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Department of Children and Families
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Policy Manual
PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT
Employee Conduct

7-4-3.1
Neglect of Duty

Employees Affected by This Policy This policy shall apply to all DCF employees.
Definitions

A client is any family or child receiving services from the Department, including children who are residents or patients in DCF facilities or hospitals.

The supervisor is the employee's immediate supervisor or, in his/her absence, the management's designee.

Neglect of duty is any of the following:

    Ÿ being absent from work without reasonable notice or permission

    Ÿ arriving for work unfit for duty or failing to remain fit during work hours

    Ÿ being less than alert or inattentive to job functions and responsibilities

    Ÿ being drowsy or sleeping on the job

    Ÿ leaving a duty station or assigned responsibility without permission

    Ÿ failing to follow prescribed Department or work site policy relevant to job duties and responsibilities

    Ÿ theft, willful neglect or misuse of any state funds, time, property, equipment, materials or supplies

    Ÿ failure to cooperate with a child abuse or neglect investigation conducted by the Department and related to an employee's activities while in the performance of his/her job with the Department, whether or not the employee is an alleged perpetrator of abuse or neglect. Failure to cooperate includes, but is not limited to:

    - failing to make oneself available for an  investigatory interview within three (3) business days, consistent with the employee's work schedule, of being notified that the interview is requested. Consideration may be given for an extension of this period only under certain unusual/emergency circumstances

    - failing to immediately and properly document /report incidents of abuse or neglect in accordance with state statutes, regulations and/or agency policy

    - misrepresentation or withholding of information relevant to  an investigation

    Ÿ any other activity deemed by the Department Administrator to endanger the health, safety or well-being of clients or staff.

Union Representation The employee shall have the opportunity for Union representation during the Hotline investigation. However, failure to obtain such representation within the time frames allowed shall not be considered unusual/emergency circumstances for extending the period of time for scheduling the investigatory interview.
Supervisor Responsibilities

Each supervisor shall

Ÿ bring to the attention of assigned staff this and any other relevant policies and procedures regarding the employee's job duties and responsibilities and expected employee conduct

Ÿ assign and relieve employees from duty in a manner to guarantee adequate coverage and to safeguard the clients and staff

Note: If an employee is observed to be sleeping on duty, or in the judgment of the supervisor is not sufficiently alert or fit to remain on duty, the supervisor shall confer with the appropriate manager or designee prior to relieving the employee from duty.

Ÿ report all unhealthy or unsafe work conditions to the appropriate manager or designee upon discovery

Ÿ take all appropriate steps to remedy unhealthy or unsafe work conditions.

Employee Responsibilities

Each DCF employee shall

Ÿ become familiar with and adhere to Department or work site policies and procedures regarding his/her job function and employee conduct

Ÿ report for, and remain at work as scheduled

Ÿ follow Department or work site policies regarding the reporting of absences

Ÿ remain alert and attentive to job duties and responsibilities at all times

Ÿ apply good judgment in fulfilling job duties and responsibilities

Ÿ remain at the duty station or assigned responsibility unless relieved of duty by a supervisor or until the authorized relief staff is present

Ÿ report promptly to the supervisor

- any work condition that, in the opinion of the employee, is unusual, dangerous or unsafe

- any circumstance affecting the safety and well-being of clients or staff.

Taking of Medication
Which May
Cause
Drowsiness

Any employee who is taking medication which may make the employee drowsy or less than alert shall report this fact to the appropriate supervisor prior to starting the shift or working hours.

The employee shall also follow this procedure when he/she is unsure of the side effect of such medication.

Drowsiness for
Any Reason
An employee who feels that he/she will become drowsy or less than alert while on duty for any reason, including fatigue or medical problems, shall report this fact to the appropriate supervisor prior to the employee's shift or working hours.

If, after the employee has reported for duty, he/she feels the onset of drowsiness, the employee shall report this fact to the appropriate supervisor.

Drowsiness of Co-Worker When two or more employees are on duty at the same time within the perimeter of the same duty station and one employee is observed to be drowsy, the co-worker(s) shall take reasonable steps to help that employee maintain a high level of alertness and attentiveness to duty.

If the co-worker feels that such steps are not having the desired results, the co-worker shall promptly notify the appropriate supervisor.

Leaving a Duty Station

If an employee finds it necessary to leave his/her duty station or assigned responsibility, the employee shall

Ÿ seek and receive permission from the appropriate supervisor to be relieved from duty

Ÿ leave the duty station only upon being relieved by a properly assigned co-worker or supervisor.

Determining Department Corrective Action

If an employee is found to have neglected his/her duties, the Department shall immediately review the following criteria to determine if any disciplinary action should be taken:

Ÿ the effect of the incident on the mandate of the Department

Ÿ the employee's work history, including any previous measures taken to correct the employee if this is not the first incident

Ÿ the seriousness of the offense in terms of

- the employee's duties, responsibilities and level in the organization

- the possible impact on state property or equipment, health, safety or well-being of clients or staff.

Ÿ the circumstances surrounding the incident

Ÿ any mitigating circumstances.

Penalty for Neglect of Duty

The penalty for neglect of duty may include disciplinary action up to and including suspension and dismissal.

Note: An employee shall not be penalized for inability to perform duties due to legitimate medical reasons unless the employee fails to use medications or measures prescribed to alleviate or correct the condition.

Connecticut Department of Children and Families          Effective Date:  July 1, 2003 (Revised)