Just Architecture Policies Final


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Created employee policy and procedure manual for Just Architecture - 2009

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Just Architecture Policies Final

  1. 1. Employee Handbook
  2. 2. This booklet provides general information about Just Architecture’s policies, procedures and benefits. If you have specific questions regarding a particular policy, procedure or benefit and how it applies to your situation, please contact Michael Just at (516) 840-8004. These materials are not intended to create or express a contract of employment or obligation. We reserve the right to change or eliminate any policy, procedure or benefit at any time without prior notice. 2
  3. 3. TABLE OF CONTENTS Employment At Will 4 Handbook Acknowledgement 4 Equal Opportunity Employer 4 Your Employment 5 Office/Work Hours 5 Attendance and Punctuality 5 Reporting Time 5 Paychecks (Payroll Information) 6 Emergency Information 6 Changes in Personal Information 6 Employee Conduct 7 Personal Conduct 7 Proper Work Attire 7 Safety and Health 7 Telephone Conduct 8 Office Supplies 8 Company Policies 9 Confidentiality Policy 9 Drug Free Workplace 9 Electronic Media 10 Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy 14 Solicitation and Distribution 17 Time Off 18 Vacation 18 Personal/Sick Days 18 Holidays 18 Personal Leave 19 Military Leave 19 Bereavement Leave 20 Jury and Witness Duty Leave 20 Insurances and Other Benefits 21 Health Insurance 21 Dental Insurance 21 COBRA 21 Retirement Benefits-Pension Plan 21 Unemployment Insurance 22 Disability Benefits (Off the Job Injuries) 22 Worker’s Compensation (On the Job Injuries) 22 Social Security 22 3
  4. 4. EMPLOYMENT AT WILL The purpose of this handbook is to assist you in knowing your rights and obligations as an employee. Your handbook is a source of general information concerning our company's policies, procedures and work rules, as they exist on the date of its publication. The policies stated in this handbook are intended as guidelines and are subject to change at the discretion of Just Architecture. Management retains the right to take disciplinary action, including suspension or termination. This handbook is not an employment contract and does not limit the reasons for termination of the employment relationship. Neither this handbook, nor any other company communication or practice, creates an employment contract or a guarantee of employment for any specific duration. Just Architecture reserves the right to make changes in content or application of its policies as it deems appropriate, and these changes may be implemented even if they have not been communicated, reprinted, or substituted in this handbook. It is also understood that nothing in this handbook or any other policy or communication changes the fact that employment is at-will, for an indefinite period, unless terminated at any time by you or the company, with or without notice. No employee or representative of the company other than Michael Just has any authority to enter into an employment contract or to change the at-will employment relationship, or to make any agreement contrary to the foregoing. Just Architecture retains all managerial and administrative rights and prerogatives entrusted to it and conferred on employers inherently and by law. HANDBOOK ACKNOWLEDGEMENT You are required to sign the acknowledgement statement on the last page of this handbook and return it to Michael Just. If you have any questions at any time regarding the contents of this handbook, please see Michael Just. AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER JUST ARCHITECTURE FIRMLY BELIEVES IN AND SUBSCRIBES TO FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES AND OPENS ITS FACILITIES TO EVERY QUALIFIED PERSON. IN ALL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES, WE ARE COMMITTED TO PROHIBITING DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF RACE, RELIGION, COLOR, CREED, NATIONAL ORIGIN, SEX, AGE, MARITAL STATUS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, DISABILITY, OR STATUS AS A VIETNAM-ERA OR SPECIAL DISABLED VETERAN. 4
  5. 5. YOUR EMPLOYMENT Office/Work Hours Business hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Full-time employees are scheduled to work a 40 hour work week with a half-hour lunch break daily unless otherwise informed. Employees are expected to be on time and ready to work. As part of the workday, employees may take a 15 minute break twice per day, once in the morning and the other in the afternoon. Employees may not eat breakfast or lunch during company time. Attendance and Punctuality Attendance at work is a major responsibility of each employee. Absence from work can cause delays in production, require temporary assignments of other people and increase production costs. If you are ill, please call Michael Just to enable redistribution of your work load. Illness should be reported to your supervisor only. We also recognize that a certain amount of lateness and absenteeism may be unavoidable, but it should be kept to a minimum. Whether the absence can be foreseen or unforeseen, you must notify Michael Just as soon as you know you will be absent. Frequent absenteeism and lateness is unacceptable. To resolve this problem, you will first be made aware that your absenteeism/lateness has become a problem. Should the problem persist, corrective action will be taken, up to and including termination. Reporting Time Each employee is responsible for tracking their own attendance. Each employee must sign-in and sign-out via the time clock. All employees must report time off (e.g., vacation, sick, personal, jury duty, etc.). Hourly employees are paid based upon a 40 hour work week. Overtime as requested and approved will be paid as follows: Straight pay up to 40 hours per week Time and a half for any hours over 40 5
