2019 Employee Manual

Table of Contents

1.         Welcome………………………………………………………………………………… 3

            1.1.    Mission, Philosophy & Goals

            1.2.    Purpose of Manual

            1.3     At-Will Employment

2.        Workplace Commitments………………………………………………………… 4

            2.1.  Employee Expectations

            2.2.  Equal Opportunity Employment

            2.3.  Reasonable Accommodation

            2.4.   Non-Harassment / Non-Discrimination

            2.5.   Drug and Alcohol Policy

3.        Leave Policies…………………………………………………………………………. 5

            3.1.   Benefit Year

            3.2.   Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees

            3.3.   Vacation Policy for Non-Exempt Employees

            3.4.   Paid Leave for Non-Exempt Employees

            3.5.   Holidays

            3.6.   Inclement Weather

            3.7.   Unpaid Leave

4.        Discipline and Termination……………………………………………………… 6

            4.1.   Grounds for Disciplinary Action or Termination

5.        Safety, Abuse and Neglect………………………………………………………… 8

            5.1.   Workplace Safety

            5.2.   Workers Compensation

            5.3.   Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation

6.        Compliance Issues…………………………………………………………………… 10

            6.1.   Employee Files

            6.2.   Drug Testing

            6.3.   Fingerprinting

            6.4.   Child Abuse Registration

            6.5.   Online Training

            6.6.   Orientation

7.         Acknowledgments of Receipt……………………………………………………. 13

            7.1.   Employee Copy

            7.2.   Employer Copy

Appendix A: New Jersey Sick Leave Request Form……………………………… 17

Section 1 – Welcome

  1. Mission, Philosophy & Goals

Disability Allies (DA) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in East Brunswick, New Jersey that provides programs and services focused on young people with special needs across New Jersey. The mission of Disability Allies is creating a more inclusive community by connecting young adults with and without special needs.

Our philosophy is that young people with special needs add value to their communities when they are encouraged to participate in those communities, and that the first step to including these individuals is to form positive relationships. We believe that our agency plays an important role in full participation for people with special needs by fostering these relationships and connections.


Our agency goals are:

  • Develop innovative community-based services for individuals with special needs in New Jersey
  • Use our experience to expand the scope and range of services
  • Improve the lives and community participation of individuals with special needs
  1. Purpose of this Manual

DA prepared this manual to inform new and current DA employees of the policies and procedures of this company and to establish our expectations. The manual is not all-inclusive, and is not a contract, expressed or implied, guaranteeing employment for any length of time. DA reserves the right to make changes to the policies described in this handbook at any time, without notice.

  1. At-Will Employment

Unless an employee has a written employment agreement with Disability Allies, which provides differently, all employment at Disability Allies is “at‐will.” That means that employees may be terminated from employment with Disability Allies with or without cause, and employees are free to leave the employment of Disability Allies with or without cause. Any representation by any Disability Allies officer or employee contrary to this policy is not binding upon Disability Allies unless it is in writing and is signed by the Chief Executive Officer.

Section 2 – Workplace Commitments

  • Employee Expectations

The highest standards of personal and professional ethics and behavior are expected of all DA employees. Further, DA expects each employee to display good judgment, diplomacy and courtesy in their professional relationships with members of the DA Board of Directors, committees, membership, staff, consumers, families, and the general public.

  • Equal Opportunity Employment

This company is an equal opportunity employer and does not unlawfully discriminate against employees or applicants for employment on the basis of an individual’s race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status or any other status protected by applicable law. This policy applies to all terms, conditions and privileges of employment, including recruitment, hiring, placement, compensation, promotion, discipline and termination.

  • Reasonable Accommodation

Whenever possible, the company makes reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities to the extent required by law. Employees who would like to request a reasonable accommodation should contact their supervisor or the HR team.

  • Non-Harassment Policy / Non-Discrimination Policy

This company prohibits discrimination or harassment based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran status or any other status protected by applicable law. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and is free from discriminatory practices, including without limitation harassment. Violations of this policy will not be tolerated. Our complete harassment policy is online at: https://careers.disabilityallies.com/disability-allies-harassment-policy-draft/.

  • Drug and Alcohol Policy

DA employees may not use, possess, sell, or distribute alcohol, drugs or drug paraphernalia during the performance of work or while working with a consumer. DA employees who provide direct care services are required to pass a pre-employment drug screening, and are subject to random drug screening and drug screening for cause. Our complete drug and alcohol policy is online at: https://careers.disabilityallies.com/disability-allies-drug-and-alcohol-policy/

 

Section 3 – Leave Policy

3.1       Benefit Year

The benefit year for DA begins on January 1 of each year. All leave for all employees is calculated on an annual basis.

