North Pacific Yearly Meeting

of the Religious Society of Friends (QUAKERS)

Personnel Policies

PERSONNEL POLICY AND PROCEDURE GUIDELINES

 

Revised: April 2016

 

Approved: July 13, 2016

 

I. Personnel Committee

 

The Personnel Committee consists of the Presiding Clerk, Clerk of Coordinating Committee & Associate Clerk of Coordinating Committee. The Associate Clerk of Coordinating Committee Clerks the Personnel Committee.

The Personnel Committee is responsible for:

1. Overseeing the hiring, evaluation and termination of NPYM staff. Personnel Committee may serve as the complete search and hiring committee or work with a standing committee if that committee will be supervising the person hired.

2. Working with Coordinating Committee and/or supervising committees to establish job descriptions.

3. Developing and implementing personnel policies that are consistent with Faith and Practice and with a reasonable understanding of applicable employment law. Substantive changes will be brought to the NPYM Coordinating Committee for approval.

4. Recommending salary and benefit revisions for approval by Coordinating Committee.

5. Conducting performance evaluations for employees or working with supervising standing committees to make sure that the Committees complete appropriate evaluations.

6. Implementing and overseeing the employee grievance process.

7. Maintaining personnel records which are current and in good order, including Policy & Procedure Guidelines, job descriptions, coverage plans for employee absences, minutes of Committee meetings, employment agreements and performance evaluations.  

8. Archiving records as appropriate.

9. Administering employment agreements for the good of all concerned.

10. Notifying Coordinating Committee of significant employment issues when they arise.

II. Definitions

A permanent benefited employee is a staff member who regularly works more than ten hours per week. Such employees are eligible for pro-rated benefits.

A permanent non-benefited employee is a staff member who regularly works ten hours or less per week and is therefore not eligible for benefits.

A casual employee is one who performs temporary or intermittent services for the Meeting. Such employees are not eligible for benefits.

An independent contractor is a person or company who provides regular services for the Meeting on a contractual basis.

A supervising committee is a standing committee of the Yearly Meeting having oversight of at least part of the working time of one or more staff members hired to carry out programs within that committee's area of responsibility. The clerk of each supervising committee serves as the supervisor of the staff person(s) who carry out that committee's programs.

In collaboration with the Personnel Committee, a supervising committee:

1. Establishes and keeps current a job description for any staff position under its supervision;

2. Provides one or more members to the hiring committee when such a position is vacant;

3. Participates in periodic performance evaluations of employees under its supervision;

4. Provides and periodically reviews a coverage plan for their share of an employee's responsibilities in the event of absence.

The following officers/committees serve as supervisors for Meeting staff:

  • Associate Coordinating Committee Clerk: NPYM Secretary

  • Youth Committee: Annual Session Children’s Program Coordinator

A hiring committee is a committee formed to fill a vacant staff position. It may be comprised of the Personnel Committee or an ad hoc committee made up of members of the appropriate supervising committee(s) and members of Personnel Committee.

III. Procedure for Filling Vacant Positions

When a Yearly Meeting staff position becomes vacant, the supervising committees and the Personnel Committee will collaborate to fill the position. Either the Personnel Committee or the supervising committee will advertise the position, set a timeline for the hiring process. Personnel Committee and the supervising committees will work together to update the job description. The clerk of the Personnel Committee and the clerk or other designated member of the supervising committees will appoint a hiring committee.

Advertisements for vacant NPYM staff positions should appear in Friends Journal and Western Friend. Other NPYM groups should be notified of the opening. Positions may be advertised in other ways when it is appropriate to do so.

A cover letter and/or resume are the standard requirements from applicants for staff positions. A supervising or hiring committee may request other application materials.

The hiring committee will review resumes and select candidates for interviews. After conducting interviews and checking references, the hiring committee has authority to select and hire the new staff member. The hiring committee will also notify applicants who were not selected. The Personnel Committee representative on the hiring committee has special responsibility to see that the terms of the employment agreement are in accord with current Yearly Meeting policy and budget, and to acquaint the new staff member with the Meeting's personnel policy.

