Creedon PLLC Employee Manual & Policy Guidelines
Last updated: July 16, 2018
This Employee Handbook & Policy Guideline (“Handbook”) contains Creedon PLLC’s (“the Firm”) current personnel policies and practices for the guidance of all Firm employees. Policies and practices described in this Handbook do not constitute, nor should they be relied on as, contractual obligations of the Firm to its employees or anyone else. Nothing in this Handbook guarantees any specific term of employment or limits the right of the Firm or its employees to terminate the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, with or without cause or notice.
The Firm intends to comply fully with all laws governing employment practices. If any of the policies or practices outlined in this Handbook are or become illegal for any reason, the applicable law will be followed.
The Firm reserves the right to modify its policies without prior notice. Any additions, deletions, or changes in the policies or practices described in this Handbook will become effective immediately upon notice to employees, unless stated otherwise. The Firm will attempt to give employees updated or revised sections, but it is always the employee’s job to remain informed about the Firm’s current policies and procedures.
Any questions or comments concerning the Firm’s policies, practices, or work rules should be directed to a Managing Attorney. All Firm employees must follow the policies stated in this Handbook unless a change or exception has been pre-approved in writing by a Managing Attorney.
The Equity Owners of the firm are James Creedon and Daniel Correa.
As used in this Handbook and in the Firm’s system of personnel administration, the following terms have the meanings stated below:
Associate Attorney: An attorney employed by the firm who has no ownership interest in the Firm.
Firm Administrator: The individual designated as primarily responsible for administrative duties for the Firm’s business and operation. The Firm Administrator is currently Eliza Creedon at email@example.com.
Managing Attorney: An Attorney who maintains an ownership interest in the Firm.
Of Counsel Attorney: An attorney associated with the Firm, but not employed by the firm.
Exempt Employee: An Employee who is exempt from the overtime premium pay and some timekeeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Non-exempt Employee: An Employee who is subject to the timekeeping and overtime premium pay provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Independent Contractor: A Firm worker that is engaged and paid as a 1099 independent contractor for provision of specific skills not readily available within the firm.
Regular Full-Time Employee: An Employee who works 40 hours or more per week on a regular, continuing basis. This includes both exempt and nonexempt Employees. A Regular Full-Time Employee is eligible for all Employee benefits.
Regular Part-Time Employee: An Employee who works less than 30 hours per week on a regular, continuing basis. A Regular Part-Time Employee is eligible for Employee benefits to the extent specified in the Plan document.
Temporary Worker: An individual assigned to work at the Firm by an employment agency. Temporary Employees are not eligible for any Employee benefits.
EMPLOYMENT AT WILL
Your employment is at-will. This means that neither you nor the Firm has entered into a contract regarding the duration, terms, or conditions of your employment. You are free to terminate your employment with the Firm at any time, with or without reason. Likewise, the Firm has the right to terminate your employment, or otherwise discipline, change or alter your position/responsibilities at any time, with or without cause or notice, at the Firm’s discretion.
INTRODUCTORY 90-DAY PERIOD
The first 90 days of each employee’s employment is made on a provisional basis. At the end of the 90 days (if the employment is ongoing), the employee will be evaluated by the Firm as to whether employment will continue beyond the 90-day period. The Firm makes no guarantee of ongoing employment and reserves the right to terminate any employee with or without cause. Continuation of employment beyond 90 days does not guarantee continued employment or signify that the job performance is adequate.
FIRM BRAND STANDARDS
Our brand identity uses more than words to bring Creedon PLLC’s cause to life. Our brand standards are the building blocks for consistently and effectively communicating our dedication to advance our clients’ competitive edge.
We have very specific standards in regards to our logo, its variation, size, application and clear space. We also have a specific color palette and typography that we must use in all of our branding. There are also strict guidelines in the use of our logo, and clear ways that violate these guidelines.
• Your email signature must not be changed.
• You must only use letterhead, envelopes, notecards, and labels with the correct Creedon PLLC Logo in use.
• Any electronic use of the logo must be approved by the Managing Attorney.
• Any office supplies that need our logo must be designed with our brand standards and approved by the Marketing Director.
