City Policies

 

City of Quincy Policies

Personnel Files Right to Know Law
Workplace Discrimination,
Harassment and Retaliation
Activated Military Reservists
Policy
Disability Policy HIPAA Policy/ Privacy Notice
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

 

Personnel Files
A file for each City of Quincy employee is maintained in the Human Resources Department. Information in personnel files is treated as confidential. An employee has the right to examine his/her own file. Employees must schedule an appointment with the Human Resources Director to review his/her personnel file.

Right to Know Law
The objective of the Right to Know Law is to create a mechanism for providing and obtaining information regarding the identification and affects of toxic and hazardous chemicals in the workplace. This law places a responsibility upon employers to provide such information to employees. The statue covers employers who manufacture, use process or store toxic or hazardous substances, and who have employees who are or may be exposed under normal working conditions or under foreseeable emergencies, to toxic or hazardous chemicals contained on the Massachusetts Substance List. The Right to Know Law is two-fold. First, it places upon employers the responsibility of providing to all of its employees, information regarding the identity and effects of toxic and hazardous chemicals. In addition, it affords employees the right and opportunity to obtain such information from and through their employer.

Workplace Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation
It is the goal of the City of Quincy ("City") to promote a workplace that is free of discrimination, harassment and retaliation based on race, color, national origin/ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation or age. Discrimination, and harassment of employees occurring in the workplace or in a setting in which employees may find themselves in connection with their employment is unlawful and will not be tolerated. Further, any retaliation against an individual who has complained about harassment or retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation is similarly unlawful and will not be tolerated. To achieve our goal of providing a workplace free of discrimination and harassment, the conduct that is described in this policy will not be tolerated and a procedure is outlined which will deal with inappropriate conduct.

The City expects all employees to conduct themselves in a professional manner with respect and concern for their fellow employees and members of the public.

The City of Quincy takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously. We will respond promptly to all complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Where it is determined that such inappropriate conduct has occurred, we will act promptly to eliminate and prevent future occurrences by imposing corrective action and disciplinary action when necessary, including the possibility of termination.

Please note that while this policy sets forth our goals of promoting a workplace that is free of discrimination and harassment, the policy is not designed or intended to limit our authority to discipline or take remedial action for workplace conduct which we deem unacceptable.

Definition of Discrimination and Harassment
Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation violate the City policy and are also illegal. Such conduct is defined below:

  1. Discrimination: Basing policies, practices or employment decisions such as hiring, compensation, terms and conditions of employment or access to services provided by the City on that person's age, citizenship, color, disability, gender, national origin, race, religion or sexual orientation, unless otherwise permitted or required by applicable law.
  2. Retaliation: Adverse employment decisions or decisions regarding access to the City of Quincy services directed against a person in retaliation for filing a complaint of, or opposing, discrimination, harassment, or retaliation, or for participating or assisting in an investigation or proceeding related to such.
  3. Harassment: harassing conduct of any type (oral, written, graphic, computer/e-mail, web site or physical) directed against a person because of his or her age, citizenship, color, race, disability, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or for filing a complaint. Harassment or discrimination based on gender, race, color, national origin, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation occurs when such advances, requests or conduct have the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with a person's work performance by creating an intimid ating, hostile, humiliating or sexually offensive work environment.
  4. Requests for sexual favors, and verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when submission to or rejection of such advances, requests or conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of employment or as a basis for employment decisions. Direct or implied requests by a supervisor for sexual favors in exchange for actual or implied job benefits or continued employment constitutes sexual harassment.

Examples of Unlawful Harassment:
The following are some examples of conduct, which if unwelcome, and based on race, gender, national origin, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation or disability, may constitute harassment:

  1. Use of sexual, racial, or other epithets, slurs or derogatory comments;
  2. Putting down or mocking culture or language;
  3. Jokes that have a sexual, racial, ethnic, disability, homophobic, age-ist connotation;
  4. Displaying material or verbal or physical conduct that show hostility or aversion to a person's age, citizenship, color, race, disability, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation;
  5. Denying employment opportunities because of such characteristics or association with an individual's age, citizenship, color, race, disability, gender, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation;
  6. Sexual advances (verbal or written) whether they involve physical touching or not;
  7. Displaying sexually, racially, or other suggestive, offensive or intimidating objects, pictures, cartoons, symbols;
  8. Leering, whistling, brushing up against, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments;
  9. Inquires into one's sexual activities;
  10. Written or oral reference to sexual conduct, gossip regarding one's sex life;
  11. Commenting on an individual's sexual activity, deficiencies, or prowess;
  12. Assaultive or coercive acts;
  13. Any improper use of the City's e-mail or Internet as a form of harassment;

All employees should take special note that, as stated above, retaliation against an individual who has complained against harassment and retaliation against individuals for cooperating with an investigation of a harassment complaint is unlawful and will not be tolerated. Retaliation will be dealt with as a separate, very serious additional offense.

