COLUMBIA UNION CONFERENCE
EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK

GENERAL INFORMATION
INTRODUCTION

According to the Constitution of the Columbia Union Conference, "The object of this Conference is to teach the everlasting gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and the commandments of God throughout the local conferences established within its territory, and to promote the interests of the world mission program of the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists."

Each member of the Columbia Union Conference staff has accepted the responsibility of properly representing the Seventh-day Adventist Church in attitude, philosophy, and conduct. For this reason only employees who are members in good and regular standing of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are employed on a permanent basis. As denominational workers, we are being observed by others, whether in or out of the office, so we should reflect our loyalty to the church and its principles in all of our activities.

Animals in Columbia Union Facilities

Employees are not permitted to bring animals or pets of any kind into the Columbia Union's facilities. An exception is made for seeing eye dogs.

Annual Social Events

The Union has a variety of social events during office hours. Employees who do not attend the activities are expected to work.

Building Use

1. All scheduling is to be done by the Secretariat Office.

2. There will be no private meetings on Sabbath which require the hiring of an employee to work at the desk. Events sponsored by the Union could be conducted on Sabbath.

3. One Sunday per month will be available for use by church organizations. The Office of Secretariat will keep a schedule on a first come, first serve basis.

4. There will be a deposit of $200 plus rent of $200. The rent will include the hiring of one/two people to monitor the building. If rooms are used on two floors or if children are in attendance, then two people will be required to monitor. They will be paid $15 per hour with a minimum of $50 per employee.

5. Policy for renting the building on a weekday evening will be at the discretion of Secretariat.

Bulletin Board

Purpose -The employee bulletin board is located in the second floor workroom in order to better facilitate appropriate communication among the staff within the Columbia Union.

1. Acceptable Material to be Posted

The following information is appropriate for posting on the employee bulletin board:

Job postings, required federal/state employment regulations, and other employee-related information as deemed appropriate by the Office Manager.

Announcements such as "For Sale/Rent" items (with the exception of Realtors) and outside-work-hours personal services being offered by employees (i.e. house painting, mechanics, etc.)

Upcoming community/church-related events.

Other items considered appropriate and approved by the Office Manager.

2. Procedure for Posting Approved Material

Submit material to the Treasury departmental secretary for prior approval.

The Treasury departmental secretary will arrange for approved material to be posted.

With the exception of material originating from The Human Resources Committee, all other material should indicate an expiration date; however, material will be displayed no longer than 30 days.

Contracts

No Contracts are to be signed that create a present or future obligation to the Union without being first reviewed by the in-house attorney and countersigned by the Union Treasurer.

Credit Union

The Columbia Federal Credit Union located at 12164 Tech Road, Silver Spring, is available to make regular savings convenient and to provide credit. Payroll deductions may be arranged for regular savings and for loan repayment.

Employee Handbook

This edition of the Employee Handbook supersedes all previous editions and shall be adhered to except as it shall be amended by subsequent actions of ADCOM or the The Human Resources Committee.

The purpose of the Employee Handbook is to clarify working relationships, and provide information regarding policies and procedures with reference to employment at the Columbia Union Conference. If questions arise they should be discussed with the supervisor, department director, and/or the Office Manager.

The Columbia Union retains authority to modify, add or delete any provisions in the Employee Handbook. Policies and procedures may change at any time and employees will be notified of changes. The most current policies will be available from the Office Manager.

Entertainment Expenses

  1. Eligibility - Columbia Union salaried employees whose remuneration percentage is 150 percent or above may report expenses for entertaining on the following basis:


    1. Actual cost of restaurant meals supported by receipts.
    2. For guests entertained at home - $4 for breakfast and $6 for other meals.
    3. The names of those entertained should be put on the back of the receipt.


Equipment

  1. Requisitions - Equipment purchases costing more than $1000 must be approved by ADCOM. All requests for equipment purchase should be sent to the Treasurer. Items costing less than $1000 once approved are charged to the requesting department. Items of more than $1000 are funded by the Columbia Union Conference Association.


  2. Repairs - Request for repairs other than electronic (computers, word processors, printers) should be directed to Don Settie, extension 245.


  3. Electronic Repairs - Problems with computer or word processing equipment should be directed to Information Technology Systems, extension 268.


  4. Assigned Place - Equipment is to be kept in its assigned place and shall not be removed to other offices or outside the Columbia Union Conference buildings unless approved by Treasury; phone ext. 242.

Exceptions to Policies

Any exceptions to policies, regulations, and procedures are authorized only by the The Human Resources Committee or ADCOM.

Expenditure of Funds

It is a sacred responsibility to be stewards of the Lord's funds that have been contributed by God's faithful people. In expending these funds for travel and other purposes employees should exercise more care and a greater sense of accountability than might be exhibited in the handling of personal funds.

Floral Arrangements
1 Deaths The President's office sends flowers upon the death of:
  a. Current employees
  b. Retired staff members
  c. Spouse or children of current employees
  d. Parents of employees
     
2 Illness If flowers are sent to employees who are hospitalized, it should be done at the discretion of the President's office.
     

Keys

Keys may initially be obtained from the Office Manager. Keys should always be returned to Office Manager when leaving employment with the Columbia Union. If a key is lost it should be reported immediately to Plant Services. All keys must be made by Plant Services. The duplication of keys for anyone, including family members, is not allowed.

Local Appointments Away From Office

Supervisors may authorize the absence from the office of hourly employees for local events necessitating the presence of a staff member on the following basis:

Need - The event is recognized as necessitating the presence of a staff member.

Procedure - A letter from the supervisor authorizing the hourly employee's absence shall be attached to the time sheet.

Ministry Magazine

Credentialed and commissioned ministers, and others specifically approved by the Union Secretary, receive a free subscription to Ministry.

Notary Public

There are Notaries Public in Legal, Treasury and the Columbia Union Revolving Fund. Affidavits to be notarized must be signed in the presence of the notary.

Personal Business

Caring for personal affairs during office hours should be limited to matters that cannot be done outside of office hours. If it is necessary for an hourly employee to care for personal business during working hours, prior arrangements shall be made with the supervisor and the lost time, up to 2 hours, may be made up during the week in which it is taken or it will be charged to the paid leave plan.

Professional Upgrading

Supervisors may recommend that employees be authorized to take specific courses that would improve their qualifications for the present job assignment.

Service Records

  1. The Columbia Union Conference is responsible for obtaining and keeping a service record for each employee. This record is kept on a standard form prepared by the Columbia Union Conference, and is stored in the vault in the office of the Columbia Union Secretariat.


  2. When an employee is transferred from one denominational organization to another, the employing organization makes a copy of the service record for its files and forwards the original copy to the new employing organization.


  3. When an employee discontinues denominational service for other than retirement reasons, the employing organization shall record an appropriate action relating to the employee's discontinuance of service and particulars of any financial settlement made on the original copy of the service record, and shall keep it in the files.


  4. When an employee who is eligible to receive benefits from the Retirement Fund retires permanently from denominational service, the service record shall be forwarded to the NAD Retirement Office, along with the retirement application by the Columbia Union Office of Secretariat.


  5. Employees are encouraged to periodically request a copy of their service record to verify its accuracy. Every other year the Secretariat provides a copy of the service record to each employee.


Secretarial Service for Departmental Meetings

Procedures for processing requests from departments for attendance by Columbia Union Conference office secretaries at Union meetings outside the Baltimore-Washington area are as follows:

  1. Planning - Departments are requested to plan meetings outside the Baltimore-Washington area in such a way that, as far as possible, services of Columbia Union Conference hourly employees will not be required.

  2. Baltimore-Washington Area - Meetings which require the services of hourly employees shall be scheduled, as far as possible, in the Columbia Union office area.


  3. Special Situations - For special situations in which it is felt that meetings held away from the Baltimore-Washington area require the services of hourly employees, the following procedure shall apply:


    1. The Human Resources Committee shall consider requests by departments for the services of hourly employees in connection with such meetings.


    2. In considering such requests, The Human Resources Committee shall consider the following factors:


      1. the purpose of the meeting


      2. the involvement of the hourly employee in the carrying out of departmental objectives before, during and after the meeting


      3. size of the meeting


      4. the complexity of meeting format


      5. the location of the meeting as it relates to travel expense, the frequency of such requests from the department, and


  4. Remuneration - If authorization is granted for an hourly employee to attend a meeting away from the Baltimore-Washington area the employee shall be remunerated according to the following guidelines:

    1. If the travel is on the weekend the employee shall be entitled to report the travel time up to 8.5 hours.


    2. If the travel is on a work day the employee shall be entitled to report up to 8.5 hours for that day.


    3. During the meeting the employee shall be entitled to report the actual hours worked or the usual office hours, whichever is greater.

  5. Travel Expense - The travel expense of the hourly employee shall be charged to the travel budget of the respective department.

Service Club Memberships

A limited number of service club memberships for the Columbia Union employees is desirable. These memberships are authorized by the ADCOM. The actual cost of the basic annual fee, the weekly luncheon, and the annual banquet may be reported on the expense report for reimbursement. This cost will be charged to the employee's travel budget.

Suggestions

Suggestions to improve office operations and reduce expenses are welcomed and appreciated. Please pass along any suggestions to the Office Manager.


Use of Telephone

  1. Guidelines - While the telephone is a very convenient and economical method of communication, it is also a major expense for the Columbia Union. Employees are urged to plan their business calls, and make calls station to station rather than person-to-person in most cases, and limit the length of the conversation.

  2. Personal Calls - Personal telephone calls should be kept to a minimum and of limited time duration; calls should be made during an employee's lunch hour and/or morning/afternoon break time. All toll calls made during working hours should be charged to the employee's home telephone or credit card.


  3. Personal Business - Employees shall not publish Columbia Union telephone numbers in connection with secondary jobs or non-related office activities.


Verification of Employment - Current and Former Employees

Columbia Union employees, including staff, supervisors and department administrators, frequently are requested by current and former employees to share a work reference with prospective employers. All such requests are to be referred to the Human Resources Committee for appropriate follow up and response.

Additionally, the Human Resources Committee also receives requests from lending and other credit institutions to provide employee - related information. Despite any employment information that the Columbia Union Conference sends to a lender, the Columbia Union Conference does not make, and is not making, any promise, prediction or guarantee of future employment for any period of time. Employment is terminable at will at any time, for any reason, by either the employee or the organization.

In response to requests for information, the Human Resources Committee will confirm dates of employment, positions held and related salary information. No information is provided regarding performance of employees. A signed waiver and release from liability is required from current and former employees prior to the release of any information. In the event telephone calls are received for employment verifications, the employee will be called and asked to sign an authorization to release information if one is not provided by the caller. If it is not possible to contact the employee immediately, there could be a delay in verifying information to the caller.


EMPLOYMENT POLICIES


Children in Office Complex

Columbia Union employees are to refrain from bringing their children into the office during regular scheduled work hours. Children who come to the complex in the morning to catch a school bus and who return by bus after school to wait for their parents may wait in the main lobby area. While no supervision is provided, children are expected to restrict themselves to the main lobby area only and maintain a proper decorum while waiting.

Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Procedures

Purpose - The Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Procedures were developed to provide a method whereby the Church may resolve disputes between church members, individual lay members and various church leaders, employees and church employers, church organizations (service organizations, departments, associations, etc.) and/or between conferences and institutions.

The role of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in resolving disputes among its members has a long historical tradition. These procedures were prompted by a doctrinal concern based on the Bible and counsel given to the Church by Ellen G. White. The Conciliation and Dispute Resolution process is designed to be neutral, impartial, and independent.

Church Policy - The Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Procedures are subject to the policies recorded in the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual and the Columbia Union and North American Division Working Policy. Before applying the following procedures, all parties involved in the resolution of a dispute should read "Safeguarding the Unity of the Church" in the current edition of the Church Manual.

Binding Arbitration - The method that is available to the Church (local church, local conference, union, and division) for resolving disputes in ways that lead to reconciliation. It is a quasi-legal procedure in which the parties in dispute meet voluntarily in the presence of one or more arbitrators for a hearing. The verdict of the arbitrator(s) is binding upon all parties.

Binding arbitration is not to be entered into without prior efforts to negotiate or mediate the dispute. It must be evident that these steps, as listed below, have been taken, before a request for binding arbitration is approved:

  1. Informal Negotiation - The parties in dispute must voluntarily meet with one another in order to resolve their differences and become reconciled (Matt. 18:15). A pastor or other spiritual counselors may prompt the parties to meet for this purpose.

    Adequate time for spiritual preparation should be allowed in order for the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of the parties in dispute. The disputing parties must begin the conciliation and dispute resolution process with informal negotiation.


  2. Mediation - If the informal negotiation does not suffice, the parties in dispute must voluntarily meet together with one or more mediators. The mediator(s) serve(s) as facilitator(s) to guide the negotiation as the parties seek to agree and become reconciled (Matt. 18:16).


  3. Before the process of binding arbitration can begin, all pending law suits or administrative charges related to the dispute must be dismissed, and/or the parties involved must sign an agreement not to institute a law suit against each other.

Exemptions - The Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Procedures may not apply in situations which are deemed to be outside the jurisdiction of the Church or for which the Church agrees that it has no adequate process for orderly settlement. Examples of cases that are not covered by these procedures may include, but are not limited to:

  1. Settlement of insurance or self-insurance claims.
  2. Issuance of decrees affecting the boundaries and ownership of real property.
  3. Marital differences.
  4. Awarding custody of minor children.
  5. Deciding matters involving the administration of estates.
  6. Debt collection matters.
  7. Individual disputes with any branch of civil government of law enforcement agencies.
  8. Specific theological questions.
  9. Questions regarding church discipline and the transfer of reinstatement of membership.*
  10. Church elections.

*Covered by policies in the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual.

Jurisdiction - It is the expectation of the North American Division that all grievances be resolved at the level where they arose. An in-house procedure that is equitable for all parties concerned, and which includes informal negotiation and mediation as essential first steps to resolution and reconciliation, should be used to settle the dispute.

If an in-house procedure fails to bring about resolution and reconciliation, either the grievant or the organization may request binding arbitration using the North American Division Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Procedures. The higher authority over the territory where a dispute arises has jurisdiction in the resolution of the conflict when the Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Procedures are used. Requests are to be carefully reviewed by the higher body and approved in situations where to do so is in the best interests of the party(ies) concerned. In disputes involving members of different churches, and employees of different conferences, unions, and institutions, jurisdiction is with the next higher level of the church/conference/institution of the member/employee whom the claim is against. The arbitration initiation form and agreement, the binding arbitration protocol statement, and the confidentiality agreement referred to in this section are made available to the administrators of this process by the North American Division Office of Human Relations.

  1. Local Church Disputes - The local church has jurisdiction in disputes between its lay members. Disputes that affect the employment of members hired by the conference, the conference institution, or the division to serve the local church are in the jurisdiction of the hiring body.


  2. Local Conference Disputes - The local conference has jurisdiction in disputes between:


    1. Local conference employees and/or employees of local conference institutions or churches.
    2. Local conference employees and the congregation.
    3. Conference institutional employees and the institution.
    4. Lay members and the local conference.
    5. Local church employees, local conference employees, local conference institutional employees, and the local conference.
    6. Local conference churches, organizations, and/or institutions.
    7. Congregation splits within the conference.


  3. Union Conference Disputes - The union conference has jurisdiction in disputes between:

    1. Intraunion conference employees (includes employees of local conference churches, organizations, and institutions) and/or union employees.
    2. Local conference employees and the conference.
    3. Union institutional employees and the institution.
    4. Lay members or local churches and the union conference.
    5. Local conference employees, conference institutional employees, union conference institutional employees, and the union conference.
    6. Intraunion organizations, union institutions, and/or local conferences within the union.


  4. Division Disputes - The North American Division has jurisdiction in disputes between:


    1. Interunion denominational employees, division employees, and/or employees of division institutions.
    2. Union conference employees and the union conference.
    3. Division institutional employees and the union conference.
    4. Division employees and the division (through the Office of Human Relations rather than administration).
    5. Lay members and the division
    6. Local and union conference institutions or division institutional employees and the division.
    7. Any two denominational organizations within the division which do not come under the jurisdiction of a single union conference.
    8. Any denominational organization within the division and the division.


  5. Institution Disputes - The next higher level of the institution has jurisdiction in resolving disputes of institutional employees that have been approved to use the Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Procedures.

Initiation Process - The following steps must be taken to initiate the Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Procedures at all levels of the North American Division.

  1. Local Church - To initiate the procedures at the local church level, the grievant(s) shall make a written request for binding arbitration to the local church pastor or church board. Normally, within 15 working days of the receipt of the request, the pastor or church board shall respond to the grievant(s) with a written acknowledgment and statement as to how and when the request will be processed. Arbitration forms shall be enclosed for the grievant(s) to complete and return to the pastor or board as soon as possible.


  2. Local Conference - To initiate the procedures at the local conference level the grievant(s) shall make a written request for an arbitration hearing to the secretary/human relations director of the local conference. Normally, within 15 working days of the receipt of the request, the conference secretary/human relations director shall respond to the party making the request with a written acknowledgment and statement as to how and when the request will be processed. Arbitration forms shall be enclosed for the grievant(s) to complete and return to the conference secretary/human relations director as soon as possible. These include the conciliation and dispute spiritual preparation study, the binding arbitration protocol statement, and the confidentiality agreement statement. After the arbitration initiation forms have been signed and returned, the following steps shall be taken by the local conference secretary:


    1. Present the request and arbitration initiation forms to the local conference administrative committee (or other appropriate body) for action.
    2. Notify the grievant of the decision of the conference. If that decision is for binding arbitration, in communication with the grievant, set the date, time, and place for the hearing; and select the arbitrator(s) and observer(s). The arbitrator(s) and observer(s) must be approved by the parties in dispute.
    3. Furnish the arbitrator(s) and observer(s) a copy of the arbitration initiation agreement signed by the parties in dispute within ten (10) working days prior to the arbitration hearing date. The information contained in the agreement shall include time, place, and date of the hearing; complaints and charges of the defense; issues to be discussed; positions taken relative to the issues; documents of evidence, proof, or verification; names of invited witnesses; and nature of the settlement requested.


