after the first six (6) months of employment. Full-time employees earn vacation at the rate of one (1) day per month during the first calendar year. Thereafter, full-time employees are granted 18 days after their second year of employment and 24 days after their third year of employment. Vacation leave must be used in the calendar year earned and requests must be made in writing. Staff working less than 20 hours weekly are not eligible for paid vacation leave. Staff with 25 or more years of service receive 26 days of vacation.

Eight (8) days of earned vacation may be taken in 1-day increments. Thereafter vacation days must be taken in at least 2-day periods. Vacation requests, should be sent to the Director for approval by April 15 (for June-September), or by September 15 (October-January), or one week in advance (for February-May, or single day requests).

Personal Days and "Compensatory Time" may be added to vacation with the approval of the Director, provided no single vacation period exceeds 24 working days.

Employees shall receive payment for earned vacation leave upon separation from employment, with payment to the Employee's Estate in the event of his/her death.

Any employee leaving with less than six (6) months service will be granted vacation at the rate of one (1) day for every full month of employment beyond the first three months.

All part-time salaried staff who work more than 20 hours per week, receive vacation benefits on a pro-rated basis.

Hourly personnel do not receive paid vacations.

During a Leave of Absence without pay, vacation time does not accrue.

Vacation time shall not be used for sick leave unless all sick leave has been exhausted.

Holidays

The Library recognizes the following legal holidays: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Lincoln's Birthday, Washington's Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Election Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, (two days), subject to decision of the Board of Trustees. When a holiday falls on Saturday, the holiday may be recognized on the preceding Friday, or staff will receive an alternate day credit for the holiday. When a holiday falls on a Sunday, the holiday is recognized on the Monday following. All salaried staff will be paid for these holidays. Part-time staff who work more than 20 hours will be pro-rated. Hourly staff will not be paid.

Holidays falling within a vacation period are not counted as part of the vacation allowance; they are in addition to the vacation period.

Employees working on a holiday shall be compensated, at the employees' option, either at the rate of time and one-half in compensatory time off, compensatory time off in addition to half pay or time and one-half in pay.

Bereavement

Leave with pay not to exceed five (5) days, shall be permitted where absence is due to and necessitated by death of the employee's spouse, parent, or child.

Leave with pay not to exceed three (3) days, shall be permitted where absence is due to and necessitated by death of other members of the employee's immediate family; mother-in-law, father-in-law, grandparent, sister, brother, grandchild and relative or friend residing in the employee's household.

Leave with pay not to exceed one (1) day, shall be permitted where absence is due to and necessitated by death of the employee's brother-in-law or sister-in-law.

For other death in the family, part or all of one day of Sick Leave may be used on the day of the funeral.

These bereavement days are solely intended to allow the employee a reasonable time to assist in and attend the funeral and to provide a reasonable period of mourning. It is understood and agreed that the bereavement days provided herein shall, to the extent practicable, apply to those workdays continuous to the death or funeral of the family member.

Should a death in the family occur while the employee is on vacation, the employee shall so notify the Library; the employee will be permitted to suspend the vacation and use the applicable bereavement leave provided herein above. In no event, shall the employee return to duty on a date beyond that originally scheduled and approved in the vacation request without the consent and approval of the Library.

Personal Days

Four Personal Days, non-cumulative, are granted annually to salaried staff. Staff leaving or joining during the year will be pro-rated at one (1) Personal Day for each three (3) months worked.

Personal Days may be taken in half-day increments. Written requests are to be submitted to the Department Head for approval. Requests will be approved subject to schedule needs.

If the schedule does not permit granting an emergency request, a written statement of purpose may be required to help determine priority of need.

Reasons for Personal Days need not be given, except with an Emergency request.

Personal days may be used through January 31 of the succeeding year.

Jury Duty

All full-time and part-time regular employees called to serve on jury duty shall receive leave for said purpose with pay, provided that prompt notice of the requirement to serve is given to the Director.

Employees compensated for jury duty must reimburse the Library for any amount above their normal salary. Those excused from jury duty for particular days before the end of the term must return to work.

Military Leave

A full-time or part-time regular employee who is a member of the National Guard or of a reserve component of the Armed Forces of the United States who is required to attend annual field training will be granted a leave of absence with full pay less compensation earned in performance of such training.

This leave is in addition to vacation leave. If a regular employee is called to active duty, an indefinite military leave of absence without pay will be granted. The employee should apply for reinstatement at least 60 days prior to the date on which he/she intends to return. If the return occurs within six months, the employee will be reinstated in the original position with out loss of seniority. If the return occurs after six months, and the original position is not available, a comparable or similar position will be offered. Seniority will not accrue during this second six-month period.

