Employee Handbook and Personnel Policy
|Adopted by the Board of Trustees||June 23, 2011|
|Revisions approved by the Board of Trustees||May 21, 2015|
|January 22, 2018|
|December 17, 2018|
|August 24, 2020|
|January 24, 2022|
Welcome to the Lincolnwood Public Library District (referred to as the “Library”). We are happy that you have joined our staff and hope you find this an interesting, challenging, and fun place to work.
The Library’s mission is: to foster lifelong learning and connect the community through materials, space, events, and expertise.
Core values define the culture and character of the Library, and guide how we behave and make decisions. The Library’s Core Values are:
- Friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable customer service
- Initiatives that look to the future and improve the Library for the community
- Staff interactions that are open-minded and team-oriented
- A welcoming environment for all members of the community
- Support of intellectual freedom; and
- Protection of privacy of its patrons.
This employee handbook (referred to as the “Handbook”) is designed to acquaint you with the Library and provide you with general information regarding working conditions, employee benefits, and some of the policies affecting your employment. You are responsible for reading, understanding, and complying with all previsions of the Handbook. It describes many of your responsibilities as an employee and outlines the programs developed by the Library to benefit employees.
This Handbook supersedes and/or modifies all previous employee handbooks, rules, benefits, policies, and procedures, whether written or otherwise. The Board of Trustees (referred to as the “Board”) reserves the right to change, modify, add to or delete any information contained in this Handbook at any time and without notice. The Board may also change, modify, alter or rescind any policy or practice, or adopt new policies or practices, at any time and without notice. The Library will make an effort to notify you of such changes as they occur.
Federal, state, or local laws or regulations shall supersede these stated policies, until corrections can be published, in the following instances:
- If any of the policies are or become in conflict with federal, state, or local laws or regulations.
- If any omissions or inclusions cause conflict with federal, state, or local laws or regulations.
- If typographical or printer error should cause conflict with any federal, state, or local laws or regulations.
Should there be any questions as to the interpretation of the policies or benefits listed in this Handbook, the final explanation and resolution will be at the sole and absolute discretion of the Library, subject to federal, state, and local laws.
In the pages that follow, you will find helpful information regarding employment policies and benefits available to you. Please direct any questions to your supervisor or to the Library’s administration office. They are available to help you obtain any information you need.
The contents of this Handbook do not constitute an expressed or implied contract of employment. Rather, it is simply intended to describe the Library’s policies and procedures, employee benefits, and general guidelines. Unless you have an employment agreement to the contrary, which is approved by the Board, employment at the Library is employment-at-will and as such may be terminated at the will of either the Library or the employee at any time and for any reason, with or without cause or notice.
The Library is governed by an autonomous, seven-member board elected by community residents to serve four-year staggered terms of office. The Board hires a Library Director to advise it, administer its policies, and manage the Library on a day-to-day basis.
It is the intent of the Library to clarify the definitions of employment classifications so that employees understand their employment status and benefit eligibility. These classifications do not guarantee employment for any specified period of time. Accordingly, the right to terminate the employment relationship, at will, at any time is retained by both the employee and the Library.
Each employee is designated as either NONEXEMPT or EXEMPT according to federal and state wage and hour laws. NONEXEMPT employees are entitled to overtime pay or compensatory time and are under the specific provisions of federal and state wage and hour laws. EXEMPT employees are not entitled to overtime pay or compensatory time and are excluded from specific provisions of federal and state wage and hour laws.
In addition to the above categories, each employee will belong to one other employment category:
FULL-TIME employees are those who are regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 37.5 hours per week or more. Generally, they are eligible for the Library’s benefit package, subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of each benefit program.
PART-TIME employees are those who are regularly scheduled to work less than 37.5 hours per week. They may be eligible for some of the Library's benefit package, in addition to those required by law, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of the individual benefit program.
In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, each new employee, as a condition of employment, must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 and present documentation establishing identity and employment eligibility. Former employees who are rehired must, in certain circumstances, complete a new I-9 form.
Expiration of Work Authorization
Employees who have a work authorization that expires will need to provide an updated work authorization. Employees who fail to provide proof of their renewed authorization to work prior to the expiration of the authorization documented on their Form I-9 are subject to immediate termination.
The Library subscribes to a policy of equal employment opportunity and is committed to providing equal opportunity in all employment practices to all qualified applicants and employees, without regard to actual or perceived race, color, religion, sex, gender, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military or veteran status, genetic information, order of protection status, or any other category protected by federal, state and/or local laws. This policy of equal employment applies to all aspects of the employment relationship, including but not limited to: initial consideration for employment; job placement and assignment of responsibilities; performance evaluation; promotion and advancement; compensation and fringe benefits; training and professional development opportunities; formulation and application of human resource policies and rules; facility and service accessibility; and discipline and termination.
Any employee who believes this policy has been violated should report the situation to their supervisor or the Library Director. All such matters will be thoroughly investigated and rectified if a policy violation is identified. Please refer to the policy governing sexual and other types of harassment for more detailed information concerning the Library’s investigative procedures.
The Library is committed to maintaining a work environment free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation, including sexual harassment, which are all illegal under the Illinois Human Rights Act (IHRA) and Title VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII). In keeping with this commitment, the Library will not tolerate harassment of Library employees or officials by anyone, including any supervisor, co-worker, elected or appointed official, vendors, patrons, or any third-party. All employees and officials are expected to avoid any behavior or conduct which could reasonably be interpreted as harassment. All employees are expected to make it known promptly, through the avenues identified below, when they experience or witness offensive or unwelcome conduct.
All employees must comply with this policy. Violations will not be tolerated. Even where conduct is not sufficiently severe or pervasive to constitute an actionable legal violation, the Library discourages such conduct in the workplace and will take appropriate actions pursuant to its disciplinary policy.
This Policy applies to all employment-related decisions, actions, conduct and terms and conditions of employment, such as, but not limited to, hiring, training, promotion, wages, hours, assignments, benefits and termination of employment. Employment decisions at the Library will be based on considerations such as, but not limited to, the following: skills, experience, qualifications and merit, to the extent that any of those considerations would apply to the specific circumstances and position involved.
Discrimination consists of employment actions taken against an individual based on an actual or perceived characteristic protected by law, such as sex, race, color, ancestry, national origin, citizenship status, religion, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, pregnancy, military or veteran status, genetic information, order of protection status, or any other category protected by applicable law. In other words, discrimination occurs when an individual is treated differently or unequally because the individual is a member or a perceived member of a protected group.
Harassment is a form of discrimination and is prohibited. The Library seeks to provide a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity and which is free from sexual harassment as well as other types of harassment described in this Policy.
All employees and officials are responsible for conducting themselves in accordance with this Policy. The Library will not condone harassment, whether engaged in by employees, supervisors, management, officials or by those who do business with the Library, such as, but not limited to, vendors, contractors, patrons, visitors, and other third parties. Violation of this Policy shall be considered grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employees and reporting officials to appropriate authorities.
Harassment consists of unwelcome conduct, whether verbal, physical, or visual, that is based upon a person’s protected status, such as sex, sexual orientation, color, race, religion, national origin, age, physical or mental disability or other protected group status. The Library will not tolerate harassing conduct that affects tangible job benefits, that interferes unreasonably with an individual’s work performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment. The conduct forbidden by this Policy specifically includes, but is not limited to:
- Slurs, negative stereotyping, demeaning or degrading comments, nicknames or intimidating acts that are based on a person’s protected status;
- Written or graphic material that is circulated, available on the Library’s computer system or technology resources, or posted or distributed in the workplace that shows hostility toward a person or persons because of their protected status.
Sexual harassment is conduct based on sex, whether directed toward a person of the opposite or same sex. Sexual harassment, as defined by the IHRA consists of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature become sexual harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly as a term or condition of a person's employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment decisions affecting such person; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of interfering with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.
This Policy forbids sexual harassment, regardless of whether it rises to the level of a legal violation. The Library considers the following conduct to represent some, but not all, of the types of acts that violate the Library’s sexual harassment policy:
- Either explicitly or implicitly conditioning or providing preferential treatment in any term of employment (such as continued employment, wages, evaluation, advancement, assigned duties or shifts) on the provision of sexual favors;
- Physical contact, such as patting, pinching, or brushing against any part of another’s body or physical assaults of a sexual nature;
- Sexual propositions, sexual innuendo, suggestive comments;
- Continuing to ask an employee to socialize on or off-duty when the employee has indicated no interest;
- Displaying or transmitting demeaning, obscene, or sexually suggestive pictures, objects, cartoons, or posters anywhere in the Library;
- Sexually oriented kidding, teasing, practical jokes, or threats;
- Referring to or calling a person a sexualized name;
- Telling sexual jokes or using sexually vulgar or explicit language;
- Making derogatory or provoking remarks about or relating to an employee’s sex or sexual orientation;
- Harassing acts or behavior directed against a person on the basis of an employee’s sex or sexual orientation; or
- Off-duty conduct that falls within the above definition and affects the work environment.
Even if two or more individuals are engaging in consensual conduct, such conduct could constitute harassment of or discrimination against another individual who witnesses or overhears the conduct.
Everyone is required to avoid behavior or conduct that could reasonably be interpreted as prohibited discrimination and/or harassment under this Policy. Employees and officials are encouraged to inform others in the workplace when their behavior is unwelcome, offensive, inappropriate, or in poor taste. Employees and officials are expected to come forward promptly and report any violations pursuant to this Policy before the alleged offending behavior becomes severe or pervasive.
Everyone is responsible to help ensure that harassment and discrimination do not occur and are not tolerated. The Library is committed to investigating and taking prompt and appropriate action with respect to all such claims and strongly urges internal utilization of this Policy.
This Policy does not require reporting harassment or discrimination to any individual who is creating the harassment or discrimination. An individual who believes that they have been subjected to sexual or other types of harassment or discrimination, or who has witnessed harassment or discrimination, should immediately submit a complaint to their supervisor, any other member of the management team, or the Library Director. If a manager or supervisor receives a complaint of harassment or discrimination or becomes aware of such conduct, the complaint or conduct shall be immediately reported to the Library Director. Supervisors or managers or officials who have knowledge of any conduct inconsistent with or prohibited by this Policy and do not report it to one or more of the above are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or reporting officials to appropriate authorities.
Verbal complaints, as stated, must be made immediately. The Library may follow up in writing in order to assure complete understanding of and resolution of the specific complaint. Please note that there are no exceptions to this reporting requirement. There is no friendship exception. Even if the alleged victim or perpetrator of the conduct is a friend, acquaintance, family member, relative or co-worker, each and every employee and official is required to report the incident or complaint, as the case may be.
The Library Director, or designee, shall promptly investigate all complaints and make all reasonable efforts to resolve the matter informally. These efforts may include, but are not limited to, convening conferences with the complainant and/or the accused harasser/discriminator to discuss the complaint and the results of the investigation. The Library also has sole discretion to determine the scope of the investigation and, within that scope, the individuals who should be informed of and asked about the allegations. All complaints of harassment will be investigated, and a response will be made to the complainant promptly, but no more than 30 days from the date upon which the complaint was received.
The right to confidentiality, both of the complainant and of the accused, will be respected consistent with Employer’s legal obligations and with the necessity to investigate allegations of misconduct and to take corrective action when this conduct has occurred. Employees and officials are required to cooperate with investigations conducted by the Library.