  3. Union Conference - Union Conference personnel shall initiate the dispute process at the union conference level. To do this, the grievant(s) shall make a written request for an arbitration hearing to the secretary/human relations director of the union conference. Normally, within 15 days of the receipt of the request, the union conference secretary/human relations director should respond to the grievant(s) with a written acknowledgment and statement as to how and when the request will be processed. Arbitration forms shall be enclosed for the grievant(s) to complete and return to the union secretary/human relations director as soon as possible. These include the conciliation and dispute spiritual preparation study, the binding arbitration protocol statement, and the confidentiality agreement statement. After the arbitration initiation forms have been signed and returned, the following steps shall be taken by the union conference secretary/human relations director:


    1. Present the request and arbitration initiation forms to the union conference administrative committee (or other appropriate body) for action.
    2. Notify the grievant(s) of the decision of the union conference. If that decision is for binding arbitration, in communication with the grievant(s), set the date, time, and place for the hearing; and select the arbitrator(s) and observer(s). The arbitrator(s) and observer(s) must be approved by the parties in dispute.
    3. Furnish the arbitrator(s) and observer(s) a copy of the arbitration initiation agreement signed by the parties in dispute within ten working days prior to the arbitration hearing date. The information contained in the agreement shall include time, place, and date of the hearing; complaints and charges of the defense; issues to be addressed; positions taken relative to the issues; documents of evidence, proof, or verification; names of invited witnesses; and nature of the settlement requested.


  4. Division Office - Division office personnel shall initiate the dispute process through the associate secretary of the division/Office of Human Relations director. Normally, within 15 working days of the receipt of the request, the associate secretary/Office of Human Relations director shall respond to the grievant(s) with a written acknowledgment and statement as to how and when the request will be processed. Arbitration forms shall be enclosed for the grievant(s) to complete and return to the associate secretary/Office of Human Relations director as soon as possible. These include the conciliation and dispute spiritual preparation study, the binding arbitration protocol statement, and the confidentiality agreement statement. After the arbitration initiation forms have been signed and returned, the following steps shall be taken by the associate secretary/human relations director:


    1. Present the request and arbitration initiation forms to the division administrative committee for action.
    2. Notify the grievant(s) of the decision of the division administrative committee. If that decision is for binding arbitration, in communicating with the grievant(s), set the date, time, and place for the hearing; and select the arbitrator(s) and observer(s). The arbitrator(s) and observer(s) must be approved by the parties in dispute.
    3. Furnish the arbitrator(s) and observer(s) a copy of the arbitration initiation agreement signed by the parties in dispute within ten (10) working days prior to the arbitration hearing date. The information contained in the agreement should include time, place, and date of hearing; complaints and charges of the defense; issues to be discussed; positions taken relative to the issues; documents of evidence, proof, or verification; names of invited witnesses; and nature of settlement requested.

Institutions - Educational and other institutions affiliated with the local and union conferences and the division are expected to have established grievance procedures that are designed to address disputes between its employees. When an in-house grievance process has failed to bring about resolution, the grievant or the administration of the institution may request a binding arbitration hearing to be administered by the next higher body. The acceptance or rejection of this request is left to the discretion of the administration at the next higher level.

When an in-house grievance process has failed in a Columbia Union institution based in the North American Division, the grievant or the administration of the institution may request that a binding arbitration hearing be conducted by the president or secretary of the Columbia Union. The Columbia Union officers may ask the administration of the North American Division to conduct the hearing. The acceptance or rejection of the request from the institution is left to the discretion of the Columbia Union administration.

The Arbitration Panel - The credibility of the arbitration panel in the eyes of the parties in dispute is of utmost importance. The panel should be perceived by the parties in dispute to be neutral, impartial, and independent.

An arbitration hearing may be conducted by either one or three persons, including the moderator; however, in either case, the parties in dispute must agree on the person(s) as well as the number of persons appointed to serve.

On the local church level, the arbitrator(s) as well as the moderator of the arbitration panel are appointed by the church board after they have been agreed upon by all parties in dispute.

On the local conference, union conference, and division levels, the arbitration panel as well as the moderator are appointed by the secretary/human relations director of these organizations after they have been agreed upon by all parties in dispute.

Qualifications of the Arbitrator(s) - Arbitrators must be church members in good standing who are trained and qualified to serve on arbitration panels and who have the potential for bringing about a resolution. A pool of volunteer arbitrators shall be formed from which individuals may be randomly selected to serve as needed. Every effort should be made to include ethnic minorities, women, nondenominationally employed persons, retired former church employees and others as appropriate to the situation.

Legal Representation - The Conciliation and Dispute Resolution Procedures are designed to be an alternative process to the court system where legal representatives are present. Since the intent is to engage in a process that is semiformal, flexible, and nonlegalistic, it is therefore recommended that:

  1. Legal representation be discouraged unless the attorneys are present to provide expert counsel on specific legal matters. All parties must agree on both the attendance and personnel involved.


  2. Peer representation be permitted if both the attendance and personnel are agreed upon by all parties in the dispute.

Observers - To ensure that the hearing is conducted in keeping with Church policy and the arbitration agreement, an observer may be permitted only at the request of and with the consent of all parties in dispute. Observers may answer questions that are asked by either the arbitrator(s) or the parties in dispute.

Conflicts of Interest - The arbitrator(s) and observer(s) shall commit themselves to strict confidentiality and shall disclose all real or potential conflicts of interest in the dispute. When such conflicts of interest are disclosed, the person(s) involved shall be replaced.

Witnesses - Witnesses appear in an arbitration hearing at the call of the moderator. They are present in the hearing only to testify and must leave when they have completed their testimony.

Transcripts and Recordings - Formal transcripts or electronic recordings are permissible in arbitration hearings.

Duration of an Arbitration Hearing - An arbitration hearing shall normally consume one day or less.

Financial Arrangements - The costs for conducting arbitration hearings are to be allocated in the following manner unless otherwise agreed to by all parties involved:

  1. The parties in dispute are to pay all of the travel expenses (transportation, per diem, lodging) for themselves and the witnesses they invite.

  2. The parties in dispute are to pay on a 50-50 basis the travel expenses of any lay person or retired former church employee who serves as an arbitrator.


  3. The local or union conference is to pay the travel and lodging expenses for their employees who serve as arbitrators and observers.


  4. When a local conference employee is asked to serve as an arbitrator or an observer in another local conference, the inviting conference pays the travel and lodging expenses.


  5. When a union conference employee is asked to serve as an arbitrator or an observer in another union, the inviting union pays the travel and lodging expenses.


  6. The North American Division pays the travel expenses for its employees who serve as arbitrators and observers.


  7. Incidental expenses incurred by private moderators and arbitrators such as secretarial help, telephone calls, postage, etc., are to be paid by the local church, the local or union conference, or the division that appointed them.

Follow-up - After-the-fact details are to be cared for by a person(s) assigned the responsibility by the local church, the conference, or the division. These include:

  1. Filing of any materials generated by the arbitration hearing with the secretary of the conference or institution that had original jurisdiction.


  2. Healing relationships hurt by the dispute.


  3. Effectuating and monitoring the settlement.


  4. Filing annual reports of union and division arbitration hearings with the North American Division associate secretary/director of the Office of Human Relations.

Conditions of Employment

The Columbia Union strives to maintain a highly qualified staff. Personnel selection is based on the following qualifications: character, church status, aptitude, education, training, experience, ability, integrity, adaptability and ability to perform job functions (with or without accommodation). Minimal qualifications are:

  1. Church Membership - Membership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, through baptism or by profession of faith, unreserved commitment to its objectives, and a personal relationship with Christ.


  2. Church Teachings - Careful adherence to Bible based teachings and standards of the church by exemplifying standards of personal conduct which would preclude:
    1. Chemical/substance abuse such as:
      -use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco
      -illegal possession and/or misuse of drugs
    2. Use of profanity
    3. Immoral conduct including but not limited to adultery, fornication and homosexuality


  3. Lifestyle - Personal conduct demonstrated in a lifestyle which is expected of Seventh-day Adventists and by thoughtful attention to personal example and influence in grooming, dress and the avoidance of extremes.


  4. Work Performance - Ability to successfully perform the work and tasks to which one is assigned.


  5. Professional Standards - Careful adherence to the highest professional and ethical standards in integrity and confidentiality.


  6. Loyalty - Willing and consistent loyalty and cooperation.


  7. Stewardship - Exemplary witness in faithful stewardship, as Biblically defined, in personal finance, tithe, time and talents (See the section on tithing).


  8. Commitment - Unreserved commitment and fidelity to Christian service for all employees and to ordination vows for ministers.


  9. Personal Finances - Management of personal finances enabling one to live within one's regular income and assure the payment of all just obligations on a timely basis.


  10. Conflicting Interests - Avoidance of conflicting interests and enterprises.


  11. Prescribed Procedures - Compliance with prescribed procedures for resolving conflicts, disputes, complaints and grievances.


  12. Employee Handbook - Compliance with the regulations of the Columbia Union as set forth in the Employee Handbook and policies of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Confidential Information

Many times information is disclosed in the office which is of a strictly confidential nature. Care should be taken to protect yourself and the organization by not passing on this type of information to fellow employees, family or acquaintances, unless authorized to do so.

Conflict of Interest

Statement of Policy

  1. Individuals Included - All employees of the Columbia Union Conference have a duty to be free from the influence of any conflicting interest when they represent the organization in negotiations or make representations with respect to dealings with third parties, and they are expected to deal with all persons doing business with the organization without favor or preference to third parties or personal considerations.


  2. Definition of Conflict -


    1. A conflict of interest arises when an employee of the organization has such a substantial personal interest in a transaction or in a party to a transaction that it reasonably might affect the judgment he/she exercises on behalf of the organization. He/she is to consider only the interests of the organization, always avoid sharp practices, and faithfully follow the established policies of the organization.
    2. Because of the common objectives embraced by the various organizational units and institutions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, membership held concurrently on more than one denominational committee or board, does not of itself constitute a conflict of interest provided that all the other requirements of the policy are met.


  3. Conditions Constituting Conflict - Although it is not feasible in a policy statement to describe all the circumstances and conditions that might have the potentiality of being considered as conflicts of interest, the following situations are considered to have the potentiality of being in conflict and therefore are to be avoided:


    1. Engaging in outside business or employment that permits encroachment on the denominational organization's call for the full services of its employees even though there may not be any other conflict.
    2. Engaging in business with or employment by an employer that is in any way competitive or in conflict with any transaction, activity, or objective of the denominational organization.
    3. Engaging in any business with or employment by a non-denominational employer who is a supplier of goods or services to the denominational organization.
    4. Making use of the fact of employment by the denominational organization to further outside business or employment, or associating the denominational organization or its prestige with an outside business or employment.
    5. Owning or leasing any property with knowledge that the denominational organization has an active or potential interest therein.
    6. Lending money to or borrowing money from any third person who is a supplier of goods or services or a trustor or who is in any fiduciary relationship to the denominational organization or is otherwise regularly involved in business transactions with the denominational organization.
    7. Accepting any gratuity, favor, benefit, or gift of greater than nominal value beyond the common courtesies usually associated with accepted business practice, or of any commission or payment of any sort in connection with work for the denominational organization other than the compensation agreed upon between the denominational organization and the employee.
    8. Making use of or disseminating, including by electronic means, any confidential information acquired through employment by the denominational organization for personal profit or advantage, directly or indirectly.


  4. Statement of Acceptance - The chief administrative officer of the organization concerned shall present a statement of acceptance of the policy on conflict of interest to denominational administrators and department directors, and to each member of the boards of trustees, and all employees of denominational associations and institutional corporations having responsibility in connection with the handling of trustee funds, and such statements shall be signed and made available to the responsible auditors. The boards of trustees of such organizations shall be apprised annually by denominational auditors of inherent exposures to denominational assets.

Credentials and Licenses

Official credentials or licenses are issued to all authorized Seventh-day Adventist employees.

  1. Ministerial Employees--Ordained, Commissioned and Licensed:
    1. Ministerial Credential - To ministerial employees who have demonstrated a divine call to ministry and have been previously classified as licensed ministers and ordained to the Gospel ministry. An Ordained minister is authorized to perform all the ministerial functions of the Church without limitation.
    2. Ministerial License - To ministerial employees who have demonstrated a divine call to ministry which is recognized by a conference with an assignment as a spiritual leader, pastor or evangelist. Such employees must have been ordained as a local elder, and are authorized to perform substantially all the ministerial functions within the assigned district or congregation. A licensed minister is on the path toward ordination as a minister of the Gospel.
    3. Commissioned Minister


      1. Commissioned Minister Credential - To ministerial employees who have demonstrated a divine call to ministry and have been previously classified as a licensed commissioned minister, in which capacity he/she has served for at least five years. In addition, individuals who have demonstrated a divine call and whose spiritual leadership is acknowledged by election or appointment to serve in General, Division, Union, or Local Conference administrative positions, as vice president, secretary, under/associate secretary, treasurer, under/associate treasurer or director of a department, and presidents of major institutions, are also eligible to receive Commissioned Minister Credentials. Such employees must have been ordained as a local elder, and are authorized to perform substantially all the ministerial functions within the assigned organization, institution, or congregation.


        1. An appropriate commissioning service shall be conducted when an employee is granted a Commissioned Minister Credential.
        2. It is not the normal practice to ordain an individual holding a Commissioned Minister Credential.


      2. Commissioned Minister License - To ministerial employees who have demonstrated a divine call to ministry which is recognized by a conference with an assignment as an associate in pastoral care or institutional chaplain. Such employees must have been ordained as a local elder, and are authorized to perform substantially all the ministerial functions within the assigned institution or congregation. Commissioned ministers are not normally on the path toward ordination to the Gospel ministry.


  2. Non-Ministerial Employees:


    1. Missionary Credential - To employees with significant experience in denominational service, usually not less than five years, who demonstrate proficiency in the responsibilities assigned to them and whose remuneration is approximately the maximum for their category in the denominational remuneration scale. These will include regularly employed conference and union institutional and office employees, and career literature evangelists and Bible instructors.
    2. Missionary License - To employees with limited experience (less than five years) including regularly employed field, institutional and office employees.

Discipline and Termination Procedures

The purpose of disciplinary procedures is to provide a systematic and equitable means of dealing with employee violations of conditions of employment or other unacceptable practices and to assist employees in achieving optimum performance. The procedures outlined herein are for guideline purposes only and may be changed or omitted by the employer.

  1. Causes for Discipline - Causes for discipline may include but are not limited to the following:


    1. Violation of conditions of employment, including job performance.
    2. Violation of published policies and procedures.
    3. Failure to comply with any reasonable job-related request by a supervisor.
    4. Causing employee unrest by airing complaints in lieu of following established complaint and grievance procedures.
    5. Failure to keep accurate records in the prescribed manner, or submit valid reports.
    6. Failure to abide by the published guidelines for timekeeping, including regular clocking in and out.


  2. Procedures for Employee Discipline - There are four steps that supervisors should follow when policies, regulations and guidelines in this handbook are ignored or violated:


  3. Verbal Warning - A verbal warning by the immediate supervisor shall be directed to the involved employee. Successive verbal warnings shall be documented in the employee's file.


    1. Written Warning - A written warning will be sent to the employee which contains the following information:
      1. An outline of the problem area(s),
      2. Description of corrective action to be taken within the prescribed time frame,
      3. Further action which will occur if improvement is not noted within this time frame. The letter shall be given to the employee and a copy shall placed in the employee's file.


    2. Evaluation - At the end of the noted time frame, another session will be conducted between the supervisor and employee to discuss results since the initial counseling session. If desired improvement has not been made the HRS Director shall be informed.
    3. Probation - The Human Resources Committee shall take action placing the employee on probation. Another session with the employee will be held in which the employee is advised of the probationary action. A letter will follow from the Human Resources Committee Chairman confirming the probationary status and will be placed in the employee's file.
    4. Discipline - The Human Resources Committee may choose an appropriate level of discipline, based on the severity of an offense, including, but not limited to, verbal warnings, written warnings stated above, administrative leaves with or without pay and employment termination.


  4. Basis for Termination - Any cause for discipline which is not corrected may lead to termination. Causes may include, but are not limited to, the following:


    1. Violation of conditions of employment.
    2. Violation of published employment policies and regulations.
    3. Failure to practice the fundamental teachings and standards of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
    4. Remarriage without Biblical grounds.
    5. Habitual tardiness and/or absenteeism.
    6. Misappropriation or misuse of organizational funds or other assets.
    7. Unauthorized possession or use of property belonging to the organization or other individuals.
    8. Inadequate effort to fulfill a job assignment or unsatisfactory performance.
    9. Committing, aiding, advocating, or being convicted of, a felony.
    10. Supporting, or being involved with, activities that are in conflict with the teachings and objectives of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
    11. Persistent disregard, or violation of, sound principles of Christian interpersonal relationships, or inability to maintain cordial relations with fellow employees.
    12. Refusal to accept a transfer or a justified reassignment.
    13. Attitude detrimental to the objectives and philosophy of the Columbia Union.
    14. Falsification of records, time reports or expense reports.
    15. Insubordination.
    16. Misuse of confidential information.
    17. Failure to return a faithful tithe.


  5. Procedures for Terminating Employees -


    1. Opportunity to Resign - If disciplinary or corrective measures have failed to remedy the situation, and if termination seems to be necessary, the employee may be given the opportunity to initiate resignation.
      1. If the employee feels that written conditions of employment or published regulations, policies, or procedures have been inequitably applied in the impending dismissal, the employee may use the established grievance procedure. If the employee wishes to use this procedure, intention must be stated in writing to the Union Secretary within five working days of receipt of written notice of proposed dismissal. Notice shall be delivered in person or by registered mail with return receipt requested.
      2. If the employee does not resign or does not initiate a grievance procedure, the matter will come back to the appropriate committee for final action.


