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View NCGA Bill Details2023-2024 Session
House Bill 470 (Local) Filed Thursday, March 23, 2023
Intro. by Zenger, Hardister, K. Hall.

Status: Ref To Com On Rules and Operations of the Senate (Senate action) (Apr 27 2023)
H 470

Bill Summaries:

  • Summary date: Apr 26 2023 - View Summary

    House amendment to the 1st edition makes the following changes.

    Amends Sec. 7.45 of the Charter of Greensboro (SL 1959-1137) and Sec. 111.1 of the Charter of the City of Winston-Salem (SL 1927-232) to reduce the number of Civil Service Board (Board) members chosen by each city council at a meeting of the council from two members to one member. Makes conforming change to both charters to account for reduced member. Adds requirement to both charters that one member of the Board has to be chosen by mutual agreement of the Chief of Police and the Fire Chief, in addition to how other members are appointed so that there are four methods of appointment to the Board total, with five members. 

    Amends both charters to expand officers and employees of each city exempt from classified service to now include the Chief of Police, the Deputy Chief of Police, Assistant Chiefs of Police, the Fire Chief, the Deputy Fire Chief, and Assistant Fire Chiefs, in addition to officers and employees already listed. Clarifies that the Board’s rulemaking power set forth in each city’s charter does not authorize it to make any hiring decisions.  

  • Summary date: Mar 23 2023 - View Summary

    Amends the Charters of the Cities of Greensboro and Winston-Salem, SL 1959-1137 and SL 1927-232, respectively and as amended, adding a new section to each with the following identical provisions. 

    Establishes a Civil Service Board (Board) as part of each City's government charged with oversight of their classified service, defined as all nonelected officers and employees of the City, the city manager, directors and assistant directors of departments, members of advisory boards appointed by department directors, clerks and deputy clerks, members of any board or commission appointed by the council, and employees of independent boards choosing their own employees. 

    Provides for the composition of each five-member Board, including two members elected by members of the classified service. Details member eligibility and disqualifications. Allows for successive terms. Provides further details relating to service on and election to the Board. Bars engaging or benefiting from any contractual work or employment with the City for two years following serving on the Board. Specifies members are unpaid except for reimbursement permitted by city policies. Designates the city clerk or their designee as the Board Secretary and describes the duties and responsibilities of the Secretary, including meeting notices and electronic recordings of meetings. Requires the Board to meet annually to adopt a regular meeting schedule. Details notice and agenda requirements of Board meetings. Requires the Board to notify their Director of Human Resources (HR) of any actions, reports, or recommendations made by the Board within a reasonable time after a meeting, with HR then required to notify affected classified service members. Bars supervisors from prohibiting, directing, or discouraging employees from wearing their uniforms while attending Board meetings. 

    Requires each Board to adopt substantive rules pertaining to classified service efficiency. Lists policies that such rules may provide for, among other things, such as position classification and standardization, disciplinary suspensions up to 90 days, and investigations and recordkeeping relating to classified service. Requires the Board to also adopt procedural rules. Describes the procedure for adoption or amendment of rules, including submission to the respective city council, public inspection and public hearing, and required approval by a majority vote of the council. Grants the council authority to amend the rules or amendments submitted to it for approval. 

    Grants each city council (by majority vote of membership), the city manager, or the Board (by majority vote of membership) authority to make official investigations with regard to the operation and enforcement of the new section's provisions, the Board's rules, and the condition of civil service, and refer such matters to the Board for hearing or further investigation. Grants the power to compel witnesses and issue subpoenas for any investigation. Requires copies of investigation reports to be filed with the city clerk and open for public inspection pursuant to state law. 

    Provides procedure for members of the classified service to request a hearing before the Board regarding discharge, suspension, rank reduction, transfer, or denial of promotion or raise; requires exhaustion of all remedies under the City's laws or policies prior to requesting a hearing with the Board. Establishes timelines for grievance procedures and Board hearings. Entitles members to representation at hearings before the Board. Grants the Board authority to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents. Places the burden of justifying an act or omission on the City. Provides for the member to inspect and copy records the City plans to rely on upon written request. Requires the Board to render a decision affirming or rescinding the action or omission within 10 days of the hearing. Allows the Board to order the City to take additional steps for a just conclusion if the Board finds the action or omission unjustified. Further details requirements for orders of the Board. Provides for appeal of the Board's decision by the member or the City to superior court within 10 days of receipt of the Board's decision.

    Authorizes the Board to designate independent legal counsel to advice and represent the Board, and requires the Board to establish a roster of attorneys for advising or in connection with grievance hearings. Provides for requirements and limitations as to such designations and rosters. Deems the City responsible for the costs of legal services. Details specific procedure for requesting the Office of the City Attorney to serve as legal advisor or attorney for the Board.

    Deems the Board responsible for enforcement of the section's provisions and rules adopted thereunder. Authorizes disciplinary action up to and including dismissal for noncompliance. Subjects employees or officials who threaten or intimidate other employees from exercising their rights to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. 

    Includes a severability clause. Provides for the act's provisions to supersede conflicting laws, rules, or clauses.