IV. Compensation Policies

Salary rates are set with collaboration of Personnel Committee, supervising committee and Finance and Legal Committee.

Yearly Meeting employees are expected to receive an evaluation at 6 months following initial hiring and then annually thereafter. Evaluations are to be performed by the supervising committee. Evaluations are best done in the late winter, early spring time frame with any recommendations for pay increases presented at the Spring Coordinating Committee meeting. This allows Finance and Legal committee along with the Treasurer to have figures to use in planning the proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Pay raises may be cost of living and/or merit increases.

Employees will provide time sheets and expense reports to their supervisor in a timely fashion. The supervisor will inspect those reports and either request corrections or approve and forward to the Yearly Meeting bookkeeper and NPYM Treasurer. Employees will be paid once per month.

V. Time when employee is unavailable for service

When employees intend to be unavailable for five consecutive days or less, they need to inform their supervisor.  

For more than five days, employees should notify their supervisor at least two weeks in advance. The supervisor should then notify others who might be affected and, if appropriate have a notice of the absence noted in the appropriate place on the NPYM website. The employee should take responsibility to put an “out of office” notification on their e-mail account specifying the “unavailable” time and time of return.

.

VI. Supervision and Evaluations

Ongoing, regular communication between employees and their supervisor is expected. The frequency and method of communication can be worked out between the supervisor and employee. Regular communication is the best tool for a supervisor to discern that work is being completed accurately and on time. It is also the best way for the employee to bring up concerns or clear up misunderstandings in a timely manner.

New employees will be more evaluated after a probationary period of six months, and annually thereafter. Evaluations may utilize evaluation forms created by either Personnel Committee or the supervising committee. Evaluations may also include telephone or in-person conversations. Employees should be given adequate notice of when the evaluation will be performed.

A paid employee or independent contractor will not be asked to evaluate another paid employee, although they may give or be asked to give input to the process.

Following the evaluation meeting, the forms and a summary prepared by the convener noting commendations for good performance and areas of deficiency that need working on will be shared and discussed with the employee and placed in his or her permanent file.

If the employee does not agree with the report, mutually agreed upon changes will be written into the report or, if there are substantive differences, a meeting for all present at the evaluation will be held to come to resolution on the final employee report.  

VII. Interpersonal Conflict

An employee who has a disagreement or conflict with a colleague or other member of the NPYM community is encouraged to talk directly with the other person.  If those in conflict are not able to resolve their differences, the employee is encouraged to ask their supervisor or Personnel Committee clerk for assistance in mediating the dispute.  Should a good-faith mediation not lead to compromise or joint solution, the Personnel Committee clerk, in consultation with Clerk of Coordinating Committee when appropriate, will recommend a resolution that serves the Yearly Meeting's good functioning.  Should the conflict remained unresolved; the employee may ask to meet with the Personnel Committee as described in the Grievance Procedure.  Either party may request a clearness committee, as described below.

VIII. Grievance Procedure

NPYM is committed to providing the best possible working conditions for its employees. Part of this commitment is encouraging an open and frank atmosphere in which any problem, complaint, suggestion, or question receives a timely response from supervisors and or Personnel Committee.

An employee having a grievance should first try to work out a solution with the person(s) directly involved. If this does not lead to resolution, the individuals involved are asked to meet with the clerk of the Personnel Committee, whose role is to assist them in resolving the dispute, themselves. If further help is needed, those involved may meet with the entire Personnel Committee. In preparation for this meeting, the grievance should be documented to assure that everyone has a clear understanding of the issues, and copies of the documentation shared with all those involved. Minutes of the meeting should reflect a general sense of the problem and its resolution. These meetings and minutes are confidential.

A clearness committee is also an option at any point in the resolution process. The standing Ministry and Oversight Committee may be called upon for advice and/or arrangements.

IX. Sexual and Unlawful Harassment

Friends' testimony on equality of all persons commits NPYM to providing a work environment free of harassment for its employees, and applicants for employment. NPYM also recognizes that some forms of sexual harassment as well as harassment based on race, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, or other protected categories constitute discrimination that is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. NPYM wishes to support all persons involved throughout the process of addressing harassment complaints.

