Employee Handbook


Revised and Approved by Council

November 8, 2018





WHEREAS it is necessary to maintain skilled qualified personnel and to compete with private enterprise as respects to wages and benefits, the City Council, City of Bonaparte, Iowa, being desirous of establishing principles and procedures to the end that its employees may have reasonable assurance that they will be dealt with on a equitable basis, does hereby adopt the following as a resolution which shall be in force and effect on this date.


The contents of this handbook are presented as a matter of information only.  The plans, policies and procedures described are not conditions of employment.  The City of Bonaparte reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate, or change any or all such plans, policies or procedures, in whole or in part, at any time with or without notice.  The language which appears in this booklet is not intended to create nor is it to be construed to constitute a contract between the City and any one or all of its employees.




Applicants hired by the City of Bonaparte shall be appointed to their positions by the City Council, City of Bonaparte, Iowa, after receiving recommendation from the Mayor.
After the applicant is hired, he or she must submit to a physical examination and a pre-employment urine drug screen prior to active employment, said examination to be at the expense of the City of Bonaparte. Employee must take a job description with him/her to physician. 
The probationary period for all regular positions shall be ninety (90) days.
Any written application will be rejected if the applicant does not meet the minimum qualifications required for the position.  Applicants shall be rejected if the applicant is not a United States citizen, is not physically or mentally fit for the performance of duties, has knowingly made any false statement of any material fact, or attempted to practice any deception or fraud in his application.  The applicant shall not be denied employment because of race, political affiliation, creed or sex.
Any person employed by the City of Bonaparte, at the discretion of the Council, may be required to live within the corporate limits of the City within a reasonable time after employment.



Each employee of the City of Bonaparte belongs to one of the employment category as described below:


      All Regular employees are scheduled to work 40 hours per week.  Regular employees are entitled to all benefits offered by the City, subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of each benefit program.



All Regular Part-time Employees are scheduled to work up to 40 hours per week.  Regular Part-time employs are entitled to partial benefits offered by the City as set forth in this Handbook, subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of each benefit program.



Employees hired to work for a specified period of time or for a specific task such as during particularly busy period for the summer.  Hours may vary widely from week to week, depending on the needs of the City at the time.  Temporary/casual/emergency employees are expected to abide by the provisions of this handbook, the same as regular full-time, or regular part-time employees.  This category of employee shall not be entitled to receive benefits and will have necessary withholdings deducted each pay period.




It is the City’s policy that all employment decisions shall be based on merit, qualifications, and competence.  Employment practices shall not be influenced or affected by virtue of an applicant’s or employee’s race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, mental or physical handicap (if otherwise qualified) unrelated to ability to do the job or any other characteristic protected by law.  This policy governs all aspects of employment, promotion, assignment, compensation, discharge, and all other terms and conditions of employment.






The City is committed to providing a work environment that is free of harassment.  Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or any other legally-protected characteristic will not be tolerated.
If you have reason to believe that you have been the victim of any type of harassment, you should immediately report the facts of the incident to the Mayor or City Attorney. A prompt and thorough investigation will be conducted, and appropriate corrective action will be taken where it is warranted.
Any employee engaging in any improper harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.




It is the City’s policy to conduct business ethically and to avoid conflicts of interest or even the appearance of such conflicts. Our employees have an equal obligation to avoid conflicts of interest and are expected to comply with all Iowa laws concerning conflicts of interest, ethics and gifts.
We expect our employees to report conflicts of interest to the Mayor or City Attorney immediately upon discovery or suspicion of a conflict.  The City will review each situation on its merits and notify you of decisions made or actions to be taken concerning the conflict.





The normal work schedule for Regular employees is eight hours a day, five days a week, which may include Saturdays.  This will usually be Monday through Friday with one-half hour off (unpaid) for lunch.  Exceptions to this rule will be made when the needs of the City and citizens must be served, or services maintained on a different schedule.  Work weeks may exceed forty (40) hours per week, but the variances must be approved by the Mayor.  
The City retains the right to require any and all employees to work additional hours when an emergency exists, as determined by the Mayor and/or Council. 
Mayor and/or Council may change or alter employee job duties when it is deemed necessary or desirable to do so, this includes starting and ending times as well as the total number of hours that may be scheduled each day and week.
Employees are responsible to complete a time sheet, on a bi-weekly basis, for time worked, including vacation, personal and sick time used.  Time sheets are to be turned in on the last day of the pay-period.  If a time sheet is turned in after the City Clerk has completed payroll, that employee will not receive a paycheck until their time sheet has been turned in and approved by the mayor.