A substantiated complaint against an employee will subject the individual to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. The Library will also take appropriate action to address a substantiated complaint of discrimination or harassment by a third party or non-employee. The Library may put reasonable interim measures in place, such as a leave of absence (with or without pay) or a transfer, while the investigation takes place. If an investigation results in a finding that the complainant falsely accused another of harassment or discrimination knowingly or in a malicious manner, the complainant will be subject to appropriate discipline, including the possibility of termination.
Persons knowingly making a false report are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or reporting to appropriate authorities. Failure to cooperate in an investigation also will subject an employee to the same disciplinary action. The Library may discipline an employee for any inappropriate conduct discovered in investigating reports made under this Policy.
Any form of retaliation against an individual who reports harassment or discrimination or participates in an investigation is strictly prohibited by the Illinois Humans Right Act, the Illinois Whistleblower Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Library policy. The Library will not retaliate or allow retaliation against an individual who has made a report of a violation of this Policy or for cooperating in an investigation. This, of course, means that employees and officials also must not retaliate against any individual who has made a report of a violation of this Policy or who has cooperated in an investigation. Retaliation by anyone against anyone else for reporting violations of this Policy or cooperating in an investigation is strictly prohibited. Anyone who is found by the Library to have engaged in retaliation may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment, or reporting conduct of officials to appropriate authorities. The Library will also take appropriate action to address a third party or non-employee who engages in retaliation.
Resolution Outside the Library
Employees and officials are encouraged to use the above complaint procedure(s) to report and resolve their complaints of harassment or retaliation to promote prompt resolution of any problems. However, employees and officials have the right to contact the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and/or the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) about filing a formal complaint. An IDHR or EEOC complaint must be filed within 300 days of the alleged incident(s) unless it is a continuing offense.
Illinois Department of Human Rights
100 W. Randolph St., #10
Chicago, IL 60601
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
230 S. Dearborn Street, Suite 1866
Chicago, Illinois 60604
The Library supports the Illinois Human Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and will attempt to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant individuals, qualified individuals with disabilities, and individuals who request such accommodations for their religious beliefs or practices unless such accommodations would present an undue hardship for the Library.
Reasonable accommodations apply to all covered employees and applicants and include, but are not limited to accommodations related to hiring practices, job placement, training, pay practices, promotion and demotion policies, access to benefits, facility and service accessibility, and layoff and termination procedures.
- A pregnant individual, which includes any woman affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or medical or common conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth;
- A qualified individual with a disability, which includes any individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of the job the individual has or wants, and does not pose a direct threat to the health or safety of himself/herself or other individuals in the workplace; and
- An individual who requests reasonable accommodations that will allow the individual to practice their religion.
For more information regarding your rights on Pregnancy in the Workplace, download the Illinois Department of Human Rights fact sheet at www.illinois.gov/dhr, or refer to the posted “Pregnancy Rights Notice.”
Contact your supervisor or the Library Director for further clarification regarding the Library’s policy on reasonable accommodation or to request a reasonable accommodation in the workplace.
The Library takes great pride in maintaining high standards of business ethics, integrity, and treating all people with the utmost professionalism. The Library is committed to conducting daily business activities that foster a healthy work environment for its employees and a fair and honest relationship with its patron’s and vendors. The Library strives to conduct business in ways that bring credit to us as a public service provider and as individuals.
All employees of the Library are expected to conduct business at all times in a legal, ethical, and professional manner. Employees should avoid situations that pose, or appear to pose, a conflict of interest. Activities, actions, or business interests which may jeopardize or overlap with the interests or business activities of the Library are a potential basis for conflict and are prohibited. The Library’s patrons, customers, suppliers, vendors, and employees have the right to expect that the Library will conduct its business in an honest and equitable manner. The Library shall therefore need to have a constant, sincere commitment to the highest ethical standards.
Employees of the Library shall not engage in any business or transaction, or have a financial or personal interest, whether directly or indirectly, that is incompatible with the proper discharge of their duties or that may tend to impair their judgment. Library employees are expected to deal with suppliers, customers, contractors, and others doing business with the Library on the sole basis of the Library’s best interest, without favor or preference based on personal considerations.
Except as provided for in the Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, employees may not accept any payment, loan, or excessive entertainment from any source or person doing or seeking to do business with the Library. This rule applies to gifts of cash, products, services, food and beverages, entertainment, and all other items of value, regardless of how you receive them. Employees should never place themselves or the Library in a position of obligation to another organization or individual.
Library staff shall not accept cash gifts from Library users or others who wish to make such a gift either as a token of appreciation for services the employee provided in their capacity as a Library employee or for any other reason. If any such gift is “forced” upon an employee and the giver refuses to accept it back, the employee must immediately report this to the Library Director. The gift will then be accepted as a donation to the Library itself, recorded and deposited as such, and the donor shall be given appropriate recognition as stipulated in the Library’s statement of Policies Governing the Acceptance and Recognition of Gifts to the Library. Staff may accept modest gifts of baked goods, candy, and other foodstuff (e.g., during the holiday season) provided any such gift can be and is shared equally with the staff as a whole or with the employee’s departmental co-workers, if the latter is more appropriate.
Any gift to an employee that does not fall into either of the categories covered above must be immediately reported to the Library Director who, with the advice and consent of the Library’s attorney, will determine whether or not the gift can be accepted and, if not, how best to dispose of it.
Employment at the Library is at-will. To better prepare for gaps caused by a voluntary separation, the Library would appreciate the courtesy of at least four weeks written notice for full-time employees and two weeks written notice for part-time employees.
This policy governs employee use of the Library’s electronic communication system, including electronic mail (email), computers (including Internet access), laptops, voicemail, fax machines, telephones, and any other IT device or resources used for communication (collectively referred to as “Communication System”).
However, this policy does not govern employee use of any Communication System available to the public used by employees during non-working hours. The purpose of this policy is to insure that the Library’s Communication System are protected, properly managed, used for appropriate and acceptable purposes, and utilized in cost effective ways.
Equipment and Resources
The Library Communication System is made available for staff to conduct library related business. Except for emergencies, use of library equipment for personal reasons is limited to breaks and/or other times that fall outside work schedules. When the Library is open to the public, conducting personal or other non-work related business at a public service desk, whether such action involves the use of library equipment/resources or not, is strictly prohibited. Doing so may subject an employee to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. When on breaks, personal use is permitted so long as it does not interfere with the performance of an employee's job and/or the transaction of library business, consume significant resources, give rise to more than nominal additional costs or interfere with the activities of other employees. Excess personal use of Communication Systems or distribution of personal messages by employees is prohibited. Personal software or messages shall not be installed or stored on the Library’s Communication System unless prior approval is obtained.
All such communication systems, and all communications and stored information transmitted through, received on, accessed on, or contained in the Library’s Communication System are library property and are to be used primarily for job-related purposes during working time. The hardware, software and accounts are given to employees to assist them in performance of their jobs. Employees should not have an expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send, or receive on library equipment, network, or software. At the discretion of the Library Director and/or the Library Board, any and all data stored on library equipment, network, or software may be accessed and reviewed. This may happen at any time and without notice to those who use or have used the equipment. Such data is subject to Illinois Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests submitted by the general public.
Equipment and software is installed and maintained by the Library’s Information Technology (IT) contractor under the guidance of the Head of Operations. Use of other software or equipment without prior approval by the Director and/or Head of Operations is strictly prohibited. Staff may not download and install programs on library equipment without authorization from the Library Director or Head of Operations. Employees are prohibited from bringing unauthorized electronic equipment to work to use with library-provided information systems and from accessing library systems with their devices without explicit permission from the Head of Operations. Such prohibited equipment includes but is not limited to any type of external computer drives, such as flash drives, to save information from computer drives, and personal laptops and other wireless communications devices. Using such unauthorized equipment with library-provided information systems and/or accessing the Library Communication System without permission is considered to be theft of the Library’s intellectual property.
Employees must be aware of the possibility that electronic messages that are believed to have been erased or deleted can frequently be retrieved by systems experts and can be used against an employee or the Library. Therefore, employees should be cautious and use the systems only in the appropriate manner.
Accounts and passwords are set up and issued by the Operations Department. Accounts and passwords may not, under any circumstances, be shared with, or used by, persons other than those to whom they have been assigned or by the Operations Department for the purpose of computer network maintenance. Employees are responsible for protecting the confidentiality of their password(s). Passwords should not be written down or left in places that are accessible to others. The use of personal passwords, assigned to or selected by the employee, is not grounds for an employee to claim privacy rights in the Library Communication System or any data or content stored therein. Employees may be required to disclose passwords or codes to the Library to allow access to the systems. The Library reserves the right to override personal passwords.
Staff must exercise caution when downloading or forwarding/sharing files. If such files are copyrighted, downloading or sharing them without licensing permissions is illegal and may subject the Library and the individual employee to legal sanctions. Willful file sharing of any copyrighted material is prohibited.
Software License Abuse
The Library requires strict adherence to software vendors' license agreements. Using library equipment and/or resources to copy licensed software contrary to vendor agreements or installing unlicensed and/or pirated software is strictly prohibited. Employees must respect all laws governing copyright, fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, trademarks, and other intellectual property, including any library copyrights, trademarks, and brands. Questions regarding software licenses should be referred to the Head of Operations.
The following list provides examples of unacceptable practices for which employees will be held accountable. This list is not exhaustive and should not be interpreted as such.
- Excessive use of library equipment and/or resources to conduct non-library related business. This includes phone calls and saving non-business related documents to the Library network.
- Sending/forwarding chain letters or participating in the creation or transmission of unsolicited commercial e-mail ("spam").
- Accessing unauthorized networks, servers, drives, folders, files, or information.
- Making unauthorized copies of library files or documents.
- Destroying, deleting, erasing, altering, or otherwise tampering with library files or other library data needed by or potentially useful to other staff members and/or the Library in general.
- Disabling, defeating, or circumventing any library security mechanisms, internet screening programs, security programs, or firewalls. Any employee who does so shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.
- Deliberately or habitually propagating any virus or other code or file designed to disrupt, disable, impair, or otherwise harm either the Library's networks or systems or those of any other individual or entity.
- Willfully creating congestion, disruption, disablement, alteration, or impairment of library networks or systems. (e.g. adversely impacting internet speed by streaming videos or unplugging computer equipment.)
- Using abusive, profane, threatening, racist, sexist, or otherwise objectionable language in either public or private messages when using library resources. Employees who receive emails or other electronic communication of this nature should immediately report this activity to their supervisor, the Library Director, or the Head of Operations.
- Infringing, attempting to infringe, or aiding in any way in the infringement or attempted infringement on another person or entity's intellectual property rights or copyrights.
- Browsing, retrieving, displaying, or disseminating any offensive, inflammatory, pornographic, or inappropriate communications, including sexually and racially explicit or negative material. Employees who receive emails or other electronic communication of this nature should immediately report this activity to their supervisor, the Library Director, or the Head of Operations.
- Composing, sending, or forwarding communications which reasonably could cause another employee to feel offended, embarrassed, or harassed including any material relating to actual or perceived race, color, sex, gender, pregnancy, religion, national origin, disability, ancestry, citizenship status, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, military status, genetic information, order of protection status, or any other characteristic protected by law. Employees who receive emails or other electronic communication of this nature should immediately report this activity to their supervisor, the Library Director, or the Head of Operations.
- Sending or forwarding any communications which mask or misrepresent their identity as the sender, or which are encrypted.
