Employee Handbook

Michael G. Santos Foundation




Welcome to the Michael G. Santos Foundation (MGSF). We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people who’ve had experiences with the criminal justice system rebuild their lives as law-abiding, contributing citizens. We work toward that goal by envisioning, designing, building, and teaching programs to people in prison and to people who’ve been released from prison. We’re also working to serve as a bridge between people who’ve been released from prison and prospective employers.

At the MGSF, we have learned that many employers are skeptical about hiring people with prison backgrounds. They have had bad experiences. With many prospective employees to choose from in the workforce, many employers have chosen not to consider people who have experience of being formerly incarcerated.

In an effort to help more formerly incarcerated individuals make the successful transition from prison to the workforce, MGSF has established a staffing division. Our representatives who are activists, interns, and volunteers go out into the marketplace to speak with employers. We share the MGSF story and describe our Straight-A Guide Reentry and Job Training Programs. Then we ask them to consider “test-driving” those who have demonstrated that they want to live the rest of their lives as law-abiding, contributing citizens. When individuals make the to work through our 24-hour Straight-A Guide job training program, they help us to make a compelling case to prospective employers that they should consider the candidates we propose as viable employees.

We all have a heavy lift in these efforts to persuade prospective employers to hire candidates who’ve received Straight-A Guide Training. Yet we’re confident that those who’ve proceeded through our training program will provide true value to the employers who open opportunities for our candidates to begin receiving work experience. That experience may begin with entry-level employment, but grow into sustainable fulltime work with benefits. At MGSF, we strive to provide that bridge that helps the formerly incarcerated transition into sustainable employment.

Whether you have just joined MGSF or have been here for a while, we are confident that you will find our organization a dynamic and rewarding place in which to work, and we look forward to a productive and successful association. We consider the employees of MGSF to be one of its most valuable resources. This handbook has been written to serve as the guide for the employer/employee relationship.

There are several things to keep in mind about this handbook. First, it contains only general information and guidelines. It is not intended to be comprehensive or to address all the possible applications of, or exceptions to, the general policies and procedures described. For that reason, if you have any questions concerning eligibility for a particular benefit or the applicability of a policy or practice to you, you should address your specific question to Justin Paperny, the executive director, or to his assigned designee.

Neither this handbook nor any other company document confers any contractual right, either express or implied, to remain in the company’s employ. Nor does it guarantee any fixed terms and conditions of your employment. Your employment is not for any specific time and may be terminated at will with or without cause and without prior notice by the company, or you may resign for any reason at any time. No supervisor or other representative of MGSF (except the executive director) has the authority to enter into any agreement for employment for any specified period of time or to make any agreement contrary to the above.

The procedures, practices, policies and benefits described here may be modified or discontinued from time to time. We will inform you of any changes as they occur and we will publish those changes on our website at MichaelSantos.org.

This handbook and the information we provide through our handbook is totally transparent. We share it on our website and we discuss it with prospective employers who may choose to partner with us in hiring those candidates for employment that MGSF recommends.

Some subjects described in this handbook are covered in detail in official policy documents. Refer to these documents for specific information because the handbook only briefly summarizes those guidelines and benefits. Please note that the terms of the written insurance policies are controlling and override any statements made in this or other documents.


Employee Handbook Acknowledgment and Receipt


I have received my copy of the Employee Handbook.

The employee handbook describes important information about the Michael G. Santos Foundation (MGSF), and I understand that I should consult my staffing representative regarding any questions not answered in the handbook. I have entered into my employment relationship with the MGSF voluntarily and acknowledge that there is no specified length of employment. Accordingly, either I or the MGSF can terminate the relationship at will, with or without cause, at any time, so long as there is not violation of applicable federal or state law.

I understand and agree that, other than the executive director of the MGSF, no manager, supervisor or representative of the MGSF has any authority to enter into any agreement for employment other than at will; only the executive director of the company has the authority to make any such agreement and then only in writing signed by the executive director of the MGSF.

This handbook and the policies and procedures contained herein supersede any and all prior practices, oral or written representations, or statements regarding the terms and conditions of my employment with the MGSF. By distributing this handbook, the company expressly revokes any and all previous policies and procedures that are inconsistent with those contained herein.

