Policy Manual

  • Return to Policy Manual Table of Contents

    Policy No.: Resolution 16-112 Effective: 09/06/2016
    Revision No.: Review Date: xx/xx/xx
    Advisory Boards and Committees Guidelines

    OVERVIEW:   It shall be the policy of the Board of County Commissioners of Alachua County, Florida, that these Guidelines shall provide direction for the creation of new advisory boards and committees, the membership of advisory boards and committees, and the conduct of advisory boards and committees.  It is the intent of the Board of County Commissioners that these Guidelines completely supersede any previous policies or guidelines concerning advisory boards and committees. 
    PROVISIONS:
    Except as provided in the authorizing ordinances or resolutions of specific advisory boards and committees, these Guidelines should provide direction for advisory boards and committees.
    "Advisory boards or committees" are those bodies created by the Board of County Commissioners, whether entitled "board," "committee," "commission," "council," or the like, which are established by and have authority only to advise the Board of County Commissioners rather than to establish policies or make decisions for the Board of County Commissioners.
    I.                   Creation of Advisory Boards and Committees.
    Advisory boards and committees should be created by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners.  Resolutions creating advisory boards and committees should include, at a minimum:
    (a)               Legislative findings.
    (b)               Express creation of the advisory board or committee.
    (c)                Purpose and duties of the advisory board or committee.
    (d)              Designation as “standing” (continuing until dissolved) or “special” (continuing until a specified sunset date).
    (e)               Membership qualifications.
    (f)                Staggered terms for initial appointment (especially for standing advisory boards and committees).
    (g)               Provisions for operations of the advisory board or committee.
     
    II.                Membership on Advisory Boards and Committees.
     
    (1)               Appointments.  The Board of County Commissioners will appoint the members of advisory boards and committees.  Appointments will be made from applications of qualified potential members during a regular Board of County Commissioners meeting.
     
    (2)               Regular Members.  Advisory boards and committees should have an odd number of regular members.
     
    (3)               Alternate Members.  All advisory boards and committees should have at least one alternate member.  Attendance requirement detailed below applies to alternate members, as well as regular members.  An alternate member shall serve in place of an absent regular member, and shall have all rights and responsibilities of the absent regular member, including the right to vote.
     
    (4)               Attendance.  Advisory board and committee members should regularly attend all meetings of their respective advisory boards and committees.  Any regular or alternate member whose attendance is less than 50% of the last 6 consecutive meetings shall automatically be removed from the advisory board or committee.  Staff liaisons shall notify members by US mail, by email or through attendance reports when they are approaching removal due to lack of attendance.
     
    (5)               Quorum.  A quorum for an advisory board or committee is the number of members which constitute the majority of all regular positions which are currently filled.  Alternate members may make up a quorum.  When less than a quorum is present at a meeting, the advisory board or committee may meet in a workshop setting, during which no vote may be taken.  These workshops must be open to the public and minutes must be taken.
     
    (6)               Hold-overs.  Advisory board and committee members may continue to serve following the expirations of their terms until the Board of County Commissioners fills the position which would be vacated.
     
    (7)               Removals.  Advisory board and committee members serve at the pleasure of the Board of County Commissioners.  Any board or committee member may be removed for good cause by the Board of County Commission after consideration of the issue at a Board meeting.

     
    III.             Conduct of Advisory Boards and Committees.
    (1)               Governing Rules.  Except as may be provided by these Rules or by law, questions of order, the methods of organization and the conduct of business of the advisory boards and committees shall be governed by The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure (formerly known as Sturgis Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure) in all cases for which they are applicable
     
    (2)               Open to the Public.
     
    a.                  Meetings Open to Public.  All meetings of advisory boards and committees shall be open to the public in accordance with the Florida Government in the Sunshine Law, Section 286.011, Florida Statutes (Fla. Stat.).  Advisory board and committee members should consult their staff liaisons with any questions regarding open meetings or to request a presentation on the Florida Sunshine Law.
    b.                  Signs, Placards, Banners.  For public safety purposes, no signs or placards mounted on sticks, posts, poles or similar structures shall be allowed in advisory board and committee meeting rooms.  Other signs, placards, banners or other similar items shall not disrupt meetings or interfere with others’ visual rights.
    c.                   Persons with Disabilities.  All persons with disabilities shall be provided with the assistance necessary to enable them to effectively participate in advisory boards and committee meetings, consistent with Section 286.26, Fla. Stat.
     
