Policy # 43: General Policies
An employee may not be prohibited from, or coerced into, joining an employee group. An employee group, or any member thereof, may not solicit membership or conduct business meetings on City time.
An employee group may, however, with the prior written approval of the Division Manager utilize the following:
- City buildings or facilities after work hours to conduct business meetings
- Interoffice mail system
- Bulletin boards
Employees are required to dress in attire suitable to their position in order to maintain a good public image and to assure public safety.
Employees are expected to maintain good personal hygiene in order to maintain a good public image and foster harmonious working environments.
Bulletin boards within common areas of public access are designated official City bulletin boards. Information posted on official bulletin boards must pertain to official City business or activities.
Postings on bulletin boards mounted in non-public areas, such as inside various City divisions, are limited to announcements or notices of community events and activities, as well as official announcements.
Bulletin boards in areas such as cafeterias and break rooms may include information contained on the above described bulletin boards and announcements of an upcoming or current event or sale.
No posted notice or message may promote a political, illegal or offensive agenda or material.
Search and Seizure
An employee may be subject to a search of the work site, assigned City equipment or property, and other items within their personal possession in certain circumstances while on City-owned or City-leased property. During such a search, City property in the unauthorized possession of the employee may be confiscated.
The decision to conduct such a search is at the sole discretion of the immediate supervisor, security personnel, or other authorized personnel.
An applicant or employee shall not receive preferential consideration because of a relationship to another employee. No two members of an immediate family (parent, guardian, child, brother, sister, grandparents, and grandchild, including these relatives in-law, step or half, or any other family member residing in the employee's household), excluding spouses or two people who plan to be married, shall be employed in a direct supervisory relationship.
Nothing prevents spouses or two people who plan to be married from working for the City, or same unit, except in the following circumstances:
- One spouse directly or indirectly exercises supervisory, appointment, or dismissal authority or disciplinary authority over the other spouse.
- One spouse would audit, verify or receive, or be entrusted with monies received or handled by the other spouse.
- One spouse has access to the other spouse's confidential information, including payroll and personnel records.
Should marriage or any other event cause a violation of this policy, either employee must, within 90 days, secure other employment which does not violate this policy or resign.
The application of this policy will apply prospectively; therefore, current employees in assignments which violate this policy are exempt from its application in their current positions. If an employee seeks a transfer or promotion, the new assignment cannot put the employee in greater conflict of this policy, than they have in their current position.
Visitor(s) in the Workplace
The City of Colorado Springs allows visitors in the workplace on a limited basis. “Visitor(s)” for the purpose of this policy includes family members, friends, students, mentees, and other persons whose visits to City facilities are not for the primary purpose of conducting business with the City. Facility security protocols and department specific policies address visits to City facilities by customers, vendors, and/or job candidates.
When receiving Visitors in the workplace, employees must ensure there will be no negative impact to the workday and no disruption to City operations or to other employees in the performance of their daily job duties. To protect the safety and welfare of employees and guests, Visitors should generally be escorted by a City employee at all times while in City facilities when not in a public area.
Visitors cannot be left alone in City facilities, and cannot be left with employees that they are not there to visit.
Minors that visit the workplace of sworn personnel must be accompanied by an adult Visitor in case the employee is called away suddenly.
The Department Director or Chief may make an exception to this policy in consultation with Human Resources.
This policy does not replace ridealong policies. Employees should refer to internal departmental policies for guidelines on ridealongs and other department specific information.
Visitors to City Work Sites
The City occasionally hosts visitors in the workplace for organized events such as site tours and job shadow. All visitors will be subject to the same responsibilities for workplace safety and conduct as City employees. The City shall enforce the use of such safety practices and equipment to visitors. Employees shall immediately notify their immediate supervisor and the Risk Management Office of any incident causing injury to a visitor.
Last revised: 01/2021 – 20-662
Policy # 49 Management Rights
The City has the exclusive right to establish the City's mission, set organizational structure, and determine staffing needs and considerations.
The City shall retain, whether exercised or not, solely and exclusively, all express and inherent rights and authority pursuant to law with respect to determining the level of, and manner in which, the City's activities are conducted, managed, and administered, and all employees will recognize the exclusive right of the City to establish and maintain rules and procedures for the administration of its Departments and Divisions.
The City has the exclusive right and authority to schedule work and/or overtime work as required in the manner most advantageous to the City. Every incidental duty connected with operations enumerated in class specifications is not necessarily described; nevertheless, it is intended that all such duties shall be performed by the employee. The City shall determine assignments, and establish methods and processes by which assignments are performed.
