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IDB Employee Manual

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      Iowa Department for the Blind

      Policies, Work Rules, and Ethical Standards

      Updated 7/18

      Preamble

      The Iowa Department for the Blind (IDB Policies, )Work Rules and Ethical Standards is a public statement of the common set of values and principles used to promote and maintain high standards of behavior and promote a collegial and productive work environment. This document is intended to supplement the State of Iowa Employee Handbook. . IDB staff are required to sign both the State of Iowa Employee Handbook and this policy manual within two weeks of beginning employment with IDB.

      IDB is committed to furthering the ability of persons who are blind to function competently, independently, and successfully not only in their own environments but also as fully integrated and participating citizens in the broader society. To this end, all staff, working at all professional levels, shall treat persons who are blind with dignity and respect and will provide the best possible training and related vocational rehabilitation services which can be offered, based upon the most current techniques and training principles available at the time. It is the ongoing objective of IDB staff to act in an ethical manner. . Any action in violation of either the spirit or purpose of this policy may be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including discharge. .

      It is the responsibility of each IDB staff member to review and to come fully to understand these policies. A lack of knowledge or understanding of policy may not be used as a defense against a charge of unethical conduct. The procedures and policies described in this manual are not conditions of employment. This manual does not create an express or implied contract between IDB and any employee.

      Definitions

      0.01. Blind means any person who is totally blind or any person who is functionally blind—that is, a person who is partially blind and who uses alternative techniques to enable him or her to perform a majority of life’s essential activities or functions competently, independently, competitively and successfully.

      0.02. IDB means the Iowa Department for the Blind

      0.03. Staff means anyone employed by the Iowa Department for the Blind as an employee or contractor.

      0.04. Client means a blind person as defined in section 0.01 above who is a child or student receiving transition services; an adult receiving Vocational Rehabilitation services, Rehabilitation Teaching services or Independent Living services from the Iowa Department for the Blind.

      0.5 Instructor means any staff member engaged in providing adjustment to blindness or assistive technology training to a client

      0.6 Case manager means anyone responsible for determining client eligibility for services, developing a rehabilitation plan, providing guidance or counseling, or arranging for the purchase of services as part of a rehabilitation plan

      0.7 Patron is anyone receiving any services from the Iowa Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

      0.8 Purchaser is anyone recommending or authorizing the purchase of any goods or services on behalf of IDB or a client.

      0.09 Key is any physical key, key card, dongle, or other object that allows access to any building, room, drawer, storage and retrieval system, or device.

      0.10 Logon information is any username, password, passphrase, passcode, secret question or answer, account name, or account number that allows access to a physical or electronic resource or source of information.

      0.11Indirect service staff are staff members who are not involved in instruction, case management, or the provision of direct services to patrons

      0.12 Direct service staff includes instructors, case managers, staff providing direct service to library patrons, and supervisors

      0.13 violence for the purposes of this manual is equivalent to the definition provided in the state employee handbook.

      0.14 A dangerous weapon is any instrument or device designed primarily for use in inflicting death or injury upon a human being or animal, and which is capable of inflicting death or injury upon a human being when used in the manner for which it was designed. Additionally, any instrument or device of any sort whatsoever which is actually used in such a manner as to indicate that the individual intends to inflict death or injury upon the other, and which, when so used, is capable of inflicting death upon a human being, is a dangerous weapon. Dangerous weapons include, but are not limited to, any offensive weapon, pistol, revolver, or other firearm, dagger, razor, stiletto, switchblade knife, or knife having a blade exceeding five inches in length.

      0.15 Personal contact means an encounter in which two or more persons are in visual or physical proximity to each other. Personal contact does not require a physical touching or oral communication, although it may include these types of contacts.

      0.16 “social media” includes, but is not limited to: video, wiki postings, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, Plaxo, You Tube, My Space, Instagram, Flickir, Medium, Google Plus, Tumblr, Snap Chat, chat rooms, personal blogs, podcasts, or other similar forms of online journals, diaries, or personal messaging systems.

      0.17 IDB’s IT resources include all computer systems, tablets, phones, and associated software and functions; e.g., the Internet and Internet connections, email systems, and any IDB equipment connected to or used by such resources.

      0.18 Orientation Center training is participation in our standard orientation center training program wherein any participant with any vision must wear learning shades during all activities to ensure that the participant can perform all tasks non-visually.

      0.19 Readers and drivers are non-employees engage to provide reading and/or driving services to a staff member or client.

      0.20 family member means the employee’s spouse, children, grandchildren, foster children, stepchildren, legal wards, parents, grandparents, foster parents, stepparents, brothers, foster brothers, stepbrothers, sons-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters, foster sisters, stepsisters, daughters-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, first cousins, corresponding relatives of the employee’s spouse and other persons who are members of the employee’s household.

      0.21 an in-grade increase is a percentage increase in an employee’s annual salary related to job performance

      0.22 the eligibility date is the day on which a in-grade increase takes effect. It is generally the anniversary of the end of an employee’s probationary period.

      0.23 a paper suspension is a paid suspension where the employee continues to perform their regular job duties. a paper suspension carries the same weight as a “non-working” or unpaid suspension. A supervisor will decide whether to issue a paper or non-working suspension.

      0.24 a non-working suspension is an unpaid suspension where the employee is not working and should not come into the building or log in to any IDB systems.

      0.25 learning shades, also called sleep shades, are a covering worn over the eyes to block all visual information.

      0.26 actively participate means to remain awake, listen to comments made by others, respond when spoken to,, and add at least one substantive comment or question to the discussion.

      0.27 Business class is the daily group discussion of blindness related topics and philosophy conducted for center students and staff in training or receiving continuing education.

      0.28 a written reprimand is a letter that serves as written notice of disciplinary action. It is placed in the emmployee’s personnel file.

      Principle 1. IDB Core Values and Beliefs

      1.01 Mission Statement: Empower blind Iowans to be gainfully employed and live independently.

      1.02 Vision Statement: To be the world’s leader in blind rehabilitation services.

      1.03 Value Statements: We value blind Iowans therefore:

      • We believe in eachindividual’s ability to be independent
      • We act with a sense of urgency andresponsiveness in serving every individual
      • We support each individual’s rightto informed choices
      • We value engagement and independence for individuals of all ages
      • We promote a positive attitude toward blindness * We expect blind persons to achieve their full potential
      • We provide opportunities for blind persons to be fully contributing members of their communities

      All staff are valued and expected to demonstrate:

      • Passion for what we do everyday

      • Commitment to make positive differences in the lives of blind Iowans

      • Respect for the contributions of each staff member

      • Ethical behavior, honesty, integrity and trustworthiness

      • Innovative and proactive approaches in serving each client.

      • Progressive and professional leadership

      • Collaboration and teamwork that benefits each individual we serve

      • Collaboration with community, local, state and federal partners

      1.04 Our Culture: We use a client-centric approach to empower clients to achieve successful outcomes.

      1.05 empowerment and complete integration into the broader society are the aspirational objectives for clients and patrons of IDB services. The IDB staff strive at all times to help each client or patron achieve these objectives and become the very best that he or she is capable of becoming.

      1.06. IDB staff understand that persons who are blind are members of a visible and identifiable minority and that, therefore, the primary problem faced by persons who are blind is attitudinal rather than physical—that is, there are widespread public misconceptions and misunderstandings about blindness which lead to beliefs and feelings of inferiority. While these public attitudes about blindness are socially constructed rather than factual, they are prominent in our society and in the emotions of clients of services for the blind. Therefore, each of the blindness services which are provided by IDB must be designed and intended to teach clients and patrons of services a new and constructive set of attitudes, based upon an understanding that the prevailing views about blindness are wrong and harmful.

