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Employee Handbook

Welcome!

Welcome to our team! I am pleased to have you working with us. You were selected for employment due to the attributes that you displayed that appear to match the qualities we look for in a team member. I’m looking forward to seeing you grow and develop into an outstanding employee that exhibits a high level of care, concern, and compassion for others. I hope that you will find your work to be rewarding, challenging, and meaningful.

The keys to your success are being dependable and reliable, showing openness, following through, attentiveness, supervision, documentation, and following our policies and procedures. In doing these things, you will be successful and so will our clinic. Your professional growth is of utmost importance to me personally, because if you are growing our clients will grow as well. Know that I am committed to your development and that my door is always open.

Please take your time and review this handbook so that you know what is expected for you to make a positive contribution. If you ever have any concerns or questions about our policies and procedures, we encourage you to speak with the Practice Manager or me for more information. We want to make our time together a positive work experience for all.

Again, I look forward to seeing you grow as a professional while enhancing the lives of the clients entrusted to your care.
Sincerely,

Dr. Bethany Holman BVSc
Owner, Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic

About this handbook

This Employee Handbook contains information about current Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic (CTVC) employment policies and procedures, and we ask that you read it carefully because it is a valuable reference for understanding your job and rules and benefits that are available to you. As you become more familiar with your job, you may notice that not all policies and procedures are set forth in this Handbook. No handbook or manual can include all policies of a business in detail, and we have not tried to do so here. Instead, we have summarized some of the more important policies, and those that are listed in this Handbook are designed and intended to provide you with a general understanding of what types of conduct we expect. 

Mission Statement

Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic is the only locally owned and operated veterinary clinic in the town of Prineville. Our focus is small animal care. We strive to create a welcoming and supportive environment where our clients feel like family and their pets are treated with the utmost care and attention. We believe in working collaboratively with our clients to develop individualized treatment plans that meet the unique needs of their pets and their families. Our mission is to be a trusted and reliable partner in the care of our clients' beloved pets, and to contribute to the health and happiness of our community as a whole.

Policies May Change in the Future

This Handbook applies to all employees regardless of position, and it supersedes any previously issued personnel materials, manuals or inconsistent policy statements. We continuously review our benefits and policies, and we may make changes from time to time. This Handbook is not intended to be (nor should it be considered by you to be) an employment contract or a guarantee of specific treatment in any given situation. We reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to revise, delete, add, and make exceptions to the policies described in this Handbook without prior notice to you and without your consent. Abiding by these policies is a condition of your employment.

At-Will Employment

This Handbook does not guarantee employment for any specific length of time. Although we hope our employment relationship with you will be long term, employees are employed “at will,” which means either we or you can end the relationship at any time, with or without notice, and with or without reason, to the extent allowed by law. Except for a valid collective bargaining agreement, no one except Dr. Holman has the authority to enter into a contract of employment that changes or alters the “at will” employment relationship with CTVC, and such change would only be effective if in writing and signed by the Owner. When in doubt, ask for more information

This Handbook is NOT your only source of information on employment related issues. Although this Handbook will likely be the best place to start in finding answers to questions you may have, from time to time you may have a question that it does not answer. In those situations, you should talk with the Practice Manager or Owner.


NOTE: Nothing in this Handbook is intended to unlawfully restrict an employee’s right to engage in concerted protected activity for the purposes of their mutual aid and/or protection, and CTVC will not interpret, apply or enforce these policies in a manner that interferes with, restrains or coerces employees in violation of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act.

Client Relations

External Clients

Without our Clients, their animals and hospital vendors, we could not exist. Every employee represents the Hospital to current and potential clients and the public. The way we do our jobs presents an image of our entire organization. Clients judge all of us by how they and their animals are treated with each employee contact. Therefore, our first business priority is to assist any Client or potential Client. Always be courteous, friendly, helpful and prompt in the attention you give to Clients.

Our personal contact with the public, our Clients and their animals, our manners on the telephone, and the communications we send to clients are a reflection not only of ourselves, but also of the entire Hospital. Positive Client relations not only enhance the perception or image of the Hospital, but also pay off in greater Client satisfaction, opportunities for new client referrals, profit and job security. 

 

Crooked Tails prohibits employees from working for clients outside the scope of regular business by providing veterinary/technical services on their own time. If a client requests professional care, it must be scheduled through the front office and employee time billed through the business office. 

Internal Client 

The hospital believes in harmonious working relationships. The hospital needs your help in making each workday enjoyable and rewarding. Your first responsibility is to know your duties and to perform them promptly, accurately and pleasantly. You are, of course, expected to cooperate with management and your fellow employees and to maintain a good team attitude.


General Employment Policies

Open Door Policy

Anytime people work together, dissatisfactions and misunderstandings may occur. Someone may feel that he/she/they has not been treated fairly or believes that a mistake has been made in the administration of a benefit or rule.

If there is anything about your job that is bothering you, let’s get it out in the open and talk about it. Discuss it frankly with us and we’ll do everything we can to help you “iron it out.” You can be sure that your complaint will be handled in an open and fair manner. Steps that you may take in resolving a concern are:

  1. First, take up the issue with your immediate supervisor. Most difficulties can be resolved in this step.
  2. If there still is any confusion or question, you may take the concern to the Office Manager or Owner. 

We want to hear from you on any subject. You do not have to have a concern to be heard. As a member of our team, we want you to have every opportunity to discuss your concerns or ideas freely, and for you to feel that you are being treated fairly. Your relationship with the Hospital will not be jeopardized as a result of using these procedures in good faith. Our sincere desire is to maintain open channels of communication that will promote a harmonious and productive work environment.

Employee Classifications

Full-Time Employees: employees who are regularly scheduled to work at least 32 hours per week. Full-Time employees are those who are not in a temporary status and who are regularly scheduled to work CTVC ’s full-time schedule. Regular full-time employees normally are scheduled to work 32 to 40 hours per week. They are eligible to participate in the Hospital’s benefit package, subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of each benefit program.

Part-Time Employees: employees who are regularly scheduled to work less than 32 hours per week. Employees are those who are not assigned to a temporary status and who are regularly scheduled to work fewer than 32 hours per week. Regular part-time employees may be eligible to participate in some Hospital’s benefits, subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of each benefit program.

Temporary Employees: Temporary employees are employees hired for a short period of time, usually for a specific purpose, at the end of which the employee may be laid off or considered for a full-time or part-time position in the sole discretion of the Clinic. Temporary employees are not eligible for fringe benefits except when required by law. 

Introductory Employees: Every employee, whether full or part-time, is considered an introductory Employee during the first 90 days of employment. The introductory period is helpful to determine whether the employee’s skills, attitude and experience are a good fit for the position. During this period, the employee’s performance is subject to closer and more frequent scrutiny. Employment is “at-will” both during and after the completion of the Introductory Period

Employee and Personnel Information

Dr. Holman or Tracy the Practice Manager manages and coordinates access to CTVC's employee records and personnel files. Please report all changes of address, telephone number, or family status (such as births, marriage, death, divorce, or legal separation) to the Practice Manager or Dr. Holman at your earliest opportunity so that CTVC can keep your personnel records up to date. These changes may affect your income tax and group benefits.

Personnel Records & Files

The Owner and Practice Manager may have access to your personnel file during the term of your employment. Your personnel file includes information relating to the terms and conditions of your employment and the performance of your job duties. Medical records are considered confidential and are not kept as part of your regular personnel file.

 Instead, they are maintained separately in a secure manner to ensure that access is restricted to the Practice Manager and only those people who may have a need to know to task you appropriately in the event of restrictions or a request for accommodation. If you have a medical condition that could require emergency medical care (e.g., a life-threatening allergy or seizures), please notify the Practice Manager immediately. The Practice Manager can answer any questions you may have about what and how employment records are maintained. Former employees who wish to receive a copy of their personnel file must request the copy in writing. 

Within 45 days after receiving such a request, CTVC will provide a certified copy of the personnel file to the former employee or designated representative. CTVC may charge reasonable copying costs.

Employee Personnel Files

This includes changes in address, name, marital status, and number of dependents,

telephone number, or anything else you feel the hospital should know. Your personnel file is a consolidation of information throughout your employment with the hospital. It is treated in a highly confidential manner, and only authorized people are permitted to review it.

Employee File Access

Employee files are maintained by Dr. Holman and Tracy Lancaster and are considered confidential. Supervisors and other personnel may access personnel file information only on a need-to-know basis.

A manager or supervisor considering the hire of a former employee or the transfer of a current employee may be granted access to the file or limited parts of it in accordance with anti-discrimination laws.

Personnel files are to be reviewed only in CTVC, without exception. Managers and supervisors may not take personnel files outside of the Office.

Representatives of government or law enforcement agencies, in the course of their duties, may be allowed access to file information. Such a decision would be made at the discretion of Tracy Lancaster or the practice owner in response to the employee's request or a valid subpoena or court order.

Personnel file access by current employees and former employees, on request, will be

made in accordance with state law.

Release of Employee Information

CTVC maintains strict confidentiality of employee records. However, operating requirements of the practice may necessitate the disclosure of some employee information. Employee information may be disclosed to external organizations under circumstances such as the following:

  • Garnishments/Levies/Support Orders - Upon receipt of a properly authorized request to release information or initiate deductions from employee pay, CTVC will release salary/wage information and begin deductions from pay.

  • Lenders/Credit Organizations - Upon receipt of an authorized request that includes the employee's signature, the veterinary practice will release information. CTVC will not respond to any telephone requests for information.

  • Prospective Employers - The veterinary practice will provide information for reference purposes, which will be limited to job title(s) held, dates of employment, earnings at job termination, and whether the employee is eligible for rehire with the practice.

Employment Applications

CTVC relies on the accuracy of information contained in the employment applications it receives, as well as the accuracy of other data provided throughout the hiring process and during an employee’s employment. This includes the information we may receive when we check your references and work history. If CTVC determines either before or after you are hired that you made misrepresentations, falsifications, or material omissions in any of the information or data you provided, you may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination.

Prior to making an offer of employment, the CTVC may conduct a job-related background check on applicants. The background check may consist of prior employment verification, reference checks, education confirmation, criminal background, and other information as permitted by law. CTVC will not obtain any information from the background check that bears on the employee’s Creditworthiness, credit standing or credit history. All offers of employment and continued employment are contingent upon satisfactory results of the background check. Applicants will be notified of the need to conduct such background checks prior to the background check being conducted.

Immigration Law Compliance Actions

The Hospital is committed to employing only United States citizens and aliens who are authorized to work in the United States. We do not discriminate on the basis of citizenship or national origin.

In compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, each new employee, as a condition of employment, must complete the Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 and present documentation establishing identity and employment eligibility. If you, at any time, cannot verify your right to work in the United States, the Hospital may be obliged to terminate your employment 

Former employees who are rehired must also complete the form if they have not completed an I-9 with the Hospital within the past three (3) years, or if their previous I-9 is no longer retained or valid. Recertification will also be required when work authorization documents expire.

Employees with questions, or seeking more information on immigration law issues, are encouraged to contact management. Employees may raise questions or complaints about immigration law compliance without fear of reprisal.

