The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges
Table of Contents
Employment Practices 1
Working Conditions 3
Employment Status 1
Probationary Period 2
Performance Evaluations 3
Personnel Records 3
Code of Conduct 4
Working Hours 5
Time Reports 6
Punctuality and Attendance 6
Overtime Compensation 7
Paid Overtime 7
Compensatory Time Off 7
Office Policies 8
Safety Plan 8
Email Policy 8
Leaves of Absence 17
Open Door Policy 8
Grievance Policy 9
Whistleblower Policy 9
Harassment Policy 12
Drug-Free Workplace Policy 13
Email Accounts and Internet Access Use Policy 15
Telephone Use Policy 16
Staff Gift Acceptance Policy 16
Travel Policy 17
Benefits of Employment 21
Personal Leave (Formerly Named Sick Leave) 11
Medical Leaves 18
Vacation Leaves 19
Family Care Leaves 19
Funeral or Bereavement Leaves 20
Jury Duty Leaves 20
Military Leaves 20
Personal Leaves 21
Insurance Benefits 21
Flexible Benefits Account 22
State or Federal Programs 22
Other Benefits 23
Closing Remarks 25
The Academic Senate for California Community Colleges
Welcome to the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (herein referred to as the Academic Senate). This Personnel Manual contains information about the employment policies and practices of the Academic Senate in effect at the time of publication.
The Academic Senate may change wages and working conditions for any employee except for employment at-will status. Employment at-will may be terminated at the will of either the employer or the employee. The Academic Senate may terminate an employee’s employment and compensation at any time, with or without cause and with or without notice.
The Academic Senate reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, terminate, or change any or all such plans, policies or procedures, in whole or part, at any time, with or without notice for all employees.
The Academic Senate's policy is to fill every position without regard to race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, physical or mental disability, age, national origin or ancestry, or any other consideration made unlawful by federal, state or local laws. The Academic Senate is an equal opportunity employer and selects employees on the basis of qualifications, including ability, experience, and training.
Employment at the Academic Senate is employment at-will. Employment at-will means that an employee may resign at any time with or without advance notice to the Academic Senate and with or without "cause." Likewise, the Academic Senate may terminate any employee at any time with or without advance notice and with or without "cause."
Only the Executive Director of the Academic Senate has the authority to make any agreement contrary to the foregoing and then only in writing with the approval of the President. No other director, manager, supervisor or representative of the Academic Senate has the authority to enter into any employment agreement for any specific period of time or to make any agreement contrary to this manual.
For payroll and benefit purposes, the Academic Senate recognizes two (2) employee classifications. Employees are hired as either an exempt (salary) employee or a non-exempt (hourly) employee.
Exempt Employees. Employees classified as exempt are ineligible for overtime pay, in accordance with State and Federal law. Generally, employees occupying full-time executive, administrative and professional positions are classified as exempt. All exempt employees receive a bimonthly salary as compensation for the services they perform. Exempt employees are expected to regularly work whatever hours are necessary to fulfill their job responsibilities and are not eligible to receive overtime pay. Exempt employees are eligible for all other employee benefits described in this manual.
Nonexempt (Hourly) Employees. Employees classified as nonexempt are eligible for overtime pay, in accordance with state and federal law. Generally, employees occupying support staff positions are classified as nonexempt. Nonexempt employees are compensated based on actual hours worked and are further classified as follows:
Regular Full-time. Regular, full-time, nonexempt employees are those who regularly work a minimum of forty (40) hours per week on a continuous basis. All regular, full-time employees are eligible for all employee benefits described in this manual.
Part-time Employees. Part-time employees are those who work less than forty (40) hours per week. Part-time employees are not eligible for benefits, including, but not limited to holiday pay or medical and dental benefits.
Temporary Employees Temporary employees are those who are employed for short-term assignments. Generally, short-term assignments will be three months or less. Temporary employees are not eligible for medical or dental benefits.
Unless there is a specific exclusion, the first three months of continuous employment at the Academic Senate, during which all employees learn their responsibilities and get acquainted with fellow employees at the Academic Senate, is considered a probationary period. During this time the employee will also have a chance to decide whether he or she is happy with the job, and the supervisor will have the opportunity to determine whether the employee is adapting to the new job at the Academic Senate.
At the close of the probationary period, the employee will receive a performance review addressing his or her strengths and weaknesses. If the probationary period is successful, the employee will be given the opportunity to establish personal goals and objectives that address the areas of concern identified by the supervisor and identify the steps necessary to improve upon those areas. The employee will also be given the opportunity to express any recommendations the employee may have to improve the efficiency of the Academic Senate.
As indicated above, employment subsequent to the probationary period remains employment at-will. The employee and the Academic Senate are free, at any
time, with or without advance notice, and with or without "cause," to end the employment relationship.
The supervisor will review the employee’s performance each year and discuss the review in private. Each employee will receive the first performance evaluation at the conclusion of the probationary period. After that review, the employee’s performance will be reviewed at least once a year, usually after the anniversary of the hire date.
Employee performance evaluations will include factors such as the quality and quantity of the work performed, the employee’s knowledge of the job, initiative, work attitude and attitude toward others. The performance evaluation is designed to help the employee become aware of the progress made and of the areas in which improvement is needed.