      1.07. The IDB staff member understands that the overarching objective of the services which are being provided is to enable the blind client to come emotionally—not just intellectually—to understand that he or she is a normal person who can be truly independent and self-sufficient.

      1.08. The IDB staff member understands that quality training in the skills or alternative techniques of blindness is essential to freedom and independence for persons who are blind and that the skills should not merely be introduced—they should be mastered by the client. The IDB staff member also understands, however, that the simple skills of blindness such as Braille or cane travel are not ends unto themselves but are merely small parts of a larger objective—helping the client adjust fully to his or her blindness.

      1.09. The IDB staff member understands that the blind client must learn to cope calmly and unemotionally with the unusual or demeaning things other people will do or say because of the public’s misconceptions about blindness. Therefore, discussions concerning prevailing misunderstandings and misconceptions and the client’s responses to them are appropriately sprinkled throughout class or training sessions.

      1.10. The IDB staff member understands that the blind client must learn to blend in and be acceptable and desirable to the broader society. Therefore, discussions are appropriate to help the client learn what it takes in the way of good habits regarding appearance, punctuality, reliability, courtesy and the like for the blind person to be enabled to blend in satisfactorily.

      1.11 Because providing quality services to blind Iowans is a priority of our agency, we are committed to staff training and continuing education. All IDB staff will participate in staff training that consists of orientation center training as outlined in section 1.12, a new staff seminar and shadowing of staff in different work units as outlined in section 1.13, and continuing education as outlined in section 1.14.

      1.12.01 All indirect service staff will complete the following objectives under learning shades to satisfy their center training requirement:

      • be able to write the braille alphabet on a braille writer
      • complete a solo travel assignment that contains at least two crossings of a lighted intersection
      • independently prepare French toast or grilled cheese on a stove top, a baked item or casserole in the oven, thoroughly clean their kitchen including washing dishes and cleaning the floor, and prepare a soup or pasta that requires chopping meat and/or vegetables
      • create a picture frame or similar small project in industrial arts
      • attend and actively participate in at least 20 business classes

      1.12.02 All rehabilitation counselors, employment specialists, library direct service staff, and supervisors must complete the following requirements under learning shades to satisfy their center training requirement:

      • write one page of contracted braille with 90% accuracy using a slate and stylus.

      • type and edit a one-page document using a computer with a screen reader. *

      • complete a solo bus travel route

      • complete a small industrial arts project requiring the use of at least 3 different stationary machines

      • prepare and serve a three course meal for at least 6 guests

      • attend and actively participate in at least 40 business classes

      • lead two business classes with his/her supervisor in attendance

      • participate in at least three center activities

      The following additional tasks are required for the completion of initial staff training. These tasks must be completed before the completion of the probationary period, but are not considered part of the center training requirement and are not required to be done under learning shades:

      • attend at least one meeting of a local chapter of each of the consumer organizations

      • observe one day of LEAP program training or a teen weekend retreat

      • attend one meeting of the Iowa Commission for the Blind Board

      1.12.03 All instructors must complete the following requirements under learning shades to satisfy their center training requirement:

      • write one page of contracted braille with 90% accuracy using a slate and stylus.

      • Orally recall or write all characters in the contracted braille code with 95% accuracy

      • type and edit a one-page document using a computer with a screen reader.

      • complete a solo bus travel route

      • complete one drop off of at least one mile distance

      • complete a small industrial arts project requiring the use of at least 3 different stationary machines

      • prepare and serve a three course meal for at least 6 guests

      • attend and actively participate in at least 34 business classes

      • lead a business class with his/her supervisor in attendance

      • participate in at least two center activities

      • perform 20 hours of supervised teaching in the center.

      Demonstrate ability to teach all non-visual technology tasks listed in the IL manual (for IL teachers) or all tasks listed in the VR teacher technology training competencies list (for VR teachers and RTSs).

      1.12.03 The director will have the discretion to substitute requirements and give credit for previous structured discovery training.

      1.12.04 Failure to successfully complete center training will be cause for termination.

      1.13.01 New staff seminar will be held at least twice each year. It will consist of 30 hours of small group classes covering the following topics:

      • agency history

      • consumer organizations

      • discussion of agency mission and philosophy

      • agency structure and purposes of each division

      1.13.02 All new staff must spend at least one day with each of the following staff members as part of their new staff training: library staff, VR counselor, VR employment specialist, VR teacher, IL teacher, and rehabilitation technology specialist.

      1.14.01 All instructors (as defined in section 0.5) will be required to complete continuing education every five years. They will attend center classes for up to one month until they are able to demonstrate the tasks required for completion of center training as listed in 1.12.03 under sleep shades:

      1.14.02 Instructors may test out of class participation if they are able to complete the requirements without any additional training.

      1.14.03 All instructors as defined in section 0.05 must also perform 20 hours of supervised teaching in the center every five years. To maximize efficiency, this may or may not be completed at the same time as the skill demonstration requirements listed in section 1.14.01 and/or the community participation requirements listed in section 1.14.04

      1.14.04 All direct service staff as defined in 0.12 will be required to complete the following continuing education requirements each year:

      • attend and actively participate in at least 5 business classes

      • Attend at least one meeting of each consumer group. This can be a local chapter or state convention

      • Attend at least one meeting of a local support group.

      • lead a business class with his/her supervisor in attendance

      1.14.05 All indirect service staff as defined in 0.11 will be required to complete the following continuing education requirements each year:

      • attend and actively participate in at least 5 business classes

      1.14.06 The director will complete all continuing education requirements for instructors and supervisors with the exception of the 20 hours of supervised teaching.

      1.14.07 Failure to complete these continuing education requirements will be grounds for disciplinary action up to and including termination.

      Principle II. Beneficence

      2.01. The IDB staff member shall provide services in a fair and equitable manner. In this connection, IDB staff member s recognize and appreciate the cultural components of economics, geography, race, ethnicity, religious and political factors, marital status and the sexual orientation of all blind clients of services. IDB staff will not withhold or limit services to any client or patron based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, gender, gender identification, disability, political affiliation, or consumer group membership.

      2.02 Employees, more than any other single factor, create the Department’s image and project that image to the community. Personal appearance can and does create a favorable or unfavorable impression on others. Department employees are involved in a wide range of diverse activities; thus, the acceptable mode of dress may vary from situation to situation. Employees are expected to be neat and clean at all times, and their clothing must be appropriate to their work assignment. The same outfit should not be worn on two consecutive work days. Clothing and shoes should be suited to a professional, business environment as opposed to a social event. Leisure attire in the office is unacceptable.

      The following guidelines should be helpful in deciding what is acceptable attire.

      Examples of Acceptable Attire: OFFICE ACTIVITIES FOR MEN: Suit, shirt and tie; sport jacket, slacks, shirt and tie; slacks, Oxford-style dress shirt (with or without tie); slacks, sweater, or sweater with shirt (with or without tie); slacks, polo shirt. OFFICE ACTIVITIES FOR WOMEN: Suit with slacks, dress capris, or skirt, shirt or blouse; dresses; skirt or split skirt (no shorter than 2” above knee), or dress slacks or dress capris, with shirt and/or jacket or sweater; nylons or socks optional.
      NON-OFFICE ACTIVITIES FOR MEN: Slacks, collared shirt, sweater, uniform slacks and shirts, jeans; work boots, athletic shoes, or other comfortable shoes for extended standing. NON-OFFICE ACTIVITIES FOR WOMEN: Slacks, blouses, sweaters, uniform slacks and shirts, jeans, dresses and skirts; work boots, athletic shoes, or other comfortable shoes for extended standing.