  6. 6. Paychecks (Payroll Information) Employees are paid bi-weekly and paychecks are handed to employees. Employees can arrange to have their paycheck deposited directly into a checking and/or savings account. Employees should contact Michael Just if they want to participate in Direct Deposit. Emergency Information If there is an immediate condition (i.e., extreme weather, power failure), employees should contact Michael Just regarding operations on that day. Changes in Personal Information You should inform Michael Just if any of the following changes occur in your personal or family status: Change in marital status Legal change of name New home address New home telephone number Birth or death in family Persons to be reached in case of emergency 6
  7. 7. EMPLOYEE CONDUCT Personal Conduct To assure that all employees are treated fairly and equally, it is necessary to outline some of these offenses that may be grounds for discharge or disciplinary action. These offenses include, but are not limited to: Habitual absenteeism or tardiness. Inferior work, carelessness or negligence resulting in waste. Improper use of machinery and equipment. Repeated damage to company equipment. Unauthorized use of company equipment. Possession or use of intoxicants or drugs. Deliberate deception or fraud. Conviction of any serious crime. Insubordination, verbal abuse or refusal to carry out orders. Violation of safety rules. Possession of weapons on company property. Assault or harassment of anyone on company property. Use of personal email, cell phones or other PDA devices during work hours. Proper Work Attire Your personal neatness, hygiene and proper attire are expected. Customers and visitors from our community gain a lasting impression of our company/agency from the appearance and decorum of our employees. You are expected to dress appropriately, consistent with your job duties. Please dress in appropriate business casual attire. .Inappropriate dressing is determined at the discretion of Michael Just and you may be asked to change your clothing or leave the premises to obtain other clothing. Safety and Health Just Architecture is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all its employees. Just Architecture complies with all applicable requirements issued by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the state and local New York governments. The responsibility for the safety and health of all employees is shared by management and all employees. 7
  8. 8. Employees are expected to take an active role in promoting a safe workplace. If an employee witnesses an accident or injury, or notices an unsafe working condition, he/she must report it promptly to Michael Just. The following guidelines should be adhered to: Keep your work area and equipment clean at all times. Don't lift anything that is too heavy. Get help. If a machine is not running properly, turn it off and notify Michael Just. Learn the location of fire extinguisher and emergency exits. Keep exits clear of obstructions. All unsafe conditions shall be reported to your supervisor. Telephone Conduct It is recognized that you may occasionally find it necessary to receive personal phone calls. This privilege should not be abused since our telephone is intended for business use. Only emergency IN COMING calls are allowed. Please try to limit the length of your personal calls. Proper use of telephones can save time and create a favorable impression for the company. Please observe these principles when using the telephone: Answer promptly. Identify yourself, your company and your department. Take accurate messages and deliver them promptly Transfer calls correctly. Give accurate and careful answers. Thank the customer for calling and hang up carefully. Personal cell phones, PDA’s and texting devices should not be used during company time. Office Supplies Office supplies are kept in the front supply cabinet. If supplies are depleted and need to be replaced or if there is a specific request, contact Michael Just. Supplies are ordered through Staples via the internet. 8
  9. 9. COMPANY POLICIES Confidentiality Policy During the course of your employment by Just Architecture, you may have access to certain private, confidential and/or proprietary information relating to the business of Just Architecture, related entities and/or their respective partners, officers, personnel, contractors, customers or clients. Each employee is prohibited, during his/her employment by Just Architecture and thereafter, from directly or indirectly disclosing, furnishing or making accessible to any third party any such private, confidential or proprietary information. For the purpose of this policy, private, confidential and/or proprietary information shall include, but not be limited to, the names of past, present or potential customers; the existence and terms of licensing, plans or designs, amounts/costs and other fees; financial information; methods of operation, organization, pricing or marketing; business policies and plans; information concerning relationships with past, present or potential licensees and other customers or clients of Just Architecture The sole exceptions to the prohibition against disclosure are (a) disclosure made with the prior written authorization of Just Architecture and (b) disclosures made under compulsion of law. If any employee violates, or threatens or attempts to violate, this policy, his/her employment may be terminated immediately. In addition, in the event of a violation, or threatened or attempted violation, of this policy, and regardless whether the violator is still employed by Just Architecture at the time, Just Architecture shall be entitled to seek any and all legal and equitable relief, including but not limited to the recovery of damages, an injunction restraining the disclosure of private, confidential and/or proprietary information relating to Just Architecture or any related entity and injunctions