I understand that, except for employment-at-will status, any and all policies and practices may be changed at any time by the MGSF, and the company reserves the right to change my hours, wages, work assignment, employment location, and working conditions at any time. All such changes will be communicated through official notices and I understand that revised information may supersede, modify or eliminate existing policies. Only the executive director of the MGSF has the ability to adopt any revisions to the policies in this handbook.

I understand and agree that nothing in the Employee Handbook creates, or is intended to create, a promise or representation of continued employment and that employment at the MGSF is employment at will, which may be terminated at the will of either the MGSF or myself. Furthermore, I acknowledge that this handbook is neither a contract of employment nor a legal document. I understand and agree that employment and compensation may be terminated with or without cause and with or without notice at any time by the MGSF or myself.

I have received the handbook, and I understand that it is my responsibility to read and comply with the policies contained in this handbook and any revisions made to it.



Employee’s Signature

Employee’s Name (Print)




Equal Employment Opportunity Statement 

The Michael G. Santos Foundation (MGSF) provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws. The MGSF complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

The MGSF expressly prohibits any form of unlawful employee harassment based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, genetic information, disability or veteran status. Improper interference with the ability of the MGSF employees to perform their expected job duties is absolutely not tolerated.

 The MGSF’s Anti-harassment Policy and Complaint Procedure

The MGSF is committed to a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to work in a professional atmosphere that promotes equal employment opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. Therefore, the MGSF expects that all relationships among persons in the office will be business-like and free of bias, prejudice and harassment.

It is the policy of the MGSF to ensure equal employment opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty or status as a covered veteran. The MGSF prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.

The MGSF encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination or harassment. It is the policy of the MGSF to promptly and thoroughly investigate such reports. The MGSF prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports discrimination or harassment or who participates in an investigation of such reports.

Definitions of Harassment

Sexual harassment constitutes discrimination and is illegal under federal, state and local laws. For the purposes of this policy, sexual harassment is defined, as in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines, as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment; b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual; or c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Sexual harassment may include a range of subtle and not-so-subtle behaviors and may involve individuals of the same or different gender. Depending on the circumstances, these behaviors may include unwanted sexual advances or requests for sexual favors; sexual jokes and innuendo; verbal abuse of a sexual nature; commentary about an individual’s body, sexual prowess or sexual deficiencies; leering, whistling or touching; insulting or obscene comments or gestures; display in the workplace of sexually suggestive objects or pictures; and other physical, verbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature.

Harassment on the basis of any other protected characteristic is also strictly prohibited. Under this policy, harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his/her race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law or that of his/her relatives, friends or associates, and that a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment; b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance; or c) otherwise adversely affects an individual’s employment opportunities.

Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group and that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the employer’s premises or circulated in the workplace, on company time or using company equipment via e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, tweets, blogs, social networking sites or other means.

Individuals and Conduct Covered

These policies apply to all applicants and employees, whether related to conduct engaged in by fellow employees or someone not directly connected to the MGSF (e.g., an outside vendor, consultant, or customer).

Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in the workplace and in any work-related setting outside the workplace, such as during business trips, business meetings and business-related social events.

Complaint Process

Individuals who believe they have been the victims of conduct prohibited by this policy statement or who believe they have witnessed such conduct should discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor or any member of management.

When possible, the MGSF encourages individuals who believe they are being subjected to such conduct to promptly advise the offender that his or her behavior is unwelcome and request that it be discontinued. Often this action alone will resolve the problem. The MGSF recognizes, however, that an individual may prefer to pursue the matter through complaint procedures.

The MGSF encourages the prompt reporting of complaints or concerns so that rapid and constructive action can be taken before relationships become irreparably strained. Therefore, although no fixed reporting period has been established, early reporting and intervention have proven to be the most effective method of resolving actual or perceived incidents of harassment.

Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.

Confidentiality will be maintained throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action.

Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed.

Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately.

If a party to a complaint does not agree with its resolution, that party may appeal to Justin Paperny, the executive director of the Michael G. Santos Foundation.