    2. Gross Misconduct - In the case of a serious violation of conditions of employment or a major infraction of policies and regulations, such as gross misconduct, the action of the appropriate committee to terminate the employee's services is final. In such cases an employee may not be given an opportunity to resign. Prior notice and warnings need not be given. Dismissals for gross misconduct may be for, but not necessarily limited to, the following acts:


      1. Vandalism
      2. Act of immorality or indiscretion
      3. Disorderly conduct and profanity
      4. Gross neglect of duty
      5. Dishonesty
      6. Use of tobacco in any form and/or alcoholic beverages
      7. Illicit use of drugs
      8. Permitting or requiring hourly employees to work without clocking or otherwise recording all hours worked. (Applies to supervisory employees and requires a written warning before termination.)
      9. Possession of firearm, explosive or other weapon devised for bodily harm.


    3. Settlement - Should an employee be dismissed, the Columbia Union Conference will give a minimum of two weeks' notice (except in the case of dismissal for gross misconduct). The Columbia Union at its own discretion may pay the dismissed employee in lieu of notice. The employee who is dismissed for gross misconduct will receive the full remuneration that he or she has earned up to the time of discharge and applicable termination settlement.

Employment Classification

  1. Regular, Full-Time - Employees are considered as regular and full- time when assigned a regular position, working a scheduled minimum of 38 hours a week (1976 hours annually) or working full- time on a salaried basis, and after having been in current denominational service for at least three months. Employees who work full -time are considered eligible for the following benefits*: health care assistance, tuition assistance (exempt employees only), paid leave or vacation, holiday pay, bereavement leave pay, jury duty pay, continuing education/graduate studies financial assistance, year end holiday bonus, etc.


  2. Regular, Part-Time - Employees (including students) are considered as regular and part-time when assigned a regular position, working on a scheduled basis of less than 38 hours a week after having been in current denominational service for at least three months. Employees classified as such may be eligible for the following benefits on a pro-rated basis*: paid leave or vacation, year end holiday bonus. The following may be paid if they fall on a regular scheduled work day: holiday pay, bereavement leave pay, jury duty pay, etc.


  3. Temporary Full-time - Employees (including students) are considered as temporary and full-time when filling a temporary position, working on a scheduled basis of 38 hours a week. Employees classified as such may be eligible for the following benefits* if their assignment is for more than three consecutive months: paid leave or vacation, holiday pay, bereavement leave pay, jury duty pay, year end holiday bonus, etc.


  4. Temporary Part-time - Employees (including students) are considered temporary part-time, when filling a temporary position, working on a scheduled basis of less than 38 hours per week. Employees classified as such are not eligible for benefits.

*This list of benefits may be amended as deemed appropriate by the Human Resources Committee.

Employment at Will

The employee recognizes an employment at will relationship and the employee may terminate the position at any time for any reason subject to the notice requirements or elsewhere in the Employee Handbook. The employer has the same rights as the employee for terminating the employment of the employee. The provisions of the Employee Handbook do not constitute a contract of employment nor are they covenants. No representative of the employer, other than the Human Resources Committee and/or ADCOM, has any authority to enter into any agreement with the employee for any specified period of time, or to make any agreement contrary to the foregoing. The provisions of the Employee Handbook are guidelines only and may be changed or deleted by the employer.

Employee Evaluations

All Columbia Union employees are subject to periodic performance reviews and evaluations. The objectives of these formal evaluations are to identify areas of strength in the person's work and areas where growth and development need to be directed.

Employee Church Membership

All employees of the Columbia Union Conference shall transfer their church membership into a Columbia Union Conference Church within 90 days of employment with the Columbia Union Conference. Any exceptions will need to be negotiated with Columbia Union Conference Administration.

Employment of Relatives

The Columbia Union Conference policy prohibits employment of immediate family members in the same department.

Employment Procedure

  1. Application - All prospective employees with the exception of elected officers desiring Columbia Union Conference employment will complete a formal application for employment. The Columbia Union Conference reserves the right to request a post-hiring physical examination as allowed by law and if it does so, is responsible for the expense. Applicants are tested, interviewed and screened by the Human Resources Committee. No representative of the employer, other than the Human Resources Committee and/or ADCOM, has the authority to enter into any employment agreement at any time (including the setting of remuneration rates) with the prospective employee.

  2. Orientation - A general orientation program for employees is conducted by Treasury to give new employees an introduction to the Columbia Union Conference and its procedures. Departmental orientation is the responsibility of the department director.

Equal Employment Opportunities

The Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is an unincorporated religious association with headquarters located in Columbia, Maryland. The employment practices of the church reflect religious preferences in harmony with the United States Constitution and controlling laws. The Columbia Union Conference does not discriminate with regard to race, national origin, gender (except in positions requiring ordination), color, age, marital status, veteran status or disability that does not prohibit performance of essential job functions. This is reflected in Columbia Union Conference practices and policies regarding hiring, layoff, discharge, training, promotions, rates of pay, and other forms of compensation.

In harmony with the above statement, the Columbia Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. This act gives civil rights protection and equal opportunity to qualified individuals with disabilities in all employment practices, including job application procedures, hiring, advancement, compensation, training, termination and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. An individual is considered to have a disability if the individual has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment.

Family and Medical Leave

The Family and Medical leave Policy of the Columbia Union Conference outlines the conditions under which an employee may request time off with or without pay for a limited period, with job and accrued benefit protection.

For further information or a more detailed description of the Columbia Union Conference Family and Medical Leave Policy and Procedural Process, please contact the Human Resources Committee.

  1. Definition - A family and or/medical leave of absence shall be defined as an approved absence of an eligible employee for up to twelve weeks within a twelve month period under particular circumstances that are critical to the life of a family. Leave may be taken for the following reasons:


    1. birth of an employee's child;
    2. placement of a child with an employee for adoption or foster care;
    3. need for an employee to care for a child, spouse, or parent who has a serious health condition;
    4. when an employee is unable to perform the functions of his/her position because of a serious health condition.

  2. Scope - The provisions of this policy shall apply to all family and/or medical leaves of absence approved for eligible employees for the reasons described in 1. above.


  3. Paid and Unpaid Leave - Family and/or medical leaves of absence shall be unpaid. However, if eligible employees have accrued paid leave benefits under employment benefit plans or policies of the Columbia Union Conference, the employees will be required to use those accrued benefits to provide compensation during all or any part of the twelve weeks leave. If the employee's paid benefits are exhausted, the remainder, if any, of the family or medical leave will be unpaid. The use of accrued benefits will not extend the duration of a family or medical leave.

  4. Eligibility - To be eligible for leave under this policy an employee must have been employed for at least twelve months in total, and must have worked at least 1250 hours during the twelve month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave. All Columbia Union Conference employees who meet the above eligibility requirements, regardless of work site location within the United States, are eligible for family and medical leave.


  5. Reinstatement - An employee who takes leave under this policy will be able to return to the same job or a job with equivalent status, pay, benefits or one which requires substantially equivalent skill, effort, responsibility and authority.


  6. The Columbia Union Conference may choose to exempt certain salaried, highly compensated (key) employees from this requirement and not return them to the same or similar position.

    Once leave has been completed, the employee must obtain job-related certification from the physician or health care provider that the employee is able to resume work.

    Failure to return to work following the approved FMLA leave will be cause for termination of employment.

  7. Basic Regulations:

    1. The Columbia Union Conference will require medical certification to support a claim for leave for an employee's own serious health condition or to care for a seriously ill child, spouse or parent.

      The Columbia Union Conference may require a second medical opinion and periodic re-certification at its own expense. If the first and second opinions differ, the Columbia Union Conference, at its own expense, may require the binding opinion of a third health care provider, approved jointly by the Columbia Union Conference and the employee.

      1. An employee will need to obtain a job-related "fitness for duty" certificate from the attending physician or health care provider prior to his or her return to work if the FMLA leave taken was based on the employee's own serious health condition.

      2. If medically necessary for a serious health condition of the employee or his/her spouse, child or parent, leave may be taken on an intermittent or reduced leave schedule. If leave is requested on this basis, however, the Columbia Union Conference may require the employee to transfer temporarily to an alternative, but equivalent in pay and benefits, position which better accommodates recurring periods of absence or a part-time schedule.


      3. Exempt employees working at Columbia Union Conference headquarters or within a 75 mile radius of the Columbia Union Conference complex may be docked for Family and Medical Leave absences of less than one day, as well as those of one day or more. Other Columbia Union Conference exempt employees will be docked only for Family and Medical Leave absences of one day or more.

      4. Spouses who are both employed by the Columbia Union Conference and are requesting family and medical leave for the same qualifying event are entitled to a total of twelve weeks of leave (rather than twelve weeks each) for the birth, adoption, or placement of a child for foster care or for the care of a sick parent (but not a parent-in-law).


  8. Notification and Reporting Requirements - When the need for leave is foreseeable, such as the birth or adoption of a child, or planned medical treatment, the employee must provide 30 days notice and make efforts to schedule leave so as not to disrupt Columbia Union Conference operations. In unforeseen circumstances, 30 days of notification may not be possible; in such cases, as much prior notice as possible must be given. In cases of illness, the employee will be required to report periodically on his/her leave status and intention to return to work.

    If an employee fails to provide 30 days notice for foreseeable leave with no reasonable excuse for the delay, the leave request may be denied until at least 30 days from the date the Supervisor and the Human Resources Committee receive notice.

  9. Status of Employee Benefits During Leave of Absence - While an employee is on leave, the Columbia Union Conference will continue the employee's health care benefits during the leave period at the same level and under the same conditions as if the employee had continued to work.

    If the employee pays to opt-in eligible dependent(s) and/or spouse, then while on paid leave the Columbia Union Conference will continue to make payroll deductions. While on unpaid leave, the employee must continue to make this payment which must be received in the Accounting Office by the second pay period of each month (see pay day schedule). If the employee does not continue these payments, the Columbia Union Conference may discontinue dependent/spouse coverage during the leave period or will recover payments at the end of the leave period, in a manner consistent with the law.

    If the employee has opted-out of the NADHCAP the Columbia Union Conference will continue to make the authorized monthly payment to the employee regardless of whether the leave is paid or unpaid.

    Benefit entitlements based upon length of service will be calculated as of the last paid day prior to the start of the unpaid leave of absence.

  10. Procedures -


    1. A Request for Family and Medical Leave of Absence Form must be obtained from the Human Resources Committee and completed by the employee. This form should then be initialed by the supervisor and returned to the Human Resources Committee for final approval.
    2. All requests for family and medical leaves of absence due to illness will additionally require the completion of the Certification of Physician or Practitioner Form which must also be returned to the Human Resources Committee. The employee should return the form within 15 days of the request for family and medical leave or provide an acceptable explanation for the delay.
    3. Once leave has been completed, the employee must obtain job-related certification from the physician or health care provider that the employee is unable to resume work. This certification must be returned to the Human Resources Committee.
    4. The Human Resources Committee will inform the employee of the the Human Resources Committee decision relative to the request for leave.

Floater Employees - Guidelines for Approving

  1. Valid Needs - The following situations shall be considered valid causes for officers and department and service directors to request a floater employee to assist on a temporary basis:


    1. To fill in for vacant budgets.
    2. To work on projects for which there is special funding to cover the employee's remuneration.
    3. To replace employees who take time off without pay.
    4. To relieve employees who are expected to be off work for more than two weeks because of participation in FMLA.
    5. To relieve employees who will be on vacation for more than two weeks if it is not possible to arrange for another employee within the department to cover the office.


  2. Back-up Arrangements - Officers and department/service directors should develop a plan to cover vacations and other short-term absences caused by sickness, accident, jury duty, etc. by arranging for the employees to back up each other.


  3. Deadlines - Requests for floater employees may be submitted if it appears that existing personnel will not be able to have important materials ready to meet crucial deadlines.


  4. Anticipating Needs - At the beginning of each year officers and department and service directors should anticipate the need for floater employees during peak periods and present their estimates to the Treasurer.


  5. Procedure - Requests for a floater employee using the prescribed form shall be presented to the Office Manager by the officer, department or service director concerned, preferably one week in advance of the anticipated need.


  6. Volunteers - It may be advantageous at times to utilize volunteer services. All requests for volunteer services shall be arranged through the Office Manager. Contact the Office Manager to see if a volunteer is available to help in situations that might not qualify for a paid floater employee.

Grievance Procedures

Should feelings arise that an employee has not been justly treated, the following procedures should be pursued:

  1. Initial Discussions - The issue or problem in question should first be discussed with the immediate supervisor. If satisfaction is not obtained, the matter should be taken to the department director. If the potential cause of the issue or problem in question is the supervisor himself, the employee may, at his or her option, bypass the supervisor and proceed directly to the department director. If not resolved at this level, the Human Resources Committee Chairman shall be consulted.


  2. Grievance Committee - If the foregoing steps do not result in the resolution of the issue, the complainant has the right to request a hearing before the Human Resources Committee. The complainant must provide a list of specific issues for the Human Resources Committee. The Human Resources Committee shall present its recommendations to ADCOM which shall take the action which it deems appropriate. Should this step fail to bring satisfaction, the final step is a hearing before ADCOM. This committee's evaluation and resolution of the problem will be considered final.


  3. Third Parties - No third parties shall participate in either the hearing before the Human Resources Committee or ADCOM. No written or electronic transcript of the hearing before the Human Resources Committee or ADCOM shall be kept by the employer or the employee. The evaluation and the resolution determined by the Human Resources Committee and/or ADCOM may be verbal and/or written.

Harassment

  1. Personal Conduct - Employees of denominational organizations are to exemplify the Christ-like life and shall avoid all appearance of wrongdoing. They shall not for one moment indulge in sexual behavior that is harmful to themselves or others, and that casts a shadow on their dedication to the Christian way of life.


  2. Mutual Respect - Employees shall respect and uplift one another. They must never place another employee in a position of embarrassment or disrespect due to sexual overtones. To do so would be a violation of God's law and the law of the land which protects human rights in the workplace.


  3. Definitions -


    1. Sexual harassment by the employer, supervisor(s), co-worker(s) and, in some instances, non-employees(s) includes, but is not limited to, the following:


      1. Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal, visual or physical conduct of a sexual nature which affects an individual's employment status or the terms, conditions, or benefits of his or her employment. Such advances constitute sexual harassment when:


        1. Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment; or
        2. Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting an individual; or
        3. 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; or
        4. Where threats or suggestions are made that the individual's job, future promotions, wages, etc., depend on whether or not he/she submits to sexual demands or tolerates harassment.


      2. Unwelcome sex-oriented comments (e.g., kidding, teasing, joking, degrading or offensive sexual comments, sexual tricks);
      3. Requests or pressure for sexual activity;
      4. Unnecessary or inappropriate touching of an individual (e.g. patting, pinching, hugging, repeated brushing against another person's body);
      5. Suggestions, threats or demands for sexual favors;
      6. Inappropriate visual conduct which creates embarrassment or suggests an interest in sexual activity.

    2. Harassment on account of age, race, ethnicity or disability includes, but is not limited to, the following:


      1. Subjecting employees to derogatory remarks, insults, slurs, jokes or tricks based on age, race, ethnicity or disability;
      2. Denying employees opportunities to participate in training or education on account of their age, race, ethnicity or disability;
      3. Limiting opportunities for promotion, transfer or advancement on account of age, race, ethnicity or disability.
      4. Requiring employees to perform physically more difficult tasks or less desirable work assignments in order to force them to retire or resign from employment.


  4. Working Environment - Denominational organizations shall inform their employees that harassment in the workplace will not be tolerated. All employees are expected to avoid any unwelcome behavior or conduct toward any other employee which could be interpreted as harassment. Each organization shall designate a process by which an employee may lodge a complaint.


  5. Reporting Incidents - If an employee encounters sexual harassment or harassment on account of age, race, ethnicity or disability from supervisors, fellow employees, clients, or non-employees, the following steps shall be taken immediately:


    1. Make it clear that such behavior is offensive and must be stopped immediately.
    2. Report the incident(s) to a officer. The complaint shall be in written form.
    3. The person to whom the complaint is made shall conduct all discussions in an objective and thorough manner, and shall advise the complainant not to discuss the matter elsewhere due to the sensitivity of the complaint. The person to whom the complaint is made shall keep any information received strictly confidential, except as necessary to investigate or rectify the matter.


  6. Third-party Reports - All employees who are aware of incidents of apparent sexual harassment or harassment on account of age, race, ethnicity or disability in the workplace are responsible for reporting such incidents to the appropriate person for investigation.


  7. Investigation - Complaints of sexual harassment and harassment on account of age, race, ethnicity or disability shall be investigated promptly. The determination of whether or not a particular action constitutes sexual harassment or harassment on account of age, race, ethnicity or disability shall be made from the facts on a case-by-case basis. The person who is authorized to direct the investigation shall inform Adventist Risk Management, Inc. for insurance purposes The investigation shall include, at a minimum, confidential interviews with all involved persons and written statements regarding the incident(s). The investigation and results shall be documented in writing and the results shall be reviewed with the complainant and accused employee with an explanation of any corrective action to be taken. All individuals involved shall be cautioned to maintain the investigation and results in strict confidence.


  8. Corrective Action -
    1. If the investigation indicates that harassment has not occurred, the complainant and accused employee shall be notified of the results and cautioned regarding future compliance with the organization's harassment policy. All persons, entities, or organizations which were notified of the indication of these proceedings shall also be notified of the results, to the satisfaction of the administrator conducting the investigation in consultation with the accused.
    2. If harassment is found to exist, appropriate officers shall take prompt corrective action. Depending on the severity of the act, the discipline may range from a written warning (a copy of which is placed in the offending person's personnel file) to immediate dismissal.