Disability Leave and Worker's Compensation

Disability leave may be granted to an employee who is injured on the job and is temporarily unable to perform assigned duties. In such cases the Board of Trustees may pass a resolution giving the employee up to one year's leave of absence with pay. Health, pension, and life insurance benefits will continue to be paid by the Library for employees on disability leave.

As required by law, the Library covers all employees with Worker's Compensation Insurance. This Insurance provides for certain payments to employees in the case of a work-related injury. In the event of accidents and injuries during working hours on library premises, the injured person should receive treatment from the doctor appointed by the municipality for Worker's Compensation Insurance cases. If this is not possible, the injured party may consult the doctor of his/her choice or go to the emergency room of a hospital. A full written report of the accident and injury must be reported immediately by the Supervisor on duty and forwarded to the Director's office at once. As soon as possible, the injured person should complete an incident report.

Other Leaves of Absence

Leaves of absence without pay may be granted to full-time regular employees by the Board of Trustees based on the recommendation of the Director. A leave of up to six (6) months may be granted with one-six (6)-month extension. All requests for a leave should be made to the Director in writing at least thirty days prior to the effective date.

In deciding upon the above request, the Director will take into consideration the service record of the employee, the benefits to the Library to be derived from the leave and the expectation of the employee to return to the Library's staff.

Transfers

A transfer is a change in assignment in which the salary rate and job level remains the same. Transfers are made to enhance library services and for the professional development of the staff member. Whenever possible, the needs and desires of the employee are taken into consideration. An employee may submit a written request for a transfer to their immediate supervisor.

Promotions

Notices of vacancies and promotional exams received from the New Jersey Department of Personnel are posted on the Staff Bulletin Board. Staff members who wish to be considered may apply following the procedures outlined by the New Jersey Department of Personnel. For purposes of informing the staff, a notice will be posted if the duties of a position are realigned, reassigned, or if the position is abolished.

Resignations

An employee who intends to resign informs the immediate supervisor as soon as possible and then submits a written resignation to the Director. Four weeks notice before the last working day is the minimum requested for all professional position if possible, two weeks for all other positions. However, in all cases, the Personnel Office would appreciate notice of resignation as soon as the employee is certain of the decision.

Medical Insurance

Dental Insurance is provided by the City for all salaried (non-hourly) Library employees who work more than 20 hours per week.

Disability Insurance is available for all salaried Library employees represented by the Union.

These benefits begin automatically after the employee has worked three (3) full months. The Administration Office should be advised immediately of any changes in marital or family status.

Life Insurance

Group Life Insurance is provided to eligible employees under the State Public Employee's Retirement System. Under this system the Library pays the non-contributory portion along with the employee's contribution during the first year of membership. After the first year, the employee may cancel the contributory coverage; however, once canceled, it cannot be reinstated.

The amount of the life insurance is dependent upon the employee's salary, age and membership status.

Pension Plan

Regular public employees who are paid at least $1,500 annually are required to participate in the State Public Employees' Retirement System. Both the employee and the Library contribute to this pension coverage.

The Pension Plan provides benefits for retirement based on regular retirement provisions. Full retirement benefits are available at age sixty and over with provisions for early retirement at reduced benefit rates after the 55th birthday.

Employees planning retirement should ask for additional current information from the New Jersey Pension Division and for the booklet Public Retirement of New Jersey. Employees are encouraged to become familiar with the brochure, especially as it relates to low interest loans, credit for prior service, effects of leave of absence, etc.

Termination of Coverage

Benefits are terminated when an employee leaves the Library. A transfer of benefits is possible if the worker joins an organization with coverage in the same Plan as the Library. Contributions to PER's pension will be returned upon application and with earned interest to those employees participating in the Plan for three years or more. Contributions will be returned upon application to those who have worked less than three years, but with no earned interest.

Under New Jersey State Law, if a full-time employee who has attained regular employment status leaves the Library, the employee may continue the group health benefits plan by assuming the cost for up to eighteen months after termination (in good standing) for the individual, and for up to thirty-six months for qualified family members (at the group rate).

Job Enrichment/Staff Development

The Library encourages staff participation in professional associations. Attendance at professional workshops, meetings and seminars where staff members learn and/or contribute must be approved in advance by the Director. Attendance at such professional meetings is generally considered "work time" with limits set by the Director based on scheduling and staffing needs of the Library.