A personnel file will be maintained for each employee. The information recorded in the personnel file is extremely important to the employee and to the Academic Senate. It is the employee’s responsibility to make sure that the personal data in the file is accurate and up to date. The employee must immediately report any change of address, phone number, etc., to the Office Manager in writing.
Each employee of the Academic Senate has a personal right to inspect his or her personnel file, as provided by law, on the premises of the Academic Senate at a time mutually convenient for the employee and the Academic Senate.
The employee may respond to any disputed item in his or her personnel file. Any written response must be provided to the employee’s immediate supervisor or manager for inclusion in the employee’s personnel file.
It is important for the Senate Office to exhibit the highest standards of professionalism: to treat professionals with the respect of their position, and to work collaboratively and courteously with others. That principle applies both within the office setting and in regard to our contacts with outside parties. Thus, the policies and practices establishing the working conditions seek to foster a climate in which employees:
maintain an attitude of service;
demonstrate their orientation toward that service when handling requests made by supervisors and co-workers or by faculty and the public; and
demonstrate cultural sensitivity towards other staff members, members, and the public; and participate responsibly in the dynamic efforts of this organization.
The Academic Senate exists (see Title 5 Regulations) to serve our constituents, the local community college senates. We recognize that it's important to maintain a professional attitude of service to local senates in such ways as:
Cheerful voice greeting on phone and in person.
Attention to phone messages and prompt replies.
Prompt reply to requests for materials.
Prompt reply to others when answers to particular questions are not readily available.
Presentation of a professional appearance.
CODE OF CONDUCT:
Employees are expected to maintain a professional appearance, demeanor, and conduct and show proper communication and courtesy towards fellow staff members, faculty members, vendors, contractors, and consultants that work with the Academic Senate. In addition, employees are required to obey organizational directives issued by his or her supervisor or the Executive Director. A refusal to obey a supervisor's order or a lack of respect directed toward that supervisor will subject the employee to progressive discipline. Please refer to Discipline beginning on page 23.
In addition to the Employment At-Will status for all employees, the Academic Senate has the discretion to discipline or terminate employees for what it considers inappropriate behavior. Inappropriate behavior includes the following: falsification of documents, theft, dishonesty, inappropriate use of email, sexual or other forms of harassment, insubordination, and inappropriate staff communication with board members. The last item is a reminder of the unique nature of the Senate's work. The Academic Senate values the benefits of fostering close working relations among Senate staff and Executive Committee members, but occasionally there is a downside to this arrangement. It is important to remember that the Executive Director, in consultation with the President, is responsible for office operations. On occasion, an Executive Committee member might make inappropriate requests of an employee, such as requests for work or personal services or for information about the Senate operations. An employee should immediately inform his or her supervisor of any inappropriate requests received. Should the employee be uncertain whether a request is appropriate, clarification from the supervisor should be sought. Similarly, an employee should not initiate requests of Executive Committee members that are outside of the normal scope of his/her job duties unless directed to do so by his/her supervisor or Executive Director. Please note that the examples listed above are illustrative only, and that the Academic Senate has the discretion to discipline or terminate employees for what it considers inappropriate behavior.
Normal office hours at the Academic Senate are between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. The work schedule for all regular, full-time nonexempt employees is 40 working hours per week. Exempt employees are required to work whatever hours are necessary to achieve completion of their job responsibilities. Their work schedule may vary somewhat based on the necessity to allocate sufficient working hours each day to complete their assigned tasks. Deviation from the normal assigned work schedule should be communicated in advance to the Office Manager or the Executive Director so they can ensure adequate staffing will be maintained in the Senate Office. The schedule for each Academic Senate employee is set and approved by the Executive Director in conjunction with the employee's supervisor.
In accordance with state law, all employees who work more than five hours in a day are provided an unpaid lunch period. Lunch periods are generally one hour in length (30 minutes minimum) and are to be arranged to provide the office with continuous telephone and reception coverage. Employees are also allowed a 10-minute paid rest period for each four hours of work. These are typically taken in the morning and in the afternoon, and may not be substituted for what would normally be unpaid hours.
The Academic Senate observes the following paid state and federal holidays:
New Year's Day (January 1)
Martin Luther King's Birthday (third Monday in January)
Lincoln's Birthday, February 12.
Washington's Birthday (third Monday in February)
Caesar Chavez Day (March 31)
Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
Independence Day (July 4)
Labor Day (first Monday in September)
Veteran's Day (November 11)
Thanksgiving Day and the following day (fourth Thursday and Friday in November)
Christmas Week (as determined by the Executive Director)
When a holiday falls on a weekend day it is usually observed on either the proceeding Friday or the following Monday. However, the Academic Senate may close on another day or grant compensating time off instead of closing. Holiday observance decisions will be announced in advance.
To be eligible for holiday pay, the employee must be regularly scheduled to work on the day on which the holiday date observed by the Academic Senate falls and must work the scheduled working days immediately preceding and immediately
following the holiday, unless an absence on either day is approved in advance by the employee’s supervisor.
Non-exempt employees required to work on a holiday shall be compensated at the appropriate holiday pay per state requirements.
