Winamac Town Council Discusses Inconsistencies in Proposed Employee Handbook

The Winamac Town Council members postponed the first reading of their employee handbook ordinance due to some inconsistencies with grievance procedures.

According to Clerk-Treasurer Melanie Berger, the town pays the Indianapolis-based company New Focus a $125 annual maintenance fee to update the employee handbook as laws change. While reviewing the document prior to Monday’s meeting, Councilman Dan Vanaman brought some conflicting information to Berger’s attention.

Town Attorney Justin Schramm elaborated on the issue, saying that in the section regarding complaint procedures it indicates that if an employee is unsatisfied with the resolution that the Town Manager provides, they would appeal to the town council. However, it later states that if an employee has an issue with a solution, they can schedule a meeting with the town council president and he would make the ultimate decision.

Schramm recommended that they adjust the wording to direct the grievances to the town council, rather than the president. Members agreed that would be the best option in order to keep liability from falling solely on the president. This option will also allow the council members to weigh-in with multiple perspectives on any complaints that are made.

Clerk-Treasurer Berger said she already corresponded with the town’s New Focus representative and they agreed to change the section to get rid of the inconsistencies. Members will reconsider the employee handbook ordinance at their April meeting. Clerk-Treasurer Berger said if it receives unanimous approval on first reading, it will then be adopted.