Employees may not take an outside job, either for pay or as a donation of her/his personal time, with a client or competitor of the Firm, nor may they do work on their own if it competes in any way with the Firm. Additionally, they may not do any work that could have an adverse impact on their job performance or has the potential to damage the Firm’s business or reputation. If you intend to engage in a business enterprise of your own, you must first notify the Managing Partner and receive permission. Failure to do so may result in the termination of your employment.
OPEN DOOR POLICY
The Firm has an Open Door Policy. That means, literally, that every Managing Attorney’s door is open to every employee. The purpose of our Open Door Policy is to encourage open communication, feedback and discussion about any matter of importance to an employee or the Firm. Our Open Door Policy means that employees are free to talk with any Managing Attorney at any time.
If any area of an employee’s work is causing him or her concern, that employee has the responsibility to address such concern with a Managing Attorney or the Firm Administrator. Whether you have a problem, a complaint, a suggestion or an observation, the Firm’s management wants to hear from you. By listening to you, the Firm is able to improve, to address complaints, and to foster employee understanding of the rationale for practices, processes, and decisions.
EMPLOYEE COMPLAINT PROCESS
As evidenced by its Open Door Policy, the Firm is concerned with any situation affecting the employment relationship. The Firm is committed to correcting any condition or situation that may cause unfairness or misunderstanding. It is inevitable that problems and misunderstandings may occur. Therefore, the Firm has provided an orderly manner for employees to voice opinions or discuss problems with management without prejudice or fear of retaliation.
If a Firm employee has a problem or complaint, the employee should discuss it with his or her immediate supervisor as soon as possible.
If the problem is not satisfactorily resolved or the problem is with the supervisor, the Employee has the right to discuss it with any Managing Attorney.
Not all complaints can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. However, in each case, the reason for the decision will be explained. No one may criticize you, penalize you or treat you differently in any way for using this problem solving procedure.
The Firm is an equal employment opportunity employer. It bases employment decisions on merit and business needs, not on race, color, sex, citizenship, national origin, age, religion, disability, veteran status, sexual preference, or any other factor protected by law. The Firm complies with the law regarding reasonable accommodation for handicapped and disabled employees and for religious beliefs.
These policies apply to all areas of employment, including recruitment, hiring, training and development, promotion, transfer, termination, layoff, benefits, social and recreational programs, and all other terms and conditions of employment.
The Firm prohibits any and all forms of harassing behavior in the workplace and/or at Firm sponsored functions. This policy applies with equal force to supervisory and non-supervisory employees, executives and partners. The Firm will appropriately discipline, up to and including termination, any person who violates this policy.
In many instances, harassment involves actions that are unprofessional or otherwise inappropriate for the workplace, and are allowed to continue unchecked. For example, an isolated sexual or ethnic joke, or an isolated instance of unwelcome flirting or teasing, while offensive and certainly inappropriate and unprofessional, would not likely amount to harassment under the law. Often, the person engaging in such conduct is more insensitive than malicious. If this sort of conduct were allowed to continue, however, it could become increasingly offensive and distracting and could escalate into something far more serious.
The Firm is aware that it is always possible that an employee could engage in conduct more serious and immediately threatening than an occasional insensitive or unprofessional remark. Some examples of conduct prohibited by this policy are:
• Sexual, ethnic, racial or religious jokes or teasing.
• Verbal innuendoes, comments or offensive language.
• Having pornographic or racially offensive material at work.
• Unwelcome sexual advances, flirtations or proposals.
• Requests for sexual acts or favors.
• Physical or sexual threats or intimidation of any sort.
• Other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a harassing or offensive nature.
The Firm will support all reasonable efforts by an employee to discuss and work out problems of this sort professionally, directly with the offending party. If you do not feel comfortable attempting to work it out directly with the person, or if you make such an effort unsuccessfully, please report the conduct promptly by using the Harassment Grievance Procedure described below.
The Firm wants to be certain that its employees have the means to report such conduct so that the Firm can investigate it. The Firm will conduct a fair and thorough investigation and will take any disciplinary or corrective action that it deems appropriate based on its findings. Please do not hesitate to report conduct because of fear that you will “get somebody in trouble.” Most complaints result in the person being educated about the offensiveness of his or her conduct. Since the vast majority of employees are not malicious and do not mean to offend others, this is often enough to nip the problem in the bud.
