Policy and Procedure # 27: Standards of Conduct
Employees are responsible for meeting reasonable and ethical standards of performance and conduct in their work activities. Managers and supervisors are responsible for providing leadership that creates an opportunity for employees to achieve professional standards of performance and conduct and, at the same time, holding employees accountable for their actions.
Conduct Subject to Disciplinary Action
It is expected that the behavior of employees reflects favorably on the employee and the City at all times. The following is a list of offenses for which an employee may receive corrective action up to and including termination. Because it is impossible to list every offense that may occur in the workplace, this list is not all-inclusive. Other conduct may be subject to discipline. The City of Colorado Springs reserves the right to determine the seriousness of an offense at the time the offense occurs and to impose the appropriate level of discipline.
Examples of unacceptable conduct/offenses are listed below.
- Violation of Civil Service Rules
- Conduct deemed by the City as unbecoming a City employee
- Violation of City or unit written or verbal policies or procedures
- Unsatisfactory work habits to include tardiness, violation of break and lunch policy, departing prior to the designated time, excessive absenteeism, neglecting work duties, or wasting time during work hours
- Smoking anywhere except in a designated smoking area
- Impairment due to the use of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs
- Consumption, possession, or selling of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs, including standby, on City time or in the workplace
- Failure to adhere to City's policies outlined in the Drug/Alcohol Procedures Manual
- Abuse of prescribed or over-the-counter drugs
- Abuse of paid leave
- Participation in activities, including other employment, self-employment, sports, hobbies, etc., which is inconsistent with paid sick leave, limited duty, or injury leave
- Conducting personal business while on City time
- Work disruption or stoppage, strike, or other forms of job action, or withholding of services
- Failure to cooperate in a City investigation and provide truthful information in subsequent testimony, as required
- Failure to immediately report the loss of a Colorado drivers license, other required license or certification
- Fraud, falsification, deceit, or departing from the truth
- Falsification of time sheets, employment application, personnel records, or other organizational records
- Theft, misappropriation, destruction, abuse or waste of public and/or private property, including City tools, equipment, fixtures, facilities, or supplies
- Failing to report criminal charges and/or conviction of criminal charges per department policies
- Sexual harassment and other forms of illegal discrimination
- Creating or contributing to an unproductive work environment to include: using one's position to harass another, participating in or allowing horseplay, disorderly conduct
- Fighting, encouraging a fight, acts or threats of physical violence, intimidation, or coercion
- Abusive, offensive, or obscene language or conduct towards the public, City officials, or employees
- Violating safety rules or accepted safety practices
- Failure to report direct or indirect financial interest that could be considered a conflict of interest
- Unsatisfactory job performance
- Unsatisfactory behavior
Policy and Procedure # 31: Workplace Harassment and Violence
It is the City Of Colorado Springs' policy to promote a safe environment for its employees and visitors which is free of harassment, intimidation, threats, or violent behavior.
The City will not tolerate any action that may be interpreted as one of the following behaviors:
- Acts of intimidation
- Threatening or hostile verbal or physical behaviors
- Physical or verbal abuse
- Comments regarding violence
- Harassment or assault
- Possession or use of a weapon at the workplace
This list is not all-inclusive, and any other acts deemed inappropriate will also be investigated. Other unacceptable behaviors may include oral or written statements, gestures, or expressions that communicate a direct or indirect threat of physical harm. The City reserves the right to take action against this type of behavior, up to and including termination.
Violent, threatening, harassing, intimidating, or other disruptive behavior, including anonymous threats, should not be ignored. Inappropriate humorous comments about violence are also unacceptable. If you observe or experience such behavior by anyone on City property or directed at City employees, whether the person is a City employee or not, you should report it immediately to a supervisor or manager, Chief/Deputy Chief, a Human Resources Manager, Departmental Human Resources Manager, or the Risk Management Staff. Supervisors and managers who receive reports should contact Risk Management. If the supervisor is responsible for the behavior, the employee should report to a manager above the supervisor or one of the other contacts listed herein. If the employee believes the situation requires immediate action in order to avert a violent situation, the employee should contact the appropriate law enforcement agency or Security immediately.