False and malicious complaints of harassment, discrimination or retaliation may be the subject of appropriate disciplinary action.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

and the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) 

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, known as the ADAAA, are federal laws that prohibit employers with 15 or more employees from discriminating against applicants and individuals with disabilities and that when needed provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees who are qualified for a job, with or without reasonable accommodations, so that they may perform the essential job duties of the position.

It is the policy of the MGSF to comply with all federal and state laws concerning the employment of persons with disabilities and to act in accordance with regulations and guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Furthermore, it is our company policy not to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in regard to application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, training or other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.

The company will reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with a disability so that they can perform the essential functions of a job unless doing so causes a direct threat to these individuals or others in the workplace and the threat cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation and/or if the accommodation creates an undue hardship to the MGSF. Contact Justin Paperny, the executive director, with any questions or requests for accommodation.


Employee Classification Categories


All employees are designated as either nonexempt or exempt under state and federal wage and hour laws. The following is intended to help employees understand employment classifications and employees’ employment status and benefit eligibility. These classifications do not guarantee employment for any specified period of time. The right to terminate the employment-at-will relationship at any time is retained by both the employee and the Michael G. Santos Foundation (MGSF).

Nonexempt employees are employees whose work is covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). They are NOT exempt from the law’s requirements concerning minimum wage and overtime.

Exempt employees are generally managers or professional, administrative or technical staff who ARE exempt from the minimum wage and overtime provisions of the FLSA. Exempt employees hold jobs that meet the standards and criteria established under the FLSA by the U.S. Department of Labor.

The MGSF has established the following categories for both nonexempt and exempt employees: 

  • Regular, full time: Employees who are not in a temporary status and who are regularly scheduled to work the company’s full-time schedule of 37.5 hours per week. Generally, these employees are eligible for the full benefits package, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of each benefits program.
  • Regular, part time: Employees who are not in a temporary status and who are regularly scheduled to work less than the full-time schedule but at least 20 hours each week. Regular, part-time employees are eligible for some of the benefits offered by the company subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of each benefits program.
  • Temporary, full time: Employees who are hired as interim replacements to temporarily supplement the workforce or to assist in the completion of a specific project and who are temporarily scheduled to work the company’s full-time schedule for a limited duration. Employment beyond any initially stated period does not in any way imply a change in employment status.
  • Temporary, part time: Employees who are hired as interim replacements to temporarily supplement the workforce or to assist in the completion of a specific project and who are temporarily scheduled to work less than the company’s full-time schedule for a limited duration. Employment beyond any initially stated period does not in any way imply a change in employment status.

Temporary workers are not eligible for company benefits unless specifically stated otherwise in company policy or are deemed eligible according to plan documents.

Background and Reference Checks 

To ensure that individuals who join the MGSF are well qualified and to ensure that the MGSF maintains a safe and productive work environment, it is our policy to conduct pre-employment background checks on all applicants who accept an offer of employment. Background checks may include verification of any information on the applicant’s resume or application form.

All offers of employment are conditioned on receipt of a background check report that is acceptable to the MGSF. All background checks are conducted in conformity with the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and state and federal privacy and antidiscrimination laws. Reports are kept confidential and are only viewed by individuals involved in the hiring process.

If information obtained in a background check would lead the MGSF to deny employment, a copy of the report will be provided to the applicant, and the applicant will have the opportunity to dispute the report’s accuracy. Background checks may include a criminal record check, although a criminal conviction does not automatically bar an applicant from employment. In fact, MGSF specifically strives to open employment opportunities for individuals who have criminal backgrounds, but who demonstrate their commitment to live as law-abiding, contributing citizens.

Additional checks such as a driving record or credit report may be made on applicants for particular job categories if appropriate and job related.

The MGSF also reserves the right to conduct a background check for current employees to determine eligibility for promotion or reassignment in the same manner as described above.

Progressive Discipline 

Every employee has the duty and the responsibility to be aware of and abide by existing rules and policies. Employees also have the responsibility to perform his/her duties to the best of his/her ability and to the standards as set forth in his/her job description or as otherwise established.


The MGSF supports the use of progressive discipline to address issues such as poor work performance or misconduct. Our progressive discipline policy is designed to provide a corrective action process to improve and prevent a recurrence of undesirable behavior and/or performance issues. Our progressive discipline policy has been designed consistent with our organizational values, HR best practices and employment laws.