      NOTE: Definition of “blouse” may include button-front shirt, or pullover knit or woven top with jewel, V, scoop, or boat neck, cowl neck, turtleneck, etc.

      Examples of Unacceptable Attire: Tube tops, halter tops, spaghetti straps, crop tops, T-shirts or tank tops, except when worn under a shirt or jacket, Sweat suits, sweat pants, sweat shirts, overalls, bib-overalls Flip-flops, Exceptionally short skirts (more than 2” above the knee) yoga pants, Shorts, Jumpsuits, Clothing and shoes that are soiled, worn, faded or tattered

      2.03 This policy will be enforced Monday through Friday during scheduled work hours and other scheduled work activities with the exception of scheduled jean days.

      2.04 The appropriateness of dress and grooming under this policy will be determined by the immediate supervisor or program administrator. Supervisors have the authority to communicate to employees these dress requirements and to enforce the policy through counseling and disciplinary action. Supervisors will determine whether a position requires office or non-office dress based on the physicality of the job duties and amount of public contact required.

      2.05 IDB staff will return emails/phone call messages as soon as possible. They will review the message and prioritize the return of the message based on how it impacts clients or patrons.

      2.06 IDB staff will sign in and out of the building when they enter and leave to ensure that we have an accurate list of who is in the building in case of emergency.

      2.07 If an IDB staff member is unavailable more than 1 business day, he/she will complete an email “out-of-office” response and change voicemail to indicate when they will return.

      2.08 IDB staff will use etiquette and treat everyone with respect when corresponding by email, phone, or in person.

      2.09 Employees will participate in team building exercises during all staff meetings in some way, shape, or form.

      2.10 If an employee has an issue with another employee, the employee will resolve this dispute using the following protocol: The staff member with the concern will speak directly with the colleague to address the issue The two (or more) employees will develop a strategy or possible solutions to eliminate and/or remedy the issue. If the employees are unable to come to an agreement, the employees’ immediate supervisors will be informed. If the employees and their supervisors are unable to come to an agreement, the director will resolve the dispute.

      2.11.01 IDB prohibits discrimination in its employment policies and practices on the basis of race, creed, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity, consistent with applicable state and federal policies and regulations. It is also the policy of the executive branch of state government in the State of Iowa to apply affirmative action measures to correct the underutilization of females, minorities, and persons with disabilities in the state employment system whenever remedial measures are appropriate. The agency is an equal employment opportunity and affirmative action employer.

      2.11.02IDB is committed to improving its overall diversity and will actively recruit job candidates who are part of racial and ethnic minorities, women, and people with disabilities. Because we recognize the positive impact having good blind role models has on our clients, we are committed to hiring competent blind people in all parts of our agency. We also encourage and promote the hiring of qualified blind people throughout state government. We are committed to assisting other state agencies in the removal of technological, societal and other barriers that have limited the employment of blind persons witthin state government.

      2.12 All positions will be open to all candidates upon posting.

      2.13All applications for the same position will be scored using the same scoring matrix. If all applicant scores are low or the hiring manager determines that it would be helpful to narrow down the applicant pool before conducting formal interviews, the hiring manager may conduct phone screenings. These application screenings will all use the same question list and will be scored using the same scoring matrix.

      2.14 interviews will be conducted by a panel of at least 3 members whenever possible. At times, manager and staff schedules may necessitate a two member panel. After completion of all scheduled interviews, hiring managers may elect to conduct a second round of interviews or make an offer to a candidate.

      2.15 Interviews may contain performance based testing. All candidates will be given the same tests and every effort will be made to make the conditions of every candidate’s interview as similar as possible.

      2.16 The amount of funding available for in-grade increases will be evaluated and announced by the director at the beginning of each state fiscal year. The director will announce the percentage increase that will be given to each point level as outlined in 2.18.

      2.17 Employees will be given their evaluation no later than 10 work days after their eligibility date. Employees will receive their new IPPE no more than 10 work days after the evaluation has been received. Employees must sign their evaluation and IPPE no more than five days after receipt.

      2.18 Eligibility for step increases will be based on the number of points received by the employee on his/her annual evaluation using the following formula:

      • An “exceeds” rating on a goal earns two points

      • A “meets” rating for a goal receives one point

      • A “does not meet” rating on a goal loses two points.

      2.19 Employees who are at the top of the pay range for their job classification cannot receive in-grade increases, but will receive adjustments to base increases (often thought of as cost of living adjustments) as negotiated in the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or approved by the governor’s office. .

      Principle III. Non-maleficence

      3.01. The IDB staff member shall take reasonable precautions to avoid imposing or inflicting harm upon the client or patron with whom he or she is working.

      3.02. The IDB staff member shall maintain relationships that do not exploit clients sexually, physically, emotionally, financially, socially or in any other manner.

      3.03.01 No IDB staff will be permitted to impact case services provided to any family member or anyone with whom he or she is having a physical or romantic relationship. . Any such potential conflict of interest must be reported on the staff member’s conflict of interest disclosure form.

      3.03.02 No IDB staff will be permitted to directly supervise any family member or anyone with whom he or she is having a physical or romantic relationship. . Any such potential conflict of interest must be reported on the staff member’s conflict of interest disclosure form.

      3.04 No IDB staff member shall enter into a romantic or physical relationship with any client with an active VR or IL case.

      3.05 No IDB staff shall sell any goods or services to any client to whom he or she is providing any case service or has provided any case service in the last six months.,

      3.06 No IDB staff shall buy any goods or services from any client to whom he or she is providing any case service. or has provided any case service in the last six months. This does not include participating in fundraisers where the ultimate recipient of the payment is a non-profit, charity, or school.

      3.07 All purchasers, case managers, and instructors will complete and sign the conflict of Interest Disclosure Form as part of their annual evaluation and when a change occurs that alters the contents of the form currently on file.

      3.08 Purchasers shall not, by their conduct, provide a reasonable basis for the impression that any person can improperly influence them or unduly enjoy their favor in the performance of their duties, or that they are affected by the kinship, rank, position, or influence of any party or person in the performance of their duties. Additionally, purchasers shall not use, or attempt to use, their position to secure unwarranted privileges or exemptions for themselves or others.

      3.09 Purchasers are strictly prohibited from accepting a bribe or succumbing to other attempts to exert undue influence with respect to the purchaser’s job responsibilities.

      3.10 All purchasers shall comply with the provisions of Iowa Code chapters 8A, 26, 68B, and all other applicable procurement laws, rules, and policies in performing their procurement responsibilities, including those outlined in this policy. In the event of a conflict between this policy and applicable law, the applicable law shall take precedence.

      3.11 Generally, a conflict of interest exists whenever a person serving the public may gain a private advantage, financial or otherwise, through their public capacity, or when there is otherwise a conflict between the public obligations and the private interests of the public employee. An individual may have a conflict of interest even though a private advantage was not sought or actually gained.

      3.11 No IDB staff may employ any family member as a reader, driver, or other service claimed on a travel reimbursement form.

