Employee Assistance Program

Professional counselors to help with issues of anger, marriage, depression, and addiction.

Consumer debt issues - consult with a financial advisor.

Legal questions - confer with an attorney.

Career concerns - support to improve and enhance.

Confidentiality - your privacy is fully protected.

 

Douglas County Employee Wellness

Building a Culture of Health at Work.

Administrative Responsibilities


ADMINISTRATION OF PERSONNEL RULES AND POLICIES
For purposes of efficient and effective management of human resources, the County operates within a uniform system called the Douglas County Personnel Rules. These rules have been adopted by the Board of Commissioners. The system governs promotion, transfer, layoff, removal and discipline of employees. The Human Resources Director is responsible for administering the County personnel policies. Questions directed to Human Resources will be responded to in the same business day.

Human Resources is also responsible for coordinating changes in the Personnel Rules. Employees may submit suggested changes with supporting documentation to the Board through the Human Resources Director. The Director will research the proposal, request input from elected officials, department heads, and other employees and make a recommendation to the Board. Except in emergency situations, proposed changes will be posted for thirty days to allow interested employees and opportunity to provide further input. When the rules are periodically reprinted, the adopted changes will be incorporated and new copies distributed. During the interim, policy memos on a standard format will be used to document changes.

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
The Human Resources (HR) Director serves as the County’s Affirmative Action Officer. The Director is responsible for ensuring all employees and job applicants are treated equally in matters of County employment, programs and activities without regard to a person’s race, color, religion, national origin, gender, or age. In conjunction, the County also does not discriminate on the basis of disabling status in admission or access to employment, programs and activities.

Douglas County’s Affirmative Action Policy may be found in Douglas County Personnel Rule #24.3. Click here for Douglas County's Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Resolution document. Any questions or concerns about affirmative action can be directed to the HR Director. You may email the HR Director at or call 541-440-4405 during regular business hours.

COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AND CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION
The HR Director tracks contract timeframes and prepares and coordinates the bargaining process with relevant departments. Human Resources performs all record keeping, administrative functions and policy roles associated with collective bargaining. Human Resources is responsible for contract interpretations and will work to advise departments on any contract administration issues. Human Resources acts as liaison to the union as requested by the respective department head.

COMPENSATION
The compensation structure of Douglas County is typical of governmental agencies. Predetermined salary ranges are assigned to each classification. Generally, each salary range has a minimum and maximum salary, with steps within the range. The ranges reflect the relative responsibilities of the classification, availability of labor, prevailing rates of pay (sometimes referred to as market comparison) and financial conditions of the County.

Human Resources will periodically, and upon request on a time available basis, review salaries for positions or for classifications. Department Heads may make their written requests for a salary review of a position to Human Resources. Normally, this action occurs in conjunction with the budgeting process. Appropriate forms will be sent to the employee through the department head and, upon their return on a time available basis, review will begin. Particular attention will be given to both internal comparisons and market pricing of jobs.

Human Resources recommends to the Board annual adjustments and, through collective bargaining, negotiates adjustments for bargaining unit employees. Upon request by department heads, the Human Resources Department may make recommendations on exceptional increases, hires above step, and review of incentive programs of interest to department heads.

The compensation and pay plans are updated, printed and distributed annually.

COMPLIANCE REPORTING
Employment related compliance reporting required by regulatory agencies is completed by Human Resources. As the employers’ representative, we are required to complete:

  1. A state and Local Government Information EEO Survey that gathers data about the department, job, and employee. Names of employees are not used in this report. This information is placed on the personnel system, along with the rest of the employee’s information, and
  2. OSHA requires information relation to on-the-job injuries and accidents to be entered on an OSHA log. Annually, in February, this log is completed and sent to be posted for that month. The log is available in Human Resources for inspection at any time by OSHA. In conjunction with the OSHA report, Human Resources is responsible for preparing various Bureau of Labor reports.

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE SERVICE

EMPLOYEE BENEFITS
The County’s employee benefit program consists of: vacation and sick leave, holidays, retirement, and medical, vision, dental and life insurance.   Supplemental benefits are also available to employees such as deferred compensation, short-term disability and other insurance.

Personnel rules 8 and 9 discuss holiday, vacation and sick accruals and leaves.  For specific interpretations or alternatives, email Human Resources at   or call 541-440-4405 during regular business hours.

Human Resources works with an Employee Benefits Committee in designing a health benefit package to best meet employees' needs.  Human Resources is actively involved in the request for bids process when new carriers are contemplated and serves as liaison between the Board of Commissioners and the committee.