Outlined below are the steps of our progressive discipline policy and procedure. The MGSF reserves the right to combine or skip steps in this process depending on the facts of each situation and the nature of the offense. The level of disciplinary intervention may also vary. Some of the factors that will be considered are whether the offense is repeated despite coaching, counseling and/or training; the employee’s work record; and the impact the conduct and performance issues have on our organization.

The following outlines the MGSF’s progressive discipline process:

  • Verbal warning: A supervisor verbally counsels an employee about an issue of concern, and a written record of the discussion is placed in the employee’s file for future reference.
  • Written warning: Written warnings are used for behavior or violations that a supervisor considers serious or in situations when a verbal warning has not helped change unacceptable behavior. Written warnings are placed in an employee’s personnel file. Employees should recognize the grave nature of the written warning.
  • Performance improvement plan: Whenever an employee has been involved in a disciplinary situation that has not been readily resolved or when he/she has demonstrated an inability to perform assigned work responsibilities efficiently, the employee may be given a final warning or placed on a performance improvement plan (PIP). PIP status will last for a predetermined amount of time not to exceed 90 days. Within this time period, the employee must demonstrate a willingness and ability to meet and maintain the conduct and/or work requirements as specified by the supervisor and the organization. At the end of the performance improvement period, the performance improvement plan may be closed or, if established goals are not met, dismissal may occur.

The MGSF reserves the right to determine the appropriate level of discipline for any inappropriate conduct, including oral and written warnings, suspension with or without pay, demotion and discharge.

Separation of Employment


Separation of employment within an organization can occur for several different reasons.

  • Resignation: Although we hope your employment with us will be a mutually rewarding experience, we understand that varying circumstances cause employees to voluntarily resign employment. Resigning employees are encouraged to provide two weeks’ notice, preferably in writing, to facilitate a smooth transition out of the organization.
  • Job abandonment: Employees who fail to report to work or contact their supervisor for three (3) consecutive workdays shall be considered to have abandoned the job without notice, effective at the end of their normal shift on the third day. The supervisor shall notify the Human Resource department at the expiration of the third workday and initiate the paperwork to terminate the employee. Employees who are separated due to job abandonment are ineligible to receive accrued benefits and are ineligible for rehire.
  • Termination: Employees of the MGSF are employed on an at-will basis, and the company retains the right to terminate an employee at any time.


Former employees who left the MGSF in good standing and were classified as eligible for rehire may be considered for reemployment. An application must be submitted to the Human Resource department, and the applicant must meet all minimum qualifications and requirements of the position, including any qualifying exam, when required.

Supervisors must obtain approval from the Human Resource director or designee prior to rehiring a former employee. Rehired employees begin benefits just as any other new employee. Previous tenure will not be considered in calculating longevity, leave accruals or any other benefits.

An applicant or employee who is terminated for violating policy or who resigned in lieu of termination from employment due to a policy violation will be ineligible for rehire.

Workplace Safety

Drug-Free Workplace 

The Michael G. Santos Foundation (MGSF) has a longstanding commitment to provide a safe and productive work environment. Alcohol and drug abuse pose a threat to the health and safety of employees and to the security of our equipment and facilities. For these reasons, the MGSF is committed to the elimination of drug and/or alcohol use and abuse in the workplace.

This policy outlines the practice and procedure designed to correct instances of identified alcohol and/or drug use in the workplace. This policy applies to all employees and all applicants for employment of the MGSF. The Human Resource department is responsible for policy administration.

Employee Assistance and Drug-Free Awareness

Illegal drug use and alcohol misuse have a number of adverse health and safety consequences. Information about those consequences and sources of help for drug/alcohol problems is available from the Human Resource department, whose members have been trained to make referrals and assist employees with drug/alcohol problems.

The MGSF will assist and support employees who voluntarily seek help for such problems before becoming subject to discipline and/or termination under this or other policies. Such employees may be placed on leaves of absence, referred to treatment providers and otherwise accommodated as required by law. Such employees may be required to document that they are successfully following prescribed treatment and to take and pass follow-up tests if they hold jobs that are safety sensitive or that require driving or if they have violated this policy previously.