Any reported violation of this policy will be thoroughly investigated by the Chief/Deputy Chief, Human Resources, or Risk Management. The Workplace Violence Response Team will immediately review reported acts of violence or potentially violent situations. The Response Team is convened and headed by the Chief/Deputy Chief, Risk Management or a designee and shall be comprised of representatives from the following groups:
- City Attorney's Office
- Law enforcement agencies
- Medical Professionals (EAP)
- Employee's Chief/Deputy Chief
- Risk Management
- Human Resources
The role of the participant from the City Attorney's Office is to provide legal advice to the Response Team. The Response Team shall make recommendations to the supervisor/manager on how to proceed in regard to the problem employee and the particular circumstances.
Action Following Investigation
The City of Colorado Springs will take the appropriate disciplinary action based on the findings of the investigation. An employee whose behavior is determined to be in violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
An employee may be subject to a search involving work site, a City-assigned piece of equipment or property, and other items within their personal possession in certain circumstances while on City-owned or City-leased property to the extent allowed by law. During such a search, City property in the unlawful or unauthorized possession of the employee may be confiscated.
An employee who obtains a protective or restraining order (1) against a City employee or (2) another person, and lists City locations as protected areas, must immediately notify their supervisor or other member of management about the order and its status. A valid restraining order means that the holder must have the physical document in their possession, and the named party must have been served the restraining order. For a supervisor to take action on an employee's restraining order the supervisor must see the physical document and verify the following information:
- Effective dates of the restraining order
- Date of service of individual
- Distance limits from a specific address
- Contact limits, i.e.; phone, physical
- Signature of a judge
When an employee has a valid restraining order in place, their supervisor shall immediately inform authorities within their work location of the restraining order. If the restraining order is violated, the authorities will be notified immediately.
If the restraining order does not name another City employee or identify City locations, the City requests and highly recommends notification in order to alert security.
Policy and Procedure # 32: Criminal Charges
An employee must immediately notify their immediate supervisor/manager of any criminal charge in accordance with department policy. If an employee is hired with pending criminal charges, the employee must immediately report such violation to their supervisor or Chief/Deputy Chief.
Criminal charges include felony, misdemeanor, public and petty offenses, as defined in the statutes of the United States, the State of Colorado, other sovereign states, the city of Colorado Springs, and other city and county governments. Criminal charges shall not include traffic or other charges, which are specifically differentiated and exempted from statutory criminal offenses; however, DUI or other charges which impact an employee's ability to drive a vehicle must be reported in accordance with this policy.
Employee Work Status
The supervisor, in consultation with the Deputy Chief, will determine the appropriate action regarding the employee's status with the City, pending the disposition of the case. An employee against whom criminal charges have been filed may be placed on a leave-of-absence, pending the outcome of such charges. The Chief and the Human Resources Director must approve such leaves-of-absence, including pay status, in accordance with the Civil Service Rules. In the case of a leave-of-absence without pay, an employee may utilize accrued vacation during this period. The City may proceed with disciplinary action regardless of the status of the criminal case.
Workplace Drug Convictions
If the employee is engaged in federally funded work covered by the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988, the grantee's Supervisor shall notify the granting agency within 10 working days after receiving notice from the employee or otherwise receiving official notice of such convictions.
Notification Requirement: The employee is responsible for notifying their Supervisor of the outcome of the case no later than 5 calendar days after conclusion of the case. If the Supervisor is unavailable for any reason, the employee must notify the Deputy Chief. Failure to notify the appropriate personnel may be grounds for termination.
Action Following Case Resolution
If one of the following results occur, the employee may be reinstated, including retroactive salary and benefits:
- Employee is found not guilty
- Employee receives a deferred prosecution
- The charges are dismissed/dropped
The City reserves the right to take disciplinary action up to and including termination, regardless of the outcome of the case. Retroactive salary and benefits will not be provided in cases resolved through a finding or plea of guilty, no contest, or deferred sentence.
Action Following Conviction
The Chief will determine the appropriate action upon notification of a finding of guilty, a plea of guilty, no contest, or a deferred sentence.