prohibiting the employee or former employee from rendering services to any person or entity to whom such private, confidential and/or proprietary information has been disclosed. Drug Free Workplace Policy Just Architecture is committed to protecting the safety, health and well being of all employees and other individuals in our workplace. We recognize that alcohol abuse and drug use pose a significant threat to our goals. We have established a drug-free workplace program that balances our respect for individuals with the need to maintain an alcohol and drug-free environment. Purpose and Goal This organization encourages employees to voluntarily seek help with drug and alcohol problems. Covered Workers Any individual who conducts business for the organization, is applying for a position or is conducting business on the organization's property is covered by our drug-free workplace policy. Our policy includes, but is not limited to full-time employees, part-time employees and interns. 9
  10. 10. Applicability Our drug-free workplace policy is intended to apply whenever anyone is representing or conducting business for the organization. Therefore, this policy applies during all working hours, whenever conducting business or representing the organization and while on organization property. Prohibited Behavior It is a violation of our drug-free workplace policy to use, possess, sell, trade, and/or offer for sale alcohol, illegal drugs or intoxicants. Notification of Convictions Any employee who is convicted of a criminal drug violation in the workplace must notify the organization in writing within five calendar days of the conviction. The organization will take appropriate action within 30 days of notification. Federal contracting agencies will be notified when appropriate. Consequences One of the goals of our drug-free workplace program is to encourage employees to voluntarily seek help with alcohol and/or drug problems. If, however, an individual violates the policy, the consequences are serious. In the case of applicants, if he or she violates the drug-free workplace policy, the offer of employment can be withdrawn. The applicant may not reapply. If an employee violates the policy, he or she will be subject to progressive disciplinary action and may be required to enter rehabilitation. An employee required to enter rehabilitation who fails to successfully complete it and/or repeatedly violates the policy will be terminated from employment. Nothing in this policy prohibits the employee from being disciplined or discharged for other violations and/or performance problems. Assistance Just Architecture recognizes that alcohol and drug abuse and addiction are treatable illnesses. We also realize that early intervention and support improve the success of rehabilitation. To support our employees, our drug-free workplace policy: Encourages employees to seek help if they are concerned that they or their family members may have a drug and/or alcohol problem. Encourages employees to utilize the services of qualified professionals in the community to assess the seriousness of suspected drug or alcohol problems and identify appropriate sources of help. Ensures the availability of a current list of qualified community professionals. Allows the use of accrued paid leave while seeking treatment for alcohol and other drug problems. Treatment for alcoholism and/or other drug use disorders may be covered by the employee benefit plan. However, the ultimate financial responsibility for recommended treatment belongs to the employee. 10
  11. 11. Confidentiality All information received by the organization through the drug-free workplace program is confidential communication. Access to this information is limited to those who have a legitimate need to know in compliance with relevant laws and management policies. Shared Responsibility A safe and productive drug-free workplace is achieved through cooperation and shared responsibility. Both employees and management have important roles to play. All employees are required not to report to work or be subject to duty while their ability to perform job duties is impaired due to on- or off-duty use of alcohol or other drugs. In addition, employees are encouraged to: Be concerned about working in a safe environment. Support fellow workers in seeking help. Report dangerous behavior to their supervisor. It is the supervisor's responsibility to: Inform employees of the drug-free workplace policy. Observe employee performance. Investigate reports of dangerous practices. Document negative changes and problems in performance. Counsel employees as to expected performance improvement. Clearly state consequences of policy violations. Communication Communicating our drug-free workplace policy to both supervisors and employees is critical to our success. To ensure all employees are aware of their role in supporting our drug-free workplace program, all employees will receive a written copy of the policy. Electronic Media Just Architecture provides “business computers,” digital cameras, electronic mail (“e-mail”) Internet and Intranet access. Business computers are all company workstations that are the property of Just Architecture, including desktop, laptop and notebook computers. All users are responsible for ensuring that these resources are used in accordance with Company policy and the law. In addition to business computers, all e-mail messages and electronic files created or stored on such business computers, Company-provided hard disks or any other removable media are Company property and, along with use of the Internet, may be subject to Company monitoring. Just Architecture may monitor for inappropriate use, security, network management and other business reasons. Users may also be subject to limitations on their use of computer-related resources at the discretion of Just Architecture. Just Architecture’s electronic media systems (i.e., e-mail, Internet) incorporate guidelines for personal use, however, users do not have a personal privacy right in any material created, sent, received or stored, and such material is the sole property of Just Architecture. The distribution of 11
