FARMINGTON -- City officials have approved more stringent guidelines for city employees involving the use of computers and cellphones.
The new guidelines are part of changes made to the city's personnel policies and procedures, which were approved Tuesday by a unanimous city council vote.
The new policy for electronic mail limits personal use of city computers to messages for immediate family members or other justifying circumstances. It also gives the city the right to inspect any electronic data stored on a city-owned computer or other electronic device, including cellphones.
The policy addresses pornography, the installation of personal software and the use of city computers for any personal political activity.
The revisions also address viewing or accessing any form of what is termed "illegal online content or services" which include gambling, academic cheating, criminal activity, illegal drugs and illegal software.
The new guidelines include a three-page outline about the use of social media and give individual department employees the ability to participate in social media sites, with the authorization of their department head and the city manager.
Along with approving changes in guidelines for electronic media, the policy also includes some revisions in how time off can be accrued.
During an employee's introductory period of employment, vacation will be accrued at four hours per month. Twelve days from the end of the introductory period through the fifth year of employment, that time will accrue at eight hours per month. Those hours accrue at 10 hours per month for employees in their sixth through 10th year of city employment. They jump to 12 hours per month after that and then max out at 14 hours per month for the most senior city employees.
All of the revisions were presented to a city personnel committee and then to the executive staff for review, before being forwarded to the council for final approval.