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A. Notwithstanding any provision in this code to the contrary, the procedures and protections provided for in this chapter only apply to permanent full-time and permanent part-time employees. Extra help, temporary and probationary employees are deemed to be “at-will” employees and may be fired without need for cause and without employing the procedures set forth in this chapter,

It is the intent of this chapter to provide a basis and uniform procedures for disciplining employees and to provide rights to the employee(s) to contest same as provided under California law. Employees may only be disciplined for just cause and discipline shall be subject to the concepts of progressive discipline, where appropriate. (Depending upon the circumstances and where warranted, employees may be subject to suspension or termination for serious misconduct without progressive discipline).

A permanent employee may be discharged, suspended or demoted pursuant to this chapter. Prior to taking any disciplinary action against a permanent employee, the appointing authority shall contact and discuss such action with the Personnel Director. To initiate a disciplinary action against a permanent employee, the appointing authority, or his or her designee, shall give the employee a written notice outlining the proposed action and the reasons for such action, the code and ordinance sections which the employee is alleged to have violated, and notice of the right to respond to the charges verbally and/or in writing to the appointing authority. The appointing authority shall, to the extent practicable and reasonable, provide the employee with copies of any reports that directly pertain to the proposed discipline. At least seven days prior to the effective date of the proposed disciplinary action, the notice shall be served upon the employee who is the subject of the disciplinary action. The employee may, within said seven day period, respond orally and/or in writing to the proposed action and may request a meeting with the appointing authority or the person designated to serve as the initial Hearing Officer, to respond to the charges against the employee.

B. After the time has elapsed for receiving response from the employee, and taking any response into account together with the recommendation of the Hearing Officer, the appointing authority shall decide whether discipline should be taken against the employee. The decision of the appointing authority imposing discipline (as originally proposed or as revised after receipt of the employee response) shall be prepared by the appointing authority, and shall be reviewed by County Counsel or the Personnel Director for legal sufficiency. The decision and written order for disciplinary action shall advise the employee of the effective date of any such order and shall include a copy of the applicable provisions in the County Personnel Code pertaining to the appeal rights and procedures available to the employee, if not previously given to the employee. The written order for discipline shall be served on the employee who is subject of the disciplinary action. If personal service upon the employee of the written notice of the order cannot be reasonably effected, a copy shall be sent by registered mail to the employee at his/her last known address.

Notwithstanding any other provision to the contrary in the County Code or any county rule, policy or administrative procedure, in the event that the order provides for the termination of employment, then the employee shall be deemed terminated for all purposes upon the effective date stated in the order or upon service of the order if no date is specified.