Factors to be considered in determining the appropriate disciplinary action include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Nature and type of the crime
- Employee's position
- Employee's prior job performance
- Employee's length of service
- Employee's fitness to perform
The City reserves the right to take disciplinary or corrective action against an employee, up to and including termination, for violation of any local, state, or federal criminal laws which, in its sole judgment, may render the employee unfit to perform their job, may bring disrepute upon, and/or may compromise the integrity of the City.
Policy and Procedure # 33 Drug/Alcohol Fitness for Duty
An employee shall not report to work under the influence of, nor shall their performance be impaired by, the use of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs.
An employee is prohibited from the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensing, possession, or use of a controlled substance or alcoholic beverage in the workplace or on City property.
An employee who violates these policies is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Use of Over-the-Counter or Prescribed Drugs
An employee is permitted to use or possess over-the-counter or medically prescribed drugs in the workplace. Should an employee have reason to believe, or have been informed by their physician or pharmacist, that such use may affect their ability to perform their assigned job duties, the employee shall notify the supervisor.
The employee shall not be required to reveal to the supervisor any medical information relating to their use of such drugs. The supervisor shall protect the confidentiality of the information provided, and the privacy of the employee.
Abuse or misuse of over-the-counter or prescription drugs will be considered a violation of policy.
Drug and Alcohol Awareness
The City provides awareness training programs for employees and supervisors. The Drug/Alcohol Manual may be accessed on the City's Intranet.
Employee Assistance Program
The City provides an Employee Assistance Program through which employees and their dependents may voluntarily receive information and confidential assistance regarding drug/alcohol-related problems.
Interventions and/or Consequences
Employees are encouraged to take responsibility for their own behaviors and voluntarily seek help through the City's Employee Assistance Program or other professional programs that will assist them in the resolution of drug or alcohol related problems. However, in those instances when an employee exhibits job performance and/or other physical symptoms commonly associated with drug and/or alcohol use, the City may intervene and/or impose consequences appropriate to ensure compliance with this policy.
Appropriate interventions and/or consequences shall be determined on a case-by-case basis, reviewed by Human Resources and may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Administrative leave, with or without pay
- Mandatory assessment by a Substance Abuse Professional (SAP). (The employee shall be required to sign an authorization for release of information so that the SAP can report the results of the assessment to the Human Resources Manager
- Drug/Alcohol testing in accordance with the Drug/Alcohol Procedures Manual and/or mandated Federal and State legislation
- In-patient/out-patient treatment and rehabilitation
- Assignment to another position and/or classification
- Employment agreement
- Disciplinary action, up to and including termination
Policy and Procedure # 29: Business Code of Ethics
The purpose of this policy is to uphold, promote and demand the highest standards of ethical behavior from all employees. This Business Code of Ethics will provide further direction to the City of Colorado Springs Code of Ethics. The policy applies to all employees, appointees and volunteers.
The City is committed to complete honesty, utmost integrity, fair dealing and ethical behavior as the basis of its business operations and services to the community The City is committed to strictly observing all laws, and employees are expected to uphold this commitment to legal compliance. Employees should avoid any conduct creating the appearance of impropriety even if those actions do not violate specific policies, standards, regulations or laws.
The City Code of Ethics and this Business Code of Ethics cannot cover all situations where legal or ethical issues may arise and it does not provide all of the information that may be necessary to make informed legal or ethical decisions. Employees should consult with their immediate supervisor. If the immediate supervisor is not the appropriate source of help, employees should contact the next level manager, the City Attorney’s Office or Human Resources.
Conflict of Interest
Employees are expected to conduct their activities with the organization’s best interest in mind. Behavior is required that does not bring harm or discredit to themselves or the organization. Employees must abide by the conflict of interest provisions in the City Code of Ethics, City Code §§1.3.113 through 1.3.116, and all applicable provisions of the Sworn Policies and Procedures Manual.
Employees must disclose promptly any circumstance that might constitute a conflict of interest or appear to be a conflict of interest. For example, an employee must declare to their supervisor any direct or indirect financial interest in the following:
- Any city-wide contract
- Any matter before the City Council or its Boards and Commissions
- Any sale of land to the City
- Any material supplies
- Any services to the City
- Any contractor supplying services to the City
- The above list is not all inclusive; the City Code of Ethics, City Code §§1.3.101 through 1.3.119, is the governing document. A philosophical or professional difference of opinion does not constitute a conflict of interest.