The appointing authority or designee reserves the right to discipline or terminate employees subject to appropriate policies and procedures.
The City has the exclusive right to transfer employees to like positions and classifications with the same pay range within their current department or division to best meet the needs of the City.
Policy # 50: Freedom of Speech
The City will comply with state and federal laws concerning freedom of speech for public employees.
Policy # 51: Release of Public Information
The intent of this policy is to ensure that the public receives accurate, thorough, and timely information on the City of Colorado Springs.
In addition to the Department Director or Council/Mayoral Appointee, each City Department shall designate a media liaison(s) for each unit within the Department who will respond to media requests for information and interviews. Department Directors or Council/Mayoral Appointees and media liaisons are authorized to make public statements about the operations and issues concerning Department policy. All requests for interviews should be coordinated with the Public Communications Division Manager.
In accordance with the Colorado Open Records Act, requests for written materials should be received in writing and coordinated through the Public Communications Division.
Group Support Manager/Council/Mayoral Appointee Responsibility
The Department Director or Council/Mayoral Appointee shall be responsible for responding to media interviews, and for designating media liaison(s).
Policy # 52: Open Records Act Compliance
The City of Colorado Springs is subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, Colorado Revised Statute § 24-72-201, et seq. (CORA), which grants the right to inspect and copy public records.
Additional information regarding CORA compliance can be found in the City’s CORA Policy. Questions regarding compliance with CORA should be referred to the City Attorney’s Office.
Under CORA, each Department Director shall be considered the Official Custodian of the public records kept or maintained by their group; thus they are responsible for the maintenance, care, and keeping of the public records maintained by their group and all other duties and obligations of the Official Custodian as outlined in CORA.
Requests for records which are readily available for inspection and copying shall be accommodated as soon as reasonably practical. Records requested that are not readily available shall be provided to the requestor within three working days, unless the three working day period is extended to a maximum of seven working days based on extenuating circumstances. The custodian of the records requested shall make written findings of the reasons for extenuating circumstances, and the findings shall be provided to the person making the request within the original three-day period. In no event can extenuating circumstances apply to a request that relates to a single specifically identified document.
Extenuating circumstances shall apply only when:
- The request is broadly stated and encompasses all or substantially all of a large category of records and the request is without sufficient specificity to allow the custodian reasonably to prepare or gather records within the three-day period;
- A broadly stated request encompasses all or substantially all of a large category of records and the City group(s) cannot gather the records within the three-day period;
- The City group(s) needs to devote all or substantially all of its resources to meet the records request deadline that is either unique or not expected to recur more than once per month; and/or
- A request involves such a large volume of records that the custodian cannot reasonably prepare or gather the records within the three-day period without substantially interfering with the custodian's obligation to perform his or her other public service responsibilities.
Denial of Inspection or Copying
CORA permits the custodian of a public record to deny inspection and/or copying of a public record in certain circumstances. The City Attorney’s Office should be consulted when inspection or copying of public records will be denied.
All requests for records or other information made by the media or by citizens shall be immediately forwarded to Public Communications for response in accordance with PPM Policy #51. All other requests shall be delivered to the appropriate Department Director for response. Requests which raise legal concerns will be coordinated through and all documents forwarded to the City Attorney’s Office for response.
Charges for Inspection and Copying
Charges for retrieval and copying of public records shall be in accordance with the City’s CORA Policy.
Email and Other Electronic Records
Employees and elected officials should have no expectation of privacy on the City’s IT network, equipment, systems including email system, data, and information. Any messages sent or received, documents created, sites visited, and/or other public records created using the City’s information technology resources may be subject to inspection and possible production under CORA.
Employees of the City and custodians of records must retain public records in accordance with the Municipal Records Retention Guidelines and may not destroy, modify, redact, or omit any records in their possession, custody, or control which are responsive to a CORA request, except as lawfully directed by the City Attorney’s Office.
Last revised: 01/2021 – 20-662
Policy # 53: Policy and Procedure Manual Modifications
The City retains the sole right to modify, suspend, interpret, or cancel in whole, or in part the provision of any of the Administrative Policies and Procedures.
Procedure for Adoption or Revision
- The Mayor, or designee, when operationally feasible, shall post the proposed/amended Policy and Procedure on the city website for a reasonable period prior to effective date of implementation.
- Employees wishing to comment shall submit their comments to the Mayor and the Human Resources Director.
