|· Equal Employment Opportunity Statement|
|· Anti-harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure|
|· Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) & Amendments Act (ADAAA)|
|· Employee Classification Categories|
|· Background and Reference Checks|
|· Internal Transfers/Promotions|
|· Nepotism, Employment of Relatives and Personal Relationships|
|· Progressive Discipline|
|· Separation of Employment|
|· Drug-Free Workplace|
|· Workplace Bullying|
|· Violence in the Workplace|
|· Smoke-Free Workplace|
|· Conflicts of Interest|
|· Outside Employment|
|· Attendance and Punctuality|
|· Attire and Grooming|
|· Electronic Communication and Internet Use|
|· Social Media—Acceptable Use|
|· Solicitations, Distributions and Posting of Materials|
|· Employee Personnel Files|
|· Performance and Salary Reviews|
|· Payment of Wages|
|· Time Reporting|
|· Meal/Rest Periods|
|· Overtime Pay|
|· On-Call Pay|
|· Employee Travel and Reimbursement|
|TIME OFF/LEAVES OF ABSENCE|
|· Holiday Pay|
|· Sick Leave|
|· Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)|
|· Personal Leave of Absence|
|· Bereavement Leave|
|· Jury Duty|
|· Voting Leave|
|· Military Leave of Absence|
|· Medical and Dental Insurance|
|· Domestic Partners|
|· Flexible Spending Account|
|· Group Life Insurance|
|· Short-Term Disability Benefits|
|· Long-Term Disability Benefits|
|· 401(k) Plan|
|· Workers’ Compensation Benefits|
|· Tuition Assistance|
|· Employee Assistance Program (EAP)|
Sterling Global Products, Landtrust, RJD Properties, Del-Carmel, and Unique Homes are established, licensed businesses located in Slidell, Louisiana. Having been in business for several years, we have made our products and our service the go-to for all of our clients. We encourage all of our employees to consider themselves part of our brands, and to embrace all that being part of our work-family encompasses. Founded on the ideas of our owner, Robert Delaney, our businesses operate on a core value system. We work hard to produce outstanding results, and we have fun while we do so. All our organizations pride ourselves on hiring only the best and brightest for each role, and our expectations are equally high.
While you are an active employee operating the business of Sterling Global Products, Landtrust, Delaney Properties, RJD Properties, or Del-Carmel, your employment is technically with the organization titled Unique Homes. All payroll, benefits, and other employment-related documentation will reflect Unique Homes as the organization with which you are employed.
Whether you have just joined our staff or have been with Unique Homes for any period of time, we are confident that you will find our company a dynamic and rewarding place in which to work, and we look forward to a productive and successful association. We consider our employees to be one of our most valuable resources. This handbook has been written to serve as the guide for the employer/employee relationship.
There are several things to keep in mind about this handbook. First, it contains only general information and guidelines. It is not intended to be comprehensive or to address all the possible applications of, or exceptions to, the general policies and procedures described. For that reason, if you have any questions concerning eligibility for a particular benefit or the applicability of a policy or practice to you, you should address your specific questions to the management team. Neither this handbook nor any other company document confers any contractual right, either express or implied, to remain in the company’s employ. Nor does it guarantee any fixed terms and conditions of your employment. Your employment is not for any specific time and may be terminated at will with or without cause and without prior notice by the company, or you may resign for any reason at any time. No supervisor or other representative of the company (other than the owners) has the authority to enter into any agreement for employment for any specified period of time or to make any agreement contrary to the above.
The procedures, practices, policies and benefits described here may be modified or discontinued from time to time. We will try to inform you of any changes as they occur.
This handbook and the information in it should be treated as confidential. No portion of this handbook should be disclosed to others, except employees and others affiliated with Unique Homes or any of the associated organizations, whose knowledge of the information is required in the normal course of business.
Some subjects described in this handbook are covered in detail in official policy documents. Refer to these documents for specific information because the handbook only briefly summarizes those guidelines and benefits. Please note that the terms of the written insurance policies are controlling and override any statements made in this or other documents.
Employee Handbook Acknowledgment and Receipt
I have received my copy of the Employee Handbook.
The employee handbook describes important information about the company, and I understand that I should consult my manager or Human Resources regarding any questions not answered in the handbook. I have entered into my employment relationship with [Company Name] voluntarily and acknowledge that there is no specified length of employment. Accordingly, either I or my supervisors within Unique Homes or any of the associated organizations can terminate the relationship at will, with or without cause, at any time, so long as there is not violation of applicable federal or state law.
I understand and agree that, other than the owner(s) of the company, no manager, supervisor or representative of Unique Homes has any authority to enter into any agreement for employment other than at will; only the president of the company has the authority to make any such agreement and then only in writing signed by the owner(s).
This handbook and the policies and procedures contained herein supersede any and all prior practices, oral or written representations, or statements regarding the terms and conditions of my employment with Unique Homes. By distributing this handbook, the company expressly revokes any and all previous policies and procedures that are inconsistent with those contained herein.
