Bexar County Seal
Bexar County Department of Human Resources

Civil Service Commission Rules and Regulations

  1. 7.6.01 Introduction
  2. 7.6.02 Application of Civil Services Rules
  3. 7.6.03 Office and Department Policies
  4. 7.6.04 Criteria for Declaring a Position Sensitive and Exempt
  5. 7.6.05 Changes in Civil Service Status
  6. 7.6.06 Probation Periods
  7. 7.6.07 Posting Requirements for Vacancies
  8. 7.6.08 Certification of Position Descriptions
  9. 7.6.09 Reasons for Discipline
  10. 7.6.10 Progressive Discipline
  11. 7.6.11 Disciplinary Actions
  12. 7.6.12 Investigative Administrative Leave
  13. 7.6.13 Personal Grievances
  14. 7.6.14 Suspension, Demotion or Termination - Appeal and Hearing
  15. 7.6.15 Fitness for Duty Evaluation

Policy No. 7.6.01
Introduction

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Revised: Adopted May 24, 2012
Effective June 8, 2012

Civil Service Commission

Chapter 7.6 contains the Rules and Regulations of the Bexar County Civil Service Commission (“the Civil Service Rules and Regulations”). The Bexar County Civil Service Commission (“the Commission”) was established September 15, 1971 pursuant to chapter 158 of the Texas Local Government Code for the purpose of developing and enforcing rules regarding the selection and employment of Bexar County employees.

The Civil Service Rules and Regulations apply to employees of all Bexar County offices and departments that are not specifically excluded by statute or by the Commission. The Civil Service Rules and Regulations shall apply from the time of its adoption in all instances in which the Commission has jurisdiction. Any changes, deletions or additions to the Civil Service Rules and Regulations may be made by the Commission in accordance with its rule-changing provisions. The Commission is responsible for interpreting its rules consistent with applicable law.

The Civil Service Rules and Regulations will be available to all employees on the Bexar County Intranet and Internet, and a printed copy of the Rules and Regulations will be maintained by Human Resources.

Change of Rules

These rules may be amended, repealed or supplemented by the Commission at any time and new rules may be adopted. Notice of such action shall be issued ten (10) business days prior to any action by the Commission to amend, repeal, or supplement any of these rules or to adopt new rules. The notice will include the time and place for the public hearing on the proposed actions. Copies of the notice and of the proposed changes or new rules shall be posted in Human Resources, and elsewhere as the Commission deems advisable. Copies of the notice and proposed actions shall be forwarded to County offices or departments, associations/unions upon request, and made available to the public for inspection upon request.

The Commission, after public hearing, may take action on the proposed changes or new rules and such changes or new rules may be adopted by a majority vote. The Commission has the discretion to adopt new rules and proposed amendments, postpone adoption until further review and/or changes, or decline to add or amend rules.

All rules and amendments adopted shall become effective the next business day following approval by the Commission.


Policy No. 7.6.02
Application of Civil Service Rules and Regulations

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Revised: Adopted May 24, 2012
Effective June 8, 2012

The rules and regulations in this Chapter are established pursuant to Chapter 158 of the Texas Local Government Code and apply to all County employees who are designated by state law with civil service status.

While the Civil Service Rules and Regulations do not apply to employees in positions that are not covered by state law or positions specifically excluded by the Commission, these rules may serve as guidelines in developing individual discipline and conduct policies and procedures.

Coverage for Deputy Constables. Deputy Constables are covered under these Rules and Regulations.

Temporary positions. Employees filling temporary positions within the County do not obtain civil service status.

Positions Not Covered By Law

The following employees are not covered under the Civil Service Commission, pursuant to Chapter 158 of the Texas Local Government Code:

The following employees are also not covered by law under the Civil Service Commission.

Positions Excluded by Civil Service

A number of positions have been declared sensitive by Commissioners Court and thereafter excluded from Civil Service coverage by the Commission. Complete listings of these positions will be maintained by the Civil Service Director and are available at Human Resources.


Policy No. 7.6.03
Office and Department Policies

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

The Commission recognizes that offices and departments may need to supplement the Civil Service Rules and Regulations with more specific policies and procedures for each individual office or department. The office or department covered by civil service must prepare and submit the proposed department policies and procedures to the Commission for review and approval to assure that they do not conflict with any established rules or regulations of the Commission. The office or department policies and procedures are effective only after approval by the Commission during open session in accordance with the Texas Open Meeting Act.

