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Employee Handbook

ABUSE AND NEGLECT POLICY

State law and DDS policy establish very strict standards regarding the care and treatment of people whom we serve.  Each person under the jurisdiction of DDS shall be free from neglect, emotional abuse, physical abuse, or mistreatment, and that any such incidence shall be immediately stopped, the circumstances investigated, and corrective action taken where indicated.  Employees must immediately report suspected or known cases of abuse or neglect to the State Office of Protection & Advocacy at (860) 297-4355 or 1-800-842-7303.

Staff are also required to report any situations where people are not treated with respect and dignity and/or any situations that compromise the health and safety of consumers.  You are required at all times to act in ways that protect the health and safety of consumers and to treat them with respect and dignity.

DDS is also responsible for maintaining the DDS Registry as established by state law.  The Registry lists the names of former employees, from both the public and private sectors, who have been separated from employment as a result of substantiated abuse or neglect as confirmed through an administrative hearing process.  Individuals listed on the Registry are prohibited from further employment in the field of intellectual disability services within Connecticut.

VIOLENCE IN THE WORKPLACE POLICY

The State of Connecticut has adopted a statewide zero tolerance policy for workplace violence.  Therefore, except as may be required as a condition of employment: no employee shall bring into any state worksite any weapon or dangerous instrument; no employee shall use, attempt to use, or threaten to use any such weapon or dangerous instrument in a state worksite; and, no employee shall cause or threaten to cause death or physical injury to any individual in a state worksite.  Any weapon or dangerous instrument at the worksite will be confiscated and there is no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to such items in the workplace.

A copy of the State of Connecticut Violence in the Workplace Policy is provided to all employees.  Contact your local Human Resources office if you need another copy of this policy. More information regarding this important issue is available on line at Violence in the Workplace Policy and Procedures Manual.

DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY

This Department has very strict policies against the possession, use, transportation, or distribution of drugs or alcoholic beverages while on the job and also against operating state vehicles or equipment while intoxicated, under the influence, impaired or otherwise unfit for duty.  Violations of these policies will result in very severe disciplinary action being taken, which may include lengthy suspensions or dismissal.

A copy of the State of Connecticut Drug-Free Workplace Policy (rev. 7/98) is provided to all employees.  If you need another copy of this policy you may contact your local Human Resources office or access the policy on line at Connecticut's Drug-Free Workplace Policy

EMPLOYEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

The Department of Developmental Services realizes that at some point in their career a number of employees may have personal or health concerns that can cause problems in their lives at home or at work.  These concerns can involve a wide range of problems including emotional issues such as stress, depression and anxiety; family issues like marital problems, divorce parenting and eldercare; alcohol and other drug dependencies; bereavement and loss; or budget and debt. Recognizing the value of supporting the health and well being of its employees and their families, the Department provides and strongly supports the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  The goal of the program is to provide easy access to professional help so that employees can address their problems in the early stages before they become more difficult to manage.

The EAP is strictly confidential. Your name is not reported to DDS unless you authorize it in writing.  The program is free and available to employees and their family members.  If you think you or a family member might need help in dealing with a personal problem you can contact EAP at their nationwide toll free number 1-866-EAP-2400 or 1-866-327-2400. You can also get information on the program at deeroaks.com

ELECTRONIC MONITORING

The State of Connecticut has the ability to, and will monitor the use of telephones and computers assigned/installed for state use only.  Use of State telephones, including time of day, duration of call and direct dial numbers called is retrievable information.  Computer information available includes access to all e-mail records, Internet use, and software use including when and for how long it is being used.  It is possible to produce actual usage records of applications and files.  Access to files is available to the system administrator.  Message beeper and cell phone records are also available.

Computer Usage

State of Connecticut data processing equipment and systems are provided to employees exclusively for the conduct of State business.  Use of that equipment, e-mail, intranet/internet and World Wide Web services for other than State business is prohibited.  All employees are responsible for reading, understanding and complying with State of Connecticut, individual agency and Bureau enterprise System and Tech and Client Services (BEST) policies on such use.  These policies include but are not limited to the Electronic Mail Acceptable Use Policy for State Government and the Acceptable use Policy for Telecommunication Network (CTNET). These policies can be accessed at Acceptable Use of State Systems Policy and at Telecommuting Program Guidelines respectively.

Telephone Usage

State telephones are for the purpose of transacting State business.  The use of the State phone system for personal calls is not permitted, except in an emergency.

CODE OF ETHICS/CONFLICT OF INTEREST

All State officials and employees (except judges) are subject to a Code of Ethics.  The ethical rules are contained in Connecticut General Statutes 1-84 through 1-86. Basically, these rules are designed to prevent individuals from using public position or authority, or confidential information gained in state service, for personal financial benefit. Public officials and state employees are prohibited from:

  • accepting outside employment which will impair independence of judgment as to official duties or require or induce disclosure of confidential information gained in state service;
  • using public position or confidential information gained in state service for financial benefit of oneself, one's family, or an associated business;
  • representing another for compensation, or being a member of a business that represents a client for compensation before certain State agencies;
  • soliciting or accepting anything of value based on an understanding that doing so will influence official action;
  • entering into contracts with the State unless the contract has been awarded through an open and public process;
  • accepting any gift or gifts during the calendar year, knowing the aggregate value to be $50 or more, from one known to be or to represent a registered lobbyist.

In some cases, the above prohibitions also apply to the immediate families of state officials and employees.

If you feel there may be a conflict of interest, you must contact the State Ethics Commission for guidance.  Employees who do not do so and are subsequently found to have violated the Code of Ethics may be subject to sanctions and disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

More detailed information on the ethics standards can be accessed from the State Ethics Commission at www.ct.gov/ethics/.

POLITICAL ACTIVITY

As a State employee State Statute governs your involvement in various political activities, such as campaigning and running for elective office. Also, if you are working on projects or programs financed in whole or in part by federal funds, you are subject to the provisions of the Federal Hatch Act that is generally more restrictive than State Statute.  The purpose of these laws is to avoid a Conflict of Interest between your State job and such political activities. More detailed information regarding political activity may be found in DAS General Letter 214D, accessible online at www.das.state.ct.us/HR/om/dasgldir.htm

If you currently hold an elective position or are planning to run for elective office, you should contact your local Human Resources office for information and guidance.

FALSE CLAIMS

Employees are advised that in accordance with Federal Law, DDS Policy II.A.PO 002 and DDS Procedure II.A.PR.002 prohibit any person, firm, corporation or entity from knowingly presenting or causing to be presented a false claim or statement to a federally funded program, including Medicaid, or conspires to defraud the federal government.  Any person, company or entity that acts in deliberate ignorance of or with reckless disregard of the truth of such information is considered to have acted knowingly.  

Employees wishing to review the Policy and Procedure referenced above may do so by using the links provided.

EMPLOYMENT OF RELATIVES AND UNMARRIED PARTNERS

In accordance with DDS Policy II.D.PO 019, Relatives and unmarried partners of current employees may be considered for permanent employment within the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) under the following conditions and restrictions:  the applicant shall not be under the direct supervision of the employed relative or unmarried partner and/or the employed relative or unmarried partner shall not be in a position to influence the applicant’s salary, benefits, working conditions, or personnel activities such as disciplinary actions.  DDS reserves the right to restrict the employment of relatives or unmarried partners when such appointment would place the applicant within the same physical work location.

Employees wishing to review this policy may do so by using the link provided.