Employees should report to work fit for duty and free of any adverse effects of illegal drugs or alcohol. This policy does not prohibit employees from the lawful use and possession of prescribed medications. Employees must, however, consult with their doctors about the medications’ effect on their fitness for duty and ability to work safely and promptly disclose any work restrictions to their supervisor. Employees should not, however, disclose underlying medical conditions unless directed to do so.

Work Rules

The following work rules apply to all employees:

  • Whenever employees are working, are operating any company vehicle, are present on company premises, or are conducting related work off-site, they are prohibited from:
    • Using, possessing, buying, selling, manufacturing or dispensing an illegal drug (to include possession of drug paraphernalia).
    • Being under the influence of alcohol or an illegal drug as defined in this policy.
  • The presence of any detectable amount of any illegal drug or illegal controlled substance in an employee’s body while performing company business or while in a company facility is prohibited.
  • The MGSF will not allow any employee to perform their duties while taking prescribed drugs that are adversely affecting the employee’s ability to safely and effectively perform their job duties. Employees taking a prescribed medication must carry it in the container labeled by a licensed pharmacist or be prepared to produce it if asked.
  • Any illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia will be turned over to an appropriate law enforcement agency and may result in criminal prosecution.

Required Testing

The company retains the right to require the following tests:

  • Pre-employment: All applicants must pass a drug test before beginning work or receiving an offer of employment. Refusal to submit to testing will result in disqualification of further employment consideration.
  • Reasonable suspicion: Employees are subject to testing based on observations by a supervisor of apparent workplace use, possession or impairment. Human Resources must be consulted before sending an employee for reasonable suspicion testing.
  • Post-accident: Employees are subject to testing when they cause or contribute to accidents that seriously damage a company vehicle, machinery, equipment or property and/or result in an injury to themselves or another employee requiring off-site medical attention. In any of these instances, the investigation and subsequent testing must take place within two (2) hours following the accident, if not sooner. 
  • Follow-up: Employees who have tested positive, or otherwise violated this policy, are subject to discipline up to and including discharge. Depending on the circumstances and the employee’s work history/record, the MGSF may offer an employee who violates this policy or tests positive the opportunity to return to work on a last-chance basis pursuant to mutually agreeable terms, which could include follow-up drug testing at times and frequencies for a minimum of one (1) year but not more than two (2) years. If the employee either does not complete his/her rehabilitation program or tests positive after completing the rehabilitation program, he/she will be subject to immediate discharge from employment.


Applicants who refuse to cooperate in a drug test or who test positive will not be hired.

Employees who refuse to cooperate in required tests or who use, possess, buy, sell, manufacture or dispense an illegal drug in violation of this policy will be terminated.

The first time an employee tests positive for alcohol or illegal drug use under this policy, the result will be discipline up to and including discharge.


Information and records relating to positive test results, drug and alcohol dependencies and legitimate medical explanations provided to the medical review officer (MRO) shall be kept confidential to the extent required by law and maintained in secure files separate from normal personnel files.



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

Crimes Involving Drugs

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

Workplace Bullying 

The MGSF defines bullying as “repeated inappropriate behavior, either direct or indirect, whether verbal, physical or otherwise, conducted by one or more persons against another or others, at the place of work and/or in the course of employment.” Such behavior violates the company Code of Ethics, which clearly states that all employees will be treated with dignity and respect.

The purpose of this policy is to communicate to all employees, including supervisors, managers and executives, that the company will not tolerate bullying behavior. Employees found in violation of this policy will be disciplined up to and including termination.

Bullying may be intentional or unintentional. However, it must be noted that where an allegation of bullying is made, the intention of the alleged bully is irrelevant and will not be given consideration when meting out discipline. As in sexual harassment, it is the effect of the behavior upon the individual that is important. The MGSF considers the following types of behavior examples of bullying:

  • Verbal bullying: Slandering, ridiculing or maligning a person or his/her family; persistent name calling that is hurtful, insulting or humiliating; using a person as the butt of jokes; abusive and offensive remarks.
  • Physical bullying: Pushing, shoving, kicking, poking, tripping, assault or threat of physical assault; damage to a person’s work area or property.
  • Gesture bullying: Nonverbal threatening gestures or glances that convey threatening messages.
  • Exclusion: Socially or physically excluding or disregarding a person in work-related activities.