After Commission approval, each office or department shall furnish each employee a copy of the appropriate approved policies and procedures. The appropriate approved policies and procedures shall also be provided to each new employee.

The Commission requires that office or department policies and procedures include notice that a violation of the policies and procedures by an employee may be cause for appropriate disciplinary action, and that any disciplinary action taken may be in addition to any penalties prescribed by law.


Policy No. 7.6.04
Sensitive and Excluded Positions

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Revised: Adopted May 24, 2012
Effective June 8, 2012

An office or department may seek to declare a position sensitive and then have the position excluded from civil service coverage. This requires the following two-step process:

  1. Commissioners Court and the County Manager may declare a position sensitive. Therefore, the office or department must first provide to Commissioners Court or to the County Manager a request to designate a position sensitive along with supporting written justification based on the applicable criteria as outlined below.
  2. If approved by Commissioners Court or the County Manager, the office or department must then present their request to the Commission for approval to exclude the sensitive position from civil service coverage, citing the applicable criteria as outlined below.

Criteria for Declaring a Position Sensitive

Commissioners Court1 has adopted the following criteria for considering whether a position should be declared sensitive:

  1. The position reports directly to a board, elected or appointed official, or department head.
  2. The position acts autonomously and operates on a regular basis with a minimum of supervision, based on direction from a board, elected or appointed official, or department head.
  3.  The position is responsible for a division within a department or a department within an office.
  4. Discretion in decision-making is vital on a regular and constant basis.
  5. The board, elected/appointed official or department head holds this position to a higher level of trust and confidentiality because of the involvement in various aspects of their administration, including but not limited to: policy development and implementation, delivery of service to the citizens of Bexar County or long range vision and planning.

Positions Typically Qualified To Be Excluded From Civil Service

The Commission has typically identified Executive and Manager Positions with the following job duties to be excluded:

Executive

Manager


1 The Criteria for Declaring a Position sensitive and excluded from Civil Service was adopted by the Bexar County Civil Service Commission on April 30, 2001 and by Commissioners Court on January 29, 2002.


Policy No. 7.6.05
Change in Civil Service Status

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Revised: Adopted May 24, 2012
Effective June 8, 2012

Retaining Civil Service Status

If a current employee with civil service status voluntarily remains in a position that has been changed from covered under civil service to exclude from civil service, pursuant to Policy No. 7.6.04, Sensitive and Excluded Positions, the employee retains civil service status in the excluded position.

Accepting a Non-Covered or Excluded Position

If an employee with civil service status voluntarily changes positions and accepts a non-covered or excluded position, the employee does not retain civil service coverage in the non-covered or excluded position. For example, when an employee with civil service status accepts a position in the Auditor’s office, an office not covered by civil service, the employee does not retain civil service status.

For a complete listing of non-covered offices and departments, and non-covered or excluded positions, please refer to Policy No. 7.06.02, Application of Civil Service Rules or contact Human Resources.


Policy No. 7.6.06
Probation Periods

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

All new and re-employed regular employees are placed on probationary status for six months, except law enforcement employees who serve a one year probationary period. Time spent as a temporary employee does not fulfill the probation requirements. During the probation period, the office or department has a right to terminate employment at any time for any reason that does not violate public policy. There is no right to appeal.

An employee who is promoted during the probation period is continued on probation for the remainder of probation period. No new probation period is required if one is completed before the promotion.

Voluntary Transfer

An employee who voluntarily transfers from one office or department to another serves an initial six months’ probation in the new office or department. Involuntarily transfers or transfers for business needs are not subject to additional probation periods.


Policy No. 7.6.07
Posting Requirements for Vacancies

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Revised: Adopted May 24, 2012
Effective June 8, 2012

The office or department may recruit internally within the office or department or choose to recruit outside the office or department. If the position is filled through an internal transfer, no posting is required. For all other manners of filling a vacancy, posting is requires either internally or externally.

Internal Posting Procedures

Internal postings are done by the office or department for a minimum of three (3) business days. The posting should include the position description, any special requirements or preferred qualifications and where applications are being received. Applicants must meet the minimum job requirements of the posted position.

External Posting Procedures

A vacancy that the office or department chooses to recruit for externally must be posted for a minimum of five (5) business days by the Commission. All position postings should include the position description as well as special requirements or preferred qualifications.

