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Employee handbook on Niagara town policies gets go ahead

TOWN OF NIAGARA – An employee handbook that contains all policies regarding working for the Town of Niagara is in the works.

At a work session Thursday, the Town Board agreed to authorize Town Attorney Michael Risman to develop a handbook that would be given to all current employees and new hires.

According to the discussion, the handbook would contain the town’s policies on sexual harassment, appropriate Internet use, emailing, leaves of absence and other issues, Risman said.

The decision to go to a handbook stemmed from a discussion on the town’s sexual harassment policy, which he said needed to be more fully developed.

The board needs to approve a procedure for victims of sexual harassment to file a complaint and a procedure for a subsequent investigation.

“If not, you’re exposed to liability,” Risman told the board. He added that the town should have fully developed the policy 10 years ago.

Deputy Supervisor Danny Sklarski said the state requires municipalities to conduct sexual harassment training every year.

Sklarski, who, along with Councilman Marc Carpenter, will act as board liaison for the handbook, said the manual would “be a condition of pre-employment, just like a background check.”

“It protects the worker, the co-workers, the employer and the town,” he explained.