I understand that, except for employment-at-will status, any and all policies and practices may be changed at any time by the management team, and the company reserves the right to change my hours, wages and working conditions at any time. All such changes will be communicated through official notices, and I understand that revised information may supersede, modify or eliminate existing policies. Only the owner or general manager of the companies has the ability to adopt any revisions to the policies in this handbook.
I understand and agree that nothing in the Employee Handbook creates, or is intended to create, a promise or representation of continued employment and that employment at Unique Homes, or any of the associated organizations, is employment at will, which may be terminated at the will of either company leadership or myself. Furthermore, I acknowledge that this handbook is neither a contract of employment nor a legal document. I understand and agree that employment and compensation may be terminated with or without cause and with or without notice at any time by the company or myself.
I have received the handbook, and I understand that it is my responsibility to read and comply with the policies contained in this handbook and any revisions made to it.
Employee’s Name (Print)
TO BE PLACED IN EMPLOYEE’S PERSONNEL FILE
Equal Employment Opportunity Statement
Unique Homes and all associated organizations provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. Sterling Global Products, Delaney Properties, and Land Mark complu with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations expressly prohibit any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, genetic information, disability or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of Sterling Global Products, Delaney Properties, and Land Mark employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated.
Unique Homes and all Associated Organizations Antiharassment Policy and Complaint Procedure
Unique Homes and all associated organizations are committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, Unique Homes and all associated organizations expect that all relationships among persons in the office will be business-like and free of bias, prejudice and harassment.
It is the policy of Unique Homes and all associated organizations to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty or status as a covered veteran. Unique Homes and all associated organizations prohibit any such discrimination or harassment.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations encourage reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. It is the policy of Unique Homes and all associated organizations to promptly and thoroughly investigate such reports. Unique Homes and all associated organizations prohibit retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or who participates in an investigation of such reports.
Definitions of Harassment
Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.
Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.
Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends or associates, and that a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or c) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.
Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group and that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the employer’s premises or circulated in the workplace, on company time or using company equipment via e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, tweets, blogs, social networking sites or other means.
Individuals and Conduct Covered
These policies apply to all applicants and employees, whether related to conduct engaged in by fellow employees or someone not directly connected to Unique Homes and all associated organizations (e.g., an outside vendor, consultant or customer).
Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings and business-related social events.
Individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy statement or who believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor or any member of management, up to and including the owner of the organization.
When possible, Unique Homes and all associated organizations encourage individuals who believe they are being subjected to such conduct to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. Unique Homes and all associated organizations recognize, however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through complaint procedures.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations encourage the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Therefore, although no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.
Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.
Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.
Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed.
Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately.
If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to management, up to and including the owner(s) of the organization.
False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA)
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, known as the ADAAA, are federal laws that prohibit employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against applicants and individuals with disabilities and that when needed provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees who are qualified for a job, with or without reasonable accommodations, so that they may perform the essential job duties of the position.
It is the policy of Unique Homes and all associated organizations to comply with all federal and state laws concerning the employment of persons with disabilities and to act in accordance with regulations and guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Furthermore, it is our company policy not to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in regard to application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, training or other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
The company will reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with a disability so that they can perform the essential functions of a job unless doing so causes a direct threat to these individuals or others in the workplace and the threat cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation and/or if the accommodation creates an undue hardship to Unique Homes and all associated organizations. Contact management with any questions or requests for accommodation.
Employee Classification Categories
All employees are designated as either nonexempt or exempt under state and federal wage and hour laws. The following is intended to help employees understand employment classifications and employees’ employment status and benefit eligibility. These classifications do not guarantee employment for any specified period of time. The right to terminate the employment-at-will relationship at any time is retained by both the employee and Unique Homes and all associated organizations.
Nonexempt employees are employees whose work is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). They are NOT exempt from the law’s requirements concerning minimum wage and overtime. Basis of payment to these employees is generally based on annual, or “salaried,” wages.
Exempt employees are generally managers or professional, administrative or technical staff who ARE exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA. Exempt employees hold jobs that meet the standards and criteria established under the FLSA by the U.S. Department of Labor. Basis of payment to these employees is generally based on actual, clocked, or “hourly,” wages.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations have established the following categories for both nonexempt and exempt employees:
Temporary workers are not eligible for company benefits unless specifically stated otherwise in company policy or are deemed eligible according to plan documents.
Background and Reference Checks
To ensure that individuals who join Unique Homes and all associated organizations are well qualified and to ensure that we maintain a safe and productive work environment, it is our right to conduct pre-employment background checks on all applicants who accept an offer of employment. Background checks may include verification of any information on the applicant’s resume or application form.