The office or department should complete and submit the Job Announcement Request Form to Human Resources for posting. Posting requests will be processed three (3) business days.

The vacancy will be posted on the Bexar County website for a minimum of five (5) business days unless the office or department requests an additional period.

A position may be posted “Open until Filled” at the request of the office or department. The office or department should notify Human Resources as soon as possible when the posting should be removed from the web site.

Once the posting has closed all applications for applicants who have passed all the required screening test will be forwarded to the hiring office or department. Once a list of candidates has been selected for further review and/or for interviews, the hiring office or department will forward that list to the Civil Service Director. The Civil Service Director will certify that the final candidates meet the minimum qualifications for the position being filled and inform the hiring office/department in five (5) business days.

Upon receipt of certification of eligible candidates, the hiring office or department should proceed through a competitive process to select a candidate who is best- suited for the position.

Testing

Any required testing identified on the position description such as typing tests and logic tests will be administered through the Commission or through the Texas Workforce Commission.

Logic Test

Only those applicants that meet the qualifying score of 70 on the Bexar County logic test will be sent to the office or department. The logic tests are valid for one (1) year from the date of the test for external applicants.

Typing Test

Only those applicants that meet the required typing test score for the position will be sent to the office or department. The typing test scores for external candidates are valid for one (1) year from the test and for three (3) years for internal candidates.


Policy No. 7.6.08
Certification of Position Descriptions

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Revised: Adopted May 24, 2012
Effective June 8, 2012

New position descriptions or changes to existing position descriptions require approval by the Office of the County Manager and certification by the Commission. See guidelines set out in Human Resources Policy 7.2.04 Position Descriptions.


Policy No. 7.6.09
Reasons for Discipline

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

In addition to violation of office or department policies and procedures, an office or department many take disciplinary action against an employee if it is determined that the employee has committed any of the following violations, to include but not be limited to:

  1. Poor attendance - excessive absences and/or tardiness.
  2. Insubordination – unwilling to follow orders of a supervisor or higher level of authority.
  3. Dishonesty – characterized by a lack of trust, honesty, or truthfulness.
  4. Failure to provide notice of absence.
  5. Misuse of leave.
  6. Unauthorized absence – absence from duty which is not authorized or for which a request for leave has been denied.
  7. Fighting or otherwise disrupting relations between employees during normal duty hours.
  8. Failure to accept a transfer, either lateral or to an uncovered position, failure to report to a different duty location or failure to report to a different position for rotation of job duties. Failing to report to or choosing not to accept a new assignment may result in termination.
  9. Failure to perform the job requirements.
  10. Being in possession and/or under the influence of intoxicating beverages or substances or illegal controlled substances while on duty.
  11. Sexual harassment.
  12. Poor job performance.
  13. Physical or verbal abuse of fellow employees, supervisors or the public.
  14. Fraud or misrepresentation in the selection process, discovered within five years. If the employee is not qualified or not suitable for the position, the Commission may direct the removal of the employee on the basis of intentional fraud misrepresentation.
  15. Perjury.
  16. Violation of any statute, Civil Service Rule or Regulation, or any duty authorized office department rule or policy.
  17. Knowingly creating and submitting false and/or slanderous reports and/or gossip regarding fellow employees, supervisors or subordinates.
  18. Conduct or actions that seriously impair the employee’s job effectiveness.
  19. Conduct which is detrimental to or has an adverse effect on the office or department.
  20. Failure to obtain and maintain any position qualifications, licenses or certifications required by the employee’s position description.
  21. Exhaustion of leave in excess of the allowable maximum period authorized by federal, state, county or local laws and rules.
  22. Conviction of a felony offense, class B or above misdemeanor, or any crime involving moral turpitude which relate to job functions.
  23. Failure to satisfactorily complete, obtain or maintain the required physical and/or psychological fitness for duty test.
  24. Solicitation or acceptance, directly or indirectly, of any gift, favor, entertainment loan or other thing which has monetary value in exchange for some action of the employee in the employee’s official duties for the County. This includes solicitation between employees for gifts for superiors.
  25. Accepting gifts from contractors, vendors or other persons who are employed by persons/entities who are dealing with or attempting to deal with the County. These rules do not apply to calendars and similar articles that bear the donor’s advertising.
  26. Outside employment that conflicts with an employee’s duties for the County. An employee shall not receive additional compensation from a source other than the County for work performed for the County. An employee may not conduct outside employment on County time. Further, an employee shall not utilize sick leave in order to appear for outside employment. All outside employment will be approved according to each office or department’s rules.
  27. Financial interests that conflict with an employee’s employment with the County.
  28. Misuse or allowing the misuse of County property, directly or indirectly.
  29. Release of confidential information or misuse of information obtained through employment with the County.
  30. Gambling or betting while on County time.
  31. Failure to maintain current address and/or telephone number with the office or department.
  32. Forcing co-workers to donate to an office fund or collection.
  33. Conduct that occurs off duty that negates the effectiveness of the employee or the office or department.
  34. Bidding on County equipment sales, unless required by the employee’s position.