Employees employed on an hourly-rate basis will be paid overtime in addition to straight-time earnings equivalent to one-half the hourly rate multiplied by the number of hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours in the week.  Any overtime must be approved by the Mayor.



Verification of current and former employees of the City as well as reference inquiries from other employees will be handled by the Mayor and/or City Clerk.




Even though employees of the City of Bonaparte are expected to comply with Iowa open records laws, certain records the City maintains are confidential, such as a customer’s individual utility record.  Also, during the course of an employee’s duties other information may arise that should be considered private or confidential.
Any employee who discloses confidential information or uses private information learned in the course of their job duties will be subject to disciplinary action which can include discharge and legal action.



It is each employee’s responsibility to promptly notify the City Clerk of any changes in personal information, such as mailing address, telephone number, number and names of dependents, individuals to be contacted in the event of an emergency, educational accomplishments, beneficiary changes, or other such status reports.  Please don’t assume that we “just know” when these changes occur.





All regular employees covered by this resolution shall be entitled to:         

Five (5) vacation days after one year of service,

            Ten (10) vacation days after two (2) years of service, and

            Fifteen (15) vacation days after five (5) years of service.

*Regular Part-time employees will accrue PTO (paid time off) as follows:

            Five (5) days after one year of service,

            Ten (10) days after three years of service. 

Regular part-time employees will not accrue more than 10 days of PTO.  PTO must be taken within the twelve (12) month period of the employee’s anniversary date.  Anniversary date shall be construed to mean the date of employment.  If the PTO is not used within the (12) month period, the PTO shall be paid out to employee. 

Vacation time shall be taken within the twelve (12) month period of the employee's anniversary date.  Anniversary date shall be construed to mean the date of employment.
Vacation time will be granted for the period selected by the employee, subject to the approval of the Mayor, with the understanding that the operation of the City must be assured.  The employee must fill out a Vacation Request Form, which can be found in City Hall.  This form must be filled out and approved prior to the time the employee is requesting off.
The City prefers that three weeks not be taken consecutively but will give consideration to special circumstances.  Prior approval from the Mayor is needed.
Earned vacation shall be paid to all employees covered by this Resolution who resign from the City service, have at least twelve (12) months of service, and are leaving the city service in good standing, when two weeks’ notice of intent to resign is given.  Terminal leave as defined above does not include accumulated sick leave.
Vacation pay will be granted in lieu of earned vacation. Earned vacation pay will be paid to the employee at the end of the first quarter for the prior year's earned vacation.  Employee must have approval from the Mayor and must complete a request form.
Overtime pay is not allowed when vacation or sick time is used within a pay period.






All regular employees are entitled to the following days as designated as legal holidays:

New Year’s Day (2 days)
Memorial Day
Presidents' Day
Independence Day
Labor Day
Thanksgiving (2 days)
Christmas (2 days)


When one of the above days falls on a Saturday, it will be observed on the preceding Friday.  Those that fall on a Sunday, it will be observed the following Monday.
When a regular employee is required to work a designated holiday, they shall be paid at the rate of two (2) times his hourly wage for the time worked.  This must be approved by the Mayor.
Regular employees will be compensated eight (8) hours for holiday pay.
Regular Part-time Employees are entitled to compensation for a holiday that falls on a day they are regularly scheduled to work.  Compensation will be for the hours the regular part-time employee would normally be scheduled to work.  If a holiday falls on their scheduled day off, there will be no compensated holiday pay.




Regular full-time employees covered by this handbook will be entitled to twelve (12) days of sick leave with pay, each calendar year, may accumulate to a maximum of ninety (90) days, and shall be earned at the rate of one (1) day per month of service.
The official sick leave record shall be maintained by the City Clerk.
The term "sick leave" shall not be construed as a vacation leave and any abuse thereof may be reason for discharge. 
Sick leave will be granted for absence from duty because of personal illness of the employee only.  
The City reserves the right to direct a physician to investigate and decide whether sick leave is being abused.
After three (3) or more days of illness, the City may require the employee to furnish a written release from the physician before returning to active employment.
Employees returning from a medical leave must provide a physician’s verification of their fitness to return to work.
Each employee shall be covered by worker's compensation paid for by the City.  The City shall pay to such employee the difference between his salary and the benefits received under worker's compensation for a period following said injury, for a maximum of 30 days, but not exceeding the number of sick leave days accumulated.
All accidents must be reported to the Mayor and Council within twenty-four (24) hours of the accident to insure proper coverage under Workman's Compensation Law.
One day of sick leave shall not exceed the equivalent of one full working day.
The employee must notify the Mayor that he wishes to use his available sick leave, funeral leave, or any other leave.