Visit our Insurance Eligibility/Options page on our web site for an explanation of the benefit package.  This is not a complete description of plan benefits or exclusions. For further information, consult the plan booklet(s), call the carrier(s) directly, or email Human Resources at   or call 541-440-4405 during regular business hours.

Due to the nature of insurance, changes frequently happen. Human Resources will update you with new inserts and pages to plan booklets as often as needed.

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS
Human Resources will work with supervisors to help correct performance issues.  Human Resources will offer a neutral point-of-view and help develop an individualized strategy to effectively deal with each issue.  This role might be as a mediator, through work planning exercises, referral to employee assistance service, or working with employees to help them find other positions that better match their personal qualifications.

LIBRARY
Human Resources has available a library of books, magazines, audio cassettes and videos on various employment-related subjects including health and wellness, recruitment and selection, management, on-the-job training skills, self-helps, risk management, and safety subjects.  These materials are available to be checked out.  Human Resources also has available, a one-piece, portable VCR television unit that can be used when showing County training videos.  The VCR is available for use by departments on a check out basis.

NEW EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION
The Human Resources Department conducts a monthly orientation session for employees hired during the preceding month.  An invitation is sent monthly to departments with the names of those employees scheduled to attend.   Orientation is an opportunity for the new employee to meet the Human Resources staff with whom they will deal for everything from insurance to general policy.  At orientation, each employee will receive a copy of the County Personnel Rules, a brief introduction to the County and the answers to general questions they have.  A typical orientation session would include:

1. Overall County Organization

County History
Board of Commissioners
Personnel Rules
Classification Specifications
Salary Systems
Transfer, Promotions

2. General Information

Parking
Credit Union
On-the-job Accidents
Grievance Procedures and Confidentiality

3. County Policies

Conflict of Interest
Affirmative action
Sexual Harassment
Drug-free Workplace

4. Benefits

Insurance
Vacation and Sick Leave Accrual
Holidays
Public Employees Retirement Systems (PERS)
Employment Assistance Service (EAS)

The orientation is designed to be conducted in two parts.   The individual department will provide information as to specific operating policies and procedures within the department.  This would most likely be done within the first week of employment.  Because Human Resource's discussion with new employees deals with generalities, we encourage employees to check with their supervisor or department head for specific department policies and procedures.

PERFORMANCE COUNSELING
If good faith efforts toward correcting performance issues fail, Human Resources is available to advise supervisors, effectively document and correct performance discrepancies.  This includes, but is not limited to, drafting letters to employees for department head signature, counseling with the employee, mediation between employee and supervisor, liaison with the union if appropriate and referral to employee assistance program.

In disciplinary actions that may involve suspension, demotion or dismissal, the Human Resources Director must be contacted.  The Human Resources Director must be consulted before initiating termination.

PERSONNEL FILES
Human Resources maintains personnel files of current and former County employees.  The file in Human resources is considered the general file and contains: original employment application, copies of all Personnel Action Forms (PAF"s), and employment related correspondence.  ~The file maintained by the employing department is considered the official file and contains: performance evaluations, copies of PAF’s, disciplinary material and correspondence.~

When an employee terminates County employment, departments must send the departmental personnel file to Human Resources and it will be merged with the Human Resources’ files and stored for future use as the complete and official personnel record.  Periodically, these closed files are microfilmed or digitally imaged.

 POSITION CLASSIFICATION ANALYSIS
The county utilizes a position classification plan that is maintained by Human Resources.  The primary purpose of a classification system are:

  • to serve in the recruitment and selection of qualified personnel,

  • to serve as a tool in our compensation plan furnishing benchmark classifications providing equal pay for equal work,

  • to serve as a management tool in organization of employees to meet department goals and objectives.

Upon request, and on a time available basis, Human Resources will review positions for appropriate position classification assignment.  Human Resources will also assist departments in establishing appropriate classifications for new positions or positions affected by reorganization.  Generally, classification review requests for both existing and new positions will be handled in conjunction with the annual budget process. When a department head determines there have been significant changes to a position, either by increased or decreased responsibilities and assignment of duties, a request to conduct a position classification review can be submitted to Human Resources.  The request for review can be in memo form. The appropriate forms necessary for Human Resources to study the position will be sent to the requesting department.  The forms used FOR review a position are:

  • a position description questionnaire, to be completed by the employee filling the position or, if a new position, the supervisor,

  • classification review request, to be completed by department head.