Complaints of Discrimination
Harassment and Retaliation:

If an employee believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination or harassment, the employee has a right to file a complaint to the City. This may be done in writing or orally.

If you would like to file a complaint you may do so by contacting your department head or Helen M. Murphy, Director of Human Resources at City Hall, 1305 Hancock Street, Quincy, MA 02169, (617) 376-1065. These individuals are also available to discuss any concerns you may have and to provide information to you about our policy on discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

When supervisors are notified of such incidents, they have the responsibility to notify the Director of Human Resources. Each supervisor has a duty to report and will be held accountable.

Discrimination, Harassment and
Retaliation Investigations:

When we receive a complaint we will promptly investigate the allegation in a fair and expeditious manner. The investigation will be conducted in such a way as to maintain confidentiality to the extent practicable under the circumstances. Our investigation will include a private interview with the person filing the complaint and any witnesses. We will also interview the person alleged to have committed the discrimination and/or harassment. When we have completed our investigation we will, to the extent appropriate, inform the person filing the complaint and the person alleged to have committed the conduct, the results of that investigation.

A complaint may be determined to be:

a) Founded: the incident occurred as charged

b) Unfounded: the incident is not harassment, discrimination or retaliation

c) Inconclusive: there is insufficient evidence to make a ruling either way


Disciplinary Action:

If it is determined that inappropriate conduct has been committed by one of our employees, we will take such action as is appropriate under the circumstances. Any employee of the City of Quincy who is found, after an investigation to have harassed and/or discriminated against another in the workplace will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

State and Federal Remedies:
In addition to the above, if you believe you have been subjected to harassment, discrimination or retaliation, you may file a formal complaint with either or both of the agencies set forth below. Using our complaint process does not prohibit you from filing a complaint with these agencies.

Each of these agencies has a time period for filing a claim: EEOC-300 days; MCAD-300 days.

  1. The United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) One Congress Street, 10th Floor, Boston, MA, 02114, (617) 565-3200
  2. The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD)
    Boston Office: One Ashburton Place, Room 601, Boston, MA 02108, (617) 727-3990. Springfield Office: 424 Dwight Street, Room 220, Springfield, MA (413) 739-2145.

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Activated Military Reservists Policy

City employees called to active service must submit a copy of the military orders activating them to their appointing authorities. Upon receipt of the military orders, activated military reservists are placed on leave of absence. In accordance with the Mayor's Executive Order, employees who are activated shall receive base salary minus their compensation received from the military.


In those situations where an employee can not provide written notice, an authorized representative may do so and appointing authorities may accept notice from an authorized representative. However, it is the responsibility of the appointing authority to verify that the employee has actually been activated before leave is granted. Written verification will be required before any leave of absence is processed by the Office of Human Resources.

Creditable Service, Salary Adjustments, Step Rates, Longevity Payments
During the period of time an employee is on paid military leave of absence (which could be up to five years), the employee will continue to receive any general salary increments, collective bargaining salary increases and step-rates.


Back Filling of Vacancies by Military Substitutes
The City is required to hold the position of activated military reservists, pending return, for at least four (4) years and if at the convenience of the Federal Government, the period is extended to five (5) years, for the additional year, or a total of five (5) years.
During the absence of the activated military reservists, positions which have been temporarily vacated due to military call-up may be filled on a temporary basis. Our usual process, posting, etc. must be utilized to fill vacancies. Postings must indicate vacancies are being filled by military substitutes, and that employment is subject to the return of the activated reservists.


Health Benefits and Insurance Coverage
Activated reservists and family (if applicable) will remain in the City's Health Benefit Program at the employee rate.
Retirement Service Longevity
The period of time activated reservists serve on active duty, as a result of military call-up, is included in length of service required for retirement. Information required by individuals related to retirement benefits or rights under Chapter 32, Mass. General Laws, should be obtained from Edward Masterson, Quincy Retirement Board, 1250 Hancock Street, 617-376-1076.