The Firm’s policy is to investigate promptly all complaints of discrimination, harassment or other offensive conduct that is based on sex, race, age, disability, religion, color, citizenship, national origin, sexual preference, or other factors prohibited by law. Any employee who feels that he or she has experienced, witnessed, or been accused of such conduct should report the incident immediately to one or more of the following management personnel:
• James Creedon
• Daniel Correa
Alternatively, harassment or discrimination claims may be made in writing to the Firm by sending a certified letter marked “Personal and Confidential” to the following address in care of the person(s) listed above.
2595 Dallas Parkway, Suite 420
Frisco, TX 75034
The Firm will not tolerate retaliation of any sort against an employee who files a complaint or participates in an investigation. All persons involved in the complaint or investigation must maintain strict confidentiality to the extent reasonably practicable under the circumstances.
Any employee who is found to have engaged in discrimination, harassment, or other inappropriate conduct referred to in the Firm’s Anti-Harassment Policy will be subject to appropriate disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.
The same spirit which encourages transparent reporting and investigation procedures protects complainants. Any employee who makes a complaint in good faith will not be adversely affected in terms and conditions of employment and will not be retaliated against or discharged because of the complaint. Any employee, including managers and supervisors, who are found to have retaliated against an employee who reported a violation of this policy in good faith, will be subject to discipline up to and including termination of employment.
In addition, we will not tolerate retaliation against any employee who, in good faith, cooperates in the investigation of a complaint. Anyone who engages in such retaliatory behavior will be subject to appropriate discipline, up to and including termination of employment.
Firm Office Practices
The Firm’s office hours are 9:00 a.m. through 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. All employees should abide by the Firm’s Statement of Professionalism in regards to working hours and working schedule.
LUNCH AND REST PERIODS
All staff are required to take a one-hour unpaid lunch break for each eight-hour day worked. Lunch breaks should typically be taken in the middle of your work-day. It may be necessary to coordinate your lunch break with other staff members, so not everyone is out of the office at one time; please discuss this with the Firm Administrator.
All employees may take a 15-minute rest period for every four hours worked or major fraction thereof. Rest periods should not be taken at a time when it is disruptive to work flow.
The Firm desires to maintain a strong professional appearance and reputation. Therefore, because clients, opposing counsel, and vendors are occasionally in the office, all Employees should dress appropriately in business attire. Torn jeans, flip-flops, hats and similar types of clothing are not considered professional attire. Employees who are not appropriately dressed will be sent home to change.
ATTENDANCE & PUNCTUALITY
Regular attendance and punctuality is an essential function of your job. Employees must report to work on time each day and after each meal period, and avoid unnecessary absences. Each employee must discuss any circumstances that may affect his or her attendance and punctuality with his or her supervisor.
An employee who expects to be absent or tardy for any reason must notify firstname.lastname@example.org and/or his or her supervisor before the beginning of the scheduled work day. Messages are acceptable. The employee should report the cause of the absence and reasonably predict when he or she will resume work. If an employee must leave work for any reason before the end of the scheduled workday, he or she likewise must give advance notice to his or her supervisor.
See Chapter 7 for a discussion of the Firm’s policies regarding Time Off. The Firm reserves the right to request a health-care provider’s certification in cases where an employee is absent because of illness or injury.
Excessive absenteeism or tardiness for any reason may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. An employee’s failure to report to work for three consecutive days without contacting his or her supervisor will be considered job abandonment and will result in termination of employment. Unless additional time off has been requested and granted, employment will terminate automatically if an employee is absent from work for more than 30 consecutive calendar days.
Non-exempt employees must keep weekly time sheets showing time “in” and time “out,” with a tally of daily/weekly hours worked. The time sheets are to be turned in on a semi-monthly basis to the Firm Administrator.
Creedon PLLC employees are on a semi-monthly pay schedule, paid “current” the 15th and last day of the month. Should payday fall on a weekend or a recognized holiday in which the company is officially closed, you will be paid on the last working day prior to the scheduled holiday.
VARIATIONS IN WORK SCHEDULE
With the approval of his/her supervisor, a non-exempt employee may adjust his/her schedule to maintain a 40-hour work-week while accommodating an absence from work. Requests to vary the work schedule may be approved or denied at the sole discretion of the employee’s supervisor.