Workplace Expectations

Confidentiality and Hospital Records

Our clients and other parties with whom we do business entrust CTVC with important information relating to the pets and animals in their care. It is our policy that all information considered confidential will not be disclosed to external parties or to employees without a need to know. Employees who have a question about whether certain information is considered confidential should first check with their immediate supervisor.

The practice management software and the records contained within, although online, are not to be accessed by employees, other than veterinarians or management, outside of CTVC. This also applies to the Google Calendar schedule. No changes are to be made to the Calendar, other than by veterinarians, outside of the Clinic. Any breach of client confidentiality will not be tolerated. All client records, including medical records, radiographs, and financial information, are confidential and the legal property of the hospital.

This policy is intended to alert employees to the need for discretion at all times and isnot intended to inhibit normal business communications.

Medical records are legal documents. All appropriate information—including medical and financial data and notes recording pertinent client conversations—must be documented legally to provide a comprehensive record. Deletions or changes to a written record may only be made with a single line through the word or sentence to be changed.

Equal Opportunity Employment

To provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at CTVC are not based on color, race, creed, sex, religion, national origin, age, citizenship, veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law.

CTVC will make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with known disabilities, unless doing so would result in an undue hardship. This policy will govern all aspects of employment.

Equal employment is not only a legal commitment, it is a moral commitment as well. If you have questions or concerns about any type of discrimination in the workplace, you are encouraged to bring these questions or issues to the attention of Dr. Holman or Tracy Lancaster. The hospital will investigate and attempt to resolve the matter. Employees can raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal. Anyone found to be engaging in any type of unlawful discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. 

Harassment

Sexual and other types of harassment is illegal under federal, state and local laws, including without limitation the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines and other federal, state and local laws. 

Sexual harassment

Is defined under the law as unwelcome. This includes sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct or of sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual, or
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. 

Sexual harassment may also be comprised of a range of subtle and not so subtle behaviors involving individuals of the same or opposite sex. Behaviors that may cause or contribute to a sexually harassing work environment include, but are not limited to:

  • Unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors
  • Unwelcome sexual jokes and innuendos
  • Verbal abuse of a sexual nature
  • Unwelcome commentary about an individual’s body
  • Sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies
  • Unwanted touching
  • Insulting or obscene comments or gestures
  • Display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures
  • Or other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

Affirmative Actions

CTVC also adopts a policy on affirmative action. In accordance with applicable federal, state and local law, CTVC is committed to ensuring that its hiring decisions are made from an applicant pool, which reflects the diversity of the communities represented and served by the Hospital. To the extent required by law, CTVC will take affirmative steps to promote the inclusion of women, minorities, disabled individuals, Veterans, disabled veterans and any other acknowledged group in its applicant pool. In addition, the Hospital is committed to encouraging the full and equal participation of such persons in all aspects and levels of the hospital. 

Conflict of Interest

Employees must avoid any relationship or activity that might impair, or even appear to impair, their ability to make objective and fair decisions when performing their jobs. At times, an employee may be faced with situations in which business actions taken on behalf of CTVC may conflict with the employee’s own personal interests. Practice property, information, or business opportunities may not be used for personal gain.

Conflicts of interest could arise in the following circumstances:

  • Being employed by or acting as a consultant to a competitor or potential competitor, supplier or contractor, regardless of the nature of the employment, while employed with Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic. 
  • Hiring or supervising family members or closely related persons.
  • Serving as a board member for an outside commercial veterinary practice or organization in direct competition with the practice.
  • Owning or having a substantial interest in a competitor, supplier, or contractor.
  • Accepting gifts, discounts, favors, or services from a current or potential client, competitor, or supplier unless they are shared or equally available to all practice employees.
  • Employees with a conflict-of-interest question should seek advice from Dr. Holman.
  • Before engaging in any activity, transaction, or relationship that might give rise to a

conflict of interest, employees must seek review from their supervisor or Dr. Holman

Relatives and Personal Relationships

The Hospital recognizes that close personal relationships may exist in the workplace. These relationships may include, but are not limited to, consensual relationships and immediate family members. Such relationships cannot be tolerated when they adversely affect the workplace causing unnecessary tension, strain, favoritism, or other morale problems.

Examples of what may be considered an adverse effect include, but not limited to:

  • A personal relationship between a supervisor and a subordinate; or
  • Unreasonably interfering with work performance or ability to conduct oneself in a professional or business-like manner;

    or
  • Unreasonably interfering or affecting the work environment of other employees;

    or
  • Creating a conflict of interest; or
  • Situations that could potentially result in a claim of unlawful discrimination, harassment or retaliation.

A relative is defined as any person who is related by blood or marriage. A dating relationship is defined as a relationship that may be reasonably expected to lead to the formation of a consensual "romantic" relationship. This policy applies to employees without regard to the gender or sexual orientation of the individuals involved.

Unless approved by The Owner in advance, relatives of current employees may not occupy a position that will involve working directly for or supervising their relatives. Individuals involved in a dating relationship with a current employee may also not occupy a position that will involve working directly for or supervising the employee with whom they are involved in a dating relationship.

If a relative relationship or dating relationship is established after employment, it is the responsibility and obligation of the employee to disclose the relationship to the immediate manager in writing, who must then disclose the existence of the relationship to The Owner. CTVC will make employment decisions as necessary to avoid an adverse effect on the Hospital, its employees, its working environment or its Clients. Such action may include the transfer or termination of an employee. 

Sometimes a Client would like to date an employee or Doctor, and sometimes it is the other way around. From whichever direction it comes, it could present problems for the Hospital. This includes flirting in ANY fashion. We are here to provide professional service to our clients. If such a situation presents itself, it is the responsibility of the employee to discuss the situation with the Practice Manager and/or Owner. The most appropriate method of dealing with the situation must then be determined to insure the Hospital is not compromised in any way.

In cases where a conflict, or the potential for conflict, arises because of the relationship between employees, even if there is no line of authority or reporting involved, the employees may be separated by reassignment or terminated from employment if deemed appropriate by management.

Outside Employment

Activities and conduct away from the job must not compete or conflict with or compromise the hospital’s interests or adversely affect job performance and the ability to fulfill all job responsibilities. Employees are prohibited from performing any services for clients on non-working time that are normally performed by CTVC. This prohibition also extends to the unauthorized use of any veterinary practice tools or equipment and the unauthorized use or application of any confidential information. In addition, employees are not to solicit or conduct any outside business during paid working time.

Employees are cautioned to carefully consider the demands that additional work activity will be created before accepting outside employment. Outside employment will not be considered an excuse for poor job performance, absenteeism, tardiness, leaving early, refusal to travel, or refusal to work overtime or different hours. If CTVC determines that an employee’s outside work interferes with performance, the employee may be asked to terminate the outside employment or face disciplinary actions for the issue with their performance.

Non-solicitation Policy

Solicitation includes, but is not limited to, approaching someone in-person or through

employer-owned property such as computers or e-mail systems for any of the

following purposes:

  • Offering anything for sale;
  • Asking for donations;
  • Collecting funds or pledges;
  • Seeking to promote, encourage or discourage participation in or support for any organization, activity, event or membership in any organization; or
  • Distributing or delivering membership cards or applications for any organization.

Distribution includes, but is not limited to, disseminating or delivering in person or through employer owned property such as bulletin boards, computers or e-mail systems any literature or other materials including circulars, notices, papers, leaflets or other printed, written or electronic matter. [Note: distributing or delivering membership cards or applications for any organization is considered solicitation and not distribution.

Working time includes any time in which either the person doing the solicitation (or distribution) or the person being solicited (or to whom non-business literature is being distributed) is engaged in or required to be performing work tasks. Working time excludes times when employees are not engaged in performing work tasks, including break periods and meal times.

Working areas include areas controlled by the Hospital where employees are performing work, break rooms and parking lots.

Discipline Employees who violate any provision of this policy may be subject to discipline, up to and including termination of employment.

Conflict Resolution

Our practice recognizes that there is potential for conflict to arise between team members. Conflict is not always harmful for a wide variety of reasons and may take many forms. If handled appropriately, conflict can provide a basis for positive change within the practice.

All team members are responsible for identifying and resolving conflicts; however, when the individuals involved cannot resolve the issue, then the procedure will be to discuss the issue with Tracy Lancaster or Dr. Holman. Grievances between all personnel should be handled quickly and professionally with a moderator as needed.

Interpersonal negative comments are not permitted and will result in written reprimand or termination if issues remain unresolved after using the proper channels of communication to provide a quick, effective, and consistent method for nonsupervisory employees to present their concerns to management and have those concerns resolved internally.

Attendance and Punctuality

If you are unable to work for any reason, please notify Dr. Holman or Tracy Lancaster by telephone or in person as early as possible before starting time. A recorded message or unanswered text message alone is insufficient. 

Regular attendance and punctuality by team members are important elements in our efforts to maintain a high level of patient and client care. Reassigning team members or revising schedules to accommodate absences/tardiness puts a burden on all team members; however, we recognize that team members occasionally become ill and need to miss work or be late. Please inform us as soon as possible.

Not reporting to work and not calling to report the absence is a no-call/no-show and is a serious matter. The first instance of a no-call/no-show will result in a final written warning. A second separate offense may result in termination of employment with no preliminary disciplinary steps. Any no-call/no-show lasting more than 1 day is considered job abandonment and will result in immediate termination of employment.

Management may consider extenuating circumstances when determining discipline for a no-call/no-show (for instance, if the employee is in a serious accident and hospitalized). Management reserves the right to use its discretion in applying this policy under special or unique circumstances.

Attire and Grooming

Workplace attire and grooming must be neat, clean, and appropriate for the work and the setting in which it is being performed. Natural and artificial scents may also become a distraction from a well-functioning workplace and are subject to this policy. Supervisors should clearly communicate their departments' workplace attire and grooming guidelines to team members during the orientation and evaluation periods. Any questions about the guidelines for attire should be discussed with the immediate supervisor. Team members must wear their name tag at all times while at work.

CTVC strives to maintain a workplace environment that is well functioning and free from unnecessary distractions and annoyances. As part of that effort, the practice requires employees to maintain a neat and clean appearance that is appropriate for the workplace setting and for the work being performed. To that end, CTVC Team leaders or Dr. Holman may determine and enforce guidelines for workplace-appropriate attire and grooming for their areas; guidelines may limit natural or artificial scents that could be distracting or annoying to others.

At its discretion, the practice may allow team members to wear an altered uniform, such as during unusually hot or cold weather or for special occasions, or to dress in a more casual fashion than is normally required. On these occasions, employees are still expected to present a neat appearance and are not permitted to wear ripped, frayed, or disheveled clothing; athletic wear; or tight, revealing, or otherwise inappropriate clothing. 

Any team member who does not meet the attire or grooming standards set by the practice will be required to take corrective action, such as leaving the premises to change clothing. Hourly paid team members will not be compensated for any work time missed because of failure to comply with designated workplace standards.

If a team member's poor hygiene or use of too much perfume/cologne is an issue, the supervisor should discuss the problem with the team member in private and point out

the specific areas to be corrected. If the problem persists, supervisors should follow the normal corrective action process.