Mileage to approved meetings is paid at the prevailing recommended Internal Revenue Service rate. Registration and other expenses may be paid for by the Library depending on available funds. Requests for reimbursement should be made in writing to the Director, accompanied by official receipts for expenses when possible. An effort is made by the Director to rotate attendance at meetings among staff members, so that all departments are represented and afforded professional enrichment opportunities.

Enrollment in a particular course that will benefit the employee and the Library may be counted as "working time" if the Director approves and the Board confirms.

The Library offers in-house training and update sessions to employees so that all may have a better understanding of the Library's functioning.

In addition, specific training is offered to small groups of employees who are embarking on new aspects of library work.

Hinsdale Scholarship

The Louise Graham Hinsdale Scholarship is available to East Orange Public Library personnel for pursuit of studies in library science in any accredited Library School. Although the New Jersey Library Association administers this Scholarship, applications should be made to the Library Director.

By terms of the original fund, should there be no candidate in the Library in any one year, the NJLA Scholarship Committee may make the award. If there is no candidate in the State, the income of the Scholarship Fund shall accumulate and a large scholarship will be awarded at a later date.

Staff Meetings

The Director will conduct regularly scheduled staff meetings for either the whole staff or individual departments. The purpose of such meetings is to inform staff on policy, news and activities, to elicit recommendations when changes are contemplated, to obtain feedback on Library policy and to exchange information between departments.

Attendance at staff meetings is considered a part of the regular work schedule and is compensated accordingly.

Personnel Records

The Library adheres to all federal and state laws regarding personnel records.

Personnel records maintained on each employee consist of job application, resume, letters confirming employment, letters relating to work performance, job evaluations, attendance and salary records and other related material. These records are of a confidential nature and are available only to the employee or to supervising personnel on a need-to-know basis.

To review the personnel file, the employee must contact the Administration office for an appointment; the file must be reviewed in the presence of an authorized member of the Administration. Neither the files nor documents in the files may be removed from the office.

It is the responsibility of each employee to notify the Administration Office of any changes in vital information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Marital Status
  • Dependent Children
  • Deductions to be included on W-4 form
  • Change in status for health care programs
  • Change of beneficiary on pension or life insurance policies

Changes must be made by written notice to the Administration Office. Credit information requests via phone or in writing should be channeled through the Administration Office. The Administration Office will verify employment and salary upon request.

Workplace Documents

Rights on use of e-mail, voice mail, memos and other workplace documents are as follows:

  • E-mail, voice mail, and print information on Library stationery are considered to be the property of the Library, no matter what the original intent of the information. Personal messages, notes or information should not be stored on the computer, left in one's desk, or left on voice mail.
  • Any document created by the employee is the property of the employer including time sheets, desk logs, and memos between employees.
  • No other communication may be copied or removed from the building.
  • Items such as memos to individual employees, letters, interdepartmental communications, desk logs, and time sheets are not part of the public forum and may not be copied. They are not meant for public use and may be misinterpreted by the public.
  • If a staff member needs a copy of a document, the supervisor must be contacted. If the need is in relation to a grievance, the staff member should contact a union or other designated representative. Privacy issues must be considered before copies are made for an employee.

Disciplinary Action

Disciplinary action may result in demotion, suspension or termination. Disciplinary procedures as outlined by the New Jersey Department of Personnel will be followed.

Causes for disciplinary action may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Discourteous behavior towards patrons
  • Violation of library policy
  • Inadequate performance
  • Insubordination or serious breach of discipline
  • Chronic or excessive absenteeism or tardiness
  • Conduct unbecoming an employee in public service
  • Negligence of or willful damage to or theft of property or service
  • Misrepresentation of qualifications
  • Conviction of any criminal act of offense, sexual harassment
  • Any other misconduct or poor performance

Grievances

A "grievance" is any complaint, difference, or dispute between the Library and any employee. The aggrieved employee shall present the grievance within fifteen (15) working days of the occurrence or the grievance shall be deemed waived. If the grievant is not satisfied with the disposition of the grievance at any level, or if no decision has been rendered within the specified time, and the grievant wishes to pursue the grievance, it shall be submitted in writing, including a description of the remedial action being sought, and any information available in support of the grievance, to the next level within ten (10) working days. If any grievance has not been submitted to the next succeeding level within ten (10) working days, then the grievance shall be deemed to have been abandoned.

Staff members who are members of a union will follow the grievance procedure outlined in the Union contract.