  9. No Retaliation: Supervisors and co-workers are prohibited from retaliating, intimidating, or harassing employees who complain of sexual harassment or harassment on account of age, race, ethnicity, or disability.

Holding Other Employment

Employees are expected not to hold other employment or to engage in other activities not compatible with the full and proper discharge of the duties and responsibilities of the position held. The Human Resources Committee shall determine whether outside activities are interfering with the employee's efficiency and contribution.

Job Posting Plan

  1. Procedure - All non-exempt positions that become available will be posted for a period of three working days in order to alert interested employees of available jobs. This posting will be placed on the bulletin board in the second floor workroom. Job openings that are to be filled by intra-departmental transfers or by individuals that the Human Resources Committee needs to relocate or place may be excluded from this posting plan.


  2. Service Requirement - Employees with at least one year of service in the same position at the Columbia Union Conference may apply for the posted jobs.


  3. Job Information - Notices for available jobs will give the following information: The job title; a brief description of the job; education, experience and skills required; the remuneration level; time of posting and expiration date. Additional information regarding job openings may be obtained from the Human Resources Committee.


  4. Eligible Candidates - Adequately qualified employees who apply for posted jobs will be considered. Other employees may also be considered for the same job. If the available position is not filled by a current qualified employee, the position will be made available to other SDA applicants.


  5. Evaluation Criteria - Promotions and/or transfers will be based on performance evaluation, education, prior experience, applicable job skills, test results (if applicable) and/or recommendations. Seniority may be given special consideration where ability and other principal factors are comparatively equal.


  6. The Human Resources Committee - The Human Resources Committee reserves the right to fill the vacancy after considering all available factors.


  7. Supervisor's Role - Supervisors are urged to be considerate of the job desires of their employees and to make it easy for them to transfer if they are offered another job that they are interested in accepting.

Leaves of Absence

  1. Procedure - Leaves of absence may be granted for study programs, or extenuating circumstances. Requests must be submitted in writing to the supervisor/department director for consideration by the Human Resources Committee. Leaves for Family and Medical Leave Act purposes should be requested in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act.


  2. Conditions - If a leave of absence is approved by the Human Resources Committee, conditions shall be clearly defined and communicated to the employee in writing. These shall include the length of the leave of absence, financial assistance, continuation of benefits, if any, and the responsibility, if any, of the Columbia Union Conference to re-employ the person. For Family and Medical Leave Act purposes see the section under Family and Medical Leave.

Personal Appearance Policy

Professional circles generally accept the right of any organization to set regulations, standards, guidelines, and principles governing professional appearance and conduct. Administration reserves the right to interpret policy and to rule on misunderstandings or disagreements relative to the application of these standards.

Columbia Union Conference employees play an important role in presenting to visitors, constituents, and coworkers alike a positive image of conservative, Christian professionalism as exhibited through dress and personal appearance. Modest dress, personal grooming, and overall professional appearance of employees truly reflect commitment to the highest levels of Christian values in dress and appearance. Employees are expected at all times to present a professional, business-like image to customers and office visitors. Favorable personal appearance, like proper maintenance of work areas, is an ongoing requirement of employment.

The Columbia Union Conference, while not acting as conscience for others, requires all of its employees, from the first day of employment, to follow the personal appearance standards outlined below:

  1. Professional business attire is to be worn during regular business hours.


  2. The wearing of leisure-type apparel is not appropriate during working hours.


  3. Jewelry of all types should be avoided, except for the wearing of a simple wedding band.


  4. Hair should be groomed in good taste, shunning fads and extremes. Mustaches, sideburns, and beards must be neatly trimmed and maintained.

It is the responsibility of the individual department/service directors as well as the Human Resources Committee Director to implement the Personal Appearance Policy. Should it be determined that within a department/service an individual is not in compliance with the policy, the following steps will be taken:

  1. The department/service director and/or the Human Resources Committee Director shall consult with the immediate supervisor urging implementation.


  2. A memo documenting the verbal counsel shall be directed to the employee by the department/service director/supervisor

  3. The department/service director shall inform the Human Resources Committee Director if an employee refuses to comply with the personal appearance requirements. The Human Resources Committee Director and department/service director shall then meet jointly with the employee in order to resolve the situation. A second memo shall be directed to the employee by the Human Resources Committee Director requiring a written response as to the employee's intentions with respect to the personal appearance requirements.


  4. If the employee still refuses to comply with the personal appearance requirements after being counseled by the Human Resources Committee Director and department/service director, the matter shall be referred to the Human Resources Committee for disciplinary action.

Personal Responsibility

Personal conduct exemplifying a life standard superior to that generally accepted in matters of attitude and work performance and example in grooming, dress and avoidance of extremes should be the goal of each worker.

In the lives of all employees, the denominational standards of morality, Sabbath-keeping, stewardship and recreation are to be observed. All employees are expected to be faithful and regular in the returning of tithes and offerings to a local church within the Columbia Union Conference.

Each should adhere carefully to the highest professional and ethical standards, especially in such matters as integrity and confidentiality.

After outlining the duties of the gospel worker, Paul, in writing to Timothy, said "Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all." I Timothy 4:15

Management of personal finances so as to live within one's regular income and the current payment of all just obligations is expected of each worker.

Self Supervision

Since the officers and department directors are out of the office a great deal, many employees whose functions are primarily in the office, work much of the time without close supervision. Employees are expected to conscientiously observe the office hours and apply themselves diligently to their work. They should refrain from visiting with fellow employees or visitors for extended periods, doing personal work, or in spending time in other non-productive activities.

Sexual Misconduct in Church Relationships Involving Denominational Employees and Approved Volunteers - Model Procedures

Introduction -

  1. Appearances of Wrongdoing - Denominational employees and volunteers shall exemplify a Christ-like life and avoid all appearances of wrongdoing. They must not engage in behavior that is harmful to themselves or others. Denominational employees and volunteers should respect every individual. To do otherwise is not consistent with the Christian life.
  2. Violations of Christian Principles--Sexual misconduct is a violation of Christian principles. Sexual misconduct is never condoned by the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Denominational employees and volunteers are entrusted with sacred responsibilities which include refraining from sexual misconduct. It is expected that persons functioning in these roles will not engage in such behavior.
  3. Improper Actions Compromise the Church and Its Message--The Church and its message are compromised by improper actions of denominational employees and volunteers. The Church seeks to respond to situations where the fitness of a person for service to the Church is called into question due to accusations of sexual misconduct. The Church also seeks to advance the healing and integrity of all persons influenced by the ministry of the Church.


Purpose -

  1. Model Procedures - The purpose of this policy is to provide model procedures for use by Church entities that respond effectively to allegations of sexual misconduct against denominational employees and volunteers.


  2. The North American Division strongly recommends that all local conferences, union conferences, educational, and health care institutions, and all other North American Division church-related entities and boards establish procedures to address sexual misconduct.

  3. Implementation - Organizations which adopt these procedures shall inform those responsible regarding the implementation of such procedures. These organizations shall also take reasonable steps to inform members, denominational employees, volunteers, students, and others of these procedures. All church organizations must determine and comply with the abuse reporting requirements of their state or province. If government agencies or authorities become involved in allegations pertaining to sexual misconduct, all individuals are reminded to their duty to cooperate.


  4. Policy Limitation - This policy is not intended to supersede any conflicting provisions in existing personnel policies, valid contracts, or any provisions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual. In the event of any such conflict, the organization or entity enacting procedures to address sexual misconduct should consult legal counsel to eliminate the conflict. Where a conflict exists, the provisions of the personnel policy, contract, or the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual shall prevail.

Definitions -

  1. Accuser - Any person, regardless of church membership, alleging sexual misconduct by a denominational employee or volunteer. An accuser may also be a minor's parent or guardian, or any other representative recognized by the Sexual Ethics Committee (SEC), or the legal representative of an incompetent adult.


  2. Accused - denominational employee or volunteer who is alleged to have committed sexual misconduct while in the course and scope of his/her employment or volunteer status.


  3. Church - For this policy, "church" means the local conference, union conference, or the North American Division, of which the employing or appointing entity or organization is a part.


  4. Denominational Employee - Any individual who is employed by the Church.


  5. Designated Officer - The person at the local conference, union conference, or North American Division of which the employing or appointing organization or entity is a part, who is responsible for initiating the procedures set forth in this policy.


  6. Discipline Committee - The group responsible for the discipline of church employees or volunteers.


  7. Incompetent Person - A person, who because of health, age, or mental capacity, is legally unable to consent.


  8. Perpetrator - An accused who is determined by the Sexual Ethics Committee (SEC) to have committed sexual misconduct.


  9. Sexual Ethics Pool (SEP) - A group comprised of qualified appointees, from which Sexual Ethics Committees are selected as needed. (See Selection of Sexual Ethics Pool).


  10. Sexual Ethics Committee (SEC) - The five member committee that is appointed from the Sexual Ethics Pools (SEP) by the Designated Officer to consider a complaint.


  11. Sexual Ethics Committee Chair (SEC Chair) - A member of the Sexual Ethics Committee, appointed by the designated officer to assume administrative responsibilities for the Sexual Ethics Committee as necessary.


  12. Sexual Harassment - Any unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct, which may include but is not limited to sexually suggestive comments or jokes, crude language, and unwelcome physical contact, which is gender specific or of a sexual nature:

    1. made either explicitly or implicitly a condition of employment or volunteer relationship;
    2. used as a basis for affecting those relationships; and/or
    3. creates an intimidating, hostile, and/or offensive environment.


  13. Sexual Misconduct - Improper sexual behavior including any of the following:
    1. Actual or attempted sexual contact with a minor or with any person where there exists a relationship with inequality of power.
    2. Actual or attempted rape or sexual contact by force, threat, or intimidation.
    3. Criminal behavior of a sexual nature.


  14. Victim - An accuser becomes a victim when the accused is determined by the Sexual Ethics Committee (SEC) to have committed sexual misconduct.


  15. Volunteer - Any individual whose labor or service is requested by and donated to the Church, and is under the Church's direction or supervision. The existence of a monetary stipend for reimbursement of expenses does not negate volunteer status.

The Guiding Principles and Concepts Underlying the Development of This Policy are:

  1. Serious Treatment of Accusations - All accusations of sexual misconduct shall be taken seriously and carefully investigated by the Sexual Ethics Committee (SEC). No accusation shall be dismissed without a response, and all shall be processed in a timely manner. The accused and the accuser shall be treated with respect.


  2. Presumptions - The filing or failure to file a complaint or denial shall not be deemed to be conclusive evidence of any issue, but may be considered as part of the evidence received by the SEC.


  3. Protection of All Involved - The confidentiality of those involved, including the accuser and the accuser's family, the accused and the accused's family, shall be respected.


  4. Discipline - A denominational employee or volunteer who has engaged in sexual misconduct is subject to discipline as outlined in the North American Division Working Policy, Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, applicable personnel policies, or employment contracts.


  5. Expenses - The expenses incurred to implement this policy should usually be borne by the church or by agreement with one of its entities or organizations. The goal of this policy is the protection of the members and the work of the church; therefore, a primary beneficiary of these procedures is the church and its members.


  6. Unbiased Considerations - To protect the integrity of the proceedings outlined in this policy, the designated officer and the members of the SEC shall be free of actual or apparent bias, prejudice, predisposition or conflict of interest that may be material to the issues, proceedings, or individuals involved. Any of these individuals who are, or appear to be, biased, prejudiced, predisposed or have a conflict of interest, shall be replaced or excluded from appointment. The discipline committee should also be free of actual or apparent bias, prejudice, predisposition or conflict of interest that may be material to the issues, proceedings or individuals involved.

Selection of Sexual Ethics Pool (SEP)

  1. The Sexual Ethics Pool (SEP) shall be selected by the local conference, union conference, or division executive committee and, to the extent practicable, reflect the diversity of the Church.


  2. Members' Qualifications: Members selected to serve on the SEP shall:
    1. Be members of the Church in good standing;
    2. Be free of any predisposition, bias or conflict of interest that may be material to the proceedings or issues involved; and
    3. Have knowledge of the subject of sexual misconduct.


  3. Confidentiality Agreement: Each member of the SEP shall
    sign a confidentiality agreement to ensure that the member understands the duty, extent, and nature of confidentiality. Confidentiality of the SEP is of utmost importance.

Preliminary Process -

  1. Activate the Process - Upon receiving a report or learning of alleged sexual misconduct by a denominational employee or volunteer, the accused's immediate supervisor or chief administrative officer of the institution or entity involved, in addition to any other duties or obligations he/she may have, shall activate the following process by immediately:


    1. Notifying the designated officer of the report of knowledge; and
    2. Timely reporting of all allegations or knowledge of sexual misconduct to:
      1. Local authorities as necessary to comply with applicable abuse reporting statutes; and
      2. Adventist Risk Management Services, Inc. and applicable liability insurance carriers.


  2. Meeting With Accuser - When notified, the designated officer shall immediately convene a meeting with the accuser to:

    1. Hear the allegations;
    2. Request the accuser to file a written complaint which shall include the name of the accused, details including the date(s), place(s), and nature of the offense(s), and verification by the accuser. The complaint shall be verified as follows:


    3. I,____________________, do verify and affirm that the within factual accusations of sexual misconduct are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

      Dated this _____of ________________, 20____,

      At ______________________, ______________________

      City State

      ____________________________________

      Signature of accuser

      ____________________________________

      Signature of designated officer

    4. Request permission from the accuser to use the written complaint and his/her name in discussion with the accused;
    5. Request the accuser to appear before the SEC and;
    6. Explain to the accuser the process to be followed in response to the complaint, and provide a copy of this policy.
    7. Report the initiation of these proceedings:
      1. For an accused employee, to the accused's employing entity or organization and the local conference, union conference, or the North American Division of which it is a part; or
      2. For a volunteer, to the accused's appointing organization and the church board of the congregation of which the volunteer is a member

    8. Explain to the accuser that if the accuser at any time chooses not to participate, the process shall continue if there appears to be sufficient evidence to believe that an act of sexual misconduct has occurred.


  3. Meeting With the Accused - As soon as practicable, the designated officer shall convene a meeting with the accused to:


    1. Present the accused with the verified written complaint;
    2. Explain to the accused the process to be followed in response to the complaint, and provide a copy of this policy; and
    3. Request that the accused submit a verified written response to the complaint and discuss with the designated officer any additional verbal response the accused may wish to have considered. The written answer shall be verified as follows:


    I, _______________________________, do verify and affirm, that the factual statements and denials set forth in this answer are true and correct to the best of my knowledge.

    Dated this ______of __________________, 20____,



    At ___________________, ___________________

    City State

    ______________________________________

    Signature of accused

    ____________________________________

    Signature of designated officer

  4. After Meeting With the Accused - After meeting with the accused, the designated officer shall immediately begin the process of selecting the five-member SEC.


  5. Integrity of the Affected Entities - The designated officer shall take steps to maintain the integrity of the affected institution or entity and those involved in the dispute. This may include recommending to the disciplinary body that the accused be placed on administrative leave with pay and without prejudice, or that a volunteer be prohibited from carrying on his/her volunteer duties. Under such circumstances, the accused shall not engage in any church-related duties until the SEC has issued its findings. Other prudent courses of action must also be considered.


  6. Investigative Process Omitted - Should the designated officer, in consultation with the selected SEC members and the concurrence of a majority of those members, determine that the allegations of the accuser are of a nature that could be best resolved between the parties, and there is no factual dispute, then the investigative process may be omitted, provided the accuser, accused, and disciplinary body agree. The notification procedure contained in the decision process, and the disciplinary process, shall be followed as necessary. Should this process not be successful, the matter shall be referred back to the designated officer, who shall then initiate the investigative process.


Investigative Process -

The Sexual Ethics Committee, meeting as a group only, shall fully investigate the allegations through information and documentation from the accuser, the accused, and other appropriate sources. The SEC shall meet with parties and witnesses; receive and consider written documents, photographs, and other relevant materials; consider any court or administrative proceedings, including criminal convictions and pleas; and may determine at its own discretion the manner and form in which such evidence is received. Because these proceedings are administrative in nature, the SEC shall have complete control over the hearing format, including whether cross-examination of parties will be prohibited, and what evidence will be admitted.

  1. Convene Meeting of All Parties - After reviewing the verified written complaint of the accuser and the response of the accused, the SEC shall convene a meeting of the parties to gather information to determine whether the factual allegations as set forth in the verified written complaint were more likely to be true than untrue.


    1. The parties may bring other persons who have knowledge of the allegations and who may provide statements under oath. The SEC shall hear and consider the allegations and receive any such additional evidence necessary to support or defeat the verified written complaint. Written statements provided by either party should have notarized signatures, as provided for in the written complaint and denial.
    2. Members of the SEC may ask questions as necessary. The SEC may, upon a determination of good cause, prohibit cross-examination of parties or witnesses. If cross-examination is not allowed, the SEC shall accept written questions from the accused or accuser, and the SEC shall question the party(ies) or witness(es) protected from cross-examination.


  2. Attendance at Meeting of SEC - The SEC members, the accuser, the accused, as well as the parents/guardians, or legal representatives of a minor or an incompetent adult, and, with permission of the SEC, qualified therapists of the accuser and/or the accused, or legal counsel of the accuser or the accused, may attend the SEC meetings. Any other individual may attend only upon invitation of the SEC, consent of both parties, or while giving testimony or providing other evidence. The SEC may seek counsel and advice from therapists, attorneys, or any other experts to assist the SEC in its investigation of the charges or administration of the proceedings.


  3. Additional Meetings of SEC - The SEC may convene additional meetings as may be necessary to fulfill its duties and responsibilities. Reasonable efforts will be made to provide notice to both the accuser and the accused of these meetings.


  4. Witness Invitation or Recall - The SEC may invite or recall witnesses on its own initiative or at the request of the accuser or the accused as often as is necessary to ensure a fair outcome.


  5. Recording of SEC Meetings - The SEC meetings shall not be recorded by videotaping, audiotape recording, or the preparation of a verbatim transcript by a court reporter or stenographer.