CTVC recognizes the importance of individually held religious beliefs to persons within its workforce. Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic will reasonably accommodate a team member's religious beliefs in terms of workplace attire unless the accommodation creates an undue hardship.

Accommodation of religious beliefs in terms of attire may be difficult in light of safety issues for the particular employee as well as co-workers. Team members requesting a workplace attire accommodation based on religious beliefs should speak with their supervisor or Dr. Holman.

Hospital employees will wear the proper uniform for their respective positions:

  • Technicians: Scrub top; scrub pants; and closed-toe, OSHA-approved shoes
  • Receptionists: Scrub top and scrub pants; and closed-toe, OSHA-approved shoes
  • Assistants: Scrub top; scrub pants; and closed-toe, OSHA-approved shoes

Within a veterinary practice environment, jewelry can be damaged and can also be a danger to both you and our patients. Therefore, jewelry must be kept to a minimum.

Jewelry and Tattoos

All team members should exercise sound business judgment with regard to personal appearance, dress, and grooming to enable them to be most effective in the performance of their duties. The practice recognizes, however, that personal appearance is an important element of self-expression. CTVC wishes to make no effort to control or dictate employee appearance, specifically with regard to jewelry or tattoos unless they conflict with an employee's ability to perform effectively in the position they hold or the specific work environment they are in.

Factors used to determine whether jewelry and tattoos pose a conflict with the job or work environment will include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Safety of self or others
  • Productivity or performance of tasks
  • Perceived offense on the basis of race, sex, religion, etc.
  • Client complaints
  • Safety requirements of the facility

If a potential conflict is identified, the employee will be encouraged to identify appropriate solutions such as removing excess jewelry, covering tattoos, or transferring to an alternative position.

Supervisors and managers will be responsible for answering questions and resolving issues related to this policy on a case-by-case basis to ensure that unique circumstances are appropriately considered. An environment of cooperation is the practice's goal.

Fragrance Sensitivity

No perfume or cologne is to be worn at any time. Many people and animals are sensitive or allergic to some fragrances. Animals may react negatively to strong scents, as these can inhibit the animal's ability to sense natural odors. In order to ensure a safe and comfortable work environment, we ask that you refrain from using any strongly scented products in the workplace.

Electronic Communication and Internet Use

Cellular Phones

Personal cellular phones are not to be used while at work—this includes texting and phone calls. Phones brought into the practice are to be on silent and kept stored away and not on your person to avoid disturbing patients and team members. Phones may be used on breaks and at lunch.

Computer, E-mail, and Internet Usage

Employees should not have the expectation of privacy in anything they create, store, send, or receive on the computer system. The computer system belongs to CTVC and may be used only for business purposes.

Employees are not to access the Internet for personal use. Internet access is provided at each terminal to enable employees to gather information relevant to veterinary medicine. In our technological age, Internet access keeps us up to date, and it has to be used properly by employees or access will be denied. Accessing pornographic or hate sites will be grounds for immediate dismissal. Material that is fraudulent, harassing, embarrassing, sexually explicit, profane, obscene, intimidating, or defamatory; is otherwise unlawful, inappropriate, or offensive (including material concerning sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, or other characteristics protected by law); or violates CTVC's equal employment opportunity policy and its policies against sexual or other harassment may not be downloaded from the Internet or displayed or stored in CTVC’s computers.

Employees encountering or receiving this kind of material should immediately report the incident to their supervisor.

The email system is the private information system of CTVC. and should not be accessed on privately owned computers or devices. Individuals using this system expressly consent to their activities being monitored. Personal email, Facebook pages and other social media should be checked on personal time. Anything transmitted by, received from, or stored in the email system is the property of CTVC, and employees should have no expectation of privacy in the connection with the use of email or the Internet or the electronic transmission, receipt, or storage of information. Violation of this policy shall result in appropriate disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

CTVC, in its discretion as owner of the email system, reserves and may exercise the right to monitor, access, retrieve, and delete any matter stored in, created or received by, or sent over the email system, for any reason and without the permission of any employee. Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic intends to enforce this policy but reserves the right to change it at any time as circumstances may require.

Blogging and Social Networking Policies and Guidelines

In general, the hospital views personal websites, social networks, and blogs positively and respects the right of employees to use them as a medium of self-expression. If you choose to identify yourself as an employee of CTVC or wish to discuss matters related to our business on your website or blog or other social network, please bear in mind that although you and we view your website or blog as a personal project and a medium of personal expression, some readers may nonetheless view you as a de facto spokesperson for the hospital. In light of this possibility, we ask that you observe the following guidelines:

  • Blogging and social networking are forms of public communication. Your public communication concerning CTVC must not violate any guidelines set forth in the employee policy manual, whether or not you specifically mention your employee status.

  • Include a disclaimer. Please make it clear to your readers that the views you express are yours alone and that they do not necessarily reflect the views of CTVC. To help reduce the potential for confusion, we would appreciate it if you post the following or a similar notice in a reasonably prominent place on your site (e.g., at the bottom of your “About Me” page): The views expressed on this website/weblog are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

  • Respect confidentiality. Be careful to avoid disclosing any information that is confidential or proprietary to the hospital or to any third party that has disclosed information to us. This also includes client confidentiality and any information about clients and their pets, including pictures. Consult the hospital's confidentiality policy for guidance about what constitutes confidential information.

  • CTVC prohibits social networking activities during work hours. This policy is intended to address off-duty social networking.

  • The practice logo is the property of Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the owner. None of the hospital's identifiable marks may be included within social media.

  • Be respectful. Your site or blog is a public space. It should not become a vehicle for personal attacks on the veterinary practice or its services, executives, supervisors, co-workers, competitors, clients, or others.

  • Bloggers and commenters are personally responsible for their commentary on blogs and social networking sites. Bloggers and commenters can be held personally liable for commentary that is considered defamatory, obscene, proprietary, or libelous by any offended party, not just Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic.

  • Employees cannot use employer-owned equipment, including computers, veterinary practice-licensed software or other electronic equipment, facilities, or veterinary practice time to conduct personal blogging or social networking activities.

  • You may not post any material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful, or embarrassing to another person or entity. This includes comments regarding Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic or its employees, owners, management, or competitors.

  • Take care to follow the hospital's policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment.

If you have any questions about these guidelines or any matter related to your site that these guidelines do not address, please direct them to Tracy Lancaster or Dr. Holman.

State of Social Media

The practice has no position on an employee's decision to start or maintain social networking activities. However, it is the right and duty of the practice to protect itself from unauthorized disclosure of information. Blogging or other forms of social media or technology include but are not limited to video, website, or social media postings; sites such as Facebook and Twitter; chat rooms; and personal blogs or similar forms of online journals, diaries, or personal newsletters not affiliated with the Practice.

Unless specifically instructed, employees are not authorized to speak on behalf of the practice and are therefore restricted from doing so. Employees may not publicly discuss clients, pets, services, team members, or any work-related matters—whether confidential or not—outside of practice-authorized communications. Employees are expected to protect the privacy of the practice and its employees and clients and are prohibited from disclosing personal employee and non-employee information and any other proprietary and nonpublic information to which employees have access. Such information includes, but is not limited to, client/pet information, trade secrets, financial materials, medical records and pet pictures.

CTVC realizes that social media, professional networking sites, instant messaging communications, blogs, and personal websites are all useful technologies. Every employee has an opportunity to express and communicate online in many ways and CTVC encourages having an online presence. Above all else, everyone needs to use good judgment about what material makes its way online.

The policy will set forth guidelines that employees should follow for all online communications in reference to CTVC.

Responsibility

Any material presented online in reference to CTVC by any employee is the responsibility of the poster. We encourage employees to allow themselves to be identifiable in order to establish credibility above all else. Along with being clearly identifiable, employees must state that any opinion is theirs individually and not a form of official communication from CTVC.

Reporting Violations

The practice strongly urges employees to report any actual, possible, or perceived violations to supervisors, managers, or the practice owner. Violations include derogatory discussions of CTVC and its employees and/or clients, any discussion of proprietary information, and any unlawful activity related to blogging or social networking.

Discipline for Violations

CTVC investigates and responds to all reports of violations of the social networking policy and related policies. Violation of the veterinary practice social networking policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including immediate job termination. Discipline or termination will be determined based on the nature and factors of any blog or social networking post. CTVC reserves the right to take legal action where necessary against employees who engage in prohibited or unlawful conduct.

Topic matter guidelines

CTVC employees are encouraged to use the following guidelines in social networking practices:

  • Be relevant to your area of expertise.
  • Do not be anonymous.
  • Maintain professionalism, honesty, and respect.
  • Apply a good-judgment test for every activity related to CTVC —could you be guilty of leaking information, client data, or upcoming announcements? Does your post include negative commentary regarding Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic?

Activity showing good judgment would include statements of fact about CTVC and its products and services, news that is already public, and information on the CTVC website. If any employee becomes aware of social networking activity that would be deemed distasteful or fails the good-judgment test, please contact Dr. Holman.

Inaccurate or Defamatory Content

Employees who participate in online communication deemed not to be in the best interest of  CTVC will be subject to disciplinary action. This online communication can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Veterinary practice information or data leakage
  • Inaccurate, distasteful, or defamatory commentary about the hospital

Disciplinary action may include termination or other intervention deemed appropriate by Dr. Holman.

Off-Limits Material

The following items are deemed off-limits for social networking:

  • Intellectual Property or Client Data: CTVC intellectual property and client data are strictly forbidden from any online discourse except through mechanisms managed internally by Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic communications.
  • Online Recommendations: For reasons of veterinary practice liability, some sites, such as LinkedIn, allow members to recommend current or former co-workers. CTVC forbids employees to participate in employee recommendations. All communications of this type should be referred to Dr. Holman for verification.
  • Financial Information: Any online communication regarding the hospital's financial data is strictly forbidden except through mechanisms managed internally by Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic Communications.
  • Veterinary Practice Sensitive Matters: Any online communication regarding proprietary information not intended for unplanned public announcement or discussion, such as strategic decisions, is forbidden.

Social Media – Acceptable Use

Below are guidelines for social media use. See full policy for details. Post only appropriate and respectful content.

Maintain the confidentiality of the practice's trade secrets and private or confidential information. Trade secrets may include information regarding the development of systems, processes, products, know-how, and technology. Do not post internal reports, policies, procedures, or other internal business-related confidential communications.

Do not create a link from your blog, website or other social networking site to the practice's website without identifying yourself as a practice team member/ Associate.

Express only your personal opinions. Never represent yourself as a spokesperson for the practice. If your employer is a subject of the content you are creating, be clear and open about the fact that you are an associate and that your views do not represent those of CTVC, fellow associates, members, clients, suppliers, or people working on behalf of the practice. 

If you do publish a blog or post online related to the work you do or subjects associated with the practice, make it clear that you are not speaking on behalf of the practice. It is best to include a disclaimer such as the following: “The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of CTVC.”

CTVC may monitor content out on the Internet. Policy violations may result in discipline up to and including termination of employment.