Definitions:

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual or gender-based behavior including sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or inappropriate verbal, written, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect on unreasonably interfering with work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment; and/or

  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is made a term or condition of employment or advancement, or is used as a basis for any decision affecting an individual's work within or on behalf of the organization.

Examples of inappropriate conduct might include:

  • Coercing sexual favors or submission to sexual demands by threatening or carrying out measures that would adversely affect an employee's career, salary, or work environment;

  • Making reprisals or threats of reprisals following a negative response to sexual advances or conduct;

  • Promising or providing employment benefits (such as promotions, or more favorable performance evaluations, recommendations, or assignments) in exchange for sexual favors;

  • Making unwelcome or inappropriate written or spoken communications (such as suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations, or sexually explicit or lewd proposals, including jokes or comments).

  • Unwelcome or inappropriate visual or graphic displays or gestures or physical movements, with explicit sexual content or meaning (such as crude leering, ogling or displays of sexually oriented or demeaning pictures, cartoons or posters);

  • Unwelcome pressuring an employee for dates; and

  • Unwelcome or inappropriate touching, pinching, restricting the movement of, or brushing the body of another person.

When an individual expresses specific discomfort with an action or communication, it is “unwelcome” to that individual.  Harassment based on other protected categories includes, without limitation, verbal harassment (epithets, derogatory statements, slurs), physical harassment (assault, physical interference with normal work), visual harassment (posters, cartoons, drawings) and innuendo. 

Complaint Procedures:

Employees who believe themselves to be victims of harassment should take immediate action so that the situation will not persist. If a complaint concerns a member of Personnel Committee (CC Clerk, Associate CC Clerk, Presiding Clerk) then substitute "clerk of the standing Ministry and Oversight Committee" in the following procedures wherever the Personnel Committee has a role in hearing or resolving the complaint.

  1. Where it is comfortable to do so, a complainant should communicate to the person who has offended that the behavior is objectionable and offensive and ask the person to stop.

  2. A complainant should at all times feel free to consult with the supervisor, Clerk of Personnel Committee, Coordinating Committee Clerk, or Presiding Clerk for an explanation of this grievance procedure and NPYM's harassment policy.  Persons contacted are encouraged to discuss the consultation with the Clerk of the standing Ministry and Oversight Committee.

  3. Complaints relating to harassment should be in writing, including as much detail as possible, and should be filed with the Personnel Committee.

  4. NPYM will conduct a prompt, full, and impartial investigation of any complaint.

  5. All employees should act responsibly and truthfully in making allegations, responding to allegations, and providing information in an investigation.

  6. In the event it is determined that an act of harassment in violation of this policy has been committed, the Yearly Meeting may take disciplinary action, up to and including termination for employees who have engaged in harassment. The NPYM Harassment Policy provides the following actions that may be taken against a group member who has engaged in harassment:

  • Ask the harasser to acknowledge and stop the offending behavior;

  • Require the harasser to stay away and/or not communicate with the person who experienced the harassment.

  • Require the harasser to leave the event, and/or

  • Refuse to accept the harasser at future Yearly Meeting events.

  1. All actions taken under this policy by the Personnel Committee or Ministry and Oversight Committee are the final decisions of NPYM.

X. Discipline

North Pacific Yearly Meeting’s employees are expected to maintain high standards of personal conduct, integrity, and performance. It is the responsibility of all supervisors/supervising committees to ensure that all the employees they supervise understand and live up to these high standards.

NPYM recognizes that most employees only need to be properly trained and to be informed of the rules in order to be positive productive employees. However, there are times when supervisors must use the disciplinary process in order to get the employee’s attention and to attain the desired result. It is the responsibility of the supervisor to ensure his/her employees have been properly trained and informed prior to issuing disciplinary action.

Discipline can be both positive and negative. Positive discipline is achieved when individuals hold themselves to high standards of conduct and responsibility because they accept and value those standards. High standards can also be achieved when supervisors act to support employees with good guidance and/or training if necessary.