In order to assist the Academic Senate in the important record-keeping function related to timekeeping and allocation of expenditures to the appropriate funding source, employees will be required to submit a time report to the Office Manager each Monday. The time report will serve as documentation of the proportionate amount of time spent on each major Senate activity in addition to documenting overtime, sick leave, vacation, compensatory time (see page 7) and holiday hours for each employee.
PUNCTUALITY AND ATTENDANCE
All employees of the Academic Senate are expected to be punctual and in attendance regularly.
Unauthorized Leave. If an employee is unable to report for work on any particular day, he or she must call either his/her supervisor or the Executive Director; preferably prior to the time scheduled to begin working for that day, but certainly no later than 9:00 a.m. of the particular day. Absent extenuating circumstances, the employee must call in on any day the employee is scheduled to work and cannot report to work. If an employee fails to call in, the employee will be considered absent without approved leave for that day (unexcused absence) and will be ineligible for sick leave or any other paid leave.
Any unexcused absence is considered excessive. Additionally, if the employee fails to report for work without notifying either his/her supervisor or the Executive Director during the period of absence, and the employee absence continues for a period of three days, the Academic Senate will deem the employee to have abandoned his/her employment and have voluntarily terminated.
Tardiness. Nonexempt employees must contact either their supervisor or the Executive Director prior to their scheduled starting time if unable to report for work at their scheduled starting time. Absent extenuating circumstances, if an employee does not call in prior to their scheduled starting time, the employee will be considered absent without excuse for the portion of the day the employee remains absent. More than six instances of any tardiness during any 12-month period is considered excessive.
Consequences of Excessive Absences. Disciplinary action, up to and including employment termination, will commence for the overuse of personal leave (see page 18), when 56 hours (per year) of absences have been accumulated. The disciplinary action will consist of a Corrective Action Notice for the next eight hours missed, then a three-day suspension without pay for the next eight hours missed, followed by employment termination when an employee has used up any hours over 72 hours per year.
The Senate allows employees to apply for either a medical leave of absence (see page 18) or a leave in compliance with the family leave of absence (see page 19). If there is a medical necessity requiring excessive absences, the employee should apply for a leave as opposed to accumulating excessive absences.
Exempt Employee Attendance. Although the work schedule of an exempt employee will vary somewhat due to assigned responsibilities, it is anticipated that an exempt employee will maintain a normal 40-hour work schedule whenever possible. Deviation from the normal assigned work schedule should be communicated in advance to the Office Manager or the Executive Director so they can ensure the office and telephones are properly staffed at all times.
The Academic Senate provides compensation for all overtime hours worked by nonexempt employees in accordance with State and Federal law. (For further information on state and federal overtime provisions, see Industrial Welfare Commission Order No. 4-89 posted in the supply/copier room.)
PAID OVERTIME. For overtime pay calculation purposes for nonexempt employees, the workday at the Academic Senate begins at 12:01 a.m. and ends at midnight. The work week begins at 12:01 a.m. Sunday and ends at midnight the following Sunday. Prior authorization from the employee's supervisor must be obtained for any overtime. Supervisors will also notify nonexempt employees when overtime work is required.
The Academic Senate does not provide overtime pay to exempt employees.
COMPENSATORY TIME OFF. The Academic Senate grants time off with pay in lieu of overtime pay for irregular or occasional overtime work generally associated with conferences or institutes. Compensatory time off may be approved (not required) in lieu of overtime pay for irregular or occasional overtime work for Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) nonexempt employees.
Compensatory time off may also be granted as a benefit to exempt employees who attend conferences or institutes.
Compensation Bank. All employees may bank up to 40 hours of compensatory time off. One and a half hours of compensatory time off is granted for each hour of overtime worked by nonexempt employees; exempt employees who are granted compensatory time off are granted one hour compensatory time for each hour of overtime due to conferences or institutes. Unused compensatory time vests for nonexempt employees only after the three month probationary period.
Time Limits. The Academic Senate may establish time limits by which an FLSA exempt or nonexempt employee must take compensatory time off. If an FLSA nonexempt employee does not take compensatory time off within established time limits, the Senate must pay the employee for compensatory time at the employee's regular hourly rate in effect when the established time limit expired. In addition, the Senate may provide that an FLSA exempt employee who banks compensatory time off will lose entitlement to compensatory time off if it is not used within established time limits.
The Academic Senate is firmly committed to maintaining a safe and healthy working environment. All employees of the Academic Senate are expected to be safety conscious on the job at all times. All unsafe conditions or hazards should be corrected immediately. Employees should report all unsafe conditions or hazards to their supervisor or the Executive Director immediately, even if the employee believes that the problem has been corrected. If the employee suspects a concealed danger is present on the Academic Senate premises, or in a product, facility, piece of equipment, process or business practice for which the Senate is responsible, he or she should bring it to the attention of the supervisor or the Executive Director immediately. Supervisors will immediately arrange for the correction of any unsafe condition or concealed danger.