All offers of employment may be conditioned on receipt of a background check report that is acceptable to Unique Homes and all associated organizations. All background checks are conducted in conformity with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and federal privacy and antidiscrimination laws. Reports are kept confidential and are only viewed by individuals involved in the hiring process.
If information obtained in a background check would lead Unique Homes and all associated organizations to deny employment, a copy of the report will be provided to the applicant, and the applicant will have the opportunity to dispute the report’s accuracy. Background checks may include a criminal record check, although a criminal conviction does not automatically bar an applicant from employment.
Additional checks such as a driving record or credit report may be required of applicants for particular job categories if appropriate and job-related.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations also reserves the right to conduct a background check for current employees to determine eligibility for promotion or reassignment in the same manner as described above.
Employees with more than twelve months of service may request consideration to transfer to other roles as vacancies become available, and will be considered along with other applicants. At the same time, the company may initiate transfers of employees between departments and facilities to meet specified work requirements and reassignment of work requirements.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations offer employees promotions to higher-level positions when appropriate. Management prefers to promote from within and may first consider current employees with the necessary qualifications and skills to fill vacancies above the entry level, unless outside recruitment is considered to be in the companies’ best interest.
To be considered, employees must have held their current position for at least 12 months, have a satisfactory performance record and have no disciplinary actions during the last 12 months. Management retains the discretion to make exceptions to the policy.
Nepotism, Employment of Relatives and Personal Relationships
Unique Homes and all associated organizations want to ensure that corporate practices do not create situations such as conflict of interest or favoritism. This extends to practices that involve employee hiring, promotion and transfer. Close relatives, partners, those in a dating relationship or members of the same household may not be permitted to hold positions that have a reporting responsibility to each other. Close relatives are defined as husband, wife, domestic partner, father, mother, father-in-law, mother-in law, grandfather, grandmother, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in law, uncle, aunt, nephew, niece, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, step relatives, cousins and domestic partner relatives.
If employees begin a dating relationship or become relatives, partners or members of the same household and if one party is in a supervisory position, that person is required to inform management, and reporting roles may be altered.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations reserve the right to apply this policy to situations where there is a conflict or the potential for conflict because of the relationship between employees, even if there is no direct-reporting relationship or authority involved.
Every employee has the duty and the responsibility to be aware of and abide by existing rules and policies. Employees also have the responsibility to perform his/her duties to the best of his/her ability and to the standards as set forth in his/her job description or as otherwise established.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations support the use of progressive discipline to address issues such as poor work performance or misconduct. Our progressive discipline policy is designed to provide a corrective action process to improve and prevent a recurrence of undesirable behavior and/or performance issues. Our progressive discipline policy has been designed consistent with our organizational values, Human Resources best practices and employment laws.
Outlined below are the steps of our progressive discipline policy and procedure. Unique Homes and all associated organizations reserve the right to combine or skip steps in this process depending on the facts of each situation and the nature of the offense. The level of disciplinary intervention may also vary. Some of the factors that will be considered are whether the offense is repeated despite coaching, counseling and/or training; the employee’s work record; and the impact the conduct and performance issues have on our organization.
The following outlines Unique Homes and all associated organizations’ progressive discipline process:
Unique Homes and all associated organizations reserves the right to determine the appropriate level of discipline for any inappropriate conduct, including oral and written warnings, suspension with or without pay, demotion and discharge.
The progressive discipline plan does not in any way override Unique Homes and all associated organizations’ status as an at-will employer. Termination can and will be applied to any employee, at any time, for any legally documented reason at the employer’s will. Any employee also maintains to right to resign from the organization at any time, at-will.
Separation of Employment
Separation of employment within an organization can occur for several different reasons.
It is the practice of Unique Homes and all associated organizations to give special recognition to employees at the time of their retirement.
Return of Company Property
The separating employee must return all company property at the time of separation, including uniforms, cell phones, keys, PCs and identification cards. Failure to return some items may result in deductions from the final paycheck. An employee will be required to sign the Wage Deduction Authorization Agreement to deduct the costs of such items from the final paycheck.
When possible, the separating employee shall contact management as soon as notice is given to schedule an exit interview. The interview will be on the employee’s last day of work or another day, as mutually agreed on.
Vacation and other paid time off is not a form of compensation. Therefore, unused, previously accrued vacation leave will not be paid to terminating employees.
At this time, no health insurance is offered with Unique Homes and all associated organizations. If such a benefit is added in the future, health insurance will terminate the last day of the month of employment, unless an employee requests immediate termination of benefits. Information for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation (COBRA) continued health coverage will be provided. Employees will be required to pay their share of the dependent health and dental premiums through the end of the month.
Former employees who left Unique Homes and all associated organizations in good standing and were classified as eligible for rehire may be considered for reemployment. An application must be submitted to the management team, and the applicant must meet all minimum qualifications and requirements of the position.
