SB 133 - Cert. State Employees - poli- tical activities, contributions

Georgia Senate - 1995/1996 Sessions

SB 133 - Cert. State Employees - poli- tical activities, contributions

Page Numbers - 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10
Code Sections - 45-20-18/ 45-25-1/ 45-25-2/ 45-25-3/ 45-25-4
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1. Henson  55th           2. Thomas  10th            3. Stokes  43rd

Senate Comm: Ethics / House Comm: Gov Aff / Senate Vote: Yeas 34 Nays 21 --------------------------------------------- Senate Action House --------------------------------------------- 1/24/95 Read 1st time 2/27/95 2/21/95 Favorably Reported 3/7/95 Sub Committee Amend/Sub 2/22/95 Read 2nd Time 2/28/95 2/27/95 Read 3rd Time 3/14/95 2/27/95 Passed/Adopted 3/14/95 CS Comm/Floor Amend/Sub FA 3/14/95 Amend/Sub Agreed To 3/22/95 Sent To Governor 4/18/95 Signed by Governor V5 Act/Veto Number --------------------------------------------- Code Sections amended: 35-2-12, 42-9-15, 45-20-4, 45-25-1, 45-25-2, 45-25-3, 45-25-4
SB 13395 SB133/AP SENATE BILL 133 By: Senators Henson of the 55th, Thomas of the 10th, Stokes of the 43rd and others A BILL TO BE ENTITLED AN ACT 1- 1 To enumerate instances of permitted and prohibited political 1- 2 activity for employees of the state in the classified 1- 3 service and to provide for exceptions; to change the 1- 4 grievance system; to amend Chapter 2 of Title 45 of the 1- 5 Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public 1- 6 officers and employees, so as to change the grievance 1- 7 system for classified employees; to provide for definitions; 1- 8 to provide what employment actions shall be the subject of 1- 9 grievances; to provide for a uniform four-step grievance 1-10 filing procedure to be implemented by rules of the State 1-11 Personnel Board; to provide for monitoring, determining, and 1-12 compelling of compliance; to provide for notice to 1-13 employees, reports, mediation, appeals, group grievances, 1-14 employee spokespersons, continuances, granting of relief for 1-15 failure to provide a timely decision or response, and 1-16 termination of the grievance for failure to appeal; to 1-17 provide for a pool of certified hearing officers for 1-18 employee grievances; to prohibit relief which cannot 1-19 reasonably be granted or is unduly burdensome; to provide 1-20 for disciplinary action for retaliation, harassment, or 1-21 false or misleading information; to authorize different 1-22 procedures for unlawful discrimination complaints; to 1-23 provide for construction; to change certain duties of the 1-24 commissioner of personnel and the State Personnel Board 1-25 relating to improper political activity by state employees; 1-26 to list permitted and prohibited political activities; to 1-27 provide for rules, regulations, and penalties; to provide 1-28 an effective date; to provide for related matters; to repeal 1-29 conflicting laws; and for other purposes. 1-30 BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA: SECTION 1. 1-31 Title 45 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating 1-32 to public officers and employees, is amended by striking in 1-33 its entirety subsection (b) of Code Section 45-20-4, 1-34 relating to the commissioner of personnel administration, S. B. 133 -1- (Index) SB133/AP 2- 1 and inserting in lieu thereof a new subsection to read as 2- 2 follows: 2- 3 "(b) The duties and responsibilities of the commissioner 2- 4 shall be: 2- 5 (1) To serve as executive secretary to the board, to 2- 6 attend meetings as directed by the board, and to provide 2- 7 such professional, technical, and other supportive 2- 8 assistance as may be required by the board in the 2- 9 performance of its duties; 2-10 (2) Consistent with board policy, to administer the 2-11 operations of the state merit system and to otherwise 2-12 act in the capacity of chief executive officer of the 2-13 state personnel administration program; 2-14 (3) To submit to the Governor the rules and regulations 2-15 adopted by the State Personnel Board effectuating the 2-16 state merit system. Such merit system rules and 2-17 regulations when approved by the Governor shall have the 2-18 force and effect of law and shall be binding upon the 2-19 state departments covered by this article and shall 2-20 include provisions for the establishment and maintenance 2-21 of classification and compensation plans, the conduct of 2-22 examinations, and the establishment of registers of 2-23 persons eligible for appointment under the merit system, 2-24 the certification of eligible persons, appointments, 2-25 