OPEN DOOR POLICY
At some time or another, an employee may have a complaint, suggestion, or question about his or her job, working conditions or the treatment he or she is receiving. The employee’s suggestions for improving the Academic Senate's operations are always welcome. Employee complaints or questions are also important to the Academic Senate. For issues other than prohibited harassment, the Senate asks the employee to take all concerns first to his or her supervisor, following these steps:
Bring the situation to the attention of the employee’s immediate supervisor, who will investigate and provide a solution or explanation.
If the problem is still not resolved, the employee may present the problem to either the Executive Director or his/her designee, who will give the employee a final answer.
All employees have a right to redress grievances. If the employee believes to have been harassed or subjected to discriminatory treatment contravening the policies outlined herein, the employee should use the following procedure to file a complaint.
In order to secure this right, the employee must first provide a written complaint to the Executive Director, unless the prohibited harassment complaint involves the Executive Director, in which case, the employee will submit the written complaint to the President. This written complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after any incident the employee feels constitutes prohibited harassment or discriminatory treatment. The complaint should include the details of the incident or incidents, the names of the individuals involved and the names of any witnesses.
Dependent upon the parties involved in the complaint, the President, the Executive Director or his/her designee will immediately undertake an effective, thorough, and objective investigation of the harassment allegations. This investigation will be completed and a determination regarding the harassment alleged will be made and communicated to the employee as soon as practical.
This policy is intended to encourage Executive Committee members, staff (paid and volunteer) and others to report suspected or actual occurrence(s) of illegal, unethical or inappropriate events (behaviors or practices) without retribution.
If an employee violates or thinks he or she has violated any legal, or serious ethical provision of the Academic Senate’s Code of Conduct, or if an employee observes, learns of, or in good faith believes it is possible that another employee has violated any such provision, that employee must immediately report the actual or suspected violation to an appropriate individual in the Academic Senate (e.g., the Office Manager or Executive Director). Reported violations of the Code of Conduct will be investigated, addressed promptly, and treated confidentially consistent with the need to investigate, prevent, or correct the violation.
To assist the Budget and Finance Committee of the Academic Senate, the Senate has established procedures for the receipt and treatment of concerns or complaints from staff members and others, including confidential, anonymous communications, regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters or perceived deficiencies in internal controls. Staff members with such complaints must report them to the persons specified in the Procedure section below. Reported violations will be investigated, addressed promptly, and treated confidentially consistent with the need to investigate, prevent, or correct the violation.
No one reporting, in good faith, an actual or suspected violation of Academic Senate’s policy or other unlawful act will be subject to retaliation of any kind. Retaliation against an individual for reporting in good faith an actual or suspected violation or for participating in an investigation of a violation is a serious act and may be subject to disciplinary action. Persons who knowingly, with intent to retaliate, take any action harmful to a person who reports such violations may also be subject to civil remedies or criminal penalties.
Procedure with Respect to Reports of Concerns about Accounting or Auditing Matters, or Internal Controls
Reporting Concerns: Any employee or other person who has a concern or complaint about questionable accounting or auditing matters or perceived deficiencies in internal controls MUST report such concern or complaint to the Executive Director. If the complaint is against the Executive Director, the report should be made to the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee. All such reports will be treated confidentially consistent with the need to investigate, prevent, or correct the violation and will carry no risk of retribution if made in good faith. Any employees who take any action in retaliation against a person who, in good faith, makes such a report will be subject to serious discipline determined by the Executive Director. Any member of the Executive Committee who takes any action in retaliation against a person who, in good faith, makes such a report will be subject to removal as determined by the officers or in the case of an officer by the remaining officers. (See the Executive Committee Policies for process for removal of an Executive Committee member.) Nevertheless, any person may, if he or she prefers, make such a report anonymously.
Oral Communications: The Executive Director, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee or employee designated above who receives an oral communication expressing a concern or complaint regarding accounting or auditing matters, or internal controls, shall promptly prepare a memorandum of such communication documenting in the memorandum the dates, times, names of individuals involved, incidents, witnesses, etc.
Written Communications: The Executive Director, Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee or employee designated above who receives an oral or written communication expressing a concern or complaint regarding accounting or auditing matters, or internal controls, including anonymous
communications, shall promptly deliver to the President (unless he/she already received it) a copy of the memorandum of such oral communication or a copy of such written communication.
Investigation: The President shall cause such investigation to be made with respect to the subject matter of each communication of a concern or complaint regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters, or internal controls, as he or she deems appropriate, and shall provide the Budget and Finance Committee with a written summary reporting the results of such investigation and any action taken or proposed to be taken. However, the President, as he or she deems appropriate, may direct further investigation to be conducted by others, such as counsel or third parties.
Budget and Finance Committee Review: The Budget and Finance Committee shall (1) review all reports of concerns or complaints regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters, or internal controls, and (2) determine what action, if any, should be taken with respect to such reports.
Maintain Records: The Executive Director shall, in such manner as shall be determined by the Chair of the Budget and Finance Committee, maintain a file of copies of the memoranda and written communications received by the Chair reporting a concern or complaint regarding questionable accounting or auditing matters, or internal controls, and a written summary reporting the results of such investigation and any action taken or proposed to be taken. Each such memorandum and communication shall be retained in such file for a period of at least five years.