  • Exempt and Non-Exempt Employees

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act covers all employees in the United States, and sets standards with regard to wages and overtime pay. However, certain employees are exempt from its provisions. Exempt employees are bona fide executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees.  Under our current structure, our full-time employees in our East Brunswick office are considered exempt, and our Direct Support Professionals and part-time Saturday employees are considered non-exempt. DA provides different leave packages for exempt and non-exempt employees.

  • Vacation Policy for Non-Exempt Employees

DA does not provide vacation benefits for any part-time or non-exempt employees.

  • Paid Leave for Non-Exempt Employees

All part-time non-exempt employees accrue up to forty hours of paid leave per year, accrued at the rate of one hour per 30 hours worked. This leave can be used for illness, caring for a family member, domestic violence, public emergency, or school conferences. Employees can carry any unused hours forward to the next calendar year, consistent with state law and regulations. DA will not offer or pay employees reimbursement for any unused hours under the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act at the end of the year. Part-time non-exempt employees may only use paid leave hours to replace hours that they were scheduled to work, and did not work due to illness or other activities as described above. Employees may not use more than 40 hours of paid leave in a calendar year, consistent with state law and regulations. Employees that are not currently working with a consumer, or who are on unpaid leave, can neither accrue nor use paid leave hours. Employees must request leave in advance, to the extent possible, through our sick leave request form, attached as Appendix A. All paid leave must be properly recorded on the employee’s timesheet. DA will require reasonable documentation for requests for paid leave on three or more consecutive days, absent undue hardship.  Our complete leave policy is online at: https://careers.disabilityallies.com/disability-allies-leave-policy/

3.5       Holidays

Part-time non-exempt employees and temporary employees are not required to work on holidays, consistent with consumer need and schedules, but are ineligible for paid leave for holidays and may not claim paid time off for those dates.

  • Inclement Weather

Part-time employees working with consumers should use their discretion in traveling to the residence of those consumers, and in traveling with those consumers, in potentially hazardous conditions, and should work with the consumers to reschedule such hours. Paid leave for inclement weather will not be provided to part-time non-exempt employees under any circumstances.

  • Unpaid Leave

DA provides unpaid leave to part-time non-exempt employees for military duty or jury duty. Employees who require extended unpaid leave over seven scheduled workdays must notify their supervisor or the HR team.

Section 4 – Discipline and Termination

4.1          Grounds for Disciplinary Action or Termination

As stated above, all employment at Disability Allies is “at‐will.” That means that employees may be disciplined or terminated from employment with DA with or without cause, and employees are free to leave the employment of DA with or without cause. Reasons for disciplinary action or termination may include, but are not limited to:

  • Falsifying or withholding information on your employment application that did or would have affected the company’s decision to hire you (this conduct will result in your immediate termination);
  • Falsifying or withholding information in other personnel records including personnel questionnaires, performance evaluations or any other records;
  • Performance at work below a level acceptable to DA or the failure to perform assigned duties;
  • Abuse and neglect of any DA consumer, failure to report the abuse and neglect of any DA consumer or other individual, or failure to report any injury of any DA consumer or other individual, consistent with federal and New Jersey law;
  • Failure to pass a pre-employment or post-employment background check, fingerprint check, or drug test, as required by state law;
  • Placement of the employee’s name on the  “Central Registry of Offenders against Individuals with Developmental Disabilities” maintained by the New Jersey Department of Human Services, or the Child Abuse Record Information System maintained by the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, or any similar list maintained by any jurisdiction;
  • Failure to complete required time records or falsification of such time records;
  • Insubordination;
  • Negligence in the performance of duties likely to cause or actually causing personal injury or property damage;
  • Fighting, arguing or attempting to injure another;
  • Destroying or willfully damaging the personal property of another, including the company’s property;
  • Breach of confidentiality;
  • Using or appearing to use for personal gain any information obtained on the job, which is not readily available to the general public or disclosing such information that damages the interests of DA or its consumers or vendors;
  • Placing oneself in a position in which personal interests and those of DA are or appear to be in conflict or might interfere with the ability of the employee to perform the job as well as possible;
  • Using DA property or services for personal gain or taking, removing or disposing of DA material, supplies or equipment without proper authority;
  • Dishonesty or theft;
  • The possession, use, sale or being under the influence of drugs or other controlled substances or alcoholic beverages during working hours or on the DA premises at any time in violation of the company’s policies.
  • Carrying or possessing firearms or weapons on DA property;
  • Excessive tardiness or absenteeism whether excused or unexcused;
  • Unauthorized absence from work without proper notice; and
  • Engaging in discriminatory or abusive behavior, including sexual harassment.

This list exhibits the types of actions or events that are subject to disciplinary action or termination. It is not intended to indicate every act that could lead to disciplinary action or termination. The company reserves the right to determine the severity and extent of any disciplinary action or termination based on the circumstances of each case.