Leave of absence without pay may be granted to employees upon recommendation of the Mayor and approval of the City Council. 
An employee requesting a leave of absence without pay must have been employed by the City for at least five (5) years. 
A leave of absence shall not be granted for more than one (1) year.  If an employee is not able to return to work at the end of one year's absence, he shall be considered to have resigned or retired, the classification to be decided by the City Council.



The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires covered employers who have 50 or more employees to provide unpaid medical leave, under certain conditions.  Since the City of Bonaparte does not have 50 or more employees, employees are entitled to leave set out in this handbook under Sick Leave, Leave of Absence, and Maternity-Related Absences.  Also, employees are referred to the FMLA notice posted at City Hall for more information regarding rights under FMLA.




After a probationary period of ninety days, three (3) days of paid bereavement leave will be provided to all regular employees for attending the funeral and to make any necessary arrangements associated with the death of immediate family, which would include: spouse, parent, child, sibling, spouse’s parents, grandparents or grandchild (includes step relationships). 
One day or less shall be given for death of uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, sister-in-law or brother-in-law.
Vacation time, if available, can be used for additional bereavement leave.
Regular employees will be compensated eight (8) hours per day taken for bereavement pay.
You must notify the Mayor immediately if you need to take time off due to the death of a family member.




In the event it is necessary for a regular employee to serve on jury duty, the City will pay the difference between your regular rate of pay and the payment you receive from the courts for the time spent on jury duty.  To simplify recordkeeping, the City is willing to continue paying your regular paycheck while you are on jury duty with the understanding that you will reimburse the City for the jury duty pay when you receive it from the court (all except mileage).  You are expected to report for work whenever the court schedule permits.
You must notify the Mayor immediately if you need to take time off for Jury Duty Leave.



January 1st of each calendar year, each regular full-time employee shall be credited with one (1) day to be used for the employee's personal business. 
Regular full-time employees will be compensated eight (8) hours for personal leave pay.
You must notify the Mayor of your intent to take a Personal Day, except in cases of emergency.



The City of Bonaparte will provide maternity leave to regular employees, as required by law.  You may use any available sick leave or vacation time for maternity leave. 
Notify the Mayor as soon as you become aware of a need for a maternity leave of absence, noting the approximate day the leave is expected to begin, the expected duration, and the date you can be expected to return to work. 
Any changes in this information should be promptly reported to the Mayor and/or City Clerk.






Leaves of absence for training in the National Guard or armed services shall be granted in accordance with state statutes and subsidiary rules approved by the council.



No regular employee shall engage in outside employment which would tend to impair his efficiency, reduce his effectiveness or tend to create a conflict of interest (unless specifically exempted by state law). 
Any employee designing to do any other work shall request approval from the Mayor before engaging in the proposed outside employment.  Any changes in the circumstances as to the length of time, the time of employment or purpose of the job shall require new approval.  Appeal from the Mayor's ruling may be taken to the Council.




All Regular full-time employees are eligible for health insurances 30 days following their date of hire. 
The City of Bonaparte shall provide insurance for any regular full-time employee as selected by the City Council. 
It is not mandatory that an employee participate in this program, and there may be instances where it is beneficial to the City if an employee has their own personal insurance.  In these instances, regular full-time employees shall be reimbursed by the City for this expense, not to exceed $350 for single insurance coverage.  Family coverage will not be reimbursed, as the City does not provide family coverage for any employee.




Employees will be given an annual salary review by the Finance Committee, based on the Performance Review done by the Personnel Committee each year on the employee’s anniversary date.  Salary consideration will be given at the time of the annual budget hearing, with any pay increases effective the following July 1st. 





Employees of the City shall conduct themselves in a manner not detrimental to the effectiveness of the City.  Disciplinary action may be taken for such abuses as may tend to break down the orderly conduct of the City's business, including, but not limited to the following:

      Tardiness, absenteeism, falsifying applications or records, carelessness in handling the City equipment, illegal use of sick leave, dishonesty, insubordination, drunkenness, drinking intoxicating liquors, or using illegal drugs on the job, inefficiency, or any other action which interferes with carrying on municipal work.  Such disciplinary action shall consist of oral and/or written reprimands, suspensions, and/or discharge.

