Commission will consider updating employee handbook

Published 3:50 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Chilton County Commission discussed updating the policies and procedures handbook for all county employees during a work session on Monday.

Commission chairman Allen Caton along with commissioners Shannon Welch, Bobby Agee and Heedy Hayes heard from Jamie Kidd a representative with Webb and Eley law firm, about the possibility of updating the handbook.

Kidd told commissioners after she reviewed the current handbook that was adopted in 1995, there are certain parts of the handbook that need to be updated.

The Center for Governmental Services, a division of Auburn University Outreach, was the department that worked on the handbook when it was first implemented.

“Not only have federal laws changed since 1995, but job descriptions such as requiring someone to have working knowledge of a typewriter are outdated,” Kidd said. “The disadvantage of having an out-of-date handbook is when you hire someone new to come along and work, then they are being given a handbook to serve as guidelines for their job that are outdated.”

Currently, all county employees hired to work for the county receive a policies and procedures handbook made up of more than 100 pages, but commissioners acknowledged Monday night that no one follows the handbook.

Hayes told Kidd he would like to see a handbook from a county similar to Chilton County that would provide ideas for how to construct one that would be useful to the employees of the county.

“I was here [as a commissioner] in 1995 when we adopted the handbook and we have not followed those procedures at all,” Hayes said.

Caton said if the county adopted a new set of guidelines, he would want it to be usable for everyone.

“I would like to see one that is not so complicated and easy for everyone to use and understand,” Caton said.

Kidd said she would be able to help re-write a simpler, cleaner version of the handbook if the commission chose to update the current one.

After helping to re-write the handbook with tailored guidelines specific to Chilton County, Kidd said she could help in having basic employee training for county employees to review everything and make sure it was understandable.

Agee said he would be in support of updating the handbook and making it user friendly for everyone to understand.

“We need to bring what we have up to date,” Agee said. “We should come out of the Dark Ages and into the light.”