The Personnel Department coordinates personnel management for all City departments. Services include:
- Recruitment, selection, and retention of competent employees
- Maintenance of the classification plan
- Coordination of the merit system, employee performance evaluation, and compensation plan
- Coordination of training and development
- Management of employee benefits
- Staff and clerical support for the Personnel Advisory Board
The Personnel Department is also responsible for administering the City's Risk Management Program, Employee Safety Program and all insurance coverage. This department is responsible for managing the risks of the City in order to minimize the loss of physical, financial and human resources; including management of exposure and accidents, acts of nature, liability, theft and vandalism, and safety and employee health.
Citizens and property owners sometimes have questions about how various city regulations may affect them. Local laws, known as ordinances, are adopted by City Council and made part of the City Code (Code of Ordinances). If you have questions involving matters such as traffic and parking regulations, or the keeping of animals, the answer is most likely in the City Code. Please note that professional rules of ethics prevent the Legal Department staff from giving legal advice to the general public.
Risk management is the identification, analysis, and evaluation of potential losses in order to develop methods to reduce or eliminate them. Risks are identified and then steps are taken to avoid them. This may be as simple as continuing to operate as usual or as complicated as restructuring an entire department.
The City's Risk Management program oversees and coordinates the identification and minimization of the risks of loss or damage to the City's resources, including human, property, and financial.
It is the policy of the City that all employees take active responsibility for minimizing the harm to persons or the loss to property that might result from accidents. In the event private property is damaged or a person is harmed in connection with City operations, a Liability Claim Form must be submitted to the Risk Management office. Completion of this form is the initial step in the determination of liability with the final decision resting with the City and its' insurance carrier, the Tennessee Municipal League Risk Management Pool.
Each claim is acknowledged and then assigned to an adjuster for investigation. Interviews with claimants, witnesses, and employees are performed to verify the details of the event. When necessary, police reports, fire reports, and medical records, in the case of injury, are obtained to complete the case file. Timely, accurate reporting of every incident is critical. All claims are subject to a one-year statute of limitation from the date of the alleged occurrence. Download and print a claim form (PDF) or contact the Personnel/Risk Management Department at 865-435-3564.
The Employee Wellness Program is designed to provide employees with the skills necessary to improve, strengthen, and maintain their physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health, as well as that of their families.
The Wellness Committee
The Wellness Committee is comprised of employee representatives from all City departments. The mission of the committee is to participate in the creation of healthier lives within our workplace through the development and implementation of innovative and cost-effective programs and services.
- To improve the quality of life for all City employees and their families
- Create a supportive environment for all City employees and their families
- Promote physical and emotional wellness through education, outreach, and other services
- To improve health by responding to the needs of all City employees and their families
- Stabilize or reduce insurance costs for participating
- To improve the quality of life for all City employees, their families, and the City
- Provide small, accountability groups to support and encourage wellness
Basis for Liability
The tort liability of municipalities and other local governmental entities is determined under the Tennessee Governmental Tort Liability Act - Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) Chapter 20.
This Act, passed in 1973 by the Tennessee General Assembly, is an attempt to balance the needs of injured persons to recover for injury or damage caused by the negligent acts of a local government and the needs of local governments to provide and of their citizens to receive public services, without unduly burdensome litigation and taxes.
One of the most important provisions of the Act is the section that grants absolute immunity to local governments and then creates exceptions to this immunity making them liable for certain actions or inactions, based on negligence.
Removal of Immunity (Exceptions) for Claims Filed in State Court
- TCA 29-20-202 - Removal of immunity for injury from negligent operation of motor vehicles or other Equipment
- TCA 29-20-203 - Removal of immunity for injury from defective, unsafe, or dangerous streets and highways. Includes streets, alleys, sidewalks, and/or traffic control devices. Actual and/or Constructive Notice Required
- TCA 29-20-204 - Removal of immunity for injury from dangerous structures. Any public building, structure, dam, reservoir, or other public improvement. Actual and/or Constructive Notice Required
- TCA 29-20-205 - Removal of immunity for injury caused by negligent act or omission of employee(s)
Immunity remains for eight functions. For example immunity is not removed for discretionary functions, permitting licensing, negligent inspections, riots/civil disturbances, assessment of taxes, etc
Negligence Is Based on Four Elements
- You had a duty to act
- You breached that duty
- Your breach of that duty was the proximate cause of the injury
- An actual injury or damage did occur
Monetary Limits of Liability
Monetary (Tort) limits are an important feature of the Act, set by Section 29-20-403(b) (2) A of the Tort Act. These limits have changed only three times since the original limits were set in 1973. These limits ensure that persons injured by negligent local governments will be compensated; but, at the same time protect other citizens from experiencing tax increases or reductions in service caused by overblown judgments that would cause an increase in insurance premiums or the unavailability of coverage.
Bodily Injury or Death. Per Person.
Per Accident, Occurrence, or Act.
Bodily Injury or Death. All Persons.
Per Accident, Occurrence, or Act.
- $ 100,000
Injury to or Destruction of Property.
Per Accident, Occurrence, or Act.
Cases against local governments are generally heard in circuit court by a judge, without a jury.