Section 5 – Safety, Abuse & Neglect

5.1         Workplace Safety

The company takes every reasonable precaution to ensure that employees have a safe working environment. In the event of an accident, employees must notify a supervisor immediately. Report every injury, to you or a consumer, regardless of how minor, to a supervisor immediately. Employees must be alert and aware of any potential dangers to themselves or their coworkers and consumers. Take every precaution to ensure that your surroundings are safe and secure.

  • Workers Compensation

As required by law, the company provides workers’ compensation benefits for the protection of employees with work-related injuries or illnesses. Workers’ compensation insurance provides coverage to employees who receive job-related injuries or illnesses. If an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of his/her job, it is the employee’s responsibility to immediately notify a supervisor of their injury in order to receive benefits. Report every illness or injury to a supervisor, regardless of how minor it appears. The company will advise the employee of the procedure for submitting a workers’ compensation claim. If necessary, injured employees will be referred to a medical care facility. Employees should retain all paperwork provided to them by the medical facility. Failure to report a work-related illness or injury promptly could result in denial of benefits. An employee’s report should contain as many details as possible, including the date, time, description of the illness or injury, and the names of any witnesses.

5.3      Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation

All consumers of services offered through DA have the right to be free from mental, physical, sexual, and verbal abuse, as well as neglect and exploitation. All cases of suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation, whether or not an actual injury has occurred, will be reported and investigated promptly in compliance with state laws and regulations.

All DA employees have an absolute obligation to ensure that the consumers that they are caring for are not subject to abuse, neglect or exploitation, for any time at any reason. If an employee of DA engages in abusive, neglectful, or exploitative conduct, such conduct is grounds for immediate dismissal.

Abuse is defined as physical, sexual, or verbal acts against a person served that cause pain, physical or emotional harm, mental distress, injury, anguish, and/or suffering. Neglect is defined as the failure of a caregiver to provide the needed services and supports to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the service recipient. Exploitation is defined as any willful, unjust, or improper use of a service recipient or his/her property/funds, for the benefit or advantage of another, condoning and/or encouraging the exploitation of a service recipient by another person. Any DA employee who engages in conduct that amounts to abuse, neglect, or exploitation is subject to immediate dismissal. Furthermore, any DA employee who engages in consensual or non-consensual sexual conduct with a consumer for whom they are providing services will be subject to immediate dismissal.

Employees of DA may, in the course of their employment, witness instances of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of individuals with developmental disabilities. This may include individuals who are consumers of services from DA or others. Additionally, unusual incidents may occur that results in injury or potential injuries to individuals with developmental disabilities.

When abuse, neglect, exploitation, or an unusual incident occurs, the primary responsibility is to provide protection to the individual. If emergency medical care is needed, or if the person is in a life threatening emergency, DA employees are specifically directed to call 911 for assistance. Under the provision of “Danielle’s Law,” enacted by the New Jersey legislature in 2003, employees who work with individuals with intellectual/developmental or traumatic brain injury are required to call 911 when there is a life-threatening emergency.

Employees of DA are specifically required to report instances of abuse, neglect, exploitation, or unusual incidents to their supervisor as soon as possible. The supervisor will then be responsible for completing the state-mandated unusual incident reporting process. All employees are expected to communicate with any and all investigations of any unusual incident, whether such investigation is internal or external. Failure to report an unusual incident, or failure to cooperate with an investigation, is grounds for immediate dismissal.

Section 6 – Compliance

 

6.1       Employee Files

In the hiring process, DA will collect the following information from employees:

  • Disability Allies Application Form (signed)
  • Copy of New Jersey Driver’s License
  • Federal I-9 form (which requires identity documents, including a driver’s license and a Social Security card or a passport)
  • Federal W-4 form
  • Direct deposit form

6.2.      Drug Testing

As required by the Stephen Komninos’s Law, all DA employees who provide direct care services and are hired after May 1, 2018 must pass a pre-employment screen for drug testing. Additionally, all DA employees are subject to random quarterly drug testing, as well as drug testing for cause. A refusal to undergo drug screening will result in immediate termination.

6.3.      Fingerprinting

As required by state regulations, all DA employees who provide direct care services must pass a pre-employment fingerprinting review through the Department of Human Services (DHS). DHS notifies DA if and when any DA employee who has passed a fingerprint screen has a subsequent arrest or conviction. DA, at its discretion, may terminate any employee who is convicted of a crime.

6.4.      Child Abuse Registration

After employment, all DA employees must fill out an online form which allows the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to conduct a background check to determine if the employee has ever been convicted of child abuse. If DCF determines that a DA employee has been convicted of child abuse, the employee will be immediately terminated.