Right to Monitor

All veterinary practice-supplied technology and veterinary practice-related work records belong to the veterinary practice and not to the employee. CTVC routinely monitors use of veterinary practice-supplied technology. Inappropriate or illegal use or communications may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

CTVC prohibits employee possession or use of personal cameras in the workplace, including camera phones, as a preventive step necessary to secure employee privacy, trade secrets and other business information. However, CTVC reserves the right to install security cameras in work areas for specific business reasons, such as maintaining safety, guarding proprietary information, or protecting property from theft.

Restrictions on Employee Camera Use

Employees are prohibited from taking pictures of or otherwise recording patients, staff or activities in the hospital without prior consent from the owners of the animals and/or Dr. Holman. 

Hospital Monitoring

  1. CTVC may find it necessary to monitor work areas with security cameras when there is a specific job or business-related reason to do so. CTVC will do so only after first ensuring that such actions are in compliance with state and federal laws.
  2. Employees should not expect privacy in work-related areas.
  3. Employee privacy in non-work areas will be respected to the extent possible. CTVC’s reasonable suspicion of on-site drug use, physical abuse, theft, or similar circumstances would be possible exceptions. Legal advice will be sought in advance in such rare cases where privacy must be compromised in a non-work area.
  4. Employees should contact Tracy Lancaster or Dr. Holman if they have questions about this policy.

Meetings

Team meetings give us the opportunity to discuss problems, share ideas, and collaborate on issues. Our aim is for our hospital to be successful and provide the highest quality medicine and for our team to work in a positive, team-oriented environment. These things cannot be achieved without the type of communication that takes place during our team meetings. Because these meetings are so important, attendance is mandatory.

 If you are unable to attend, you must notify your supervisor/manager prior to the meeting, and it will be your responsibility to get the information that is discussed at the meeting. These meetings are crucial for a positive, team-oriented environment and attendance is an expectation of employment; therefore, employees attending on a regular day off or before/after their scheduled shift may be compensated per the labor law.

Meetings about new products, continuing education, and general information will also be held as the need arises. The attendance requirements for these meetings are the same as for team meetings.

Telephone

The personal use of the telephone during work hours is discouraged. All incoming and outgoing personal calls are to be kept to a bare minimum. You can return calls on your personal time (such as during lunch or while you're otherwise off the clock). Personal long-distance phone calls are not to be made except in case of emergency and require the approval of Tracy Lancaster or Dr. Holman.

Parking

Parking spaces nearest the entrance to the hospital are reserved for clients.

Employees should park their cars in the parking lot behind the clinic or as designated.

Door Code and Alarm Code

Access to the hospital via an individual door code and alarm code is assigned to employees as needed for access to the hospital. It is solely the employee's responsibility to keep this information safe. It will be the employee’s responsibility if there is any other access to the building using their designated code. 

Being granted access to the hospital via a door code does not mean you are allowed free access to the hospital. You are only to access the hospital for assigned work duties. All other access must get prior approval from Dr. Holman.

Hospital Property

Employees must safeguard all hospital property. Hospital property includes, but is not limited to, all of its products, equipment, services, trademarks, patents, policies, documents, and other resources. Postage, shipping, office and veterinary supplies are for business and not for an employee's personal purposes. It is the responsibility of each employee to report any abuse, theft, or improper use of hospital property to a supervisor immediately.

All veterinary practice work space, including file cabinets and lockers, are the property of CTVC and must be available to management at all times. The use of personal locks on any veterinary practice property is strictly forbidden. No veterinary practice property may be used to house personal files or items. No veterinary practice equipment, including computers, photocopiers, or printers, may be used for personal business.

Tracy Lancaster and the practice owner reserve the right to inspect any or all hospital property such as desks, hospital lockers, files, and veterinary practice vehicles at any time.

Personal Work Area

All team members are responsible for maintaining their own desk or immediate work area, keeping it clean and orderly at all times. It is imperative that the hospital remains clean and odor-free at all times. This requires the effort of all employees.

Media

Employees are not to make statements or provide any information to be used by newspapers, television, or radio stations or any other media. Reporters requesting information should be referred to the doctor in charge or Tracy Lancaster.

Ethics

CTVC conducts its business fairly, impartially, in an ethical and proper manner, and in compliance with all laws and regulations.

CTVC is committed to conducting business with integrity underlying all relationships, including those with clients, vendors, other businesses in our community and employees. The highest standards of ethical business conduct are required of CTVC employees in the performance of their responsibilities. Employees will not engage in conduct or activity that may raise questions as to the clinic's honesty, impartiality, or reputation or may otherwise cause embarrassment to our practice. 

Employees will avoid any action, whether or not specifically prohibited in the personnel policies, that may result in or reasonably be expected to create the appearance of giving preferential treatment to any client, organization or patient. All our clients and their pets are to be treated with the highest level of care and service. Adversely affecting the confidence of the public affects the integrity of this practice.

Every employee has the responsibility to ask questions, seek guidance, report suspected violations, and express concerns regarding compliance with this policy. Retaliation against employees who use these reporting procedures to raise genuine concerns will not be tolerated.

We all deserve to work in an environment where we are treated with dignity and respect. CTVC is committed to creating such an environment because it brings out the full potential in each of us, which, in turn, contributes directly to the practice's success. We cannot afford to let anyone's talents go to waste.

CTVC is an equal employment/affirmative-action employer and is committed to providing a workplace that is free of discrimination of all types manifested by abusive, offensive or harassing behavior. Any employee who feels harassed or discriminated against should report the incident to Tracy Lancaster or Dr. Holman.

Employees and those who represent CTVC are trusted to behave responsibly and use good judgment to conserve practice resources. Managers are responsible for the resources assigned to their departments and are empowered to resolve issues concerning their proper use.

Generally, we will not use the practice's equipment such as computers, copiers, and fax machines to conduct outside business or to promote any religious, political, or other outside daily activity except for veterinary practice-requested support to nonprofit organizations. We will not solicit contributions or distribute non-work-related materials during work hours.

Integral to CTVC's success is our protection of confidential practice information as well as nonpublic information entrusted to us by employees, clients and business partners. Confidential and proprietary information includes such things as pricing and financial data, client names and addresses and nonpublic information about other companies, including current or potential vendors. We will not disclose confidential or nonpublic information without a valid business purpose and proper authorization.

Several key questions can help identify situations that may be unethical, inappropriate or illegal. Ask yourself the following:

  • Does what I am doing comply with CTVC guiding principles and practice policies?
  • Have I been asked to misrepresent information or deviate from normal

Procedure?

  • Would I feel comfortable describing my decision at a team meeting?
  • How would this look if it made the headlines or was published on the Internet?
  • Am I being loyal to my family, the practice, and myself?
  • What would I tell my child to do?
  • Is this the right thing to do?

This policy constitutes the standards of ethical business conduct required of all employees. Managers are responsible for supporting their implementation and monitoring compliance in support of the clinic owners.

Political or Public Activities and Contributions

Employees will not use or contribute veterinary practice time, funds or assets for the benefit of any political party, candidate, or official except as permitted by law and authorized in advance by the Owner. Attendance at political functions on the employee's own time or events that are widely attended by industry counterparts is acceptable and does not require approval.

Treatment of Patients

Our hospital policy is that we treat each client's pet as if it were our own. Humane treatment of animals is absolutely demanded of each employee. Any type of animal abuse will be the basis for discipline up to and including job termination.

Only veterinarians or assigned animal medical technicians are authorized to treat animals or perform/request laboratory analysis on animals, and animal medical technicians are authorized to do so only under the direction or approval of a licensed veterinarian employed by the practice.

Honesty

This hospital expects all employees to be completely honest in every respect. The removal of any hospital property from the premises is not acceptable behavior. It is expected that all employees will be aware of this and monitor themselves as well as others. It is also expected that the privacy and integrity of clients, doctors, and other team members will be respected. Any conversation, discussion or information gathered from the hospital is to remain in the hospital. Employees should convey any mistakes to their immediate supervisor as soon as possible and with honesty.  Employees should arrive on time for their shift, always demonstrate complete honesty when handling money, and use their time wisely and not waste hospital resources. Any questionable activities by co-workers should be reported to a supervisor immediately.

Gossip and disparaging remarks regarding clients or other team members will not be tolerated and may subject an employee to discipline up to and including dismissal.

Clinic Library

Hospital library materials are to be used within the clinic. Lost or damaged books and journals can be difficult, expensive, or even impossible to replace. The library needs to be accessible to all employees. Therefore, with respect and consideration, library materials should be handled carefully and returned to the shelves as soon as possible.

Client Management

Be up front about timelines and any issues with a client’s pet. If the team encounters issues related to our patient we need to communicate with them as soon as possible. The ultimate goal is to build and maintain good client relationships, so the clinic can continue to bond with clients and ensure ongoing success. 

Professional Knowledge

We encourage our team members to learn all they can about the veterinary profession. This knowledge will make them a greater asset to CTVC, its clients, and themselves. You can never know too much.

Professional Courtesy

Veterinarians should be addressed by their social title and either first or last name—for example, "Dr. Ferris"—at all times.

Advising Clients

After some on-the-job training, everyone becomes knowledgeable in giving basic advice to clients; however, don't practice without a license! Use good judgment. When uncertain, let the client know that you will relay the question to the doctor. In most circumstances, the patient will need to be seen by a doctor in order to diagnose the problem.

Team Requirements and Expectations

  1. Employees are expected to be productive during their work hours. If you feel that you have free time and need additional projects, please ask Dr. Holman or Tracy Lancaster for ideas. Personal activities during work hours are not appropriate.
  2. Due to the nature of business conducted at this facility, children of employees may not accompany their parents, agents, and/or guardians to work.
  3. There will be no moonlighting (i.e., work undertaken outside the hospital) in any occupation pertaining to animal care or services without written approval of Dr. Holman in advance.
  4. Any evidence of fraudulent activity regarding patient and/or client records will result in immediate disciplinary action up to and including job termination.
  5. In order to maintain a professional and pleasant work atmosphere, employees must refrain from using profanity at all times while in the building or on hospital/ clinic property. Use of profanities is not only disrespectful to people nearby, including other employees and clients, but it is unnecessary.
  6. Throughout your employment there may be occasions when the practice will monitor or record telephone calls and exam room techniques. These records are used for training, quality control and other business purposes.

Workplace Safety

Drug-Free Workplace

CTVC provides a safe and productive work environment for all employees. It is the policy of the practice that employees shall not be involved with the unlawful use, possession, sale, or transfer of any drugs or narcotics that may impair their ability to perform assigned duties or may otherwise adversely affect the practice's business. Further, employees shall not possess or consume alcoholic beverages in the workplace or during work time. The specific purpose of this policy is to outline the methods for maintaining a work environment free from the effects of alcohol, drug abuse, or other substances that adversely affect the mind or body. To fulfill our responsibility to provide a reliable and safe service to our patients, employees must be physically and mentally fit to perform their duties capably and efficiently.

Introduction

  1. Employees are expected to report for work and remain in condition to perform assigned duties free from the effects of alcohol and drugs.
  • Alcohol abuse, illegal drug use, and their physiological effects represent a threat to the well-being and security of employees and could cause extensive damage to the practice’s reputation and community standing.
  • Any involvement with alcohol/drugs that adversely affects the workplace or the work environment will not be tolerated.
  • Off-the-job illegal drug activity or alcohol abuse that could have an adverse effect on an employee’s job performance or jeopardize other employees’ or the public’s safety, the practice’s equipment, or CTVC’s relations with the public will not be tolerated.
  • The use of controlled drugs or alcohol during working hours is strictly prohibited.

