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Human Resources Department

Engineers and Scientists of California (ESC)

2023 - 2026 ESC Memorandum of Understanding: Article 12: Employee Rights and Benefits

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What’s on this Page

  • 12.1 Employee Records
  • 12.2 Personal Property Reimbursement
  • 12.3 Rest Periods
  • 12.4 Meal Periods
  • 12.5 Non-Discrimination

Read Next: Article 13: Compensation Benefits

12.1 Employee Records

  1. Employee Performance Evaluation
    The County reserves the right to determine the method, the means and the timing or necessity for employee performance evaluations, subject only to the following provisions:  An employee shall be formally evaluated at least annually by the employee’s immediate supervisor.  However, an employee who is at Step I of the salary range may, at the discretion of the supervisor, be formally evaluated at least bi-annually. Evaluation factors shall be job-related. Performance deficiencies, if any and necessary corrective actions will be documented in formal evaluations.  Evaluations shall include space for employee comments and additional employee comments may be attached. Employees shall have thirty (30) calendar days after receipt to submit their response to their supervisor.

    Performance evaluations are intended to accurately reflect an employee’s performance, including areas that are done well, and shall not be punitive.  Any areas identified as needing improvement shall include specific feedback.

    Performance evaluations of only full-time and part-time employees which deny a merit salary increase or have an overall rating of unsatisfactory may be grieved through the Third Step of the Grievance Procedure established under this Memorandum for a final decision.
  2. Personnel File – Inspection of
    County and Union agree that the official personnel records are not subject to public inspection except in accordance with law. Except as restricted by law or provided below, employees shall have the right to inspect and review their official personnel record (relating to their performance as an employee which is kept or maintained by the County). Information, records, and materials separately kept by the employee’s supervisor are not part of the official personnel file and have no official standing by themselves in disciplinary actions.  Supervisory notes and informal correspondence are not to be entered into the employee’s official personnel file until they have been seen and signed by the employee or witnessed that the employee has been given a copy for review.

    Supervisory notes and informal correspondence not placed into the employee’s official personnel file shall be destroyed three (3) years after the date they were created.
  3. Employee Response
    The County shall provide an opportunity for the employee to respond in writing to any information placed in their official personnel record.  An employee shall have thirty (30) calendar days, exclusive of previously scheduled leave, from the receipt of the notification (notification shall contain a copy of the documents to be entered) to submit their response. The response shall become a permanent part of the employee’s official personnel record. The response shall fully describe the circumstances surrounding the issue(s) and it shall include a statement of facts, supportive documentation, and/or witnesses. The employee shall be responsible for providing to their supervisor the written response to be included as part of the employee’s permanent personnel record.
  4. Employee Review
    The contents of employee personnel records shall be made available to the employee for inspection and review at reasonable intervals during the regular business hours of the County.
  5. Personnel File – That Cannot be Reviewed
    Notwithstanding any other provisions of this Section (12.1), the County and the Union agree that an employee is not entitled to inspect, review, or copy such documents as reference letters, background investigations, and records pertaining to investigation of a possible criminal offense.
  6. Personnel File – Consent for Union Representative to Review
    Should an employee wish to have a union representative review the employee’s own personnel records, the employee will provide the union representative with a signed letter indicating the employee’s consent to have the employee’s records reviewed. The union representative shall present said consent letter to the employee’s appointing authority, or designated representative, prior to reviewing the employee’s records. The appointing authority shall keep the official personnel records of all employees within the department.
  7. Personnel File – Review of Adverse Comments Before Entry in
    No employee shall have any comment adverse to the employee’s interest entered in the employee’s official personnel records file which may be used for disciplinary action without the employee having first read and signed, or initialed the document containing the adverse comment.  Except that such entry may be made if after reading the document, the employee refuses to sign or initial it. The employee shall have thirty (30) calendar days from receipt to file a response. Should an employee refuse to sign or initial the document, that fact shall be noted on the document and signed or initialed by the supervisor. In the event an employee is not available due to resignation, termination, or leave of absence longer than thirty (30) days, to read and sign or initial the document, a copy of the document with a notation stating “cc: Personnel File” will be mailed to the employee’s last known address. For purposes of this Section, “adverse” shall refer to comments critical of any aspect of the employee’s performance of job duties.
  8. Personnel File – Copy of
    All personnel records are and remain the property of the County. At the employee’s request, the employee shall be provided one copy of any document placed in the employee’s file. An employee must specify the documents which are requested for copying and shall pay the standard County copying fee.

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12.2 Personal Property Reimbursement

Upon recommendation of the appointing authority, the County, in accordance with Government Code #53240, shall provide for payment of the costs of replacing or repairing property or prosthesis of an employee, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, watches, or articles of clothing necessarily worn or carried by the employee when any such items are lost or damaged in the line of duty without negligence by employee.  If the items are damaged beyond repair, the actual value of such items may be paid. The value of such items shall be determined as of the time of the loss thereof or damage thereto in accordance with the Personal Property Claims Guide as provided by Board of Supervisors Resolution No. 56420, dated January 18, 1977.

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12.3 Rest Periods

Each Department Head shall grant rest periods to employees, except where unusual operational demands prevent a rest break.  Rest breaks will not be unreasonably or consistently denied.  Rest period shall not exceed fifteen (15) minutes in any four (4) consecutive hours of work and shall be considered as time worked.

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12.4 Meal Periods

Employees shall be granted a duty-free meal period during each work shift that exceeds six (6) consecutive hours. The duration of the meal period may be not less than thirty (30) minutes nor greater than sixty (60) minutes and will be scheduled as near to the middle of the work shift as reasonably possible. Different meal periods may be assigned to different work units in the same County department or division. Duty-free meal periods shall not be considered as time worked. In those special circumstances where the County determines a duty-free meal period is not appropriate with the delivery of efficient and productive services to the public, as determined by the appointing authority, the employee shall be assigned to a non-duty free meal period which shall be considered time worked. If the County plans to take action under this Subsection, the department shall give the affected employee(s) advance written notice and provide an opportunity for the affected employee(s) to discuss the issue with the appointing authority before final action is taken.

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12.5 Non-Discrimination

Provisions of this Memorandum shall be equally applied to all employees in the unit without unlawful discrimination as to age, sex, race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition (cancer-related), marital status, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. The parties agree that the prohibition against sexual discrimination includes sexual harassment. The Union and the County shall equally share the responsibility of the application of this provision. An employee alleging unlawful discrimination may use the County’s Equal Employment Opportunity Discrimination Complaint Procedure by contacting the Affirmative Action Coordinator, located in the Human Resources Department, but may not use the Grievance Procedure of this Memorandum.

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