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Resource Library



The HR Reference Manual is an extensive resource on human resources in the public sector. It includes chapters on Hiring, Discipline & Termination, Compensation & Benefits, Labor Relations, Personnel Policies, and more.

If you have questions:
Contact the HR & Benefits Department
(651) 281-1200 or (800) 925-1122


Chapter 1: City Employment Basics (pdf) (Revised: 8/2019)
Learn successful human resources practices taking into consideration legal requirements such as understanding your appointing authority and general public employment concepts like “employment-at-will.” Discover best management practices for effective recruitment, employee recognition, and opportunities to develop new skills. Find brief introductions to applicable state and federal laws.

Chapter 2: Hiring (pdf) (Revised: 10/2019)
Review in detail the two major goals of the hiring process: (1) recruiting and selecting the best qualified applicant for the job, and (2) compliance with all applicable laws to model best employment practices so the city is able to defend itself if legally challenged. Contains links to many sample forms, letters, and checklists for use in your hiring process.

Chapter 3: Discipline & Termination (pdf) (Revised: 1/2019)
Understand the laws, practices, and policies a city should consider at the end of an employment relationship through resignation, retirement, or involuntary discharge.

Chapter 4: Compensation (pdf) (Revised: 8/2019)

Learn effective and legal compensation practices and policies. Find explanations of compensation plans and other types of pay increases. Review minimum wage and overtime laws. Understand payroll issues like when wages are due and permitted withholdings and deductions. Links to a self-audit checklist of compensation practices and selected forms, policies, and a model compensation plan for small cities.

Chapter 5: Benefits (pdf) (Revised: 9/2019)
Find key considerations and concepts for options in leave benefits, other employee benefit programs and events, such as tuition assistance or recognition programs, and insurance benefits such as health, dental, life, disability, and long-term care. Understand benefits eligibility, benefits contribution structures, and requirements for offering continuation of benefits. Links to a self-audit checklist of benefit practices, model forms, agreements, and policies.

Chapter 6: Labor Relations (pdf) (Revised: 7/2019)

(Special thanks to Scott Lepak of Barna, Guzy & Steffen, Ltd. for his expertise and collaboration with the League of Minnesota Cities on this chapter)

Learn how a city can maintain its management rights and engage in effective and legal labor relations and bargaining practices. Understand the basics of union organizing, negotiating union contracts, and working through mediation, interest arbitration, or strikes.

Chapter 7: Personnel Policies (pdf) (Revised: 8/2018)

Learn about those public-sector personnel practices that can be effectively managed, at least in part, by following well-written policy language. Links to a comprehensive sample personnel policy to be used in conjunction with the chapter.