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1.1.0 Authority to Employ Personnel

Authority to employ individuals for all positions in the City service, except offices appointed by the Mayor (Police Chief) or by the Mayor with the advice and the consent of City Council (Fire Chief, City Engineer, City Clerk), is vested in the City Manager.

1.2.0 Employment Procedure

It is the policy of the City to employ and fill vacancies on the basis of merit and, whenever it is in the best interests of the City, to promote City employees to higher positions when vacancies occur.

The City also will make reasonable accommodations, as required by law, for qualified individuals with disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. (See Admin. Dir. 5-2, Request for Accommodation)

All persons seeking employment with the City shall first make electronic application to the Department of Human Resources on the City website. Employees who are unable to submit an application electronically will be afforded the ability to submit a paper application or offered another form of accommodation as warranted. No person will be employed and placed on the City payroll until appropriate and satisfactory background, employment, and medical examinations have been completed and information necessary for pension plan, payroll deduction and other required data are determined. (See Admin. Dir. 2-10, Medical Examination Policy)

Once hired, all employees will be given a comprehensive orientation program which addresses pay and benefit issues, City policies and procedures, safety issues, instruction in the proper use of equipment and any other factors necessary to enable the employee to perform in the job. (See Admin. Dir. 2-8, Employee Orientation)


1.3.0 Equal Opportunity Employer

The City’s equal employment opportunity policy applies to all terms, conditions and privileges of employment including hiring, probation, training, placement, promotion, transfer, compensation, benefits and employee programs, discipline, termination, layoff and recall, and retirement. All employees will be judged on the basis of merit, training, experience, ability to perform the job, and compliance with applicable retirement and pension plan requirements. The City does not discriminate against a person because of race, color, sex, religion, age, disability, national origin, ancestry, creed, marital status, sexual orientation, citizenship status, military status, veteran status, genetic history, pregnancy or any other class protected by law. Every person will be given an equal opportunity for employment with the City, and the City shall comply strictly with all applicable Federal, State and local employment and labor laws, including making reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. (See Admin. Dir. 5-2, Request for Accommodation)


1.4.0 Drug-Free Workplace

The use and misuse of alcohol and drugs by The City of Lake Forest's employees is contrary to a drug-free workforce and workplace. The use of these substances increases the potential for accidents, absenteeism, substandard performance, turnover, misconduct, poor employee morale, damage to property, injury to the public and/or other employees, or degradation of trust in the City to effectively service its citizens. In addition, employees who are “drivers” as that term is defined pursuant to the Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1992, and other employees in safety-sensitive positions, are subject to drug and alcohol testing as set forth in federal regulations and pursuant to procedures described in two Alcohol and Substance Abuse Policy. (See Admin. Dir. 2-2, Alcohol and Drug Policy for CDL Holders; Admin. Dir. 2-3, Alcohol and Drug Policy)


1.5.0 Employment of Relatives

In order to avoid an actual or potential conflict of interest in employee hiring, supervision and/or allocation of duties, employment and personnel decisions shall not be made on the basis of nepotism or under circumstances which reasonably create the appearance of nepotism to the public. For purposes of this policy, the terms “immediate family” and “relatives” are a spouse, parents, parent in-laws, siblings, sister/brother in laws, children. These types of relationships in the workplace are strongly discouraged, however, case-by-case consideration will be given to any current employees that would be adversely affected by a strict application of this policy.

a.  The City generally does not permit two or more relatives to work in the same department, division or section in circumstances where one relation occupies a position that supervises the other relation or has influence involving the relation’s employment, promotion, supervision, salary advancement or other personnel decisions. In the case of temporary positions, however, more than one member of a family may be employed within the same department, and in the same division or section, as long as a direct or indirect supervisory/subordinate relationship between the relatives does not exist.

b.  If employment of immediate family members exists, or is later established, or is deemed to be in the best interest of the City, and an actual or potential conflict arises, the City Manager, the Director of Human Resources and the appropriate Department Head(s) will endeavor to resolve the conflict by conciliation, transfer or other appropriate action, including termination. These situations will be resolved on a case-by-case basis. The City staff will present recommendations in each such case to the PCA for review and approval.

c.  This policy does not apply to those individuals who are uncompensated and who serve on The City Council or advisory City Boards and Commissions. This policy also does not apply to the hiring of persons whose application and appointment are under the jurisdiction of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners of the City.