      3.12 No case manager or instructor may employ any family member of any active client as a reader, driver, or other service claimed on a travel reimbursement form.

      3.13 Driver meals may not be claimed on any travel reimbursement form that does not include an overnight stay. Employee meals may only be claimed when they meet the requirements set forth in state accounting guidelines.

      3.14 Iowa Code section 68B.2Aƒ (1) prohibits state employees from engaging in outside employment or activities which may conflict with the employee’s official duties and responsibilities. The statute contains a list of things that are deemed to be unacceptable conflicts of interest. However, employees should keep in mind that the list is not exhaustive; unacceptable conflicts of interest exist in other situations. Iowa Code section 68B.3 prohibits a state employee from selling goods or services to a state agency if the sale is in excess of $2,000 in any one occurrence, unless the sale is made after public notice and a competitive bidding process. Even if the sale is permissible, the state employee must disclose the sale by filing a report with the Iowa Ethics and Campaign Disclosure Board within twenty days of the sale. These provisions apply to all transactions, including those which involve a targeted small business in which an employee has a direct or indirect financial interest or other interest, as such terms are defined in this policy.

      3.15 Conflicts of interest include purchases from a spouse, domestic partner, direct descendant, direct ascendant (parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc.), sibling, dependent, member of household, or business partner (collectively, “related parties”). Purchasers shall not knowingly solicit or acquire goods or services from a related party. A supplier or service provider in a proposed procurement with the state is a related party of a purchaser conducting the procurement if the purchaser:

      • Has any direct or indirect financial interest or other interest, as such terms are defined below, in the supplier or service provider; or

      • Controls or actively influences the activities of, the supplier or service provider, or who has a related party who owns or controls or actively influences the activities of the supplier or service provider; or

      • Has an immediate family member who is employed by the supplier or service provider in a management or sales capacity.

      3.16 A direct or indirect financial interest means an ownership or other financial interest in a business entity; or any relationship, contractual or otherwise, which could result in a monetary or non-monetary gain to a purchaser. Other interests of a purchaser include serving as a compensated or non-compensated director, officer, consultant, broker, agent, employee, or representative of any business entity proposing to conduct business with the state.

      3.17 If a procurement project would involve a purchaser who has, or potentially may have, a related party conflict, the staff member shall advise the director in writing who, in turn, will assign the procurement project to a staff member not having a related party conflict. If a procurement project would involve a purchaser from another state agency who has, or potentially may have, a related party conflict, the purchaser shall advise its agency management in writing. The agency management shall then assign the procurement project to a staff member who does not have a related party conflict. If the agency fails to do so, the purchaser shall provide a copy of the written notice to the director who, in turn, will discuss with agency management.

      If a related party issue involving a purchaser is discovered either during the procurement process or after the Department has entered into a contract with the related party, the matter shall be referred to the purchaser’s management as described above. Management will review the matter and determine the appropriate response and actions with respect to the purchaser, the procurement process, and the contract with the related party.

      3.18 If a purchaser conducts a known related party transaction, or fails to disclose a related party conflict, the purchaser may be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

      3.19 Purchasers shall disclose all real, apparent, or potential conflicts of interest for review as described below. Disclosures by Department purchasers shall be made to the director. Disclosures are required in three instances: Annual disclosures: At the beginning of each fiscal year, purchasers shall report direct, indirect or other financial interests that pose or may pose a real, apparent, or potential conflict of interest. These disclosures shall be updated both annually and as new reportable interests are obtained or as new reportable activities occur. Disclosure of related parties: At the beginning of each fiscal year, purchasers shall provide written notice of any known related party in which they hold a direct, indirect financial or other interest. Situational disclosures: situations such as a bid (formal or informal) or request for proposal may result in the discovery of a direct, indirect or other financial interest previously unknown or inadvertently overlooked and not disclosed that may pose a conflict of interest under this policy. Such situational disclosures shall be made as soon as practicable after the purchaser learns of the real, apparent, or potential conflict of interest.

      3.20 When a disclosure is made under this policy, the actual, apparent, or potential conflict of interest will be reviewed by the purchaser’s management. If a conflict of interest is found to exist, appropriate steps shall be taken by the parties to manage, reduce, or eliminate the conflict of interest.

      3.21 In addition to any penalty contained in any provision of federal or state law or policy, individuals who violate any of these provisions may be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

      3.22 as a routine part of conducting the annual audit IDB staff may be asked whether they know about fraudulent activity. IDB staff are welcome to report any suspicions of fraud to the CFO or to the director. You may also contact the state auditor’s office at 281–5834 whether or not department management is informed at all. Other means of reporting fraud also exist. Certain whistleblower protections in the Code are in sections 8A.417, 70A.28–29, and chapter 685.

      3.23 The head of building maintenance should be informed of any photography, surveillance, security testing, or other suspicious activity, occurring in the IDB buildings.

      3.24 No purchase of goods or services shall be made on behalf of IDB from any agency, community rehabilitation program, or other business holding a current certificate under 14C of the Fair Labor Standards Act which allows that employer to pay workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage.

      3.25 IDB staff wishing to make a complaint regarding violation of this manual, the state of Iowa employee manual, or any other policy should use the following procedures

      1. Report the complaint or concern to your immediate supervisor. If the concern or complaint involves your immediate supervisor, you may report the complaint directly to the IDB Director. If the complaint involves the IDB Director, it may be directed to a member of the Iowa Commission for the Blind. If the complaint involves a member of the Iowa Commission for the Blind, the complaint should be directed to the Governor’s Office.

      2. Managers shall promptly investigate all complaints.

      3. If you are not satisfied with the manager’s resolution to the complaint, you may take the complaint to the IDB Director.

      4. Staff who wish to register a complaint of the State of Iowa EEO/AA and Anti-Discrimination Policy may also file a complaint with the Iowa Civil Rights Commission or the appropriate federal enforcement agency.

      5. Employees who believe there has been a violation of the State of Iowa Violence Free Workplace Policy (Included as an appendix to the State Employee Manual) may file a complaint directly with Employee Relations using Employee Complaint form #552–0318 available on the Iowa Department of Administrative Services website at the following link: https://das.iowa.gov/sites/default/files/hr/documents/M–0318_Complaint_Form_fillable.pdf.

      6. All complaints regarding violations of the Violence Free Workplace policy made to managers or the IDB Director are required to be forwarded to the Iowa Department of Administrative Services—Human Resource Enterprise Employee Relations within 48 hours of receipt of the complaint.

      7. There shall be no discrimination or retaliation against an individual because he or she files a complaint or who aids another individual in filing a complaint. An employee who has reason to believe that he or she has been retaliated against because of participation in an investigation of a discrimination complaint may also file a charge with the Iowa Department of Administrative Services – Human Resources Enterprise, the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, or the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, whichever is appropriate.

      Principle IV. Autonomy, Privacy and Confidentiality

      4.01. The IDB staff member shall respect the rights of the blind person with whom he or she is working.

      4.02. The IDB staff member shall collaborate with the blind client in setting goals and priorities throughout the training period. For clients of Vocational Rehabilitation services, the IDB staff member shall respect the client’s rights under the Informed Choice provisions of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act and will also do his or her best to provide relevant and factual information about programs and services so that the client’s ultimate choice can truly be informed.

      4.03. If research is to be conducted using information gathered by IDB staff member s through the provision of their services, the IDB staff member shall obtain informed consent from the blind client or clients with whom he or she is working before using any personal information which might be published as a result of the research. Statistical information only may be used without the client’s consent.