The City will not discharge any employee without cause and shall give at least one written warning notice to the employee before discharge, except no warning notice will be given to an employee before he is discharged for dishonesty, wrongful use of sick leave, careless handling of city equipment, drunkenness, or drinking of intoxicating liquors, or the use of illegal drugs while on the job.
An employee may request an investigation concerning his discharge.  Upon such a request, the City Council shall, within twenty (20) days, conduct an investigation. The City Council shall have final authority on a discharge except when appeals are specified otherwise in the Code of Iowa.




Federal and state laws require that we keep an accurate record of time worked by hourly employees in order to calculate pay and benefits.  Time worked is all the time you actually spend on the job performing assigned duties.
Pay periods are bi-weekly, with the pay period beginning on Friday and ending on Thursday. 
Time cards are to be turned in to the City Clerk no later than 8:00 am on Friday following each pay period.
The City of Bonaparte has bi-weekly pay periods with pay day being on Friday.  If pay day falls on a holiday in which City Hall is closed, you will be paid on the Thursday preceding the holiday.  In the case that the Thursday is also a holiday, you will be paid on Wednesday.
Most payroll related adjustments or errors will be corrected on the following pay check.  See the City Clerk if there is a problem with your paycheck




Regular employees are allowed two fifteen-minute breaks (paid) during each regular work day during the week.  One should be taken midway through your morning hours and the other midway through your afternoon hours.
Part-time employees can take one fifteen-minute break for each continuous four-hour period worked.
Lunch periods for Regular employees are usually one-half hour in length and are unpaid time off.  Lunch periods and break times are not to be used in order to leave earlier or start later in the work day.


Regular employees shall be compensated for travel expenses, including mileage, per diem for meals, and time it takes to arrive at destination, which includes to and from City Hall.
Mileage reimbursement will be paid based on the current’s year’s Internal Revenue Service mileage rate.
Per Diem for meals shall be $7.50 for breakfast, $10.00 for lunch, and $15.00 for supper.  No meal expense shall exceed these amounts, and shall not include alcoholic beverages, or tips.  *RECEIPTS MUST BE PROVIDED WITH THE MILEAGE EXPENSE SHEET*
Travel time will be paid for time it takes to travel to and from City Hall to the established location.  Overtime will be paid if hours exceed 40 hours within the work week, which does not include holiday, sick or vacation time.




The City of Bonaparte is required by law to make certain deductions from every employee’s paycheck.  Among these are federal and state income taxes, social security and Medicare tax, and IPERS contributions.  These are automatically deducted from your paycheck.  The amount of income tax withheld is determined by the W-4’s you complete at the beginning of your employment.  These can be changed at your discretion by completing another W-4 Form and filing it with the City Clerk.
Pay setoffs involve deductions taken from an employee’s paycheck by the City as directed by garnishment papers served on the City, court-ordered child support withholding deductions, or other deductions the City is legally obligated to make.




The City of Bonaparte provides a comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance program as required by state law.  This program covers any injury or illness sustained in the course of your employment that requires medical, surgical or hospital treatment.
If you sustain a work-related injury or illness, you must inform the Mayor or City Clerk immediately, no matter how minor an on-the-job injury may appear.  A first report of injury must be completed for any work-related injury or illness requiring more than first aid and may also be required at other times.
The City of Bonaparte may conduct drug or alcohol testing in investigating accidents in the workplace in which the accident resulted in an injury which is required to be reported to the Labor Commissioner, or resulted in damage to property, including equipment, in an amount reasonably estimated to exceed one thousand dollars.  This will be determined by the Mayor on a case by case basis.






To assure orderly operations and provide the best possible work environment, the City expects its employees to follow rules of conduct that will protect the rights, interests and safety of all employees and citizens.  It is not possible to list all the forms of behavior that are considered unacceptable in the work place, but the following are examples of infractions of rules of conduct that may result in disciplinary action, including suspension or termination of employment.


- Discourteous conduct toward citizens or poor customer service.
- Theft or inappropriate removal or possession of City property.
- Falsification of timekeeping records.
- Working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Possession, distribution, sale, transfer, or use of alcohol or illegal drugs in the work place, while on duty, or while operating employer-owned or leased vehicles or equipment.
- Fighting or threatening violence in the work place.
- Boisterous or disruptive activity in the work place.
- Negligence or improper conduct leading to damage of city-owned property.
- Insubordination or other disrespectful conduct.
- Violation of safety or health rules.
- Sexual or other forms of harassment.
- Possession of dangerous or unauthorized materials, such as explosives, or firearms, in the work place.
- Excessive absenteeism or tardiness.
- Smoking and/or any type of nicotine is prohibited in any city owned property or vehicles.
- Violation of personnel policies.
- Unsatisfactory work performance or conduct.