Management must obtain approval from the owners prior to rehiring a former employee. Rehired employees begin benefits just as any other new employee. Previous tenure will not be considered in calculating longevity, leave accruals or any other benefits. Owners of Unique Homes and all associated organizations have the right to override this policy on their discretion.
An applicant or employee who is terminated for violating policy or who resigned in lieu of termination from employment due to a policy violation will be ineligible for rehire.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations have a longstanding commitment to provide a safe and productive work environment. Alcohol and drug abuse pose a threat to the health and safety of employees and to the security of our equipment and facilities. For these reasons, Unique Homes and all associated organizations are committed to the elimination of drug and/or alcohol use and abuse in the workplace.
This policy outlines the practice and procedure designed to correct instances of identified alcohol and/or drug use in the workplace. This policy applies to all employees and all applicants for employment of Unique Homes and all associated organizations. Management is responsible for policy administration.
Employee Drug-Free Awareness
Employees should report to work fit for duty and free of any adverse effects of illegal drugs or alcohol. This policy does not prohibit employees from the lawful use and possession of prescribed medications. Employees must, however, consult with their doctors about the medications’ effect on their fitness for duty and ability to work safely and promptly disclose any work restrictions to their supervisor. Employees should not, however, disclose underlying medical conditions unless directed to do so.
The following work rules apply to all employees:
The company retains the right to require the following tests:
Applicants who refuse to cooperate in a drug test or who test positive may not be hired.
Employees who refuse to cooperate in required tests or who use, possess, buy, sell, manufacture or dispense an illegal drug in violation of this policy will be terminated.
If an employee tests positive for alcohol or illegal drug use under this policy, the result will be discipline up to and including termination.
Employees will be paid for time spent in alcohol/drug testing and then suspended pending the results of the drug/alcohol test. After the results of the test are received, a date/time will be scheduled to discuss the results of the test; this meeting will include a member of management. Should the results prove to be negative, the employee will receive back pay for the times/days of suspension.
Information and records relating to positive test results, drug and alcohol dependencies and legitimate medical explanations provided to the medical review officer (MRO) shall be kept confidential to the extent required by law and maintained in secure files separate from normal personnel files.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations reserve the right to inspect all portions of its premises for drugs, alcohol or other contraband. All employees, contract employees and visitors may be asked to cooperate in inspections of their persons, work areas and property that might conceal a drug, alcohol or other contraband. Employees who possess such contraband or refuse to cooperate in such inspections are subject to appropriate discipline up to and including discharge.
Crimes Involving Drugs
Unique Homes and all associated organizations prohibit all employees from manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing or using an illegal drug in or on company premises or while conducting company business. Employees are also prohibited from misusing legally prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Law enforcement personnel shall be notified, as appropriate, when criminal activity is suspected.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations defines bullying as “repeated inappropriate behavior, either direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment.” Such behavior violates the company Code of Ethics, which clearly states that all employees will be treated with dignity and respect.
The purpose of this policy is to communicate to all employees, including supervisors, managers and executives, that the company will not tolerate bullying behavior. Employees found in violation of this policy will be disciplined up to and including termination.
Bullying may be intentional or unintentional. However, it must be noted that where an allegation of bullying is made, the intention of the alleged bully is irrelevant and will not be given consideration when meting out discipline. As in sexual harassment, it is the effect of the behavior upon the individual that is important. Unique Homes and all associated organizations consider the following types of behavior examples of bullying:
Violence in the Workplace
[Note: See also Workplace Violence Prevention and Intervention.]
All employees, customers, vendors and business associates must be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. Employees are expected to refrain from conduct that may be dangerous to others.
Conduct that threatens, intimidates or coerces another employee, customer, vendor or business associate will not be tolerated. Unique Homes and all associated organizations’ resources may not be used to threaten, stalk or harass anyone at the workplace or outside the workplace. Unique Homes and all associated organizations treat threats coming from an abusive personal relationship as it does other forms of violence.
Indirect or direct threats of violence, incidents of actual violence and suspicious individuals or activities should be reported as soon as possible to a manager or owner. When reporting a threat or incident of violence, the employee should be as specific and detailed as possible. Employees should not place themselves in peril, nor should they attempt to intercede during an incident.
Employees should promptly inform the Human management of any protective or restraining order that they have obtained that lists the workplace as a protected area. Employees are encouraged to report safety concerns with regard to intimate partner violence. Unique Homes and all associated organizations will not retaliate against employees making good-faith reports. Unique Homes and all associated organizations are committed to supporting victims of intimate partner violence by providing referrals to community resources and providing time off for reasons related to intimate partner violence.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations will promptly and thoroughly investigate all reports of threats of violence or incidents of actual violence and of suspicious individuals or activities. The identity of the individual making a report will be protected as much as possible. Unique Homes and all associated organizations will not retaliate against employees making good-faith reports of violence, threats or suspicious individuals or activities. In order to maintain workplace safety and the integrity of its investigation, Unique Homes and all associated organizations may suspend employees suspected of workplace violence or threats of violence, either with or without pay, pending investigation.