      4.04. The IDB staff member shall protect and keep confidential all privileged forms of written, verbal and electronic communication concerning the client, unless consent has been provided by the client, or unless otherwise mandated by local, state or federal laws or regulations.

      4.05 Confidential information is defined as follows:

      1. Personal information defined by Iowa Code 715c. Personal information includes an individual’s first name/initial and last name in combination with one or more, of the following:

      2. Social security number.

      3. Driver’s license number.

      4. Unique identification number (e.g., Iowa Student State ID or Medicaid ID).

      5. Financial account number, credit card number, or debit card number in combination with any required security code, access code, or password.

      6. Unique electronic identifier or routing code, in combination with any required security code, access code, or password.

      7. Unique biometric data, such as a fingerprint, retina or iris image, or other unique physical representation or digital representation of biometric data.

      8. Any information or record deemed confidential under Section 22.7 of Iowa Code Chapter 22, also known as the Iowa Open Records Law.

      9. All protected health information for agencies covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). 4.All protected credit card information as defined by the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS).

      10. Any other information that if lost, disclosed, corrupted, or accessed by unauthorized means would violate state or federal law.

      11. All information defined as confidential by contact/agreement with agency trading partners, customers, vendors or other entities.

      12. Any information deemed confidential under the administrative rules of the Department for the Blind (111–13.13(2), IAC).

      4.06 .01IDB staff will not store information deemed confidential in section 4.05 on any unencrypted media, transmit such information via unencrypted email, or store such information in any cloud service such as Dropbox, OneDrive, iCloud, or Google Drive.

      4.06.02 Email with confidential information shall not be sent by unauthorized personnel nor shall confidential agency information be transmitted using personal email accounts.

      4.07 IDB staff will safeguard all keys, confidential information, and logon information. They will not store logon information on any non-IDB computers, phones, or other equipment. If there is need to write down this information, it will not be stored in any unlocked place or unencrypted media. It will also not be stored with the device to which it allows access.

      4.08 No IDB contract covered staff will be required to check their email outside of work hours or using any non-IDB issued device.

      4.09. If any IDB staff chooses to check their work email on any non-IDB issued device, they may not save their logon information on that device. They are also wholly and solely responsible for ensuring that the account is properly logged out and no confidential information is obtained by anyone other than its intended recipient.

      4.10 Any IDB staff choosing to share any work calendar over which they have control with any account outside of the blind.state.ia.us domain must refrain from using any confidential in the subject, notes or any part of any event. Supervisors have the right to set calendaring requirements for their work units and these requirements may limit calendar sharing. All staff are expected to comply with their manager’s calendaring directives. All IDB staff must share their calendars with all supervisors.

      4.11 Any lost or stolen files, equipment, keys, or other IDB property as well as any breech of security must be reported directly to the IDB staff member’s supervisor and the Education and Training Director within 24 hours of detection.

      4.12 All IDB issued keys, files, equipment, and logon information must be secured when not in use. If they must be left in a vehicle, they must be stored in the trunk. If left in an office, that office must be locked or they must be stored in a locked file cabinet or drawer.

      4.13.01 Regulations for the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended (34 CFR 361.38), require the Iowa Department for the Blind (“IDB”) to adopt and implement policies and procedures to safeguard the confidentiality of all personal information, including photographs and lists of names. All personally identifiable information in the possession of IDB is to be used only for purposes directly related to the rehabilitation of the individual. IDB is also required to comply with public law 93–282, concerning the confidentiality of alcohol and drug abuse patient records, Code of Iowa section 228.1 on the release of mental health information, Code of Iowa section 141A.9 on the release of HIV/AIDS information, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

      4.13.02 Client will be informed that all personal information given or made available to IDB in the administration of the vocational rehabilitation program will be held to be confidential. The use of personally identifiable information and records will be limited to purposes directly connected with the administration of the program.

      4.13.03. Information will be obtained from service providers and cooperating agencies using a release of information form signed by the client. A copy of all sent release forms are retained in the case file. Information providers will be assured that information received in this way will not be further released without the client’s approval and permission from the vendor generating the information or except in response to an order, subpoena, or summons issued by a court or other judicial body.

      4.13.04. The client is to be informed that the provision of personal information is voluntary to the extent that withholding such information does not interfere with the determination of eligibility or development of the plan. If pertinent and necessary information is withheld, it may be considered failure to cooperate and lead to case closure.

      4.13.05. Tracking of information shared with other organizations will be kept in the case record according to HIPAA rules.

      4.13.06. Discussion of information (with instructors and administrators of training programs in which the client is enrolled, employers and/or placement agents in connection with the training, employment, or placement of the client) is considered necessary for administration of the program and is acceptable. Signed consent is needed only for clients with mental health problems, alcohol or drug abuse problems, or HIV/AIDS test information. See 4.13. below for special instructions. No disability specific information is shared beyond that allowed by the Americans with Disabilities Act without a release of information from the client.

      4.13.07. Release of prior medical/psychological records is permissible with a release form completed and signed by the client along with permission from the vendor who completed the exam. This permission may be written or verbal. If the permission is given verbally, a note should be made in the case file indicating the date and first name of person giving the permission. Information may be re_released to another state vocational rehabilitation agency with a signed consent from the client. State vocational rehabilitation agencies are exempt from HIPAA regulations.

      4.13.08. When requested in writing by the client, all information must be made available for review by the client or his/her parent, guardian, or other representative.

      4.13.09. If the client wishes to review the information, it will be reviewed in the presence of an IDB case manager or supervisor

      4.13.10. Medical, psychological, or other information IDB has determined might be harmful to the individual may not be reviewed directly by the individual, but must be provided through his or her chosen representative.

      4.13.11. When copies of case file information are requested, only those materials specified by the client in writing, along with permission from the vendor, may be released. Information may only be released after a release which is valid under Iowa law has been received (see section F). Information may be re-released to another state vocational rehabilitation agency upon receipt of a signed consent form from the client.

      4.13.12 Unless the release specifically authorizes the release of legally restricted types of material (mental health, drug and alcohol, and HIV/AIDS) this information cannot be released and this type of material should not be mentioned.

      4.13.13. Information may be released only to those agencies and programs which have adopted regulations which assure that the information will be held confidential and used only for the purpose for which it has been provided.

      4.13.14. All requests for information from closed case files will be initiated through the receipt of a signed release of information. If information related to mental health, substance abuse, or HIV treatment may apply, the client must be asked to check the applicable boxes, sign in the specified area or lower left corner of the form, and specify the information from the case that is the subject of the request. The client must be informed that IDB will only release requested information.

      4.13.15 Client information will be released in response to a court order or valid subpoena issued by a court or other judicial body.

      4.13.16. All requests for client information from organizations, agencies, or individuals engaged in evaluation or research are to be forwarded to the director. Each request will be evaluated as to its potential contribution to the field of rehabilitation and to IDB, the staff time that would be required to respond, the complexity of the request, and the relative ease of retrieving the requested information. The director will determine final disposition. Personally identifying information will only be released with the prior written consent of the individual except as otherwise provided by this policy.

      4.13.17 IDB may release client information in response to law enforcement agencies when the request is received in writing, signed by an appropriate official, stating that the information is required for an official investigation and citing the specific information required from the client’s record. Information on drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS information may only be released by an order of the court.

      4.13.18. IDB may release personally identifiable information in emergency situations to protect the individual or others when the individual poses a threat to the safety of self or others. A written request is not required, but all facts and circumstances must be recorded in the client’s case.