promotions, transfers, demotions, separations, tenure, 2-26 reinstatement, appeals, reports of performance, payroll 2-27 certification, employee training, and all other phases 2-28 of merit system administration. Except as provided by 2-29 Code Section 35-2-12 and Chapter 25 of this title, such 2-30 Such rules and regulations shall define and prohibit 2-31 improper political activity by any departmental employee 2-32 of the State Personnel Board or any employee covered 2-33 under the terms of the state merit system and shall 2-34 provide that there shall be no discrimination for or 2-35 against any person or employee in any manner, to 2-36 include, but not be limited to, hiring, discharge, 2-37 compensation, benefits, terms or conditions of 2-38 employment, promotion, job classification, transfer, 2-39 privileges, or demotion because of political 2-40 affiliation, religious affiliation, race, creed, 2-41 national origin, sex, age between 40 and 70 years, or 2-42 physical handicap. Such rules and regulations shall 2-43 conform to the minimum standards for merit systems of 2-44 personnel administration as specified by those federal S. B. 133 -2- (Index) SB133/AP 3- 1 departments from which federal funds are obtained for 3- 2 use by the several state departments covered by this 3- 3 article. Compensation plans and modifications thereto 3- 4 promulgated under the rules and regulations of the 3- 5 commissioner shall become effective as adopted upon 3- 6 approval of the director of the Office of Planning and 3- 7 Budget; 3- 8 (4) To administer the rules and regulations and all 3- 9 other operational aspects of the state merit system and 3-10 to assure compliance therewith in all the departments 3-11 covered by the state merit system; 3-12 (5) To appoint and prescribe the duties of the merit 3-13 system staff, all positions of which shall be included 3-14 in the classified service, except as otherwise provided 3-15 in this article; 3-16 (6) To establish an annual budget covering all the costs 3-17 of operating the State Merit System of Personnel 3-18 Administration including the State Personnel Board, and 3-19 the costs of administering such federal laws relating to 3-20 personnel administration as the Governor may direct 3-21 including the Intergovernmental Personnel Act of 1970, 3-22 and to determine an equitable basis of prorating the 3-23 annual costs among the several departments covered by 3-24 the State Merit System of Personnel Administration, 3-25 provided that upon approval of such budget by the 3-26 Governor, he or she shall be empowered to direct that 3-27 the necessary pro rata share of the several assessed 3-28 departments concerned be made available for expenditure 3-29 by the state merit system in the same manner as 3-30 appropriated funds are expended by other departments of 3-31 the state; 3-32 (7) To ensure compliance with all applicable state and 3-33 federal statutes and regulations concerning 3-34 discrimination in employment, personnel administration, 3-35 and related matters; 3-36 (8) To cooperate with appointing authorities in the 3-37 administration of this article in order to promote 3-38 public service and establish conditions of service which 3-39 will attract and retain employees of character and 3-40 ability and to increase efficiency and economy in 3-41 governmental departments by improving the methods of 3-42 personnel administration with full recognition of the 3-43 requirements and needs of management; and S. B. 133 -3- (Index) SB133/AP 4- 1 (9) To appoint and prescribe the duties of a deputy 4- 2 commissioner of personnel administration who shall be 4- 3 the second highest executive officer in the state merit 4- 4 system and the deputy executive secretary to the State 4- 5 Personnel Board; and to appoint and prescribe the duties 4- 6 of such other assistant commissioners of personnel 4- 7 administration as the commissioner deems appropriate. 4- 8 The deputy commissioner and the assistant commissioners 4- 9 shall be in the unclassified service and any of them 4-10 shall have the authority to perform any duty assigned to 4-11 the commissioner if delegated to them by the 4-12 commissioner." SECTION 2. 4-13 Said title is further amended by inserting a new Code 4-14 section at the end of Article 1 of Chapter 20 thereof, to be 4-15 designated Code Section 45-20-18, to read as follows: 4-16 "45-20-18. (Index) 4-17 (a) As used in this Code section, the term: 4-18 (1) 'Employee' means an employee in the classified 4-19 service as defined in paragraph (2) of Code Section 4-20 45-20-2. 