  12. 12. any information through electronic media systems or the storage of any information on a user’s computer is subject to review by Just Architecture. Just Architecture has and reserves the right to access, enter, search, inspect, monitor, and disclose the contents of any user’s computer files or e-mail messages at any time and for any reason without notice to the user. Among the reasons that may warrant accessing a user’s computer files or use of electronic media is a need to investigate activity which may constitute misconduct, represent a potential conflict of interest, violate criminal or civil law, and/or adversely affect Just Architecture’s interests, the interests of Just Architecture’s customers, partners, subsidiaries or the interests of any employee of Just Architecture. This policy also applies in circumstances where users are accessing Just Architecture-provided electronic media systems from a remote location (i.e. home). Use of a business computer, digital camera or Company-provided electronic media system constitutes consent to all of the terms and conditions of this policy. Prohibited Uses of the Computer, Digital Camera, Internet and E-Mail It shall be a violation of this Policy for any user to:  Send messages that contain obscene, hateful or derogatory language, or that violate in any way Just Architecture’s equal employment opportunity or non-discrimination and anti- harassment policy, including the transmission of improper or offensive material relating to race, sex, age, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, disability or any other characteristic protected by law.  Send messages that are defamatory or intended to annoy, harass or intimidate another person.  Solicit business for personal gain or profit.  Send solicitations (for any cause or concern), advertisements, or classifieds.  Send chain letters or any message containing a system/virus notification. E-mail messages regarding a system/virus alert originated by Just Architecture’s System Administrator may be forwarded as appropriate.  Send e-mail to more than thirty (30) persons without proper authorization.  Access any Internet sites that contain adult-oriented, pornographic, obscene, indecent, racist, or otherwise inappropriate material, and/or downloading, printing or copying such material.  Make or post indecent remarks or materials.  Send (upload), receive (download), reproduce or distribute commercial software or any copyrighted materials, trade secrets, plans and designs, proprietary financial information or similar materials without appropriate authorization. If you are unsure about whether certain information is copyrighted, proprietary or otherwise inappropriate for transfer, you should resolve all doubts in favor of not transferring the information and consult the Corporate Legal Department.  Send confidential or proprietary Company information to persons not authorized to receive it, which information includes, but is not limited to: financial information, new business and product ideas, marketing strategies and plans, customer lists, technical product information, computer source codes and information about business relationships.  Knowingly input any false or inaccurate information into any Just Architecture system. 12
  13. 13.  Examine, change or use another person’s files, messages or user name without appropriate authorization (except for authorized System Administrators).  Use another person’s computer without authorization or for any improper purpose.  Use another person’s User I.D. or password.  Use Company equipment to perform work for another entity.  Install software on Just Architecture business computers without proper authorization or otherwise violate the Software License Policy described herein.  Use business computers or electronic media systems in a manner that interferes with the user’s job duties, the duties of others, affects productivity or consumes significant resources.  Disable any type of Anti-Virus program (e.g. Norton), which is installed on all business computers or servers, connected to Just Architecture’s computer networks.  Intentionally introduce and/or execute a computer virus or a similar type malicious code with the intent of disrupting company operations.  Knowingly establish or allow suppliers, vendors or contractor’s local or remote access to Just Architecture’s business computers, electronic media systems (including the Intranet) or other network resources without appropriate authorization from Human Resources and the Information Technology Group. Any employee who discovers or becomes aware of a violation of this policy should report the violation to Michael Just. Users who violate this Policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. Just Architecture also reserves the right to report any illegal conduct to the appropriate authorities. Use of E-Mail, Internet and Text Messaging Company business computers and electronic media systems are provided to users to assist them in conducting Company business. However, Just Architecture recognizes that the above systems may be utilized for personal use. These systems are to be used primarily for business use, but limited non-business use on personal time is permitted, provided such use does not waste company resources or affect employee productivity. Any personal use of Company provided business computers, electronic mail or Internet access must comply with all provisions of Just Architecture’s Electronic Media Policy. Just Architecture also recognizes that e-mail often substitutes for telephone communications and can therefore elicit less formal communications than are typically found in paper memoranda. Therefore, Just Architecture encourages its users to write e-mails with no less care, judgment and responsibility than they would use for letters or memoranda written on Company letterhead. An important difference between e-mail and paper memoranda is that it is much easier to transmit e-mails. In fact, e-mails are often misdirected or forwarded and may be viewed by many people other than the intended recipient. All e-mail messages are stored on a central back- up system in the normal course of data management and may be recovered at a later date. Because of the informal nature of e-mail, it is also easier for statements made in e-mail to be misinterpreted or taken out of context. Users are expected to demonstrate professionalism in the 13