      4.13.19. The routine use of necessary client information among IDB staff will be considered as made for a vocational rehabilitation or independent living services purpose and does not require express or written client consent. Only information generated by IDB can be exchanged. For purposes of this policy, “routine use” is defined by sub rule 111–13.10 of IDB administrative rules.

      4.13.20 In instances where the case manager or supervisor believes that release of requested information to the client or a third party will seriously impede the willingness of the provider of that information to work with IDB in the future, the case manager or supervisor should refuse to supply the information and direct the request to the original source. It is also acceptable for the case manager or supervisor to approach the original source for permission to further release the requested information.

      4.13.21. A release extending beyond 12 months can be issued for non-medical or non-psychological vendors for purposes of planning. Educational and community rehabilitation program vendors may exchange vocational and educational progress information under a release that extends beyond 12 months.

      4.14.01 (NOTE: For section 4.15 only, the "client’s written consent” refers only to the client, regardless of age. A parent or guardian is not an acceptable substitute, even for persons under 18 years of age.)

      4.14.02. Information about a client’s alcohol or drug abuse, mental health, or HIV/AIDS problems may not be released (verbally or in writing) without the written consent of the client and permission of the vendor that generated the report. The properly completed and signed release must be placed in the case file before information concerning drug or alcohol abuse, mental health, or HIV/AIDS diagnosis or treatment is given to a prospective employer or placement agent.

      4.14.03. These requirements apply even if the person seeking the information already has or knows the information, has official status, or has obtained a subpoena. The person making the request is to be told that federal or state law prohibits release of case file information relating to drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, or HIV/AIDS without the specific written consent of the client or an order of the court. If this statement is not accepted, the director is to be notified immediately for referral to the attorney general’s office.

      4.14.04. Failure to observe these requirements is a violation of public law 93–282 and sections 141A.9 and 228.1 of the Code of Iowa.

      4.15.01. Social Security Information cannot be released without permission from the Social Security Administration and a signed release by the individual.

      4.15.02. If it appears that the information may be harmful to the individual, the requested information may be copied and forwarded to the manager of the SSA district office. The individual is to be directed to contact the district office. The manager has the prerogative of releasing, withholding, or further action.

      4.15.03. No social security information dealing with alcohol or drug abuse may be released by IDB.

      4.15.04. When there is no signed consent and there is an actual or expected subpoena, a call should be made immediately to the SSA regional office in Kansas City. IDB staff will apprise management at each stage.

      4.16.01The IDB release form, when properly completed and signed, fulfills the requirements for release of alcohol and drug abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS information. Information about a person’s diagnosis and disabling condition tends to permeate the case file. Care must be taken not to release information that inadvertently reveals restricted information, unless the special release authorization is signed.

      4.16.02. To be valid under Iowa law, a release directed to IDB for client records must:

      1. Be in writing and directed to IDB. A person can be presumed to have given informed consent if the release is directed “To Whom It May Concern”, ”To Any and All”, or other similar designations;

      2. Give the name or title of the organization or individual to whom disclosure is to be made;

      3. Include name and signature of the client;

      4. Specify the extent or nature of the information to be disclosed. Drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, and HIV/AIDS information must be specifically cited to be included;

      5. Include a statement that consent is subject to revocation at any time and specify the event or condition upon which it will expire without revocation;

      6. Indicate the date on which the consent was signed.

      4.16.03. When properly completed, a general client waiver is an acceptable release of information form for all but the specially restricted types of information.

      4.17.01. Subpoenas -Types and Conditions

      1. Subpoena Ad Testificandum (usually simply called a subpoena): This is a process to cause a witness to appear and give testimony at a designated time and place.

      2. Subpoena Duces Tecum: A subpoena which requires a person to appear at a designated time and place and produce a designated document which is in their possession and pertinent to the issue at hand.

      4.17.02 Court subpoenas can be served by a law enforcement officer or by a person who then files an affidavit of service with the clerk of court. A mailed subpoena is not valid. When a court subpoena is delivered in this manner the requester of the information should be notified that IDB cannot comply in the absence of either a proper release of information or proper service of the subpoena. A court subpoena served by a person other than a law enforcement officer is not valid until filed with the clerk of court. The case manager should make sure this has been done before testifying or providing documents. This is checked by calling the clerk of court’s office.

      4.17.03 A subpoena across state lines is not valid unless it is a federal subpoena.

      Some administrative boards and agencies have the legal authority to issue subpoenas, but they do not necessarily have the same mechanism for the filing of affidavits. These subpoenas will be considered valid by IDB, regardless of how delivered.

      4.17.04 Some subpoenas will arrive with a letter indicating that if the case file information is provided prior to a certain date the personal appearance is waived. IDB staff should provide the information rather than appear only when in possession of a valid signed release of information.

      4.17.05 Mental health information is protected under chapter 228 of the Code of Iowa. Without a signed release it can only be disclosed by court order, not in response to a subpoena. Drug abuse and alcoholism information is protected under federal law (42 CFR 2). Without a signed release drug abuse and alcoholism information can only be disclosed by court order, not in response to a subpoena.

      4.17.06 HIV/AIDS testing and treatment information is protected under chapter 141A, Code of Iowa. Without a signed release HIV/AIDS testing and treatment information can only be disclosed by court order, not in response to a subpoena.

      4.17.07. A subpoena must provide reasonable notice to the person required to appear. Reasonable notice is generally regarded to have been provided if the subpoena is served at least 24 hours prior to the required appearance. An earlier time can be agreed to by all the parties involved. Contact with the issuer may result in the negotiation of a more mutually acceptable time.

      4.17.08 IDB will respond to a subpoena. If IDB staff believes the subpoena was not validly served or calls for the production or material restricted by law, the issuer should immediately be contacted, citing the objection and desire to be released from the subpoena. Unless released from the subpoena, appearance at the time and place indicated is required. If the subpoena calls for the production of a case file, producing drug, alcohol, HIV/AIDS, or mental health information is to be resisted unless a court order directs its release. Cite the laws mentioned, above as the reason for being asked to be released from the subpoena.

      4.17.09 An applicant or eligible individual who believes that information in the individual’s record of services is inaccurate or misleading may request that the designated state unit amend the information. If the information is not amended, the request for an amendment must be documented in the record of services.

      4.18.01 For purposes of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the director of IDB is the designated privacy officer. Staff must document in the file any covered information that is released

      4.19 Any IDB staff employing a reader or driver needs to obtain a signed confidentiality agreement from each reader driver that he or she employs.

      4.20. All IDB issued cell phones must contain a complex passcode containing at least one letter rather than a 4 or 6 digit numeric passcode only.

      4.21 All IDB issued cell phones must be set so that email messages, text messages, and other notifications potentially containing client information are not visible on the lock screen.

      Principal V. Duty

      5.01. The IDB staff member shall achieve and continually maintain high standards of competence in his or her chosen profession.

      5.02. The IDB staff member shall obtain and maintain any state or private credentials required for the services which are being provided.

      5.03. The IDB staff member shall take responsibility for maintaining and improving competence by participating regularly in professional development and training opportunities.

      5.04. The IDB staff member shall provide appropriate supervision to individuals for whom he or she has supervisory responsibility.

      5.05 The IDB staff member shall provide appropriate supervision to all readers, drivers, contractors, volunteers, and temporary employees who they employ or that have been assigned to him or her.