Non-exempt employees are paid a salary for 40 hours per week of work and non-exempt employees may not work more than 40 hours per week without prior written Managing Attorney approval on the Firm’s “Overtime Request Form” before exceeding 40 hours per week. All non-exempt employees are responsible for tracking their time to ensure that they do not exceed 40 hours per week. Failure to follow this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Non-exempt employees who work approved hours in excess of 40 in a work will be compensated per FLSA requirements.
Creedon PLLC complies in spirit and practice with all regulations and laws related to your pay. You will be asked to authorize any deductions not required by law or court order. If you have any questions regarding your deductions, rate of pay, methods of pay calculation or eligibility for overtime, take them to the Firm Administrator immediately. If you suspect any discrepancies on your paycheck report them to Firm Administrator immediately. Generally, any discrepancy in your pay can be resolved before the next payday.
All reimbursement requests shall be submitted to the Firm Administrator. All requests must include a receipt, or proof of expenditure, except for mileage reimbursement, and a brief description of expense. Mileage reimbursement must include travel destinations and reasons for travel. The rate of mileage reimbursement is that of the IRS allowance, updated the month following the IRS updates. Reimbursement checks are usually issued within 5 business days of receipt of request.
Creedon PLLC typically does not require any travel for its staff. However, should such necessity arise, only travel, hotel and food associated with business on behalf of the company will be reimbursed. Phone calls made from a hotel, in-room movies and food beyond breakfast, lunch and dinner are not included.
Alcohol & Drugs
Alcohol is a drug that can be dangerous if consumed irresponsibly. From time to time, employees will attend Firm functions and entertain clients in settings where alcohol is available. Excessive drinking at these events is not only bad business; it could pose a danger to those around you. If you choose to drink at these functions, drink responsibly. Furthermore, we want you to be aware of the following policies:
No employee (including attorneys) of the Firm is permitted to drive following a Firm function (including holiday parties, picnics, Firm meetings, business development outings, recruiting functions, etc.) if the employee’s ability to drive is impaired by alcohol. If any employee believes that he or she has had too much to drink and may not be able to drive safely, such employee must either get a ride from someone else or take a cab. The Firm will reimburse the cab fare. If any employee believes that another employee (attorneys included) has had too much to drink, such employee should encourage the co-employee to take a cab or should contact an attorney or supervisor.
In addition to the foregoing, if any employee is in attendance at any such Firm function and believes that a client of the Firm, a recruit, or any other guest of the Firm at such function has had too much to drink and his/her ability to drive may be impaired, the above policy (including reimbursement for cab fare) applies to that additional party.
For this policy to work, we must keep an eye out for one another. If you feel uncomfortable confronting anyone you believe has had too much to drink, notify an attorney or supervisor. You will not be getting the person in trouble; you may be saving his or her life.
Illegal drugs in the work place are a danger to us all. They impair safety and health, promote crime by financing illegal drug trade, lower productivity and quality, and undermine public confidence in the work we do. We will not tolerate the illegal use of drugs here. Every location at which the Firm conducts business is declared to be a drug-free work place. This means:
All employees are absolutely prohibited from unlawfully manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing, using, or being under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the work place. Prescription drugs, when taken as directed by the employee’s doctor, and alcohol consumed as part of a company sanctioned social event are permitted, although anyone using prescription medications that may impair judgment or performance should notify a supervisor. Any employee who chooses to drink at such functions must do so responsibly.
Any employee violating the above policy is subject to discipline up to and including termination. Treatment, rehabilitation, drug and alcohol abuse education, and training programs are available for employees to the extent, if any, provided by the Firm’s group health insurance programs. Employees are encouraged to contact their supervisor or group health insurer for information on any programs that may be available.
Any employee convicted of violating a criminal drug statute or for driving while under the influence of alcohol must inform the Firm of such conviction (including pleas of guilty and nolo contendere) within five days of the conviction occurring. Failure to so inform the Firm subjects the employee to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Zero Tolerance for Workplace Violence
Creedon PLLC has a zero-tolerance policy concerning threats, intimidation and violence of any kind in the workplace either committed by or directed to our employees. Employees who engage in such conduct will be disciplined, up to and including immediate termination of employment.