Vacation and Sick Accrual
The employee on a military leave of absence will receive one-year accrual.
Seniority Rights, Chapter 31, M.G.L. Collective Bargaining Agreements
The seniority rights of activated reservists are not affected by the military call-up either under Section 33, Chapter 31, Mass. General Laws, or the various collective bargaining agreements.


Re-employment of Returning Reservists
Generally, activated military reservists returning to employment from military service have ninety (90) days after the date of their discharge from active duty in which to apply for restoration to employment. However, employees are required to notify the department head in writing immediately upon being discharged from military service. Any questions regarding reinstatement of returning reservists may be referred to the Human Resources Office.

For information related to the Activated Military Reservists Policy, please contact the Human Resources Department.

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Disability Policy

In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the City of Quincy will not discriminate on the basis of disability in its hiring or employment practices. The City will not ask a job applicant about the existence, nature or severity of a disability. Applicants may be asked about their ability to perform specific job functions. Medical examinations or inquiries may be made, but only after a conditional offer of employment is made and only if required of all applicants for the position. The City will make reasonable accommodations for the known physical or mental limitations of a qualified applicant or employee with a disability upon request unless the accommodation would cause an undue hardship on the operation of the City's business. The City will make an individualized assessment of whether a qualified individual with a disability meets selection criteria for employment decisions. To the extent its selection criteria for employment decisions have the effect of disqualifying an individual because of disability, those criteria will be job-related and consistent with business necessity.

Please refer to the Constituent Services Web Page for information regarding the City of Quincy Grievance Procedure under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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HIPAA Policy/Privacy Notice

This notice describes how medical information about you may be used and disclosed and how you can get access to this information. Please review it carefully.

If you have any questions about this Notice of Privacy Practices, please contact our Privacy Contact, Helen M. Murphy at (617) 376-1065 or via email at hmurphy@quincyma.gov
This Notice of Privacy Practices describes how we may use and disclose your protected health information to carry out treatment, payment or health care operations and for other purposes that are permitted or required by law. It also describes your rights to access and control your protected health information. "Protected health information" is information about you, including demographic information, that may identify you and that relates to your past, present or future physical or mental health or condition and related health care services.

Uses and Disclosures of Protected Health Information
We use health information about you for treatment, for administrative purposes, and to evaluate the quality of care that you receive. We may use or disclose identifiable health information about you without your authorization for several other reasons. Subject to certain requirements, we may give out health information without your authorization for public health purposes, for auditing purposes, for research studies, and for emergencies. We provide information when otherwise required by law, such as for law enforcement in specific circumstances. In any other situation, we will ask for your written authorization before using or disclosing any identifiable health information about you. If you choose to sign an authorization to disclose information, you can later revoke that authorization to stop any future uses and disclosures.

We may change our policies at any time. Before we make a significant change in our policies, we will change our notice and post the new notice. You can also request a copy of our notice at any time. For more information about our privacy practices, contact the person listed above.

The Federal regulations that govern the use and disclosure of protected health information may require us to disclose your health information in any of the following situations:

Required By Law: We may use or disclose your protected health information to the extent that law requires the use or disclosure. The use or disclosure will be made in compliance with the law and will be limited to the relevant requirements of the law. You will be notified, as required by law, of any such uses or disclosures.

Public Health. We may disclose your protected health information for public health activities and purposes to a public health authority that is permitted by law to collect or receive the information. The disclosure will be made for the purpose of controlling disease, injury or disability. We may also disclose your protected health information, if directed by the public health authority, to a foreign government agency that is collaborating with the public health authority.

Communicable Diseases. We may disclose your protected health information, if authorized by law, to a person who may have been exposed to a communicable disease or may otherwise be at risk of contracting or spreading the disease or condition.

Health Oversight. We may disclose protected health information to a health oversight agency for activities authorized by law, such as audits, investigations, and inspections. Oversight agencies seeking this information include government agencies that oversee the health care system, government benefit programs, other government regulatory programs and civil rights laws.

Abuse or Neglect. We may disclose your protected health information to a public health authority that is authorized by law to receive reports of child abuse or neglect. In addition, we may disclose your protected health information if we believe that you have been a victim of abuse, neglect or domestic violence to the governmental entity or agency authorized to receive such information. In this case, the disclosure will be made consistent with the requirements of applicable federal and state laws.