- Engaging in activities for personal financial gain or for commercial use or profit.
- Using library equipment or other resources to promote or oppose a political issue or candidate or a religious belief.
- Failing to properly log off or lock any secure, controlled-access computer or other form of electronic data system if and when left unattended.
- Posting passwords on or near a computer, especially in a public area.
- Sharing or distributing passwords to unauthorized persons.
Willful and/or recurring use of the Library’s Communication System, equipment, and/or resources for purposes, or in ways, that are inconsistent with the policies, guidelines, or best practices stipulated therein will subject an employee to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Social Media is defined as: blogs, other types of self-published online journals, and collaborative Web-based discussion forums including, but not limited to, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter.
The following rules and guidelines apply to the use of social media, whether such use is for the Library during working time, for personal use during non-work time, outside the workplace or during working time while using Library-owned equipment. These rules and guidelines apply to all employees.
- Employees are prohibited from discussing confidential library matters through the use of social media such as the Library’s customer account information or non-confidential library matters such as patron behavior.
- Employees cannot use social media to harass, threaten, bully, or discriminate against co-workers, managers, vendors or suppliers, or any members of the public, including website visitors who post comments. The Library’s anti-harassment and EEO policies apply to use of social media in the workplace.
- Pre-approval must be received from the Library Director before any employee establishes a library presence on any social media site.
- This policy is not intended, nor shall it be applied, to restrict employees from discussing their wages, hours and working conditions with co-workers.
Library-Sponsored Social Media
Library-sponsored social media is used to convey information about the Library’s facilities and services, advise the public about upcoming events, obtain customer feedback, exchange ideas or trade insights about industry trends, reach out to potential new markets, issue or respond to breaking news, and brainstorm with employees and customers.
All such library-related social media is subject to the following rules and guidelines, in addition to the rules and guidelines set forth above:
- Only employees designated and authorized by the Library Director or the Board can prepare content for or delete, edit, or otherwise modify content on library-sponsored social media. These employees are responsible for ensuring that library-sponsored social media conforms to all applicable rules and guidelines. They are also authorized to remove immediately and without advance warning any content, including offensive content such as pornography, obscenities, profanity, and/or material that violates the Library’s EEO and/or anti-harassment policies.
- Library-sponsored social media accounts are owned by the Library. Any employees who create such accounts or are provided access to such accounts do not obtain ownership rights to such accounts or any content contained in them. Employees who create or are provided access to library-sponsored social media accounts must provide the Library with all passwords and/or log-in information to such accounts immediately upon the Library’s request, and must transfer “manager” or “owner” status (as defined by the particular social media site) upon the Library’s request.
- Employees who want to post comments in response to library-sponsored content must identify themselves as employees.
Personal Use of Social Media
The following rules and guidelines, in addition to the rules and guidelines set forth above, apply to employee use of social media on the employee’s personal time.
- Employees should abide by the Library’s policy concerning personal use of the Library’s computers and related equipment.
- Employees who utilize social media and choose to identify themselves as employees of the Library may not represent themselves as a spokesperson for the Library. Accordingly, employees are strongly encouraged to state explicitly, clearly, and in a prominent place on the site that their views are their own and not those of the Library or of any person or organization affiliated or doing business with the Library.
- Employees should respect all copyright and other intellectual property laws. For the Library’s protection, as well as your own, it is critical that you show proper respect for all the laws governing copyright, fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, trademarks and other intellectual property.
- The Library reserves the right to monitor employees’ public use of social media including but not limited to statements/comments posted on the Internet, in blogs or other types of openly accessible forums, diaries, and personal or business discussion forums.
Employees should have no expectation of privacy while using library equipment and facilities for any purpose, including the use of social media. The Library reserves the right to monitor, review, and block content that violates the Library’s rules and guidelines.
The Library will investigate and respond to all reports of violations of the Library's rules, guidelines, or policies. Employees are urged to report any violations of this policy to their supervisor, the Library Director. A violation of this policy may result in discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
Personnel files are the property of the Library, and access to the information they contain is restricted. Generally, only officials and representatives of the Library who have a legitimate reason to review information in a file are allowed to do so. Trustees and supervisors will have access to an employee’s personnel file only with the consent of, and in the presence of, the Library Director, Deputy Director, or Head of Business Services.
The Library shall maintain a separate confidential file containing the employee’s job application and related material, performance appraisals, a summary of salary and job history, and other materials applicable to evaluation of performance and potential. With reasonable advance notice and a written request, employees have the right to review their respective personnel files, up to two (2) times per calendar year, but only in the presence of the Library Director, Deputy Director, or the Head of Business Services at a mutually convenient time. Records such as letters of reference are not available for inspection.
Each employee is responsible for notifying the Head of Business Services about any changes in important personal data, including, but not limited to: address, telephone number, and spouse, domestic partner or emergency contact. Employer cannot be held responsible for situations resulting from employees withholding correct and accurate information.
Establishment and maintenance of a safe work environment are shared responsibilities of library employees from all levels. The Library will attempt to do everything within its control to assure a safe environment and compliance with federal, state, and local safety regulations. To accomplish this objective, all library employees are expected to work diligently to maintain safe and healthful conditions and to adhere to proper operating practices and procedures designed to prevent injuries and illnesses.
There are a few guidelines that all employees should follow to fulfill that responsibility: keep work areas clean and obstacle-free; report any accidents or illnesses immediately; report all unsafe conditions or work procedures immediately; and always be mindful of doing their jobs in a safe manner.
Employees have an absolute obligation to immediately report any unsafe conditions to their supervisor or the Library Director. Not only supervisors, but employees at all levels of the Library are expected to correct unsafe conditions as promptly as possible. The Library will not retaliate against an employee who comes forth with a safety recommendation or refuses to operate any equipment or work in an area they reasonably feel is unsafe.
All accidents, especially those that result in injury, must be reported immediately to the nearest available supervisor or the Library Director, regardless of how insignificant they may appear. Such reports are necessary to comply with federal and state laws and initiate insurance and workers' compensation procedures. Failure to immediately report an accident may result in discipline, up to and including termination.
In cases of serious injury or illness, staff should immediately call 911.
The Library is committed to providing a safe, healthy, and productive workplace that is free from alcohol, cannabis, and illegal drugs as classified under applicable local, state, or federal laws. To eliminate unacceptable safety risks, and to enhance the Library’s ability to operate effectively and efficiently, the Library maintains strict standards regarding alcohol and illegal drugs in the workplace.
In furtherance of this commitment, the Library maintains a policy in which job applicants and current employees may be requested or required to submit to drug and alcohol testing in certain situations.
- “Cannabis” includes all forms of cannabis or marijuana, including both recreational and medical cannabis and marijuana.
- “Legal drugs” are: (1) drugs that are permitted under state and federal law, (2) obtained by an employee with a physician’s prescription or over-the-counter, and (3) used for the purposes for which they were prescribed or sold. Employees using legal drugs must be aware of any potential effect such drugs may have on their judgment or ability to perform their duties. If such effects could adversely affect the employee’s ability to safely perform their job, the employee must report such use and potential effect to their supervisor prior to reporting to work. In the event an employee fails to report such use and creates a safety threat, neither a physician’s prescription nor other medical reason will be an acceptable excuse for being in violation of this policy.
- “Illegal drugs” are drugs or controlled substances that are: (1) not legally obtainable under federal and state law, or (2) whose use or possession is controlled by the federal or state law, but are not being used or possessed under the supervision of licensed health care professional. Examples include, but not limited to, cocaine, mind-altering chemicals, depressants, stimulants, inhalants, and prescription drugs that were not lawfully obtained. For the purposes of this policy only, this does not include cannabis. The unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, sale, use, being under the influence, or the presence in one’s system of a detectable amount of an illegal drug is prohibited: (1) on the Library’s premises or (2) where the employee is performing the Library’s business off the premises, and will be reported to the appropriate local, state, and federal authorities. Any violation of this prohibition will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Employees must notify the employer of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) days after such conviction.
- "Library premises" includes, but is not limited to, all buildings, offices, facilities, grounds, parking lots, places and vehicles owned, leased or managed by the Library.
- “Refuse to Cooperate” means to obstruct the collection process, to submit an altered, adulterated or substitute sample, or to fail to promptly provide specimen(s) for testing when directed.
- “Under the Influence of Alcohol" means an alcohol concentration of .04 or more, or actions, appearance, speech or bodily odors which reasonably cause a supervisor to conclude that an employee is impaired because of alcohol use.
- “Under the Influence of Cannabis” means actions, appearance, speech or bodily odors which reasonably cause a supervisor to conclude that an employee is impaired because of cannabis use, which may or may not be accompanied with a confirmed positive test.
- “Under the Influence of Illegal Drugs” means a confirmed positive test result for illegal drug use.
- Whenever employees are working, operating a motor vehicle for library business, or present on library premises, they are prohibited from:
- using, possessing, buying, selling, manufacturing, or dispensing illegal drugs;
- being under the influence of alcohol, cannabis, or illegal drugs; and
- possessing or consuming alcohol or cannabis (except a moderate amount of alcohol may be consumed at approved library events, provided such consumption does not adversely affect an employee’s behavior or judgment and, if the employee will drive a motor vehicle following the event, does not adversely affect the employee’s ability to safely and legally drive the vehicle).
- This Policy does not prohibit employees from the lawful use and possession of prescribed medications, except that employees may not use or possess cannabis (even medical cannabis) on library premises, while operating a motor vehicle for library business, or while working. Employees are responsible for consulting with their doctors about a medication’s effect on their ability to work safely, and promptly disclosing any restrictions to their supervisor or the Library Director. In the event an employee fails to report such restrictions and creates a safety threat, neither a physician’s prescription nor other medical reason will be an acceptable excuse for being in violation of this policy. Employees should not, however, disclose underlying medical conditions unless specifically directed to do so.
The Library will assist and support employees who voluntarily seek help for alcohol or drug problems before becoming subject to discipline under this or other library policies. Employees who seek such assistance will be allowed to use accrued paid time off, placed on leaves of absence, when available, referred to treatment providers, and otherwise accommodated as required by law. Such employees may be required to document that they are successfully following prescribed treatment and may be required to take and pass follow-up tests.
- Reasonable Suspicion: Employees are subject to testing if a supervisor reasonably suspects them of using or being under the influence of cannabis, alcohol, or illegal drugs while they are on library premises, working, or operating a motor vehicle while conducting library business.
- Post-Accident: Employees are subject to testing when they cause or contribute to accidents which seriously damage library property or result in an injury requiring emergency medical treatment away from the scene of the accident. Employees will be tested under these circumstances when a member of management has a reasonable belief that the use of alcohol, cannabis, or illegal drugs contributed to the accident/injury.
- Return to Duty and Follow-Up: Employees who have tested positive or violated this Policy, and who are not terminated or are reinstated, are subject to testing prior to being returned to duty. Follow-up testing at times and frequencies determined by the Library may also be required for up to three (3) years.
Collection and Testing Procedures
- Employees subject to alcohol testing shall be sent, via ride sharing or taxicab, or driven to a library-designated clinic and directed to provide breath specimens. Specimens shall be collected by trained technicians, using federally approved testing devices, which are regularly calibrated and capable of producing printed results that identify the employee. Positive or inconclusive breath tests or other indications that an employee may be under the influence may require the employee to be subjected to additional tests (urine or blood).