Violence in the Workplace

All employees, customers, vendors and business associates must be treated with courtesy and respect at all times. Employees are expected to refrain from conduct that may be dangerous to others.

Conduct that threatens, intimidates or coerces another employee, customer, vendor or business associate will not be tolerated. The MGSF resources may not be used to threaten, stalk or harass anyone at the workplace or outside the workplace. The MGSF treats threats coming from an abusive personal relationship as it does other forms of violence.

Indirect or direct threats of violence, incidents of actual violence and suspicious individuals or activities should be reported as soon as possible to a supervisor, security personnel, Human Resources, member of the MGSF’s Threat Management Team or any member of senior management. When reporting a threat or incident of violence, the employee should be as specific and detailed as possible. Employees should not place themselves in peril, nor should they attempt to intercede during an incident.

Employees should promptly inform the Human Resource department of any protective or restraining order that they have obtained that lists the workplace as a protected area. Employees are encouraged to report safety concerns with regard to intimate partner violence. The MGSF will not retaliate against employees making good-faith reports.

The MGSF will promptly and thoroughly investigate all reports of threats of violence or incidents of actual violence and of suspicious individuals or activities. The identity of the individual making a report will be protected as much as possible. The MGSF will not retaliate against employees making good-faith reports of violence, threats or suspicious individuals or activities. In order to maintain workplace safety and the integrity of its investigation, the MGSF may suspend employees suspected of workplace violence or threats of violence, either with or without pay, pending investigation.

Anyone found to be responsible for threats of or actual violence or other conduct that is in violation of these guidelines will be subject to prompt disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

The MGSF encourages employees to bring their disputes to the attention of their supervisors or Human Resources before the situation escalates. The MGSF will not discipline employees for raising such concerns.


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

Although most safety regulations are consistent throughout each department and program, each employee has the responsibility to identify and familiarize her/himself with the emergency plan for his/her working area. Each facility shall have posted an emergency plan detailing procedures in handling emergencies such as fire, weather-related events and medical crises.

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

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

The Health and Safety Committee and the safety director shall have the responsibility to develop and the authority to implement the safety and health program in the interest of a safer work environment.

Smoke-Free Workplace

It is the policy of the MGSF to prohibit smoking on all company premises in order to provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. The law defines smoking as the “act of lighting, smoking or carrying a lighted or smoldering cigar, cigarette or pipe of any kind.”

The smoke-free workplace policy applies to:

  • All areas of company buildings.
  • All company-sponsored off-site conferences and meetings.
  • All vehicles owned or leased by the company.
  • All visitors (customers and vendors) to the company premises.
  • All contractors and consultants and/or their employees working on the company premises.
  • All employees, temporary employees and student interns.

Smoking is permitted in parking lots only.

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



Our clients and other parties with whom we do business entrust the company with important information relating to their businesses. It is our policy that all information considered confidential will not be disclosed to external parties or to employees without a “need to know.” If an employee questions whether certain information is considered confidential, he/she should first check with his/her immediate supervisor.

This policy is intended to alert employees to the need for discretion at all times and is not intended to inhibit normal business communications.

All inquiries from the media must be referred to Justin Paperny, executive director. 

 Conflicts of Interest

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

Conflicts of interest could arise in the following circumstances:

  • Being employed by, or acting as a consultant to, a competitor or potential competitor, supplier or contractor, regardless of the nature of the employment, while employed with the MGSF.
  • Hiring or supervising family members or closely related persons.
  • Serving as a board member for an outside commercial company or organization.
  • Owning or having a substantial interest in a competitor, supplier or contractor.
  • Accepting gifts, discounts, favors or services from a customer/potential customer, competitor or supplier, unless equally available to all company employees.

Employees with a conflict-of-interest question should seek advice from management. Before engaging in any activity, transaction or relationship that might give rise to a conflict of interest, employees must seek review from their manager or the Human Resource Department.

Outside Employment

Employees are permitted to engage in outside work or to hold other jobs, subject to certain restrictions as outlined below.