Maintaining discipline in organizations where all employees have a high level of commitment is easy. However, supervisors need to take positive actions to establish such a positive environment. Setting the example and effective communications can help the supervisor to establish a work environment where employees internalize the standards we seek.

The second side of discipline is correction of misconduct. In correcting individual instances of misconduct, it is important that if a penalty is necessary that it be the minimum necessary to bring about the desired change. All penalties must be consistent with the facts and circumstances surrounding the misconduct. Addressing issues of misconduct are the most challenging and difficult aspects of supervision. Dealing effectively with disciplinary problems requires a good understanding of the discipline process and skill in handling a variety of human relations problems. Supervisors who are troubled/concerned by disciplinary procedures are encouraged to consult with Ministry and Oversight Committee.

North Pacific Yearly Meeting will follow a process of progressive discipline that offers steps for the employee to improve conduct/behavior found to be unacceptable by a supervisor. Any behaviors or non-performance of required duties that have been identified in annual reviews but have not seen positive change need addressing. Discipline for these behaviors typically follows the following steps:

  • Coaching/counseling the employee about the issue. Failure to perform duties or follow a job description can result for any number of reasons. The first task of a supervisor is to determine what those reasons might be. The primary action likely will be questioning the employee about their awareness of their responsibilities but may also involve checking with other members of the NPYM community with which the employee works. Addressing deficits may be as easy as pointing out expectations or coaching the employee through ways to accomplish goals. If there are barriers that prevent the employee from completing assigned tasks; this is a good opportunity to explore if there are accommodations that can be made to achieve completion of the goal by using other methods, timing or reassignment in ways that both get the work of the Yearly Meeting accomplished and allow the employee to continue working.

  • Verbal warnings. If unacceptable behavior continues to occur despite attempts to instruct the employee or provide acceptable accommodation then the employee should be warned verbally that changes in their performance are expected. A timeline for the expected behavior change should be specified and followed up on by the supervisor. Personnel Committee should be informed of the warning and a written record of the warning preserved. It is important for the supervisor to have a sense of the “seriousness” of the unacceptable behavior. Minor offenses may continue to receive verbal warnings and attempts to coach the employee towards modifying the behavior. More serious behavior; like those that affect the ability of the Yearly Meeting to function effectively require stronger action and the employee should be told at the time of the verbal warning that the result of continuation of the behavior can lead to probation.

  • Probation. When verbal warnings fail to correct unacceptable behavior it may be necessary for the employee to be put on probation. Probation should be a written document with a specified amount of time in which the employee is expected to modify specific behavior. Probation should be a joint decision of the supervisor and the Personnel Committee. The supervisor needs to understand that probation is also a time for increased contact with the employee to monitor/observe behavior. The employee needs to be warned that failure during the probationary period will result in termination.

  • Termination. Failure to follow the guidance and direction of the supervisor/Personnel Committee after efforts to educate, train and/or warn the employee will lead to the termination of the employee. See section XI Separation/Termination Process.

XI. Separation/Termination Process

Any employee intending to leave a Yearly Meeting staff position should give at least 30 days notice to his/her supervising committee.

If the Yearly Meeting wishes to terminate an employee, the clerk of the Personnel Committee will confer with the Personnel Committee and supervising committee to specify the reasons for termination. These reasons will then be written out and discussed with the employee. The employee will be advised of the grievance process and given the opportunity to utilize this process, after which the supervising committee and Personnel Committee will make a decision in joint session.

Termination timing will be determined in accordance with these policies by the clerk of the Personnel Committee in consultation with the clerk of the supervising committee. The Coordinating Committee Clerk will inform the Yearly Meeting of the termination.

Reasons for immediate termination:

  • Verbal, physical or sexual harassment or abuse.

  • Violence or threatened violence

  • Falsification of personnel, payroll or expense reimbursement records.

  • Theft or misappropriation of funds

  • Insubordination. The deliberate refusal to carry out one’s duties.

  • Unauthorized release of confidential records