State Law: The public policy of the State of California is to encourage employees to notify an appropriate government or law enforcement agency when they have reason to believe their employer is violating laws that protect corporate shareholders, investors, employees, and the general public, and to protect employees who refuse to participate in activities of an employer that would result in a violation of law.
No employer may:
Adopt or enforce any rule preventing an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency where an employee has reasonable cause to believe that information discloses a violation of, or noncompliance with, a state or federal statute, rule or regulation.
Retaliate against an employee for disclosing such information about the employer or a former employer to a government or law enforcement agency.
Retaliate against an employee for refusing to participate in an activity that would violate a state or federal statute, or cause noncompliance with a state or federal rule or regulation.
For employees of a government agency, prohibit reporting such information to his/her employer which is considered a protected disclosure to a government or law enforcement agency.
Normally, suspected violations should be reported directly to the appropriate state or local agency. In addition, the California Attorney General has established a confidential Whistleblower Hotline at (800) 952-5225 to receive calls regarding possible violations of state or federal statutes, rules or regulations, or violations of fiduciary responsibility by a corporation or limited liability company to its shareholders, investors, or employees.
The Academic Senate maintains a strict policy prohibiting sexual harassment and harassment because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, age or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law or ordinance or regulation. This policy applies to all persons involved in the operations of the Academic Senate and prohibits such harassment by any committee member or employee of the Academic Senate, including supervisors and co-workers. Prohibited harassment in any form, including verbal, physical and visual conduct, threats, demands, and retaliation will not be tolerated. Harassment because of sex, race, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, sexual orientation, age or any other protected basis includes, but is not limited to:
Verbal conduct such as epithets, derogatory comments, slurs, or unwanted sexual advances, invitations, or comments; visual conduct such as derogatory posters, photography, cartoons, drawings, or gestures; physical conduct such as assault (unwanted touching), blocking normal movement, or interfering with work directed at the employee because of his or her sex or any other protected basis; threats and demands to submit to sexual requests in order to keep his or her job or avoid some other loss, and offers of job benefits in return for sexual favors.
Retaliation for having reported or threatened to report harassment, or for participating in an investigation, proceeding or hearing conducted by the Fair Employment and Housing Commission, is prohibited. The employee may have a claim of prohibited harassment even if he or she has not lost a job or some other economic benefit. Prohibited harassment that impairs an employee’s working ability or emotional well being at work violates this policy and will not be tolerated.
Employees have a right to redress for prohibited harassment. If an employee believes he or she is being harassed on the job because of sex, race, ancestry, or other prohibited basis, the employee should use the following procedure to file a complaint and have it investigated:
In order to secure this right, provide a written complaint to the Executive Director, unless the prohibited harassment complaint involves the Executive Director, in which case, provide the written complaint to the President. This written complaint should be submitted as soon as possible after any incident the employee feels is prohibited harassment. The complaint should include the details of the incident or incidents, the names of the individuals involved and the names of any witnesses.
Dependent upon the parties involved in the complaint, the President, the Executive Director or his/her designee will immediately undertake an effective, thorough, and objective investigation of the harassment allegations. This investigation will be completed and a determination regarding the harassment alleged will be made and communicated to the employee as soon as practical.
If the assigned investigator determines that prohibited harassment has occurred, the Academic Senate will take effective remedial action commensurate with the severity of the offense. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any future harassment. Whatever action is taken against the harasser will be made known to the employee, and the Academic Senate will take appropriate action to remedy any loss to the employee resulting from harassment. The Academic Senate will not retaliate against an employee for filing a complaint, and will not knowingly permit retaliation by management employees, co-workers or Executive Committee members.
Additionally, employees have the right to submit a prohibited harassment complaint to the Academic Senate Executive Committee if prompt action has not been taken to resolve the complaint according to the procedures stated above.
The Academic Senate encourages all employees to immediately report any incidents of harassment forbidden by this policy so that complaints can be quickly and fairly resolved.
Complaints of unlawful sexual harassment can be filed with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing and/or the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. These agencies may accept, investigate and prosecute complaints. The Fair Employment and Housing Commission in appropriate cases can award damages and other remedies (such as back pay, reinstatement and/or fines). The telephone number for the Sacramento Office of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing is (916) 445-9918; other agency telephone numbers are listed in the telephone book.
DRUG-FREE WORKPLACE - STATEMENT OF COMPLIANCE
To comply with the enactment of Senate Bill 1120, which established the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1990, the Academic Senate accordingly must certify that it provides a drug-free workplace and has issued drug-free workplace statements with these provisions to employees of the Academic Senate and to every person who works on federal or state grants for the Academic Senate.
It is the policy of the Academic Senate that the workplace is free from effects of drug and alcohol abuse. This is to avoid the dangers arising from substance abuse in the workplace. These dangers include death and injury to the employee, co-workers, or the public resulting from accidents, dereliction of duty, poor judgment, and carelessness. Substance abuse also results in the loss of productivity, reduced efficiency, and increased absenteeism by the substance abuser and interferes with the job performance of other employees. This policy, which is consistent with Government Code Section 19572 and Governor's Executive Order D-58-86, states that no employee who is on duty shall (1) use, possess, or be under the influence of illegal or unauthorized drugs or other illegal mind-altering substances; or (2) use or be under the influence of alcohol to any extent that would impede the employee's ability to perform his or her duties safely and effectively. Not in Government Code or Executive Order, but required by federal and state grants is the application of items 1 and 2 above to individuals who work on such grants. Furthermore, no employee of the Senate or individual working on a federal or state grant on behalf of the Senate shall perform duties which, because of drugs taken under a legal prescription, the employee or individual cannot perform without posing a threat to the health or safety of others.
