It’s a lot to digest. So
much, in fact, members of the Pinedale Town
Council decided to table any actions on a proposed
employee guide that includes job descriptions,
wage scales and evaluation forms
for the town’s employees.
The Pinedale Town Council reviewed a
proposed 81-page document at a work session
during the March 11 council meeting.
Mayor Matt Murdock and council members
Dean Loftus, Tyler Swafford and John Paravicini
were in attendance. One seat on the
council remains vacant following the Feb. 25
resignation of council member Jim Brost.
Updating the current 50-page document
that has been on the books since 2014 was
listed as one of the council’s priorities during
recent work sessions.
Included in the document is an employee
review. Town Clerk Maureen Rudnick said
an employee’s pay is not based on the review.
However, a minimum score is required on the
review to qualify an employee to move up a
step in the pay scale.
Also addressed is the town’s ban on smoking.
The town has always prohibited smoking
in buildings, vehicles and equipment owned
by the town. However, with new vices comes
the question if vaping devices should also be
banned. Then what about chewing tobacco?
Loftus asked if the point of the policy is to
protect the public and coworkers from second-
hand smoke, then do vaping and chewing
tobacco need to be included. The town’s
ordinance prohibits the “sale of any device
that can distribute nicotine” to anyone under
18, and one suggestion was that the language
in the employee handbook should mirror the
language in the ordinance.
The policy mandates pre-employment
drug testing for all applicants. There is also
a mandatory drug test following an accident
and random testing selected by a computerbased
random number generator.
Among other changes is a reduction of
paid maternity or paternity leave from the
current 20 days to a proposed 10 days.
A section prohibits an employee from accruing
more than 384 hours, or 48 days, of
sick leave. That has been included in the most
recent policy but was not always the case.
Murdock said that was a change from the past
when one employee had accumulated more
than 1,000 hours. The policy enables an employee
to voluntarily donate up to 40 hours
to a coworker who may have expended sick
leave due to an extended illness.
Additional paid holidays were added to the
policy. In addition to New Year’s Day, Martin
Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial
Day, Independence Day, Labor Day,
Veterans Day, Thanksgiving and the day after
Thanksgiving and Christmas, Good Friday was
added to the proposed policy.
The policy dictates employees, who have
worked a minimum of 90 days and up to five
years, can earn one vacation day, or eight hours
of paid vacation leave, every month. For employees
with the town six to 10 years, that increases
to 10 hours a month. Employees with
the town 11 to 15 years receive 12 hours of
vacation a month and that caps out at 16 hours
for any employees with the town more than 16
years. Those benefits mirror the current policy.
Employees who leave, or are “separated”
from the town’s employment, are eligible to
receive unused vacation pay, but not unused
The policy also establishes minimum and
maximum salaries for all positions, even some
that are not on the books. Rudnick said the positions
were included in case the community
grows and those positions are needed in the
Rudnick said she came up with the salary
ranges after calling agencies, such as similarsized
communities, looking at cost-of-living
comparisons and also considering the ability
to pay and the available labor pool.
“Ideally, these should be reviewed annually,”
Rudnick said. She said the town wants
to be competitive in hiring quality employees.
The only comment from the public was by
Lora Hittle, representing the Women’s Advocacy
Group. She asked that the Equal Opportunity
and Harassment Policy include protections
for gender and gender preferences.
The policy currently states, “We prohibit
unlawful discrimination against applicants or
employees on the basis of age, race, sex, color,
religion, national origin, disability, or any other
status protected by applicable state or local
Murdock said there has been some discussion
The proposed policy, including salary
ranges and job descriptions, is posted on the
town’s website as part of the March 11 council
Rudnick said it is just a starting point and
recommendations can be made for future
The policy will also be on the March 25