Consequences of Alcohol/Drug Abuse

Drug Abuse

The use, sale, or personal possession (e.g., on one’s person or in a desk, locker or personal work space) of illegal drugs while on the job (including rest periods and meal periods) is a dischargeable offense and may result in criminal prosecution. Any illegal drugs found will be turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency.

Alcohol Abuse

The use or personal possession (e.g., on one’s person or in a desk or vehicle) of alcohol during work time or on practice property is a dischargeable offense.

For all employees, alcohol consumption is prohibited during the workday, including rest and meal breaks. However, there may be occasions removed from the usual work setting at which it is permissible to consume alcohol in moderation and with management approval. Employees who consume alcohol under such circumstances shall not report back to work during that workday.

Testing

Reasonable suspicion: Employees are subject to testing based on, but not limited to, supervisor observations of suspected workplace use, possession of, or impairment by drugs or alcohol. Dr. Holman and Tracy Lancaster shall be consulted before directing an employee to be tested. Team members at all levels of supervision making this decision must utilize the observation checklist to document specific observations and behaviors that create reasonable suspicion that the person is under the influence of illegal drugs and/or alcohol. If the results of the observation checklist indicate further action is justified, the manager/supervisor will confront the employee with that documentation and/or with another member of management. Under no circumstances will the employees be allowed to drive to the testing facility. A supervisor or manager must escort the employee and make arrangements for the employee to be transported home.

After an accident: Employees are subject to testing when they cause or contribute to an accident that seriously damages CTVC's equipment or property and/or results in injury to themselves, a patient, client or another employee that requires medical attention. In any of these instances, investigation and subsequent testing must take place within two hours of the incident. Under no circumstances will the employee be allowed to drive to the testing facility.

Follow-up

Employees who test positive or otherwise violate this policy are subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. Depending on the circumstances and the employee’s work history, Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic may offer an employee who violates this policy or tests positive the opportunity to return to work on a last-chance basis pursuant to agreed-upon terms, such as follow-up drug testing at times and frequencies determined by CTVC for a minimum of one year but not more than two years, or the employee’s waiving the right to contest any termination resulting from a subsequent positive test. Any employee who either does not complete the rehabilitation program or tests positive after completing it will be subject to immediate dismissal from employment.

Consequences:

Employees who refuse to cooperate in required tests or who use, possess, buy, sell, manufacture or dispense any illegal drug in violation of this policy will be dismissed. Under no circumstances will any employee who we believe is impaired, but refuses to be tested, will be allowed to drive.

The first time an employee tests positive for alcohol or illegal drug use under this policy, the employee will be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. Employees will be paid for time spent in alcohol/drug testing and then suspended pending the results of the test. After the results are received, a meeting will be scheduled to discuss them; this meeting will include the practice manager, the supervisor, and the practice owner. Should the results prove to be negative, the employees will receive back pay for the suspension time/days.

Crimes Involving Drugs:

CTVC prohibits all employees from manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, possessing, or using an illegal drug in or on Crooked Tails Veterinary Clinic premises or while conducting business for the practice. Employees are also prohibited from misusing legally prescribed or over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. Law enforcement personnel shall be notified, as appropriate, when criminal activity is suspected.

Inspections

CTVC reserves the right to inspect all portions of its premises for drugs, alcohol, or other contraband. All employees and visitors may be asked to cooperate in inspections of their persons, work areas, and property that might conceal a drug, alcohol, or other contraband. Employees who possess such contraband or refuse to cooperate in such inspections are subject to appropriate discipline up to and including dismissal.

CTVC will encourage and reasonably accommodate employees with alcohol or drug dependencies to receive treatment and/or rehabilitation. Employees desiring such assistance should request a treatment or rehabilitation leave. CTVC is not obligated, however, to continue to employ any person whose performance of essential job duties is impaired because of drug or alcohol use, nor is CTVC obligated to re-employ any person who has participated in treatment and/or rehabilitation if that person's job performance remains impaired as a result of chemical dependency. Additionally, employees who are given the opportunity to obtain treatment and/or rehabilitation but fail to overcome their dependency or problem will not automatically be given a second opportunity to seek treatment and/or rehabilitation.

This policy on treatment and rehabilitation is not intended to affect CTVC’s treatment of employees who violate the regulations as described previously. Rather, it is to recognize that rehabilitation is an option for employees who acknowledge a chemical dependency and voluntarily seek treatment to end that dependency.

Employees with questions related to drug or alcohol use in the workplace should raise their concerns with the owner or practice manager without fear of reprisal.

Workplace Bullying

CTVC defines bullying as follows: verbal, physical, or other inappropriate behavior, either direct or indirect, conducted against one or more other people at the place of work and/or in the course of employment. Such behavior violates CTVC policy, which clearly states that all employees will be treated with dignity and respect.

The purpose of this policy is to communicate to all employees, including supervisors, managers, and independent contractors, that CTVC will not under any circumstances tolerate bullying behavior. Employees found in violation of this policy will face discipline up to and including termination.

Bullying may be intentional or unintentional. However, it must be noted that where an allegation of bullying is made, the intention of the alleged bully is irrelevant and will not be given consideration when determining discipline. It is the effect of the behavior on others that is important. CTVC considers the following types of behavior as being examples of bullying:

  • Verbal abuse: Slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or their family; persistent name calling that is hurtful, insulting or humiliating; using a person as the butt of jokes; abusive and offensive remarks
  • Physical intimidation: Pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, actual or threat of physical assault, damage to a person's work area or property
  • Gestures: Nonverbal threatening physical motions, glances that convey threatening messages
  • Exclusion: Socially or physically excluding or disregarding a person in work-related activities

In addition, the following examples may constitute or contribute to evidence of bullying in the workplace:

  • Persistent singling out of one person
  • Shouting, using a raised voice at an individual publicly and/or in private
  • Using verbal or obscene gestures
  • Not allowing the person to speak or express him/herself (e.g., ignoring or interrupting)
  • Personal insults and use of offensive nicknames
  • Public humiliation in any form
  • Constant criticism on matters unrelated or minimally related to the person's job performance or description
  • Ignoring or interrupting an individual at meetings
  • Public reprimands
  • Repeatedly accusing someone of errors that cannot be documented
  • Deliberately interfering with mail or other communications
  • Spreading rumors and gossip regarding individuals by name or implication.
  • Manipulating the ability of others to do their work (e.g., over- or under loading, withholding information, assigning meaningless tasks, setting deadlines that cannot be met, giving deliberately ambiguous instructions)
  • Inflicting menial tasks not in keeping with the normal responsibilities of the job
  • Taking credit for another person's ideas
  • Refusing reasonable requests for leave in the absence of work-related reasons not to grant leave
  • Deliberately excluding or isolating an individual from work-related activities (meetings, etc.)
  • Unwanted physical contact, physical abuse, or threats of abuse to an individual or an individual's property (defacing or marking up property)

Violence in the Workplace

Prohibited Conduct

CTVC does not tolerate any type of workplace violence committed by or against employees. Employees are prohibited from making threats or engaging in violent activities. Threats, threatening conduct, or any other acts of aggression or violence in the workplace will not be tolerated. This list, while not exhaustive, provides examples of conduct that is prohibited:

  • Causing physical injury to another person
  • Making threatening remarks
  • Aggressive or hostile behavior that creates a reasonable fear of injury to another person or subjects another individual to emotional distress
  • Intentionally damaging the property of the employer or another employee
  • Possession of a weapon while on practice property or while conducting practice business.
  • Committing acts motivated by or related to sexual harassment or domestic violence

Reporting Procedures

Any potentially dangerous situations must be reported immediately to a supervisor, Tracy Lancaster or Dr. Holman. Reports or incidents warranting confidentiality will be handled appropriately, and information will be disclosed to others only on a need-to-know the basis. CTVC will take appropriate action under the circumstances.

Risk-Reduction Measures

While we do not expect employees to be skilled at identifying potentially dangerous persons, employees should exercise good judgment and inform a supervisor or Dr. Holman if any employee exhibits behavior that could be a sign of a dangerous situation. Such behavior includes the following:

  • Displaying overt signs of extreme stress, resentment, hostility, or anger
  • Making threatening remarks
  • Exhibiting sudden or significant deterioration of performance
  • Displaying irrational or inappropriate behavior

Investigation

All reports of workplace violence will be taken seriously and investigated promptly and thoroughly. In appropriate circumstances, CTVC will inform the reporting individual of the results of the investigation. To the greatest extent possible, the hospital will maintain the confidentiality of both the reporting employee and the investigation but may need to disclose results to protect individual safety. CTVC will not tolerate retaliation against any employee who reports workplace violence. If the incident could be considered of a criminal nature, the police will be contacted.

Corrective Action and Discipline

If it is determined that workplace violence has occurred, we will take appropriate corrective action and may impose appropriate discipline on the offending employee(s). The appropriate discipline will depend on the particular facts but may include written or oral warnings, probation, and reassignment of responsibilities, suspension, or termination. If the violent behavior is that of a non-employee, we will take appropriate corrective action in the attempt to ensure that such behavior is not repeated. Any criminal behavior will be communicated to legal authorities.

Weapons-Free Workplace

To ensure that CTVC maintains a safe workplace that’s free of violence for all employees, the possession or use of perilous weapons on hospital property is prohibited. A license to carry a weapon on public property does not supersede practice policy. Any employee in violation of this policy will be subject to prompt disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. All practice employees (including contract and temporary employees), visitors and clients on veterinary practice property are subject to this provision.

The term hospital property is defined as all practice-owned or leased buildings and the surrounding areas such as sidewalks, walkways, driveways, and parking lots under the practice’s ownership or control.

The term dangerous weapons includes firearms, explosives, knives, and other weapons that might be considered dangerous or could cause harm. Employees are responsible for making sure that any item they possess is not prohibited by this policy. CTVC reserves the right at any time and at its discretion to search all vehicles, packages, containers, backpacks, purses, lockers, desks, enclosures, and persons entering its property, for the purpose of determining whether any weapon has been brought onto its property or premises in violation of this policy. Employees who fail or refuse to promptly permit a search under this policy will be subject to discipline up to and including termination.

Fire

In case of a fire emergency, employees on duty are to call 911 and inform the dispatcher of the situation, including the hospital name, address, and location of the fire and that there are oxygen tanks on the premises.

Fire evacuation plans are posted in the treatment area of the hospital. If the fire is not life threatening, one individual should try to extinguish or contain the fire with the appropriate fire extinguishers while other employees move patients to a safe area in the hospital. Fire extinguishers are located in the treatment area and behind the reception desk at the bottom of the stairs. If there appears to be no safe area inside the hospital, patients should be moved outside to employees’ cars, tied to fences, or placed in crates outside.

Under no circumstances are employees to attempt to rescue animals when an evacuation is required and danger to personal safety is imminent. Only trained emergency responders shall make such rescue attempts. Employees may assist trained emergency responders by taking charge of the animals once they have been moved to a safe location. 