    (3)               Public Comment.  Members of the public shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard on a proposition before advisory boards and committees.  The opportunity to be heard need not occur at the same meeting at which an advisory board or committee takes official action on the proposition if the opportunity occurs at a meeting that is during the decision making process and is within reasonable proximity in time before the meeting at which the advisory board or committee takes the official action.[1]
     
    (4)               Voting Conflicts. 
     
    No member of an advisory board or committee shall vote on a matter when the member has a voting conflict of interest as specified in Section 112.3143 or Section 286.012, Fla. Stat.  Prior to participating in a discussion, members abstaining from voting due to a voting conflict shall publically announce the conflict, shall disclose the nature of their conflict, and file a written memorandum (Ethic’s Commission Form 8A or 8B) to the staff liaison. 
     
    If a member recognizes that a voting conflict exists during the course of a discussion, the member shall immediately publically announce the conflict, disclose the nature of the conflict and abstain from voting.  Within 15 calendar days following that advisory board or committee meeting, the member shall file a written memorandum (Ethic’s Commission Form 8A and 8B) with the staff liaison. 
     
    The written memorandum shall be incorporated into the meeting minutes as an exhibit.  Advisory board and committee members who believe that they may have a voting conflict should consult their board or committee’s staff liaison before the meeting at which members will be asked to vote on an item upon which they may have a conflict.
     
    (5)               Work Plans and Reports of Accomplishments.  Advisory boards and committees shall prepare and update work plans and reports of accomplishments annually.  Work plans and reports of accomplishments should be on-file with staff liaisons by October 1 of each year.  Staff liaisons shall submit advisory board and committee work plans and reports of accomplishments to the Board of County Commissioners.  Advisory board and committee chairpersons are encouraged to present the work plans and reports of accomplishments to the Board of County Commissioners at a Board meeting.  The Board of County Commissioners encourages and welcomes issues of the advisory board and committees’ own initiative to be brought to the attention of the Board of County Commissioners.
     
    (6)               Public Records.  The public has the right to access public records.  Public records are:
     
    “all documents, papers, letters, maps, books, tapes, photographs, films, sound recordings, data processing software, or other material, regardless of the physical form, characteristics, or means of transmission, made or received pursuant to law or ordinance or in connection with the transaction of official business by any agency.” Sec. 119.011(12), Fla. Stat.
     
    Most records created by or provided to advisory boards and committees, or their members in their capacity as members, are public records which must be made available to a person requesting them.  There are many exceptions for records or for certain information contained in those records.  Advisory board and committee members should consult their staff liaisons with any questions regarding public records or to request a presentation on the Florida Public Records Law.
     
    (7)               Coordination with Other Governments.  Advisory boards and committees should, when appropriate, coordinate with other local governments and boards or committees created by other local governments.  To protect the public’s right to participate in open meetings, this coordination shall be effected through the respective staff liaison or the advisory board or committee chairperson (or designee).
     
    (8)               Prohibited Remote Voting by a Member.  A member may participate in a discussion but no member shall cast a vote via telephone or video/audio appearance. 
     