If you believe you have been subjected to threats or threatening conduct by a coworker, vendor or customer, you should notify you supervisor or another member of management immediately. You will not be penalized for reporting such concerns in good faith.
ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS
In the course of employment with the Firm, employees will have access to the Firm’s information systems including its telephone and voicemail systems, facsimiles, computers and computer network, electronic mail system, and Internet access. Employees should use these information systems only for communication of Firm business information. The Firm, however, realizes that in the normal course of business, employees may engage in brief, reasonable, and necessary personal communications. Employees must keep such communications to a minimum. Moreover, while brief, reasonable, and necessary personal communications may not violate this policy, employees should not maintain or transmit personal information on the Firm’s information systems that would interfere with the Firm’s business use of its information systems.
The Firm’s information systems may not be used in any way that may be contrary to or disruptive of its business operations. Employees may not display or transmit any illegal, unethical, pornographic, or sexually explicit images or messages via the Firm’s information systems. Any display or transmission of sexually explicit images, messages, or cartoons, or any use of the information systems that contain ethnic or racial slurs or epithets, or any other material that might be construed as harassing or disparaging of others on the grounds of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, citizenship, national origin, citizenship status, age, disability status, military status, or any other characteristic protected by law is strictly prohibited. The Firm’s information systems may not be used for commercial ventures, religious or political causes, outside organizations, or other non-job-related solicitations.
All displays, transmissions, and messages sent over the information systems are Firm business records. THE FIRM RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MONITOR ALL EMPLOYEE COMMUNICATIONS, INCLUDING TELEPHONE CALLS AND ELECTRONIC MAIL, ON ITS INFORMATION SYSTEMS AND TO ENTER EMPLOYEE ELECTRONIC MAIL, COMPUTER, AND TELEPHONE VOICE MAILBOX FILES AT THE FIRM’S DISCRETION. THUS, EVERY EMPLOYEE SHOULD UNDERSTAND THAT HIS OR HER PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS VIA THE FIRM’S INFORMATION SYSTEMS ARE SUBJECT TO MONITORING BY THE FIRM. EMPLOYEES SHOULD HAVE NO EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY.
No employee should attempt to gain access to another employee’s electronic mail, telephone voice mailbox, or computer files unless expressly authorized to do so by the employee whose file is being accessed, or by an authorized representative of the Firm. In order to maintain the integrity of the Firm’s information systems, employees should not disclose their system passwords to any other person. However, the Firm will at all times be able to access any employee file in the information systems and to gain access to deleted files.
Employees may not download or copy onto any of the Firm’s computers or computer network any software from outside the Firm without express written approval in advance from a Partner.
When answering the telephone on behalf of the Firm, employees should identify the Firm by name. It is important to always remember that lasting impressions are often formulated from the tact and diplomacy one may exhibit over the telephone. Employees always should strive to speak clearly, courteously, and professionally.
Employees generally should not have personal mail delivered to the Firm because it may be opened inadvertently. Any employees that choose to have personal mail delivered to the Firm should not expect such mail to be held confidential, as all mail received at the Firm may be opened by any Firm Employee. Employees may use the Firm’s mail system for their outgoing mail, provided that they supply their own postage.
In general, the firm’s policy is to remain open during inclement weather, and employees are expected to make every reasonable effort to come to the office if they can do so safely. To help employees determine whether and when they are expected to be in the office during weather events, the Firm has set these guidelines:
• If Frisco ISD or the Independent School District (ISD) in the area where the employee lives delays opening due to weather, the employee will be expected to be in the office by the later delayed opening time; and
• If Frisco ISD or the ISD in the area where the employee lives is closed due to weather, the presumption is that no employee will be expected to come to the office.
A Managing Attorney or supervisor may make a specific request to meet a critical deadline or sustain business operations and therefore employees should coordinate their plans with their supervising partner. When possible, employees should plan to work from home on any tasks that can be completed from home by taking required information and ensuring required access. Employees who do not come to the office are still expected to be available by email and phone to assist with any work that may be requested.
