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Former City Employees

Whether City employees are retiring from the City, going to new jobs, moving across the country, or laid off, they still must keep the public trust.

The Ethics Code contains rules to support this trust. We have summarized the rules in this handout: Ethics Considerations When Separating from City Service. We encourage separating employees to contact us about how the law applies to their situations.

  • After leaving, a Covered Individual can never divulge or use confidential information gained through his or her City work.
  • For the first year after leaving, a Covered Individual cannot participate in the competitive selection process for a contract in the City if -- while with the City -- he or she helped design the project, the scope of work, or the process to be used in the selection of the contractor
  • Also for the first year, a City employee can work in his or her chosen field, but cannot communicate on behalf of someone involved in a matter within the City, with anyone at the employee's old department.
  • For two years after leaving City employment, an employee cannot assist anyone on a matter in which he or she participated while with the City. Pretty much any help that could be provided would qualify as assistance under the Ethics Code. To "assist" means to act or offer to act in any way that helps, aids, advises, furnishes information or otherwise to provide assistance to another person, believing that the assistance will be of use to another person and intending it to be of assistance.

  1. Can I accept a job offer from a City contractor or vendor?

    Answer: Yes, as an employee or former employee you may accept a position with a City contractor or vendor. However, once you begin considering changing employment, you will have to observe certain restrictions on your activities whether or not you accept the job or remain a City employee.

    For example, as soon as you are seeking employment with the company, you cannot be involved in City business that the company has a financial interest in. You must immediately disqualify yourself from any City actions affecting the company, such as purchasing or overseeing their work. You also must inform the prospective employer that you are no longer involved in the company's dealings with the City in any way.

    If either of you ends the employment discussion, you still may not immediately resume an official role in relation to the company without first disclosing the situation in writing to your department head and the SEEC Executive Director.

    If you do take the job, for two years after you leave the City you cannot assist your new employer on any matter that you worked on as a City employee, and for one year after you leave you cannot communicate on behalf of your new employer with anyone in your former department. And you may never use or share with your new employer any confidential information that you acquired in the course of your City job.

    If a company makes you a job offer but you are genuinely not interested and inform them immediately, then you may continue to have official dealings with the company, but must disclose the offer to your management.

  2. Can a former City employee bid on a contract with his or her former division or department?

    Answer: Yes, an employee can be hired on contract to work for his or her former department unless it is a competitive selection process for the contract and during the previous twelve months the former employee participated in development of the project, the scope of work, or the selection process. See the Department of Finance and Administrative Services for City contracting rules.

For more information, read
Ethics Considerations When Separating From City Service,
or contact SEEC staff for advice.

Last updated April 13, 2011.

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