Grievances proceed along the following lines, except class action grievances, which shall be instituted at the appropriate step:

STEP ONE:

To the Head of the Department concerned, in writing. The Department Head shall render a written decision within ten (10) working days.

STEP TWO:

To the Director or Assistant Director in writing. The Director or Assistant Director shall render a decision within fifteen (15) working days.

STEP THREE:

To the Board of Trustees, in writing, with a copy to the Library Director. The Board shall grant the employee a hearing either through a Special committee or a meeting of the whole Board, or both, and shall act upon the grievance no later then their next meeting.

STEP FOUR:

a) In the event that the grievance has not been satisfactorily resolved at Step Three, then arbitration may be brought only by the Union, through its designee within thirty (30) calendar days from the day the Union received the Step Three decision or from the date on which the Step Three decision was due, by mailing a written request for arbitration to the Public Employment Relations Commission with a copy to the Library. The written request shall specify the matter submitted to the Department Head as specified above and the Union's dissatisfaction with the decision previously rendered.

b) Dismissal of or failure to continue the employment of a probationary employee shall not be deemed grievable or arbitrable.

c) Arbitrators shall be selected on a case-by-case basis under the selection procedures of the Public Employment Relations Commission.

d) The arbitrator shall conduct a hearing to determine the facts and render a decision in writing to the parties. The arbitrator shall not have the power to add, to subtract from, or modify the provisions of this Manual or Laws of the State. He/she shall confine himself/herself to the precise issue submitted for arbitration and shall have no authority to determine any other issues not so submitted to him/her, nor shall he/she submit observations reaching the determination. The decision of the arbitrator shall be final and binding consistent with applicable law. In no event shall the same question or issue be the subject of arbitration more than once. The arbitrator may prescribe the appropriate back pay remedy, provided such remedy is permitted by law.

The fees and expenses of the arbitrator and recording of the proceeding shall be divided equally between the parties. Any other cost of this proceeding shall be borne by the party.

The Library shall have the right to utilize the grievance procedure commencing at Step Four upon the same terms as the Union if, after discussing same, the matter remains unresolved.

Sexual Harassment

All Library Employees have the right to work in an environment free from sexual and/or gender harassment. It is the law and therefore the policy of the Library that harassment on the basis of sex or gender is unacceptable conduct in the workplace and is not and will not be tolerated. Any harassment directed at a person because of the person's gender or sex is considered sexual harassment whether or not the harassment is "sexual" in nature. This policy also applies to same-sex sexual harassment as well as harassment of members of the opposite sex. If a person of the victim's gender would consider the conduct intimidating, hostile, or creating an offensive working environment, then sexual harassment has occurred.

The intent of this policy is to create an environment and climate within the work place that fosters responsible behavior, respect for all individuals, and an environment free from sexual and/or gender harassment.

It is the Library's policy to prohibit such harassment of any employee by another employee, management representative, business invitee, or member of the public.

Harassment on the basis of sex or gender directed to any employee, male or female, is a violation of State and Federal Law. Under law and under this policy, harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • submission is made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of employment; or
  • submission or rejection is used as a basis for employment decisions; or
  • such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with someone's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment.

The intent of a person conducting such harassing behavior is irrelevant.

Examples of conduct, which may constitute sexual or gender harassment are:

  • unwelcome sexual propositions
  • graphic statements about a person's body
  • display of sexually suggestive objects or pictures being put in the work place
  • remarks or innuendoes with a sexual or demeaning implication
  • derogatory remarks regarding sex or gender
  • unwelcome touching, patting, or other physical contact
  • gender-based humor
  • suggesting or demanding sexual involvement which may include implied or explicit threats concerning one's job, status, or employment condition
  • sexual abuse including forced contact
  • other harassment of a non-sexual nature that is engaged in due to the gender of the individual

In order to constitute sexual harassment, the conduct need not be sexual in nature, provided that it is occurring solely because of the victim's sex. For example, with respect to women, this would include comments about the abilities, capacities, or the "proper role" of members of the female sex. It would also include subjecting a person to harassment solely because of his or her gender. Sexual harassment is prohibited whether the harasser is male or female, and whether the harassment is opposite or same-sex harassment.

The same procedure should be followed if a non-employee of the Library harasses a Library employee. Also, the policies and procedures also apply to other forms of harassment including, but not limited to, age, race, color, gender, disability, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and/or ancestry.

Employee Violation of Sexual Harassment Policy

It is the policy of the Library to investigate every complaint promptly and thoroughly. A neutral, outside investigator will investigate every complaint. Confidentiality will be maintained to the fullest extent possible, but confidentiality of the investigation cannot be guaranteed, since investigations are fully discoverable in any litigation that might ensue.

