The employee was suspended without pay based on the findings of the investigation. The employee did not appeal the discipline or otherwise file a grievance concerning the disciplinary action.
Later, however, an attorney for the employee sought to have the disciplinary measures removed from the employee’s file and to have the employee’s pay reinstated for the period of the suspension. Upon advice of counsel, I agreed to this request. Attorneys’ fees were paid in the amount of $2500 to the employee’s attorney. No other payment was made to or on behalf of the employee. I was advised that this resolution of a matter that appeared likely to result in expensive and time-consuming litigation was in the best interests of the City. I subsequently advised members of the council about it.
It is the Mayor’s responsibility to run the day to day operations of the city. The council’s role is to pass the budget and provide money for those day to day operations. The city council receives monthly financial statements. The money for the attorneys’ fees was paid out of the 2014-15 budget the council approved under the professional fees line item. The amount of the referenced payments was within the approved budget and I was advised to approve the payment by the City Attorney in accordance with prior practice of the City.
Throughout this matter, I have followed advice of counsel representing the City of Scottsboro and I agree that the resolution of this matter as outlined above was in the best interests of the City of Scottsboro and the employee involved. There are no pending personnel matters with the employee. In accordance with our general practice with respect to personnel matters, I have made no other comment or statement about this matter and have no additional plans to do so.
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 11:04 AM
To: Steve Kennamer
The Mayor has made a written statement this week regarding certain issues in the city. Copies of the statement have been provided to us and the media. I have reviewed the statement individually with each Councilman. My view is and that of the consensus of the Council members is the information contained in the statement is true and correct.
City Council President
Sex Discrimination & Work Situations
Sex Discrimination HarassmentIt is unlawful to harass a person because of that person's sex. Harassment can include "sexual harassment" or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature. Harassment does not have to be of a sexual nature, however, and can include offensive remarks about a person's sex. For example, it is illegal to harass a woman by making offensive comments about women in general.
Both victim and the harasser can be either a woman or a man, and the victim and harasser can be the same sex.
Although the law doesn't prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious, harassment is illegal when it is so frequent or severe that it creates a hostile or offensive work environment or when it results in an adverse employment decision (such as the victim being fired or demoted).
The harasser can be the victim's supervisor, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or someone who is not an employee of the employer, such as a client or customer.
- "...an employer cannot lawfully limit your right to testify, assist, or participate in an investigation, hearing, or proceeding conducted by the EEOC or prevent you from filing a charge of discrimination with the agency. An employer also cannot lawfully require you to return the money or benefits it gave you in exchange for waving your rights if you do file a charge." http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/qanda_severance-agreements.html#III
Definitions.As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) FELONY. A criminal offense that is defined and punishable under the laws of this state, or an offense committed outside the State of Alabama, which if committed in this state, would constitute a felony under Alabama law; a crime in any other state or a crime against the United States which is designated as a felony; or an offense in any other state, territory, or country punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year.
(2) PRIVATE INVESTIGATION. The compensated act of any individual or company engaging in the business of obtaining or furnishing information with reference to any of the following:
a. A crime committed or threatened against the United States or any state or territory of the United States.
b. The identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, including, but not limited to, the credibility of a person giving testimony in a criminal or civil proceeding, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movement, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputations, or character of any person.
c. The location, disposition, or recovery of lost or stolen property.
d. The cause or responsibility for fires, losses, accidents, damages, or injuries to persons or to property.
(3) PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR. a. A person who, for compensation, performs one or more of the private investigation services defined and regulated by this chapter.
b. A person who, for consideration, advertises as providing or performing private investigation. The term does not include an informant who, on a one time or limited basis, as a result of a unique expertise, ability, or vocation, and who provides information or services while under the direction and control of a licensee of the board, that would otherwise be included in the definition of private investigation.
c. A person who is engaged in private investigation as defined herein and who is licensed in accordance with this chapter.
(Act 2013-306, p. 1021, §2.)
Practice of private investigation without a license; location of records.(a) Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, it shall be unlawful for any person to act as a private investigator without first obtaining a license from the board. For prosecution purposes, a violation of this chapter is classified as a Class A misdemeanor.
(b) Each person licensed in accordance with this chapter shall designate to the board a physical address where his or her records are to be kept.
(Act 2013-306, p. 1021, §10.)
Exceptions.This chapter does not apply to the following:
(1) An employee of any business or entity that is not primarily engaged in the business of private investigation when that employee is performing duties related to his or her employment.
(2) An investigation of the internal affairs of a private business entity investigating a current or prospective employee.
(3) An employee of any business or entity that is not primarily engaged in the business of private investigation when that employee is working under a contract for his or her services that his or her employer signed with a third party.
(4) Any person or professional, including without limitation an attorney providing legal services, who is not primarily engaged in the business of private investigation, but who in conjunction with his or her business or profession may occasionally perform private investigation services.
(5) Any business or entity that is not primarily engaged in the business of private investigation.
(6) A consumer reporting agency as defined by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act.
(7) Any certified public accountant authorized to engage in the practice of public accountancy in this state or any entity licensed or otherwise permitted to engage in the practice of public accountancy in this state or the affiliated entities thereof.
(8)a. An attorney-at-law in good standing and licensed to practice law;
b. An employee of a single attorney or single law firm who is acting within the employee's scope of employment for the attorney or law firm; or
c. A consultant, accident reconstructionist, or forensic scientist when the person is retained by an attorney, insurance company representative, or appointed by a court to serve as an expert witness or to investigate, or to make tests, conduct experiments, draw conclusions, render opinions or make diagnoses, where those services require the use of training or experience in a technical, scientific, or social science field.
(9) Any individual engaged in any of the following:
a. Computer or digital forensic services.
b. The acquisition, review, or analysis of digital or computer-based information in order to obtain or furnish information for evidentiary or other purposes or to provide expert testimony before any court, board, officer, or investigating committee.
c. Network or system vulnerability testing, including network scans and risk assessment and analysis of computers connected to a network.