This same procedure is also true prior to requesting approval of anew position.  Recruitment's for newly approved positions will start after all classification work is conducted by Human Resources.

  • Upon receiving these forms, they are reviewed for internal comparability in areas of:

  • the kind of work performed - purpose of the position,

  • level of responsibility - judgment used,

  • Degree of supervision needed and given, and

  • Knowledge, experience and training necessary to perform duties.

Human Resources may conduct a "job audit" with the employee, and talk to the supervisor and department head concerning the functions of the position.  Comparisons with similar positions will be made both within the County classification system and pre-selected comparative Oregon counties.

Human Resources will prepare an Evaluation Statement summarizing the review process.  This statement contains background and history of the position, classification series determination and the conclusion of the review, including the recommendation of Human Resources.

Human Resources will then meet with the department head, presenting results of the study.  If Human Resources and the department head are in agreement, the department head signs the Evaluation Statement, notifies the employee of the results and, if a change in classification is proposed, processes the personnel action form.  It then is presented to the Board through the budget process

If there is a disagreement between Human Resources and the department head and/or the employee, we attempt to resolve the disagreement.  This could entail further "job audits," requesting more supportive information from either the department or employee and further surveys.  If we are still unable to come to agreement, the department head and/or employee can submit the proposal to the Board for their consideration and final determination.

In order to maintain standard language, formal position classification specifications are written and maintained by Human Resources.  When there are changes to a position that affect the specification, Human Resources will update the written specification.  Department heads with employees in those classifications are contacted for their input to the updates.

In conclusion, we want to emphasize that position classification is concerned with the duties and responsibilities required of positions.   It does not measure employee’s ability, personal qualifications or performance level.  Further, when conducting a classification review, the following are not considered: length of employment with the County, unusual personal qualifications, personality, volume of work, efficiency or inefficiency, unusual diligence or overtime, or staff shortages.  These issues relate more to performance evaluation or other Human Resources functions and are more appropriately handled in that realm.

RECRUITMENT SCREENING AND SELECTION
Some aspects of the recruitment and selection process are centralized, others are decentralized, depending on the particular circumstances worked out between Human Resources and the recruiting department.

The Human Resources Department is responsible for EEOC and AA reporting and for compliance with the Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection and various civil rights statutes and Presidential Executive Orders.  Additionally, the Human Resources Department is charged by the Board of Commissioners to aid in departments in hiring the most qualified people available.   To this end, some of the processes are centralized.

When departments have vacancies, Human Resources will discuss and advise on various recruitment strategies.  We will place all necessary advertisements and collect applications.  Upon request, we will screen applications using various techniques, defend the process and respond to inquiries from applicants.   Human Resources will assist in developing appropriate tests and structure an appropriate interview and selection process and assist with interviews.  On a time available basis, we will do background investigations/reference checks and will always be available to coach department personnel in appropriate and effective selection procedures.  Click here for Selection and Recruitment Process and Forms.

Human Resources also believes in significant line department involvement in the recruitment and selection process and believes that, through its quality involvement, results can be greatly enhanced.

RISK MANAGEMENT COORDINATION
Workers’ compensation, safety, property and casualty.

Workers’ compensation.  Human Resources will work with each department to help them understand the correct procedure to follow if an on-the-job injury or accident occurs. Click here for an On The Job Injury Report. The Risk Manager in Human Resources is to be notified as soon as possible when an accident occurs and will aid the department with the required paperwork internal investigation and can act as a liaison with the injured employee and medical providers.  Human Resources will assist with a return-to work program.

Safety.  Any safety concerns should be directed to the Safety Manager, who serves as the County Safety Officer.  The Safety Manager serves as liaison between the Central Safety Committee and the Board of Commissioners.  Because certain safety functions are centrally administered through the Safety Manager, that person arranges for safety audits, instructs department heads in safety procedures, coordinates the functions of safety committees and otherwise researches and reports on safety issues and concerns.

Liability, Property Damage and Automobile. The Risk Manager will instruct departments in County policy and procedures and assist legal counsel and claims administrator in the preparation of cases.  The Risk Manager is to be notified as soon as possible when an accident occurs involving damage to the public, and will aid the department with the required paperwork and internal investigation.  The Risk Manager may act as a liaison with the public and the County’s claims administrator.