    IV.             Staff Liaisons.  A staff liaison is a county staff member whose duty is to help to administer the meetings of the advisory boards or committees and to serve as a link between the advisory board, the County Manager, the County Attorney and the Board of County Commissioners.  The staff liaison’s tasks are:
    (1)               Publicly noticing the advisory board or committee meeting and reserving the meeting room.
    (2)               Reminding members of an up-coming meeting.
    (3)               Ensuring that all persons with disabilities are provided with the assistance necessary to enable them to effectively participate in the meetings.
    (4)               Preparing the agenda and agenda backup materials, and providing copies of the materials to members.
    (5)               Introducing new members to the board or committee and informing new members of the rules and process which governs the board or committee.
    (6)               Ensuring that minutes of the meetings are kept.
    (7)               Keeping attendance records of the meetings.
    (8)               Maintaining public records of the board or committee.
    (9)               Providing the work plans and reports of accomplishments to the Board of County Commissioners annually.
    Staff liaisons may perform a task not listed above if requested by an advisory board or committee if the task takes the staff liaison 30 minutes or less to perform.  If the task takes more than 30 minutes, the staff liaison may perform the task if the staff liaison’s department director preauthorizes the work.
    V.                Construction of These Guidelines.
    These Guidelines provide direction only.  No action taken inconsistent with these Guidelines shall be invalid solely because it was taken inconsistent with these Guidelines.


    [1] Consistent with Section 286.0114, Fla. Stat. (2015).
​​​​​​ ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Return to Policy Manual Table of Contents

Family and Medical Leave

Policy No.: 7-6 Effective: 7/10/2012
Revision No.: 5 Review Date: 7/10/2013

OVERVIEW: This policy describes the provisions for granting family and medical leave in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993.

SCOPE: This policy applies to all classified and executive service employees of the Board of County Commissioners.

PROVISIONS:

  1. General Rule. Family and medical leave shall be granted in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993 and the revisions to the regulations approved in 2008.
    1. Any related area not addressed in these policies shall be governed by the federal regulations.

  2. Eligibility. Employees are eligible for FMLA leave if they have been employed by the County for a total of 12-months and have worked at least 1,250 actual hours, including overtime hours, during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of leave.
    1. Total number of months employed by the County need not have been consecutive and will include any employment during the past seven years, whether temporary or permanent.

  3. Leave Entitlement. Employees are entitled to up to 12 workweeks of regular FMLA leave within a 12-month period.
    1. The 12-month period is measured forward from the date the employee’s first FMLA leave begins.
    2. For the birth of a child or placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care, the 12-month period begins on the date of birth or placement; however, this does not constitute additional leave entitlement beyond the 12-week entitlement already in place.
    3. In any case in which both a husband and wife are employed by the County and are entitled to leave under this policy, the aggregate number of workweeks of leave to which both may be entitled may be limited to 12 workweeks during any 12 month period, if such leave is taken for reasons listed in Section 4a, the birth of the employee's child(ren); b, the care of the newborn child(ren); c, the placement of child(ren)for adoption or foster care in the home of the employee; d, the care of the newly placed child(ren); and e, the care of the employee's spouse, son, daughter or parent with a serious health condition. However, both the mother and father may take up to 12 weeks of leave each to care for a newborn child with a serious health condition.
    4. The aggregate number of workweeks of leave when both husband and wife are employed by the County, they may be entitled to under Section 4 below, may be limited to 26 workweeks during the single 12 month period described in 4 (h) below if the time taken is for leave under either subsection 4 (h) or a combination of leave under Section 4 (a-g) and leave described in subsection 4 (h).
    5. FMLA leave includes vacation, sick, compensatory and leave without pay and is not to be used as an additional leave.
    6. The leave may be taken consecutively, intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule, meaning a reduction in hours worked per week/pay period.
    7. The employee will be required to use accrued sick leave prior to commencement of unpaid leave in accordance with applicable policies in the Board of County Commissioners’ Employee Policies or the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
    8. In order to receive FMLA leave to care for a pregnant woman, the father of the unborn child must be the woman's spouse.

