Farmington Library trustees approve complaint procedure

Farmington Community Library trustees talked at length Thursday about how to handle employee complaints against individual board members.

The board recently voted to have an attorney at Foster Swift investigate two complaints against trustees. They created a “wall” between that unnamed attorney and board counsel, Mike Blum, to avoid conflicts.

Board president Jim White explained that when the investigations are complete, trustees would have to allow Blum to view the report and provide a legal opinion.

“The investigation is factual,” Blum said, “but the legal implications of what the investigation finds is a legal issue that the library’s legal counsel should review.”

Blum confirmed White’s understanding that the investigator’s findings would have to be presented in an open meeting. Trustees could hold a closed meeting to get legal advice from Blum.

Handbook review, revisions

After authorizing Blum to view the results, the board talked about how to handle those types of complaints in the future. Blum said while the current employee handbook covers a chain of command, it does not address complaints against the director or trustees.

“The process doesn’t involve the board at all,” he said.

The handbook addresses two types of complaints. Performance, pay, and benefits move from a supervisor to the director and finally the personnel committee. Complaints over harassment, retaliation, and discrimination have a separate procedure.

Trustee Danette Duron-Willner suggested having payroll provider ADP review the handbook and make recommendations for revisions. The board would look at a policy for complaints against the director and trustees after receiving that information.

Duron-Willner later amended her motion to note that the current “de facto” process–complaints sent to a Foster Swift investigator, who shares results with Blum–would remain in place in the meantime.

Watch the full discussion:

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