1.6.0 Secondary Employment

No regular full-time employee of the City is permitted to engage in any outside work, business venture or other activity considered as secondary full-time or part-time employment without the department head's knowledge and written approval. Such employment will not be acceptable under a number of conditions, including, but not limited to:

  • Where secondary employment would extend beyond 20 hours a week, except during an employee's regular days off, holiday or vacation periods.

  • Where the nature or place of employment might bring disfavor on the City.

  • Where secondary employment would involve the employee's appearance in City uniform, involve use of City equipment, or in any manner be considered as a conflict of interest with the employee's municipal position.

  • Where secondary employment would involve running personal expenses through the City’s accounts.

  • Where it appears that secondary employment has an adverse effect on the employee's attendance, punctuality or sick leave record.

  • Where secondary employment impairs the employee's ability to discharge the duties and responsibilities of his/her City job.

  • Where an employee might be considered to be using his/her City position to influence, to solicit business for the outside employment, or where there is any appearance of impropriety.

Employees who engage in secondary employment shall do so only with the understanding and acceptance that their primary duty, obligation and responsibility is to The City of Lake Forest. All City employees are subject to call at any time for emergencies, special assignment, or overtime duty, and no secondary employment may infringe on this obligation. 

No non-exempt employee will be allowed to work secondary employment within another department of the City. Exempt employees will be allowed to work secondary employment within another department of the City only with the approval of the Director of Human Resources and City Manager. These limitations do not apply to employees who are working in two positions for the City as of May 1, 2005.

1.7.0      Professional Appearance


The City expects all employees to exercise appropriate judgment with regard to personal appearance, dress and grooming to be most effective in the performance of their workplace duties. The City recognizes that personal appearance is an important element of self-expression and strives not to control or dictate appropriate employee appearance, specifically with regard to jewelry or tattoos worn as a matter of personal choice.

In keeping with this approach, the City allows reasonable self-expression through personal appearance, unless a) it conflicts with an employee’s ability to perform his or her position effectively or with his or her specific work environment, or b) it is regarded as offensive or harassing toward co-workers or others with whom the City conducts business and has contact with employees.

All non-uniformed employees are permitted to dress in business casual clothes from Monday through Thursday, and to dress in casual clothes on Fridays during the year. Business Casual attire means clothing that allows employees to feel comfortable at work, yet appropriate for an office environment. Each employee should choose business casual clothing that displays professionalism, while keeping his/her workday schedule in mind. Employees who are hosting or attending meetings with external client/vendor/business representatives must wear appropriate clothing, including business attire. On Fridays, employees may wear more casual attire unless a Friday meeting calls for Business Casual attire. (See Casual Dress Guidelines)

Factors that management will consider to determine whether attire, jewelry or tattoos may pose a conflict with the employee’s job or work environment include:

  • Personal safety of self or others, or damage to company property.

  • Ability to wear required PPE.

  • Productivity or performance expectations.

  • Offensiveness to co-workers, customers, vendors or others in the workplace based on racial, sexual, religious, ethnic, or other characteristics or attributes of a sensitive or legally protected nature.

  • Depiction of nudity, violence, or otherwise offensive images or language must be covered at all times. 

If management determines an employee’s attire, jewelry or tattoos may present such a conflict, the employee will be encouraged to identify appropriate options, such as removal of excess or offensive jewelry, covering of tattoos, or other reasonable means to resolve the conflict.

An environment of mutual cooperation, respect, and fair and consistent treatment for all employees is the City’s goal. Nonetheless, the City is legally responsible for ensuring that no employees are subject to harassment or a hostile work environment. As an initial step toward resolution of any complaint or offense under this policy, supervisors and managers will be responsible for explaining the policy and answering employee questions. If an agreeable solution cannot be reached with the department head, the Director of Human Resources will follow City procedures to resolve the issue.


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