the Village of Ridgewood
“Employees must respect the laws regarding copyrights, trademarks, rights of the public, Village, and other third-party rights. Any use of the Village’s name, logos, service marks or trademarks outside the course of the employee’s employment, without the express consent of the Village Manager is strictly prohibited. To minimize the risk of a copyright violation, employees should provide references to the source(s) of information used and cite copyrighted works identified in online communications.
Notwithstanding the Village’s right to read and retrieve any email messages sent to or transmitted from Village computers, such messages shall be treated as confidential by other employees and accessed only by the intended recipient. Any exception to this policy must receive prior approval from the appropriate departmental director or the Village Manager.
The Director of I.T. is charged with ensuring this policy is upheld and may access internet and computer activity when necessary for business purposes. The Village Manager shall be advised when the Director of I.T. is accessing any employee’s computer usage. Random checks of employee usage may also be conducted to ensure compliance with this policy.
Village Council Members are provided access to the Village’s internet systems. Whenever a Council member’s usage is being monitored, the Village Manager shall be notified in advance by the Director of I.T.. The Village Attorney or Labor/Employment Counsel will also be notified in advance.
Village of Ridgewood computers may only be used by employees specifically granted permission by their Department Director. Non-employees performing work for the Village of Ridgewood must do so under the supervision of a Department Director or designee. Each computer user so authorized will be issued a user logon name and password by the Director of I.T.. The user shall change the password on the first use and continue to change the password periodically. Each user shall log on to the computer he or she is using with the permanent user logon name and current valid password and shall be responsible for all operations on that computer until he or she logs off. Users shall use password protection of files only upon the approval of the appropriate Department Director. Passwords for such files must be given to the Department Directors and Department Directors shall keep secure records of these passwords. Department Directors should provide access to the Director of I.T. upon request. Users shall not install or cause to be installed, delete or cause to be deleted any software, unless approved by the Director of I.T.. Users are not permitted to copy, transfer, rename and/or delete information or programs belonging to other users or the Village unless given express permission to do so by the Director of I.T.. Modems shall only be used in applications where they are necessary and their installation and use must be approved by the appropriate Department Director and the Director of I.T. in advance.
Social Media Policy
Social Media and its uses in government and daily life are expanding each year however, information posted on a website is available to the public; therefore, employees must adhere to
the following guidelines for their participation in social media. Only those Employees directly authorized by the Village Manager may engage in social media activity during work time through the use of the Village of Ridgewood’s Communication Media, as it directly relates to their work and it is in compliance with this policy.
No Village employee shall post internal working documents to social media sites. This includes, but is not limited to, screenshots of computer stations, pictures of monitors and/or actual documents themselves without the prior approval of the Village Manager.
Employees shall not access social media pages during working time or using Village internet services except as required by their job. In addition, employees who maintain personal web pages and web sites, including but not limited to Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, Twitter, etc., shall not post information on such sites that would constitute a violation of Village personnel policies. The posting of words, phrases, photographs, images or any kid of information on a personal web site may be grounds for the imposition of disciplinary action against the employee if the words, phrases, photographs, images or information adversely reflect on the employee’s fitness for duty or constitutes a violation of the personnel policies of the Village. Anything posted on a social media website that would result in discipline or violation of policy if said or done while on working time shall result in discipline. Although employee social media sites are not monitored by the Village, if the Village becomes aware of any posting that violates this policy, the employee may be disciplined. Guidelines for use of social media sites include:
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1. Do not post anything that is confidential. 2. Do not post anything that would result in discipline if said directly to your supervisor or
other employee of the Village. Do not post anything that could result in a complaint of harassment or discrimination
under Village policy. 4. Do not speak on behalf of the Village unless you are authorized to do so. 5. Do not make comments as a Village of Ridgewood employee that may be deemed to
come from the Village. Employees must ensure that comments are deemed to be personal
opinions and not opinions of the Village of Ridgewood. 6. Do not conduct Village business through social media unless your job requires such use. 7. Do not discuss another employee’s, vendor’s or other Village personnel’s performance
using social media.
If employees choose to identify themselves as Village of Ridgewood employees on their personal social media accounts and even those that do not, should be aware that he or she may be viewed as acting on behalf of the Village. Therefore, no employee shall knowingly represent themselves as a spokesperson of the Village; post any comment, text, photo, audio, video or other multimedia file that negatively reflects upon the Village; express views that are detrimental to the Village’s mission or undermine the public trust or is insulting or offensive to other individuals or to the public in regard to religion, sex, race or national origin. Village employees are encouraged to exercise extreme caution posting photographs of themselves in uniform or in situations where they can be readily identified as Village employees.