  14. 14. creation of all correspondence, either in written or electronic form, and avoid making statements that would reflect unfavorably on the user or Just Architecture. On occasion, a user may receive an inquiry from the press or other organization via e-mail. Please do not respond. Instead, forward the message to either the Internal Communications or Corporate Legal Department. Use of Electronic Media Systems by Third Parties Just Architecture’s business computers and/or electronic media systems (excluding the Intranet) may be used by independent contractors, consultants, customers, and suppliers. Third party employees are defined as any employees not paid compensation through the Just Architecture Inc. payroll system. These third parties will be granted such access only if they agree, in writing, to abide by the terms and conditions of this Policy. The third parties who desire such access must first receive authorization from business manager or department head and the Information Technology Group. Security Precautions  Sensitive and/or confidential Just Architecture documents should not be displayed on terminals when anyone other than an authorized user is present.  Just Architecture encourages users of its business computers and electronic media systems to use password protection. Windows-based, timed Screen Savers with Password protection are provided by the Windows Operating system. A maximum of a fifteen-minute timer is highly recommended for screen savers with password protection. “Power-On” Passwords that limit access to the Desktop computer upon power-up are highly recommended for additional security. However, neither the use of passwords nor other security measures in any way diminish Just Architecture’s right to access such computers or systems. Users are responsible for the security of all passwords and identification codes issued to them. Passwords should be changed periodically to prevent unauthorized access and should be unique to the individual user.  Confidential and/or sensitive documents should not be stored in a database where unauthorized persons can access them.  Users of business computers and electronic media systems should routinely delete outdated or otherwise unnecessary e-mails and computer files. These deletions will help keep the system running smoothly and effectively, as well as minimize maintenance costs. Non-Discrimination and Anti-Harassment Policy Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, the Company expects that all relationships among persons in the office will be business-like and free of bias, prejudice and harassment. This policy should not, and may not be used as a basis for excluding or separating individuals of any protected category from participating in business or work-related social activities or discussions. In other words, no one should make the mistake of engaging in exclusion in order to avoid allegations of harassment. 14
  15. 15. Definitions of Harassment/Discrimination a. Sexual Harassment constitutes sex 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: (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; (2) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or (3) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work 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, but are not limited to: unwanted sexual advances; subtle or overt pressure for sexual favors; sexual jokes, innuendoes, advances or propositions; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; graphic commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling, touching, pinching, assault, coerced sexual acts, or suggestive, insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display or circulation in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures (including through e-mail); and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature. It is essential to understand that consensual romantic and sexual relationships between employees in supervisory positions and their direct reports or other employees over which they have some supervisory authority, as well as between co-workers, may lead to unforeseen complications. The respect and trust accorded a more senior/supervisory person by a staff member, as well as the power held by that person in evaluating or otherwise supervising the staff member could diminish the extent to which the staff member feels free to end or change the relationship. Therefore, each Scholastic employee should be aware of the possible risks of even an apparently consensual sexual relationship. An employee who enters into a sexual relationship with another employee, where there exists a difference in seniority or power between the individuals involved, should be aware that if a complaint of sexual harassment is subsequently made, it could be difficult to defend the charges on grounds of mutual consent. With this in mind, Scholastic reserves the right to reassign or rearrange reporting relationships or other roles of parties engaged in a consensual relationship to avoid potential problems in this regard. b. Harassment or discrimination on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also illegal and strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry, age, disability, citizenship, sexual orientation, marital status or any other characteristic protected by law, and that: (i) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; (ii) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or (iii) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities. 15
