AP III, Sec. 3 Workplace policies
Baldwin's Kentucky Revised Statutes AnnotatedAdministrative Procedures of the Court of Justice
Administrative Procedures, AP III, Sec. 3
AP III, Sec. 3 Workplace policies
SECTION 3.01 Equal Employment
(a) Equal employment opportunities are provided throughout the KCOJ in all employment practices, including recruitment, appointment, job assignment, promotion, compensation, training, and fringe benefits, without regard to race, national origin, color, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, smoker or non-smoker status, veteran's status, political affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by law.
(d) Any employee who has concerns about possible discrimination in the workplace is encouraged to bring those concerns to the attention of the HR Director in writing on the KCOJ Employee Complaint Form. Employees can raise concerns and make good faith complaints without fear of reprisal. Anyone found engaging in any type of unlawful discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate dismissal or referral to the appropriate disciplinary authority.
SECTION 3.02 Unlawful Workplace Harassment
(a) It is the policy of the KCOJ to provide a work environment free of unlawful harassment or retaliation based on race, national origin, color, religion, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, smoker or non-smoker status, veteran's status, political affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by law. Harassment based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, and disability is prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA); and KRS 344.040 of the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, as well as various local ordinances.
The following definitions only apply to this section:
(b) “Hostile Work Environment” means an environment that a reasonable person would consider to be hostile or abusive and the person who is the object of the harassment perceives to be hostile or abusive based on a characteristic protected by law as provided under Section 3.01(1)(a) of these Policies. A hostile work environment is determined by looking at all of the circumstances including, but not limited to: (1) the frequency of the alleged harassing conduct; (2) the severity of the alleged harassing conduct; (3) whether the alleged harassing conduct was physically threatening or humiliating; and (4) whether the alleged harassing conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an employee's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive environment.
(c) “Quid Pro Quo Harassment” means unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct when submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, or submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for an employment decision affecting the individual.
(d) “Retaliation” means an adverse employment action taken against an employee because he or she has opposed any perceived unlawful workplace harassment or because he or she has made a charge, testified, assisted, or participated in any manner in an investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted in connection with unlawful workplace harassment.
Unlawful workplace harassment may include, but is not limited to:
(i) Displaying (including distributing or communicating through electronic systems such as email or text message) photographs, posters, drawings, suggestive objects, literature, cartoons, calendars, graffiti, or any item that is degrading to or reflects negatively on a particular race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Intentional touching, pinching, or brushing the body, kissing, assault, coercing sexual contact, or interference with an individual's normal movements.
In accordance with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the KCOJ recognizes that unlawful workplace harassment may include the following considerations:
(a) The KCOJ is committed to prohibiting unlawful workplace harassment before it rises to the level of a violation of state or federal law. All employees, elected officials, appointed officials, managerial staff, and supervisory staff must immediately report all allegations of unlawful workplace harassment to the HR Director in writing on the KCOJ Employee Complaint Form, as required by Section 3.02(7).
(b) The KCOJ will protect the confidentiality of unlawful workplace harassment allegations as practical and to the extent required by law. However, the KCOJ has a duty to investigate all complaints of workplace harassment, even if the complainant withdraws the complaint or does not wish to pursue the matter.
Employees, elected officials, and appointed officials are prohibited from retaliating against a person who, in good faith, reports or corroborates unlawful workplace harassment, or otherwise assists in the investigation.
(a) Any person who has a good faith complaint of unlawful workplace harassment must notify the HR Director in writing on the KCOJ Employee Complaint Form. The KCOJ Employee Complaint Form must be submitted within two business days of the alleged harassment or as soon as practical. If the HR Director is absent, the General Counsel must be notified. If the HR Director or the General Counsel is the alleged harasser, then the employee or supervisor must notify the AOC Director or designee.
(c) Upon receiving the complaint, the HR Director, with agreement of the General Counsel, may immediately take any protective measures necessary for the safety of the parties and affected employees. The HR Director or designee must inform the alleged harasser in writing that a complaint has been filed and to have no contact of any kind with the complaining party. The alleged harasser must also be informed to refrain from any retaliation and to not interfere with the investigation. The HR Director or designee will inform the complaining party in writing that an investigation will begin as soon as possible. If the alleged harasser is an elected or appointed official, the HR Director will forward the complaint to the appropriate disciplinary authority.
(d) The HR Director or designee, in cooperation with the General Counsel or designee, will coordinate and conduct an investigation. In extraordinary circumstances, the AOC Director's Office may require that the investigation be conducted by an outside investigator. The investigation will include interviews with all relevant persons, including the alleged harasser. The HR Director or designee will have 45 calendar days to complete the investigation. Failure to meet this deadline will not invalidate the findings of the investigation. Information regarding the complaint must be kept as confidential as possible.
(e) Within 15 calendar days of completing the investigation, the HR Director or designee, after consulting with the General Counsel or designee, will present his or her written report to the alleged harasser and allow the accused an opportunity to submit a written response, including the right to provide documentary evidence and identify individuals who may have relevant information. If the 15-day deadline is insufficient, the General Counsel may grant an extension of 15 calendar days.
