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Keyword: department of human resources

County’s “Balancing Act” Budget Platform Named One of Nation’s Best Programs as National Association Of Counties Highlights Five County Departments for Effective Leadership

Baltimore County earned seven awards from the National Association of Counties’ (NACo) 2020 Achievement Awards, which recognize innovative, effective county government programs that enhances service and improves quality of life for residents.

“My administration is committed to innovation, citizen engagement, and a government that is more transparent and accessible to all our people,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “We’re honored to be recognized by NACo for all these efforts and we will continue building on these efforts to realize a better Baltimore County for every resident.”

Since 1970, NACo’s annual Achievement Awards have recognized county government innovations, and are given in 18 different categories that reflect the comprehensive services counties provide, including financial management, county administration, information technology, health and civic engagement.

Five Departments Honored

Five Baltimore County Departments earned honors in the 2020 NACo Achievement Awards:

The Baltimore County Office of Information Technology won a 2020 Achievement Award in the category of Financial Management for the County’s budget “Balancing Act” platform.

Out of hundreds of programs, Baltimore County’s Balancing Act was awarded Best in Category—a distinction offered only to one program per category each year—due to its exceptional results and unique innovations.

The interactive online tool allowed residents to learn more about the state of Baltimore County’s budget and the difficult choices under consideration during the ongoing budgeting process. Through “Balancing Act,” residents could examine the current fiscal situation and simulate reallocating funds in order to balance spending and revenue.

The Baltimore County Department of Aging won two 2020 Achievement Awards:

  • 2020 Achievement Award in the category of Health for the “Living Connected” initiative to combat social isolation.

In response to a national epidemic of loneliness among older Americans, the Baltimore County Department of Aging (BCDA) developed the “Living Connected” initiative to offer a multifaceted approach to combatting social isolation through awareness education for all ages and engagement activities for older adults and caregivers.

  • 2020 Achievement Award in the category of Health for the Adult Well-Being Assessment to help measure quality of life indicators.

The Baltimore County Department of Aging embarked on a partnership with the National Council on Aging (NCOA) to provide data for the Aging Hub of the 100 Million Healthier Lives Project using the Adult Well-Being Assessment (AWA) to better understand population health outcomes that can influence policy and fiscal decision-making.

The Baltimore County Department of Health and Human Services won two 2020 Achievement Awards:

  • 2020 Achievement Award in the category of Human Services for their Child Protective Services/Domestic Violence (CPS/DV) co-location efforts.

The Baltimore County Department of Social Services’ Child Protective Services/Domestic Violence Co-Location Program provides a comprehensive approach to families experiencing child maltreatment and intimate partner violence. Clients have access to safety planning services, immediate trauma-based therapy and linkages to trauma-based community resources.

  • 2020 Achievement Award in the category of Health for utilizing nursing services in harm reduction efforts.

The Baltimore County Department of Health’s Harm Reduction Program provides HIV and Hepatitis C testing, access to safe injection equipment, wound care, immunizations and other services to help decrease the risks of overdose and infectious disease transmissions. This program is the first Harm Reduction Program in the state to employ a Public Health Nurse to integrate health-related services within the Harm Reduction model.

The Baltimore County Department of Human Resources won a 2020 Achievement Award in the category of Personnel Management, Employment and Training for the Baltimore County Government Employee Mentorship Program.

In 2019, Baltimore County launched its first Employee Mentorship Program, which is designed to promote team-oriented work environments while focusing on enhancing career development, increasing employee engagement and retention, and building employee morale. The program hails open effective communication, leadership empowerment and coaching as key factors to its success.

The Department of Permits, Approvals, and Inspections, Department of Public Works, Department of Planning and the Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability in collaboration with the Office of Information Technology won a 2020 Achievement Award in the category of County Administration and Management for the Design of the Land Use Regulatory Automation (LURA) Program.

Baltimore County is modernizing its land use regulatory processes in order to make them more transparent and data-driven while improving overall customer service by strengthening inter-agency cooperation.


County has Required Initial Training Since 1998 

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz has revised Baltimore County's employee policies regarding sexual harassment, requiring all County employees to undergo refresher training every three years.  Presently, all new County employees are required to complete a one-hour training session as part of their orientation process. 

“While Baltimore County already requires sexual harassment training for all new hires, we think it is prudent to have employees review the policy training every three years,” said County Executive Kamenetz. “I have instructed the County’s Director of Human Resources to have a program in place for triennial training by July 1.” 

Baltimore County’s sexual harassment policy is clearly outlined for employees in the County’s Personnel Manual that is printed below.