- Employees subject to drug testing shall be sent, via ride-sharing or taxicab, or driven to a library-designated clinic and directed to provide urine specimens. Employees may provide split specimens and may provide specimens in private unless they appear to be submitting altered, adulterated, or substitute specimens. Collected specimens shall be sent to a federally certified laboratory and tested. There shall be a chain of custody from the time specimens are collected through testing and storage.
- The laboratory shall transmit positive drug test results to a doctor called a Medical Review Officer ("MRO"), retained by the Library, who shall offer persons with positive results a reasonable opportunity to establish that their results are caused by lawful (under both federal and state law) prescribed medicines or other lawful substances. Persons with positive test results may also ask the MRO to have their split specimen sent to another federally certified lab, to be tested at the employee's or applicant's own expense. Such requests must be made within three (3) working days of notice of test results. If the second lab fails to find any evidence of drug use in the split specimen, the employee will be treated as passing the test.
- Employees who refuse to cooperate in required tests, fail to pass a drug test, found to be under the influence of illegal drugs, or who possess, buy, sell, manufacture, or dispense illegal drugs in violation of this Policy will be terminated.
- Employees found to be under the influence of cannabis, or who possess, or consume cannabis on library premises, while operating a motor vehicle while conducting library business, or while working will be terminated.
- Unless aggravating circumstances are present, the first-time employees test positive for alcohol or possess, consume, or are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they will be suspended and may be required to meet certain conditions prior to reinstatement (such as successful completion of counseling or treatment, passing follow up tests, or other appropriate conditions).
- Employees who test positive for alcohol or drugs or violate this Policy's alcohol rules more than once will be terminated.
Information and records relating to positive test results, drug and alcohol dependencies, and legitimate medical explanations provided by the MRO shall be kept confidential and maintained in secure files separate from normal personnel files. Such records and information may be disclosed among managers and supervisors on a need-to-know basis and may be disclosed where relevant to a grievance, charge, claim, or other legal proceeding initiated by or on behalf of an employee or applicant.
This Policy is not a contract of employment and may be modified by the Library at its sole discretion. To the extent non-employees, who are present on library premises, engage or appear to have engaged in conduct that would violate this Policy if engaged in by an employee, such non-employees will be barred from library premises.
The Library is committed to protecting the safety and welfare of its employees, members, and visitors. No smoking or vaping of any kind will be permitted on library premises, including within 15 feet of any entrance, exit (including emergency exits), windows that open, or ventilation intakes that serve an enclosed area where smoking and vaping are prohibited. This policy applies to the use of both traditional smoking products, such as cigarettes, cigars, and pipes and electronic smoking devices, such as e-cigarettes and vaporizers.
Smoking is only allowed during authorized break times and in authorized areas. This policy applies equally to all employees, patrons, and visitors.
This policy pertains to spills of blood or other body fluids. It is not a first aid/emergency response procedure. This policy is specific to clean-up of such fluids. The Library complies with state and federal regulations relating to occupational exposures to blood-borne pathogens. When blood or other blood-borne pathogens create a risk to staff or other library users the following protocols will be followed:
- A supervisor or the Library Director should immediately be advised of the situation and/or need for clean-up, including the names of the individual(s) doing the actual clean-up.
- Affected individual or area of the Library will be quarantined.
- All blood will be cleaned up, using appropriate protective equipment and materials, and disposed of safely and effectively. (Blood-borne pathogen disposal kits, with instructions, are kept in each public service desk and in the Library administration office.)
- All necessary reports shall be completed upon completion of clean-up.
- If necessary, staff will seek advice and assistance from the Lincolnwood Fire Department.
The Library shall maintain an AED in a labeled cabinet in a publicly accessible area of the Library. The AED has voice activated instructions which will guide an individual through the process of using it to assist someone.
The Library considers regular attendance and punctuality to be critical both to acceptable job performance and to the employment relationship. Employees are expected to begin work on time and to work their scheduled hours. Excessive absenteeism or tardiness in connection with scheduled work times, breaks, or meal periods will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The Library recognizes that circumstances beyond employees’ control may occasionally cause them to be late or to miss a workday. Whenever possible, employees should inform their supervisor, in advance, when they know they will be late or not in to work on a scheduled day. When advance notice is not possible, employees who find they are unable to report to work as scheduled on a given day must notify their supervisor at least 30 minutes before the employee’s normal starting time. If you cannot reach your immediate supervisor, contact the Library and ask for a PIC (Person in Charge). If the Library is closed leave a voice message for the PIC on the Library’s main phone line (847) 677-5277. Be prepared to explain the reason for the absence or tardiness and give an expected date or time of return to work. At the Library Director’s discretion, employees may be required to provide written documentation explaining the cause of their absence or tardiness.
In instances of absence due to
your health, the Library reserves the right to require a doctor’s note to justify the absence. Any absence due to illness over three consecutive days requires a doctor’s note or medical clearance from a medical professional to return to work. Employees who are absent from work for two (2) consecutive days without providing proper notice will be considered to have voluntarily resigned their employment with the Library.
A full-time employee’s work schedule will generally consist of 37.5 hours per week. Work schedules for part-time employees may vary and are determined by the Library Director within the guidelines of the budget. Individual work schedules are determined by the Library Director and are so arranged as to best serve the needs of the Library patrons, operations, and employees. Hours of work may vary depending on the needs of the Library as determined by the Library Director.
EXTRA HOURS AND COMPENSATORY TIME
On occasion, employees will be expected to extend their normal workdays or workweeks in order to meet library scheduling needs. Every effort is made to allocate overtime work fairly and to the best interest of everyone. When overtime is necessary, employees will be notified as far in advance as possible. Non-exempt employees must have prior authorization from their supervisor and the Library Director before working overtime. Working unauthorized overtime is prohibited and may be disciplined, up to and including termination.
Overtime is paid only after a non-exempt employee has worked more than forty (40) hours during the work week. Holiday, vacation, and sick time, and any other paid or unpaid leave of absence do not count as hours worked for purposes of overtime. All overtime is paid at one and one-half (1.5) times the employee’s regular hourly rate. Under Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), exempt employees by virtue of their executive, administrative, or professional positions, are not eligible for overtime. This includes the Library Director, all department heads, and all permanent members of management team.
For the purpose of determining compliance with FLSA overtime provisions, the Library’s work week is defined as extending from Sunday through Saturday.
Employees working seven and a half (7.5) continuous hours or longer must take an unpaid thirty (30) minute meal break within the first five (5) hours of their shift. Employees may not work through meal breaks to compress the workday.
In addition to a meal break, employees who work seven and a half (7.5) continuous hours or longer will be provided two (2) 15-minute paid breaks. Employees who work seven and half (7.5) continuous hours or longer may combine one or both of their 15-minute breaks with their 30-minute meal break provided: (a) their total break time does not exceed sixty (60) minutes, and (b) they do not work more than four (4) hours at a time without a break.
Employees who work less than five (5) hours will be given the opportunity to take a 15-minute paid break for each consecutive four-hour work period. Employees may not skip or shorten a work break in order to compress their workday. Supervisors will schedule meal and work breaks for their employees at times that best meet the needs of their department and the Library.
Work attire should complement an environment that reflects an efficient, orderly, and professionally operated organization. The Library is a public entity serving and representing the residents of Lincolnwood. Employees are expected to dress in a manner that reflects the Library’s position within the community. Each and every employee is a representative of the Library and is expected to show a neat, professional appearance. All clothing must be clean, neat, and in good repair. The underlying standard for this dress code is “business casual.” Examples of unacceptable attire include, but are not limited to:
- Tank tops or strapless tops, unless worn underneath a sleeved shirt or blouse, crop tops, off-the-shoulder tops, lingerie-style tops;
- Shorts, cutoffs, pajama bottoms, or miniskirts;
- Sweatpants, leggings*, or any type of workout or athletic-style clothes;
- No open-toed rubber beachwear;
- Threadbare, or torn, or non-library or literary related t-shirts, beachwear, or sweatshirts;
- Exposed underclothing, such as underwear or bra straps;
- Clothing that displays obscene, pornographic, or other pictures of a sexual nature or that are in violation of the Nondiscrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy section of this policy; or
- Clothing with logos, images, text, etc. except for those designed to promote current library programs.
*Leggings may be worn with a shirt, dress, or skirt that reaches or extends beyond the mid-thigh.
Jeans are acceptable provided they are not ragged or torn.
The Library recognizes the importance of individually held religious beliefs to persons within its workforce. The Library will reasonably accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs in terms of workplace attire unless the accommodation creates an undue hardship. Accommodation of religious beliefs in terms of attire may be difficult in light of safety issues for employees. Those requesting a workplace attire accommodation based on religious beliefs should be referred to the Library Director.
Library parking lot(s) are reserved for its patrons. Employees are not permitted to park in Library parking lots during their working hours without permission from the Library Director. Employees may use available street parking. Employees shall be solely responsible for complying with all municipal and/or vehicle code laws relating to street parking. The Library shall not be responsible for any citations, fines, and/or fees an employee may incur for failure to comply with all local and state parking or vehicle laws. If an employee is not a resident of Lincolnwood they can obtain a Village parking permit from the Head of Operations.
Employees may not leave their vehicles in the lot while off duty or overnight without the explicit authorization of the Library Director.
Any employee who is found parking in unauthorized or prohibited areas or in other ways disregarding this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including, termination.
Employees who require a parking accommodation, should contact the Library Director.
Employees who celebrate their 5th, 10th, 20th, and 30th year employment anniversaries will receive the following:
- Recognition in the Director's Report to the Board
- An invitation to attend that board meeting to be recognized in person; and
- A cash bonus in the pay period immediately following the anniversary. The cash bonuses are not guaranteed, are subject to all applicable taxes and the availability of the budget. The amounts of the possible cash bonuses are as follows:
- 5 years = $50; 10 years = $100; 20 years = $200; 30 years = $300
While at work, employees are to exercise the same discretion in using personal cellular phones as they do for library-owned phones. Excessive personal calls during the workday, regardless of the phone used, can interfere with employee productivity and be distracting to others.
While at a service desk, use of personal cell phones is strictly prohibited. In the event of an emergency while working at a service desk, the employee should make or respond to such calls in an area that is not accessible to the public. Personal cell phones must be silenced and not visible during an employee’s working time. Employees are also asked to make any personal calls on non-work time where possible i.e. the employee’s scheduled break time/lunch time); however, these calls must be received and placed away from working and patron areas. Employees should ensure that friends and family members are aware of the Library’s policy to avoid excessive personal calls during the weekday. Flexibility will be provided in circumstances demanding immediate attention. Employees may make and receive local personal calls on the Library’s telephone during working hours if an emergency arises.
The Library promotes cell phone safety when operating a motor vehicle for library business. If the employee finds that it is absolutely necessary to utilize a cellular phone while driving, the following must be observed:
- Employees must place calls while stopped or have someone place the call for them. Employees may only use a cellular phone while driving if they are utilizing a hands-free device (such as a headset) or are using the phone in a voice activated mode.
- Employees must refrain from using cellular phones while operating a motor vehicle in a school speed zone or in a construction/maintenance speed zone in the absence of an emergency situation or the use of hands free/voice-activated equipment.
- When driving, utilize voice-activated equipment or use memory-dial to minimize dialing time.
- Keep the phone in any easy to reach location. Drivers should not remove their eyes from the road to look for, reach, or answer the phone.
- Avoid intense, emotional, or complicated conversations while driving.
