Employee Handbook 2017

WELCOME TO THE COMPANY Liberty Home Care has prepared this handbook to provide you with an overview of the Company’s policies, benefits, and rules. It is intended to familiarize you with important information about the company, as well as provide guidelines for your employment experience with us in an effort to foster a safe and healthy work environment. Please understand that this booklet only highlights company policies, practices, and benefits for your personal understanding and cannot therefore, be construed as legal document. It is intended to provide general information about the policies, benefits, and regulations governing the employees of the company, and is not intended to be an express or implied contract. The guidelines presented in this handbook are not intended to be a substitute for sound management, judgment, and discretion. It is obviously not possible to anticipate every situation that may arise in the workplace or to provide information that answers every possible question. In addition, circumstances will undoubtedly require that policies, practices, and benefits described in this handbook change from time to time. Accordingly, the company reserves the right to modify, supplement, rescind, or revise any provision of this handbook from time to time as it deems necessary or appropriate in its sole discretion with or without notice to you. No business is free from day-to-day problems, but we believe our personnel policies and practices will help resolve such problems. All of us must work together to make the company a viable, healthy, and profitable organization. This is the only way we can provide a satisfactory working environment that promotes genuine concern and respect for others including all employees and our clients. If any statements in this handbook are not clear to you, please contact the Administrator of the company or his designated representative for clarification. Committed to Clients We recognize the unique, physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual needs of each person. We strive to extend the highest level of courtesy and service to clients and families/caregivers, visitors, and each other. RECRUITMENT AND HIRING Affirmative Action; Equal Opportunity Employer: The Agency conforms to the federal regulations in Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990). The Agency is an equal opportunity employer and seeks to employ personnel of the highest level of professional competence and integrity. The Agency recruits staff without regard to race, religion, national origin, creed, sex, age, political belief or sexual preference. Recruitment resources may include classified advertising, employment services, college campuses and human services and other organizations. Only factors affecting job performance are considered in any personnel action. Every reasonable effort will be made to accommodate physically challenged individuals. Additional training may be provided when needs are identified. Each applicant must provide a resume and a minimum of two satisfactory references. Criminal Background and Reference Checks: Criminal background checks will be completed for all employees and results will be obtained prior to allowing the employee to provide care. A minimum of two references will also be checked prior to providing care. Employees with criminal records may be terminated immediately, if hired prior to the completion of background checks. “Employment” will be at the discretion of the Agency, taking into consideration the seriousness of the offense, when it occurred, the individual’s behavior since the offense and any other pertinent factors. Drug-Free Workplace: The Agency forbids any illegal or improper use of drugs and/or alcohol by its employees. Anyone violating this policy will be terminated immediately. Employees in need of assistance with drug or alcohol related problems are encouraged to seek the help of a professional. It is understood that the employee has agreed to random drug testing by contracting with the Agency. It is the responsibility of each employee who is taking prescribed medication which might have an impact on job performance to report it to administration before performance is impaired. Orientation on Hire or Change of Position: All new or reassigned personnel must complete an orientation program designed to familiarize the employee with agency philosophy, policies, procedures, benefits, job descriptions, and other information necessary for successful performance of job duties. All employees will undergo a competency prior to providing care to clients, when any new tasks are assigned and annually. Probation: Newly hired care givers will serve a 90-day probationary period intended to offer both the care giver and the Agency time to decide if this is the appropriate fit. The 90 days begins when the care giver begins seeing clients. The Agency reserves the right to dismiss an employee anytime during the probationary period if performance is inadequate. Performance Evaluation: Performance evaluations will be completed annually. Evaluations will include an annual agency evaluation, a competency and a supervisory visit. Exit Interviews: All terminating employees will be required to give an exit interview to a member of the administrative staff. The purpose of the exit interview is to present an opportunity for the employee to verbalize concerns safely and to offer information for agency quality improvement. Office Hours: The office will be open 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. Paperwork Time Frames:
  • All weekly paperwork is due to the Agency office by 9 AM Wednesday
Please note that timely documentation is a standard of professional practice. Employees who are consistently late with their paperwork will be terminated and may be reported to the appropriate state board of professional practice Pay Period and Payday: The company issues paychecks on Wednesday, on a biweekly basis for hourly paid employees. Pay periods start on Monday morning and end on Sunday afternoon. Benefits: At this time, the agency does not provide benefits. GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES Disciplinary Action: When a staff member’s job performance or work behavior does not meet those standards for continued employment and/or results in negative patient outcomes, it is the policy of the Agency to initiate disciplinary action for corrective purposes in the following manner:
  • Verbal Reprimand: Considered to be a notice to the employee that the job performance or work behavior does not meet standards of employment.