In addition to addressing sexual harassment, the County’s policy also contains a prohibition on the use of pornographic material at work clearly stating that such behavior is also a violation of the sexual harassment policy, including:

  • Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional materials, reading materials or other materials that are sexually suggestive, sexually demeaning, or pornographic, or bringing them into the work environment or possessing any such material to read, display or view at work
  • Reading or otherwise publicizing in the work environment materials that are in any way sexually revealing, sexually suggestive, sexually demeaning or pornographic

The Office of Human Resources also maintains a contact resource, in addition to supervisors and department heads, who are specially trained to receive employee complaints of harassment. 

“I am proud of what we have done in Baltimore County to protect employees, but the revelations across the nation over the past few months have been very disturbing,” concluded Kamenetz. “Requiring employees to remain current on the issues surrounding sexual harassment is an important step in creating a work environment where everyone feels respected and valued.”

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Baltimore County Personnel Manual - Section 1.4: Sexual Harassment Policy

Sexual harassment is a violation of federal, state and local law and will not be tolerated by Baltimore County. Sexual harassment has no legitimate business purpose, and therefore should not occur in the work environment. Sexual harassment adversely affects not only the person to whom it is directed, but also hurts employee morale overall. Preventing sexual harassment is a team effort and therefore, the cooperation of all employees is necessary to eliminate sexual harassment. All employees are expected to conduct themselves in a professional and businesslike manner, and report incidents of harassment they observe promptly as provided below.

Section 1.4.1: Sexual Harassment Defined

Sexual harassment, as defined by law, consists of unwelcomed sexual advances, requests for sexual favors or other verbal or physical acts that are sexual or sexually based in nature where:

  • Submission to such conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual’s employment
  • An employment decision is based on an individual’s acceptance or rejection of such conduct
  • Such conduct interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment

Section 1.4.2: Examples of Sexual Harassment Conduct

Although incidents of sexual harassment may be subjective in nature, the following acts are examples of conduct which violate Baltimore County’s sexual harassment policy:

  • Physical assault of a sexual nature such as sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults
  • Intentional physical contact which is sexual in nature, such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against another’s body or poking another’s body
  • Unwanted sexual advances, propositions or other sexual comments, such as sexually-oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes, innuendoes or comments about a person’s sexuality or sexual experience, directed at, or made in the presence of, an employee who indicates, or who has indicated in any way that such conduct in his or her presence is unwelcome
  • Preferential treatment, or promise of preferential treatment to an employee for submitting to sexual conduct, including soliciting, or attempting to solicit any employee to engage in sexual activity for compensation or reward
  • Subjecting or threats of subjecting an employee to unwelcomed sexual attention or conduct, or intentionally making performance of the employee’s job more difficult because of an employee’s sex
  • Displaying pictures, posters, calendars, graffiti, objects, promotional materials, reading materials or other materials that are sexually suggestive, sexually demeaning, or pornographic, or bringing them into the work environment or possessing any such material to read, display or view at work
  • Reading or otherwise publicizing in the work environment materials that are in any way sexually revealing, sexually suggestive, sexually demeaning or pornographic
  • Displaying signs or materials purporting to segregate an employee by sex in any area of the work place
  • Retaliation

The above is not construed as an all-inclusive list of prohibited acts under this policy, but only to give employees an idea of what constitutes sexual harassment.

Section 1.4.3: Retaliation Prohibited

It is also unlawful to retaliate or take reprisal in any way against anyone who has articulated any concern about sexual harassment discrimination, whether that concern relates to harassment of, or discrimination against, the individual raising the concern, or against another individual.

Retaliation for making sexual harassment complaints or participating in a sexual harassment investigation may include, but not be limited to, imposing discipline; changing work assignments or providing inaccurate work information to, or refusing to cooperate or discuss work related matters with an employee because that employee has complained about or resisted harassment, discrimination, or retaliation.

Intentionally pressuring, falsely denying, lying about or otherwise covering up or attempting to cover up conduct such as that described in any item above also may constitute retaliation.

Section 1.4.4: Complaint Procedure

Employees who want to make a complaint or allegation of harassment should report the incident to the supervisor or manager promptly. If the employee is not comfortable making the complaint to the supervisor or manager, the complaint should be made directly to the Office of Human Resources by calling 410-887-3122. The complaint will be investigated in a fair and prompt manner. Upon the completion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken by Baltimore County if warranted.

Section 1.4.5: Discipline for Violating Sexual Harassment Policy

Any employee of Baltimore County found to be in violation of this sexual harassment policy will be subject to disciplinary action. Similarly, Baltimore County will take appropriate disciplinary action against anyone who attempts to retaliate against employees who complain about alleged harassment, or against any individual who participates in an investigation of alleged sexual harassment. Disciplinary action may include counseling, written warning, transfer, demotion, discharge, or any other action deemed appropriate by Baltimore County. Baltimore County will aggressively take appropriate action to prevent repeated acts of harassment.

Questions regarding this policy statement should be directed to the Office of Human Resources by calling 410-887-3122.


 
 
Revised September 11, 2017