- Assess traffic conditions before making/answering a call. Do not utilize a cell phone in heavy traffic conditions, inclement weather, or in unfamiliar terrain.
- Give driving your full attention.
- Do not take notes or look up phone numbers while driving.
- Do not compose, send, or read electronic messages or otherwise review or send material on your phone while operating a motor vehicle.
Failure to adhere to this policy, including the safety rules, can result in severe discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
All materials distributed on library-owned property, both written and electronic, must be approved by the Library Director or the Deputy Director.
Employees may not:
- Solicit other employees during working time.
- Distribute literature during working time.
- Distribute literature at any time in working areas.
Solicitation includes, but is not limited to, approaching someone in person or through library-owned property such as computers, smartphones, email systems, and intranets for any of the following purposes:
- Offering anything for sale.
- Asking for donations.
- Collecting funds or pledges.
- Seeking to promote, encourage, or discourage participation in or support for any organization, activity or event, or membership in any organization.
- Distributing or delivering membership cards or applications for any organization.
Non-employees may not solicit employees or distribute written material on library property without prior authorization from the Library Director or the Deputy Director.
Distribution includes, but is not limited to, disseminating or delivering in person or through employer-owned property such as bulletin boards, computers, smartphones, emails, and intranets any literature or other materials including circulars, notices, papers, leaflets, or other printed, written, or electronic matter.
Working time includes any time in which either the person doing the solicitation (or distribution) or the person being solicited (or to whom non-business literature is being distributed) is engaged in or required to be performing work tasks. Working time excludes times when employees are not properly engaged in performing work tasks, including break periods and mealtimes.
Working areas include areas controlled by the Library where employees are performing work, excluding, for example, cafeterias, break rooms, and parking lots.
To: (1) safeguard the property of employees, patrons, and the Library; and (2) to help prevent the possession, sale, and use of illegal drugs on the Library’s premises, and in keeping with the spirit and intent of the Library's drug-free workplace policy; and (3) to help prevent the possession of unauthorized weapons on the Library's premises, the Library reserves the right to question employees and all other persons entering and leaving our premises, and to inspect any packages, parcels, purses, handbags, briefcases, lunchboxes, or any other possessions or articles carried to and from the Library's property. In addition, the Library reserves the right to search any employee's office, desk, files, locker, or any other area or article on our premises. It should be noted that all offices, desks, files, lockers, and so forth, are the property of the Library and are issued for the use of employees only during their employment with the Library. Inspections may be conducted at any time at the discretion of the Library Director.
Persons entering the premises who refuse to cooperate in an inspection conducted pursuant to this policy will not be permitted to enter the premises. Employees working on, entering, or leaving the premises who refuse to cooperate in an inspection will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Persons related by blood or marriage to a Library Board member will not be considered for employment without prior approval from the Board. Such approval is preceded by a case-by-case determination that neither a conflict of interest, nor a situation exists whereby any family member or significant other has a supervisory/subordinate working relationship, or any other interference with the Library’s operations is likely to occur. Upon evaluation, the Board may authorize the employment by means of a formal resolution approved at a duly convened meeting.
A trustee is required to promptly disclose when any such relationship exists or is anticipated. No regularly scheduled employee may be related by blood or marriage to their direct supervisor or department head.
A whistleblower for purposes of this policy is an employee of the Library who reports an activity that they consider to be illegal or dishonest to one or more of the parties specified in this policy. The whistleblower is not responsible for investigating the activity or for determining fault or corrective measures; appropriate management officials are charged with these responsibilities.
An example of an illegal or dishonest activity is a violation of federal, state, or local laws or financial wrongdoing, including but not limited to theft or embezzlement. If an employee has knowledge of or a concern of illegal or dishonest fraudulent activity, the employee is to contact their supervisor or the Library Director. The employee must exercise sound judgment to avoid baseless allegations. An employee who intentionally files a false report of wrongdoing will be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.
Whistleblower protections are provided in two important areas -- confidentiality and against retaliation. Insofar as possible, the confidentiality of the whistleblower will be maintained. However, identity may have to be disclosed to conduct a thorough investigation, to comply with the law, and to provide accused individuals their legal rights of defense (when applicable). The Library prohibits any form of retaliation against whistleblowers, including, but not limited to, retaliation in the form of an adverse employment action such as termination, compensation decreases, poor work assignments, and threats of physical harm. Any whistleblower who believes he or she is being retaliated against must contact a supervisor or the Library Director immediately. The right of a whistleblower for protection against retaliation does not include immunity for any personal wrongdoing that is alleged and investigated.
All reports of illegal and dishonest activities will be promptly investigated, and corrective action will be taken as necessary.
Eligible Library employees are provided a wide range of benefits. A number of the programs (such as Social Security, workers' compensation, and unemployment insurance) cover all employees in the manner prescribed by law. Benefits eligibility is dependent upon a variety of factors, including employee classification. The Library reserves the right to change or eliminate any benefits at any time in accordance with applicable law.
A summary plan description (SPD) which explains coverage of many of the benefits in greater detail is available. The actual plan documents, which are available by making a written request to the Library Director, are the final authority in all matters relating to benefits described in this Handbook or in the SPD and will govern in the event of any conflict. Additionally, the Library reserves the right to change or eliminate any benefits at any time in accordance with applicable law.
It is the Library’s policy not to take any improper pay deductions that would be in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, its regulations (specifically Section 541.602(a)), or relevant state law or local ordinance.
Employees who believe their pay has been improperly deducted should report such improper deduction immediately to the Library Director. The complaint will be promptly investigated and the results of the investigation will be reported to the complaining employee. If the employee is unsatisfied with the findings of the investigation, the employee may appeal the decision to the Library Board.
Any employee whose pay is improperly deducted shall be reimbursed for such improper deduction no later than the next pay period after the improper deduction is communicated to management.
The Library will be closed and regular full-time employees will be paid for the holidays listed in the General Policies Governing Library Use. If the holiday falls on an employee’s regularly scheduled day off, an alternate day off will be scheduled for the employee during the week preceding or the week following the holiday. Part-time employees and temporary/ seasonal full-time employees do not receive paid holidays.
Because the Library recognizes the importance of vacation time in providing the opportunity for rest, recreation, and personal activities, it provides paid vacation time to employees who are regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 18 hours per week or more. Temporary and seasonal employees (full- and part-time) do not receive paid vacation, even if they work more than 18 hours per week for the Library.
Vacation time is earned and accrued on a monthly basis. The monthly accrual rate depends on their length of service as of their anniversary date.
Eligible employees earn vacation in accordance with the schedule provided below.
Full-time Library Staff
- During first year of full-time service, 135 hours per year
- From 1-20 years of full-time employment, 172.5 hours per year
- For 20 years and beyond of full-time service, 210 hours per year
Eligible Part-time Employees
- During the first year of working a minimum of 18 hours per week, 36 hours per year
- From 2 to 20 years of working a minimum of 18 hours per week, 63 hours per year
- For 20 years and beyond of regularly working a minimum of 18 hours a week, 81 hours per year
Employees are encouraged to take their earned vacation during the calendar year. However, employees may accrue and carry—on a rolling basis—no more than their respective annual allocation of paid vacation. If a paid holiday occurs during a full-time employee’s scheduled vacation, the day will be considered a holiday rather than a vacation day. Employees do not earn vacation during an unpaid leave of absence (personal, medical, or family/medical). Vacation will continue to accrue, however, while an employee is on paid leave of absence—including vacation leave—and during time lost because of an on-the-job injury.
Vacation may be used as earned but must be approved in advance by an employee’s supervisor and the Library Director. An employee’s vacation schedule will reflect, as nearly as possible, their personal preference for vacation time. However, no request for a vacation will be approved when the effect would be to leave the Library or a department without adequate personnel to perform the required services during any working period. When the absence of several employees during the same period of time would jeopardize operations, the employee who first requested the time off will typically be given priority. If employees requested time off at approximately the same time, the employee with seniority will typically be given priority.
Upon termination of employment, employees will be paid for vacation benefits that have been earned through the last month of work, but not yet taken.
For employees who go from part-time to full-time, their employment anniversary will change to the date on which they assume a full-time schedule.
The maximum annual allotment of vacation days for employees who reduce their weekly hours from full-time to part-time with Library approval will be reduced to the appropriate maximum allotment. Any vacation time above the maximum part-time allotment may either be: 1) used by the employee prior to reducing their schedule to part-time; or 2) paid to the employee by the Library when the employee's part-time schedule takes effect.
The Library Director will make the decision to close the Library due to inclement weather or other unforeseen circumstances. If the decision is made to close the Library prior to opening for business in the morning, an effort will be made to contact employees via a phone chain or e-mail. The Library Director will make every effort to provide as much advance notice as possible of all such closures. All employees that were scheduled to work will be paid for their scheduled hours. If there is an extended closure, employees will continue to be paid for their regularly scheduled hours. If an employee chooses not to come to work or leaves early due to inclement weather when the Library remains open, the employee may choose to use any remaining vacation time or take a day without pay.
The Library adheres to all applicable laws and regulations relating to health and other insurance benefits.
GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE
Regularly scheduled full-time employees are eligible to participate in the Library’s group health insurance program. New full-time employees become eligible to participate on the first day of the calendar month after their start date. Up-to-date information about the program, including current coverage and benefit levels, is available from the Library Administration Office.
GROUP INSURANCE PROGRAM: ADDITIONAL COMPONENTS
Regularly scheduled full-time employees also receive Term Life, Accidental Death and Dismemberment, and Short- and Long-Term Disability insurance. New full-time employees receive these insurance benefits on the first day of the calendar month after their start date. Up-to-date information about additional group insurance components, including coverage and benefit levels, is available from the Library Administration Office.
Workers’ Compensation is a benefit provided to assist employees who suffer from a work-related injury or illness. All employees shall be covered by Workers' Compensation, which may compensate an employee for lost time, medical expenses, and loss of life or dismemberment from an injury arising out of or in the course of work. Employees must report any accident or injury, regardless of the severity, immediately to their supervisor or the Library Director so that the necessary paperwork may be completed. The cost of Workers’ Compensation is borne by the Library.
The Library provides retirement benefits through a “Deferred Compensation” program. Full-time employees may become eligible to receive compensation, in addition to their salaries, in the form of contributions to individual deferred compensation accounts. Additionally, and within legal limits, all employees may establish, and contribute a portion of their salary to individual deferred compensation accounts through payroll deductions. Upon termination of employment, employees are required to roll over or cash out the full balance of their deferred compensation program within 90 days of their last date of work.
ELIGIBILITY – EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTIONS
Full-time employees, age twenty-one (21) or over and who successfully complete a six-month period become eligible for reduced participation in the Library’s group pension program on the first day of the calendar year quarter following, or coinciding with, their six-month employment anniversary as a full time employee. They progress to full participation on the first day of the calendar year quarter following, or coinciding with, their first year of continuous service in a full-time capacity.
Full-time department heads, who successfully complete a six-month period become eligible for reduced participation in the program on the first day of the calendar year quarter following, or coinciding with, their six-month employment anniversary as a full-time department head. They progress to full participation on the first day of the calendar year quarter following, or coinciding with, their first year of continuous service in a full-time capacity.
The Library Director becomes eligible for full participation in the program on the first of the month following, or coinciding with, their start date.
ELIGIBILITY – EMPLOYEE DEFERRAL CONTRIBUTION
Full-time and part-time employees age twenty-one (21) or over, become eligible to contribute up to 10% of their salary to individual deferred compensation accounts on the first day of the calendar year quarter following, or coinciding with, six (6) months of continuous service.