  4. Reasons for Entitlement. Employees may take FMLA leave for the following reasons:
    1. The birth of the employee’s child(ren) (See definition of "Child/Son/Daughter" for FMLA childcare leave purposes, in the Definitions section of these policies.),
    2. The care of the newborn child(ren), (See definition of "Child/Son/Daughter" for FMLA childcare leave purposes, in the Definitions section of these policies.),
    3. The placement of child(ren) for adoption or foster care in the home of the employee (See definition of "Child/Son/Daughter" for FMLA childcare leave purposes, in the Definitions section of these policies.),
    4. The care of the newly placed child(ren) (See definition of "Child/Son/Daughter" for FMLA childcare leave purposes, in the Definitions section of these policies.),
    5. The care of the employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent with a serious health condition (See definition of "Child/Son/Daughter" for FMLA childcare leave purposes, in the Definitions section of these policies.), or
    6. A serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform one or more of the essential functions of his or her job. A serious health condition is defined as an illness, injury, impairment or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care in a hospital, residential care facility or by continuing treatment by a health care provider or hospice. Continuing treatment is defined as receiving treatment two times within 30 days of the first day of incapacity. The employee must see the health care provider within seven days of the first day of incapacity and the first visit must be in person. A regimen of continuing treatment like prescription drugs may count as continuing treatment.
    7. Qualifying Exigency arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent, who is active duty military, or who is in the Reserves or National Guard, has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty in the Armed Forces in a foreign country. A qualifying exigency is defined as :1. Short notice deployment (a call/order to active duty seven days prior to date of deployment limited to seven calendar days of leave beginning on the date the military member is notified of deployment); 2. Military activities related to call to active duty; 3. Child care and school activities, e.g. arrange for alternative child care, enroll child in new school or day care; 4. Make or update financial and legal arrangements; 5. Counseling (non-medical); 6 Rest and recuperation (limited to five days per leave, up to 12 weeks in a 12 month period, to spend with military member on short term leave); 7. Post deployment activities, defined as up to 90 days following termination of covered active duty status; and 8. Additional activities that must be agreed to by both employer and employee. Generally there must be a relationship between the reason(s) for leave and the covered active duty or call to covered active duty.
    8. Military Caregiver Leave - Subject to meeting the certification requirements, an eligible employee who is the spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of a covered service member shall be entitled to a total of 26 workweeks of leave during a 12 month period to care for the service member with a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty on active duty. For purposes of Military Caregiver Leave, the covered service member is defined as a current member o the Armed Forces (includes National Guard or Reserves), or a member of the aforementioned but on the temporary disability retired list, in outpatient status or undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for a serious injury or illness in the line of active duty (or had an existing injury or illness aggravated in the line of active duty) and who was a member of the Armed Forces (including a member of the national Guard or Reserves) at any time during the period of 5 years preceding the date on which the veteran undergoes that medical treatment, recuperation or therapy for an illness or injury. The illness or injury could manifest itself before or after the individual became a veteran. For purposes of the Military Caregiver Leave, next of kin is defined as: covered service member's spouse, parent, son, daughter, blood relatives who have been granted legal custody of the service member by court decree or statutory provisions, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles and first cousins. The leave described in this paragraph shall only be available during a single 12 month period, with one 12 month leave per covered service member, per injury.
    9. During the single 12 month period described in "h" above, an eligible employee shall be entitled to a combined total of 26 workweeks of leave for the reasons of entitlement listed in Section 4. Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to limit the availability of leave under Section 4 (a) through (g) above, during any other 12 month period.

  5. Notice
    1. When the need for leave is foreseeable, the employee must give at least 30 days advance notice before the FMLA leave begins.
    2. In any case in which the necessity for leave under Section 4 (g) above is foreseeable, the employee shall provide such notice to the employer as is reasonable and practicable.
    3. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, notice must be given as soon as possible.
    4. Upon receipt of an employee’s request for FMLA leave, the County will notify the employee as to whether or not the leave qualifies for designation as FMLA leave.
      1. This notification will be made within five working days unless further documentation is required.
    5. In the event that the County becomes aware that an employee’s absence is due to an FMLA-qualifying reason, the County may designate the leave as FMLA leave even though the employee has not requested it.
      1. The employee will be notified within five working days unless further documentation is required.