Employees must conduct the highest ethical practices in source selection, negotiation, determination of awards and administration of all procurement activities. The organization will compete fairly and ethically for all business opportunities. Situations where employees or members of the employee’s immediate family have a financial interest are required to reveal their relationship immediately. Employees are committed to meeting all contractual obligations.
Employees will serve customers with integrity and honesty. Customer response will be conducted with a sense of urgency and will ensure that communication with customers is accurate and timely. Employees will avoid any form of unethical activity or discussion with customers that offers false promises or exaggerated guarantees to customers. Our duty is to deal with customers with integrity, diligence and impartiality and with courtesy, consideration, fairness and promptness. Employees will respect the principle of non-discrimination and equal treatment for all customers.
City employees will not do anything related to their official City capacity or while engaged in their official City duties to influence the outcome of the political process. An employee shall not use or permit to use the authority of their position to actively support either a candidate for City Council, a City issue, or any other political candidate or issue. Employees shall not make contributions from City funds or property to any political parties or candidates. Further, no employee shall, on behalf of the organization, attempt to influence another employee’s decision to make, or refrain from making, a personal political contribution to a candidate or a party.
Truth and Accuracy in Reporting
Employees are required to be truthful and accurate when communicating and reporting all activities. No employees shall engage in fraud, deceit, departure from the truth, or failure to report in any oral or written communication. The organization is committed to financial integrity and proper internal controls. No employee shall falsify any document, record or request, or fail to record proper entries in any book or record for any reason. Organization funds and assets will not be used for any unethical or illegal purpose.
Employees must safeguard confidential and proprietary information by not transferring, publishing, using or disclosing it unless authorized by the City. Employees must not access or attempt to access systems or physical areas unless properly authorized to do so.
Confidential information is any information or knowledge created, acquired, or controlled by the organization that the organization has determined should be safeguarded from improper disclosure.
Use of Resources
Employees must demonstrate concern for proper use of assets including personnel, time, property, equipment and funds. The City provides appropriate office equipment, telephones, computers, vehicles and tools for employees to conduct business. These assets must be used for proper purposes during employment with the City. Equipment and tools may not be sold, loaned, given away, or disposed of without proper authorization.
Employees must report any conduct that they believe in good faith to be a violation of this policy or the City Code of Ethics. No action shall be taken against any employee who reports a potential violation which they believe is true and accurate. Employees are encouraged to work with their supervisor in making such reports. If there is a reason that reporting a violation to the immediate supervisor is not appropriate, employees should contact their next-level manager, the City Attorney’s Office or Human Resources.
Employees may file a complaint regarding violations of the City Code of Ethics pursuant to City Code §1.3.105.
Employees may also report any suspected fraud and abuse to the City Auditor directly or through the City Auditor Hotline, 719-385-2387.
The City may take disciplinary or corrective action against an employee, up to and including termination, for violation of this policy, the City Code of Ethics, or any state or federal criminal laws which, in its sole judgment, may render the employee unfit to perform their job, may bring discredit upon, and/or may compromise the integrity of the City.
Nothing in this policy alleviates an employee’s responsibilities under other sections of the Policies and Procedures Manual, including “Other Employment.”
Policy and Procedure #26: Formal Internal Complaint Process
It is the goal of the City of Colorado Springs to provide prompt resolution of employee complaints through its Complaint Resolution Process. The City of Colorado Springs will not tolerate retaliation against any employee for filing a complaint of for providing information related to a complaint.
Subject of Complaints
A formal complaint may be filed relating to an act, omission, or situation involving the interpretation and misapplication of written or verbal policy, procedure, or established practice. Complaints alleging illegal discrimination, harassment, and retaliation may not be filed under this policy. (Refer to Policy #24 Unlawful Discrimination/Harassment/Retaliation).
Who May File
Regular, full-time or part-time employees, except for those in their original probationary period. Employees not included in this policy may use the chain of command to resolve concerns that fall within the scope of this policy.