4-21 (2) 'Grievance' means a claim initiated by an employee 4-22 alleging that the employee's personal employment has 4-23 been affected by adverse employment decisions or 4-24 conditions due to unfair treatment; unsafe or 4-25 unhealthful working conditions; a performance rating 4-26 which directly results in the denial of a salary 4-27 increase; erroneous or capricious interpretation or 4-28 application of department policies and procedures or the 4-29 rules of the State Personnel Board; a violation of state 4-30 or federal law; or allegations of unlawful 4-31 discrimination because of race, color, sex, national 4-32 origin, disability, age, or religious or political 4-33 opinions or affiliations. 4-34 (b) The State Personnel Board shall adopt rules regarding 4-35 employee grievances to provide for a grievance filing 4-36 procedure which shall be uniform throughout state 4-37 government for employees in the classified service. The 4-38 merit system shall monitor, determine, and compel 4-39 compliance with such grievance procedure by the 4-40 departments of state government. The commissioner of the 4-41 state merit system shall submit an annual report outlining S. B. 133 -4- (Index) SB133/AP 5- 1 departmental compliance with this Code section to the 5- 2 Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Speaker of the House of 5- 3 Representatives, House Governmental Affairs Committee, and 5- 4 Senate State and Local Governmental Operations Committee. 5- 5 (c) State Personnel Board rules shall require the 5- 6 departments to post a notice outlining the grievance 5- 7 procedures and the employee's right to file a grievance. 5- 8 (d) The rules of the State Personnel Board regarding 5- 9 employee grievances shall provide for an initial step of 5-10 filing a written grievance with the employee's 5-11 departmental personnel office. Board rules shall 5-12 incorporate the admissibility of patterns of actions 5-13 resulting in grievances. Except as provided elsewhere in 5-14 this Code section, the personnel office shall determine if 5-15 the matter is grievable. If the matter is determined to 5-16 be grievable, the personnel office shall grant the relief 5-17 requested, contest the grievance, or refer the grievance 5-18 to a trained mediator who is not an employee of the same 5-19 department as the aggrieved employee. Should mediation 5-20 fail to achieve a resolution to the grievance, the 5-21 aggrieved employee may reinstate his or her grievance at 5-22 the second step of the grievance procedure. 5-23 (e)(1) The rules of the State Personnel Board regarding 5-24 employee grievances shall provide for a second step in 5-25 the grievance procedure. After the personnel office 5-26 contests a grievance, there shall be appointed a 5-27 committee of three persons to take testimony and other 5-28 evidence regarding the grievance and issue a recommended 5-29 resolution. Supervisory employees, aggrieved employees, 5-30 participants in a group grievance, and witnesses or 5-31 other persons named or referred to in the written 5-32 grievance shall not serve on the committee. One member 5-33 of the committee shall be designated by the aggrieved 5-34 employee, and one member of the committee shall be 5-35 designated by the management official most familiar with 5-36 the grievance. The first and second members of the 5-37 committee shall be employees of the same department as 5-38 the aggrieved employee and shall work at the same 5-39 geographic location as the aggrieved employee. The third 5-40 member of the committee shall be a certified hearing 5-41 officer for employee grievances in accordance with 5-42 paragraph (3) of this subsection who is not an employee 5-43 of the same department as the grievant. The state merit 5-44 system shall provide the grievant with a list of S. B. 133 -5- (Index) SB133/AP 6- 1 certified hearing officers. The grievant shall nominate 6- 2 five persons from the pool of certified hearing 6- 3 officers, and the state merit system shall make one of 6- 4 the nominated persons available to serve as the third 6- 5 member of the committee. The third member of the 6- 6 committee shall be chairperson of the committee. 6- 7 (2) The committee selected in accordance with paragraph 6- 8 (1) of this subsection shall by majority vote adopt a 6- 9 recommended resolution for the grievance. A written 6-10 statement of the committee's recommended resolution 6-11 shall be provided to the aggrieved employee and the 6-12 management of the state employer. If there is no timely 6-13 appeal of the committee's recommended resolution, the 6-14 resolution shall be implemented. 