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1 Policy

The policies and pay plan, as presented herein, shall constitute the Official Personnel Policies and Practices of The City of Lake Forest for all regular full-time and part-time employees of the City, except the City Manager.  These policies do not apply to temporary or seasonal employees.  Each department has a complete copy of the Administrative Directives governing personnel and referred to throughout these policies on file and available for employee inspection.  They are also available for viewing and printing on the Human Resources website located at


The intent of these policies is to give the employee a brief description and general information concerning City employment policies.

The employment relationship between the City and its employees is employment at will, which means that either the City or the employee may end the employment relationship at any time, for any reasons, without notice, warning or cause.  This means that in the absence of a written employment agreement, the City and its employees shall not be bound to an employment contract or a commitment to employment for a definite period of time. Either party can terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason. Neither these policies, nor any other policy, procedure or practice of the City constitutes a contractual commitment between the City and its employees and they do not prove any guarantee or assurance of continued employment or a term or condition of employment for any period of time.

The employment relationship may be governed by a number of sources, including but not limited to The City of Lake Forest Charter, the City Code, the Personnel Policies and Practices, Fire and Police Commission Rules and Regulations, department policies and procedures, state and federal law, statutes and regulations, and available funding.  All of the benefits provided to employees by these policies are subject to budgetary constraints.  Further, in the event any of the provisions of these policies conflict with the terms of an applicable collective bargaining agreement, the terms of the collective bargaining agreement shall govern.  The City has the right to modify or eliminate its employment policies from time to time in its sole discretion, without prior notice.


Values Statement: The core values of the City are important to the philosophy of the organization. These values shape our expectations of each other in the workplace. They are the basis of our individual and collective conduct.


Integrity:     Unconditional adherence to our moral and ethical values.

Respect:      Being considerate and accepting of others.

Trust:           Being dependable, demonstrating confidence and faith in others and being willing to let go and to empower others.

Excellence:  Commitment to professional growth, teamwork, optimum community service, and doing what is right.


How We Work: We work collaboratively in teams, where everyone is valued and accountable to one another. We strive to be ethical, respectful, and promote excellence in the delivery of service to the residents.


Code of Conduct


  1. We work ethically and collaboratively, in an environment where everyone is valued and accountable.

  2. We follow our policies and procedures consistently and professionally. We know our jobs and do our jobs the right way.

  3. We follow the policies and operating guidelines for the areas in which we operate.

  4. We speak up and report if we see something that isn’t right, and we are protected from retaliation when we do speak up.




The City prides itself on its adherence to all federal, state, and local laws/regulations, including ethics laws, including without limitations Chapter 40 of the City Code. Therefore, the City asks that any violation of federal, state, or local law or regulation or City policy, violation of ethical standards or requirements, a mismanagement or abuse of authority, or other improper or unlawful conduct that is witnessed or learned of by an employee or any other individual conducting business with or on behalf of the City be reported immediately to the Director of Human Resources or the City Manager (or the Mayor if the conduct involved the City Manager) to allow the City to investigate and, if applicable, correct the situation or condition.


All reports of illegal and dishonest activities or of actions that may be in violation of this policy will be promptly investigated and the City will take appropriate corrective or disciplinary action against persons violating this policy, in addition to any other legal compliance actions.


The City will not take any retaliatory action against an employee if the employee refuses to participate in an activity or discloses or threatens to disclose an activity or policy or procedure that the employee in good faith has reasonable cause to believe is a violation of the law. Any whistleblower who believes he/she is being retaliated against must contact the Director of Human Resources immediately. Accountability in government, financial responsibility and delivery of quality services are key components to preserving the public’s trust. Based on our core values, all employees share the responsibility to ensure that the City demonstrates this accountability, as well as the proper stewardship of the financial resources and property entrusted to us.


It is the declared policy of The City of Lake Forest that employment in the City government shall be based on merit, free from personal and political considerations, and that just and equitable incentives and conditions of employment will be maintained to promote efficiency and economy in the operation of the City government.

The City maintains that employees are its most important asset, whose health and safety are of the utmost consideration. Therefore, providing a safe work environment is a matter of continuing concern, equal in importance to all other operational considerations. (See Admin. Dir. Section 6, Employee Safety Procedures)

In addition, all employees must be allowed to work in an environment free from unlawful discrimination and harassment, including sexual harassment. The City prohibits sexual overtones and intimidation, as well as any other form of sexual or other types of harassment in the workplace. The City also prohibits anyone from taking any adverse action against an employee for making a good faith complaint of harassment. (See Admin. Dir. 2-13, Anti-Harassment)

Violence in the workplace will also not be tolerated. Weapons are prohibited on any City property or job site with the exception of sworn police officers, and all threats will be viewed with the assumption that they will be carried out. All reports of such incidents will immediately be thoroughly investigated.  If found to be valid, disciplinary action will be taken, up to and including dismissal. The reporting procedure outlined in the Anti-Harassment directive noted above may also be utilized for reporting acts of violence. To the extent permitted by the Firearm Concealed Carry Act, any employee may store a firearm or ammunition concealed in a case within a locked vehicle or locked container out of plain view within the vehicle in the parking area of a City facility. Employees may not store a firearm or ammunition within a vehicle in Parking areas that constitute a prohibited areas.


The City Manager, by City Council directive, is responsible for the administration of the following personnel rules and regulations and is vested with full authority to establish by administrative directive terms and conditions of employment consistent with policy established by the City Council.


If the following Personnel Policies and Practices conflict with the Rules and Regulations of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners of The City of Lake Forest with regard to sworn fire and police employees, the Board's rules shall be followed. Said Rules and Regulations are hereby made a part of these Personnel Policies and Practices.

The employees who are covered by any applicable collective bargaining agreement (and any subsequent Agreements signed during the duration of these policies) shall be governed by the provisions of those agreements, to the extent that any of the Personnel Policies and Practices conflict with the agreements. In all other circumstances, including where the agreements are silent, these Personnel Policies and Practices shall govern.

2 Policy
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