  • Written Reprimand: Considered to be further notice to the employee of undesirable work behavior or unacceptable job performance, submitted in writing and placed in the personnel file for permanent record.
  • Suspension without Pay: Considered to be the final notice to the employee that undesirable work behavior or unacceptable job performance must be corrected at once.
  • Discharge/Termination: Considered to be the most extreme form of disciplinary action and final step in this process. This will occur when all previous steps have been followed or in the event that immediate discharge is considered to be justifiable by the Supervisor, Director of Clinical Services and Administrator.
  • Furthermore, it is the policy of the Agency that all employees shall have the right to initiate an internal grievance procedure in connection with any aspect of this policy.
  • Problems arise in any group of people working together. It is important to all that these problems be solved as quickly and as fairly as possible so that small problems do not grow out of proportion. Occasionally, however, it may be necessary to investigate certain problems in greater detail. The grievance procedure enables the employee to have a fair review of any work-related controversy, dispute or misunderstanding. If the employee feels there is a valid grievance, the following procedure is used:
    1. Step One: An employee may submit, in writing or orally, the problem to his/her immediate supervisor or department manager within three (3) days after the problem becomes known to the employee. The supervisor or department manager will attempt to resolve the employee's grievance during the initial meeting. If unable to reach a mutually agreed upon solution, the supervisor or department manager will investigate the situation further and within three (3) working days, meet with the employee with a proposed solution to the grievance. If the employee is still not satisfied, then he/she may request a Step Two meeting.
    2. Step Two: If the employee is not satisfied in Step One, he/she must submit in writing within five (5) working days the problem or grievance. Human Resources will investigate the problem with all involved parties and schedule a meeting with the employee and the supervisor or department manager. The employee may elect to have a fellow employee accompany him/her to this meeting to assist in the presentation of the problem. A concerted effort will be made at this meeting to resolve the problems.
    3. Step Three: If the employee does not feel there has been a satisfactory resolution reached by speaking with the supervisor, he/she may submit a written grievance/complaint to the Director of Clinical Services/Administrator. The Director of Clinical Services/Administrator will review the complaint/grievance, if necessary review the information with the employee and/or supervisor, and within five (5) working days of completing the review, render a decision about the grievance/complaint. The employee and the supervisor will be notified of the decision.
    4. Step Four: if the employee is not satisfied with the decision or feels the grievance/ concern has not been resolved to his/her satisfaction, the employee has the option of requesting that the grievance/complaint be forwarded to the Governing Body. The Governing Body will review the grievance/complaint within ten (10) working days of receiving the complaint/grievance and render a decision. The decision will be delivered to the employee in writing. The decision of the Governing Body is final and binding.
  • Employees who are discharged for cause may appeal that decision by using the grievance procedure. However, discharged employees shall appeal as in Step One and the appeal must be in writing. In order to be considered, any discharge appeal must be received within seven (7) working days of the discharge.
Sexual Harassment and Abuse:
  • Any employee who believes he/she has been subjected to sexual or racial harassment in the workplace by a manager, coworker or patient should report the alleged incident to the Administrator as soon as possible.
  • If the employee feels uncomfortable discussing the incident with the Administrator, or if the incident relates to or involves the Administrator and/or Supervisor will be notified.
  • Any employee who violates the policy against sexual harassment, or encourages another to violate the policy, will be subjected to appropriate disciplinary action depending on the severity and type of violating behavior, up to and including discharge.
  • Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination and is an unlawful employment practice under Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct constitutes sexual harassment when:
  • They are part of a supervisor’s or manager’s decisions to hire, fire, promote or transfer.
  • They are used to make other employment decisions, e.g., pay.
  • They interfere with the employee’s work performance.
  • They create an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.
