The Woodward News

Local News

January 9, 2013

Commissioners approve inmate change

(Continued)

Woodward, Okla. — NEW PERSONNEL POLICIES TO GO INTO EFFECT SOON

In other action Monday, the city commissioners approved an updated set of personnel policies that will go into effect as of March 1.

Riffel said that in recent years various policy additions and updates had been made in a piecemeal fashion to the city's personnel policy manual, with the latest update being in Oct. 2008.  So the city manager recently determined that a "comprehensive update" was needed.

This updating was prompted by a decision to add a new social media policy to it's books with the growth of the medium as well as update the city's substance abuse and testing policies to reflect revisions in state and federal laws over the past year.

The new social media policy directs employees when posting online to be respectful, be honest and accurate when posting information or news, and not post confidential or proprietary information.  The policy also directs employees to express only their personal opinions and not represent themselves as spokespersons for the city when participating in social media during off-duty hours.

Riffel didn't discuss specific changes to the substance abuse and testing policy.  But he noted that the new drug policy was reviewed by the city's attorney, the attorneys for the city's insurers and even a third-party legal expert to make sure that it met statutory requirements.

The city manager also didn't go through the various changes to the overall personnel manual which is around 50-pages long including an index.  However, he did give an example of the type of revisions that were made.

"We had issues regarding what was considered immediate family when we grant funeral leave," Riffel said.  "Previously we didn't include stepson, stepdaughter, or mother-in-law or father-in-law.  In cases involving those individuals it was up to the discretion of the city manager whether to allow funeral leave.  We felt that policy needed to be more objective and uniform."

Those relatives and other in-laws are now included along with spouses, parents, guardians, grandparents, grandchildren, children, siblings, aunts and uncles, which are all listed as "immediate family" for whose funerals an employee may be granted up to 3-days paid bereavement leave.

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