Anyone found to be responsible for threats of or actual violence or other conduct that is in violation of these guidelines will be subject to prompt disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations encourages employees to bring their disputes to the attention of management and/or the owners, before the situation escalates. Unique Homes and all associated organizations will not discipline employees for raising such concerns.
It is the responsibility of each employee to conduct all tasks in a safe and efficient manner complying with all local, state and federal safety and health regulations and program standards, and with any special safety concerns for use in a particular area or with a client.
Although most safety regulations are consistent throughout each department and program, each employee has the responsibility to identify and familiarize her/himself with the emergency plan for his/her working area. Each facility shall have posted an emergency plan detailing procedures in handling emergencies such as fire, weather-related events and medical crises.
It is the responsibility of the employee to complete an Accident and Incident Report for each safety and health infraction that occurs by an employee or that the employee witnesses. Failure to report such an infraction may result in employee disciplinary action, including termination.
Furthermore, management requires that every person in the organization assumes the responsibility of individual and organizational safety. Failure to follow company safety and health guidelines or engaging in conduct that places the employee, client or company property at risk can lead to employee disciplinary action and/or termination.
The Health and Safety Committee and the safety director shall have the responsibility to develop and the authority to implement the safety and health program in the interest of a safer work environment.
It is the policy of Unique Homes and all associated organizations to prohibit smoking with all company facilities in order to provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. The law defines smoking as the “act of lighting, smoking or carrying a lighted or smoldering cigar, cigarette or pipe of any kind.”
The smoke-free workplace policy applies to:
Smoking is permitted in designated areas only.
Smoking is permitted only during clocked-out breaks, with management approval.
Employees who violate the smoking policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate discharge.
Our clients and other parties with whom we do business entrust the company with important information relating to their businesses. It is our policy that all information considered confidential will not be disclosed to external parties or to employees without a “need to know.” If an employee questions whether certain information is considered confidential, he/she should first check with his/her immediate supervisor.
This policy is intended to alert employees to the need for discretion at all times and is not intended to inhibit normal business communications.
All inquiries from the media must be referred to Sarah Schultz, Office Manager, at email@example.com, or by phone at one of the following numbers: 985-288-5977 (office) or 985-707-3363 (cell).
Conflicts of Interest
Employees must avoid any relationship or activity that might impair, or even appear to impair, their ability to make objective and fair decisions when performing their jobs. At times, an employee may be faced with situations in which business actions taken on behalf of Unique Homes and all associated organizations may conflict with the employee’s own personal interests. Company property, information or business opportunities may not be used for personal gain.
Conflicts of interest could arise in the following circumstances:
Employees with a conflict-of-interest question should seek advice from management. Before engaging in any activity, transaction or relationship that might give rise to a conflict of interest, employees must seek review from their manager or the Human Resource department.
Employees are permitted to engage in outside work or to hold other jobs, subject to certain restrictions as outlined below.
Activities and conduct away from the job must not compete with, conflict with or compromise the company interests or adversely affect job performance and the ability to fulfill all job responsibilities. Employees are prohibited from performing any services for customers on nonworking time that are normally performed by Unique Homes and all associated organizations. This prohibition also extends to the unauthorized use of any company tools or equipment and the unauthorized use or application of any confidential information. In addition, employees are not to solicit or conduct any outside business during paid working time.
Employees are cautioned to carefully consider the demands that additional work activity will create before accepting outside employment. Outside employment will not be considered an excuse for poor job performance, absenteeism, tardiness, leaving early, refusal to travel or refusal to work overtime or different hours. If Unique Homes and all associated organizations determine that an employee’s outside work interferes with performance, the employee may be asked to terminate the outside employment.
Employees who have accepted outside employment may not use paid sick leave to work on the outside job. Fraudulent use of sick leave will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Attendance and Punctuality
Regular office hours are 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., with a half-hour, unpaid lunch break. All full-time employees are expected to arrive a few minutes prior to the start of their business day, to ensure productivity beginning at 8:30 a.m. If employees require a different schedule, this may be granted at the discretion of the managers/owners. Full time, regular employees that have completed a period of sixty days probation may be eligible for paid vacation and sick time.
Vacation and holidays must be scheduled with one’s supervisor two weeks in advance. Sick leave may be used in the case of emergency or sudden illness without prior scheduling, but notification must be made as soon as the situation occurs. Patterns of absenteeism or tardiness may result in discipline even if the employee has not yet exhausted available paid time off. If legally required based on number of employees, absences due to illnesses or injuries that qualify under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) may not be counted against an employee’s attendance record. Medical documentation within the guidelines of the FMLA will be required in these instances.
Not reporting to work and not calling to report the absence is a no-call/no-show and is a serious matter. The first instance of a no call/no show will result in a final written warning. The second separate offense may result in termination of employment with no additional disciplinary steps. A no call/no show lasting three days may be considered job abandonment and may be deemed an employee’s voluntary resignation of employment.