- The Mayor may conduct a hearing to hear employee comments regarding specific policy and procedure changes.
- After a review of employee comments, a Policy and Procedure shall be promulgated either as originally proposed or as amended.
- Employees will be notified when a policy and/or procedure has been adopted or modified. It will be their responsibility to read the affected section. Employees are responsible for knowing and adhering to all policies and procedures contained within the PPM.
Policy # 54: Tools and Equipment (Personal Usage of City-Owned)
With an exception for the limited use of office equipment and telephones, employees may not use City-owned tools, equipment, or shop facilities for personal, non-City business, use.
At the discretion of the immediate supervisor, employees may be allowed the limited personal use of office equipment such as computers, mobile devices, fax machines, copiers, or other City equipment. City equipment may not be used for purposes related to other employment, employee owned outside businesses, or political activity.
City telephone may be used for short, intermittent personal calls that do not result in charges to the City.
Last revised: 01/2021 – 20-662
Policy # 55: Computer Usage and Computing Environment
The City provides computer systems for use of its employees in the conduct of official City business. City employees are required to comply with all official City and departmental computer systems policies that apply to them as end-users, including adherence to all Information Technology Security Procedures.
Computer, network, or data equipment, and/or services, leased, owned, or contracted for or by the City, to include:
- Computer and network hardware.
- Computer software, application systems, and programs.
- Data such as records, files, logs, and images which are or have been stored electronically or transmitted using City property.
- Messages such as e-mail, created, stored, or viewed on such computer.
- Computer or network services, such as Internet, intranet, e-mail systems, and other programs or applications that reside within or operate as part of the City's computing environment.
Software or programs that are:
- Approved for use by the manager of the unit.
- Approved for use in the City, as stated in the Hardware & Software standards for the City.
The City is able to monitor or examine messages, data, or software that involve its computing resources. As the owner of the computer systems, the City reserves the right to periodically examine, as it deems appropriate, any messages, data, or software left on or transmitted using the City's computing resources, including electronic logs and usage records.
- Employees should assume that such messages, data, or software are not private/confidential.
- The contents of computers and electronic mail are subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, court order, or a legitimate City business inquiry. Therefore, under certain circumstances, the City may disclose the contents to the public.
- At the City's discretion, messages, data, or software deleted from computing resources may be retrieved.
The City uses software and systems to monitor and record the Internet usage for each user. The City reserves the right to block accesses from within its networks to any sites deemed inappropriate or which have a detrimental effect upon network performance. Employees should not have any expectation of privacy as to their usage of Internet World Wide Web sites, file transfers, chat sessions, and/or online subscription or delivery.
E-mail or other computer generated messages that are to be broadcast to all City employees must be coordinated with Public Communications and will be distributed by Information Technology.
City employees are required to read, understand, and comply with all policies contained in the City's Information Technology Security Policies Manual pertaining to end-users. The Citywide policy may be accessed on the City's Intranet (IntraCity) and all policies pertaining to end-users may be found in Chapter 3 of that manual. In addition, employees must comply with any additional security policies that may have been promulgated by their respective department. Failure to comply with security policies may result in discipline, up to and including termination.
Misuse of Computing Resources
Employees are expected to properly use the computer resources available to assist in the performance of their assigned job. Computer misuse may result in discipline, up to and including discharge.
Examples of misuse include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Excessive or Inappropriate Use: An employee's access to the Internet or use of any computing resources may be terminated or limited at the discretion of the employee's immediate supervisor, Department Director/Division Manager or Council/Mayoral Appointee if the usage is interfering with the performance of duties or is otherwise deemed inappropriate.
- Offensive Material: A wide variety of materials available on the internet or received by e-mail may be deemed offensive. These materials include, but are not limited to sexually explicit material and material that includes racial, ethnic, religious, or sexist slurs. Employees are not to use the City's computing resources to intentionally, view, store, print, or redistribute any such document or graphic file.
- Personal Economic Gain: The City's computing resources must not be used in any fashion for personal economic gain, including private businesses or gambling activity.
- The Fair Campaign Practices Act: Provisions must not be violated through personal usage of the computer, if such usage might influence the outcome of an election.
- Software Usage: The installation and use of software must be approved by the Department Director/Division Manager or Council/Mayoral Appointee and must comply with the City's Hardware and Software Standards. Usage of approved software must comply with all licensing requirements.
E-Mail Misuse: E-mailed chain letters, jokes, personal messages, and goods for sale should not be broadcast. Offensive and inappropriate material should not be contained in any e-mail messages.