      5.06. The IDB staff member shall refer to or consult with other qualified service providers whenever such a referral or consultation would be helpful to the adjustment to blindness of the client.

      5.07 The standard work week for all State of Iowa employees is as follows: The work week begins on Friday and ends on Thursday. The standard schedule requires a shift of eight hours of work, excluding a thirty minute unpaid meal period for each of the five days in the work week. The standard schedule begins at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 4:30 p.m., which coincides with normal business hours of the Department.

      5.08 Any non-standard work schedule or flex time must be approved by the staff member’s supervisor or another supervisor in the event a supervisor is unreachable for more than two hours. Operational needs or misuse of any non-standard work schedule may result in withdrawal of this flexibility, requiring a return to the standard work schedule.

      5.09 Unless leave has been approved, employees are expected to be at their work stations at the designated starting time and not leave until the designated ending time. During work weeks containing a holiday, employees who work a non-standard schedule (e.g., four ten-hour work days) will be required to revert to a standard eight-hour work day for the work week.

      5.10 Working during a holiday, using compensatory time, or working a “flexed schedule” must be approved by a supervisor in advance to working or using the applicable time.

      5.11 Break and lunch times will be cooperatively determined by employee and supervisor based on the needs of the particular position in order to provide the best possible service to blind Iowans. While quality of service is the primary consideration, IDB supervisors and employees will make every effort to allow for a schedule that fits with the employee’s work preferences and promotes a healthy work/life balance. Attending trainings or conferences may alter an employee’s typical work schedule. Employees participating in continuing education in the Orientation Center as outlined in Section 1 of this manual will need to make arrangements with the center director to allow for travel time, time sheet completion, and other office tasks in a way that works best with the center class schedule. All flex time, comp time, and overtime must be approved by an employee’s supervisor prior to being scheduled or taken.

      5.12 Pay periods end on alternate Thursdays. Employees are expected to report their time and attendance by 9:00a.m. on the last day of the pay period unless otherwise instructed, e.g., when pay cycles involve a holiday. Untimely completion or approval may result in a delay in paying the employee.

      5.13 Compensatory time must be paid out or used by the last day of the last full pay period chargeable to the fiscal year and must be requested and taken in a manner similar to vacation leave.

      5.14 Employees’ calendars shall reflect significant times of at least 30 minutes in length when an employee plans to be absent from work or unavailable for most job functions.

      5.15 Leave requests may be denied (for example, lack of accrued leave, failing to follow call-in procedure, etc.). For unplanned absences, employees must follow the call-in procedure for the day of leave, and leave requests for unplanned absences shall be submitted on the day the employee returns to work. Employees are expected to know their available leave balance to avoid requesting leave they have not accrued. A no-call, no-show situation may result in an investigation which could lead to disciplinary action

      5.16 . An employee who has an unscheduled absence on a day or days for which management has previously denied a request for a scheduled absence may be subject to an investigation and disciplinary action.

      5.17 Employees shall notify their supervisor the day of the absence unless there is a doctor’s report on file excusing the employee from work for the day. Absences must be reported no later than 30 minutes before the start of the work shift. A failure to follow the call-in procedure may result in unauthorized leave without pay.

      5.18 When an employee needs or wants time away from work for the purpose of vacation, medical appointments or illness, or other reasons, the employee is responsible for requesting leave from a supervisor in advance. Leave requested more than 48 hours before the absence is considered scheduled leave and leave requested less than 48 hours before the absence is unscheduled leave for the purpose of time reporting.

      5.19 Employees shall send a properly completed leave request to the supervisor indicating the starting and ending dates of the leave, the starting and ending times, the type of leave requested, whether the leave is requested with or without pay, and whether the requested leave pertains to an occurrence of FMLA-covered conditions.

      5.20 No Leave slip should be considered approved until the employee receives an email directly from the supervisor stating that the leave has been approved.

      5.21 When an employee needs to take unscheduled leave, the employee shall notify the supervisor, or the supervisor’s designee if the supervisor is unavailable, by text message, telephone, or electronic mail as directed by his/her supervisor no later than 30 minutes before the start of the work shift for each day that an unscheduled absence will exist. If the employee makes notice less than 30 minutes before the start of the shift, the absence may be unapproved.

      5.22. When an employee is summoned, subpoenaed, or directed by proper authority to a legal proceeding to which the employee is not a party, the employee will receive necessary leave during regular work hours. If the time off is during regular work time, the employee must remit jury duty pay or witness fees other than travel and personal expenses, to the Department unless the employee elects to use vacation time for the absence. If at least two hours plus required travel time are available in the employee’s regular work day contiguous to the jury duty or court appearance, the employee will be expected to report to work. The employee shall provide a copy of the court summons to his or her supervisor as soon as possible.

      5.23 Supervisors will approve or deny leave based on the coverage needs of their particular work unit. Certain agency business functions may require that one or more people be available during business hours. Supervisors have the right to limit the number of employees who can take leave at any given time for this reason. Leave will be approved on a first come/first serve basis.

      5.24 Leave slips will not be accepted more than one year in advance.

      5.25. Leave approvals are to be considered contingent upon the employee’s vacation balance sufficient to cover the period absent. If the balance is insufficient the approval may be revoked or required to be taken as leave without pay as determined by the supervisor. If leave without pay is requested by the employee and approved by the supervisor, it must also receive approval from the director.

      5.26.01 IN order to create a positive and productive work environment, IDB has allowed for the creation of employee committees. These committees include: the Food Bank Committee, the Employee Recognition Committee (ERC), and the Toys for Tots Committee.

      5.26.02 The committees listed in 5.26.01 will hold elections in July of each year to elect the committee chair or co-chairs of that committee. Each committee member as of June 30th will be allowed to vote in this election.

      5.26.03 IDB staff are allowed up to 12 hours of work time per fiscal year to participate in any of the committees listed in 5.26.01. Any time beyond this will not be paid work time. Staff may choose to volunteer their own time to these committees as they wish.

      5.27 One representative from each work unit will be selected to participate in the agency wide Communications Team. This is considered a work duty and not subject to the provisions concerning committee membership.

      Principle VI. Justice

      6.01. The IDB staff member shall comply with all laws, rules for State of Iowa employees, and IDB policies which are intended to guide provision of services to persons who are blind .

      6.02. The IDB staff member shall require those professionals whom he or she supervises in educational, service provision, or adjustment to blindness activities to adhere to the mission and values statements outlined in Principle I of this document.

      6.03 All IDB staff driving department, pool, or private vehicles as part of their work duties must follow the State Employee Driving Guidelines 11 IAC 103

      6.04 Vehicle reservations for pool cars cannot be made for trips less than 50 miles per day without supervisor approval. For distances of less than 50 miles, staff can either use their own vehicle (or their driver’s private vehicle) and complete a reimbursement request or take an Uber and complete a reimbursement request.

      6.05 Vacation will not be approved for quarterly staff meeting days unless vacation time is being used in lieu of sick time due to an FMLA covered event.

      6.06 All staff who work a compressed or alternate schedule must revert to a standard work schedule of 8 hour days during the week of quarterly all staff meetings as well as state holidays.

      Principle VII. Veracity

      7.01 The IDB staff member shall provide fair and accurate information about available educational or adjustment to blindness services.

      7.02 The IDB staff member shall accurately represent his or her credentials, qualifications, educational background, experience, training and competence.