California Law also prohibits the unlawful manufacture, dispensation, possession, or illegal use of a controlled substance. That prohibition extends to all places and includes the workplace of the Academic Senate employee or individual working on Senate matters. In the event of the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession of illegal use of a controlled substance at the Academic Senate workplace or function by any such person, the Academic Senate may take disciplinary action according to the contract and require the satisfactory completion of a drug abuse assistance or rehabilitation program. In addition, the Academic Senate will terminate the employee’s participation on all grants that require such action. The Academic Senate does not provide for any counseling, rehabilitation, or employee assistance for substance or alcohol abuse.
Employees of the Academic Senate or individuals working on Senate grants convicted of a violation of a criminal drug statute when the violation occurred at the workplace of the Academic Senate shall report this violation to the Executive Director or President in writing within five working days of the conviction.
It is the intent of the Academic Senate that each employee of the Senate and all individuals working on Senate grants abide by the terms of this drug-free workplace statement.
E-Mail Accounts and Internet Access Use Policy
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the use by employees of the computer hardware and software, email accounts, and Internet access
provided by the Senate to improve the performance of their duties and to support their continuing education and professional development.
Use of computer hardware and software
Only software that has been approved by the Executive Director and for which the Senate holds appropriate license or other rights to use may be installed on the Senate’s computers.
All employees shall use third party software in accordance with the rights licensed to the Academic Senate by the software vendor. No employee shall make, permit, or authorize any other person to make any unauthorized copies of any software under any circumstances.
The primary use of the Senate’s computer hardware and software should be for work related purposes. Employees may make limited personal use of these resources, so long as the amount of usage does not interfere with the performance of their duties.
Because the computers and software are Senate resources, the Senate reserves the right and may exercise such right to inspect or monitor all computer usage and files. Employees should be aware that there is no right of privacy in any file created or stored using Senate computer equipment or software.
Any employee who determines that there may be a misuse of software should notify the Executive Director.
Use of Email and Internet Access
The Senate furnishes email accounts and Internet access to its employees as communication and research tools to assist them in their work. The primary use of these tools should be for work-related purposes. Because employee email accounts and Internet access are a Senate resource, the Senate reserves the right and may exercise such right to monitor all email and Internet messages and use. Employees should be aware that there is no right to privacy in any message sent or received through a Senate email account or in Internet use through personal accounts.
Employees may make limited personal use of their email accounts and Internet access, so long as such use does not interfere with the performance of duties, and the use is otherwise consistent with this policy. Use of email accounts for non-Academic Senate business or personal fundraising or profit-making activities is not permitted.
Employee usage of email accounts and Internet access should comply with all applicable laws, whether local, state, or federal, including (without limitations) laws prohibiting improper distribution of copyrighted materials, harassment or disparagement of others, access to obscene works, or improper or unauthorized access to computer networks.
When using their accounts, employees should take reasonable precautions to avoid introducing computer viruses or causing other disruptions to computer system security and performance. No employee shall intentionally compromise or attempt to compromise the security, integrity or performance of the computer hardware and network used by the Senate.
Any employee receiving a request for disclosure of email or Internet messages by subpoena or otherwise, shall refer such requests to the Executive Director for appropriate handling.
Violations of this policy shall be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge. Abuse of email accounts or Internet access may result in the loss of the account. Any illegal activity involving the Senate’s Internet resources or email accounts shall result in immediate termination.
Telephone Use Policy
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the use by employees of the telephones. The primary purpose of the telephone system is to communicate with Senate member districts and colleges. Employees may use the phones to take and receive personal calls. However, the number and length of personal calls should not be excessive or otherwise disturb the workflow of the office. Personal long distance phone calls should not be made from the Academic Senate phones unless the employee charges the call to a calling card or receives the expressed approval of the Office Manager or Executive Director.
Employees should be cognizant of the work environment in which they are placing or receiving personal phone calls. Abusive or otherwise unacceptable language shall not be used in the Senate Office at any time, even during a personal phone call.
Staff Gift Acceptance Policy
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines on gift acceptance; clearly define what activities and behaviors are acceptable; and to provide guidance to employees on how to report gifts received.
No employee of the Academic Senate shall derive any personal profit or gain, directly or indirectly, by reason of his or her decisions or activities while employed by Senate. All gifts received—including social invitations, lunches, hotel stays, or other gifts—must be reported to the Executive Director. Academic Senate employees are not encouraged to solicit gifts from vendors but this does not mean an employee is not allowed to accept an occasional lunch or small gift from a vendor, event organizer or sponsor, it just means the employee should report these to the Executive Director. This will allow the Executive Director to determine what an acceptable gift is and how such gifts will be distributed.