(f) The alleged harasser will have 15 calendar days to submit a written response and supporting documentation. Within 15 calendar days of receipt of the response, the HR Director or designee will present the final report, with findings and recommendations, and the alleged harasser's written response to the AOC Director.
(g) Within 30 calendar days of receipt of the HR Director's or designee's final report, the AOC Director or designee will issue a written final decision to both the complaining party and the alleged harasser, which shall include the allegations, findings, conclusions, and disposition. The HR Director and General Counsel will be copied on the decision letter.
(h) If the alleged harasser is an elected official, the AOC Director or designee will submit written findings, conclusions, and interim recommendations within 30 calendar days to the Chief Justice, or where appropriate the Deputy Chief Justice, who may take interim measures deemed necessary pending action by the appropriate disciplinary authority.
(i) In the event that the AOC Director is the alleged harasser, the HR Director's final report will be presented to the Chief Justice to issue a written final decision to both the complaining party and the alleged harasser, which shall include the allegations, findings, conclusions, and disposition.
(j) Upon a finding of harassment in violation of this policy, the harasser will be subject to disciplinary action, including dismissal, and immediate and appropriate corrective action pursuant to Section 8 of these Policies. Any resulting discipline is subject to the applicable grievance and appeal processes found in Section 8 of these Policies. If the harasser is an elected or appointed official, he or she may be subject to discipline by the appropriate disciplinary authority. A copy of the written final decision will be placed in the harasser's personnel file.
(l) If the complaining party is found to have intentionally made a false complaint, he or she will be subject to immediate and appropriate disciplinary action, including dismissal pursuant to Section 8 of these Policies. Any resulting discipline is subject to the applicable grievance and appeal processes found in Section 8 of these Policies.
SECTION 3.03 Disability Accommodations
The KCOJ is committed to complying fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, which prohibit discrimination based on disability and ensure equal opportunity in employment for qualified individuals with disabilities. The KCOJ ADA Coordinator processes requests for reasonable accommodations consistent with current ADA law and, where appropriate, ensures reasonable accommodations are provided in a prompt, fair, and efficient manner. The ADA Coordinator also processes grievances related to the ADA.
This policy applies to elected and appointed officials, as well as all employees, interns, temporary employees, and volunteers.
The following definitions apply to this section:
(c) “Major Life Activities” means activities that include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, interacting with others, and working. These also include the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, special sense organs and skin, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular, endocrine, hemic, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and reproductive functions.
(d) “Qualified Individual with a Disability” means an individual with a disability who satisfies the requisite skill, experience, education, and other job-related requirements of the position that the individual holds or desires, and who, with or without reasonable accommodation, can perform the essential functions of such position.
(e) “Essential Functions” means the fundamental job duties of an employment position. A function can be essential if, among other things the position exists specifically to perform that function; there are a limited number of other employees who could perform the function; or the function is specialized and the individual is hired based on his or her ability to perform it. This term does not include the marginal functions of the position.
(f) “Undue Hardship” means a specific accommodation would require significant difficulty or expense. Determination of undue hardship is made on a case-by-case basis, considering factors that may include, but not be limited to, the nature or cost of the accommodation needed and the impact of the accommodation on the operations of the office or agency.
(a) An employee may request a reasonable accommodation from his or her appointing authority either verbally or by completing form AOC-ADA-1, Request for Accommodation. Upon receipt, the appointing authority or designee must submit the request and the completed form to the ADA Coordinator at the AOC office in Frankfort.
(c) The KCOJ may require medical information when an employee has requested a reasonable accommodation to determine whether an employee has an ADA-covered disability and if the employee can continue to perform his or her essential job functions. When the disability and the need for accommodation are obvious, the KCOJ will not seek any further medical information. When the disability or need for accommodation is not obvious, the KCOJ may ask the individual for reasonable documentation about his or her disability and functional limitations.
(d) Upon request, the employee must have his or her licensed health care professional complete form AOC-ADA-2, Request for Accommodation Medical Report (Medical Report), with instructions that the health care professional forward the Medical Report to the ADA Coordinator. The employee also must complete form PER 5.1, Authorization to Release Medical Information, and provide it to his or her health care professional so that the health care professional may release the Medical Report to the ADA Coordinator.
(b) The reasonable accommodation granted may not be the accommodation requested by the employee. The HR Director or designee has the ultimate discretion to choose among effective accommodations. If the reasonable accommodation cannot be provided immediately, the HR Director or designee must inform the employee when it will be provided.
SECTION 3.04 Drug-Free Workplace
The Chief Justice delegates to the AOC Director the responsibility to inform employees and officials about:
For the purpose of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
Employees charged or convicted of a criminal offense under KRS Chapter 189A, KRS Chapter 218A, KRS Chapter 506, or 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq. must report it to their supervisor or appointing authority pursuant to Section 3.06 of these Policies.
Violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.
SECTION 3.05 Workplace Violence
(b) The KCOJ prohibits any employee from carrying a weapon, including licensed concealed weapons, into any portion of court buildings, courtrooms, related court buildings, places of employment, or educational sites that are leased, owned, or occupied by the KCOJ governmental unit. This does not include the legal possession of a weapon in a vehicle. Exceptions to this rule include Court Security Inspectors, Peace Officers, and Court Security Officers if it is necessary for their official duties; and Justices, Judges, and Circuit Court Clerks, including retired and senior status Justices and Judges actively serving on the bench, if they are licensed to carry concealed weapons.
(2) “Workplace Violence” means the attempt, threat, or act of intimidation, harassment, physical violence, and abuse that endangers or is likely to endanger the health and safety of KCOJ employees, officials, and the general public while in KCOJ offices, facilities, worksites, and vehicles, or while conducting KCOJ business. Workplace violence may be perpetrated by an official, manager, supervisor, employee, co-worker, family member, or a member of the general public.
Workplace violence includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(b) Employees must notify their appointing authority or designee as soon as possible of any acts or threats of violence they have either witnessed or received. This includes any threatening statement, harassment, or behavior they have reasonable cause to believe is a potential risk to their health and safety, or to other officials, employees, or the general public. Employees should not place themselves in peril.
Retaliation against any person for reporting or assisting in the investigation of violence in the workplace is prohibited.
SECTION 3.06 Criminal Charges and Convictions
(2) Employees charged with a criminal offense must report it to their supervisor or appointing authority within 24 hours of being charged. The supervisor or appointing authority must report the charge to the HR Director or designee immediately. The employee may be suspended with or without pay, as determined by the HR Director and the General Counsel.
(3) Employees convicted of a criminal offense must report it to their supervisor or appointing authority within 24 hours of being convicted. The supervisor or appointing authority must report the conviction to the HR Director or designee immediately. Employees may receive disciplinary action up to and including dismissal from employment upon conviction of a criminal offense. In determining the appropriate disciplinary action for the conviction, the HR Director and the General Counsel shall consider the nature of the offense and whether the employee can no longer perform his or her work duties because they are directly related to the offense, and whether public trust and confidence in the court system is undermined.
SECTION 3.07 Civil Matters Employees must notify their supervisor or appointing authority immediately upon learning of the initiation of any civil action that may come before the courts of the Commonwealth in which the employee or a member of the employee's family is a named party.
SECTION 3.08 KCOJ Property and Resources
(2) Employees, appointed officials, and elected officials must return all KCOJ property, including but not limited to keys, identification badges, parking badges, and assigned technology hardware, to their appointing authority or designee upon separation of employment or office. The KCOJ will consider the failure or refusal of any employee, appointed official, or elected official to return KCOJ property upon separation to constitute theft.
(3) An employee must receive prior approval from his or her appointing authority before removing any KCOJ property, including technology hardware, from his or her workstation. An appointing authority may only permit an employee to remove KCOJ property from his or her workstation if there exists a legitimate business need for the removal and may require the employee to return the KCOJ property at any time.
SECTION 3.09 Dress Code
Employees must dress appropriately and maintain a professional appearance during all working hours and at all functions while representing the KCOJ. Prohibited attire includes, but is not limited to, clothing exhibiting inappropriate language or graphic depiction of hate, discrimination, sexual innuendo, alcohol or drugs; flip flops or shoes made entirely of rubber or plastic; shorts or skorts of any variety or material; and excessively tight or revealing clothing.
SECTION 3.10 Anti-Nepotism Policy It is the policy of the KCOJ that all employees be hired based on demonstrated knowledge, skills, abilities, and bona fide work-related factors, and not based on favoritism or family relationship.
SECTION 3.11 Practice of Law While holding a position with the KCOJ, an employee or elected official who is an attorney must not engage in the practice of law outside the scope of his or her duties, except an employee or elected official may act pro se and may, without compensation, give legal advice to and draft or review documents for a member of his or her family. All employees and elected officials previously engaged in the practice of law shall cease all advertising upon employment by or election to the KCOJ.
SECTION 3.12 Outside Employment of Full-Time and Part-Time Employees
(b) All new employees who wish to continue their outside employment must provide a written notification of such employment to their appointing authority at the start of their employment with the KCOJ and receive written approval to continue such employment. New employees engaged in outside employment will be required to cease such employment if the employment does not comply with these Policies.
All employees with approved outside employment must immediately notify their appointing authority in writing when a change in their outside employment status occurs. Written notification of a change in outside employment status must be made when any of the following occurs:
After consulting with the HR Director or designee, the appointing authority will determine whether the change in outside employment status complies with these Policies.
SECTION 3.13 Travel Regulations
SECTION 3.14 Solicitation
HISTORY: Adopted by Order 2018-06, eff. 4-15-18
Administrative Procedures, AP III, Sec. 3, KY ST ADMIN P AP III, Sec. 3
Current with amendments received through January 15, 2020.
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