6.5.      Online Training

All DA employees are required to complete the following online training courses through the College of Direct Supports within 90 days of employment:

  • DDD Shifting Expectations: Changes in Perception, Life Experience, and Services
  • DDD Life Threatening Emergencies (Danielle’s Law)
  • DDD – Stephen Komninos’ Law
  • CDS: Maltreatment: Prevention and Response: Lesson 01: The Direct Support Professional Role
  • CDS: Maltreatment: Prevention and Response: Lesson 03: What is Abuse?
  • CDS: Maltreatment: Prevention and Response: Lesson 04: What is Neglect?
  • CDS: Maltreatment: Prevention and Response: Lesson 05: What is Exploitation?
  • CDS: Maltreatment: Prevention and Response: Lesson 07: The Ethical Role of the DSP

6.6.      Orientation

All DA employees are required to attend a one-day orientation course at our East Brunswick office. This course will cover the following elements:

  • Overview of the Agency
  • Mission, Philosophy, Goals, Services and Practices
  • Personnel Policies
  • Training in Health & Safety
  • Understanding Service Plans & Individualizing Services
  • Cultural Competence
  • Individual Rights
  • Working with Families
  • Documentation & Record Keeping
  • Special diets/mealtime needs
  • Mobility procedures & devices
  • Seizure management & support
  • Assistance, care & support for physical or medical conditions, mental health and/or behavioral needs
  • Prevention of Abuse, Neglect & Exploitation Practicum
  • CPR Certification
  • Standard First Aid Certification

Acknowledgement of Receipt for Employee Manual (For Employee Records)

I acknowledge that I have received a copy of the Employee Manual. I understand that I am responsible for reading the information contained in the Manual.

I understand that the manual is intended to provide me with a general overview of the company’s policies and procedures. I acknowledge that nothing in this manual is to be interpreted as a contract, expressed or implied, or an inducement for employment, nor does it guarantee my employment for any period of time.

I understand and accept that my employment with the company is at-will. I have the right to resign at any time with or without cause, just as the company may terminate my employment at any time with or without cause or notice, subject to applicable laws. I understand that nothing in the manual or in any oral or written statement alters the at-will relationship.

I acknowledge that the company may revise, suspend, revoke, terminate, change or remove, prospectively or retroactively, any of the policies or procedures outlined in this manual or elsewhere, in whole or in part, with or without notice at any time, at the company’s sole discretion.

_________________________________________

(Signature of Employee)


                ____________________________________________________

            (Date)

            ___________________________________________

(Company Representative)


Acknowledgement of Receipt for Employee Manual (For Employer Records)

I acknowledge that I have received a copy of the Employee Manual. I understand that I am responsible for reading the information contained in the Manual.

I understand that the manual is intended to provide me with a general overview of the company’s policies and procedures. I acknowledge that nothing in this manual is to be interpreted as a contract, expressed or implied, or an inducement for employment, nor does it guarantee my employment for any period of time.

I understand and accept that my employment with the company is at-will. I have the right to resign at any time with or without cause, just as the company may terminate my employment at any time with or without cause or notice, subject to applicable laws. I understand that nothing in the manual or in any oral or written statement alters the at-will relationship.

I acknowledge that the company may revise, suspend, revoke, terminate, change or remove, prospectively or retroactively, any of the policies or procedures outlined in this manual or elsewhere, in whole or in part, with or without notice at any time, at the company’s sole discretion.

_________________________________________

(Signature of Employee)


                ____________________________________________________

            (Date)

            ___________________________________________

(Company Representative)

New Jersey Sick Leave Request Form

Employee: _______________________________________________________________

Date of Request: __________________________________________________________

Leave Begin Date: ______________________________________________________

Leave End Date: _______________________________________________________

Total Hours of New Jersey Sick Leave Accrued:                  ___________________________

Total Hours of New Jersey Sick Leave Requested:             ___________________________

Reason for Request:       _____ (personal health care)

                                                _____ (family health care)

                                                _____ (domestic or sexual violence)

                                                _____ (public health emergency)

                                                _____ (school conference)

Request Reviewed by: _______________________________________ ________

_______ (approved)

_______ (denied)

Reason for denial, if any: _______________________________________ ________

You may not request any sick leave hours over and above the hours you are scheduled to work in a given week. For example, if you are only scheduled to work with a consumer 15 hours a week, and you work 10 hours that week, you may request a maximum of 5 hours that week.

Requests for sick leave over more than three consecutive days must be accompanied by reasonable documentation, absent undue hardship. If you are unable to obtain documentation, please contact the HR team.

For more information about New Jersey Sick Leave, please consult our leave policy or the New Jersey Department of Labor website at

https://www.nj.gov/labor/forms_pdfs/mw565sickleaveposter.pdf .