  16. 16. Such conduct includes, but is not limited to: epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes and display or circulation in the workplace of written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group (including through e-mail). Individuals and Conduct Covered Under the Policy This policy applies to all applicants and employees, and prohibits harassment, discrimination and retaliation whether engaged in by fellow employees, supervisors, managers or persons not directly connected to the Company (e.g., outside vendors, consultants, clients or customers). The kind of behavior described above is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings, court appearances and business-related social events. Reporting Harassment, Discrimination or Retaliation Employees are strongly encouraged to report all perceived incidents of harassment, discrimination or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe they have experienced conduct that is contrary to this policy or who have concerns about such matters should informally discuss their concerns or formally file their complaint with Michael Just. The Company encourages individuals who believe they are being harassed to advise the offender that his/her behavior is unwelcome and request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. The Company recognizes, however, that it is not necessary for an individual to speak directly with an offender about his/her concern if that individual feels uncomfortable doing so. If for any reason an individual does not wish to confront the offender directly, or if such a confrontation does not successfully end the harassment, the individual should promptly notify Michael Just. Retaliation is Prohibited Retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or participates in an investigation of such reports is strictly prohibited. Retaliation is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, persons engaging in such behavior will be subject to disciplinary action. Timeliness in Reporting Improper Behavior Prompt reporting of complaints or concerns is encouraged so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. While no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention has proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment, discrimination or retaliation. Investigatory Process 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. 16
  17. 17. Confidentiality In light of the important privacy interests of all concerned, the complaint and investigation will be handled with sensitivity, and confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent practical and consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action. Responsive Action Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include training, referral to counseling, and/or disciplinary action such as a warning, reprimand, withholding of a promotion or pay increase, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay or termination, as the Company believes appropriate under the circumstances. The reassignment of the complainant will not be an acceptable corrective action unless the complainant requests such a reassignment. Record of Complaint and Investigation The Company will maintain a written record of each complaint and how it was investigated and resolved. Written records will be maintained in confidence, to the extent practical and appropriate. Written records will normally be maintained for at least the same time period as other personnel records. False and Malicious Accusations False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation, as opposed to complaints, which, even if erroneous, are made in good faith, may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action. Solicitation and Distribution To limit outside intrusions in the workplace and prevent unnecessary harassment of employees, it is the policy of Just Architecture to prohibit sales, solicitation and distribution during actual working time. Sales of goods or services, solicitation for political candidates, funds, membership or individual commitment to outside organizations by employees is not permitted. Sales, solicitation or distributions for any purpose by an outside non-employee is prohibited on company premises. Incidents of this nature should be reported to Michael immediately. Distribution of literature for any purpose in this office by employees is not permitted. Premises must be kept clean and free of litter at all times. Off-duty employees are not permitted to sell goods or services, or distribute literature or to solicit or otherwise interfere with or disturb working employees. 17
  18. 18. TIME OFF Vacation Employees receive two weeks of paid vacation after one year of full-time employment after their start date. Vacation is allotted on a calendar year basis and unused vacation at the end of the year cannot be carried over into the following year. Requests for vacation time must be made to Michael Just at least one month in advance of your vacation. Additional vacation beyond the two weeks may be taken upon approval and will be unpaid. Vacation requests may be made prior to the one year of full-time employment and if approved, will be unpaid. Vacation is not available to part-time employees. If employment is terminated at anytime during the year, unused vacation days will not be paid out. Personal/Sick Days We recognize that from time to time you may need to take time off due to illness or to attend to personal matters. Just Architecture allows five paid days annually to be used as illness and/or sick days and unused personal/sick days at the end of the year cannot be carried over into the following year. These days may be taken in 1/2 day increments. Personal days must be approved at least one week in advance (if foreseeable) by Michael Just. If employment is terminated at anytime during the year, unused personal/sick days will not be paid out. Holidays Just Architecture recognizes 7 holidays per year. These holidays will be paid and are as follows: New Year’s Day President’s Day Memorial Day Independence Day Labor Day Thanksgiving Christmas To qualify for holiday pay, you must work the last scheduled work shift prior to and the next scheduled work shift after the holiday, unless the absence was an excused absence or authorized vacation. 18