Any employee who violates this policy is subject to appropriate discipline, depending upon the circumstances as well as the frequency and severity of the activity, consistent with Library disciplinary policies up to and including termination.

All employees should be aware that no retaliation whatsoever will be permitted against one who complains of any incident of sexual harassment, or who assists in the investigation thereof. An employee who is found to have committed a retaliatory act against an employee who has complained of harassment or participated in an investigation of harassment shall be subject to appropriate discipline.

Procedures for Employees to Follow:

Employees who believe they are being harassed should:

  • Respond to the problem. Employees should make their feelings absolutely clear. Sometimes people do not realize they are being offensive.
  • Submit a sexual harassment form that includes times, places and specifics of each incident, including witnesses who might have observed the incident or employee's reaction.
  • As soon as possible report harassment to the complaining employee's supervisor or Library Director.
  • If the complaint is not satisfactorily addressed at that level, it should be directed to the Library Board of Trustees.
  • In the event that the complaining employee's supervisor is the alleged harasser, the complaint should be submitted to the supervisor of the alleged harasser.
  • In the event that the Library Director is the alleged harasser, the complaining employee should report the incident to the Library Board of Trustees.
  • The Library Director or Library Board will notify the employee who made the complaint, the alleged harasser, and other necessary personnel about the outcome of the investigation, and resulting actions of the investigation.
  • If the complaint is not resolved, contact either the Affirmative Action Officer in the County Division of Personnel, or the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety's Division of Civil Rights or the Federal Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC.) or consult an attorney.

Substance Abuse

The use, sale, possession or distribution of a narcotic, an intoxicating substance or any illegal drug or alcohol while at work will subject an employee to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

This policy does not apply if the drug is prescribed or authorized for the employee using or possessing it by a medical practitioner while acting in the course of his/her professional practice and such drug is used by the employee at the prescribed or authorized dosage level, and such level is consistent with the safe performance of the employee's duties. If the use of prescribed drugs adversely affects an employee's job performance or is detrimental to the public trust or safety of other employees or patrons, it is in the best interest of the employee and the Library for the employee to be placed on a leave of absence without pay.

Substance Abuse Policy

Substance abuse is a personal problem with a far-reaching impact. It is the desire of the Library that an employee who has been in good standing be provided with constructive guidance and help, rather than arbitrary termination. With this in mind, the Board recommends the following protocols.

In the event of witnessed or suspected substance abuse or intoxication observed in an employee on the job or during working hours, every effort to notify the Director in confidence must be made by the staff member. In the absence of the Director, the next person in charge must be notified.

At the discretion of the Director, termination according to the NJ Department of Personnel procedures may be waived in a first offense, but the following procedures must be complied with:

  • The employee is instructed to take a sick day and leave the premises.
  • Transportation home will be arranged for the employee.
  • In the event of suspected substance abuse, prior to going home, the employee must consent to an evaluation by the physician selected by the municipality or Library at the Library's expense.
  • If the medical examination corroborates suspected substance abuse, or if the substance abuse witnessed, the employee will be given the option of enrollment in an in-patient or outpatient rehabilitation program mutually agreed upon by the employee and the Library.
  • If the employee refuses the medical exam, he/she will be terminated.
  • If the employee refuses transportation, the police must be notified.

LABOR ORGANIZATIONS

All employees have the right to form and join labor organizations. The New Jersey Employer/Employee Relations Acts will be followed in labor-management relations.

Membership in the Union is not mandatory for employment. However, any employee who is not a member of the Union shall pay a representation fee in lieu of dues for services rendered by the Union.


STAFF OBLIGATIONS AND PRIVILEGES

Staff Room - a staff lounge and kitchen are provided for the comfort and convenience of all staff members. Light meals may be prepared and eaten in the staff room. Staff members are expected to cooperate in sharing these facilities and in keeping this area neat and clean.

Telephone - Library telephones are for library business. Incoming and outgoing personal calls should be kept to a minimum, completed within a few minutes, and made from a telephone in a nonpublic area. Any outgoing calls that are out of the local calling area are to be made from a pay phone or charged to the caller's home phone.

Bulletin Boards - Any and all legal notices and copies of library policies shall be posted on the staff bulletin board. No other postings shall be permitted without written consent. Bulletin boards inform the staff of news, change in staff, library policies and announcements. It is the responsibility of each staff member to read the bulletin board regularly.