Time Away from Work
UNIFORMED SERVICES EMPLOYMENT AND REEMPLOYMENT RIGHTS ACT
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USSERRA) provides certain rights to persons who perform duty, voluntarily or involuntarily, in the uniformed services and meet certain tests. Speak to a Managing Attorney or visit the United States Department of Labor web site at www.dol.gov/asp/programs/handbook/usserra.htm for more information.
The Firm recognizes the following holidays and closings:
New Year’s Eve — Early close
New Year’s Day — Office closed
Good Friday — Early close
Memorial Day — Early close Friday before & office closed on Monday
Independence Day — Office closed
Labor Day — Early close Friday before & office closed on Monday
Freedom Day (September 11) — Office partially closed based on service project participation
Thanksgiving — Early close Wednesday & office closed Thursday and Friday
Christmas Eve — Office closed
Christmas Day — Office closed
If a recognized holiday falls on Saturday, then the Firm will observe the holiday on the preceding Friday. If a recognized holiday falls on Sunday, then the Firm will observe the holiday on the following Monday.
Please note that the holiday schedule is subject to change.
Due to the unpredictable nature of the Firm’s business and the needs of the Firm’s clients, all employees should check with their immediate supervisors regarding whether they are needed for any holiday.
The Firm does not operate under a formal Time Off Policy. However, the following guidelines are the suggested amounts of time off that should be taken on a yearly basis for full-time employees and non-attorneys:
Start date to 90th day of employment — Suggested amount: 0 days
Start date to 1 year — Suggested amount: about 1 day per month
1 – 4 years — Suggested amount: 13 days
5 years or more — Suggested amount: 15 days
Time off does not carry over to the following calendar year. Upon termination, the employee does not receive any compensation for Time Off not used. At management’s sole discretion, disciplinary action can be taken against employees who abuse the flexibility of the policy.
PROCESS FOR REQUESTING TIME OFF
The Firm requires that the employee’s supervisor approves requests for vacation, personal days, and any form of leave from work. We also require all office absences be communicated, by sending notifications to email@example.com, while copying the employee’s supervisor and any necessary team members.
Abuse of time off is grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Abuse includes but is not limited to failing to promptly report time off to the Firm administrator and repeatedly failing to request time off in advance.
Full-time employees will receive holiday pay for the scheduled holiday. Where the Firm requires the services of a non-exempt employee during a recognized holiday, the employee will receive, in addition to holiday pay, compensation at his or her regular rate for all hours worked.
Creedon PLLC recognizes the loss when a death in your family occurs. Bereavement will affect your ability to work differently based on your relationship with the deceased. Therefore, the length of bereavement leave will be determined on a case-by-case basis. When you are made aware of your loss, please contact your manager immediately to discuss the loss. Bereavement leave is generally expected to vary from ½ to 5 days, depending on the relationship, attendant preparation responsibilities, and required travel.
If time off is needed beyond what is customary under this policy, employees must gain approval from a Managing Attorney.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE POLICY
Occasionally, an employee or an immediate family member may have a serious health condition, or the employee may have a serious event in their life that requires time away from work. The following leave of absence policy outlines how such time away from work will be accommodated.
1) Serious health condition of the employee that causes the employee to be unable to perform the essential duties of the job;
2) Serious health condition of an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent living in the household) that causes the employee to be unable to perform the essential duties of the job;
3) Birth of a child;
4) Placement of a child with the employee for adoption or foster care.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE PROTOCOL
Employees who have completed their 90-day introductory period are eligible for up to 6 weeks of leave for a Qualifying Event as defined above.
Requests to extend a leave of absence beyond 6 weeks will be taken into consideration, and the decision will be based on the business needs at the time of the extension request. Leave extensions may be requested during the leave, or before the start of a leave of absence, if the employee can provide support for extending the leave beyond 6 weeks. Leave extensions cannot be guaranteed.
A request for a leave of absence for a Qualifying Event must be submitted in writing and approved by a Managing Attorney. All requests for leave should be made at least 60 days in advance of a foreseeable event and as soon as possible for an unforeseeable event. The employee must also provide medical documentation for a medical leave prior to a foreseeable event and within 15 days of an unforeseeable event.
Although the Firm will make an effort to maintain the employee’s position while on an approved leave, no job protection can be guaranteed.