  19. 19. If you are absent because of sickness or injury over a holiday period you will receive holiday pay. If a holiday falls during your vacation, your vacation will be extended by one day. Be sure to verify this with Michael Just before you go on vacation. If you should have to work on a paid holiday, you will be paid time and one-half for all hours you work. Personal Leaves Just Architecture recognizes that unforeseen events may occur in the lives of its employees. If such an event takes place, an employee may request a personal leave of absence. A personal leave of absence must be requested in advance, when foreseeable and will be unpaid. An employee may use vacation time and/or personal/sick days in lieu of the unpaid time. Military Leave The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) provides members of uniformed services certain protections. USERRA applies to all employers, regardless of size. Employees and prospective employees covered by USERRA are those who have served in and been honorably discharged from any of the uniformed armed services in the United States (including the U.S. Coast Guard, the reserves, or the National Guard), are currently serving in the military, or are enlisting in the military. A person’s entitlement to the protections of USERRA terminates upon a dishonorable or bad-conduct discharge. USERRA prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or prospective employees because of past, current, or future military obligations. The ban is broad, covering most areas of employment, such as hiring, promotion, reemployment, termination, and benefits. Entitles members of uniformed services to reemployment without loss of seniority, status, or pay for a certain period of time Protects applicants and employees against discrimination because of their past, present, or future military obligations or their intent to serve Requires employers to make reasonable efforts to retrain or upgrade skills to qualify returning employee Extends health care and pension plan coverage during leave Protection does not depend on the timing, frequency, duration or nature of service, voluntary or otherwise Military service treated as leave of absence; returning employee entitled to seniority and other rights that would have accrued if employment had not been interrupted by service 19
  20. 20. Under USERRA, members of uniformed services returning from duty have an “unqualified” right to reemployment as long as the employee meets the following conditions: 1. Employee provides advance notice of service, where possible; 2. Service does not exceed five years (in almost all circumstances); 3. Employee must not have been released from service under dishonorable or other punitive conditions; and 4. The employee must timely report back to his/her employer. Bereavement Leave In the event of the death of a family member, Just Architecture would like to protect you from a loss of earnings while you are making the necessary arrangements and attending the funeral. If you have been employed at least 30 days, you will be paid up to a maximum of three days absence for each occasion of death in your immediate family. That includes your children, spouse, parent, brother, sister or mother and father -in-law. One day of paid leave will be granted upon the death of other close relatives such as brother or sister-in-laws, grandparents, aunts and uncles. If you have been employed less than 30 days, you will be granted unpaid leave. Please consult with Michael Just if extenuating circumstances exist. Just Architecture intends to exercise the greatest degree of understanding and flexibility during these difficult times. It is expected that you will also use your best judgment. Jury and Witness Duty Leave Just Architecture recognizes that you may be called to serve as a juror from time to time, or summoned to appear as a witness. These are responsibilities that you as a citizen should fulfill. Since Just Architecture employs less than ten employees, employees are entitled by law to receive a portion of their salary equal to the per diem allowance normally paid by the State for the first three days of jury service, provided that these three days are regularly scheduled work days. The State will not pay these employees a per diem allowance for the first three days of jury service which are regularly scheduled work days. Payment of the per diem allowance for jury duty served on days that are not regularly scheduled work days, as well as for jury duty served beyond three days, will be paid by the State as usual. 20