6-15 (3) The rules of the State Personnel Board shall provide 6-16 for the establishment of a pool of certified hearing 6-17 officers for employee grievances and a selection process 6-18 for the hearing officer pool which ensures a balance of 6-19 nonmanagement and management employees and which 6-20 includes a procedure for self-nomination. To be 6-21 certified as hearing officers for employee grievances, 6-22 selected candidates shall successfully complete a 6-23 training course and meet any other certification 6-24 requirements established by the state merit system. 6-25 (f) Step three of the grievance procedure provided in the 6-26 rules of the State Personnel Board shall allow an appeal 6-27 to the head of the department or such person's designee by 6-28 either the aggrieved employee or a representative of 6-29 management after receiving the written statement of the 6-30 committee's recommended resolution. The final agency 6-31 decision on the grievance shall be provided in writing to 6-32 the aggrieved employee and management. 6-33 (g) The grievant may file an appeal of an alleged 6-34 violation of the board's rules, excluding the factual 6-35 findings and substance of the grievance, to the State 6-36 Personnel Board following notification of the final agency 6-37 decision. 6-38 (h) The rules of the State Personnel Board shall provide 6-39 for group grievances and shall allow another employee of 6-40 the same department to act as the grievant's spokesperson. 6-41 The grievant and the spokesperson shall each be granted, 6-42 during regular work hours and without loss of pay or 6-43 credits, up to four hours preparation time per grievance. S. B. 133 -6- (Index) SB133/AP 7- 1 No employee shall be entitled to or provided more than 16 7- 2 hours of preparation time in any calendar year to pursue 7- 3 an individual grievance or serve as a spokesperson. 7- 4 (i) The rules of the board shall establish a time period 7- 5 for response, decision, or recommendation and appeal for 7- 6 each step of the grievance procedure. 7- 7 (j) At any step in the process, if the aggrieved employee 7- 8 fails to file an appeal within the time period specified, 7- 9 the grievance process shall be terminated. At any step of 7-10 the process, if the recommendation is not rendered within 7-11 specified time frames, the employee may notify the 7-12 commissioner in writing that established time frames have 7-13 not been met. In this event, the commissioner shall 7-14 notify in writing the affected department head who shall 7-15 provide appropriate relief within five business days. 7-16 Relief which cannot be reasonably granted by the 7-17 department or which imposes an undue burden or significant 7-18 financial cost upon the department or upon state 7-19 government shall not be granted at any step of the 7-20 process. The department may apply for and the 7-21 commissioner may grant continuances for unforeseen 7-22 contingencies. 7-23 (k) Any state officer, supervisor, management 7-24 representative, or employee who knowingly supplies false 7-25 or misleading information in a grievance or who attempts 7-26 to harass, intimidate, or retaliate against any employee, 7-27 state officer, supervisor, or management representative as 7-28 a result of the action in filing or processing a grievance 7-29 or providing testimony or evidence regarding a grievance 7-30 shall be subject to disciplinary action, including 7-31 dismissal from employment. 7-32 (l) Departments may institute procedures designed 7-33 specifically for unlawful discrimination complaints and 7-34 may process grievances alleging unlawful discrimination 7-35 according to such procedures or according to the grievance 7-36 procedure provided for in this Code section. State 7-37 Personnel Board rules shall require that the grievant in 7-38 such cases be given an opportunity to provide information 7-39 relative to the complaint and, upon request, to receive 7-40 information regarding the status of the complaint. At the 7-41 conclusion of the investigation, the employee will be 7-42 notified in writing of the decision and of any available 7-43 alternatives. S. B. 133 -7- (Index) SB133/AP 8- 1 (m) The State Personnel Board shall adopt rules to 8- 2 implement the provisions of this Code section pertaining 8- 3 to, but not limited to, nongrievable matters, group 8- 4 grievances, mediation, training requirements of persons 8- 5 associated with the grievance process, and necessary 8- 6 reporting procedures and requirements. 