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Personnel Policies Required

Reference Number: MTAS-504
Reviewed Date: 08/29/2023

All municipalities incorporated before June 13, 1997, that did not already have a personnel policy were required by July 1, 1998 to adopt such a policy by ordinance, resolution, or otherwise. Municipalities incorporated after June 13, 1997, had two years after incorporation to adopt and implement a personnel policy.

A city may use the model personnel policy developed by MTAS or draft its own. The personnel policy must apply "fairly, impartially, and uniformly to the extent practicable to each department of the municipal government." Among other things, the policy should outline:

  • hiring procedures;
  • benefits and personnel rules and regulations;
  • fair and reasonable complaint conference and hearing procedures for dismissed, demoted, or suspended employees;
  • procedures for compliance with relevant federal laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act;
  • drug and alcohol testing procedures; and
  • sexual harassment regulations.

The law mandates that the policy may not grant a property right or contract right to the job to any employee.

A copy of the resolution or ordinance (or the caption) adopting the policy must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality prior to its adoption. Also, a copy of the personnel policy must be kept in the city recorder’s office and made available to employees upon request. T.C.A. § 6-54-123.

A municipality with a personnel policy that places an employee on leave for any time immediately following any arrest must pay back-pay to the employee if the charges are dropped or the employee is found not guilty. T.C.A. 7-51-1701.