Employment with the City of Bonaparte is based on mutual consent.  Both you and the City have the right to terminate the employment relationship at will, with or without cause, at any time.
If you choose to leave the City voluntarily, we request that you give us at least two-week notice – more if possible.
Federal law requires that some employee insurance benefits (notably health insurance) may be continued after termination of employment at your expense, if you so choose.  You will be notified of the benefits you can continue and of the terms, conditions, limitations and costs associated with each.  Contact the City Clerk if you have any questions.
Any City property in your possession at termination must be returned to the City no later than your last day of work.  This includes keys, manuals, credit cards, maps, etc.
If you are terminating due to a change of address, we need to have a forwarding address, so we can send a W-2 Form at year end.



1.      Smoking and/or any type of nicotine (chewing tobacco) is prohibited in any city owned property or vehicles.

2.      Vaping is not allowed on or in City-owned property or vehicles.




No employee may be under the influence of any illegal drug or alcohol, nor possess, consume, distribute, transfer, purchase or sell alcohol or illegal drugs while on duty (includes lunch hour). 
Employees shall not be alcohol or drug impaired while operating a vehicle or equipment owned or leased by the City.  Any such activity will lead to disciplinary action, including suspension and discharge.






The establishment and maintenance of a safe work environment is the shared responsibility of the City and its employees.  The City of Bonaparte will attempt to do everything within its control to assure a safe environment and to comply with federal, state, and local safety regulations.  Employees are expected to obey safety rules and to exercise caution in all work activities.  You are asked to immediately report any unsafe conditions to the Mayor and/or City Council.  Every employee is expected to report and/or correct unsafe conditions as promptly as possible.
All accidents that result in injury must be reported immediately regardless of how insignificant the injury may appear.  These reports are necessary in order to comply with laws and initiate insurance and worker’s compensation procedures.




It is important that you take pride in your work area and that you keep it neat and orderly at all times.  Having your work area well organized contributes to efficiency and it creates a good impression for our citizens.




Equipment and vehicles essential in accomplishing job duties are expensive and may be difficult to replace.  When using City property, you are expected to exercise care, perform required maintenance, and follow all operating instructions, safety standards, and guidelines.
When driving on City business, you are expected to observe area traffic laws.  This includes wearing of seat belts.  Tickets that result from an infraction of traffic laws or parking violations are your own responsibility.
Notify the Mayor if any equipment, machines tools, or vehicles appear to be damaged, defective, or in need of repair.  Prompt reporting of these situations could prevent deterioration of equipment and possible injury to employees or others.  The Mayor can answer questions about your responsibility for maintenance and care of equipment or vehicles used on your job.
The improper, careless, negligent, destructive, or unsafe use or operation of equipment or vehicles can result in disciplinary action, including discharge.
A log of backhoe use shall be kept up-to-date at all times.  All hours must be logged and turned in to City Clerk every week.





We expect our employees to be neatly groomed and to dress appropriately for the work they are doing.  We do not allow our employees to work in torn or soiled clothing, or attire that may be offensive to our citizens or other employees.  Inappropriate attire will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.




The following information, when previously furnished or subsequently collected in sum or in part, is to be included in the employee’s official personnel file.  Such documents shall be subject to access by the employee and subsequent disclosure consistent with Employer policy.
Records used in deciding such employment actions as hiring, promotions, salary increases, disciplinary actions and terminations;

      Records relating to an employee are past and present compensation;

      Records consisting of information provided by, or signed by, the employee; and

      Include any non-sensitive information and records kept in the files such as the following:


Completed job application form
Employment eligibility Form I-9 (hired after 1/1/86)
Resumes and transcripts of coursework
Licenses and registrations, when required
Performance evaluations
Salary history
Disciplinary actions


Employee personnel records are confidential, pursuant to Iowa Code 22.7(11) and shall be maintained by the City Clerk.  It is the policy of the City that each employee should be free to examine their own personnel files, subject to Iowa Code 91B.1 and the following provision:

The Mayor and employee shall agree on the time the employee may have access to the employee’s personnel file, and a representative of the City may be present.
The City will charge a reasonable fee for each copy made by an employee of an item in the employee’s personnel file.







Bonaparte Iowa