Personnel Board reviews military leave and employee evaluation

The Pelham Personnel Board reviewed military leave policies and employee evaluations during a July 16 meeting. (File)

The Pelham Personnel Board reviewed military leave policies and employee evaluations during a July 16 meeting. (File)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

PELHAM—The Pelham Personnel Board focused on military leave policies and employee reviews during a July 16 meeting to review the city’s Civil Service Law.

Rule 7, section 25, of the Civil Service Law states if an employee is “drafted, activated or he or she enlists” in military service, he or she must apply to the human resources director for a leave of absence with “no loss of rights or status… as though his or her employment has been uninterrupted” upon return.

Pelham Human Resources Director Janice Parks pointed out the law is not reflective of the current practice, rather employees entering the military apply for leave from the department head and all paperwork is filed with the human resources director.

“We need to change this to reflect the actual process,” Personnel Board member Greg Darnell said.

The Personnel Board also examined pay policies for employees on military leave. According to the Civil Service Law, an employee on military leave for training will receive leave with pay for 21 days, in addition to the money received from the United States Military.

“There’s a double dip there,” Darnell said, noting payment from both the city and military service.

“I don’t have an issue looking at this and saying it may be a double dip, but we’re trying to do the right thing,” Pelham City Councilman Rick Hayes said.

Pelham Mayor Gary Waters also pointed out if a city employee is deployed to active duty and military pay is less than his or her city employee income, the city will make up the difference.

“I don’t see any reason to change the guard policy,” Waters said. “We’ve always been very guard and very Army friendly.”

Rule 8, section 2, of the Civil Service Law states employee performance reviews must be conducted along a rating plan approved by the human resources director. According to Waters, the city has one rating plan for all level of employees.

“It’s better than it was, but it could be better than it is,” Waters said of the rating plan, encouraging the Personnel Board to assume the responsibility of approving the rating plan. “It can be created in conjunction with human resources, but approved by the Personnel Board.”

Waters also noted a desire to have separate evaluations for “direct line employees,” supervisors and managers.

“We’re biting off a chunk by agreeing to do this,” Darnell said of the Personnel Board’s new responsibility, but added it is “the right thing to do.”