Policy No. 7.6.10
Progressive Discipline

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Revised: Adopted May 24, 2012
Effective June 8, 2012

Bexar County subscribes to a policy of systematic progressive discipline, when possible, to permit an employee who violates policies or exhibits unsatisfactory job performance an opportunity to comply with office or department requirements and correct his or her actions.

Bexar County employees are expected to conduct themselves responsibly and with propriety in their work and are expected to abide by all policies and regulations of the County. To enable them to do this, each office or department should develop clear and reasonable policies and performance expectations, investigate the circumstances of apparent policy or rule violations or unsatisfactory performance before taking disciplinary action, and ensure that prompt, consistent disciplinary action is administered.

No disciplinary action may be taken against an employee based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, disability, religion, political affiliation/association or for any other discriminatory reason.

Levels of Disciplinary Action

Each office or department has the authority and responsibility to take disciplinary actions against an employee for cause misconduct or for poor work performance. The levels of disciplinary action include:

  1. Oral Counseling
  2. Written Reprimand
  3. Suspension
  4. Demotion
  5. Termination

In determining the level of discipline to impose, the office or department should consider factors that it deems relevant on a case-by-case basis, including but not limited to the following:

  1. The seriousness of the employee’s offense;
  2. The position the employee holds;
  3. The employees’ employment history, including any previously imposed disciplinary actions which occurred within the pervious twenty-four (24) months, shall be considered; instances of suspensions or demotions which occurred within the previous thirty-six (36) months shall also be considered;
  4. Other similar disciplinary actions within the office or department; and
  5. The progressiveness of the discipline, where practicable.

Resignation in Lieu of Discipline

An employee who faces disciplinary action may voluntarily resign prior to the issuance of a disciplinary action. Resignation shall not be forced upon the employee by the office or department. If an employee chooses to resign, they may submit their resignation in writing to their office or department.


Policy No. 7.6.11
Disciplinary Actions

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Oral Counseling:

An oral counseling is the most common method for assisting the employee to improve work performance or comply with rules and policies.

Written Reprimand:

A written reprimand should state that it is a “written reprimand” and shall state that further disciplinary action will occur if the employee fails to achieve a satisfactory level of performance. A copy of the written reprimand should be provided to the employee.

Suspension:

A suspension is the temporary release from duty of an employee for up to thirty calendar days without pay. A suspension is applicable when a prior reprimand does not produce satisfactory results in correcting behavior, or when the office or department determines that a violation of a rule or policy is serious enough to warrant a suspension without prior use of less severe discipline.

Forfeit of Leave in Lieu of Release from Duty.

In lieu of release from duty, employees may request from their office or department to forfeit time from their available vacation leave, personal leave, FLSA, compensatory, or discretionary time up to a total of five days in one fiscal year. An employee allowed to do so will agree to report to work on those days of the forfeited leave and waive their right to appeal the suspension. The employee must sign an agreement which will be attached to the suspension in the employee’s personnel file.

Demotion:

A demotion is the involuntary reduction of an employee’s pay grade and classification by the office or department. Demotion is applicable when a prior reprimand or suspension does not produce satisfactory results in correcting behavior, or when the office or department determines that a violation of a rule or policy is serious enough to warrant a demotion without prior use of less severe discipline.

Termination:

A termination is the involuntary discharge of an employee by the office or department. Discharge is applicable when a prior reprimand, suspension, or demotion does not produce satisfactory results in correcting behavior, or when the office or department determines that a violation of a rule or policy is serious enough to warrant a termination without prior use of less severe discipline.