Prior to initiating a formal complaint, the employee should discuss the alleged act or action with their immediate supervisor. If the employee is uncomfortable bringing the issue to their supervisor, he/she should contact the next level of supervision or consult with the Human Resources Department. The supervisor must respond to the employee's inquiry in writing within a reasonable timeframe. If resolution is not reached, the employee may file a formal complaint.
To file a formal complaint, the employee must complete a City of Colorado Springs Complaint Resolution Form and submit it to their immediate supervisor and/or the next highest level of management, along with a copy to the Human Resources Department. The forms can be obtained from the City's Human Resources Office, on the intranet in Public Folders/Employee Services/Complaint Form folder, or from the department's Human Resources office.
Formal complaints must be filed no later than 15 working days from the date of the alleged act or action, or the date the employee became aware of the alleged act or action, or from the date the supervisor responded to the employee's inquiry.
Formal complaints will be fully investigated by the Chief or a party designated by the Chief, unless the Chief is involved in, or is the subject of the complaint. Summary results of the investigation will be provided in writing to the complaining employee within 30 working days from receipt of the formal complaint.
If an employee is not satisfied with action taken as a result of the investigation, the employee may appeal the decision to the next level in the chain of command or that persons equivalent in another chain. The appeal must be in writing and filed within 5 calendar days of receiving written notification of the decision. Copies of the appeal must be submitted to both the supervisor who rendered the original decision and the level of management that will hear the appeal. A written response will be provided by the manager hearing the appeal no later than 15 calendar days from receipt of the appeal.
- Attorneys are not permitted to appear on behalf of an employee during any phase of the complaint procedure.
- An employee may be accompanied by another regular employee at complaint resolution meetings. The employee will receive their normal compensation and shall not be subject to retaliation.
- Employees may be requested to appear as witnesses at meetings held to resolve complaints. The employees are required to appear and will receive their normal pay. Witnesses shall cooperate with the investigation. The names of employee witnesses must be provided to the manager hearing the complaint in advance in order to arrange for their appearance. The City of Colorado Springs will not tolerate retaliation against any employee for filing a complaint or for providing information related to a complaint.
- If an employee fails to adhere to the filing deadlines, the complaint shall be considered resolved.
- Complaint resolution deadlines may be extended by the Chief for good cause. A request for extension and the subsequent response must be in writing. The respective parties shall each be allowed one reasonable postponement, not to exceed 45 calendar days.
Policy and Procedure # 30: Political Activity
An employee shall not use or permit others to use the authority of their position to actively support either a candidate for City Council, a City issue, or any other political candidate or political issue.
Employees will be subjected to discipline for failing to adhere to any of the following guidelines:
- Failure to comply with Civil Service Rules governing political activity.
- Employees shall not conduct personal political/activity during working hours or while acting in any capacity as a representative of the City. Employees may not use City funds, supplies, resources, vehicles, or equipment for such political activity. City facilities may only be used for political purposes if the employee pays the regularly scheduled fees for such space, and it is not during the employee's work time. No restriction is placed on the use of parkland. Personal political activity includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Gathering signatures for an initiative
- Directly or indirectly participating or assisting in any political campaign on behalf of a candidate or ballot issue.
- An employee's conduct shall not imply or suggest endorsement, support, or alliance with any ballot issue, candidate, or subject matter of any petition gathering on behalf of the City during work hours.
- An employee shall not wear any City uniforms or apparel or use City vehicles displaying the City logo while conducting personal political activity after work hours. Such actions include gathering of signatures to any petition and campaigning for or against a ballot issue or candidate.
- An employee shall not wear buttons, badges, or other items during the work day that promote or refer to a ballot issue or candidate.
- An employee shall not use or permit others to use the authority of their position or employment to actively support a ballot issue or candidate for election.
An employee who files the declaration for candidacy for Colorado Springs City Council will immediately terminate employment with the City.
Policy and Procedure # 37: Employee Groups
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 is defined as any organization that is comprised of City employees whose primary purpose is to interact with City Management on employer-employee matters for the betterment of the work environment. Whether a group qualifies as an employee group will be determined by the Police or Fire Chief, or designee.