The safety coordinator, Tracy Lancaster, should report to emergency responders with the status of all employees present. All employees are to go to the assigned meeting place which is at the SW corner of Maple St. Tracy will get a head count and update the emergency responders may be asked to attempt the rescue of patient animals. The practice owner should be contacted as soon as possible

Tornado or Other Severe Weather Conditions

In case of severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, employees should proceed to the basement for safety. If clients are in the building, employees should also ensure their safety.

Accidents

Maintaining a safe work environment requires the continuous cooperation of all employees. The hospital encourages employees to communicate with each other and their supervisor regarding safety issues. If you experience or witness an accident in which a team member, client or visitor sustains a personal injury, immediately report the situation to your supervisor regardless of the seriousness of the injury. Employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses should inform Tracy Lancaster immediately. If an employee is injured on the job, this hospital provides coverage and protection in accordance with workers’ compensation laws. All employees will be provided care, first aid and/or emergency service, as required, for injuries or illnesses while on CTVC premises. If medical care is needed, the injury should be treated by the employee’s physician as soon as possible.

Failure to report accidents is a serious matter, as it may preclude an employee’s coverage under workers’ compensation insurance.

Hazardous Materials

This hospital feels responsible for providing its team with a safe and healthy workplace. The provision of safety equipment and information is the primary means of accomplishing this commitment. The hospital attempts to monitor all functional areas to make sure there are no hazards and that compliance with all federal, state and local health and safety codes are maintained.

During the performance of your job, you may come in contact with toxic chemicals or other hazardous materials. Each of these materials has its own properties and characteristics. Chemicals in any form can be stored, handled and used safely if their properties and characteristics are understood and proper safeguards are taken. In compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Employee Right to Know law, this hospital has all the safety data sheets (SDSs) for the materials used on the premises, as well as a list of the materials on hand. These documents contain information that describes normal day-to-day handling of chemicals as well as what to do for accidental spills or emergencies.

The hazardous-material handling plan, inventory list, and SDSs are located on the shelf at the bottom of the stairs behind the reception desk. If you wish to examine any of these documents, feel free to ask your supervisor for time to do so.

We need your help in keeping up to date. If during your daily duties you notice any chemical that is not on the inventory list in the front of the SDS book, please notify your supervisor immediately so that it may be evaluated and proper safety precautions can be implemented.

Dosimeter Badges

All employees over the age of 18 years who have duties that may put them in contact with radiograph processing will receive a dosimeter badge. Always wear your dosimeter badge when assisting with taking x-rays; the badge measures your personal exposure to scatter radiation. It should be worn on your thyroid shield or the front of your x-ray gown. If you do not have a dosimeter badge, do not assist or go near radiology while exposure is possible. These badges contain radiographic film that darkens with exposure. The film is changed quarterly and exposure levels are measured. Levels are compared to standards for maximum dosages permissible for a lifetime.

Name badges and dosimeter badges are not to leave the premises of the hospital. These badges are your responsibility, and you may be asked to pay for replacement in the event of recurring loss.

Safety Equipment

Personal protective equipment must be worn during certain clinic and/or laboratory procedures. The hospital provides all required safety equipment, including aprons, gloves, and nonprescription safety glasses. You are responsible for properly wearing the safety equipment that is provided and for reporting any damaged or unusable safety equipment to your supervisor immediately.

Safety

It is the responsibility of each employee to conduct all tasks in a safe and efficient manner complying with all local, state, and federal safety and health regulations and program standards, and with any special safety concerns for use in a particular area or with a client.

It is the responsibility of the employee to complete an incident report for each safety and health infraction that occurs by an employee or that the reporting employee witnesses. Failure to report such an infraction may result in employee disciplinary action, including dismissal.

Furthermore, management requires that every person in the practice assumes the responsibility of individual and organizational safety. Failure to follow veterinary practice safety and health guidelines or engaging in conduct that places the employee, client or hospital property at risk can lead to employee disciplinary action and/or dismissal.

The safety officer shall have the responsibility to develop, and the authority to implement, a safety and health program in the interest of a safer work environment.

Smoke-Free Workplace

It is the policy of CTVC to prohibit smoking on all practice premises in order to provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. Smoking is the “act of lighting, smoking or carrying a lighted or smoldering cigar, cigarette or pipe, electronic or of any kind”

The smoke-free workplace policy applies to: 

  • All areas of hospital buildings or within 10 feet of the buildings.
  • All vehicles owned or leased by the hospital.
  • All visitors (clients and vendors) to the practice premises. • All contractors and consultants and/or their employees working on the practice premises.
  • All employees, temporary employees, volunteers, observers and student interns.

Employees who violate the smoking policy will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including immediate discharge.

Personal Property, Internal Investigations and Searches

CTVC assumes no liability whatsoever for the damage to or loss or theft of team members’ personal property due to the actions of third parties. All storage facilities, offices, and work spaces, including desks and lockers, are the property of CTVC, which reserves the right to access these areas and such property at any time without advance notice to any employee.

Therefore, employees should not expect that such property would be treated as being private and personal to the employee. CTVC will generally try to obtain an employee’s consent before conducting a search of work areas or personal belongings, but this may not always be possible.

Likewise, electronic mail and voicemail are veterinary practice property and are to be used only for business purposes. Internet accounts are also to be used only for veterinary practice business. CTVC reserves the right to inspect, monitor, and have access to practice computers, electronic mail, voicemail messages, and Internet communications.

In order to promote the safety of employees and veterinary practice visitors as well as enhance the security of its facilities, CTVC reserves the right to conduct video surveillance of any portion of its premises at any time. Video cameras may be/are positioned in appropriate places within and around veterinary practice buildings. The only exceptions to this policy include private areas such as restrooms, showers, and dressing rooms.

All employees acknowledge that they have received a copy of CTVC’s policy on personal property and expectations of privacy by signing the employee manual. Employees have also been given the opportunity to read and ask questions about the policy.

From time to time, CTVC may conduct internal investigations pertaining to security, auditing, or other work-related matters. Employees are required to cooperate fully with and assist in these investigations if requested to do so.

Hospital Policies & Practices

Employment Classification

It is the intent of CTVC to clarify the definitions of employment classifications so that employees understand their employment status and benefit eligibility. 

This handbook is for exempt and nonexempt employees. Each employee is designated as either non-exempt or exempt from federal and state wage and hour laws. Non-exempt employees are entitled to overtime pay under the specific provisions of federal and state laws. Exempt employees receive a fixed salary designed to compensate them for all hours worked. Exempt employees therefore do not receive additional compensation for overtime work. An employee’s exempt or non-exempt classification may be changed only upon approval of Dr. Holman. The hospital requires that all employees be at least 18 years of age and provide proof. In addition to the above designation, each employee belongs to one of the following employment classification 

Full-Time Employees are those who are not in a temporary status and who are regularly scheduled to work CTVC’s full-time schedule. Full-time employees normally are scheduled to work 32 hours per week. Full-time employees are eligible to participate in the Hospital’s benefit package, subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of each benefit program.

Part-Time Employees are those who are regularly scheduled to work fewer than 32 hours per week. Part-time employees may be eligible to participate in some Hospital’s benefits, subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of each benefit program. 

Temporary Employees are those who are hired as interim replacements, interns, call-ins etc. to temporarily supplement the work force, in training or to assist in the completion of a specific project. Employment assignments in this category normally are on-call or are of a limited duration. Employment beyond any initially stated period does not in any way imply a change in employment status. Temporary employees retain that status unless and until notified of a change. While temporary employees receive legally mandated benefits such as social security and workers compensation insurance, they are ineligible to participate in CTVC’s other benefits program. 

Volunteer - can only be a volunteer under an authorized volunteer program A volunteer is an individual whose entire purpose is to observe the operations of the Hospital for a specific purpose (e.g. school project, research report, future veterinarian, etc.). A volunteer is not an employee and assumes no responsibility and receives no compensation or benefits whatsoever. Volunteers are required to fill out the volunteer release form and sign the form to release the Hospital from any liability. Volunteers must be at least 16 years of age.

Contractors- are individuals that are working at CTVC under a contract. Contractors are not employees of CTVC and are not eligible for any CTVC sponsored benefits plans. They are not considered employees of the hospital. 

Personnel Records

Your Personnel File - To help you receive proper benefits and timely notices, we keep detailed records concerning your employment. These records contain such vital data as your home address, telephone number, dependents, marital status and insurance beneficiary. So that you may take advantage of all the benefits due you and to comply with government requirements, the Hospital must keep them up to date. Therefore, it is important that you notify Dr. Holman or Tracy of any changes.

Medical benefit records will be kept confidential. CTVC maintains this information in the strictest confidence and will not use or disclose medical information about you, without you having first signed an authorization form permitting such use or disclosure. However, general group medical information may be disclosed in non-individual specific statements as required to obtain and maintain group insurance plans. 

Employment Verifications

Only Dr. Holman will respond to reference check inquiries from other employers or financial institutions. Responses to such inquiries will confirm dates of employment and last position held. Except as otherwise deemed necessary by CTVC, or as required by law, salary and all other employment data is confidential and generally will not be released without your written authorization. Any requests regarding past or present employees must be directed to management. The Hospital will provide a recommendation letter. 

Personal Information Changes

Current personal information is important and can affect timely and accurate processing of pay, tax withholding, benefits and Hospital communications. You are responsible for promptly notifying the Hospital when there are changes in your name, address, telephone number, marital status, beneficiaries, dependents and scholastic achievements.

For emergency or benefit plan purposes, you are required to notify the Hospital of family status changes within thirty (30) days of an event that causes you to acquire or lose dependents.

Employment Applications

CTVC relies upon the accuracy of information contained in the employment application, as well as the accuracy of other data presented throughout the hiring process and employment. Any misrepresentations, falsifications, or material omissions in any of this information or data may result in the exclusion of the individual from further consideration for employment or, if the person has been hired, discipline up to and including immediate termination of employment.

Employee Benefits

Benefits Overview

Eligible employees at CTVC are provided a wide range of benefits. A number of the programs, such as Social Security, workers' compensation, and unemployment insurance, cover employees in the manner prescribed by law. Benefits eligibility depends upon a variety of factors, including employee classification (as described in the employment classification section). Management can help you determine eligibility for benefit programs. Beyond welfare plans, other benefit programs may be available to eligible employees classifications as follows and outlined further in this handbook:

  • Medical and dental insurance
  • Bereavement Leave
  • COBRA
  • Paid Holidays
  • Jury Duty Leave
  • Military Leave (Leave Section)
  • PTO
  • Sick/Personal time
  • Social Security
  • Simple IRA
  • Unemployment Insurance
  • Voting Time Off
  • Witness Duty Leave
  • Worker Compensation Insurance
  • Some benefit programs require contributions from the employee, but others are partially or fully paid by the Hospital.