Disciplinary Action within 120 Days

A disciplinary action cannot be filed against an employee for a non-criminal violation that occurred over 120 days prior to the service of the Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action or written reprimand, unless it can be shown that the conduct was actively concealed. A disciplinary action for criminal activity can be brought at any time.

Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action and Reply

Prior to suspending, demoting or terminating an employee, the office or department shall provide the employee with a notice of proposed disciplinary action and provide a reasonable opportunity for the employee to respond orally or in writing to the charges. The office or department should review and inspect any and all evidence which supports the employee’s position before the proposed disciplinary action takes place.

Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action

The office or department shall prepare a Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action and include the following information.

  1. The specific policies or rules violation.
  2. The specific details of the violation(s), including names of witnesses, dates and times.
  3. Inform the employee that the action is proposed and not a final decision.
  4. Inform the employee that they have a right to reply and that the reply will be considered.
  5. Inform the employee to whom the reply should be directed.

Service of the Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action

The Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action, if practicable, should be made in person with a written receipt obtained. If personal service is not available, service is deemed complete if the Notice is sent by certified mail to the employee’s last known address.

Employee Reply

An employee shall have ten (10) business days from the day of receipt of the Notice of Proposed Disciplinary Action to reply as directed to the office or department. An employee shall have five business days to reply if there is reasonable cause to believe that the employee is guilty of a crime for which a prison or jail sentence can be imposed. The day of receipt is not counted. If mailed, the reply must be postmarked by the reply date.

Notice of Disciplinary Action

The office or department has ten (10) business days from the receipt of the employee’s reply to send the employee a written Notice of Disciplinary Action. The day of receipt is not counted. The deadline may be extended by written agreement of the parties.

Notice of Disciplinary Action

The Notice of Disciplinary Action shall include the following:

  1. Inform the employee of the office or department’s decision.
  2. The effective date of the disciplinary action, which if not specified in the Notice, is deemed to be one day later than the date of receipt of the Notice by the employee.
  3. Identify the reasons for the disciplinary action.
  4. Inform the employee of the right to appeal the decision to the Commission.
  5. Identify the individual(s) to whom such appeal should be addressed.
  6. Identify the person or office from which the employee may obtain any additional information about the employee’s rights.

Service of the Notice if Disciplinary Action

The Notice of Disciplinary Action, if practicable, should be made in person with a written receipt obtained. If personal service is not available, service is deemed complete if the Notice is sent by certified mail to the employee’s last known address.

Copies of Disciplinary Actions

A copy of the Notice of Disciplinary Action and Proposed Notice of Disciplinary Action shall be placed in the employee’s personnel file after 10 business days if no appeal of the Disciplinary Action has been filed with the Commission. If an appeal of the Disciplinary Action has been filed with the Commission, a copy of the Notice of Disciplinary and Proposed Notice of Disciplinary Action should not be placed in the employee’s personnel file until the appeal is resolved by the Commission or the appeal is withdrawn by the employee.


Policy No. 7.6.12
Investigative Administrative Leave

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Investigative Administrative Leave is the temporary release from duty or job transfer for up to ten (10) days with pay to permit the investigation of a serious violation of office, department or civil service rules and regulations.

The office or department shall place an employee on Administrative Leave when the disciplinary action arises from an incident which constitutes a crime against the County.

The office or department may place an employee on Administrative Leave if it is in the best interest of the County and there is no lateral position to which the employee may be reassigned.

The period of leave may be extended in increments of ten (10) business days. Upon completion of the investigation, the employee may be returned to work without penalty or disciplinary action may be taken.


Policy No. 7.6.13
Personal Grievances

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

A personal grievance is a written complaint made by an employee concerning a condition of employment and includes grieving a written reprimand.

Filing a Grievance within an Office or Department

  1. An employee must file a written personal grievance with the elected/appointed official, department head or their immediate supervisor within 10 business days from the first date of occurrence or the first date the employee became aware of the occurrence of the incident or condition which is the subject of the grievance. The day of occurrence is not counted.
    1. Failure to meet the time limit for initial filing acts as a forfeit of the matter grieved.
    2. The grievance should clearly state “Personal Grievance.”
    3. An employee cannot grieve an occurrence of incident or conduct that occurred during an employee’s probationary period.
    4. An employee cannot grieve an oral counseling.
  2. The office or department has ten (10) business days to respond in writing to the employee’s personal grievance. The day of receipt is not counted. Failure to meet the time limit does not act as a default or forfeit of the matter grieved.
  3. The parties may, by written agreement, extend the deadline to respond.