Attire and Grooming
It is important for all employees to project a polished professional image while at work by being appropriately attired. Unique Homes and all associated organizations employees are expected to be neat, clean and well groomed while on the job. Clothing must be consistent with the standards for a business environment and must be appropriate to the type of work being performed. While we permit a casual work environment, we insist on projecting a professional image. There is a difference between casual and sloppy. When in doubt, please err on the side of conservative dress.
All employees must be covered from shoulders to knees at all times (no see-through or strapless clothing is permitted at any time). Natural and artificial scents may become a distraction from a well-functioning workplace and are also subject to this policy
Unique Homes and all associated organizations are confident that employees will use their best judgment regarding attire and appearance. Management reserves the right to determine appropriateness. Any employee who is improperly dressed will be counseled or in severe cases may be sent home to change clothes. Continued disregard of this policy may be cause for disciplinary action, which may result in termination.
Behavior and Demeanor
Unique Homes and all associated organizations require professional behavior and demeanor at all times in the workplace. We have very high standards, and everyone is expected to meet those standards, including employees, management, and owners.
When handling business, remember the following guidelines:
Electronic Communication, Internet, and Telephone Use
All electronic equipment and the data therein is property of Unique Homes and all associated organizations. Any transmissions, files, internet searches, saved data, or other electronic communications of any kind are likewise the property of the organization. Unique Homes and all associated organizations reserve the right to search any of the company-owned materials at any time, for any cause, with or without reason.
Inappropriate use of electronic materials will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The following guidelines have been established for using the Internet, company-provided cell phones and e-mail in an appropriate, ethical and professional manner:
Right to Monitor
All company-supplied technology and company-related work records belong to the company and not to the employee. Unique Homes and all associated organizations routinely monitors use of company-supplied technology. Inappropriate or illegal use or communications may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.
Social Media—Acceptable Use
Below are guidelines for social media use.
Employees may not post financial, confidential, sensitive or proprietary information about the company, clients, employees or applicants.
Employees may not post obscenities, slurs or personal attacks that can damage the reputation of the company, clients, employees or applicants.
When posting on social media sites, employees must use the following disclaimer when discussing job-related matters, “The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of Unique Homes and all associated organizations.”
Unique Homes and all associated organizations may monitor content out on the Internet. Policy violations may result in discipline up to and including termination of employment.
Solicitations, Distributions and Posting of Materials
Unique Homes and all associated organizations prohibit the solicitation, distribution and posting of materials on or at company property by any employee or nonemployee, except as may be permitted by this policy. The sole exceptions to this policy are charitable and community activities supported by Unique Homes and all associated organizations management and company-sponsored programs related to Unique Homes and all associated organizations’s products and services.
Violations of this policy should be reported to management.
Employee Personnel Files
Employee files are maintained by the management team and are considered confidential.
A manager or supervisor considering the hire of a former employee or transfer of a current employee may be granted access to the file, or limited parts of it, in accordance with antidiscrimination laws.
Personnel file access by current employees and former employees upon request will generally be permitted within three days of the request unless otherwise required under state law. Personnel files are to be reviewed in the management office. Personnel files may not be taken outside this office.
Representatives of government or law enforcement agencies, in the course of their duties, may be allowed access to file information.
Performance and Salary Review
Performance appraisals are conducted on an annual cycle. Employees will receive a performance review on or near the established date each year. The performance appraisal will be discussed, and both the employee and their direct manager will sign the form to ensure that all strengths, areas for improvement and job goals for the next review period have been clearly communicated. Performance evaluation forms will be retained in the employee’s personnel file.
Merit increases are based on company performance and financials and are not guaranteed. A performance review does not always result in an automatic salary increase. The employee’s overall performance and salary level relative to his/her position responsibilities are evaluated to determine if a salary increase would be warranted.
Budget allocations for merit increases are planned for and allocated before the start of each calendar year. The annual salary increase program is designed to assist management in planning and allocating merit and promotional increases that reward individual performance, that are market competitive and that are internally equitable.
Salary adjustments are occasionally requested or warranted at times other than the employee’s scheduled annual salary reviews. Out-of-cycle salary increases must be preapproved by the direct manager and the owners. Owners and managers will review all salary increase/adjustment requests to ensure internal equity and compliance with company policies and guidelines.
Payment of Wages
Salary payment is made biweekly for base salary due up to the pay date.
Paydays are usually biweekly on every other Friday.
Overtime payment, which is included with the nonexempt employee’s base salary payment, is also paid biweekly with such payment covering hours worked in the prior biweekly[biweekly] period.
It is the policy of Unique Homes and all associated organizations that all overtime must be identified and agreed-upon in advance by management/owners of the organization. No overtime shall be used without prior approval. Violation of the policy will result in immediate disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
It is the company’s policy that employee paychecks will only be given personally to that employee or mailed to his/her home address.