  6. Reporting of Verdict - Upon any criminal disposition adverse to the accused, whether by verdict or pleas of guilty or no contest, of charges based upon sexual misconduct, the SEC shall presume the allegations involving the disposition substantiated, and the designated officer shall report the finding to the disciplinary body for appropriate disciplinary action. A finding of not guilty in the criminal court will not of itself affect the process, findings, or disposition under this policy.


  7. Uncooperative Accuser - If the accuser at any time chooses not to cooperate, the process shall continue if there appears to be sufficient evidence to believe that an act of sexual misconduct has occurred.


  8. Resignation of Volunteer - If the accused volunteer chooses to resign his/her membership and volunteer position, the SEC shall consult with and seek the advice of an attorney regarding legal issues concerning continued disciplinary action against the volunteer.

Decision Process -

The SEC shall determine whether the charges contained in the accuser's complaint are supported by evidence showing that the charges are more likely than not to be true. Unless otherwise agreed to by the parties in writing, the SEC shall issue a finding within thirty (30) business days from the date of the final hearing.

  1. SEC Actions - Based upon its conclusion, the SEC shall take one of the following actions:


    1. If the allegations of sexual misconduct are found to be more likely untrue than true, no further investigatory action shall take place, and reasonable efforts shall be made to exonerate the accused and clear his/her name, including placing the SEC's findings in the accused's personnel file, if applicable. These findings may also be placed in the accuser's records as appropriate. The SEC and the designated officer shall communicate and explain the SEC findings with the accuser and the accused, separately. All entities or organizations which were notified of the initiation of these proceedings, shall also be notified of the SEC findings to the satisfaction of the SEC in consultation with the accused.
    2. If the allegations of sexual misconduct are found to be more likely true than not, the SEC shall report its findings to the designated officer, who shall then relay the findings to the appropriate disciplinary body. Upon request, the SEC shall make its members available to meet with the discipline committee. All entities and organizations which were notified of the initiation of these proceedings, shall also be notified of the SEC findings.

Disciplinary Process:

  1. Factors to Consider - The discipline committee shall consider the following factors in determining the appropriate discipline:


    1. Severity of the offense(s)
    2. Frequency of the offense(s)
    3. Severity of the injury(ies)
    4. Number, age(s), and gender of victim(s)
    5. Attitude of the perpetrator (is he/she contrite?)
    6. Duration of the injury(ies); and
    7. Nature of the relationship between the parties.


  2. Discipline May Include - Based upon these factors, discipline shall be imposed, and may include one or more of the following:


    1. Educative warning
    2. Written reprimand
    3. Public censure
    4. Mandatory counseling
    5. Suspension and/or
    6. Termination of employment or volunteer relationships.
    7. Requirement that the perpetrator reimburse the expenses incurred by the parties or the SEC.


  3. Discipline Committee to Communicate with All Parties - The discipline committee will communicate with the victim(s) and the perpetrator, separately, to explain the action(s) taken. Upon the request of the discipline committee, the SEC and the designated officer shall be available for assistance.


  4. Personnel File Record - If the perpetrator is a denominational employee, the designated officer shall ensure that notations have been placed in his/her personnel file that a complaint had been made, the findings of the SEC, and the action taken by the discipline committee.


  5. Volunteer Perpetrators - If the perpetrator is a volunteer, the findings of the SEC and any action taken by the discipline committee shall be reported by the designated officer to the church entity or organization which appointed him/her as a volunteer and to the church board and local conference in which he/she holds membership.

Responses - Once the discipline committee has made its determination and decided upon the disciplinary action, the following steps shall be taken:

  1. Response to the Accused -
    1. An appropriate individual shall be made available to the accused early in the process to serve as an interpreter of the process.
    2. Inform the accused regarding the disciplinary decision of the discipline committee.
    3. Implement discipline committee action.
    4. Remove the accused employee from service
    5. Assuming continuation of employment is possible, require therapeutic counseling and/or treatment to be utilized in combination with any of the responses listed above. A therapist who is qualified to deal with sexual misconduct, and who is sensitive to issues of professional ethics should be selected by the accused and approved by the designated officer. Assistance shall be made available for the spouse and family where needed and approved. The therapy requirement shall be clearly communicated and monitored as appropriate.
    6. For minor offenses where it is concluded that the accused is sufficiently capable of effective service again, possible reinstatement of the accused shall be dependent upon the recommendation(s) of the therapist, supervisor, and members of the discipline committee.
    7. Limit the service of the accused during the rehabilitation process and appoint a trained supervisor to monitor his/her duties. Any such rehabilitation plan needs to be approved by a qualified therapist to protect other potential victims.


  2. Response to the Accuser(s) -
    1. A designated officer shall name an appropriate person as an interpreter for the accuser early in the process. This person shall be available at the accuser's discretion.
    2. A list of qualified therapists shall be provided to the accuser(s) to be utilized at his/her/their choice. While this does not imply financial responsibility on the part of the organization, financial support for this purpose may be offered without implying guilt.


  3. Response to the Congregation, Institution, or Church-related Entity-
    1. The designated officer of the discipline committee shall meet with the officers of the conference, church, institution, or church-related entity to communicate the results of the hearing process. At this meeting special attention shall be given to the disciplinary action taken, and its implications.
    2. A trained resource person from the SEC shall be made available to assist the institution or congregation in whatever ways necessary to address their concerns, and to bring healing.

  4. Response in Situations Involving Minors -
    1. In the event that a complaint involves allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor, the person who receives the complaint is required by law to:


      1. Immediately report the suspicion of sexual abuse against a minor to the local law enforcement authority (i.e., district attorney, child protection services, etc.);
      2. Proceed with the Church's investigation outlined in this policy.


    2. If charges are filed involving criminal acts against a minor and the accused is prosecuted, two members of the SEC may be assigned to monitor the trial proceedings and report regularly to the commission.
    3. If the accused is convicted in court of criminal charges against a minor, the SEC shall recommend to the discipline committee permanent removal from denominational employment or service.
    4. If the complainant does not choose to pursue a formal written complaint with the conference, the designated officer shall continue the investigation if there appears to be sufficient evidence that sexual misconduct has occurred such as to cause concern for the well-being of other minors.

Appeal - Because sexual misconduct policies are developed to make the process as fair and impartial as possible, the findings of the SEC are considered final, resulting in no further recourse through appeals through the Church.

Education and Prevention - The North American Division seeks to educate employees and volunteers that sexual misconduct is disapproved by the Church and violates the law of the land. To carry out this educational goal, the North American Division publishes this policy for its office and field, institutions, boards, and church-related entities and affiliates; develops appropriate sanctions for sexual misconduct; and endeavors to inform all employees, volunteers and members of their right to complain of sexual misconduct.

The North American Division encourages the establishment of education and prevention programs in churches, schools, and other institutions. Lists containing names of employee and lay resource persons who have indicated that they can provide seminars, sermons, and educational programs may be obtained from the Sexual Ethics Commission of the North American Division.

Resignation

  1. If, for any reason, an employee finds it necessary to discontinue employment, he/she will submit a written notification of intention to the office manager at least two weeks prior to the planned date of departure.


  2. Check Out-The exiting employee will be given an exit interview form and a check list of items to be returned to the office manager on the last day of employment. An exit interview will be conducted at that time.

Time Off Without Remuneration

  1. Requests - Employees who desire a few weeks of time off without remuneration for personal reasons shall submit their request to their supervisor; for Family and Medical Leave Act purposes, see section under Family and Medical Leave Act.


  2. Approval - If the supervisor approves, the request shall be referred to the Human Resources Committee for decision.


  3. Service Credit - If an employee takes time off without pay that exceeds 26 hours in a calendar year, the employee's service credit for that year will be prorated

Tithing

  1. Rationale - Tithing is a basic biblical principle which speaks to a person's relationship with his Creator. This relationship is ordained of God for the benefit of His children. Systematic and regular tithing yields rich rewards. Among these is the bond which results between a person and his Creator. Another is experiencing the intrinsic satisfaction of giving one's self and one's means to the Lord. Our Lord's promise of special blessings to the faithful tither can be received in no other way.


  2. Models - Seventh-day Adventist denominational employees are to be models in every facet of their lives. Church members must see in church workers a fidelity to basic principles which is unequivocal. Such employees will demonstrate an exemplary commitment to the Lord and the teaching of His Church.


  3. Review - Because of its importance as a principle and the spiritual experience it represents, tithing, like other basic beliefs of the Church, becomes a condition of employment for all employees. Consequently, at the time of employment, each individual shall be informed in writing of this requirement, which includes the expectation of faithfulness in tithing. Employees shall also be informed that their tithing practices may be subject to an annual review.


  4. Concern - If it is determined that an employee is not faithfully tithing, the President shall discuss the matter with the employee in the spirit of pastoral concern and endeavor to help him understand that he is following a course that is harmful to his relationship with his Creator.

Worker's Personal Finance

The standards of the ministry in all things should be maintained on an irreproachable basis, in order that "the ministry be not blamed." II Corinthians 6:3.

Employees should arrange their personal financial budgets so as to live within their regular income, and where they do not succeed in so doing, they should be advised to resign and take up some remunerative line of business outside denominational employment.

Employees shall not in any way seek personal gifts from church members. When it is necessary for them to discuss their financial affairs, this should be done with their employing bodies rather than with members of the church.

Employees who continually neglect or refuse to pay their just obligations may be advised to take up some other line of work.

Proper and satisfactory arrangements shall be made by workers for all financial obligations before transferring to another church organization.

While it is desired that every worker be encouraged to make continuous effort for self-improvement, especially through correspondence courses, no full time conference workers or other denominational employee should take residence schoolwork or any lines of study that would make inroads upon time that should be given to their regular duties without first making proper arrangements with their supervisor.

Work Schedule

The office works a 38-hour week. The work week begins with the worship service at 8:00 a.m. on Monday. Regular work hours are Monday-Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. There is a half-hour lunch period. A 15-minute break may be taken mid-morning and mid-afternoon; however, an employee may opt to forego the breaks and thereby qualify for a one-hour lunch period. Any variation of these hours would be with the authorization of the office manager.

REMUNERATION POLICIES


Attendance

  1. Procedure - If, for any reason, it is necessary for an hourly employee to be absent during regularly scheduled work hours, the department director, supervisor or authorized designee must be notified as soon as possible of the reason for the absence and anticipated time of return.


  2. Unauthorized Absence - The employee will be considered absent without authorization if a message is left with anyone other than the department director, supervisor or authorized designee. Unauthorized or inadequately reported tardiness, early departures or absences from the office may be recorded in the employee's personnel file, and may result in disciplinary action up to and including job termination.

Bereavement Policy

  1. Bereavement Leave - Regular full time employees of the Columbia Union Conference who lose a member of the family in death may be granted a leave with pay of up to three days, according to distance and circumstances. Up to five days will be allowed when travel to the funeral requires more than one day's travel.


  2. Family members include husband, wife, child, father, mother, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandparents, and grandchildren.

    Request for bereavement leave is made through the department director, who will notify the office manager immediately.

  3. Attendance at Local Funerals - Time taken off by employees to attend funerals for other than those of the family members shall either be made up or taken as time off without pay. Family members are defined above. Employees are authorized to attend the funerals of current or former Columbia Union Conference employees or their spouses that are held in the local area.

Compensatory Time off

Special Weekend Provision: In those instances when a secretary is requested to assist in a weekend meeting, seminar, camporee, etc., he/she shall be granted one full day of compensatory time off within the pay period. Inherent in this policy, however, is the secretary's right of refusal to participate. He/she will be scheduled so that the total work week hours do not exceed 38 hours.

  1. Remuneration - During the work week, any schedule which varies from the approved standard or flextime work schedule should be adjusted with the approval of the supervisor so that no more than 38 hours per week are worked. However, if this is not possible, any excess time worked up to 40 hours per week (up to 2 hours) will be paid at straight time. Any time worked in excess of 40 hours per week will be paid at time and one-half.


  2. Prior Approval - An employee must obtain prior approval of the supervisor or undertreasurer to work more than 38 hours per week.

Court Ordered Subpoena

Employees subpoenaed by court order shall notify the director of their department and The The Human Resources Committee of the required absence. Regular remuneration will continue during the absence from work.

Garnishments and Assignments


Personal business affairs should be conducted in such a way that the Columbia Union Conference will not become involved. The Columbia Union Conference will abide by court judgment if legal actions concerning delinquent indebtedness are brought against employees.

Honorariums For Speaking Engagements

The Columbia Union Conference does not pay honorariums to denominational employees who make speeches of various kinds at functions that are sponsored by the Columbia Union Conference.

Insurance - Voluntary Labor Accident

Voluntary labor accident insurance is carried by the Columbia Union. This policy indemnifies persons performing voluntary labor for the Seventh-day Adventist Church, providing such person is an authorized employee.

The coverage is for accidental bodily injuries sustained while performing authorized volunteer labor.

This policy does not apply to any employee of the church who receives compensation. It is strictly limited to volunteer lay members who are performing this work without financial remuneration. It is understood that this coverage is in nature secondary to any other coverage carried by the volunteer.

Jury Duty

Employees who are called to serve on jury duty will notify the treasury department so arrangements can be made to cover their position. Employees may retain the standard jury fee even though they are paid their regular full salary by the Union.

Parsonage Exclusion

Ministers are permitted by federal law to exclude from income amounts paid by themselves to provide a parsonage in which to live.

Each year the Columbia Union Conference Executive Committee sets the maximum amount of this exclusion for the coming calendar year.

In order for a minister to qualify for this exclusion, accurate records must be kept of parsonage expenses.

The parsonage allowance exclusion cannot exceed the lesser of actual expenses or the fair rental value of the home plus the cost of utilities.

A minister is not automatically entitled to exclude the fair rental value plus the cost of utilities, but must actually spend the amount.

In December of each year the Treasury Department will send to each minister a form on which he/she is to list by category the actual amounts spent. When this form is completely filled in and returned on time, the income reported to the IRS will be reduced in accordance with the applicable IRS regulations and church policy.

The exclusion will be prorated during the year that the minister moves in or out of the Union.

In the year that an ordained/licensed minister is moved to another location, the maximum exclusion may be increased by $3,000 for that year.

The minister must, however, add the parsonage exclusion to his/her self-employment income to determine the amount of Social Security tax he/she must pay to the IRS. Typical expenses that may be included are:

  1. Down payment, closing costs, etc., for purchase of home
  2. Rent or mortgage payments
  3. Utilities expenses
  4. Furniture purchases
  5. Insurance
  6. Maintenance and repairs
  7. Taxes
  8. Pest control and lawn care

In the event the employee is audited by the IRS, it is the responsibility of the employee to give proof of the expenses that have been excluded.

Parsonage Exclusion - Retirees

The guidelines for calculating the parsonage exclusion for Columbia Union Conference employees during the year of retirement are as follows:

  1. Maximum - The maximum parsonage exclusion shall be the maximum voted for the area in which the retiree lives during the year he retires. If at the time of retirement the retiree moves to an area where the maximum is different, a new maximum for the year will be arrived at by taking the pro-rata portion of each maximum figure in the respective areas to arrive at a new maximum exclusion for the retiree.


  2. Coordination - The maximum parsonage exclusion which the Columbia Union Conference will allow during the year of retirement must include the remuneration received by the employee prior to retirement, the retirement allowance granted the employee, and the retirement benefits provided to the retiree by the Retirement Office.


  3. Expenses - The retiree will be able to exclude from gross income the amount equal to the lesser of the actual expenses of operating a home or the fair rental value of his home(s) plus utilities, during the year of retirement, up to the maximum as determined in number 1 above.


  4. Exclusion - The Retirement Office automatically excludes 100 percent of the retirement benefits as parsonage allowance.

Paydays

Monthly labor reports are to be turned in to the treasury department on forms supplied by that department. They are due on the 23rd of the month for payment on the 25th of the month. An advance may be secured if needed.

Nonexempt employees are paid on a bi-weekly basis. The labor report substitutes for a time clock and hours should be reported based on actual arrival and departure times.

Payroll advances are available for emergency needs. The full advance will be deducted from the next paycheck. If it is seen that an employee is seeking too many advances, the employee will be counseled to find a way to live within his/her income. (Deductions for savings and TSA's might become questionable if the employee asks for frequent advances.) Advance requests should not be made during the last week of the month.

Payroll Deductions

Deductions from personal payroll checks for such things as credit unions, insurance and tax-sheltered annuities will be made only for regular full-time employees or regular part-time employees.

Remuneration Philosophy

To provide a basis for the remuneration of various classes of workers, a denominational wage scale has been adopted. The philosophy of this wage scale is predicated upon the fact that a spirit of sacrifice and dedication should mark God's workers, irrespective of the position they hold, or the department they represent. The church wage scale does not always compensate its dedicated workers in monetary units commensurate with their talents, accomplishments and contributions, but does provide workers with a modest living income, which gives recognition of responsibilities borne, preparation undertaken, professional attainment, previous experience, and years of service.

The philosophy, from its inception, has anticipated that, in addition to the contribution of time and talent, a Seventh-day Adventist worker will also, from his modest salary, make voluntary gifts to accelerate the proclamation of the gospel, and thus exhibit a further demonstration of faith and commitment.

Non-Discrimination --If considered in the light of these principles, the remuneration scale policy of the Seventh-day Adventist Church will be seen to be in harmony with the spirit of non-discrimination, equal pay and other requirements, as well as being in conformity with the teachings and beliefs of the church.

Remuneration Scale

  1. Specifications --A remuneration scale based on such considerations as education, experience, and responsibility, provides minimums and maximums expressed in percentages of the remuneration factor. It incorporates basic income rates for various categories of services, with recognition of the responsibility inherent in each position or category.
  2. Categories --A spread between minimum and maximum rates in the various categories of from fifteen to thirty percent has been incorporated in the remuneration scale. In setting rates within this spread, the Human Resources Committee takes into consideration the following factors with respect to each employee:

    1. Education and training
    2. Previous experience and achievement
    3. Skills and abilities
    4. Years of service

Snow Policy 

       Because the safety of our employees is of prime concern, allowance is made for extra travel time or office closings as outlined below.

