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Reply To: Merit System Reforms – DISCUSSION

Courtney Durrett

Some questions/thoughts on the proposed changes:

42-52 – Positions and employees included in system:
New language – “The Sheriff’s appointees shall be those employees…” – Is there a restriction on the number of appointees? Will these employees be aware their job does NOT fall under protections of the Merit System when hired?

42-53 – Merit System Board of Directors:
If we must increase the number of members, I think five is more reasonable, since COK, Nashville and Memphis have five. Hamilton Co. actually has 3 members because they follow the 1974 state law.

42-58 – Competitive tests; lists of eligibles:
(a) New language – “…the board shall, as often as required by the necessity of and the request of the office of the Sheriff, hold tests for the purpose of establishing lists of eligibles for the various positions of the classified service.”

What does testing at the request of the Sheriff mean? Immediate testing? Schedule testing?

(a) New language – “Prior to placement on the list of eligibles, background investigations must be completed by the Sheriff and the candidate found in conformity with standards.

The current process begins with the records department completing the criminal history check (which is done before anything else). If they have a criminal history, they do not even move forward with testing since there is an expense to test each applicant. Currently, the Sheriff’s office only does their background checks on the applicants they select to move forward with after they have passed our initial process and have been placed on the eligibility list.

Removing “by the Sheriff” will keep the process as it is currently.

42-60 – Transfers:
New language – “All employees in the classified service may be transferred from one position to another within and between classes of positions as determined by the Sheriff only under rules established by the merit system council.” The merit rules that pertain to transfers are the classification plan set forth in 42-55. Striking this portion of the language and replacing it with “as determined by the Sheriff” removes protections created under the classification plan. Simply removing the language “as determined by the Sheriff” will remedy this contradiction.

42-67 – Grievances which may be addressed by the Merit System Board:
Are the grievances listed the only grievable offenses? There is no mention of employees being able to grieve any transfer or demotion for political reasons.

General question – Do we need to be compliant with state law?