  6. Medical Leave Certification Requirements. The County will require a medical certification statement from the health care provider (a doctor of medicine or osteopathy, podiatrist, dentist, clinical psychologist, optometrist and chiropractor [with limitations]; nurse practitioner, nurse-midwife and clinical social worker; Christian Science practitioner; and any health care provider from whom the County or the group health plan’s benefits manager will accept certification of the existence of a serious health condition to substantiate a claim for benefits.) of the person with the medical condition for the following reasons:
    1. For support of a request for leave to care for a family member (Certification of health Care Provider for Family Member's SHC - Form #WH-380-F).
    1. A serious health condition of the employee (Certification of the Health Care Provider for Employee's SHC - Form #WH-380-E),
    2. For the approval of a leave extension (Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member's SHC - Form #WH-380-F or Certification of the Health Care Provider for Employee's SHC - Form #WH-380-E),
    3. For support of a request for a chronic condition. The employee must visit a health care provider at least twice a year. (Certification of Health Care Provider for Employee's SHC - Form #WH-380-E or Certification of Health Care Provider for Family Member's SHC - Form #WH-380-F),
    4. Exigency Leave - A copy of the service member's orders or other military documentation, showing the service member's call to active duty and expected dates of active duty service, will be required once for each call to service. A statement or description of appropriate facts regarding the qualifying exigency for which FMLA is requested, signed by the employee, will be required for each qualifying exigency leave. (Certification of Qualifying Exigency for Military Family Leave - Form #WH-384),
    5. Military Caregiver Leave - the employee will be required to provide a certification form from the service member's authorized health care provider. (Certification for Serious Injury or Illness of Covered Service member Form #SH-385).
  1. Second and Third Opinions. When there is reason to question a medical certification, the County may also require, at its own expense, obtain a second opinion about the employee with the medical condition, from a health care provider chosen by the County.
    1. If the first two medical opinions do not agree, the County may require, at its own expense, a third opinion from a health care provider mutually chosen by the County and the employee.
    2. The third opinion shall be binding.

  2. Fitness-for-Duty. A fitness-for-duty report from the employee’s health care provider may be required prior to resuming work if the absence is due to the employee’s serious health condition.

  3. Continuation of Health Benefits
    1. The County shall continue health and life insurance coverage and payments of its portion of the premium under the same terms that the coverage would have been provided had the employee not taken the leave.
    2. The employee is responsible for payments of the employee’s portion of group insurance payments under the same terms that the coverage would have been provided had the employee not taken the leave.
    3. If the employee voluntarily fails to return to work after the approved leave has expired, the employee will be required to reimburse the County for its portion of all of the group insurance premiums paid on the employee’s and the employee’s dependents’ behalf during the unpaid portion of the leave.

  4. Seniority. Accumulation of seniority and leave accruals during unpaid leave shall be in accordance with applicable policies of the Board of County Commissioners’ Employee Policies or the Collective Bargaining Agreement.

  1. Reinstatement. Employees returning from FMLA leave shall be reinstated to the same or equivalent position with no loss of pay or benefits accrued prior to the leave or other terms and conditions of employment.
    1. If an employee’s leave exceeds the statutory limit of 12 weeks of leave, reinstatement rights may be forfeited.

12. Multiple Conditions. Employees who have the appropriate certifications on file with the HR Office supporting multiple FMLA conditions will be required to indicate on all leave request documents which condition they are utilizing leave for. The Human Resources Office will assign each of the FMLA conditions a letter code for use on the leave request documents.

13. Reasonable Break Time for Nursing Mothers. The County will provide a reasonable break time for an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for one year after the child's birth each time such employee has need to express the milk. The County will provide a place. other than a bathroom, that is shielded from view and free from intrusion from co-workers and the public, for the nursing mother.

14. Enforcement.
a. An employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or may bring a private lawsuit against an employer.
b. FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.
c. FMLA Section 109 (29 U.S.C. subsection 2619) requires FMLA covered employers to post notice. Regulations 29 C.F. R. Subsection 825.300 (a) may require additional disclosures.