Filing an Appeal with the Commission

  1. If the employee is not satisfied with the final written determination from the office or department or if no determination is issued, the employee may appeal to the Commission. The appeal shall be written on the Employee’s Appeal Form available from the Commission and shall be filed within ten (10) business days of receipt of the final determination or the date the determination was due. The day of receipt or determination due date is not counted. An appeal not on the Employee Appeal Form will not be accepted for filing.
  2. Any appeal filed after the deadline is null and void and shall not be accepted for filing by the Commission. Commission staff shall inform the Commission of any appeal that was not accepted.
  3. The Commission has no jurisdiction to hear an appeal regarding budgetary matters, reorganizations, and other matters not specified in Texas Local Government Code, sections 158.001 et. seq., as amended.

Hearing Procedures

Requesting a Department Response Form

The Civil Service Director will request a response from the office or department. A response by the office or department should be made on the Department Response Form and filed in 10 business days. The day of receipt is not counted.

Setting the Matter for Hearing

The Commission will set the matter for hearing. Appeals from personal grievances are the last in the order of priority for hearing settings.

Notice of Hearing

  1. The employee must keep the Commission informed of their current address.
  2. The Commission will notify all parties of the hearing date, time and location. This notice will be provided with at least two weeks prior to the hearing date. A letter mailed to the last known address of the employee will constitute notice.

Request for Continuance

Any request to re-set a hearing must be made in writing seven (7) days prior to the scheduled hearing, unless an emergency arises. By agreement of the parties, the Commission will cancel and re-set the hearing date. However, the Commission will not re-set a hearing more than twice unless the parties agree.

Attendance at the Hearing

  1. The employee must be present at the hearing and may represent themselves or be represented by another person. The employee should notify the Commission of the selection of a representative and who the representative will be. Any representative shall act as the spokesperson for the employee during the appeal process.
  2. The Commission has the authority to administer oaths to all witnesses. Once sworn, witnesses will be subject to penalties for perjury.
  3. At the beginning of the hearing, the reason for the appeal from the personal grievance shall be read including the date of occurrence and the remedy requested by the employee from the Employee’s Appeal Form.
  4. The hearing shall be open to the public unless the employee notified the Commission in writing five (5) days prior to the hearing date that the employee wishes the hearing to be closed.
  5. Either party may invoke “The Rule,” Texas Rule of Evidence 613, which means that all witnesses, excluding the office or department representative and the employee, will not be allowed to remain in the hearing, or no witness shall discuss their testimony with other witnesses.
  6. The employee will present their appeal to the Commission first and the employee carries the burden of proof.
  7. The office or department will have an opportunity to respond.
  8. The employee will then be allowed to respond to the office or department.
  9. Each side may call witnesses and will be allowed to cross-examine each other’s witnesses.
  10. The Commission may ask any questions necessary of any party or witness or recall any witness if necessary for clarification.
  11. Any witness may be released by the Commission after giving testimony.
  12. Five copies of any documents must be submitted.
  13. Each side shall have an opportunity to make a closing statement to the Commission. The employee shall make the first closing statement followed by office or department. The employee may choose to make a short rebuttal after the closing statement of the office or department.
  14. The Commission may recess to deliberate in executive session.
  15. If an executive session is held, the Commission shall reconvene in open session and make a decision. The Commission may choose to deny the appeal or grant the relief requested, which may include an award of back pay if authorized by statute.
  16. If the employee is to receive back pay by order of the Commission, the employee shall receive full compensation at the rate of pay that was provided for their position at the time of their appeal or the amount of compensation considered fair by the Commission. Should the office or department refuse to reinstate the employee as ordered by the Commission, the employee shall be entitled to their full salary just as though they had been reinstated as ordered.
  17. A written order shall be entered which states the Commission’s ruling. Such order shall be signed by the members of the Commission who made the decision and sent to all parties.

Copy of the Record

A tape recording of all hearings will be on file in the Human Resources Office. A copy will be provided upon request as permitted by law and payment of all costs in advance.