  1. Delayed arrival for work will be determined on the following conditions:
    1. If Montgomery County, and/or Howard County, and/or Prince George's County schools are closed for the day due to inclement weather, workers will be given up to two hours to arrive at work. This delay is meant to allow adequate time to arrive safely if needed. Arrival before 10 a.m. will not constitute overtime or comp time.
    2. If a two-hour delay is announced for the opening of school, workers will be given up to a one-hour delay in reporting to work.

  2. Office closings will be determined as follows:

    If  the Howard County Govenment closes due to inclement weather, the office will be closed.

  3. Any time off not covered by the snow policy on the day it is in effect, may be considered as:

    1. paid leave time;
    2. time without pay;
    3. comp time (for extra hours incurred during that same work week).

  4. Early departures or total closings: Except for the conditions described in paragraph 2 above, the Union undertreasurer, in consultation with one of the executive officers, will be responsible for making the decision for early departure of workers from the office, or a total closing of the office. Personnel will be notified after the decision is made.

Wage and Salary Increases

For those who have not attained the maximum for their position, step raises are generally given annually on January 1.

Cost of living raises are generally voted at Annual Council and are implemented July 1 of the following year. The calculation for these raises is the lower of either the prior year tithe gain or the cost of living index.

Withholding of Taxes

Federal and state income taxes and Social Security are withheld from paychecks according to law. The amount withheld for federal income tax is based on the exemption certificate signed at the time of employment (W-4). Any changes in dependents should be reported immediately to the assistant treasurer. An annual statement of total earnings and deductions for taxes is issued in January.



EMPLOYEE BENEFITS

PART A

The following benefits apply to all regular employees:

Adoption Expenses

Full time employees may be granted assistance of 75 percent of the medical and legal expenses incurred in the adoption of children if the adoption is completed. The maximum expense on which assistance is granted is the equivalent of up to three times the current monthly Category A remuneration and shall be limited to one allowance per child.

Birthday Off

Full time employees will have their birthday off as a holiday. If the birthday falls on a Saturday, Friday will be the day off. If the birthday falls on a Sunday, Monday will be the day off. If the birthday falls on a holiday, the day after the holiday will be the day off.

Counseling Services

Recognizing the importance of having qualified professional help available for conference employees and their families and realizing the necessity of having anonymity when such help in necessary, including anonymity from church, and conference personnel;

Recognizing that payments for services pose a very real problem in protecting confidentiality; and

Recognizing that funding for such care must have some financial limitations, the following confidential counseling "blind billing" plan is available:

  1. Employees may use the services of a licensed professional counselor of their choice. Arrangements need to be made by the employee so that the counselor contacts Columbia Union Conference Risk Management Services at 1 800-638-0589 to receive information concerning health care benefits for counseling. Anonymity of the counselee will be maintained in the billing process.


  2. Anonymity is assured by the pre-payment provision and the confidentiality of the counselor-client relationship. The counselor would negotiate with the client should he/she (the counselor) feel the employer should be informed of any information surfacing in the process of the counseling relationship.

EMPLOYEE SURVIVOR BENEFIT PLAN

Survivor Benefits -

  1. Eligibility - An employee survivor benefit, as determined in the Benefit Provisions below, shall be paid to the survivor(s) of full time denominational employees, who die while in active service or who are still on the denominational payroll, and/or to the survivor(s) of the spouse thereof, or a benefit for a dependent as defined in the Health Care Assistance Policy.


  2. Retirement - This benefit shall also be available during a period of one year immediately following the beginning of retirement benefits provided the employee went directly into retirement from active service.


  3. Employee Without Surviving Spouse/Children - Benefits paid on behalf of a deceased employee shall be paid according to a beneficiary succession to accomplish the purpose of this fund. The beneficiary succession shall be: The surviving spouse, the surviving children, the surviving parents, the surviving brothers and sisters, then the estate of the deceased employee. This beneficiary succession may be specifically changed by the employee by application to the fund administrator.

Benefit Provisions -

  1. Benefit Scale -The following benefit provisions shall be applied in administering this plan:


    1. To the surviving spouse/children of the employee or to the employee whose spouse is deceased:


    2. Age under 30 $27,500.00

      Age 30-34 25,000.00

      Age 35-39 22,500.00

      Age 40-44 20,000.00

      Age 45-49 17,500.00

      Age 50-54 15,000.00

      Age 55-59 12,500.00

      Age 60-64 10,000.00

      Age over 64 7,500.00

    3. To the named beneficiary or estate of the employee without surviving spouse/dependent:

      Flat amount $ 7,500.00

    4. Benefit for dependent child deceased:

    5. Stillborn $ 750.00

      Others 5,000.00

  2. Medical Termination - Employees who discontinue employment as a result of illness or injury but who do not have enough years of denominational service to qualify for retirement benefits, and who are not otherwise employed shall be eligible for the benefits for a period of six months after they go off the payroll. Spouses of such employees, as well as their eligible dependents, are also covered under this plan during the six-month period.


  3. One Benefit Per Death - If the spouse or dependents are also serving as employees of the denomination, only one benefit per death will be made.

Purpose --The purpose of this trust is to provide financial assistance in meeting the employee's share of the expenses of the final illness and funeral, as well as the need of the survivors.

Administration --This plan shall be administered by the Adventist Risk Management, Inc. on behalf of the North American Division. Benefit claims shall be submitted on forms supplied by Adventist Risk Management, Inc. and shall contain the certifying signature and name of the chief financial officer of the North American Division and/or Columbia Union Conference institution or entity.

Survivors' Assistance Fund for Employees of the Seventh-day Adventist Church (SAFE)

Employees on a voluntary basis may supplement their Survivors' Benefit amounts by participating in the Survivors' Assistance Fund for Employees (SAFE), established and administered by Adventist Risk Management, Inc. for themselves and their spouses through payroll deductions for the costs thereof.

Eligibility - Eligibility for participation in the Survivors' Assistance Fund for Employees is determined by an Adventist Risk Management, Inc. evaluation of the employee's application form.

Financial Assistance to Participate in Maranatha-type Projects

  1. Travel Expense - Expenses to be subsidized as directed by ADCOM include transportation to and from the project, including lodging during travel and at the project.


  2. Assistance - Assistance shall be limited to 50% of total travel expenses up to a maximum of $500 per person.


  3. Leave With Pay - Up to five consecutive working days for work on the project will be provided and not charged to paid leave.


  4. Eligibility - Regular full time employees only are eligible to participate in the program once every three years.


  5. Employees who do not travel as a normal part of their employment may be enriched from the experience of participating in a Maranatha-type construction project.

  6. Projects are to be reviewed by the Human Resources Committee for eligibility.


  7. Applications are accepted on first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.

Graduate Studies

Columbia Union Conference employees may be granted assistance on the expense of graduate study programs, according to the following guidelines:

  1. Requested by Columbia Union Conference - Full Assistance-- Employees who are requested by the Columbia Union Conference to pursue a graduate degree in order to better qualify themselves for their current or projected job assignment shall be assisted on the cost of tuition and fees.


  2. Requested by Employee - Full Assistance--Employees who request authorization to pursue a graduate degree in order to better qualify themselves for their present job assignment or for some future denominational responsibility may be assisted on the cost of the tuition and fees, provided ADCOM concurs that the graduate degree is needed, and approves the request.


  3. Maximum Assistance - Employees who are approved for graduate study under paragraphs 1 and 2 above shall be eligible for the following assistance on tuition, fees and thesis or dissertation preparation:


    1. Terminal Research Degrees - Up to eight times the monthly Category A remuneration factor including up to $400 on expense of theses preparation.
    2. Professional or Non-Terminal Research Degrees - Up to four times the monthly Category A remuneration factor including up to $1,000 (see NAD WP) on dissertation preparation.


  4. Requested by Employee - Partial Assistance--An employee whose request is made under the provision of paragraph 2 above, but is not approved by ADCOM may, submit a request for partial assistance to ADCOM. If ADCOM approves the request, the employee shall be granted assistance of 50 percent of the cost of tuition and fees, up to maximum assistance, equivalent of up to two times the monthly Category A remuneration factor.


  5. Application Procedure - Applications for graduate study programs shall be submitted to the Human Resources Committee, and must have the favorable recommendation of the employee's department director. The application shall include the information regarding the course of study desired, the institution to be attended, the course load, the class schedule, the estimated cost per term, and the estimated time required to obtain the degree.


    1. The application will be evaluated by the Human Resources Committee before being submitted to ADCOM. In that evaluation the following factors will be taken into consideration:
      1. Employee's current job performance.
      2. Employee's length of service with Columbia Union Conference and other denominational organizations.
      3. Employee's potential for benefiting from study program.
      4. Importance of graduate degree to employee's present job assignment.
      5. Potential future benefit of the employee's graduate study to the denomination.
      6. Employee's relationship with the Church.
    2. The Human Resources Committee will present its recommendations to ADCOM.


  6. Written Agreement - There shall be a written agreement between the employee and the Columbia Union Conference regarding any approved graduate study program. The agreement shall include statements regarding:

    1. The specific course to be taken.
    2. The extent of time off which will be allowed.
    3. The extent and type of secretarial support which will be provided (see also paragraph 7 below) and
    4. The amount of future service obligation.


  7. Scheduling - Employees taking approved graduate study programs are expected to schedule classes outside of office hours as far as possible.


  8. Secretarial Support - An employee who undertakes an approved graduate study program may be provided secretarial support if specified in the written agreement. The agreement should, with the concurrence of the department director, specify the amount of secretarial time and type of service to be made available. Graduate study undertaken on a personal basis will not qualify an employee for secretarial support during either regular office or non-working hours.

Health Care Assistance Plan

General Statement - Any benefit program is subject to an ongoing process of change arising from economic, competitive and demographic factors. The purpose of this statement of philosophy is to establish general principles to control and shape this process of change as it relates to the Health Care Assistance Plan for employees of Seventh-day Adventist organizations. The statement of purpose and philosophy applies to non-AHS denominational organizations.

Statement of Purpose and Design Philosophy -

  1. Role of the Plan - The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes that it has a fundamental interest in the health and general welfare of its employees, which is partially given expression by its health care assistance plan. More specifically, the role of the Health Care Assistance Plan is to:


    1. Promote efficiency in corporate operations as well as contribute to employee financial security by providing a program to maintain the health of employees and their eligible dependents.
    2. Attract and retain employees.


  2. General Principles of Plan Design -
    1. The major overall purposes of the Plan are:
      1. To assist employees on the expenses incurred due to illness or injury.
      2. To maintain the health of employees.
    2. The Plan shall be designed around the needs of employees and their eligible dependents.

    3. The Plan is not able to meet the entire health care needs of the employees. It shall:

      1. Be coordinated with, to the extent permitted by applicable laws, all health care benefits available to employees.
      2. Leave a role for the employees to provide for a portion of their own health care needs.
      3. Cover most, but by no means all, of the health care services and products available.

    4. Benefits which result from involuntary events (for example, accidents and illnesses) shall be provided without waiting periods and shall be independent of an employee's length of service.
    5. The Plan shall incorporate recognized cost containment features.
    6. The Plan shall encourage cost effective choices on the part of participants as it relates to health-care decision making.


  3. The Plan and Its Application - The health care assistance plan shall be formally referred to as the "Health Care Assistance Plan for Employees of Seventh-day Adventist Organizations," which is published as a separate booklet and shall apply to non-AHS denominational organizations in the United States. The booklet may be obtained from the office manager or the office of Adventist Risk Management.


  4. Government Insurance Programs - The denominational health care assistance plan provides primary coverage for full time employees and their spouses who are above 65 years of age even if they are eligible for Medicare. Such employees should apply for Medicare Part A during the three months prior to reaching the age of 65 in order to avoid a penalty and waiting period for Medicare Part B at the time they cease denominational employment and become eligible for assistance from Medicare.


  5. Controlling Committee - The Human Resources Committee shall consider any specific applications of this policy for which:
    1. Policy interpretation is needed.
    2. Settlement of claims has not been to the employee's satisfaction.
    3. There is need to establish the limits of assistance levels granted to the employee within the provisions of this policy.


  6. Administration - Adventist Risk Management has been designated by the Columbia Union Conference to administer the Health Care Assistance Plan. Adventist Risk Management will oversee the program, receive, review and pay the claims presented in accordance with the provisions of the plan. New employees should apply for coverage through the Human Resources Committee. Refer to the booklet, "Health Care Assistance Plan," by ARM for additional details.


  7. PCS Cards - PCs cards are issued to all eligible Columbia Union Conference employees for purposes of identification and the purchase of prescription drugs. Employees do not have the option to pay the actual cost of prescription medications and report the expense for assistance at the 75 percent rate.

Holidays

Annual holidays with pay are allowed by the Columbia Union as follows: New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents' Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas. When a holiday falls on Thursday, the following day, Friday, is allowed as well. When the holiday falls on Sabbath, the previous Friday is allowed; and when the holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday is allowed.

Holidays With Pay

An annual schedule for each year's holidays is provided to employees. The regular days are as follows:

  1. Approved Days - The Columbia Union Conference recognizes the following holidays:


  2.   New Year's Day 1 Fourth of July 1
      Martin L King, Jr Day 1 Labor Day 1
      Presidents' Day 1 Thanksgiving 1 1/2
      Memorial Day 1 Christmas 1

  3. Hourly Employees - Regular Part-time, Temporary Full- time and Temporary Part-time --Hourly employees classified as regular part-time, temporary full-time and temporary part-time are eligible for holiday pay for the number of hours they normally would have worked on that day. Exceptions to this policy as a result of work schedules will require the Human Resources Committee approval.


  4. Alternate Days Off - When it is impossible to be released from duty on the actual holiday, alternate time off may be arranged in counsel with the supervisor or department director. An alternate day may be substituted for a scheduled holiday at the request of an employee. In either case, the alternate time off must be taken no later than during the payroll period following the payroll period in which the holiday falls.


  5. Hourly Employees on Unpaid Leave - Holidays which occur while employees are on unpaid leave will not be paid.


  6. Employees on FMLA - Holidays which occur while employees are on paid FMLA leave will be paid. Holidays which occur while employees are on unpaid FMLA leave will not be paid.

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance

The Union provides AD&D coverage through the Adventist Risk Management Inc. according to the following guidelines, to elected staff who travel extensively.

All other employees may arrange for coverage on a payroll deduction basis.

Schedule of Benefits

  1. $100,000 principal sum for death or dismemberment, applicable to workers who travel extensively.


  2. Optional coverage is available for wife and dependents, at employee expense.


  3. The insurance is 24-hour broad form-type coverage.


  4. Coverage begins as of the first of the month following receipt of application by Adventist Risk Management, Inc.


  5. Death and dismemberment cases shall be treated in accordance with the standard schedule of benefits usually applied to claims arising out of accidents.


  6. In case of accidental death, the benefit shall accrue to the heirs.


  7. The undertreasurer shall be responsible for conveying to Adventist Risk Management, Inc. the pertinent data required regarding those employees who travel extensively for whom accidental death and dismemberment coverage is approved.

Retirement Allowance

See the Office of Treasurer for details of the retirement allowance.


Retirement Plan


See the Office of Treasurer for details of the retirement plan.

Tax Sheltered Annuities

The Columbia Union Conference has endorsed a Tax Sheltered Annuity program: VALIC, to assist employees in planning for their future financial needs. This program operates on a payroll deduction basis and is voluntary. While this organization is the only one with which we participate, the Columbia Union is not affiliated with and does not accept any liability in dealing with VALIC. Contact the assistant treasurer for details concerning TSA's and TDA's.

Telephone Calls

Staff may submit telephone toll calls for reimbursement, provided the toll call statement is submitted with business calls clearly marked.

Telephone Credit Cards

Employees who travel on a regular basis may obtain a telephone credit card.

Telephone Expenses

Home Phone - Employees may make business calls from their home phone. A copy of the personal telephone bill shall be submitted with the expense report with the business calls circled.

Calls Home - Telephone calls home for personal business and family communication are authorized on the following basis: One call home per day is allowed.

Termination Settlement

The following is the Termination Policy for the North American division:

Provision - Employees whose employment is terminated may be eligible for a termination settlement if they meet the conditions of this policy.

Exceptions - Some denominational organizations, especially colleges, universities, and health care organizations, have established their own policies to be implemented in case of termination of an employee.

Eligible Recipient -

  1. Full-time Employees - A regular full time employee who:


    1. Has at least two years of denominational employment.

    2. Receives regular remuneration that does not exceed the denominational Remuneration Scale.
    3. Is not eliminated under the provision of Ineligible Recipient (NAD Working Policy X40).


  2. Surviving Spouse/Dependent Children - The surviving spouse or dependent children of a full time employee who would have qualified under "1" above, but who died while in active service.


  3. Surviving Parent - The surviving dependent parent of an unmarried full time employee who would have qualified under 1. above, but who died while in active service.

Ineligible Recipients -

  1. An employee and/or the surviving spouse, dependent, or surviving dependent parent of the following:
    1. An employee who voluntarily terminates from his/her employment or terminates while on a leave of absence or immediately following a leave of absence.
    2. An employee of a health care institution.
    3. A teacher under continuous appointment.
    4. An employee whose employer has made other unemployment provisions, such as state unemployment insurance (see NAD Working Policy X 40).
    5. A person who is fully remunerated on a commissioned basis including, but not limited to, literature evangelists.
    6. A permanently returning interdivision employee.
    7. An employee, including one who is not reelected at the time of a session, who has to be terminated because he/she does not accept reassignment in the same organization or a call to another denominational organization in an area of service for which the person has acquired qualifications through training and/or experience.