EMPLOYER CONTRIBUTION AMOUNT
The rate of the employer contribution to eligible full-time employees is subject to change depending on various factors and budgetary constraints. The current contribution rate is available from the Library Director.
This section covers absences other than holidays and vacations.
Paid sick leave is provided to all regular employees, including part-time employees. Sick leave is provided for the exclusive purpose of allowing employees to take time off for their own medical reasons. Employees may take up to ten (10) equivalent sick days per year to care for an ill or injured immediate family member. For the purposes of sick leave, immediate family members include an employee’s spouse or domestic partner, parents, and children. Accrual of sick leave begins on the first day of employment.
Paid sick leave is accrued as follows:
- Full-time Employees accrue sick leave at the rate of one (1) workday per month and may accumulate up to a maximum of 60 sick leave days.
- Regularly Scheduled Part-time Employees accrue sick leave at the rate of one (1) workday per month and may accumulate up to a maximum of 12 sick leave days. For part-time employees, a “workday” is defined as the total number of regularly scheduled hours per week divided by five.
Employees who know in advance that they will be absent for health reasons must give their supervisor advance notice, including the probable start date and duration of the absence. If a sudden illness makes it impossible for an employee to request sick leave before the workday begins, the employee should notify the supervisor or the Library Director at least one (1) hour prior to their scheduled start time.
The Library reserves the right to require employees to obtain a doctor’s note justifying their absence. A doctor’s note will be required in instances where abuse of sick leave is suspected. Employees who have been absent from work for three (3) or more consecutive work days because of illness or injury will be required to provide a medical statement from a licensed health care provider certifying that the employee was unable to work for health reasons and is fit to return to duty. A doctor’s note may also be required in instances where abuse of sick leave is suspected. All information about an employee's medical condition is confidential and will be kept in separate files by Human Resources. When an employee is absent for medical reasons, the employee's regular personnel file contains only the dates of the medical absence, not the medical reason(s) for the absence.
Employees who reduce their weekly hours from full-time to part-time, with the approval from the Library Director, will have their accumulated sick leave reduced proportionately to the appropriate maximum allotment.
Upon termination of employment, employees are not paid for unused sick leave.
This policy contains information consistent with and addition to the information contained in the “Employee Rights and Responsibilities” notice (found on the previous page) and is meant to provide additional information about the Library’s specific policies and procedures under the Family and Medical Leave Act. In the event of any conflict between the “Employee Rights and Responsibilities” notice and this policy, the “Employee Rights and Responsibilities” notice will prevail.
Basic Leave Entitlement:
Eligible employees may take up to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave within a 12-month period and be restored to the same or an equivalent position upon return if the following requirements are met:
- The employee has been employed by the Library for at least 12 months, which need not be consecutive; AND
- The employee has been employed for at least 1,250 hours of service during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave.
The 12-month period in which the 12-week leave entitlement occurs shall be a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the date an employee uses any leave under FMLA. Thus, each time an employee takes FMLA leave, the remaining leave entitlement would be any balance of the 12 weeks which has not been used during the immediately preceding 12 months.
Reasons for Leave Covered by the FMLA:
Any employee who meets the above eligibility requirements may be entitled to take family/medical leave for the following reasons:
- birth and/or care of the employee’s newborn child;
- the placement of a child into the employee’s family by adoption or by foster care, and to care for the newly placed child;
- to care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter, or parent with a serious health condition; or
- a serious health condition, whether work related or not, that prohibits the employee from performing one or more of the essential functions of their job.
Leaves due the birth or placement of a child must be completed within the 12-month period beginning on the date of birth or placement. Spouses employed by the Library who request leave because of reasons one or two or to care for an employee’s parent with a serious health condition may only take a combined aggregate total of 12 weeks of leave for such purposes during any 12-month period.
A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities. Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than three (3) consecutive calendar days combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.
An employee may not be granted a FMLA leave to gain employment or work elsewhere, including self-employment. If an employee misrepresents facts in order to be granted an FMLA leave or take FMLA leave, the employee may be subject to immediate termination.
Military Family Leave Entitlement:
If an employee is eligible, the employee may use the 12-week family/medical leave entitlement to take military family leave. This leave may be used to address certain qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, child, or parent is a covered military member on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty). Qualifying exigencies may include (1) attending certain military events; (2) arranging for alternative childcare; (3) addressing certain financial and legal arrangements; (4) attending certain counseling sessions; (5) addressing issues related to short-notice deployment; (6) spending time with a covered family member who is resting and recuperating; (7) attending post-deployment briefings; and (8) for certain activities relating to the care of the military member’s parent who is incapable of self-care where those activities arise from the military member’s covered active duty.
An employee may also be eligible for up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered military servicemember during a single 12-month period. This single 12-month period begins with the first day the employee takes the leave. A covered servicemember includes: (1) a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who has a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty that may render the servicemember medically unfit to perform their duties for which the servicemember is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy or is in outpatient status; or (2) is on the temporary disability retired list; or (3) a veteran who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, for a serious injury or illness and who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the period of 5 years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment recuperation or therapy.
Notice of Leave:
A request for family or medical leave should be made 30 days in advance when the need for the leave is foreseeable. Such requests should be made to the employee’s department head who will submit the request to the Library Director for approval. (In the case of the Library Director, the request would be made to the Library Board President.) Failure to provide such notice may be grounds for delay of the leave. When unforeseen emergencies or events occur that require employees to take FMLA leaves without submitting a request 30 days in advance, the request must be submitted as soon as is practicable, but should generally be no later than two (2) days after the employee either learns of the need for leave or is physically able to provide such notice. FMLA leaves must be formally approved in writing by the Library Director. If the Library Director is for some reason unable to act on the matter, in the absence of a Library Director, or if the leave is for the Library Director, approval of the FMLA leave must come from the Library Board President.
Medical Certification—Leave for Employee’s Own or a Covered Family Member’s Serious Health Condition
The Library may require medical certification that the leave is needed due to the employee’s own serious health condition or that of a family member. The medical certification must be provided within 15 days after it is requested, or as soon as reasonably possible under the circumstances. Failure to provide requested medical certification in a timely manner may result in denial of leave until it is provided. The Library, at its expense, may require an examination by a second health care provider designated by the Library, if it reasonably doubts the medical certification you initially provide. If the second health care provider’s opinion conflicts with the original medical certification, the Library, at its expense, may require a third, mutually agreeable health care provider to conduct an examination and provide a final and binding opinion. The Library may also require medical recertification periodically during the leave and employees may be required to present a fitness for duty verification upon their return to work following a leave for the employee’s own illness specifying that the employee is fit to perform the essential functions of the job.
Certification for a Qualifying Exigency
If the employee is requesting leave because of a qualifying exigency arising out of a covered family member’s active duty or call to active duty, the employee must supply a copy of the covered military family member’s active duty orders or other documentation issued by the military indicating that the covered military member is on active duty or call to active duty (including the dates of the active duty service). The Library may also request additional information pertaining to the leave.
Certification for Servicemember Family Leave
If an employee is requesting leave because of the need to care for a covered servicemember with a serious injury or illness, the Library may require the employee to supply certification completed by an authorized health care provider of the covered servicemember. In addition, the Library may also request additional information pertaining to the leave.
Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of a Veteran for Military Caregiver Leave
If an employee is requesting leave because of the need to care for a covered veteran with a serious injury or illness, the Library may require the employee to supply certification completed by an authorized health care provider of the covered veteran. In addition, the Library may request additional information pertaining to the leave.
Leave because of a serious health condition, to care for a servicemember with a serious injury or illness or because of a qualifying exigency may be taken intermittently (in separate blocks of time due to a single covered health condition) or on a reduced leave schedule (reducing the usual number of hours an employee works per workweek or workday) if necessary. Leave may not be taken in increments of less than one (1) hour. Employees needing intermittent leave or leave on a reduced work schedule must attempt to schedule the leave for times that are as minimally disruptive to the operations of the library as possible. Certification of the medical necessity for intermittent leave or leave on a reduced schedule shall be required.
Furthermore, if intermittent or reduced hours leave is required for planned medical treatment, the Library may, in its sole discretion, temporarily transfer the employee to another job with equivalent pay and benefits that better accommodates that type of leave. If leave is unpaid, the Library will reduce the employee’s pay based on the amount of time actually worked. A fitness-for-duty certification may be required to return from an intermittent absence if reasonable safety concerns exist concerning the employee’s ability to perform their job duties.
Substitution of Paid Leave:
Leave under FMLA is unpaid. However, if you request leave for any FMLA-covered reason, you will be required to exhaust any remaining sick and/or vacation available to use. The exhaustion of this paid leave does not extend the leave period. When using paid leave in conjunction with FMLA, employees must comply with the requirements of the applicable paid leave policy. When the FMLA leave is occasioned by an eligible employee’s own serious health condition, the employee must, to the extent it is available, use accrued paid sick days, for this leave. To the extent available, paid vacation must be used for an FMLA leave after the employee’s accrued sick leave has been exhausted.
When the FMLA leave is occasioned by any other reason permitted under the FMLA, the employee must use all available accrued paid vacation and personal days before the unpaid portion of the leave takes effect. Paid sick leave may only be used as provided for in section 309 above.
In addition, if you are eligible for any additional paid leaves, such as short term/long term disability or workers’ compensation, these leaves will also run concurrently with FMLA (where appropriate) and will not extend the leave period.
Benefits During Leave:
Employees who are eligible to accrue sick, vacation, and/or personal leave will continue to do so during that portion of a FMLA leave for which earned sick and/or vacation leave is being used. Sick, vacation, and personal leave shall not accrue during any unpaid portion of the FMLA leave (i.e., after all available sick and/or vacation, has been drawn upon and used). An employee will receive holiday pay while on FMLA leave provided the employee is eligible to receive holiday pay and the holiday falls during that portion of the leave when earned sick and/or vacation leave is being used. Employment benefits accrued by the employee up to the day on which the unpaid FMLA leave begins will not be lost.
All appropriate employee and employer contributions to an employee’s Library retirement plan account will continue during a FMLA leave while the employee is drawing upon available sick and/or vacation leave and is thereby being paid. Such contributions will cease during any unpaid portion of the FMLA leave (i.e., after all available sick and/or vacation leave has been drawn upon and used).
Health insurance shall be maintained for the duration of the leave for those employees with coverage under the Library’s plan. The terms and conditions of health insurance coverage, including any applicable premium contribution by the employee, shall remain the same during family or medical leave. Employees on leave must make timely payment of any employee portion of the medical insurance premium. If an employee’s premium payment is more than 30 days late, coverage may be dropped 15 days after written notice to the employee. If the employee does not return to work after the expiration of the leave, the employee may be required to reimburse the Library for payment of health insurance premiums during the FMLA leave.
An employee returning from a FMLA leave shall be restored to their previous position or to an equivalent position (i.e., one with equivalent pay, benefits, and conditions of employment) at the Library. In instances when medical leave was granted to employees because of their own serious health condition, they may be required to provide medical certification that the employee is fit to perform the essential functions of the job. Employees failing to provide the certification will not be permitted to resume work until it is provided.
The Library will not discriminate or retaliate against employees as a result of or interfere with the approved use of FMLA leave or a proper request for such leave. Employees should report any conduct that they believe violates the policy to the Library Director or any member of the Management Team.