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

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

Employees who have accepted outside employment may not use paid sick leave to work on the outside job. Fraudulent use of sick leave will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Attendance and Punctuality

Vacation and holidays must be scheduled with one’s supervisor in advance. Sick leave may be used in the case of emergency or sudden illness without prior scheduling. Patterns of absenteeism or tardiness may result in discipline even if the employee has not yet exhausted available paid time off. Absences due to illnesses or injuries that qualify under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will not be counted against an employee’s attendance record. Medical documentation within the guidelines of the FMLA may be required in these instances.

Not reporting to work and not calling to report the absence is a no-call/no-show and is a serious matter. The first instance of a no call/no show will result in a final written warning. The second separate offense may result in termination of employment with no additional disciplinary steps. A no call/no show lasting three days may be considered job abandonment and may be deemed an employee’s voluntary resignation of employment.

Attire and Grooming

It is important for all employees to project a professional image while at work by being appropriately attired. the MGSF employees are expected to be neat, clean and well groomed while on the job. Clothing must be consistent with the standards for a business environment and must be appropriate to the type of work being performed.

All employees must be covered from shoulders to knees at all times (no see-through or sleeveless clothing is permitted at any time). Natural and artificial scents may become a distraction from a well-functioning workplace and are also subject to this policy.

The MGSF is confident that employees will use their best judgment regarding attire and appearance. Management reserves the right to determine appropriateness. Any employee who is improperly dressed will be counseled or in severe cases may be sent home to change clothes. Continued disregard of this policy may be cause for disciplinary action, which may result in termination.

Electronic Communication and Internet Use 

The following guidelines have been established for using the Internet, company-provided cell phones and e-mail in an appropriate, ethical and professional manner:

  • Internet, company-provided equipment (e.g., cell phone, laptops, computers) and services may not be used for transmitting, retrieving or storing any communications of a defamatory, discriminatory, harassing or pornographic nature.
  • The following actions are forbidden: using disparaging, abusive, profane or offensive language; creating, viewing or displaying materials that might adversely or negatively reflect upon the MGSF or be contrary to the MGSF’s best interests; and engaging in any illegal activities, including piracy, cracking, extortion, blackmail, copyright infringement, and unauthorized access of any computers and company-provided equipment such as cell phones and laptops.
  • Employees may not copy, retrieve, modify or forward copyrighted materials, except with permission or as a single copy to reference only.
  • Employees must not use the system in a way that disrupts its use by others. Employees must not send or receive large files that could be saved/transferred via thumb drives. Employees are prohibited from sending or receiving files that are not related to work.
  • Employees should not open suspicious e-mails, pop-ups or downloads. Contact IT with any questions or concerns to reduce the release of viruses or to contain viruses immediately.
  • Internal and external e-mails are considered business records and may be subject to discovery in the event of litigation. Be aware of this possibility when sending e-mail within and outside the company.

Right to Monitor

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

Social Media—Acceptable Use

Below are guidelines for social media use.

Employees may not post financial, confidential, sensitive or proprietary information about the company, clients, employees or applicants.

Employees may not post obscenities, slurs or personal attacks that can damage the reputation of the company, clients, employees or applicants.

When posting on social media sites, employees must use the following disclaimer when discussing job-related matters, “The opinions expressed on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent the views of the MGSF.”

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

Solicitations, Distributions and Posting of Materials

The MGSF prohibits the solicitation, distribution and posting of materials on or at company property by any employee or nonemployee, except as may be permitted by this policy. The sole exceptions to this policy are charitable and community activities supported by the MGSF management and company-sponsored programs related to the MGSF’s products and services.


  • Nonemployees may not solicit employees or distribute literature of any kind on company premises at any time.
  • Employees may only admit nonemployees to work areas with management approval or as part of a company-sponsored program. These visits should not disrupt workflow. An employee must accompany the nonemployee at all times. Former employees are not permitted onto company property except for official company business.
  • Employees may not solicit other employees during work times, except in connection with a company-approved or sponsored event.
  • Employees may not distribute literature of any kind during work times or in any work area at any time, except in connection with a company-sponsored event
  • The posting of materials or electronic announcements are permitted with approval from Human Resources.

Violations of this policy should be reported to Human Resources.

Employee Personnel Files 

Employee files are maintained by the Human Resource department and are considered confidential. Managers and supervisors may only have access to personnel file information on a need-to-know basis.

