Sec. 2-173.Reduction in force policy for employees covered under civil service and for general employees.


(a)   Establishment.  There is hereby established a reduction in force policy for all employees of the City of Norfolk.  This policy is being adopted after having:


(1)       Considered the recommendation of the Norfolk Civil Ser­vice Commission on such policy;


(2)       Given reasonable notice to each employee of the time, date and location of a public hearing on the policy; and


(3)       Conducted said public hearing in accordance with the noti­fication provided to each city employee.


(b)   Factors.  An employee who has successfully fulfilled the probationary period for the position which he or she holds, will be removed from the city payroll only after any probationary employees in the same position have been removed.  In the event there are no such probationary employees, or if further reduction is to occur after removal of probationary employees, then the following factors shall be considered for a reduction in force:


 (1)       The employment policies and staffing needs of the depart­ment or division together with the contracts, ordinances and statutes related thereto;


(2)       Required federal, state, or local certifications or licenses;


(3)       The multiple job skills recently or currently being per­formed by the employee;


(4)       The knowledge, skills, and abilities of the employee;


(5)       The performance appraisal of the employee including any recent or pending disciplinary actions involving the employee;


(6)       Seniority;


(7)       Such other factors as may be determined to be relevant under the facts and circumstances of such reduction in force.


Theses factors may be documented or supported by employee evaluations, disciplinary actions, employee files, commendations, documented training, citizen reports, and other verifiable com­ments or data relevant to the factors to be considered.


(c)   Weighting of factors.  Equal weight shall be accorded to each of the foregoing factors.


(d)   Determination.  Prior to the termination of any employment due to a reduction in force, the department head or division head of the department or division in which the reduction is to occur shall meet with the city administrator for the purpose of deter­mining which employee or employees should be terminated, tak­ing into consideration the factors described above.


They shall first determine the class in which the reduction is to occur, and then they shall apply the factors to each employee within that class, and determine which employee or employees should be terminated.


If an employee class other than entry level is selected for the reduction in force, the process used shall be applied to the class selected and all other subordinate classes within the division.


(e)   Notification.  When it has been determined that an employee is to be terminated due to a reduction in force, he or she shall be notified in writing by the department or division head of:


(1)       The fact that his or her employment is being terminated due to a reduction in force;


(2)       The effective date of the termination;


(3)       The reason that such employee was selected for a reduc­tion in force; and


(4)       The employee's right to appeal the action taken to the Norfolk Civil Service Commission if the employee is a police officer or firefighter; or to the mayor and city coun­cil, as a governing body, for any other employee, to be represented by an attorney, and to confront and cross-examine available adverse witnesses at such hearing.


(f)   Effective date.  No reduction in force as to any employee shall be effective until fourteen (14) days have elapsed from the time such employee has been notified in writing that his or her employment is being terminated due to a reduction in force.


(g)   Appeal.  An employee whose employment is terminated due to a reduction in force shall have the right to appeal such action to the Norfolk Civil Service Commission (for a police officer or firefighter) or to the mayor and city council, as a governing body, (for all other employees), which shall proceed to hear such matter as in other cases.  The general rules pertaining to appeals of other matters to the commission (or mayor and city council, as a gov­erning body,) under this article shall prevail.  The commission (or mayor and city council, as a governing body,) in considering the matter, shall determine whether the department head, division head and city administrator fairly and reasonably applied the factors described above and acted from honest convictions with­out any ill will, fraud, collusion, or other such improper motives.


(h)   Reinstatement.  Within two (2) years following the effective date of the reduction in force, any person terminated solely be­cause of the reduction in force shall be afforded an opportunity for reinstatement to the same position from which the termina­tion occurred or a position below the former position, provided that the person is qualified to perform the duties of the position and such reinstatement would be in the best interest of the city. 


Source: Ord. No. 3368, § 23, 12-16-85; Ord. No. 3492, § 1, 7-6-87