12-MONTH PERIOD DEFINITION
An employee is eligible to take 6 weeks of leave during any 12-month period. The Firm will measure the 12-month period as a rolling 12-month period measured backward from the last date of a leave of absence under this policy. Each time an employee takes leave, the Firm will compute the amount of leave the employee has taken under this policy in the last 12 months and then subtract that amount of leave from the 6 weeks of available leave, with the remaining balance being the amount the employee is entitled to take at that time.
CREDIT FOR BILLABLE HOURS
Timekeepers who have been employed with the Firm for at least 12 consecutive months will receive 100% credit for required billable hours during the first 6 weeks of leave. (Up to 225 billable hours for attorneys; up to 150 billable hours for paralegals)
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS DURING LEAVE
Provided the above requirements are met and leave is approved, the following section outlines the compensation and benefits provided during leave based on employment status:
Employees who have been employed with the Firm for at least 12 consecutive months and who are eligible for benefits:
1) Receive up to 6 weeks of leave
2) Must utilize available Time Off to be paid 100% for the first week of leave
3) Will receive 40% of the employee’s base rate of pay for up to 5 additional weeks
4) The Firm will pay the employee’s benefit premiums for up to 6 weeks of leave
5) Timekeepers receive 100% billable hours credit during approved leave (up to 225 billable hours for attorneys, and up to 150 billable hours for paralegals)
Employees who have NOT been employed with the firm for at least 12 consecutive months, but who are eligible for benefits:
1) Receive up to 6 weeks of leave
2) Must utilize available Time Off to be paid 100% for the first week of leave
3) Remaining leave (up to 5 additional weeks) is unpaid
4) The Firm will pay the employee’s benefit premiums for up to 6 weeks of leave
Employees who have been employed with the firm for at least 12 consecutive months and who are NOT eligible for benefits:
1) Receive up to 6 weeks of unpaid leave
2) Timekeepers receive 100% billable hours credit during approved leave
Employees who have NOT been employed with the firm for at least 12 consecutive months and who are NOT eligible for benefits:
1) Receive up to 6 weeks of unpaid leave
JURY DUTY/COURT SUBPOENA
Creedon PLLC supports you in fulfilling your civic responsibilities and fully compensates you for up to 3 days when you are required by a court to serve or are subpoenaed to appear in a case for which you are neither the plaintiff nor the defendant. You must inform your manager as soon as possible after receiving a jury summons or subpoena so that arrangements can be made to accommodate your absence. You are required to provide a copy of such notices (jury duty or subpoena) to your manager in order to be compensated for such leave. You will be expected to report for work during your court service whenever the court schedule permits, including partial days.
You will not be required to take time off for the first 3 days. Insurance benefits will ordinarily remain in effect and unchanged for the full term of your jury duty absence.
TIME OFF TO VOTE
Creedon PLLC will comply with all laws and regulations related to time off to vote in public elections. Generally, you should have sufficient time to vote before or after normal work hours, or during lunch breaks. However, employees eligible to vote in an election and who do not have two consecutive hours outside working time while the polls are open may request sufficient time off to vote. If you plan to take such time off, you must notify your supervisor before Election Day.
Confidentiality & Non-Disclosure
Creedon PLLC collects only personal information about employees relating to their employment. Only people with a business-related need to know are given access to this information, and the Managing Partner must authorize any release of the information to others.
Personal information, other than that required to verify employment or to satisfy legitimate investigatory or legal requirements, will be released outside the Company only with employee approval.
Direct all inquiries for employment references to the Firm Administrator.
If you have access to any confidential information, including private employee information, you are responsible for utilizing the confidential information in an appropriate manner. Unauthorized disclosure or inappropriate use of confidential information will not be tolerated and may be grounds for discipline, up to and including termination.
In general, Creedon PLLC does not retain any personal medical information or Protected Health Information (PHI). PHI is any information which concerns health status, provision of health care, or payment for health care that can be linked to an individual. If Creedon PLLC does obtain PHI during the legitimate course of your employment, the Firm will hold that information in the strictest confidence. If you have a medical condition or concern that you would like to discuss with the Firm, for instance to request time away from work to accommodate treatment, you should speak to the Firm Administrator. At Creedon PLLC, our Firm Administrator acts as Privacy Officer and is your contact person regarding both general and specific questions procedures regarding PHI.