The Library recognizes the importance of family and the difficulties an employee faces following the loss of a loved one. For that reason, the Library Director may grant up to five (5) days paid leave within a four (4) week period to employees who experience a death in their immediate family. For purposes of bereavement leave eligibility, “immediate family” is defined as:
- Spouse or domestic partner (significant other)
- Son or daughter or son-in-law or daughter-in-law
- Sister or brother or sister-in-law or brother-in-law
- Mother or father or mother-in-law or father-in-law
- Grandson or granddaughter or grandson-in-law or granddaughter-in-law
- Grandfather or grandmother or grandfather-in-law or grandmother-in-law
- Any other permanent member of the employee’s household
For employees who lose an immediate family member, flexible scheduling for up to two weeks upon their return will be allowed at the discretion of their immediate supervisor.
The Library Director will grant up to three (3) days paid leave in a four (4) week period to employees who experience a death of a loved one such as best friend, aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
Employees will be granted time off when summoned to jury duty. It is the employee’s responsibility to notify their manager as soon as possible after receiving the summons for jury duty. The employee will receive their normal straight time compensation while on jury duty for up to a maximum of (5) days. After that, an employee will receive unpaid time off, unless he or she chooses to use accrued vacation time. Employees requesting and/or returning from jury duty leave may be required to provide verification of jury duty service. In cases where jury duty does not require a full day, employees are expected to spend as much time as possible at their regular duties in the Library. Employees who are “on call” for jury duty must report to work if not required to serve that day.
Leaves of absence for military or reserve duty are granted to all employees of the Library. Employees called to active military duty or to reserve or National Guard training, or volunteering for the same, should submit copies of their military orders to their supervisor or the Library Director as soon as is practicable. This includes time off for (i) service in a federally recognized auxiliary of the U.S. Armed Forces when performing official duties in support of military or civilian authorities as the result of an emergency; (ii) service covered in the Illinois State Guard as defined by the Illinois State Guard Act; and (iii) a period for which an employee is absent from a position of employment for the purpose of medical or dental treatment for a condition, illness, or injury sustained or aggravated during a period of active service in which treatment is paid by the United States Department of Defense Military Health System.
Employees will be granted a military leave of absence without pay for the period of military service or training in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws. Employees who are reservists or members of the National Guard are granted time off without pay for required military training. Their eligibility for reinstatement after the completion of their military duty and training and benefit continuation/eligibility issues are determined in accordance with applicable Federal and State laws. Employees may elect, but are not required, to use any vacation entitlement for the absence. Training leaves will not normally exceed two weeks per year, plus reasonable travel time.
The Library complies with the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act (“VESSA”). Eligible employees may use unpaid victims’ economic and security and safety leave for up to 12 work weeks during any 12-month period VESSA leave for any of the following reasons:
- Seeking medical attention for, or recovering from, physical or psychological injuries caused by domestic, sexual, or gender violence to the employee or the employee’s family or household member; or
- Obtaining services from a victim services organization for the employee or the employee’s family of household member; or
- Obtaining psychological or other counseling for the employee or the employee’s family or household member; or
- Participating in safety planning, temporarily or permanently relocating, or taking other actions to increase the safety of the employee or the employee’s family or household member from future domestic, sexual, or gender violence or ensuring economic security; or
- Seeking legal assistance or remedies to ensure the health and safety of the employee or the employee’s family or household member, including preparing for or participating in any civil or criminal legal proceeding related to or derived from domestic, sexual, or gender violence.
- A. "12-Month Period" - means a rolling 12-month period measured forward from the date leave is taken and continuous with each additional leave day taken.
- B. "Family or Household Member" – means a spouse, parent, son, daughter, other person related by blood or by present or prior marriage, other person who shares a relationship through a son or daughter, and persons jointly residing in the same household;
- C. “Parent”- means the biological parent of an employee or an individual who stood in loco parentis to an employee when the employee was a child.
- D. "Son or Daughter" means a biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis, who is under 18 years of age, or is 18 years of age or older and incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability.
- E. "Domestic, Sexual, or Gender Violence” means domestic violence, sexual assault, gender violence, or stalking.
COVERAGE AND ELIGIBILITY
Both full and part-time employees are eligible to apply for this leave.
INTERMITTENT OR REDUCED LEAVE
An employee may take leave intermittently (a few days or a few hours at a time) or on a reduced leave schedule.
SUBSTITUTION OF TIME OFF
An employee may elect to substitute accrued paid vacation, sick or personal time or any other applicable paid time off for any part of victims’ economic security and safety leave. Such substitution will not extend the employee’s total allotment of time off under this policy.
An employee is required to give 48 hours’ notice to the Library in the event of a foreseeable leave. In unexpected or unforeseeable situations, an employee should provide as much notice as is practicable, usually verbal notice within one or two business days of when the need for leave becomes known.
- A. For leaves taken pursuant to this policy, the employee may be required to submit a certification demonstrating the need for the leave. The certification must be provided by the employee as soon as reasonably possible, but in most cases, within 15 days after requested.
- B. The certification requirement may be satisfied by the submission of a sworn statement from the employee and one of the following:
- Documentation from a victim services organization, attorney, clergy, or medical or other professional from whom the employee or the family/household member has sought assistance from in addressing domestic, sexual, or gender violence and/or its effects;
- A police or court record; or
- Other corroborating evidence.
- C. All documentation related to the employee's need for the leave pursuant to this policy will be held in strict confidence and will only be disclosed as required/permitted by law.
EFFECT ON BENEFITS
During an approved VESSA leave, the Library will maintain your health benefits, as if you continued to be actively employed. If paid leave is substituted for unpaid VESSA leave, the Library will deduct your portion of the health plan premium as a regular payroll deduction. If your leave is unpaid, you must pay your portion of the premium during the leave. Your group health care coverage may cease if your premium payment is more than 30 days late. If you do not return to work at the end of the leave period, you may be required to reimburse the Library for the cost of the premiums paid by the Library for maintaining coverage during your unpaid leave, unless you cannot return to work because of the continuation, recurrence, or onset of domestic, sexual, or gender violence or other circumstances beyond your control.
If you wish to return to work at the expiration of your leave, you are entitled to return to your same position or to an equivalent position with equal pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. If you take leave because of your own medical condition, you are required to provide medical certification that you are fit to resume work. You may obtain return to Work Medical Certification forms from the Library Director. Employees failing to provide the Return to Work Medical Certification Form will not be permitted to resume work until it is provided.
The Library supports the Victims’ Economic Security and Safety Act and will attempt to provide reasonable accommodations for people who are entitled to protection under this Act in a timely fashion, unless such accommodations would present an undue hardship for the Library.
Reasonable accommodation applies to applicants and employees and may include adjustment to a job structure, workplace facility, or work requirement, transfer, reassignment, or modified schedule, leave, a changed telephone number or seating assignment, installation of a lock, implementation of a safety procedure or assistance in documenting domestic, sexual, or gender violence that occurs at the workplace or in work-related settings, in response to actual or threatened domestic, sexual, or gender violence.
A qualified individual is an individual who, but for being a victim of domestic, sexual, or gender violence or with a family or household member who is a victim of domestic, sexual, or gender violence, can perform the essential functions of the employment position that such individual holds or desires.
Should you wish to request a reasonable accommodation pursuant to this policy, you should contact the Library Director.
An unpaid leave of absence not otherwise provided for above, for non-medical causes shall be authorized at the discretion of the Library Director, provided such leave will not adversely affect Library operations and services. This leave of absence is typically granted for a maximum of up to 30 calendar days.
Employees must take all available vacation days prior to the effective date of the unpaid leave of absence.
Benefit accruals (e.g., vacation and sick leave) will not be continued during the leave. Holiday benefits occurring during unpaid leave will not be paid. Insurance coverage may be continued during an authorized unpaid leave as long as the employee pays the premiums if the unpaid leave exceeds 2 weeks. If the employee fails to pay group health care premiums, coverage may cease if premium payment is more than 30 days late.
An employee must apply in writing for this leave of absence and submit their request to the Library Director. The employee’s request should include the reason for the leave, the date on which the employee wishes the leave to begin, the date on which the employee will return to active employment with the Library, and any documentation supporting the employee’s need for leave. If the reason for the leave of absence is reasonably foreseeable, the employee should request the leave at least 30 days in advance. The granting of a leave of absence, and the terms and conditions surrounding the leave of absence, are at the sole discretion of the Library Director. Requests for an extension of a general unpaid leave of absence should be submitted in writing to the Library Director.
While the Library will make every effort to reinstate the employee to their previous position, there are no guarantees. To the extent possible, employees returning from personal leave will be returned to their former position or will be offered the first available comparable position for which they are qualified.
Failure to return from a leave of absence at the time agreed upon is normally regarded as a voluntary resignation.
Abuse of the general unpaid leave will constitute grounds for dismissal. Abuse includes but is not necessarily limited to:
- Overstaying the leave without the approval of the Library Director;
- Filing for unemployment compensation while on the leave; and/or
- If a full-time employee, accepting other employment while on leave
The Library benefits from the collective skills and knowledge of its employees. All full-time and regularly scheduled part-time employees (working a minimum of 18 hours per week) are encouraged to further develop skills appropriate to their current—or potential future—position at the Library.
The Library maintains several programs that aim to continue a high level of staff development, including but not limited to the staff development programs described below.
Suggestions regarding staff development, programs, and activities should be forwarded to a supervisor or the Library Director.
STAFF DEVELOPMENT DAYS
The Library offers a series of workshops directed towards current library service. The Library closes several days in a given year to hold Staff Development Days and all employees are expected to attend these important training days.
Membership in the American Library Association (ALA), the Public Library Association (PLA), and the Illinois Library Association (ILA) for full time staff members at the Librarian level and above is strongly encouraged and, for that reason, are paid for by the Library. Individual memberships in other work-related professional associations may be paid for by the Library, upon approval from the Library Director.
ATTENDANCE AT WORKSHOPS AND CONFERENCES
Employees are encouraged, and at times required, to attend job-related workshops, meetings and conferences, and to participate in professional activities. The extent of such attendance and participation may be limited, however, by library or department scheduling needs as well as by the annual budget allocation.
Employees who wish to attend a workshop, meeting, conference, or other job-related activity that will involve the use of work time or reimbursement for travel or other expenses must receive prior approval from their supervisor.
The Library Director must provide advance approval for any activity that: (1) will involve travel outside the Chicago metropolitan area, (2) will cause an employee to be away from the Library for more than one workday, or (3) is likely to require expense reimbursement of $100 or more.
When travel by motor vehicle is the most economical or convenient means of transportation to a meeting, workshop or conference, reimbursement will be at the prevailing mileage rate recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. Employees will also be reimbursed for tolls and parking charges incurred while traveling on authorized library business. Employees are encouraged to carpool with coworkers or colleagues whenever possible and practical in order to share, and thereby reduce, the costs.
Attendance at professional conferences outside of the Chicago Metropolitan area is limited to full-time employees, generally at the Librarian level or higher. Prior approval from the Library Director is required for attendance at these conferences. Approval will depend, among other factors, on the amount specifically allocated by the Library Board for staff attendance at such conferences in a given year’s budget.
The Library will pay for all reasonable expenses incurred by conference attendees, including registration fees, transportation costs, hotel accommodations, and meals, at the prevailing per diem rate recognized by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).