8- 7 (n) This Code section shall not be construed to grant to 8- 8 any employee a right or cause of action against the state 8- 9 or any department, authority, commission, bureau, agency, 8-10 board, or political subdivision of the state not otherwise 8-11 granted by law or to require, cause, or permit the state 8-12 to enter into any contract not otherwise authorized by law 8-13 or to recognize any third party as an authorized 8-14 bargaining representative for any employee or group of 8-15 employees. The state shall not incur any legal liability 8-16 in the administration of the grievance procedure provided 8-17 in this Code section. This Code section shall not be 8-18 construed to limit or abrogate any remedy or relief 8-19 otherwise available or authorized by law." SECTION 3. 8-20 Said title is further amended by inserting a new chapter to 8-21 be designated Chapter 25, to read as follows: "CHAPTER 25 8-22 45-25-1. (Index) 8-23 Improper political activities by employees in the 8-24 classified service of the state are prohibited. The State 8-25 Personnel Board shall adopt rules governing permitted and 8-26 prohibited political activity which do not conflict with 8-27 this chapter or Code Section 35-2-12 and provide penalties 8-28 for prohibited political activities by employees in the 8-29 classified service. 8-30 45-25-2. (Index) 8-31 The following political activities for employees in the 8-32 classified service are permitted: 8-33 (1) Registering to vote; 8-34 (2) Voting; 8-35 (3) Assisting in voter registration drives; 8-36 (4) Running for or holding an elective or appointive 8-37 office of a political subdivision of this state or any 8-38 other state or any elective or appointive office of a S. B. 133 -8- (Index) SB133/AP 9- 1 political party or political organization, provided such 9- 2 an office is not full time and does not conflict with 9- 3 the performance of the individual's official duties as a 9- 4 state employee; 9- 5 (5) Expressing opinions regarding candidates and issues; 9- 6 (6) Contributing money to political organizations; 9- 7 (7) Attending political fundraising functions; 9- 8 (8) Attending and participating in political rallies and 9- 9 meetings; 9-10 (9) Joining and being an active member of a political 9-11 party or club; 9-12 (10) Signing nominating petitions; 9-13 (11) Campaigning for or against referendum questions, 9-14 constitutional amendments, and municipal ordinances; 9-15 (12) Campaigning for or against candidates in partisan 9-16 elections; 9-17 (13) Making campaign speeches for candidates in partisan 9-18 elections; and 9-19 (14) Distributing campaign literature in partisan 9-20 elections. 9-21 45-25-3. (Index) 9-22 Employees in the classified service shall not engage in 9-23 the following political activities: 9-24 (1) Using their official authority or influence to 9-25 interfere with an election; 9-26 (2) Collecting political contributions from state 9-27 employees; 9-28 (3) Knowingly soliciting or discouraging the political 9-29 activity of any person who has business with the agency 9-30 employing the employee; 9-31 (4) Engaging in political activity or wearing political 9-32 buttons while on duty; 9-33 (5) Engaging in political activity in any government 9-34 office; 9-35 (6) Engaging in political activity while wearing an 9-36 official uniform of a state agency; S. B. 133 -9- (Index) SB133/AP 10- 1 (7) Engaging in political activity while using a 10- 2 government vehicle or in a vehicle for which the state 10- 3 is paying transportation mileage; 10- 4 (8) Soliciting political contributions from the general 10- 5 public; 10- 6 (9) Running for or holding any elective state office of 10- 7 this state or any other state or running for or holding 10- 8 elective civil office of the federal government; or 10- 9 (10) Supporting or opposing the election of any 10-10 candidate for an elective office which has general or 10-11 specific supervisory or managerial authority over such 10-12 employee. 10-13 45-25-4. (Index) 10-14 This chapter shall not apply to employees of the Secretary 10-15 of State whose duties relate to elections, employees of 10-16 the Department of Public Safety, employees of the Georgia 10-17 Bureau of Investigation, employees of the Board of Pardons 10-18 and Paroles, or administrative law judges. For classified 10-19 employees in such departments or work units, improper 10-20 political activity shall be defined and prohibited by the 10-21 rules and regulations promulgated by the State Personnel 10-22 Board." SECTION 4. 10-23 (a) Section 2 of this Act shall become effective on 10-24 January 1, 1996. 10-25 (b) Except as provided in subsection (a) of this section, 10-26 this Act shall become effective on July 1, 1995. SECTION 5. 10-27 All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are 10-28 repealed. S. B. 133 -10- (Index)

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