Health & Safety
The Firm strives to provide employees with a safe and healthful workplace and to comply with all applicable occupational safety and health laws. No employee will knowingly be required to work in unsafe conditions. You can learn more about safety on the OSHA website http://www.osha.gov.
The Firm expects its employees to share the responsibility for maintaining a safe and healthy environment. Employees must take all necessary and reasonable actions to keep the Firm’s premises safe, including the observance of all safety rules and regulations promulgated by the Firm or required by law. Employees should promptly notify the Firm about any unsafe or unhealthful working conditions or concerns.
ACCIDENTS & INJURIES
Employees are required to notify the Firm Administrator and/or a Managing Attorney about any injury sustained while on duty, no matter how minor the injury may seem, before the close of business during the day, which the injury occurred.
The failure to timely report an on-the-job injury or submit an incident report may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. No employee who reports an on-the-job injury will be subject to an adverse employment action or otherwise be discriminated against as a result thereof.
RETURN TO WORK
If you are on a medical disability leave of absence, you must return to work when your physician or a Firm appointed physician determines you are able to resume normal duties. Creedon PLLC requires a physician’s release prior to your reinstatement on the active payroll.
Performance & Compensation
EMPLOYEE GOALS AND EXPECTATIONS
Before the beginning of each calendar year, employees will fill out a “Goals, Expectations, and Self-Evaluation” form for the next calendar year. Employee compensation will be based in part on meeting these goals and expectations. The Firm will conduct periodic reviews to provide employees feedback on progress meeting these goals and expectations.
WAGE OR SALARY INCREASES
Employee’s rate of compensation may be reviewed periodically, and at least once at calendar year-end and/or at its discretion. Pay increases, if any, will be based on your performance, contribution and are not necessarily based just on your length of employment.
Performance bonuses may be provided by Creedon PLLC, at its sole discretion, pursuant to any bonus structure the Firm has in effect at the time. Even when a bonus structure is in effect, employees are not automatically entitled to any share of the bonus if, for example, the Firm does not deem the employees’ contributions as significant for the time period the bonus relates to.
EXITING THE FIRM
Any employee whose employment terminates for any reason must have an exit interview with his or her supervisor on his or her last day of work. At the exit interview, the employee is expected to return all items owned by the Firm and all other items in his or her possession or control issued by the Firm, including but not limited to keys, name tags, entry badges, and equipment. At the time of termination of employment, each employee should furnish his or her supervisor with his or her forwarding address so that W-2 forms and other mail may be sent to the exiting employee. The employee must also provide the Firm with all login identifications/user IDs and passwords for Firm software, computers, services, and other systems.
It is both professional and courteous to provide a written resignation letter to your supervisor at least two weeks in advance of a voluntary separation. If you are able to provide a longer notice period, please do so.
The following list sets forth, by way of example only, and without limitation, some of the types of conduct that may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment:
• Willful destruction, negligence, or other improper conduct leading to damage of equipment, facilities, or other property owned by or on the premises of the Firm.
• Insubordination, the refusal to comply with instructions, or the failure or refusal to perform assigned duties. Inability or unwillingness to cooperate with other employees when performing assigned tasks, or any interference with the performance of job duties by fellow employees.
• Unsatisfactory job performance.
• Unexcused or excessive absenteeism or tardiness. Leaving work before the end of the scheduled shift or workday without notice and authorization.
• Inattention to duties, wasting time, sleeping on the job, or unauthorized or excessive personal use of the telephone or Internet during working hours.
• Unauthorized use or abuse of the Firm’s information systems.
• Violation of the Firm’s Health and Safety Policy, including the failure to promptly report any on-the-job injury or practices that could result in personal injury or damage to the Firm’s or a client’s or visitor’s property.
• Abuse of any leave policy.
• Falsification of an application for employment or documents submitted in connection with an application for employment. Falsification of the Firm’s business records, including but not limited to time sheet records, TO, expense reports, and requests for reimbursement.
The Firm strives to maintain an optimal work environment that employees feel good about. If there is anything in this Employee Handbook that you want clarification on, or have a concern about, you are welcomed and encouraged to discuss it with a Managing Attorney, or the Firm Administrator.