  21. 21. INSURANCES AND OTHER BENEFITS Health Insurance Just Architecture provides Health Insurance after the first six months of employment. A portion of this benefit is funded by the Company and the remainder is paid by the employee through payroll deductions. Just Architecture will fund the following: Single Unmarried Plan: $300 per month Employee and Spouse Plan: $600 per month Family Plan: $750 per month An employee can participate prior to six months and will be required to pay the full cost. For more information and enrollment, contact Michael Just. Dental Insurance Just Architecture provides the availability of dental insurance. The employee is required to pay the full cost of this coverage. For more information and enrollment, contact Michael Just. COBRA Please note: If you resign or are terminated from Just Architecture’s employ, or if your work hours are reduced, and this event makes you or your dependants no longer eligible to participate in our health insurance plan, you and your eligible dependents may be able to continue to participate in the health plan for up to 18 months at your (or your dependant’s) expense. This continuation is commonly referred to as COBRA. (Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act). For further information regarding COBRA benefits, please contact the office. Retirement Benefits – Pension Plan Just Architecture provides a SIMPLE contributory pension plan to its employees managed thru Fidelity Investments. The plan is designed to provide employees a monthly income at their time of retirement. Employees are eligible to participate once they are employed and contributions are deducted from the employees’ paycheck. Employees can contribute 0 – 100% of their salary up to an annual amount as determined by the IRS. For 2009, the limits are as follows: $11,500.00 – under 50 years old $14,000.00 – over 50 years old Just Architecture will match each participant’s salary deferrals, dollar for dollar, up to 3% of their annual compensation. For a summary of plan detail or if you have any questions, you can contact the plan representative Jonathan Stone at (631) 462-6527. 21
  22. 22. Unemployment Insurance Unemployment insurance is protection for people who are out of work through no fault of their own. It provides you a weekly benefit of about one-half your regular pay to keep you and your families going while you look for a new job. Benefits are paid to people who have worked long enough and earned enough in covered employment, are capable of work, and who are willing and actively seeking work. These benefits are financed by Just Architecture through payroll taxes, with no cost to you. While Just Architecture pays the full cost of unemployment compensation, it does not decide who is eligible and how much benefit payments should be. This eligibility is determined by the New York State Department of Labor. Disability Benefits (Off the Job Injuries) The New York State Disability Benefits Law protects you when you are unable to work for more than seven calendar days due to an illness or injury that occurs OFF THE JOB and/or for maternity. This benefit can pay up to 26 weeks of benefits after a seven day waiting period. Full time employees are covered by this benefit after you have worked four or more consecutive weeks. Part time employees are eligible on the 25th day of employment. The cost of this insurance is shared between Just Architecture and you. Your share is deducted from your paycheck. During any period of disability, you need to regularly communicate with your supervisor, (at least every two weeks) to keep him/her informed of any changes in your condition and your expected date of return. Worker’s Compensation (On the Job Injuries) The provisions of the New York State Worker’s Compensation Law cover ON-THE-JOB injuries. This benefit provides for the replacement of income, medical payments and survivor’s benefits. The premium is paid for by Just Architecture at no cost to you. If you are injured on the job, no matter how slightly, report the incident to Michael Just. Seek immediate medical attention if the injury is serious enough. Social Security Social security is more than a paycheck deduction. It offers financial security for you and your dependents. Both you and your company contribute to provide you with monthly checks and medical coverage once you reach retirement age. It can also provide benefits during times of disability, dependency and survivorship. Social Security is a federally sponsored program that pays several kinds of benefits to employees who have made regular contributions to the program during their working years. Many people forget that the cost of Social Security coverage is shared; you pay half and your company pays half. 22
  23. 23. HANDBOOK ACKNOWLEDGEMENT STATEMENT Employee Copy I acknowledge that I have received and read a copy of Just Architecture’s Employee Handbook, and understand its contents. I understand that the handbook is a general guide and is not an expressed or implied contract of employment. I further understand that I am employed at will, that both the company and I are free to terminate the employment relationship at our discretion, at any time, with or without giving reason or notice, and that no supervisor or other employee has the authority to alter this relationship. I also understand that the company reserves the right to change, modify, amend, or delete any polices/procedures or benefits in this handbook, or to increase employee contributions, at its sole discretion, at any time, without notification. ________________________________________ ____________________ Signature Date HANDBOOK ACKNOWLEDGEMENT STATEMENT Employer Copy (Please detach and return to Michael Just.) I acknowledge that I have received and read a copy of Just Architecture’s Employee Handbook, and understand its contents. I understand that the handbook is a general guide and is not an expressed or implied contract of employment. I further understand that I am employed at will, and that both the company and I are free to terminate the employment relationship at our discretion, at any time, with or without giving reason or notice, and that no supervisor or other employee has the authority to alter this relationship. I also understand that the company reserves the right to change, modify, amend, or delete any policies/procedures and benefits in this handbook, or to increase employee contributions, at its sole discretion, at any time, without notification. ________________________________________ ____________________ Signature Date 23