An employee group may, however, with the prior approval of the Chief utilize the following in accordance with City policy:
- City buildings or facilities after work hours to conduct business meetings.
- Interoffice mail system.
- Bulletin boards.
Policy and Procedure # 35: Charity Drives and Employee Solicitation
The City recognizes that many employees wish to share with others who are in need. Within limited conditions, employee representatives and/or charitable organizations may be approved to conduct fundraising sales and campaigns or collect donations of disposable goods from City employees.
Employee Giving Campaign
The annual Employee Giving Campaign is the only charitable; fundraising effort authorized to solicit City employees in the workplace. The annual campaign shall raise and distribute funds to health and human charitable service agencies that provide direct, information and referral, education and/or advocacy services to residents is residents of their primary service delivery area of El Paso and Teller Counties in the following areas of need:
- Basic needs and self-sufficiency
- Early childhood and youth development
- Health and wellness
- Family support and safety
In addition to the Qualified Campaign Participants, the City will, through its campaign manager, process the distribution of payroll deductions to other employee-designated, charitable organizations defined under IRC Section 501(A) as described in 50l(c)(3). Such designations to non-participating agencies shall be made only during the Employee Giving Campaign.
Employee Campaign Committee
City and Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) employee volunteers, who work with the campaign manager to plan, organize and conduct the annual Employee Giving Campaign. The co-chairs will be one senior manager each from the City and Colorado Springs Utilities.
The Employee Campaign Committee is responsible for an annual accounting of campaign expenses, which will be shared equally between the City and CSU. The Employee Campaign Committee will review and certify as Qualified Campaign Participants those organizations which request and meet the criteria for inclusion in the annual Employee Giving Campaign.
A Colorado Springs-based, non-profit organization which, at no cost to the City or CSU, works with the Employee Campaign Committee to plan, organize and conduct the annual campaign and to manage the distribution of received payroll deductions. Distributions of collected funds will be to designated Qualified Campaign Participants and other non-profits so designated by employees during the annual Employee Giving Campaign. Specific responsibilities are contained in the annual agreement between the City/CSU and the Campaign Manager.
Qualified Campaign Participants
The Annual Employee Giving Campaign shall be open to two categories of health and human services, non-profit organizations that provide support to residents of El Paso and Teller counties.
- Umbrella organizations that have at least seven (7) member, charitable agencies that provide direct, education, information and referral and/or advocacy services to residents of El Paso and Teller counties, Colorado who are in need of health and human services.
- The City/CSU sponsored health and human service organizations that:
- are supported by the City/CSU through the use of facilities or equipment or through the sharing of operating or maintenance funding
- have a direct relationship to the City/CSU by providing enhanced services to the programs of the City/CSU; or
- act as an agent of the City/CSU to operate, manage or administer a function of the City/CSU
All organizations must be charitable organizations as described in 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Disposable Goods and/or Donations
Department heads can authorize requests for charity drives or support of additional charitable activities that are confined within their departments.
Charitable organizations may request, through employee representatives or the Mayor, permission to collect disposable goods for distribution to the needy. Requests must be accompanied by written verification of the organizations 501(c )3 status and specific dates and location of collection efforts. Mayor, or designee, approval must be received prior to the placement of boxes for food, clothing, or toy donations in areas of City buildings accessible to the public and/or employees.
If several requests are received, a single box may list several agencies. Items placed in the box will be distributed among the agencies listed.
Fundraising Product Sales
Except as authorized by the Mayor, an employee shall not solicit charitable contributions or sell goods and services for profit or charity on City time or property.
City employees often represent organizations that sell products as a part of their annual fundraising efforts. Although actual sales may not occur during the employees' normal work hours and may not disturb the work of fellow employees, notices of product sales or displays of the product may be placed in employee break rooms or other areas not accessible to the public.
The City is not responsible for any loss of product or money that may result from the conduct of the sale on its premises.
Should such product sales or fundraising events become disruptive to the conduct of official City business, the Chief/Deputy Chief may disallow such product sales.
No private, for-profit organization may solicit employees of the City of Colorado Springs for the purpose of offering product sales or membership/product discounts.