Holidays

After 90 days of continuous employment, full- and part-time employees will be paid for the following holidays provided the holiday falls on their regularly scheduled work day:

The Hospital will be closed for appointments normally on six (6) Holidays and are typically:

  • New Year’s Day - January 1st
  • Memorial Day - Last Monday of May
  • Independence Day - July 4th
  • Labor Day - First Monday of September
  • Thanksgiving Last - Thursday of November
  • Christmas Day - December 25th

Full-time employees will be paid holiday pay if they are normally scheduled to work on the day of the holiday. When you are on call/work a holiday and have to report to the hospital, you are paid over-time for the hours worked in addition to the regular 8 hours of holiday pay. There is no overtime paid for being on call. Paid holidays vary from year to year. If a holiday falls on a Sunday or non-workday,for whatever a worker’s normal schedule is, it is not considered a paid holiday. If an employee is not normally scheduled to work on a holiday, i.e., it falls on their weekend, they are not paid. Requesting time off around the holidays is on a rotating schedule, and must be approved before an employee can take the day off, whether paid or unpaid.

Part-time employees shall be paid based on their scheduled work hours over the past six months. For example, if a holiday lands on a Tuesday, the part-time employee’s hours worked on each Tuesday will be reviewed for the prior six months. The average number of hours worked on those Tuesdays will be calculated and that is the number of hours the part-time employee will be paid for on the Tuesday holiday. Casual employees do not receive paid holidays. If the holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday we will observe the holiday on the Friday before or the Monday after. 

Employees required to work on a paid holiday shall receive their holiday benefit and in addition will be paid for the hours worked at their usual rate of pay. If a paid holiday falls on an employee’s vacation day, the holiday credit will apply, preserving the vacation day for later use. Employees on any unpaid leave of absence will not receive holiday pay.

You may request an earned PTO to observe religious or other Holidays, or charity events. The Hospital may ask certain departments, or the whole Hospital, to take a day(s) as Holiday or time off and/or use PTO with or without pay as appropriate.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

CTVC provides a workers' compensation insurance program at no cost to you. All employees are eligible. This program covers injury or illness sustained in the course of employment that requires medical, surgical, or hospital treatment. The Hospital insurance vendor may pay you for the time lost due to a work-related accident or illness during the remainder of the normal workday in which the incident occurs. Subject to applicable legal requirements, workers' compensation insurance provides income benefits after a short waiting period or, if you are

hospitalized, immediately. It is very important that you go to the nearest medical facility in an emergency. All other cases need to be reviewed by the Hospital’s authorized carriers. If you do not follow procedures, you may incur expenses that will not be reimbursed to you.

If you sustain a work-related injury or illness, you must inform your supervisor or management immediately. If it is an extreme emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest medical facility. If it is minor, contact your Supervisor to guide you. No matter how minor an on-the-job injury may appear, it must be reported immediately. This will enable you to qualify for coverage as quickly as possible.

Neither CTVC, nor the insurance carrier, will be liable for the payment of workers' compensation benefits for injuries that occur during your voluntary participation in any off-duty recreational, social, or athletic activity sponsored by the Hospital. You will be required to keep your immediate supervisor informed of any change of status while on workers’ compensation leave or care. As requested by the Hospital, you will keep us informed per the schedule we ask you to maintain, on the status of your care and work ability.

When you return to work from a work-related illness or injury, you are required to provide the Hospital with a written authorization from the treating physician indicating you may come back to work and that you are able to perform the duties of your job fully.

Continuing Education

CTVC strongly endorses the continuing education of all its employees. Employees will be offered continuing education opportunities, funded in part or whole by CTVC bi-annually or annually, depending on length of employment. If employees wish to take advantage of opportunities not recognized by CTVC, they are encouraged to bring it to the attention of their superior for consideration.

Opportunities will be rotated among employees to ensure adequate staffing. Employees are expected to fully participate and take advantage of offered continuing education opportunities; if this benefit is abused, it can be rescinded.

Bereavement Leave

Paid bereavement leave is available to all employees. Notify the Practice Manager immediately if you need to take time off due to the death of an immediate family member. Bereavement leave will normally be granted, unless there are unusual business needs or staffing requirements.

One (1) to three (3) days of paid bereavement leave will be provided to attend the funeral of an immediate family member and related in-law relationships. Under certain circumstances, your supervisor may approve an unpaid extension to your bereavement leave. You may also request to use PTO.

With your Supervisor’s approval, you may take PTO to attend the funeral of other relatives or friends.

The Hospital defines “immediate family” as:

  • Spouse or confirmed Domestic Partners
  • Children (including step-children and your child’s spouses)
  • Parents (including your spouse’s parents or step-parents)
  • Grandparents (including your spouse’s grandparents)
  • Grandchildren (including your spouse’s grandchildren)
  • Sisters and Brothers (including your spouse’s siblings)
  • Legal Guardian

Jury Duty

CTVC encourages you to fulfill your civic responsibilities by serving jury duty when required and will comply with all Federal, State and local law requirements. All employees upon providing proper documentation will be released to do Jury Duty. This is a paid leave. The employee will keep his remuneration for serving on the jury in addition to his/her pay from CTVC. Full-time employees receive up to 8 hours pay and Part-timers receive up to 4 hours pay.

You must give a copy of the jury duty summons to the Practice Manager or Dr. Holman, immediately so that the arrangements can be made to accommodate your absence. Of course, you are expected to report for work whenever the court schedule permits. Either CTVC or you may request an excuse from jury duty if, in the Hospital’s judgment, your absence would create serious operational difficulties.

Witness Duty

CTVC encourages you to appear in court for witness duty when subpoenaed to do so. If you have been subpoenaed or otherwise requested to testify as a witness by the Hospital, you will be able to miss work and can utilize your PTO to receive regular pay for the entire period of witness duty.

If you are subpoenaed as a witness at the request of a party other than the Hospital, you may use available PTO, or request a Personal Leave of Absence without pay. Present the subpoena to your Supervisor immediately after it is received so that operating requirements can be adjusted to accommodate your absence. You are expected to report for work whenever the court schedule permits.

CTVC encourages you to appear in court for witness duty when subpoenaed to do so. If you have been subpoenaed or otherwise requested to testify as a witness by the Hospital, you will receive regular pay for the entire period of witness duty.

Schedules

  • Work Hours. Dr. Holman or Tracy will determine and keep employees advised of their work hours.
  • Lunch Periods. Employees working shifts of 6 or more hours are entitled to a 30 minute unpaid lunch period to be taken as close to the middle of the shift as possible, depending on work demands and circumstances. Lunch periods must be taken.
  • Break Periods. Employees are entitled to one 10-minute, paid break for each work segment in a shift. A “work segment” is equal to more than two hours but not more than six hours of work. Breaks should be taken mid-way through each work segment. Please time your breaks in a manner that minimizes disruption and permits the Clinic to meet ongoing patient needs. Breaks may not be skipped or combined. Break periods must be taken.
  • Attendance and Punctuality. Punctuality and regular attendance are essential to the proper operation of any business. They also help you establish a good working reputation. All employees are expected to report promptly for the work time scheduled and should plan on arriving at least five (5) minutes before the stated time for work to begin in order to be prepared for work at the appropriate time. An employee not ready to work at his/her required/expected time constitutes tardiness. All employees are expected to be prompt and punctual.

Employees who cannot report to work must notify Dr. Holman or Tracy as soon as possible to permit necessary work adjustments. Employees should make arrangements to have their duties covered by other employees when the Employee’s absence is caused by something other than illness. Punctuality is important. Repeated tardiness and absences seriously impair the value of employees’ service, and our ability to serve patients. Employees may be excused from a shift due to their own injury or illness. To be excused, employees must notify Dr. Holman within a reasonable time prior to the start of their shift so alternative arrangements can be made. In any event, you must personally notify Dr. Holman or Tracy either prior to 10:00 p.m. the evening before or at least one (1) hour prior to the beginning of your shift. The Clinic reserves the right to require physician verification. In general, five absences in a 90- day period, or a consistent pattern of absence or tardiness, is considered excessive.

You will not be permitted to use PTO if Dr. Holman or Tracy is not notified of your absence in advance, or as soon as reasonably possible due to medical circumstances. A voicemail or unanswered text message is not adequate. Employees absent for three consecutive days without contacting CTVC will be considered to have voluntarily quit employment. Employees must arrange absences with Dr. Holman or Tracy in advance whenever possible. It is never appropriate to arrange an absence with a coworker.

  • Inclement Weather. Employees should use their best judgment to decide whether they can safely get to work when weather disrupts normal travel patterns. Unless PTO is used, any missed time will be unpaid. Of course, staff should contact Dr. Holman or Tracy at the earliest opportunity to advise if they will be late or absent.

Time Records

Applies to Non-Exempt Employees Only.

  • The clinic pays employees for all of their time worked. Therefore, it is very important that you accurately record all of your working time. If you feel that you must work through lunch, stay late or take work home, you must notify the Office Manager or Dr. Holman.
  • It is important that you record all of the time actually worked on your timesheet or the timekeeping software. You must record all of your working time on a daily basis. Do not rely on memory and do not record your time at the end of the reporting period. If you forget to clock in or out on a particular day, please immediately notify Tracy Lancaster.

Pay Procedures

Payroll is done monthly. Employees are paid by the 5th of each month for the hours worked the previous month. Payments are made via direct deposit whenever possible. If, due to the occurrence of bank holidays, direct deposit cannot be made by the 5th, paper checks may be written. If the 5th falls on a holiday or weekend, you will be paid the day prior to the holiday or the Friday before the weekend. 

Simple IRA

CTVC offers a tax-deferred retirement plan. It is designed for small businesses with fewer than 100 employees. This plan allows employees and employers to contribute to traditional IRAs set up for employees. Employees are eligible to join the SIMPLE IRA plan after 2 full months of employment and who are reasonably expected to earn $5,000 in compensation for the calendar year. The employee is allowed to contribute a maximum dollar amount per calendar year (changes yearly per government regulations) that will be deducted from their compensation either as a percentage of their salary or a specified dollar amount. The Employer will contribute a matching contribution to each eligible employee’s SIMPLE IRA equal to the employee’s salary reduction contributions up to a limit of 3% of the employee’s compensation for the calendar year. 

Overtime

We understand patient care is important and helping our clients. It is your responsibility to notify Dr. Holman if you will be going into overtime, to allow her to approve and send you home before the end of your shift. All overtime must be approved by Dr. Holman.

CTVC provides eligible employees with paid sick time and vacation in one, all-encompassing policy, hereafter referred to as (“PTO”). New employees start accruing PTO allotment on the date of hire, but do not have access to their accrued PTO until their 91st day of employment. PTO may be used in a minimum of one hour increments.

Eligibility: All employees are eligible to earn PTO under this policy. This policy is intended to be compliant with Oregon’s sick leave law.

Leave Year: For purposes of calculating PTO accrual and use, the “Leave Year” shall be the calendar year January 1 through December 31st.

All efforts will be made to ensure that all employee requests for PTO are met. However, no guarantee can be made that a requested day off will be granted. Requests for PTO must be submitted at least 30 days prior to requested event date, with exceptions for unforeseeable urgent matters or emergencies.

Approved PTO will be posted on the Google Calendar. Please be courteous to your other team members when scheduling time off. Schedule vacation time in advance and communicate with your supervisor and co-workers about your time away so the hospital can still run effectively and efficiently. Keep in mind that the spring/summer times can be very busy times for CTVC.