      7.03 The IDB staff member shall disclose any professional, personal, financial, business or volunteer affiliations that potentially could pose a conflict of interest on the IDB conflict of interest form

      7.04 The IDB staff member shall refrain from using or participating in the use of any form of communication that contains false, fraudulent, deceptive or unfair statements or claims concerning colleagues, IDB policies and actions, or service providers.

      7.05 Only the director or the director’s designee is authorized to speak for IDB with respect to a reference for or comment about the work performance or character of a current or former employee

      7.06 IDB employees authorized by their manager may use IDB’s I.T. resources to participate in social media at work as a means of generating interest in IDB, inviting relationships within the community, raising awareness of IDB’s service offerings, searching for potential new consumers, communicating with employees and consumers, publishing news or publicity statements, and advertising agency activities and events. Employees may use IDB’s logo and materials appropriately to the extent authorized by their manager.

      7.07 When participating in social media for the purposes of generating interest in IDB, employees must ensure that the use of these communications maintains IDB’s identity, integrity, and reputation, reflects its vision, and furthers its mission, while minimizing any actual or potential legal risks, whether internal or external.

      7.08 When using social media for business or personal purposes, employees must protect the privacy of IDB, its employees, consumers, suppliers, and vendors and are prohibited from disclosing personal employee and non-employee information and any other proprietary, confidential, privileged, or non-public information to which employees have access. Such information includes, but is not limited to, client or patron information and financial data.

      7.09 IDB staff shall refrain from posting disparaging or defamatory statements about IDB’s policies and administration, including social media communications that damage the agency’s goodwill and reputation.

      7.10 IDB staff are prohibited from using IDB’s IT resources and communication systems for personal social media purposes, entertainment, or personal business at all times.

      7.11 IDB employees may not use personal devices such as phones, laptops, or tablets for social media, entertainment, or personal business purposes while on work time. However, employees may use their personal equipment and resources on non-work time; e.g., lunch hour, or authorized breaks to engage in social media, entertainment, or personal business. Personal devices should never be connected to the IDB Wi-Fi network, but may be connected to the IDB_guest network.

      7.12 IDB staff will enter the correct date of service in all case management and library information systems to ensure the integrity of all client and patron records.

      Principle VII. Fidelity

      8.01 The IDB staff member shall treat colleagues and other blindness professionals with fairness, discretion and integrity.

      8.02. The IDB staff member shall preserve, respect and safeguard confidential information about colleagues and other blindness professionals, unless otherwise mandated by national, state or local laws.

      8.03. The IDB staff member shall accurately represent the qualifications, views, contributions and recommendations of colleagues.

      8.04 The State of Iowa recognizes that violence at work can seriously affect employee work performance and morale. Threats, intimidation, harassment, or acts of violence will not be tolerated. The State of Iowa further establishes, as its vision, that all of its officials, managers, supervisors, and employees will treat each other with courtesy, dignity, and respect. The State of Iowa is committed to a violence-free workplace, and its goal is to prevent violence in the workplace.

      Accordingly, the State of Iowa is committed to:

      1. Preventing the potential for violence in the work environment,

      2. Reducing the negative consequences for employees who experience or encounter violence, and

      3. Maintaining a work environment of respect and positive conflict resolution.

      8.05 Employees are prohibited from the possession, sale, transfer or use of any dangerous weapon while engaged in state business, or on state property or the Employer’s premises.

      This prohibition shall not include peace officers and other state employees who have been issued professional weapons permits by the Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety for use by these employees when acting under the authority of their department. Further, this policy is not intended to restrict employees who live in state owned housing from the legal possession of weapons in their homes, if allowed by the appointing authority. This policy is not intended to restrict state employees from engaging in legal hunting and recreational activities on state owned property during off-duty hours.

      8.06 Employees are prohibited from engaging in harassment of another employee, supervisor, manager, vendor, customer or client in accordance with the State of Iowa’s Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Anti-Discrimination Policy.

      8.07 Employees are prohibited from making threatening or intimidating statements or engaging in threatening or intimidating behavior directed to another employee, supervisor, manager, vendor, customer or client.

      8.08 Employees are prohibited from communicating with another employee, supervisor, manager, vendor, customer or client by telephone, electronic means, or in writing without legitimate purpose or in any manner likely to cause the other person annoyance or harm.

      8.09 Employees are prohibited from purposefully and without legitimate purpose having personal contact with another employee, supervisor, manager, vendor, customer or client with the intent to threaten, intimidate or alarm the other person.

      8.10. An employee who is the victim of workplace violence shall report the incident immediately in accordance with the procedures established by this policy.

      8.11. An employee witnessing workplace violence or the potential for such violence directed at another person or property of the state, shall report such incidents in accordance with the procedures established by this policy.

      8.12. When applicable, state officials and employees shall cooperate fully with all appropriate individuals in the investigation and prosecution of criminal acts, this policy, and the pursuit of any civil remedies in order to create and maintain a violence-free workplace.

      8.13 Any employee who has been the victim of workplace violence, or who has a concern about potential workplace violence within the context of this policy, is directed to bring the matter to the attention of his or her supervisor, or the appointing authority. If the concern or complaint involves the employee’s direct supervisor, the employee may go to the next higher supervisor with the concern or complaint or, in the alternative, to the Iowa Department of Administrative Services – Human Resources Enterprise. All complaints will be promptly investigated by the appointing authority or the Iowa Department of Administrative Services – Human Resources Enterprise.

      8.14 In the event of a situation requiring immediate intervention by law enforcement personnel, the appropriate law enforcement agency should be contacted immediately.

      8.15 Any manager or supervisor who fails to properly act upon employee complaints or on personal knowledge of conduct in violation of this policy shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including discharge.

      8.16 A copy of all complaints received and their resolution shall be forwarded to the Chief Operating Officer of the Iowa Department of Administrative Services – Human Resources Enterprise within ten (10) working days after receipt of the complaint and ten (10) working days after resolution of the complaint. Interim reports shall be provided to the Director as requested.

      8.17 The IDB staff member shall take adequate measures to prevent, and correct any accidental, unintentional or inadvertent breaches of this policy manual and report any breaches to his or her supervisor for curative action.

      Principle IX. Allegations of Unethical Acts or Practices

      9.01. It shall be a breach of this employee manual for any IDB staff member to violate any Section of any Principle set forth in this document concerning IDB staff member Core Values and Beliefs; Beneficence; Nonmaleficence; Autonomy, Privacy and Confidentiality; Duties; Justice; Veracity; and Fidelity. any violation may lead to discipline, up to and including termination.”

      9.02. An allegation of a violation of any Section of this manual May be submitted to the IDB staff member’s supervisor. The supervisor will conduct an investigation and if warranted, pursue disciplinary action.

      9.03 IDB will generally follow a progressive discipline approach, and reserves the right to use any and all available discipline, up to and including termination,

      9.04 IDB’s progressive discipline process is as follows:
      * Step 1: Written reprimand The reprimand will be placed in the employee’s personnel file.
      * Step 2: One day suspension.
      * Step 3: Three day suspension and final warning of termination.
      * Step 4: Termination

      Iowa Department for the Blind

      Policies, Work Rules, and Ethical Standards

      Acknowledgement of IDB Policy Manual

      I hereby certify that I have read the Iowa Department for the Blind Policy Manual in its entirety. I am aware that failure to follow any provision of this document may lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination. My supervisor has given me the opportunity to ask questions about the contents of this document.

      Employee Name (please print)

      Employee Signature Date

      Supervisor’s Signature Date