If the normal payday falls on a company-recognized holiday, paychecks will be distributed one workday before the aforementioned schedule.
Employees may be paid by check. Direct deposit is not offered at this time.
In the event of a lost paycheck, management must be notified in writing as soon as possible and before a replacement check can be issued. In the event the lost paycheck is recovered and the company identifies the endorsement as that of the employee, the employee must remit the amount of the replacement check to the company within 24 hours of the time it is demanded.
If an employee’s marital status changes or the number of exemptions previously claimed increases or decreases, a new Form W-4 must be submitted to management. A Form W-4 (Federal and Louisiana-issued) can be updated at any time, for any reason.
Except for extreme emergencies and vacation pay, no salary advances will be made.
A work hour is any hour of the day that is worked and should be recorded to the nearest tenth of an hour. The workday is defined as the 24-hour period starting at 12:00 a.m. and ending at 11:59 p.m. The workweek covers seven consecutive days beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday. The usual workweek period is 40 hours.
Overtime is defined as hours worked by an hourly or nonexempt employee in excess of 40 hours in a workweek and should be recorded to the nearest tenth of an hour. Overtime must be approved in advance by the manager to whom the employee reports.
Employees will submit their time record weekly as directed by their manager. Each employee is to maintain an accurate daily record of his or her hours worked. All absences from work schedules should be appropriately recorded.
The scheduling of meal periods at [Company Name] is set by the employee’s immediate manager with the goal of providing the least possible disruption to company operations.
Mandatory Meal Period
Standard office hours are from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Employee meal periods are important to company productivity and employee health. Employees who work at least eight consecutive hours will be provided an unpaid meal break of 30 minutes. The meal period will not be included in the total hours of work per day and is not compensable.
If employees require longer break periods (for “lunch hours,”) they may be allowed to adjust their start/end time with prior consent from their managers.
Nonexempt employees are to be completely relieved of all job duties while on meal breaks and must clock out for meal periods.
Unique Homes and all associated organizations does not offer paid “coffee breaks” for any shifts, for any period of time. All hourly, non-exempt employees are required to clock out for break periods.
Overtime Pay (nonexempt employees)
Nonexempt employees who exceed 40 hours of work time in a workweek will be paid time and one half.
Paid leave, such as holiday, sick or vacation pay, does not apply toward work time.
The workweek begins at 12:00 a.m. on Sunday morning and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday night.
All employees and managers are required to receive owners’ approval prior to the use of overtime.
Employees who anticipate the need for overtime to complete the week’s work must notify the supervisor in advance and obtain approval before working hours that extend beyond their normal schedule.
During busy periods employees may be required to work extended hours.
Whenever possible, all work extending beyond the standard working hours will be handled by exempt, salaried personnel.
If exempt, salaried personnel accrue significant hours beyond the standard 40 in any work week, compensatory time may be offered. This will not be on an hour-to-hour basis, nor is it, at any time, guaranteed. All compensatory time will be approved in advance by management and/or the owners.
Employee Travel and Reimbursement
Employees will be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with approved travel on behalf of the company.
Travelers seeking reimbursement should incur the lowest reasonable travel expenses and exercise care to avoid the appearance of impropriety. If a circumstance arises that is not specifically covered in the travel policies, the most conservative course of action should be adopted.
Travel for staff must be authorized in advance. Travelers should verify that planned travel is eligible for reimbursement before making travel arrangements. Upon completion of the trip, and within 30 days, the traveler must submit a Travel Reimbursement Form and supporting documentation to obtain reimbursement of expenses. For more details, refer to the company intranet for detailed travel policies, procedures and authorization and reimbursement forms.
Exempt employees will be paid their regular salary for weeks in which they travel. Nonexempt employees will be paid for travel time in accordance with federal and state wage payment laws.
TIME OFF/LEAVES OF ABSENCE
Unique Homes and all associated organizations recognize the following unpaid holidays each year:
Should a holiday fall on a weekend, the holiday will be observed on the work day closest to the holiday.
Available unpaid time off (Vacation Time) may be offered to employees who desire to observe a religious holiday that is not recognized by the company.
Upon completion of the initial probationary period of 1 year, all full- time employees are eligible for vacation leave benefits. Full-time employees are those working a minimum of 37.5 hours per week. Vacation accrual begins on the first day of full- or part-time employment, but is not granted until completion of sixty day probationary period. Vacation is accrued according to the schedule in this policy. Vacation can be used only after it is earned. Vacation leave will not be earned during an unpaid leave of absence.
To schedule vacation time, employees should submit a completed leave form to their manager and the owner at least two weeks before the requested leave. Employees must ensure that they have enough accrued leave available to cover the dates requested. Requests will be approved based on a number of factors, including department operating and staffing requirements. The supervisor should return the leave request to the employee within three business days of the date it is submitted indicating that the request has been approved or denied. If the request for vacation leave is denied, the supervisor should provide an appropriate reason on the form returned to the employee.