Food and Drug Administration. We may disclose your protected health information to a person or company as directed or required by the Food and Drug Administration (i) To report adverse events (or similar activities with respect to food or dietary supplements), product defects or problems (including problems with the use or labeling of a product), or biological product deviations, (ii) to track FDA-regulated products, (iii) to enable product recalls, repairs or replacement, or lookback (including locating and notifying individuals who have received products that have been recalled, withdrawn, or are the subject of lookback), or (iv) to conduct post-marketing surveillance.

Legal Proceedings.
We may disclose protected health information in the course of any judicial or administrative proceeding, in response to an order of a court or administrative tribunal (to the extent such disclosure is expressly authorized), in certain conditions in response to a subpoena, discovery request or other lawful process.

Law Enforcement.
We may also disclose protected health information, so long as applicable legal requirements are met, for law enforcement purposes. These law enforcement purposes include (1) legal processes and otherwise required by law, (2) limited information requests for identification and location purposes, (3) pertaining to victims of a crime, (4) suspicion that death has occurred as a result of criminal conduct, (5) in the event that a crime occurs on the premises of the practice, and (6) medical emergency (not on the Practice's premises) and it is likely that a crime has occurred.

Coroners, Funeral Directors, and Organ Donation.
We may disclose protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner for identification purposes, determining cause of death or for the coroner or medical examiner to perform other duties authorized by law. We may also disclose protected health information to a funeral director, as authorized by law, in order to permit the funeral director to carry out their duties. We may disclose such information in reasonable anticipation of death. Protected health information may be used and disclosed for cadaveric organ, eye or tissue donation purposes.

Research. We may disclose your protected health information to researchers when their research has been approved by an institutional review board that has reviewed the research proposal and established protocols to ensure the privacy of your protected health information.

Criminal Activity. Consistent with applicable federal and state laws, we may disclose your protected health information, if we believe that the use or disclosure is necessary to prevent or lessen a serious and imminent threat to the health or safety of a person or the public. We may also disclose protected health information if it is necessary for law enforcement authorities to identify or apprehend an individual.

Military Activity and National Security. When the appropriate conditions apply, we may use or disclose protected health information of individuals who are Armed Forces personnel (1) for activities deemed necessary by appropriate military command authorities; (2) for the purpose of a determination by the Department of Veterans Affairs of your eligibility for benefits, or (3) to foreign military authority if you are a member of that foreign military services. We may also disclose your protected health information to authorized federal officials for conducting national security and intelligence activities including for the provision of protective services to the President or others legally authorized.

Workers' Compensation. Your protected health information may be disclosed by us as authorized to comply with workers' compensation law and other similar legally-established programs.

Inmates. We may use or disclose your protected health information if you are an inmate of a correctional facility and your physician created or received your protected health information in the course of providing care to you.

Required Uses and Disclosures. Under the law, we must make disclosures to you and when required by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to investigate or determine our compliance with the requirements of Section 164.500 et. seq.


Your Rights
The following is a statement of your rights with respect to your protected health information and a brief description of how you may exercise these rights.

You have the right to inspect and copy your protected health information. This means you may inspect and obtain a copy of protected health information about you that is contained in a designated record set for as long as we maintain the protected health information. A "designated record set" contains medical and billing records and any other records that your physician and the practice uses for making decisions about you.
Under federal law, however, you may not inspect or copy the following records; psychotherapy notes; information compiled in reasonable anticipation of, or use in, a civil, criminal or administrative action or proceeding, and protected health information that is subject to law that prohibits access to protected health information. Depending on the circumstances, a decision to deny access may be reviewable. In some circumstances, you may have a right to have this decision reviewed. Please contact our Privacy Contact if you have questions about access to your medical record.

You have the right to request a restriction of your protected health information. This means you may ask us not to use or disclose any part of your protected health information for the purposes of treatment, payment or healthcare operations. You may also request that any part of your protected health information not be disclosed to family members or friends who may be involved in your care or for notification purposes as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. Your request must state the specific restriction requested and to whom you want the restriction to apply. We are not required to agree to a restriction that you may request, but if we do agree to the requested restriction, we may not use or disclose your protected health information in violation of that restriction unless it is needed to provide emergency treatment.