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

Personnel file access by current employees and former employees upon request will generally be permitted within three days of the request unless otherwise required under state law. Personnel files are to be reviewed in the Human Resource department. Personnel files may not be taken outside the department.

Representatives of government or law enforcement agencies, in the course of their duties, may be allowed access to file information.

Payment of Wages 

Salary payment is made ____________ [e.g., biweekly] for base salary due up to the pay date.

Paydays are usually ____________ [e.g., biweekly] on every other ____________.

Overtime payment, which is included with the nonexempt employee’s base salary payment, is also paid ____________ [e.g., biweekly] with such payment covering hours worked in the prior ____________ [biweekly] period.

It is the company’s policy that employee paychecks will only be given personally to that employee or mailed to his/her home address.

If the normal payday falls on a company-recognized holiday, paychecks will be distributed one workday before the aforementioned schedule.

Employees may be paid by check or through direct deposit of funds to either a savings or checking account at the financial institution of their choice.

In the event of a lost paycheck, the Human Resource department must be notified in writing as soon as possible and before a replacement check can be issued. In the event the lost paycheck is recovered and the company identifies the endorsement as that of the employee, the employee must remit the amount of the replacement check to the company within 24 hours of the time it is demanded.

If an employee’s marital status changes or the number of exemptions previously claimed increases or decreases, a new Form W-4 must be submitted to the Human Resource department.

Except for extreme emergencies and vacation pay, no salary advances will be made. 

Time Reporting

A work hour is any hour of the day that is worked and should be recorded to the nearest tenth of an hour. The workday is defined as the 24-hour period starting at 12:00 a.m. and ending at 11:59 p.m. The workweek covers seven consecutive days beginning on Sunday and ending on Saturday. The usual workweek period is 40 hours.

Overtime is defined as hours worked by an hourly or nonexempt employee in excess of 40 hours in a workweek and should be recorded to the nearest tenth of an hour. Overtime must be approved in advance by the manager to whom the employee reports.

Employees will submit their time record weekly as directed by their manager. Each employee is to maintain an accurate daily record of his or her hours worked. All absences from work schedules should be appropriately recorded. 

Meal/Rest Periods 

The scheduling of meal periods at the Michael G. Santos Foundation (MGSF) is set by the employee’s immediate manager with the goal of providing the least possible disruption to company operations.

Mandatory Meal Period

Employee meal periods are important to company productivity and employee health. Employees who work at least [Insert Time Frame] consecutive hours will be provided a meal break not to exceed 60 minutes The meal period will not be included in the total hours of work per day and is not compensable. Nonexempt employees are to be completely relieved of all job duties while on meal breaks and must clock out for meal periods.

Rest Breaks
Salaried employees, as they are paid a weekly salary regardless of the hours they work, may choose to take breaks as needed. Nonexempt employees are permitted a 15-minute rest break for each four hours of work. Nonexempt employees on rest breaks are not required to clock in and clock out because this time is considered “time worked” and is compensable.

Impermissible Use of Meal Period and/or Rest Breaks

Neither the lunch period nor the rest break(s) may be used to account for an employee’s late arrival or early departure or to cover time off for other purposes—for example, rest breaks may not be accumulated to extend a meal period, and rest breaks may not be combined to allow one half-hour long break.

Overtime Pay (nonexempt employees)

Nonexempt employees who exceed 40 hours of work time in a workweek will be paid time and one half.

Paid leave, such as holiday, sick or vacation pay, does not apply toward work time.

The workweek begins at 12:00 a.m. on Sunday morning and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday night.

Supervisors are required to obtain approval from managers prior to the use of overtime.

Employees who anticipate the need for overtime to complete the week’s work must notify the supervisor in advance and obtain approval before working hours that extend beyond their normal schedule.

During busy periods employees may be required to work extended hours. 

On-Call Pay (nonexempt employees) 

An on-call employee who is called back to work outside his or her normal work schedule shall be paid for the time worked or a minimum of two (2) hours, whichever is greater.

Time worked while on call will be calculated at the employee’s regular rate of pay. If an employee is called back to work, he or she will be paid for travel time. If an on-call employee is not called back, no pay will be earned. Overtime compensation is applicable only when total hours worked exceed 40 hours in a workweek.