To the extent that Village employees use social media outside their employment while engaging in protected concerted activities as defined above, employees will not be subject to discipline or
retaliation for expressing views, opinions, and/or facts surrounding the Village’s employment policies. For all other communications by employees on personal social media sites in which matters related to the Village of Ridgewood are discussed, employees must add a disclaimer on the front page stating that the posting does not express the views of the Village of Ridgewood, and that the employees are expressing their own personal views. For example: “The views expressed on this website/web log are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.” The disclaimer must be placed in a prominent position and repeated for each posting that is expressing an opinion related to the Village of Ridgewood or the Village’s business, with the exception of postings and social media communications by employees engaging in protected concerted activities. Employees are advised that if they post information on social media that is in violation of either the terms and conditions of the within social media policy, or in violation of federal, state, or local laws, the disclaimer will not shield them from disciplinary action. However, no retaliation or discipline will result if and when employees are engaging in protected concerted activity, and/or choose to report inappropriate social media activities to the Village Manager.
Nothing in these policies is designed to interfere with, restrain, or prevent social media communications by employees engaging in protected concerted activities regarding wages, hours, or other terms and conditions of employment pursuant to the National Labor Relations Act. All Village employees have the right to engage in or refrain from such activities.
Access and Auditing
Access to the Village of Ridgewood’s equipment and data shall be authorized by Department Directors and controlled by the Director of I.T..
The Director of I.T. is authorized to audit computer, internet, and intranet use as needed to ensure adherence to all policies on the handbook, this document, and any and all attachments. If auditing uncovers a violation of established policies, the Director of I.T. shall report the problem to the appropriate Department Director or, in serious cases, refer it to the Village Manager for further action.
Compliance with the Law
Use of the Village of Ridgewood’s equipment must be in accordance with the law. This equipment shall not be used to send or receive copyrighted materials, trade secrets, proprietary financial information, or any similar materials without prior authorization. No software licensed to the Village of Ridgewood shall be copied, loaned or otherwise duplicated without the express written permission of the Village of Ridgewood. Violations of applicable laws may result in civil or criminal prosecution, and will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Reporting Incidents and Violations
Any employee who observes or becomes aware of a violation of any guidelines or policies listed in this document shall report the violation to the appropriate Department Director, Director of
I.T., Village Clerk, and/or the Village Manager. In all cases of reported misuse, the Village shall be notified of such alleged violation. If an employee feels no timely action is being taken to address a violation reported to his/her Department Director, he/she should advise the Director of I.T., Village Clerk, and/or the Village Manager immediately. Any violation may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. If necessary, the Village will advise appropriate legal officials of any violation.
The Village may install video surveillance camera systems within public buildings and throughout public areas within the Village, primarily as visual deterrents of criminal behavior and for the protection of employees and municipal assets. In implementing these video camera systems, the Village will ensure compliance with federal, state and local laws governing such usage.
The Village’s video surveillance camera systems are a significant tool to which the employees of the Village will avail themselves in order to complete the goals and objectives of the Village. Employees are only permitted to use the video surveillance camera systems for a legitimate purpose and with proper authorization. The Village’s designee will be responsible for authorization of users. The improper use of these systems can result in discipline up to and including termination.
No employee is permitted to view, continually watch, search, copy or otherwise use one of the Village’s video surveillance camera systems or tamper with access, archive, alter, add to, or make copies of any data that has been recorded and stored within any of these systems without (1) a specific legitimate purpose and (2) permission from the designee of the Village.
The Village shall designate a person to be responsible for the maintenance and administration of the video surveillance camera system. Such designee will be responsible for maintaining a user access log detailing the date and name of individuals who view/access a stored recording.
Any employee who becomes aware of any unauthorized disclosure of a video record in a contravention of this policy and/or a potential privacy breach has the responsibility to ensure that the Village Manager or designee is immediately informed of such breach.
Bulletin Board Policy:
The bulletin boards located in the Village administrative building and other facilities are intended for official notices regarding policies, procedures, meetings and special events. Only personnel authorized by the Village Manager may post, remove, or alter any notice. Employees shall not post personal notices or otherwise alter, deface or remove any approved posting. All postings must be approved by the Village Manager in advance. “