You have the right to request to receive confidential communications from us by alternative means or at an alternative location. We will accommodate reasonable requests. We may also condition this accommodation by asking you for information as to how payment will be handled or specification of an alternative address or other method of contact. We will not request an explanation from you as to the basis for the request.

Please make this request in writing to our Privacy Contact.

You may have the right to have your physician amend your protected health information. This means you may request an amendment of protected health information about you in a designated record set for as long as we maintain this information. In certain cases, we may deny your request for an amendment. If we deny your request for amendment, you have the right to file a statement of disagreement with us and we may prepare a rebuttal to your statement and will provide you with a copy of any such rebuttal. Please contact our Privacy Contact to determine if you have any questions about amending your medical record.

You have the right to receive an accounting of certain disclosures we have made, if any, of your protected health information. This right applies to disclosures for purposes other than treatment, payment or healthcare operations as described in this Notice of Privacy Practices. It excludes disclosures we have made to you, for a facility directory, to family members or friends involved in your care, or for notification purposes. You have the right to receive specific information regarding these disclosures that occurred after April 14, 2003. You may request a shorter timeframe. The right to receive this information is subject to certain exceptions, restrictions, and limitations.

You have the right to obtain a paper copy of this notice from us, upon request, even if you have agreed to accept this notice electronically.


Complaints
You may complain to us or to the Secretary of Health and Human Services if you believe your privacy rights have been violated by us. You may contact the Office of Civil Rights, Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington D.C., 20201. You may file a complaint with us by notifying our Privacy Contact of your complaint. We will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint.

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a Federal mandate that took effect in August 1993. Employees who have been employed for at least one year and for at least 1,250 hours during the preceding 12-month period are eligible for FMLA. Under the Act, a covered employer must grant to employees up to a total of 12 work weeks of unpaid leave during any 12 month period for one or more of the following reasons:

  • the birth of the employee's child and in order to care for that child;
  • the birth or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care;
  • to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, parent) with a serious health problem, or
  • a serious health condition that renders the employee incapable of performing the functions of his/her job.

An employee requesting leave must file a request with the Human Resources Director. The employee must provide 30 days advance notice when the leave is "foreseeable". The request must state the reason for the leave, the duration of the leave, and the starting and ending dates of the leave. A request for leave based upon the serious health condition of the employee or the employee's spouse, child or parent must be accompanied by a Medical Certification Statement completed by a health care provider.

During a leave, an employee will be retained on the City of Quincy's health plan under the same conditions that applied before leave commenced. To continue health coverage, the employee must continue to make any contributions that he or she made to the plan before taking leave. Failure of the employee to pay his or her share of the health insurance premium may result in loss of coverage.

An employee eligible for family and medical leave will be restored to his or her old position or to a position with equivalent pay, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. The City of Quincy cannot guarantee that an employee will be returned to his or her original job. The City of Quincy will make a determination as to whether a position is an "equivalent position".

Please contact the Human Resources Department for a more complete description of the Family and Medical Leave Act policy.
Please refer to the "Forms to Download" portion of the Human Resources website to obtain an FMLA application.

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Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The City of Quincy is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

The City of Quincy values the culture and background of all people. Each and every individual will be considered and treated solely on the basis of qualification and performance of the job. The City of Quincy recognizes the right of individuals to work and advance based on merit, ability and potential. The City of Quincy will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of age, employment status, income, disability, educational background, gender, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or identity, citizenship or veteran status.


All levels of municipal government will make every effort to create a work environment that welcomes and includes everyone, that treats each resident, business, visitor and employee fairly and with dignity, and that challenges all employees to perform at their best.

The City's workforce must strive to reflect the diversity of the City's population. Therefore, as an equal employment opportunity employer, The City will actively recruit employees from all segments of Quincy's labor force. The City of Quincy is committed to fostering and encouraging a workplace comprised of individuals of diverse backgrounds, races, genders, abilities, religious beliefs, sexual orientation and ages.

Non-discrimination and equal opportunity will be the policy of the City of Quincy. This policy applies to all personnel practices including employee recruitment, hiring, transfers, promotions, demotions, compensation, training, discipline as well as termination.

All City of Quincy employees are responsible for maintaining and enforcing the City's policies on equal opportunity and affirmative action. The City of Quincy will actively seek the full participation and inclusion of all employees in understanding, upholding and promoting these policies. 

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