Policy No. 7.6.14
Suspension, Demotion or Termination - Appeal & Hearing

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

  1. An employee who wishes to appeal a suspension, demotion or termination may appeal to the Commission. A written appeal on the Employee’s Appeal Form available from the Commission shall be filed within 10 business days after receipt of the Notice of Disciplinary Action. The day of receipt is not counted. An appeal not on the Employee Appeal Form will not be accepted for filing.
    1. An appeal filed after the deadline is null and void and shall not be accepted for filing by the Commission.
    2. The appeal shall be styled “Employee versus the office or department” and not the elected/appointed official or department head.
    3. An employee cannot file an appeal of a disciplinary action occurring during an employee’s probationary period.
  2. The Civil Service Coordinator will request a response from the office or department. A response by the office or department should be made on the Department Response Form and filed in 10 business days. The day of receipt is not counted.

Hearing Procedures

Setting the Matter for Hearing

  1. The Commission will set the matter for hearing.
  2. The order of priority of appeals before the Commission is terminations, demotions and suspensions.

Notice of Hearing

  1. The employee must keep the Commission informed of their current address.
  2. The Commission will notify all parties of the hearing date, time and location. This notice will be given at least two weeks prior to the date of the hearing. A letter sent by certified mail to the last known address of the employee will constitute notice.

Attendance at the Hearing

  1. The employee must be present at the hearing and may represent themselves or be represented by another person. The employee should notify the Commission of the selection of a representative and who the representative will be. Any representative shall act as the spokesperson for the employee during the appeal process.
  2. If the employee is not present at the time of hearing, the Commission shall dismiss the appeal and enter a written order to that effect.
  3. The office or department must be present through the elected official, department head or representative.

Hearing

  1. Two Commissioners is a quorum which allows a hearing to proceed.
  2. The Commission has the authority to administer oaths to all witnesses. Once sworn, witnesses will be subject to penalties for perjury.
  3. At the beginning of the hearing, the disciplinary action shall be read including the date of occurrence and the rule or policy violated from the Department Response Form.
  4. The hearing shall be open to the public unless the employee notified the Commission in writing prior to the hearing date that the employee wishes the hearing to be closed.
  5. The office or department has the burden of proof and of going forward at the hearing.
  6. Either party may invoke “The Rule.” Texas Rule of Evidence 613 which means that all witnesses, excluding the office or department representative and the employee, will not be allowed to remain in the hearing and no witness shall discuss their testimony with other witnesses.
  7. Each party may make a brief opening statement to the Commission. The office or department will go first, followed by the employee.
  8. The office or department will present their witnesses first and has an opportunity to present rebuttal witnesses.
  9. The employee will present their witnesses second and be allowed to respond to the office or department.
  10. Each side may call witnesses and will be allowed to cross-examine each other’s witnesses.
  11. The Commission may ask any questions necessary of any party or witness or recall any witness if necessary for clarification.
  12. Any witness may be released by the Commission after giving testimony.
  13. Five copies of any document must be submitted.
  14. Each side shall have an opportunity to make a closing statement to the Commission. The office or department shall make the first closing statement followed by the employee. The office or department may choose to make a short rebuttal after the closing statement of the employee.
  15. The Commission may recess to deliberate in executive session.
  16. If an executive session is held, the Commission shall reconvene in open session and make a decision. The Commission may choose to deny the appeal and uphold the disciplinary action, impose a lesser penalty than the one taken by the office or department and may include an award of back pay, or overturn the disciplinary action. The Commission is not limited in the length of time a suspension may last.
  17. If the employee is to receive back pay by order of the Commission, the employee shall receive full compensation at the rate of pay that was provided for their position at the time of their appeal or the amount of compensation considered fair by the Commission. Should the office or department refuse to reinstate the employee as ordered by the Commission, the employee shall be entitled to their full salary just as though they had been reinstated as ordered.
  18. A written order shall be entered which clearly states whether the action will be upheld, dismissed or reduced. Such order shall be signed by the members of the commission who made the decision and sent to all parties.

Copy of the Record

A tape recording of all hearings will be on file in the Human Resources office. A copy will be provided upon request as permitted by law and payment of all costs in advance.

Appeal to District Court

Pursuant to chapter 158 of the Texas Local Government Code, an employee who on final decision by the Commission is demoted, suspended or removed from the employee’s position may appeal the Commission’s decision in district court within thirty (30) days of the date of the decision.


Policy No. 7.6.15
Fitness for Duty Evaluation

Effective Date: March 16, 2007

Revised: Adopted May 24, 2012
Effective June 8, 2012

Offices or departments have authority to direct an employee to take a fitness for duty medical examination when a specific injury, incident, action, or behavior indicates that such an evaluation may be warranted.