Vacation will be paid at the employee’s base rate at the time the leave is taken. Vacation pay is not included in overtime calculation and does not include any special forms of compensation such as incentives, commissions, bonuses or shift differentials. If a holiday falls during the employee’s vacation, the day will be charged to holiday pay rather than to vacation pay.
Leave taken beyond an employee’s available vacation balance may be unpaid unless otherwise required under state or federal law, but still requires prior approval and minimum of two weeks advance notification.
If employment is terminated, vacation will not be paid to the employee, as it is not a form of compensation.
Upon completion of a one year probationary period, all full-time, regular employees accrue sick/personal leave from the date of hire, for a total of 6 days per year, at a rate of .5 hours per month. Sick/personal time is cumulative and may be carried forward into following years. However, maximum sick/personal time accrual is 15 days (120 hours).
Sick/personal leave may be used for an employee’s personal illness, well-care, and medical and dental appointments. Sick/personal leave may also be used for illness and well-care in an employee’s immediate family. Sick/personal leave may be used for unplanned, urgent personal issues, at the discretion of the management/owners. All non-medical leave must be approved by management; abuse of this privilege will lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Sick/personal leave may be accrued to a maximum of 120 hours. Sick/personal leave may not be used before accrual. If sick/personal leave is exhausted, any available vacation hours will be used in its place. An employee who has a sick/personal leave absence in excess of three consecutive working days must present medical documentation for the absence. Employees are not paid for unused sick leave upon termination of employment.
Family and Medical Leave Act
Employees of Unique Homes and its associated organizations do not qualify for the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act).
Personal Leave of Absence
Employees who require time off in addition to vacation may request a personal leave of absence without pay for up to a maximum of 30 days at the discretion of the owner. An extension may be approved in limited circumstances.
All regular employees employed for a minimum of 90 days are eligible to apply for an unpaid personal leave of absence. Job performance, absenteeism and departmental requirements will all be taken into consideration before a request is approved.
The employee must return to work on the scheduled return date or be considered to have voluntarily resigned from his or her employment. Extensions of leave will only be considered on a case-by-case basis.
All bereavement leave requires management approval.
An employee who wishes to take time off due to the death of an immediate family member should notify his or her supervisor immediately.
Bereavement leave will be granted unless there are unusual business needs or staffing requirements.
Unpaid bereavement leave is granted according to the following schedule:
Upon receipt of notification from the state or federal courts of an obligation to serve on a jury, employees must notify their supervisor and provide him/her with a copy of the jury summons. The company will pay regular full-time and regular part-time employees for time off for jury duty up to one week of pay.
All employees should be able to vote either before or after regularly assigned work hours. However, when this is not possible due to work schedules, employees will receive up to three hours during the work day to vote. Time off for voting should be reported and coded appropriately on timekeeping records.
Employees who are chosen to serve as election officials at polling sites will be permitted to take required time off to serve in this capacity. It is incumbent on employees who are chosen to act as election officials to notify their manager a minimum of seven days in advance of their need for time off in order to accommodate the necessary rescheduling of work periods. Time engaged as an election official should be reported and coded appropriately on timekeeping records.
Military Leave of Absence
Unique Homes and all associated organizations are committed to protecting the job rights of employees absent on military leave. In accordance with federal and state law, it is the company’s policy that no employee or prospective employee will be subjected to any form of discrimination on the basis of that person’s membership in or obligation to perform service for any of the Uniformed Services of the United States. Specifically, no person will be denied employment, reemployment, promotion or other benefit of employment on the basis of such membership. Furthermore, no person will be subjected to retaliation or adverse employment action because such person has exercised his or her rights under applicable law or company policy. If any employee believes that he or she has been subjected to discrimination in violation of company policy, the employee should immediately contact Human Resources.
Employees taking part in a variety of military duties are eligible for benefits under this policy. Such military duties include leaves of absence taken by members of the uniformed services, including Reservists and National Guard members, for training, periods of active military service and funeral honors duty, as well as time spent being examined to determine fitness to perform such service. Subject to certain exceptions under the applicable laws, these benefits are generally limited to five years of leave of absence.
Employees requesting leave for military duty should contact their manager to request leave as soon as they are aware of the need for leave.
Breastfeeding accommodations will be made on a case-by-case basis. At this time, there is no dedicated lactation space available. If you require such a location, please contact management to make arrangements.
Medical and Dental Insurance
At this time, the company does not provide medical, dental, or life insurance. In addition, there is no flexible spending accounts, no retirement program, pension, or other savings programs. We do not offer long-term or short-term savings accounts or tuition reimbursement.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The company is covered under statutory state workers’ compensation laws. Employees who sustain work-related injuries must immediately notify their department supervisor.