All transactions with a vendor, sponsor, event organizer or member organization, regardless of amount or value, shall be disclosed either verbally or in a written statement to the Executive Director as soon as possible and, in all cases, no later than the date of the action. In the case of violations of this policy, including non-disclosure or non-allowed personal benefit, the Executive Director shall undertake appropriate disciplinary action. The Executive Director, at his/her discretion and where possible, may also terminate all contracts, agreements and arrangements with the related organization, vendor or sponsor.
The purpose of this policy is to establish guidelines for the use by Senate staff for travel on Academic Senate business.
Department of Labor (DOL) considerations are as follows:
The Portal-to-Portal Act specifically excludes from compensatory time, all time that is spent “walking, riding or traveling to and from the actual place of performance of the principal activity” of an employee and time spent in “activities which are preliminary or postliminary” to the principal activity. Travel time at the beginning or end of the workday, therefore, is not compensable. The DOL does not count as working time overnight travel that occurs outside of regular working hours as a passenger in a vehicle where the employee is free to relax. In the event of out-of-town travel, the DOL specifically permits the employer to exclude the travel time between the employee’s home and the “common carrier” entity (i.e., airport) as “home-to-work” travel time. The DOL regulations provide that travel time is compensable work time when it occurs during the employee’s regular working hours, whether the employee actually performs work or not. This is because the employee is simply substituting travel for other work duties.
Assigned travel during an employee's regular working hours on work days is counted as time worked. Travel time between home and the work place is not time worked. Travel that keeps an employee away from home overnight and that occurs outside the employee's normal working hours is not considered as hours of work. For example, if an employee must stay overnight to work on behalf of the Academic Senate at fall session, the employee is not eligible for compensation for the entire time spent out of town, only the time actually working during Session. Travel time paid for travel outside the employee’s normal working hours will be compensated at half time. If the travel is overnight and done outside work hours, the travel time is not compensable.
If an employee is offered the option of public transportation but chooses to drive, the employer may count as hours worked the lesser of either the time spent driving or the time that would have had to be counted if public transportation had been taken. If the employer has arranged travel to and from the event but the employee chooses to travel separately, the employee will not be granted travel time, nor will the employee be reimbursed for the cost of travel or mileage.
LEAVES OF ABSENCE
The Academic Senate may grant leaves of absence to employees in certain circumstances. It is important for an employee to request any leave in writing as far in advance as possible, to keep in touch with his/her supervisor or the Executive Director during his/her leave, and to give prompt notice if there is any change in the return date.
If the leave expires and the employee has not contacted his/her supervisor or the Executive Director, it will be assumed that the employee does not plan to return and has voluntarily terminated his or her employment. If the employee is unwilling to return or does not have a reasonable explanation for his/her inability to return to work at the conclusion of any leave, the employee will be terminated.
A leave of absence can affect medical benefit plan coverage. Ask the Executive Director for information.
An employee on an unpaid leave of absence is responsible for the entire cost of medical, life, dental or vision insurance premiums during the leave of absence, except for approved medical and family care leaves of absence.
A. PERSONAL LEAVE (FORMERLY NAMED SICK LEAVE)
Personal leave is a form of insurance accumulated in order to provide employees with a cushion for personal appointments or incapacitation due to illness. It can be used for personal appointments or sick leave to recover from illness or off the-job injury or to provide required or necessary medical care of an employee’s immediate family defined as the employee’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, or other dependent relative residing in the employee’s household.
Paid Personal Leave. The Academic Senate offers paid personal leave to regular, full-time employees exempt and nonexempt; accrual begins upon completion of the probationary period.
Regular, full-time employees accrue paid personal leave at a rate of 8 hours leave per month for a maximum 40 hours per year. Accrual occurs on the second pay period of the month. Accrued leave may be carried over but is not compensated upon termination/resignation.
If an employee is absent due to illness, medical evidence of illness and/or medical certification of fitness to return to work satisfactory to the Academic Senate may be required before leave pay will be granted. If there is reason to believe that leave pay has been misused, personal leave pay may not be awarded. All personal leave pay is based upon current salary.
Employees on unpaid leave do not accrue personal leave.
B. MEDICAL LEAVES OF ABSENCE
A medical leave of absence may be granted for non-work-related, temporary medical disabilities for up to four months with a doctor's written certificate that the employee is temporarily disabled and that the medical leave of absence is medically necessary for the requesting employee’s health. Requests for leave should be made in writing as far in advance as possible. Only the Executive Director may grant a medical leave of absence.
If an employee is granted a medical leave, the Academic Senate will pay him or her for accrued and unused sick leave hours. The employee may also use any accrued and unused compensation time and vacation leave hours.
Any employee granted a medical leave of absence pursuant to this policy will continue to participate in employer-provided benefits except accumulation of vacation and sick leave hours and paid holidays during the approved leave of absence period.
A medical leave begins on the first day the doctor certifies an employee is unable to work, and ends when the doctor certifies the employee is able to return to work or after a total of four months of leave, whichever occurs first Medical leave beyond four months will be re-evaluated by the Executive Director.