Written Order and Administrative Leave

The office or department shall provide the employee with a written Order for Fitness for Duty Evaluation which provides the reason(s) the evaluation is being ordered. The Order should also include whether the employee will be placed on Administrative Leave, with pay, or retained on duty until a final determination is made.

Medical Evaluation

The employee should be referred for medical examination with a statement of the particular demands of the position and a statement of how the employee’s performance fails to meet these demands. Evaluations will be conducted either by a physician, psychiatrist or psychologist under contract or employed by the County, as appropriate, at no expense to the employee. A list of doctors may be obtained from Human Resources.

Failure to Complete the Evaluation

Failure by the employee to complete the evaluation process may result in disciplinary action, including termination.

Removal from Duty

In the event that the medical evaluation finds the employee not fit for duty, the employee will be removed from their position pursuant to Bexar County Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

If the employee has a permanent disability protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the employee may be considered for an open position within that office or department. The employee must perform the essential functions of the job in question, with or without reasonable accommodation, and must meet the minimum job requirements. The employee’s salary will depend on the pay range for the open position and will be in accordance with County policy. If there are no open positions or the employee refuses the offer, the office or department will proceed with the termination.

Appeal Procedures - Fitness for Duty Actions

An employee who is suspended, demoted or terminated under this policy may file an appeal under the appeal procedures outlines under Bexar County Civil Service Rules and Regulations.

Three Doctor Panel

  1. If the aggrieved employee files a timely appeal with the Commission, the Commission will select a panel of three (3) physicians or psychiatrists (depending on the nature of the fitness requirement) and submit the names and addresses of the panel of three (3) doctors to the appealing employee. The list of doctors should be sent by certified mail to the employee’s last known address.
  2. The appealing employee has the option of being examined by at least two (2) of the three (3) doctors on the panel to determine the employee’s fitness for duty. All expenses and fees for these medical evaluations by the panel shall be paid for by the County if the employee is found fit for duty by two of the three doctors. If the appealing employee is not found fit for duty by two of the three doctors, all expenses and fees for the medical evaluations shall be paid for by the appealing employee.
  3. The evaluations must be conducted and the doctors’ reports submitted to the Commission within thirty (30) business days after receipt of the notification by the Commission. Failure by the appealing employee to schedule the evaluation or have the reports submitted timely will act to forfeit the appeal.
  4. In order to aid in the evaluation of the employee, the Commission shall require the office or department, or the physician, psychiatrist or psychologist under contract or employed by the County, to submit the results of the fitness for duty evaluation and any attending medical records or reports to the doctors on the panel selected by the employee. The appealing employee must sign a medical release and will be responsible for any cost for obtaining these records if found not fit for duty by two (2) of the three (3) doctors. Furthermore, the Commission shall require the appealing employee to submit any medical records or reports concerning their condition prepared by their personal physicians or hospitals to the doctors on the panel selected by the employee.
  5. The selection of the panel of doctors by the Commission shall be made from a list of eligible physicians or psychiatrists maintained by the Commission for this purpose. Eligibility for any doctor to be appointed to the list shall be determined by the Commission based upon the recommendations of the Bexar County Medical Association. Additionally, none of the appointed doctors on the panel may be employed by the County or under contract to the County or under contract to the County.
  6. If two (2) out of three (3) doctors on the panel find that the appellant is fit for duty, the Commission will order the reinstatement of the appealing employee.

Hearing before the Commission

The Commission will not hold an evidentiary hearing concerning Fitness for Duty Evaluation appeals and will not analyze or debate medical findings or evidence. The Commission’s decision will be solely based on the recommendations of the panel.

The Commission recognizes that there may be instances where an appealing employee may have been disciplined for conduct or acts which are unlawful or rule infractions which led to their fitness for duty re-evaluation, as well as being demoted, suspended or dismissed for the required fitness for duty. In those cases, the Commission shall resolve the issue of fitness for duty through the above procedures before determining the issue of the conduct or rule or violation If the appealing employee is reinstated on the issue of fitness for duty, the office or department is not prohibited from bringing or maintaining disciplinary action against the employee for any conduct or rule violations which led to the fitness for duty evaluation. Any disciplinary action for such conduct or action shall be severed from the fitness for duty issue and dealt with at a separate evidentiary hearing.