Inclement weather/Emergency Closing - The Library will be considered open in the event of snow or bad weather unless the staff is notified by the Director or supervisor in charge. Every effort should be made on the part of the staff to report to work. A scheduled employee who does not report to work will be considered absent.

Professional Attitudes and Conduct

Conversation - Conversations with either public or co-workers should be kept to a minimum and should never interfere with service to patrons. Loud conversations are disturbing to everyone.

Equipment - All staff members should take care of Library equipment, furnishings and property. At the end of the day, public and private desks should be tidied and work materials put away. All work areas should be maintained in a neat, orderly condition.

Fees and Honorariums - Fees and honorariums for talks, lectures, workshops, etc., conducted by staff members are permitted if done on the staff member's own time. The staff member may receive no fee if the lecture, workshop, etc., is performed on Library time, or is sponsored by the Library, or is conducted in the name of the Library.

Gifts - The library is a public institution and its services are equally available to all. Members of the staff may not accept valuable gifts or money from patrons. Staff members are permitted to accept candy and other inexpensive items.

Grooming - The community image of the library is, at least in part, projected by the wearing apparel and appearance of staff members. It is, therefore, very important that all employees be well groomed and properly dressed. It is assumed that an employee hired by the library will show good common sense and a maturity of self-expression. Clothing should be selected that is neither distracting to other staff members and patrons, nor unbefitting that of a professional library employee. Clothing should be fresh and neat. Careful personal hygiene is essential. Hair, regardless of length, should be clean. Within these concepts there is plenty of room for the expression of individual tastes and the exercise of individual choice of apparel suited to a particular library position.

Gum Chewing and Eating in Public - While on duty, neither gum chewing nor eating is permitted.

Punctuality - All staff members should be in the library and ready for work on time. This means arriving at the building ahead of schedule. Staff members completing duty at a public desk should explain clearly and completely the work left to the next staff member. If a staff member is absent from the duty area longer than five minutes, the immediate supervisor or co-workers should be notified.

Reading - The patron has a right to expect the staff to be familiar with the book collection and to keep informed about new titles. Staff reading while on duty at a service desk is limited to professional periodicals, book reviews, and other materials required for general job assignments. However, the individual staff member remains responsible for giving priority to patrons.

Salesmen and Canvassers - Salesmen, solicitors, and persons circulating petitions should be asked to see staff members outside the library unless library matters are involved or the project has been approved by the Board of Directors. Proselytizing, selling merchandise, tickets, or chances of any kind in public areas, whether by staff members or others, is prohibited, unless it is approved by the Library Administration.

Smoking - Smoking is not permitted on library premises. It is not allowed in workrooms or in the public or staff rest rooms.

Welfare and Social Activities - Non-staff related social activities must be arranged and held on staff member's own time. No staff member is obligated to contribute time or money to such activities.

Department of Personnel

Rules promulgated by the New Jersey Department of Personnel by supersede policies in this manual.

Employee Safety

It is the policy of the Library to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local health and safety regulations and to provide a work environment as free as feasible from recognized hazards. Employees are expected to comply with all safety and health requirements whether established by management or by federal, state or local law.


Some Reminders

The first duty of the Library is service to the public. Courtesy and a spirit of service are the first requisites of a staff member. Each staff member has his/her place in the scheme of service in the Library and should recognize his ranking and accept its responsibility with dignity.

Business-like conduct is presupposed at all times. Personal differences should never be discussed, nor patrons left waiting while some dispute is settled. Every employee is a public relations officer for the Library and each has an important part to play in developing and maintaining good public relations.

Visiting with friends, acquaintances, or any discussion of personal affairs should not be indulged in while on duty at a public desk.

The East Orange Public Library exists for the benefit of the citizens of the community. Those who accept a position in the Library assume an obligation to maintain ethical standards of behavior or in relation to the Library Board of Trustees, the Library, all fellow workers, and the public. Staff must avoid situations in which personal interest might be served or financial benefits gained at the expense of the Library.


Definitions

Intoxicating substance - any substance which produces changes in one's physical mental or emotional state or behavior, including but not limited to glue, paint thinner, etc.

Illegal drugs - drugs for which the possession, use, sale or distribution is unlawful pursuant to the laws of the State of New Jersey or any federal law or regulation. Illegal drugs include drugs which are not legally obtainable and drugs which are legally obtainable but have been obtained illegally.

Alcohol - the intoxicating agent in beverage alcohol, ethyl alcohol or other low molecular weight alcohols, including methyl and isopropyl alcohol.