Eligibility Requirements

Termination settlements may be granted providing the employee meets at least one of the following conditions and is not eliminated under the provisions of North American Division Working Policy X 40:

  1. Dismissed - Is dismissed.
  2. Medical Disability - Is not able to continue employment because of medical disability as determined by appropriate medical certification and the controlling denominational committee, and is not eligible for disability retirement benefits or benefits from the Employee Disability Income Plan (See North American Division working policy X33).
  3. Counseled to Resign - Is counseled to resign by the employing organization.
  4. Ineligible for Retirement Benefits - Is unemployed until or after age 65 but is not eligible for retirement benefit.
  5. Closure of Organization - Is an employee of an organization being closed or moved to a different location and is therefore not able to continue employment.
  6. Financial exigency - Is an employee of an organization which is required to reduce staffing because of financial exigency.
  7. Deceased - Deceased while in full time employment.

Service Record -

  1. Termination Settlement - The termination settlement shall be noted on the employee's personal service record but does not cancel any part of his/her service credit.


  2. Further Settlements - If an employee who has received a termination settlement reenters denominational service at a later date, any further termination settlement would be based on service accrued since the date of the previous settlement.


  3. Retirement Allowance - In accordance with North American Division Retirement policies, employees who receive a termination settlement and later return to denominational employment shall be eligible for only a retirement allowance based on the years of service credit earned after the settlement.

No Service Credit - The settlement shall not add service credit to the employee's record.

Settlement -

  1. Amount - The settlement shall be a payment equal to 25 percent of one month's remuneration excluding area travel and all other allowances for the years of denominational service credit. No more than 20 years of full time service shall be counted. (In the case of a surviving dependent parent, as provided for under North American Division working policy X 40, no more than 5 years of full time service shall be counted. Any unpaid benefits earned by the employee, including but not limited to unpaid vacation time and unpaid sick time, are not part of this settlement and shall be paid separately to the employee.)


  2. Method of Payment - The settlement computed in paragraph 1. Above shall be paid in a lump sum consistent with the terms of North American Division working policy X 40.


  3. Independent Transfers - In the case of an independent transfer, the settlement shall be calculated on only years of service earned as a church employee within the territory of the North American Division or as a regularly appointed interdivision employee from the North American Division.


  4. Employee Survivor Benefit - A benefit paid from the Employee Survivor Benefit Plan (North American Division working policy X 35) shall in no way affect this settlement.

Health Care Benefits - The ex-employee and dependents (i.e., spouse and dependent children) may be eligible for continued hospitalization and medical benefits provided that such assistance shall be granted only in case of illness or accident. Non-emergency medical, dental and optical care are specifically excluded. This assistance shall continue for a period of two months or until the ex-employee has obtained health-assistance coverage, whichever comes first, or as required by state/provincial laws.

Termination Settlement Expense -

  1. Employer Pays - Termination Settlements are the responsibility of the employing organization.


  2. Release - As a condition of receiving a termination settlement, employees are required to execute a release of any and all liability against the employee, related organizations and entities, agents and employees, therefore, the settlement is not to be construed as an employee benefit. If the release is not signed within 30 days of going off the payroll for regular remuneration, including accrued paid leave or accrued vacation, the termination settlement shall be forfeited.

Transfer and Retirement Gifts

  1. Employees who serve in conference offices and institutions and who transfer to another denominational organization, resign, or retire may be granted a farewell gift, calculated as a percentage of Category A rounded off to the nearest $5.00, according to the following schedule of service in that organization:


  2. Remuneration % Per Year Maximum %

    154% & above 6.0% per yr service 24%

    145% to 153% 4.5% per yr service 18%

    Below 145% 3.0% per yr service 12%

  3. Employees who receive a termination settlement are excluded from this provision.


  4. This gift is taxable income.

Travel to Camp Meetings

If an office staff member chooses to attend a camp meeting in the area, they will be reimbursed for one day per diem and mileage for travel. If they stay for more than two days, they will be reimbursed for one-half per diem for each day they stay.


Tuition Assistance for Children of Employees


No Assistance - No tuition assistance is provided to children of employees who are not exempt from federal or state/provincial wage and hour laws except for those in the following categories:

  1. Employed at the Columbia Union Conference on January 1, 1999 with eligible children.


  2. Transfers from a sister organization and were eligible for benefits at the previous organization.

Unemployment Insurance

Persons who leave Columbia Union Conference employment are not eligible for unemployment compensation as the Columbia Union Conference is exempt from state and federal unemployment insurance programs and does not make contributions to them.

Vacations

Annual vacation with pay shall be provided for regular full time employees. It is accrued concurrently and based on a calendar year. Vacations may be arranged any time during the year by drawing on hours that have accrued in their vacation bank. The accruals are computed on the following basis:


  1.  
          Vacation time
    per year of
    full time service
      Vacation time
    per year of
    38-hour week
      First 7-yr period   2 weeks   2.36
      Next 8-yr period   3 weeks   3.08
      After 15 years   4 weeks   3.80
               

  2. A normal week differing from the 38 hours will require a recalculation of the accrual time rate.


  3. Full time service for vacation accrual purposes shall include days worked, approved sick time, holidays, and vacation days.


  4. Permanent part-time employees shall accrue vacation time on a pro rata basis, based on full time equivalency.


  5. The vacation should generally be taken during the fiscal year in which it is earned. It is the responsibility of the worker to arrange his/her vacation in advance with his/her supervisor. Nonexempt employees will submit the signed vacation request to the Payroll Office. Exempt employees will submit their signed vacation request to the Union Secretary.


  6. At the time of retirement, unused vacation time to which the employee was entitled during the previous fiscal year and the amount earned during the year of retirement may be granted, up to a maximum of six weeks.


  7. In the event of separation from denominational employment, unused vacation time of not more than six weeks shall be included in the settlement.


  8. Vacations are for the purpose of enhancing the happiness and efficiency of employees. Neglecting them harms both the organization and the employee. The longevity of ability to contribute to the organization is definitely affected by the enthusiasm and skill with which responsibilities are organized. Vacations, therefore, become a part of sensible and unselfish planning. Vacation time may be carried over from one year to the next. However, vacation time may only be earned and accumulated from year to year up to a maximum of 150% of the annual vacation entitlement including current year accruals.

Worker's Compensation Insurance

  1. Accident - The Columbia Union Conference provides Worker's Compensation insurance for all employees. Employees injured while working at the Union Conference headquarters should immediately report to the office manager who will take any necessary action. Within 24 hours a written report of the injury must be made.


  2. Emergency Care - If emergency health care and/or hospitalization is necessary, the hospital and/or doctor should be notified that it is a Worker's Compensation claim. The employer's hospitalization plan should not be used.


  3. Time Off - If an employee is off work for a number of days due to an injury, the first three full days or 25.5 hours are counted as "Paid Leave" and should be recorded on the time card as such, with an explanation in column 10. Starting with the fourth day off work because of the injury, the time should be recorded in column 5, carried forward to columns 6 and 9, with an explanation in column 10. If the employee is off two weeks or more, the first three days or 25.5 hours of "Paid Leave" will be credited back to his Paid Leave Bank. This is required by law in Maryland and D.C. Should the time off be 14 days or longer then the employee will be compensated back to day one by Workers Compensation for this time off. Should the time off be less than 14 days, but more than three days, Worker's Compensation will pay from the fourth to the thirteenth day, but not back to day one, at 66 2/3% of gross salary. If no paid leave is available, the first three days will be without pay.


  4. Health Care - If the employee needs to see a doctor or is hospitalized, the medical facility should be informed by the employee that this injury is being reported as a workers' compensation injury. Bills should be sent to the Human Resources Committee for processing. Time off for medical appointments will be charged to Paid Leave. A letter from the doctor is required stating that the visit was related to the Workers Compensation injury. The letter is to be attached to the time card. After the letter is received in Treasury, 66-2/3 percent of the time charged to Paid Leave will be reimbursed to the Paid Leave Bank after Workers Compensation has honored the appointment and issued a reimbursement check.


  5. Worker's Compensation Payment - An employee who is off work more than three full days because of a work-related injury or occupational illness can either take that time out of their sick leave or take time without pay, pending payment from the adjusting company, for the first 14 days. If time has been taken as sick leave, the amount of compensation received from the workers compensation claims adjustor must be returned to Treasury and credited to the hourly employee's sick leave bank. If the employee opts to take time without pay, the employee retains the check as reimbursement for the time missed from work. This only applies for the first 14 days. From day 15 forward, the employee will receive his/her remuneration from the workers compensation adjusting company, not the paid leave banks. Workers compensation reimburses 66 2/3 percent of time away due to the injury or occupational illness.


  6. Time off due to Worker's Compensation illness or injury may be coordinated with the leave provisions under the FMLA.

Traveling in North America or Overseas

If an employee is physically injured while on a trip or contracts an occupational disease, e.g. Malaria or Typhoid, and incurs medical expenses, contact Treasury by phone, or immediately upon return from the trip. Do not submit bills to the medical benefits claims processor.

Year-end Holiday Bonus

Columbia Union Conference employees are granted a year-end holiday bonus on the following basis:

  1. Regular full-time employees who are on the last payroll for the month of November will receive up to $100.

  2. Regular part-time employees who are on the last payroll for the month of November will receive up to $60.

 

PART B


The following benefits apply to hourly employees:

Paid Leave Plan

  1. Components - The Columbia Union Conference has adopted the plan of combining the short-term sick leave and vacations into a Paid Leave Plan. Paid leave time begins to accrue from date of employment and is automatically accumulated into the employee's paid leave bank.


  2. Hours placed in the paid leave bank which have been transferred from another denominational/nondenominational organization, or which have been placed in the bank through reconstruction of prior lost or non-transferred leave, will be available for paid leave purposes only and are not to be interpreted for years of service credit.

  3. Maximum Accrual - The maximum hours that may be carried forward each January cannot exceed 266 hours. During the course of the year employees are permitted to accrue in excess of 266 hours. If an employee, who has accrued more than 266 hours, transfers, terminates or retires during the year, the full hours shall be transferred to the next denominational employer or be paid in full. However, as of December 31 of each year the hours must have been reduced to 266, or the excess hours will be transferred to the employee's extended sick leave bank.


  4. Usage - The paid leave bank may be used for vacations, holidays, illnesses, work-related injuries or personal business. Discretionary time off should be prearranged in order to maintain continuity of service. The maximum paid leave to be used at any one time is four weeks, with the exception of FMLA leave.


  5. Maximum Hours - The maximum paid-leave hours that a Columbia Union Conference employee can earn in a 12-month period is up to 152 vacation hours (4 weeks) plus 45.50 short-term sick leave hours, or a total of 197.50.


  6. Scheduling - Paid Leave time should generally be taken during the year it is earned. It should be scheduled in counsel with the Supervisor or Department Director.


  7. Emergency Reserve - Employees are encouraged to maintain an emergency reserve in their paid leave bank. If the reserve of paid leave time is depleted, additional time off will be without remuneration.


  8. Extended Sick Leave - Accrued paid leave time which exceeds 266 hours (7 weeks) as specified under 3 above shall be credited automatically to the employee's extended sick leave bank, up to a maximum of 1,000 hours.


  9. Transfer - When an employee transfers to another denominational organization, the Columbia Union Conference will transfer to the new organization unused hours remaining in the employee's Paid Leave Bank by making the necessary payment. Hours in the extended sick leave bank are excluded from this payment.


  10. Termination - When an employee terminates employment, settlement will include unused hours remaining in the employee's Paid Leave Bank. Hours in the extended sick leave bank are excluded from this settlement.


  11. Retirement - At the time an employee retires, settlement will include unused hours remaining in the employee's Paid Leave Bank unless service credit must be added to the employee's service record. Hours in the extended sick leave bank are excluded from this settlement.

Sharing Paid Leave

The intent of the Paid Leave Sharing Program is to assist employees on a compassionate basis in situations when employees have had to use all of their accumulated paid leave because of a personal or family illness or accident.

Hourly employees may transfer paid leave time up to 76 hours in a calendar year to another hourly employee of their choice who is on the Columbia Union Conference payroll, provided it does not draw their bank below 38 hours. Salaried employees are not eligible to participate.

The sharing of paid leave plan includes regular part-time employees who will be eligible for up to one half the number of hours allowable for regular full- time, or a maximum of 76 hours.

Employees shall not solicit other employees for a donation of paid leave and there shall be no transfers between spouses.

The Department Director of the recipient employee must approve the arrangement.

In the event the recipient employee terminates employment with the Columbia Union Conference before the donated hours have been used, the unused portion of the donated hours will revert to the original donor.

Sick Leave

  1. Employees Who are Covered - This Sick Leave Policy applies to hourly Columbia Union Conference employees.


  2. Sick Leave Hours Accrued -


    1. Sick leave time is accrued based on 2.92 hours for a 76-hour (two-week) pay period (.0385 hour per hour worked).
    2. Regular part-time employees accrue sick leave time on a pro- rata basis.

  3. Division of Sick Leave - Sixty percent of the accrued sick leave time is credited to the employee's Paid Leave Bank. The other forty percent is available for extended illnesses, disability or incapacity. Childbirth is a qualifying incapacity.


  4. Short-term Illness -


    1. The first three work days (25.50 hours) of any illness, workers compensation injury, or time off for medical/dental appointments shall be charged to the paid leave bank.
    2. Time off for medical appointments may be charged to the Paid Leave Plan, or may be made up by working outside the regular work schedule (up to two hours per week).


  5. Extended Sick Leave -


    1. Beginning with the fourth work day (after 25.50 hours of short-term sick leave) of an illness or injury, full-time pay shall be continued and charged to the extended sick leave time bank until those accumulated hours have been exhausted. Extended sick leave that exceeds the hours in the extended sick leave bank shall be charged to the Paid Leave Plan until that bank is exhausted.
    2. To qualify for this benefit, the employee must be hospitalized or under the care of a physician and submit a physician's certificate stating the nature of the illness, disability or incapacity, in accordance with FMLA. In cases where an employee is hospitalized, the above provision of paragraph 3.a. shall begin on the day of admittance to the hospital. With the exception of routine physicals, extended sick leave may also be used from the first day for medical needs which qualify for 90% assistance.
    3. Employees are eligible to begin utilizing extended sick leave time from the first day of the pregnancy leave.

  6. FMLA Leave Coordination - Any leave under this policy must be coordinated to the extent applicable, with FMLA leave.

  7. Exclusions - Extended sick leave does not apply to:


    1. Any day during which an employee is entitled to cash benefits for temporary disability under Worker's Compensation. The Human Resources Committee must be notified if any such benefits are received by the employee.
    2. Any period of confinement in a public or private institution as a result of an emotional or psychopathic illness arising from voluntary addiction to chemical dependencies, such as alcohol and drugs.
    3. Any period when incarceration is the cause of absence from work.


  8. Carry-over of Extended Sick Leave - Extended sick leave time may be accrued up to a maximum of 1000 hours (26 weeks).


  9. Not Convertible to Paid Leave - Extended sick leave shall not be convertible to paid leave or considered as credit payable at the termination of employment.


  10. Portability - Accrued extended sick leave time shall be transferred if an employee transfers directly to another denominational employer, but there is no transfer of funds.


  11. Re-employment - Extended sick leave hours remaining in the bank at the time of employment separation will be amortized at the rate of 20% per year, up to five years. If an employee is re-employed within five years, the unamortized portion of extended sick leave hours will be restored to the bank.


  12. Part-time Work After Illness -


    1. An employee who returns to work on a part-time basis after an illness or disability shall do so with the permission of the attending physician involved and must submit a written recommendation from the physician regarding the estimated length of such part-time work in accordance with the policy of the organization.
    2. The actual time worked shall be paid at the regular rate.
    3. The balance shall be paid from the extended sick leave bank as long as hours of accrued sick leave time are available. NAD Working Policy D 65.

Sick and Short-Term Disability Leave

  1. Remuneration - Regular, full-time salaried employees of the Columbia Union Conference are eligible for full remuneration during any period of medical disability for up to 26 weeks. Under no circumstances, however, will an employee be eligible for disability leave in excess of 26 weeks in any 12 month period.


  2. Procedure - Any leave under this policy must be coordinated with FMLA leave.


  3. The procedure for requesting FMLA contained in the FMLA policy must be followed when requesting disability leave under this policy.

    The first 3 days of a salaried employee's sick leave need not be reported as disability leave. However, if the disability exceeds 3 days, the entire period of disability will be counted toward the 26-week maximum.

  4. Workers' Compensation Payments - Employees must notify Treasury of any benefits that are received from Workers' Compensation. The Columbia Union Conference will supplement Worker's Compensation benefits so that total benefits equal the regular remuneration of the salaried employee.


  5. Personal Leave - Should the employee desire additional personal time away from the job after completion of the disability leave, the employee, in consultation with the supervisor, may use accrued vacation time to cover part or all of this personal time off. The employee may also consult the leave of absence policy. In addition, certain leaves may qualify under the FMLA.



PART C


The following benefits apply to salaried employees.


Area Travel Allowance


Payment - An area travel allowance is included in the monthly paycheck of qualifying Columbia Union Conference staff members for local travel.

Flat Travel Allowance -

Elected staff are given a flat monthly allowance to cover all travel within a 50 mile radius of the office or your home, if the trip originates from there. To be separately reportable, a round trip must exceed 100 miles. The allowance is as follows:

 

Position

  Miles
       
  Executive Officers   1000
  Vice Presidents   900
  Undertreasurer   800
  Directors   800
  Associates   700
  Assistants   500
  Plant Manager   400


Automobile Insurance Supplement

  1. Those eligible for additional automobile insurance assistance shall be employees of the union conference whose category maximum is 150 percent or more of the remuneration factor.


  2. Additional assistance may be granted on annual automobile insurance expense that exceeds 2.34 percent of the regular category A yearly remuneration factor (monthly remuneration factor x 12, rounded up to the nearest dollar). Proof of payment and minimum insurance limits as in "a" below are required.