  • Sexual harassment is defined as deliberate or repeated behavior of a sexual nature which is
Holidays: The company observes the following holidays:
  • New Year’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Fourth of July
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
Holiday pay Employment Status: 1. Exempt Employees –Certain employees such as executive, administrative, professional and outside sales employees are paid on a salary basis for all hours worked each week. Certain computer professionals may also be exempt, regardless of whether they are paid on a salary or hourly basis. These employees are expected to work whatever hours are required to accomplish their duties, even if it exceeds their normal workweek. No overtime premium pay will be paid to exempt employees in most circumstances. Unless prior arrangement in writing is made an exempt employee must report to work during scheduled hours. Authorized full day absent from work by exempt employee may be covered by employee PTO or deducted from employee salary. Any partial day absence must be authorized by the employee manager. Unauthorized or excessive partial day absence can result in employee discipline action, employee reclassification, or separation from the company. 2. Non-Exempt Employees – All employees who are not identified as exempt employees are considered non-exempt employees. Non-exempt employees are eligible for payment of overtime premium pay. a. Salary non-exempt employee unless prior arrangement in writing is made report to work during scheduled hours. Authorized full day absent from work by non-exempt salary employee may be covered by employee PTO or deducted from employee salary. Any partial day absence must be authorized by the employee manager. Unauthorized or excessive partial day absence by non-exempt salary employee may result in employee discipline action, employee reclassification, or separation from the company. b. Hourly non-exempt employee unless prior arrangement in writing is made report to work during scheduled hours. Any partial day absence must be authorized by the employee manager. Unauthorized or excessive absence by non-exempt hourly employee may result in employee discipline action or separation from the company Dress Code: As a health care agency, the Agency depends on its employees to project an image of cleanliness, safety, professionalism, and competence. To that end, all agency employees are expected to be clean, neat, well groomed, and attired appropriately for the conduct of the Agency's business. *All agency employees are expected to present themselves wearing clean and conservative attire. * If an employee is disabled or, as a member of a religious group, wears certain dress styles, every effort will be made to accommodate the employee provided that safety, health, and sanitation requirements are satisfied. * Management reserves the right to determine the appropriateness of the employee’s attire. Employees violating the letter and spirit of the policy may be asked to return home at their expense and change into appropriate attire. Code of Ethical Conduct: All employees are expected to comply with the following standards of conduct. Failure to meet these standards may result in immediate dismissal. 1. To comply with all applicable local, state and federal laws; 2. To maintain complete confidentiality of client information; 3. To treat clients with complete respect according to the client bill of rights; 4. To make visits as scheduled or to notify supervisor of inability to maintain schedule; 5. To treat coworkers with respect and courtesy; 6. To practice good personal hygiene and wear appropriate clothing; 7. To refrain from bringing children, friends or pets to client’s homes, with or without client’s permission; 8. To refrain from use of client’s telephone for personal calls; 9. To practice applicable safety and fire prevention activities. 10. To Attend and participates in staff, education, and agency committee meetings as appropriate The following behaviors are unacceptable and may result in immediate termination: 1. To borrow money or any of a client’s possessions with or without permission. 2. To engage in smoking, to use alcohol, drugs, profane or abusive language in client homes. 3. To give false information in recording client care, visits made, time worked, travel time, etc. 4. Consistently late documentation is a violation of professional practice standards and places the Agency at unacceptable risk. Professional Boundaries: As healthcare professionals, we strive to inspire confidence in our clients and their families, treat all patient’s, and other healthcare providers professionally, and promote patient’s independence. Clients can expect care givers to act in their best interests and to respect their dignity. This means that a care giver abstains from obtaining personal gain at the patient’s expense and refrains from inappropriate involvement in the patient’s personal relationships. Network and Electronic Resources Policy: Network and Electronic Resources, such as computers, other hardware, software, e-mail, landline and cellular telephones, fax machines and internet access are tools that the Company provides its employees to assist them in their work. These Network and Electronic Resources and related access systems are proprietary Company property and subject to review or access by the Company at any time. All employees who use the Company’s Network and Electronic Resources must follow the guidelines below: 1. Use Network and Electronic resources for Company business purposes only 2. Messages and communications sent via the Company’s Network and Electronic Resources are subject to subpoena and access by persons outside the Company and may be used in legal proceedings. Please, consider this before sending any confidential messages or material via the Network and Electronic Resources. 3. Remember that all of the Company’s policies, including but not limited to policies on Equal Employment Opportunity, Harassment, Confidentiality, Personal Conduct and Rules of Conduct, apply to the use of the Company’s Network and Electronic Resources. Employees must not review or forward sexually explicit, profane or otherwise unprofessional or unlawful material through the Company’s Network and Electronic Resources. 