SPECIAL PROJECTS
From time to time, Human Resources is assigned special projects by the Board of Commissioners.  These have been coordination of annual blood drive, annual United Way campaign, Christmas food drive and summer employment of the students through UT&E. Other assignments have been to conduct one-of-a-kind surveys, research, presentations, etc.

Human Resources will, on a time-available basis assist departments with other human resource-related special projects.

TRAINING
Human Resources will arrange for in-house/on site training where it is affordable at the request of the department head.  Human Resources will also conduct training or arrange for in-house training in areas that are appropriate.

Human Resources also posts fliers of local training in the main lobby of the Courthouse.  (Local being defined as within the Northwest region)   All seminars presented by Career Tracks, Skill Path, the Prior Group, etc available upon request.

>Currently, Douglas County belongs to the Douglas County Employers Council (DCEC). DCEC brings quality, low-cost training to the Umpqua Valley area. Training opportunities are organized through the Human Resources Department.  If your department has any suggestions for training, please email Human Resources at   or call 541-440-4405 during regular business hours.

Learning Partnership between Douglas County and Columbia Southern University - Through a partnership with Columbia Southern University (CSU), Douglas County employees, their spouses and children can take advantage of CSU's low tuition rate, receive a 10% tuition discount, AND a free application process.  Click here for brief description of program                     Click here to read more about our partnership with CSU and how you can participate!  http://www.columbiasouthern.edu/alliances/partners/partner.asp?corpid=douglascounty_or          (Partnership approved by the Board of Commissioners in 07/30/08 public meeting.)

  Click here for current training opportunities.

UNEMPLOYMENT
The criteria used by the State of Oregon Employment Division in determining if an employee is eligible for Unemployment Benefits is "did the employee voluntarily quit with good cause or was the employee discharged for misconduct?"

The County is charged for all unemployment claims paid by the Employment Office and, therefore, has a public interest responsibility to challenge any claim where the employee was discharged for misconduct. Incidents when a temporary employee is laid off or an employee quits to relocate with his or her family are considered a "voluntary quit with good cause" and Human Resources does not appeal any decisions for benefits.  If an employee quits to go to another job, or if no reason is given, or if the employee is discharged for reasons of misconduct on the job, Human Resources will appeal any decision for benefits.

Human Resources involvement starts when the ex-employee files with the local Employment Division office for unemployment benefits.  The local office will examine the employee’s reason for leaving and verify it with Human Resources.  When an administrative decision is issued from the local office it either grants or denies benefits.  If the decision is to grant benefits , the County may appeal the decision or if it is a denial of benefits, the ex-employee may appeal the decision.  If an appeal is requested, the issue will go to a hearing.  This is usually either a telephone hearing or one held at the local office.  At this time, both sides will present their case and documentation (evidence).  Witnesses may be used.  The Hearings Referee will issue a decision soon thereafter.  If either side is still unsatisfied, they may appeal that decision to the Employment Appeals Board.   If a satisfactory decision cannot be reached, the final step is the Court of Appeals.  Human Resources will request County Counsel consider appealing cases to the Employment Appeals Board and then on to the Court of Appeals when we feel a damaging precedent would otherwise be set.

Department’s and Human Resources’ responsibility for unemployment claims

As with any employment termination, whether voluntary or involuntary, it should be documented.  If the employee quits giving two weeks notice to go to work for another employer, you need to ask that employee to put that resignation in writing.  If you are terminating an employee, that employee’s personnel folder needs to reflect any verbal warnings regarding job performance, any disciplinary action, and any letters of suspension or termination.  Any recommendations that an employee seek help through the Employee Assistance Service should also be noted.  In summary, any documentation that shows that the employee is being terminated for cause should be in the folder.

Often Human Resources will need to call you and verify reasons for termination or for the employee’s resignation.  Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.  Without it, the hand of Human Resources can be tied in the Employment Division’s process and hearings.

Should the County or the ex-employee appeal the administrative decision, Human Resources will represent the County in the hearing.  Human Resources will need any copies of documentation and may call supervisors or co-workers as witnesses for the County.  However, Counsel will not be able to introduce any new evidence to the Court.  Any documentation or witnesses must be introduced to the Hearings level to be admissible at a later date.  Thus, once again, your cooperation is needed from the beginning to make the process effective. During 1990, careful monitoring of Unemployment Benefits claims saved the County potential charges of over $20,000.

In summary, Unemployment payments come out of the County’s Benefit Trust Fund.  In order to protect the County, communication with Human Resources and documentation are the best ways to handle it.