Regular, full-time employees
Full-time employees, exempt and nonexempt, other than the Executive Director, are given vacations scheduled in accordance with the following policy:
Regular, full-time employees in their first and second years of continuous employment at the Academic Senate begin to accrue vacation time at the rate of 8 hours per month worked for a maximum of 40 per year. Accrual occurs on the second pay period of the month.
In the third and fourth years of continuous employment, regular, full-time employees will accrue vacation time at the rate of 10 hours per month for a maximum of 120 per year.
Employees on unpaid or medical leave do not accrue vacation time.
Part-time employees do not accrue vacation time.
Temporary employees do not earn paid vacation.
The Academic Senate requires employees to take annual leave due to them. Employees must have vacation requests approved by their supervisor in writing and in advance of taking vacation time off. Vacations shall be scheduled so as to provide adequate coverage of duties and staff requirements. The Executive Director will also approve all vacation requests and make the final determination in this regard.
D. FAMILY CARE LEAVE
The Academic Senate provides family care leaves of absence. A family care leave of absence is an unpaid leave of absence for any of the following reasons: the birth of a child of the employee; placement of a child with the employee in connection with the adoption of the child by the employee; serious illness of a child, parent or spouse of the employee. A family care leave may not exceed a total of four months in a 24-month period from the day the leave commenced; however, the four-month period may be reduced under certain circumstances.
Any full-time regular employee who is continuously employed for more than one year and is eligible for other benefits may request a family care leave. To request a family care leave, a written request must be submitted to the employee’s supervisor. The request must state the reason for the leave and be accompanied by proof of the birth or adoption of a child or certification by the health care provider for the family member requiring care.
A request for family leave may only be approved by the Executive Director. Family care leave may be denied in certain circumstances.
All existing accrued and unused compensation time and vacation must be used prior to commencement (inclusive of the four-month period) of a family care leave. Additionally, employees may request that accrued and unused personal leave be utilized during family care leave.
Any employee granted family care leave pursuant to this policy will continue to be entitled to participate in employer-provided benefits to the same extent and under the same conditions as applied to employees on approved medical leaves of absence. Employees returning to work from an approved family care leave on or before the expiration date of the leave will be placed in the position in which they served immediately prior to the leave or a comparable position. Please consult the Executive Director for complete information regarding family care leave and coordination of family care leave with other employee benefits.
E. FUNERAL OR BEREAVEMENT LEAVE OF ABSENCE
In the event of the death of the employee’s current spouse, child, parent, step-parents, legal guardian, brother, sister, grandparent, grandchild or mother-, father-, sister-, brother-, son-, or daughter-in-law, with the approval of the Executive Director, the employee may take up to three consecutive scheduled work days off with pay for a local funeral or five days off with pay, if the funeral is out-of-state. The Executive Director may approve additional unpaid time off.
F. JURY DUTY
The Academic Senate encourages employees to serve on jury duty when called. The Academic Senate will pay nonexempt employees normal wages for the equivalent of 30 working days (240 hours) for time taken off from normal working hours for jury duty responsibilities per year.
G. MILITARY LEAVE OF ABSENCE
If a full-time employee leaves the Academic Senate for active military service, the employee is considered as being on a military service leave of absence. Full details regarding reinstatement eligibility are available from the Executive Director.
If the employee is ordered on military duty of seventeen days or less per year, the employee will not be placed on military service leave but will be given an excused absence without pay.
H. PERSONAL LEAVE OF ABSENCE
A personal leave of absence without pay may be granted at the discretion of the Executive Director. Requests for personal leave should be limited to unusual circumstances requiring an absence of longer than two weeks (i. e., more than ten working days). Only the Executive Director may grant a personal leave of absence.
Approved personal absences of shorter duration are not normally treated as leaves, but rather as excused absences without pay.
It is understood that an employee will not obtain other employment or apply for unemployment insurance while on a leave of absence, unless approved in advance of the leave by the Executive Director. Acceptance of other employment while on leave not approved in advance by the Executive Director will be treated as a voluntary resignation from employment with the Academic Senate.
BENEFITS OF EMPLOYMENT
Administration of Benefits. The Academic Senate or its designated benefit administrators administer all of the employee benefit programs at the Academic Senate. The Academic Senate reserves to itself and its administrators the exclusive authority and discretion to determine all issues of eligibility and all questions of interpretation and administration of each benefit program.
Benefit Conditions. In the event of any increase in insurance premium rates, all employees may be required to contribute to the cost of increased premiums to retain coverage.
Employees on unpaid leave of absence are responsible for the entire premiums to continue any medical, life, dental or vision insurance coverage during the leave of absence, except for approved medical and family care leaves of absence.
A. INSURANCE BENEFITS
Medical Insurance. All regular, full-time employees are eligible for medical insurance for themselves. The Academic Senate pays the premium up to the current level charged for Kaiser through CalPers. An employee becomes eligible after the completion of the employee’s probationary period, in accordance with the Academic Senate's medical insurance carrier's probationary requirements.
Dental Insurance. Pursuant to the Academic Senate's existing dental insurance plan, all regular, full-time employees, exempt and nonexempt, are eligible for dental insurance for themselves. The employee becomes eligible at the completion of the probationary period, in accordance with the Academic Senate's medical insurance carrier's probationary requirements.