PTO time is earned, starting on your 1st day of day of service and then each calendar year thereafter as follows. PTO for full-time employees is as follows:

Accrual: 

From the beginning of employment, PTO will start to accrue. PTO can not be used until the 91st day of employment. Any time off taken before the 91st day of employment is considered unpaid time off. Accrual per year is based on a schedule of 40 hours worked per week.

PTO accrues at the following rate for Full-time Employees for every 40 hours worked per week:

Length of Employment

Hourly PTO Accrual

Total Hours Accrued per Year

1st year

0.0625 per hour worked

Up to 120 hours/year

2nd & 3rd years

0.0729 per hour worked

Up to 140 hours/year

4th & 5th years

0.0833 per hour worked

Up to 160 hours/year

6th & 7th years

0.094 per hour worked

Up to 180 hours/year

8th & 9th years

0.1042 per hour worked

Up to 200 hours/year

10 years and over 

0.125 per hour worked

Up to 240 hours/year

PTO Accrual for Temporary and Part-Time Employees:

Starting your 1st month forward, you will accrue 1 hour for every 30 hours worked or 1 1/3 hours for 40 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year.

Rules on requesting PTO 

Generally first come, first served.

Holidays - if you had a certain holiday off in the previous years, other employees will get priority for that holiday off first. If no other employee wishes to request it off, then you may be granted time off.

Needs of practice: generally only one person per department will be allowed to be gone at any given time. 

PTO may be taken after three (3) months of service, but it starts to accrue on your first day worked. PTO can be used in minimum increments of four (4) hours. To maintain operations, we ask that you take PTO in maximum increments of ten (10) working days (Mon-Fri). If a longer period is needed, please plan and obtain approval 90 days from the start of the leave.

PTO should be used in the calendar year earned. Up to 40 hours of PTO may be carried over to the next calendar year. Any additional hours will be forfeited.

PTO pay is computed at your current regular rate of pay. PTO pay is not considered "hours worked" for the purposes of determining overtime. Holidays occurring during an approved PTO will count as a holiday and not a PTO day. This PTO policy includes the State of Oregon Sick leave requirements.

If your employment ends, you will receive earned but not taken PTO if you provide a two-week notice and work satisfactorily during that period, subject to the sole discretion of management. If you are terminated for cause, violation of Hospital policies or misconduct, no PTO will be paid out. PTO may not be used during your notice period. By signing this handbook, you agree that if you used more PTO than earned and leave with a negative balance, you give the Hospital approval to deduct the amount from your final pay.

Employees are entitled to use PTO for sick time for the following purposes:

    • To care for the Employee or the Employee’s family member with a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition, need for medical diagnosis, care or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition or need for preventive medical care.
    • To care for an infant or newly adopted child under 18 years of age, or for a newly placed foster child under 18 years of age or for an adopted or foster child older than 18 years of age if the child is incapable of self-care because of a mental or physical disability, completed within 12 months after birth or placement of the child.
    • To recover from or seek treatment for a health condition of the Employee that renders the Employee unable to perform at least one of the essential functions of the Employee’s regular position.

Absences associated with the death of a family member by:

  •  Attending the funeral or alternative to a funeral of the family member;
  •  Making arrangements necessitated by the death of the family member; or
  • Grieving the death of the family member

 Absences related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking:

  • To seek legal or law enforcement assistance or remedies to ensure the health and safety of the Employee or the Employee’s minor child or dependent, including preparing for and participating in protective order proceedings or other civil or criminal legal proceedings related to domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking;
  • To seek medical treatment for or to recover from injuries caused by domestic violence or sexual assault or harassment or stalking of the eligible Employee or the Employee’s minor child or dependent;
  • To obtain, or to assist a minor child or dependent in obtaining, counseling from a licensed mental health professional related to an experience of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault or stalking;
  • To obtain services from a victim services provider for the eligible Employee or the

Employee’s minor child or dependent; or

  • To relocate or take steps to secure an existing home to ensure the health and safety of the eligible Employee or the Employee’s minor child or dependent;

 In the event of a public health emergency, including but not limited to:

  • Closure of the Employee’s place of business, or the school or place of care of the Employee’s child, by order of a public official due to a public health emergency;
  • A determination by a lawful public health authority or a health care provider that the presence of the Employee or the family member of the Employee in the community would jeopardize the health of others; or
  • The exclusion of the Employee from workplace under any law or rule that requires the
  • Employer to exclude the Employee from the workplace for health reasons

Medical verification is required for sick leave use under the following circumstances:

  • An employee takes more than three consecutively scheduled workdays of sick time;
  • The need for sick time is foreseeable and is projected to last more than three consecutively scheduled workdays; or
  • An employer has sufficient evidence to suspect that an employee is abusing sick time, including engaging in a pattern of absenteeism, regardless of whether the employee has used sick time for more than three consecutive days.

Leave of Absence

Unpaid Leave of Absence

CTVC provides employees leave of absence without pay to eligible employees who require time off from work for compelling personal obligations. Typically, this leave is for medical or family reasons, including maternity. Can be used in conjunction with Paid Leave Oregon.

As soon as you become aware of the need for a personal leave of absence, you should request a leave from your manager and obtain approval. Requests for personal leave will be evaluated based on several factors, including anticipated workload requirements and staffing considerations during the proposed period of absence. CTVC reserves the right to refuse or limit requests for personal leaves of absence.

Personal leave may be granted for a period of up to 90 calendar days every two (2) years. The hospital may not approve extensions to Personal Leaves. You must use any available accrued PTO as part of the approved period of leave. Subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of the applicable plans, CTVC will continue to provide benefits for the full period of the approved personal leave; however, employees on an unpaid personal leave are required to pay the monthly premiums for health insurance prior to the months of coverage. Typically, medical leave will be on the advice of a certified doctor as to when you cannot work until the day you are released to return to work and be able to do your job. 

It is the employee’s responsibility to notify Dr. Holman or Tracy of pregnancy as soon as possible to assist in a smooth transition of duties in the absence of the employee. If an employee is pregnant, it is their responsibility to notify their doctor of the exposure in the Hospital of X-rays, gas anesthetics, lifting or other duties to insure they avoid exposure to those elements or duties. If any accommodations are required, the employee needs to get them in writing by the doctor and provide that to The Practice Manager to see if accommodations can be met.

CTVC is aware of the importance of breastfeeding for the health of babies and mothers. Employees returning from maternity leave will receive the support of their coworkers and supervisors. Our goal is to provide reasonable regular breaks to express milk and a private environment in which to do so. Supervisors will allow for some flexibility and will deal with each team member on an individual basis. Any break over 20 minutes in a timeframe will be unpaid.

If employee premiums are not paid by the 1st of each month, coverage will cease effective the first date of the benefit period that is unpaid. Benefit accruals, such as PTO, will continue for a maximum of the end of your last full pay period worked.

When a personal leave ends, every reasonable effort will be made to return the employee to the same position, if it is available, or to a similar available position for which the employee is qualified for. However, the Hospital cannot guarantee reinstatement.

If an employee fails to report to work promptly at the expiration of the approved personal leave, the Hospital will assume the employee has resigned.

Employees who accept other employment or go into business while on personal leave of absence from the Hospital, will be considered to have voluntarily resigned from employment with the Hospital as of the day on which the Personal Leave began. 

Paid leave will start after September 3, 2023. CTVC has fewer than 25 employees and no contributions are required. But CTVC will still need to collect and submit your share.

Who is eligible for Paid Leave?

If you’re an employee who made at least $1,000 the year before applying for Paid Leave, and qualify for benefits, you may be eligible.

Whether you work full-time, part-time or for more than one job or employer, it Counts. Individuals who are self-employed or independent contractors are not automatically covered but can choose coverage.

What are the benefits?

You can take up to 12 weeks off from work in a year. In some pregnancy-related situations, you may be able to take up to two more weeks for a total of 14 weeks. You can take leave a week, or a single day at a time.

While on leave, Paid Leave Oregon pays you a percent of your wages. The amount depends on how much you earn. Employers do not pay the employee while they’re away — all payments are made through Paid Leave Oregon. Your job is protected if you’ve been with CTVC for more than 90 days or a similar position if your old job no longer exists.

CTVC may not require employees to exhaust paid time off and or paid sick time before applying for Paid Leave Oregon benefits. Starting January 1, 2023, employees and employers must contribute to the Paid Leave Oregon state fund. You are eligible if you do have PTO to “cap off” your pay from PLO, but it is your responsibility to let Tracy or Dr. Holman know as soon as you are notified of your PLO benefit to be eligible for “cap off”. 

What life events can you take paid time off for?

Family Leave

  • Birth of a child
  • Bonding with a child
    • In the first year after birth
    • Through adoption
    •  When they're placed in your home through foster care
  •  To care for a family member with a serious illness or injury

Medical Leave

  • To care for yourself when you have a serious illness or injury

Safe Leave

  • For survivors of sexual assaults, domestic violence, harassment, or stalking

Military Leave

A military leave of absence will be granted to any employee who is absent from work because of service in the U.S. uniformed services in accordance with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). Advance notice of military service is required, unless military necessity prevents such notice, or it is otherwise impossible or unreasonable.

Military Leave less than 31 days and/or Reserves Duty

Employees who serve in U.S. military organizations or state militia groups may take the necessary time off without pay to fulfill this obligation. You will retain your legal rights for continued employment under existing state and federal laws. You may use

PTO to cover your absence but are not required to do so. Subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of the applicable plans, CTVC will continue to provide medical, dental, vision, life and disability insurance benefits (if you are enrolled) while

you are on short-term military leave; however, you are required to pay your portion of premiums in advance. You are expected to notify your manager as soon as you are aware of the dates you will be on duty so that arrangements can be made for replacement during your absence.

You are required to return to work for the first regularly scheduled workday after the end of service, allowing reasonable travel time. If, through no fault of your own, reporting back within that date is impossible or unreasonable, contact your Supervisor with your planned return date.

Extended Military Leaves (greater than 31 days)

You are expected to notify your manager as soon as you are aware of the dates you will be on duty so that arrangements can be made for replacement during your absence. The leave will be unpaid. However, you may use any available paid time off for the absence.

Continuation of health insurance benefits is available as required by USERRA based on the length of the leave and subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of the applicable plans for which you are otherwise eligible. Life and disability insurance will continue during the period you are on extended military leave. Benefit accruals, such as PTO will continue for a maximum of thirty (30) days. After thirty (30) days on leave of absence, benefit accruals will be suspended until you resume active employment.

When you are released from active duty, you must apply for reinstatement in accordance with USERRA and applicable state laws. You are eligible for reemployment after completing military service provided that:

  • You were on approved Military Leave of Absence
  • You satisfactorily completed your active-duty service
  • You entered the military service directly from your employment with CTVC

Upon reemployment, you will be placed in the position you would have attained had you remained continuously employed, or a comparable one, depending on the length of military service in accordance with USERRA. You will be treated as though you were continuously employed for purposes of determining benefits based on length of service.

Contact the Hospital for more information or questions about military leaves.