    1. Those eligible for additional automobile insurance as listed in paragraph 1 above shall be required to carry insurance with the following minimum limits when such limits are readily available:
    2.  

      *Bodily injury liability

        $250,000/500,000
        *Property damage liability  

      50,000

        Medical payments  

      5,000

       

      Comprehensive

        $100 deductible
       

      Collision

       

      $500 deductible

        Uninsured motorist  

      Statutory

        *Optional $300,000 single limit policy is acceptable

    3. In the event an employee mentioned in paragraph 1 above has a claim, the first $50 of the collision or comprehensive deductible will be paid by the employee and the remainder of the deductible will be paid by the employing organization.
    4. The amount of additional assistance shall be determined by applying the appropriate factors to the average premiums of two insured automobiles owned by the employee; excessive premiums over those typical of standard type cars shall not be considered.
    5. An unmarried denominational employee, if eligible, shall receive assistance on one automobile only. Married denominational employees, where both spouses are eligible for additional insurance, shall each receive assistance on one automobile only

Housing Assistance

  1. Denominationally-owned Housing - Housing provided by the denominational employer should be charged to the employee at current community rates or 30 percent of the employee's remuneration at the Category A rate, plus 100 percent of any cost-of-housing allowance that the employee may be receiving, whichever is less.


  2. Employee-owned Housing - When an employee purchases housing, he accepts the full responsibility involved in home ownership. The employee should, however, counsel with his/her employer as to the appropriate geographical area for his new home that will best serve his/her needs and the needs of the employer.


  3. Parsonage Allowance - Where a parsonage allowance is granted to the employee under existing government regulations, the maximum amount of said allowance shall be stipulated annually by the union committee.

Assistance on Duplicate Housing Expense

  1. Initial Assistance - When an employee moves from one location to another, and because of the condition of his/her lease or failure to sell or rent his/her home, the employee is required to pay housing expenses both at his/her former location and at his/her new location, an allowance may be granted to cover the time when payments are being made at both locations and both homes were habitable. The allowance may be granted under normal conditions for up to three months.


  2. Unusual Circumstances - In unusual circumstances when the employee has not been able to sell the home at his/her former location and evidence is presented indicating that the asking price for said home at the end of the three-month period referred to in "1." was no more than 100 percent of an appraisal provided by an independent appraiser, up to an additional three months' assistance may be granted. An independent appraiser shall be understood to be a qualified appraiser such as may be contacted through banks or home loan associations. Real estate agents shall specifically be excluded from this group. The reasonable cost of such appraisal will be reimbursed by the employing organization.


  3. Extreme Circumstances - If the employee has not been able to sell the home, after having received an allowance for six months, because of extreme circumstances, the allowance may be continued for a further period of up to six months if the asking price for the said home is no more than 95 percent of the appraisal during this period.


  4. Amount - When granted, the monthly allowance shall be the actual expenses for principal and interest, property taxes and insurance up to 75 percent of the Category A remuneration factor plus 100 percent of any cost-of-housing factor for which the employee was eligible at his former location. Fifty percent of any rental income shall be deducted from this allowance.


  5. Utility Expenses - In addition to the monthly allowance provided for in paragraph 4., employees may be reimbursed for the cost of utilities to provide security lighting and minimum heating.

Moving Allowances

  1. Assistance - When an employee is requested by the Columbia Union, the Columbia Union may provide the following assistance:
    1. An amount to cover freight/van charges and insurance up to maximums established by the Columbia Union.
    2. Travel expense and a per diem as per current policy, and 100 percent of the regular mileage allowance to move the employee's car, or up to two cars for employee and spouse to the new field of employment.
    3. A flat amount rounded up to the nearest $10, to cover packing and other moving costs as follows: Employee-25% of Category A, Spouse-25% of Category A. A single parent with dependent children may be granted 50 percent of category A as a moving allowance.
    4. Automobile Registration and Excise Tax-Employees who are called to another state, and who are required to pay duplicate excise tax/sales tax, license, and certification/inspection fees, may report such expense on one car if they register their car within 90 days of moving to the new area. If the employee has a spouse, the above expenses may also be reported on a second car.
    5. In cases where it may be necessary to negotiate a bridge loan in order to secure a home at the new location, the bridge loan interest may be reimbursed by the new employer for the same time period during which the employee is eligible to receive duplicate housing allowances, in addition to the duplicate and special housing allowance. This bridge loan interest would be considered outside of the ceiling for which special assistance may be given.

  2. Maximum Assistance - The allowances referred to in b., c., and d. shall be limited to two vehicles and two flat moving allowances per family, even though both spouses are employed.


  3. Sharing Moving Expenses - When calls are extended to a husband and wife to join two different denominational institutional organizations in the same area, the cost of moving shall be shared by the calling organizations. However, when the initial call is for one spouse and the other spouse obtains employment, the organization that initiates the primary call shall be responsible for the full cost of the move.


  4. Damages - Inasmuch as the Columbia Union does not operate its own moving van, any claim for damage to the employee's good must be submitted to the organization moving the goods.


  5. Self-Moves - When an employee is asked to move himself/herself, it is important to be aware of these guidelines:


    1. Insurance - The employee's household goods should be covered by insurance for any damage done while in transit. Such insurance may be purchased from the truck rental company. (Note: this insurance covers damages to the employee's possessions only if the truck is involved in an accident).
    2. Damage During Loading/Unloading - It is the employee's responsibility to care for any damage done to personal possessions while packing, loading, unloading or in transit.

Per Diem for New Arrivals at the Columbia Union Conference

New employees of the Columbia Union Conference whose families are temporarily separated, with the employed spouse preceding the rest of the family and having the additional cost of maintaining two households for a time, may be granted the following assistance:

  1. Approval - A per diem allowance shall be made only in cases where the approval to separate the family has been approved by the executive officers.


  2. Rate for First Two Weeks - Per diem at the full rate shall be granted for the first two weeks.


  3. Rate for Next Ten Weeks - Per diem at one third of the full rate shall be granted for the remaining period, up to a maximum limit of an additional ten weeks, or a total of 12 weeks' provision.

Retiring Worker's Moving Allowance

An employee who has at some time during his/her denominational employment been moved at denominational expense, may be granted assistance in the form of reimbursement for actual moving expenses, or at the employer's option, a cash settlement on moving expenses, when an actual move is made to the place of retirement according to the following provisions:

  1. Over Thirty Years Service - When an employee who has given thirty years or more of denominational service retires, the employing organization may arrange to pay the move expense on a reasonable amount of household goods, and pay transportation expense, including mileage, tolls, hotel, and per diem, by the most direct route based on 500 miles per day to the place of his/her choice in the North American Division. The provisions of the moving allowance policy paragraphs 1-c., -d., and -e do not apply to this move.


  2. Under Thirty Years Service - An employee who has served less than thirty years may be paid a proportionately less amount. The amount of the moving expense reimbursement shall be decided by the Columbia Union.


  3. Arrangement - This arrangement is to be made within a period of five years after retirement unless some other definite arrangement is approved by the governing committee and is limited to one move only.


  4. Division of Expense - In cases where both spouses are denominationally employed at the time of retirement, but by different organizations, the moving assistance to the place of retirement shall be shared equally by the two employers if both spouses are vested for retirement benefits. If one spouse is not vested, the moving assistance shall be paid by the employer of the spouse who is vested.


  5. Tax Obligation - The retiring employee shall be responsible for the tax obligation on the moving benefit.

Second Moves

There is assistance on storage costs or second moves for employees who make temporary housing arrangements while having a residence built, or while seeking a place to rent or purchase, up to $1000.

Tuition Assistance for Children of Employees

  1. Christian Education - Employees are encouraged to support the Church's philosophy of Christian education by enrolling their children in Seventh-day Adventist schools for the purpose of assisting youth in making a decision for a commitment to Christ, thus perpetuating the practice of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs and teachings, enlarging the reservoir of future church employees and lay church leaders, providing a positive example, and reducing the possibility that the children adopt a lifestyle that is not in harmony with the teaching of the Church.


  2. Eligible Employees - Church employees in administrative, professional, and supervisory positions (those considered to be exempt from federal and state/provincial wage and hour laws) are expected to send their children to Seventh-day Adventist denominationally-owned and operated schools. Employing organizations shall provide assistance on the tuition expense to denominational employees classified as regular and full time for their children who are enrolled in denominationally- owned and operated schools on the elementary, secondary, or liberal arts college levels, or fifth year of college or graduate work required to secure teaching credentials.


  3. Students Eligible for Tuition Assistance - To be eligible for tuition assistance the student must be:


    1. An unmarried dependent of the employee.
    2. Less than twenty-four years of age unless the student has given compulsory military service, volunteer service for the Church, or has a documented medical consideration.
    3. Eligible to be claimed as a dependent on the employee's income tax return.
    4. Born to, or legally adopted by, the employee and/or spouse, or is a stepchild by marriage receiving more than 50 percent of support from the new family unit.


  4. Students Eligible in Divorce and Remarriage Situations - to be eligible for tuition assistance the student must be:


    1. Under the custody of a divorced employee and eligible to be claimed as a dependent on the employee's tax return.
    2. Under the custody of the ex-spouse of the employee and eligible to be claimed as a dependent on the employee's tax return.


  5. Students Not Eligible for Tuition Assistance - An unmarried child not under the custody of the employee and not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on the employee's tax return is not eligible for assistance. The controlling committee may make an exception to paragraph 4 above if the employee has assumed full responsibility for a child's educational expenses in a denominational school.


  6. Assistance - The organization employing the parent of the student may provide assistance of up to 70 percent of the tuition and all required fees for dormitory students, and up to 35 percent for those not in the dormitory. The assistance on the academy or college level should be calculated on the gross charges for tuition and required fees, according to the current bulletin, before family or other discounts granted by the school. In cases where an employee's church provides a subsidy to cover the differential between constituent and non-constituent tuition rates, the tuition assistance from the employer shall be based on the net tuition expense to the employee. This shall not include charges for private music lessons except where such lessons are required for credit toward music majors or minors, in which case the above percentages may be applied on the basis of the tuition ordinarily charged for an equivalent number of credit hours.


  7. Professional Programs - Assistance provided for professional programs in medicine or dentistry for students who have not completed their undergraduate studies shall be based on, and shall not exceed, the normal tuition costs for a maximum number of semesters or quarters under number 6.


  8. Limitation on Assistance - Assistance shall continue until an undergraduate course of studies is completed or for a maximum of nine semesters or thirteen quarters of undergraduate studies. An additional two semesters or three quarters may be granted only to complete work necessary to secure teaching credentials. Governing committees may also grant assistance of up to an additional two semesters or three quarters for valid undergraduate programs that require a fifth year for graduation.


  9. Summer Session - Students who attend summer sessions shall be eligible for tuition assistance. Such attendance shall not count against the maximum semesters or quarters referred to in paragraph 6 above.


  10. Attending School Outside the Territory - Assistance may not be granted for children attending schools outside their territory unless exceptions are authorized by the employing organizations.


  11. Method of Payment - Assistance for students enrolled in an academy or college shall be made directly to the school. Organizations providing assistance shall make the appropriate arrangement for students attending elementary and intermediate school.


  12. Division Assistance - When both employee and spouse are denominationally employed by separate organizations and both provide tuition assistance according to this policy, each organization shall be responsible for one-half of the assistance. The method of paying the assistance and dividing the cost may be mutually agreed on by the organizations concerned. Only one tuition assistance shall be provided per student.


  13. Attending Schools Outside the NAD - Children independently attending denominationally-owned and operated schools located outside North America may be granted assistance amounting to 70 percent of the actual tuition, provided the amount of the assistance is not greater than the amount they would receive if attending their home college.


  14. Adventist Colleges Abroad students would receive tuition assistance based on the cost of tuition at the home campus where they are registered.


  15. Tuition assistance for studies through Home Study International is given after the course has been completed. Tuition assistance is provided on credits that are earned through the College Level Examination Program (CLEP). The assistance on both is 35 percent, whether or not the student is residing in a school dormitory.


  16. Exceptions - This policy is intended to apply only to employees' children who attend Seventh-day Adventist denominational schools. Exceptions may be made as follows, if approved by the employee's controlling committee.


    1. Attendance at privately-operated Seventh-day Adventist schools if the school is approved by the Columbia Union Board of Education.
    2. In cases where an undergraduate-level program of study is not offered in a denominational school in the North American Division, the total assistance shall not exceed the amount which would normally be granted for attendance at a denominational school in the student's area.

TRAVEL POLICIES

Airport Service

Service - When traveling between home and the airport, and then from the airport home, there are at least three options, or a combination of two of them:

  1. Call for limousine/taxi service and report the cost on your report. (Receipts requested).


  2. Take yourself to the airport in your own transportation and park in extended parking. We have been reporting 50 miles each way to and from, no matter which airport was used, plus the cost of parking your vehicle. (Receipt for parking required).


  3. Have someone take you to the airport and pick you up again. You might ask your spouse or a friend to do this for you and pay them $35.00 for taking you and $35.00 for picking you up, beginning July 1, 1999. (No receipt is required for reporting this method).

Automobile Rentals

  1. Insurance - The collision damage waiver (CDW) and personal accident insurance should not be purchased. The Columbia Union Conference has arranged with Risk Management Services to cover the value of rented cars that exceeds $500 in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada. Employees will no longer be reimbursed for the CDW coverage in the aforementioned countries. CDW coverage should be purchased if cars are rented in other countries, if no other coverage is provided. If an employee is involved in an accident with a rental car, the employee should provide to the rental company the name, address and phone number of RMS - 800-638-0589. The employee should notify RMS as soon as possible about the accident and apply to Treasury for assistance on the $500 deductible. The employee should pay the $500 deductible via credit card when the damaged car is returned and instruct the rental agency to direct the remaining charges to RMS.


  2. Gasoline - Employees should report the actual expense for gasoline used in a rental car for business driving, instead of reporting mileage at the regular rate.

Daily Travel Allowance

Purpose - A daily travel allowance (per diem) is provided for authorized travel when the employee is absent from home overnight. This applies to the expense of meals including tip(s), pressing, dry cleaning and laundry.

  1. The full allowance is reportable for each day the employee is away from home overnight and purchases at least one meal.


  2. Employees may report $6.00 for days they are fully entertained (When meals are provided without cost to the employee).


  3. When employees on an approved itinerary are accompanied by a spouse, the family per diem rate is applicable.


  4. Employees may report the family per diem rate during the time that their spouse is assisting with an approved evangelistic series, even though the spouse's travel expenses and remuneration are not being provided by the respective employer.


  5. All tips other than meal are reportable expense.
Insurance, Personal Effects

The Columbia Union Conference carries group Personal Effects Floater insurance covering luggage and personal effects for the benefit of Columbia Union Conference staff with authorized travel budgets. Some high value items may not be covered in full.

Meal Allowance on Day Trips (No Overnight Stay)

Purpose - A meal allowance is provided for authorized travel when the employee is away from the office during the day, but not overnight.

  1. If travel is within a 25 mile radius, a half-day per diem may be reported.


  2. All other day trips are reported at full per diem rate.

Miscellaneous Travel Policies

The use of rental cars, when no air travel is involved, is reportable on a mileage basis or actual rental car cost, as though you had used your own car, plus gas, whichever is less.

Special Travel - Seminars

When staff members who have not been assigned travel budgets are authorized to attend seminars or meetings, the following procedures apply:

  1. Procedure - The department concerned will refer the request to ADCOM.


  2. Absence from Office - If ADCOM approves the request, the employee's absence from the office is automatically authorized and is recorded in ADCOM minutes.


  3. Expense - Expenses shall be reported on the time sheets.

Trailer Allowance Policy

When trailers and recreational vehicles are used in lieu of motels in connection with business travel, a parking allowance of $25.00 per day will be granted, one half of regular single per diem, and a mileage rate of 30 cents. Trips in excess of one week need ADCOM approval.

Travel Allowance for Spouse

Eligibility - An officer, departmental director or associate may receive assistance for travel of a spouse, according to the following guidelines:

  1. The spouse travel allowance applies to reimbursement of a round-trip fare for an employee's spouse.


  2. Not more than one trip each year will be authorized for full reimbursement outside of the Columbia Union.


  3. Any trip where the employee drives, he/she may report family per diem, if accompanied by spouse.


  4. Any trip outside of the North American Division must be approved by the Union executive officers.


  5. Spouse travel to the General Conference Session is not counted as the "annual trip." In the year of General Conference, if your spouse accompanies you to the Session, an additional trip may also be reported.

Travel Outside Union Territory

Travel outside the Columbia Union territory must be approved by ADCOM, except as outlined below:

  1. All officially called NAD, Education, or HealthCare Corporate meetings. GC/Union Presidents' Council approved trips.


  2. School evaluations - limited to once every three years for each of our three educators (equivalent of one person from the department each year, as recommended by the department) -- must be submitted to ADCOM.


  3. Curriculum and Workshop Committees (other than Annual Council approved) - same limitations suggested in number two above.


  4. Unless a general meeting is called, only the specialist whose area is being covered should attend, not the entire department.


  5. In-service training - one such trip per year in their specialty.


  6. Volunteer workers - Employees who do not travel as a normal part of their employment may be enriched from the experience of participating in a Maranatha-type construction project. Applications must be submitted to the Human Resources Committee and are accepted on first-come, first-served basis until funds are exhausted.


  7. Trips paid for by other organizations - must be okayed by ADCOM.


  8. North American Division use of our staff - must be approved by ADCOM, and expenses covered by NAD.

Travel by Air

Choice of Fares - The use of established domestic or international discounted fares such as Super Saver, Senior Citizen, Excursion and APEX should be used when available. Programs such as Mileage Plus are not to be an influencing factor in the choice of an airline.

Airline Club Membership - Executive officers and vice presidents are authorized to hold annual membership in one airline club up to the cost of the Red Carpet Club. Reimbursement for this expense may be submitted on an authorized expense report.