In addition to providing a financial report summarizing and documenting with receipts all reimbursable expenses incurred, conference attendees will be expected to submit, and, if asked, verbally present, a written report to share with co-workers and/or the Library Board. This report should include the highlights of their conference experience, including what was learned that might help them do their jobs, and the Library serve the community more effectively.
Consistent with the potential benefit to library and budget considerations, the Library may provide tuition reimbursement for employees for coursework that can be expected to result in a direct benefit to the employee and to the Library through increased knowledge and job competencies.
All full-time and regularly scheduled part-time employees (working a minimum of 18 hours a week) are eligible for tuition reimbursement subject to the following requirements and constraints:
- The course or training program must be related to the employee’s present position at the Library or be beneficial in a position at the Library to which the employee might advance in the future.
- An eligible employee must be employed at the Library for at least six (6) months, and are actively employed as of the date they commence and complete the course of study in order to qualify for this benefit. Employees who are on probation or being counseled for performance issues, who voluntarily terminate, or who are terminated are not eligible to participate in this program.
- Satisfactory completion of the course with a grade of a “C” or better is required or “Pass” in the case of a pass/fail course.
- The request for tuition reimbursement must be approved in advance by the Library Director.
- A request must be submitted to the Library Director in writing at least 30 days before the registration deadline for the course or training program.
- In order to be reimbursed, the employee must provide acceptable documentation (e.g., receipts and grade) verifying that the course or training program was paid for, completed, and passed.
- The Library will reimburse 50% of the cost of tuition, fees, and required textbooks—up to a maximum of $700 per course for full-time employees. The Library will not reimburse for application fees, lab fees, administrative fees, or any other fees associated with attendance at the educational institution. Reimbursement will be made only upon proof from the educational institution of the tuition charge, book receipts, and completion of the approved course with the grades noted above.
- The Library will reimburse 25% of the cost of tuition, fees and required textbooks, for a maximum of $350 per course for part-time employees. The Library will not reimburse for application fees, lab fees, administrative fees, or any other fees associated with attendance at the educational institution. Reimbursement will be made only upon proof from the educational institution of the tuition charge, book receipts, and the completion of the approved course with the grades noted above.
- The budget allocation for this benefit shall limit the Library Director’s ability to approve requests for tuition reimbursement in any given year.
The Internal Revenue Code sets a limit each year for what an organization can pay for an individual toward educational assistance. If the reimbursement level from the Library exceeds the government limit of that year, the employee will have to pay tax on that amount over the limit. Since this limit can fluctuate from year to year, we encourage you to check with the IRS or the Library Director on an annual basis to see what the limit is for that particular year.
- Complete a tuition assistance application approval form 30 days prior to enrollment.
- Submit the form to the Library Director along with a copy of the course description for approval.
- The application will be returned to the employee with all approvals so that the employee may register for the course. If the application is denied, the Library Director will explain the reason.
- Once the course has been completed, the employee will attach official school documents verifying satisfactory completion of the course and receipts to the original application and submit it to the Library Director.
- The Library Director will approve the reimbursement and issue payment.
The Library, at all times, reserves the right to reject requests for any reason, including budgetary constraints.
Repayment upon termination
Full-time employees who receive tuition reimbursement are expected to remain employed by the Library for at least 6 months following the last reimbursement payment. Part-time employees who receive tuition reimbursement are expected to remain employed by the Library for at least 3 months following the last reimbursement payment. If the employee voluntarily terminates employment with the Library or is terminated for performance reasons or misconduct, they must repay all tuition reimbursement made by the Library in the 12 months prior to the termination/resignation.
The Board reserves the right to require an employee (or former employee) to repay the Library if it is determined that the employee received tuition reimbursement by virtue of falsely representing any facts relating to the reimbursement request or the reimbursement itself.
Employees who accept tuition reimbursement consent to this repayment and consent to deduction of amounts owed from their final paychecks, to the extent permitted by law. The employee shall be responsible for any and all taxes related to the funds received.
Employees are issued a staff library card and are expected to use their special borrowing privileges responsibly and judiciously. Abuse of the staff library card will result in the withdrawal of the card and disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal. Some examples of how these privileges can be abused are provided below:
- Keeping materials out beyond their due date;
- Renewing materials the employee has already had out for their maximum loan periods;
- Keeping materials at the employee’s desk or in the employee’s locker without checking them out; and/or
- Taking advantage of their “insider” position as library employees to jump ahead of patrons on the waiting list for materials.
The performance appraisal process provides a means for discussing, planning and reviewing the performance of each employee. To assist in this objective, the Library maintains a formal interactive appraisal program (“Program”) for evaluating the work performance of all full- and part-time employees, which is designed: (1) to enhance communication and cooperation between supervisors and their employees; (2) to stimulate job development, job satisfaction, and work-related personal growth; and (3) to help ensure that job responsibilities and requirements remain dynamic and evolve to keep pace with the changing demands of the Library as a workplace. The process also provides a method for the Library to measure, document, acknowledge, and strengthen the effectiveness of employee job performance.
The Library Director, with the assistance of the Management Team, is responsible for administering the Program.
Formal appraisals will generally occur annually at the time of each employee’s employment anniversary but may occur more frequently at the discretion of the Library Director. In addition, informal performance evaluation conferences will be held regularly. New employees will be evaluated after three months on the job.
A performance appraisal does not always result in an automatic merit salary increase. Criteria that will usually be evaluated include, but are not limited to: quality and quantity of work performed; conduct and behavior; dependability; ability to work with others; initiative, resourcefulness, and creativity; and potential for future growth. Merit salary increases, if available, will be awarded by the Library Director in accordance with the annual employment compensation program that the Library Board approves along with the annual budget.
Merit increases, when earned, become effective the first day of the pay period immediately following or coinciding with a given individual’s employment anniversary. Such increases shall be awarded based on the results of the formal written performance evaluations conducted at the time of employment anniversaries.
As integral members of the Library’s team, employees are expected to accept certain responsibilities, adhere to acceptable business principles in matters of personal conduct, and exhibit a high degree of personal integrity at all times.
The following is a list of behaviors that could result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Be aware that this list is not intended to be “all inclusive,” and that other behaviors may, at the discretion of their supervisor and/or the Library Director, also result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Establishment of these standards of conduct does not alter the employment-at-will relationship. Employees should seek further clarification from their supervisor or the Library Director on issues related to conduct if they do not understand a particular rule or are uncertain regarding a particular behavior.
- Insubordination or failure to carry out a supervisor’s directive or to comply with prescribed work rules, guidelines or procedures;
- Unexcused absence, excessive or chronic absenteeism or tardiness, refusal or failure to work scheduled or assigned hours, over-extending rest or lunch breaks, or abuse of leave privileges;
- Theft, loss, destruction, or unauthorized use of library property, including excessive use of library telephones or other equipment to conduct personal business;
- Willful and/or recurring use of library equipment or resources for purposes, or in ways, that are inconsistent with any of the provisions articulated in the Library’s policies;
- Any act of recklessness or poor judgment that endangers the safety, health or well-being of a library patron or another employee;
- Violence, threat of violence, disorderly conduct of a criminal nature or use of abusive or obscene language while on duty or on library property;
- Falsification of library information, reports or other documents, including all work-related and payroll records;
- Failure to perform the duties of the position;
- Abuse of staff borrowing privileges;
- Any breach of other rules and regulations set forth within this Handbook or within other library policies, or considered necessary for the orderly administration and operation of the Library;
- Failure to present oneself in a manner that reflects well on the Library whenever representing the Library at a professional or job-related conference or event, no matter the location;
- Performance that does not meet the requirements for the assigned position or any behavior that results in an employee not performing their job, including sleeping on the job;
- Violation of the Substance Abuse section of this Policy;
- Possession, distribution or use of weapons or explosives on Library Premises, which has prohibited the possession of weapons on its premises in accordance with the Illinois Firearm Concealed Carry Act; or
- Engaging in such other practices as the Library determines may be inconsistent with the ordinary and reasonable rules of conduct necessary to the welfare of the Library, its employees, or its patrons.
Although the immediate purpose of disciplinary action is to correct unacceptable behavior, it is also intended that discipline be viewed as an opportunity to help employees strengthen their work performance and achieve personal growth in the work environment.
The Library is not necessarily required to go through the entire disciplinary action process. Discipline may begin at any step, including immediate termination (especially during the early stages of employment), dependent upon the severity of the incident. The progressive disciplinary steps and the Library’s potential decision to decline to follow the steps in every situation do not in any way create a contractual right to continued employment.
Should performance, work habits, conduct, or demeanor become unsatisfactory in the judgment of the Library Director, based on violations either of the above or of any other of the Library’s policies, rules, or requirements, an employee will be subject to disciplinary actions as follows:
- Verbal Warning: In some situations, the supervisor and/or library management may determine that the most appropriate first step is to discuss problem behavior with the employee. This discussion shall constitute a verbal warning, which will be documented and placed in the employee's personnel file;
- Written Warning: A supervisor and/or library management may issue a written warning when the employee fails to correct the problem, or in lieu of an initial verbal warning, if the employee’s problem behavior is severe enough. A written warning constitutes a formal reprimand. The employee will be asked to acknowledge receipt of a written warning by signing the Library’s copy; refusal to sign will be noted. The employee may submit a formal response which will be kept on file with a copy of the reprimand;
- Final Warning: With the advice and consent of a supervisor and the Library Director may issue a final warning, which is similar in nature to a written warning but clearly informs the employee that failure to take immediate action to correct a problem will result in dismissal. An employee may receive a final warning without any previous verbal or written warnings if the behavior in question is especially detrimental to the Library.
- Suspension: At the discretion of the Library Director, a final warning may include an unpaid suspension of up to five (5) working days. A suspension is viewed as time away from the work environment for the employee to reflect upon the employment relationship in general, to consider the seriousness of the circumstances which led to disciplinary action and to formulate a plan to correct the problem.
- Dismissal: The final step in the disciplinary process is dismissal. The Library Director may dismiss any employee whose behaviors or attitudes conflict with the policies, rules, and practices of the Library or who fails to respond acceptably to the disciplinary measures described above.
Sometimes the Library will find it necessary to investigate the infraction for which an employee may face termination. In this case, the Library may suspend the employee without pay, pending the investigation. The objective of this suspension will be to determine if termination is the proper decision. Following the investigation, if the Library decides not to terminate the employee, the employee will be reinstated with or without back pay, depending on the circumstances. As noted above, employment at the Library is employment-at-will and as such may be terminated at the will of either the employer or the employee at any time, and for any reason, with or without cause or notice.
EMPLOYEE ACKNOWLEDGMENT FORM
This employee handbook describes important information about the Lincolnwood Public Library District, and I understand that I should consult my supervisor or the Library Director regarding any questions not answered in the Handbook.
Since the information, policies, and benefits described herein are necessarily subject to change, I acknowledge that revisions to the Handbook may occur. All such changes will normally be communicated through official notices, and I understand that revised information may supersede, modify, or eliminate existing policies.
I have entered into my employment relationship with the Lincolnwood Public Library District voluntarily and acknowledge that, unless covered by an employment agreement to the contrary, there is no specified length of employment and either the Lincolnwood Public Library District or I may terminate the relationship at will, with or without cause, at any time.
Furthermore, I acknowledge that this Handbook is neither a contract of employment nor a legal document. I have received the Handbook, and I understand that it is my responsibility to read and comply with the policies contained in this Handbook and any revisions made to it.