4. Passwords protecting the use of the Company’s Network and Electronic Resources are the Company’s property and will be assigned to employees as needed. Employees may not change passwords without the consent of Administrator of the company. Employees must notify the Administrator of the company of all passwords and encryption keys assigned to or used by them, and must notify Administrator of the company of any changes to such passwords or encryption keys. 5. Do not install any software or program on any Company computer or other hardware without the express consent of your supervisor or the Administrator of the company. 6. The company expressly prohibits the unauthorized use, installation, copying or distribution of copyrighted, trademarked or patented material. 7. Employees must not attempt to override or evade any program or measure installed by the Company to protect the security or limit the use of its Network and Electronic Resources. The Company retains the right to review all communications conducted and data saved, reviewed or accessed via the Company’s Network and Electronic Resources, including Company computers, e-mail and internet access. The company does not permit its non-management employees to access or use any Company password, e-mail or internet access other than their own. Inappropriate use of Network and Electronic Resources may result in discipline, up to and including discharge. Employees should be careful to safeguard their passwords, log off their terminals when not in use and not permit others to access Company systems. All employee health reports and protected employee information are maintained in a locked cabinet and only those staff that are deemed appropriate to view files are allowed access to files and employee files are retained for seven (7) years. NOTICE OF PRIVACY PRACTICES: Policy: The privacy practices of the Agency, designed to protect the privacy, use and disclosure of protected health information, are clearly delineated in the Agency’s Notice of Privacy Practices which was developed and is used in accordance with Federal requirements. Procedure: 1. The privacy practices of the Agency are described in the Notice of Privacy Practices. 2. The privacy practices and requirements of the Agency are further detailed in the Agency’s Privacy Policies and Procedures. 3. The Notice of Privacy Practices is given to all clients no later than the date of the first service delivery. 4. A good faith effort is made to obtain written acknowledgement of the client’s receipt of the Agency’s Notice of Privacy Practices. 5. The Notice of Privacy Practices is available to anyone who requests it. 6. The Notice of Privacy Practices will be revised as needed to reflect any changes in the Agency’s privacy practices. Revisions to the Notice will not be implemented prior to the effective date of the revised Notice. 7. When revisions to the Notices of Privacy Practices are necessary, all current clients, contracting therapists, and business associates will receive a revised copy with notation of the changes made. 8. The Agency retains copies of the original Notice of Privacy Practices and any subsequent revisions for a period of six (6) years from the date of its creation or when it was last in effect, whichever is later. 9. Documentation is retained for six years of the client’s written acknowledgment of receipt of the Agency’s Notice of Privacy Practices or of efforts made to obtain this written acknowledgment and the reason(s) why it was not obtained. 10. All therapists and business associates of the Agency are required to adhere to the privacy practices as detailed in the Notice of Privacy Practices, Privacy Policies and Procedures and Business Associate Contracts. 11. Violations of the Agency’s privacy practices will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of contracts. 12. The Notice is left with the client in his/her opening packet Continuing Education: On-going training will be provided to all direct care staff, consistent with the program, services and equipment the agency provides and appropriate to the needs of the populations served and the discipline of the employee.
  • Staff must have evidence of ongoing training for 6 topics annually
The employee will be responsible for attending in-service and training programs and maintaining compliance with the in-service and training requirements for his/her position. Medical Emergency, Major Trauma or Life-Threatening Incidents: 1. Call 911 immediately. 2. Report what has happened to the office. 3. The Administrator or designee will notify the client’s physician and emergency contact. 4. Stay with the client until help arrives and the situation is under control. Non-Life-Threatening Incidents: 1. Make the client comfortable. 2. Inform the office and the family. Follow the Administrator’s instructions. Incident Reports: Immediately following an incident, the contracting therapist involved must complete an incident report form and review the incident with the Administrator. Examples of incidents which must be reported include but are not limited to client complaints, medication errors, accidents and/or injury to employees or clients, equipment or medical device failure or malfunction, theft, suspicion of abuse, neglect or exploitation and criminal activity. The Administrator will follow up on any reported incidents as appropriate and document actions taken and resolution of identified problems. A log will be kept of all incidents. Incident reports and logs will be reviewed on an ongoing basis to note trends. Disaster/Emergency Preparedness: When notified of an emergency, client care staff will do the following:
  • Do not leave home until you are assigned.
  • To save notice time, do not ask questions until you receive your assignment.
  • Keep your telephone line free for your assignment call.
  • Call the office if you are away from home at the time the emergency is declared.
  • Stay tuned to the radio station identified for emergency information.
Receipt of this handbook is verified on the orientation checklist. By my signature on my orientation checklist, I attest that I have been provided a copy of this handbook and that I have been provided time to ask questions.