XPastor tries to help churches out by providing some of the essentials for running a church—items like job descriptions, employment applications, review forms, employment handbooks and ministry policies. Below is the Personnel Handbook of BCF Church.
Congratulations and thank you for accepting Bible Fellowship Church (BFC)’s offer of employment. One of the keys to our success as a caring and growing Church is hiring good Staff Members. We have hired you because we believe you have the skills and the potential to help BFC succeed in God’s plan for us. We expect and depend upon you and each Staff Member to perform the tasks assigned to you to the best of your abilities. We believe that hard work, faithfulness to the Lord and commitment will not only help us succeed as a Church, but will help give you a sense of significance and accomplishment.
We are glad to have you as a member of the BFC team. We hope that your employment proves mutually satisfying and that you will make an important contribution to our future ministry. Every Staff Member has an important role in our ministry and we value the abilities, experience and background that you bring with you to our Church. It is our Staff Members who provide the services that our members rely upon and enable BFC to grow and create new opportunities in the years to come.
Our leadership team intends to provide you with all of the support and the resources you will need to perform your job effectively. If, at any time, you need assistance or guidance, please do not hesitate to ask any of the members of our leadership team. They are here to help you perform to the best of your abilities.
Once again, welcome to BFC. May God richly bless you!
Jack Monroe, Executive Pastor
Description of Handbook
This Employee Handbook contains information about the employment policies and practices of Bible Fellowship Church (“BFC” or “the Church”). We expect each Staff Member to read this Employee Handbook carefully, as it is a valuable reference for understanding your job and the Church. During your initial orientation, you will be given an opportunity to sit down and carefully review this Employee Handbook. This Employee Handbook supersedes all previously issued Employee Handbooks and inconsistent verbal or written policy statements. Except for the policy of at-will employment, which can only be changed by the Executive Pastor in writing, the Church reserves the right to revise, delete, and add to the provisions of this Employee Handbook. All such revisions, deletions, or additions must be in writing and must be signed by the Executive Pastor of the Church. No oral statements or representations can change the provisions of this Employee Handbook.
None of the Church’s personnel documents and benefit plans, including this Employee Handbook, constitutes, or is intended to constitute, an express or implied contract guaranteeing continued employment for any Staff Member. No Department Head has any authority to enter into a contract of employment—express or implied—that changes or alters the at-will employment relationship. Only the Executive Pastor has the authority to enter into an employment agreement that alters the at-will employment relationship and any such agreement must be in writing. This Employee Handbook is the property of BFC. All rights are reserved. No part of this Employee Handbook may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the Department Head.
Not all BFC policies and procedures are set forth in this Employee Handbook. We have summarized only some of the more important ones. If you have any questions or concerns about this Employee Handbook or any other policy or procedure, please ask your Department Head.
Vision and Purpose Statement
BFC Vision: To receive and release the Love of God to all people.
BFC Purpose: To empower every believer to reach their full potential in Christ by Celebrating God’s greatness; Cultivating Christ-likeness; Caring for one another; Contributing through ministry; and Communicating Christ to the world.
Church Membership and Statement of Faith
All employees of BFC except custodians and child care workers are to become members of the Church within three months of their start of employment. This is normally done by attending the Newcomer’s Connection Class. If you are already attending another church, BFC will give you a non-voting dual membership.
The following statement is the basic spiritual foundation for this Church, and these are the terms that you agree to uphold and practice as an employee of BFC and as a member.
- We believe the Scriptures, both Old and New Testaments, to be the inspired Word of God, without error in the original writings, the complete revelation of His will for the salvation of men, and the divine and final authority for all Christian faith and life (2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Peter 1:20,21; Isa. 8:20).
- We believe in one God, Creator of all things, infinitely perfect, and eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (John 1:1-3; 1 Cor. 8:6; Matt. 3:16; John 7:3).
- We believe that:
- Jesus Christ is true God and true Man, having been conceived of the Holy Ghost and born of the Virgin Mary;
- He died on the cross, shedding His blood as an atonement for our sins according to the Scriptures; and,
- He arose bodily from the dead and ascended into heaven where, at the right hand of the Majesty on High, He is now our Priest and Advocate (Phil. 2:5-11; Matt. 1:18; 1 Peter 3:18; Heb. 9:24).
- We believe that man was created in the image of God but fell into sin and is therefore lost. Only through regeneration by the Holy Spirit can salvation and spiritual life be attained (Titus 3:5; John 3:1-16; Gen. 1:26; Rom. 5:12).
- We believe that the death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection provide the only ground for justification and salvation of all who believe, and that only such as receive Jesus Christ by faith are born of the Holy Spirit and thus become Children of God (Rom. 5:1; Acts 4:12; 1 Cor. 15:1-4).
- We believe in the personal, pre-millennial, and imminent return of our Lord Jesus Christ, and that this Blessed Hope has a vital bearing on the personal life and service of the believer (1 Thes. 4:13-18; Rev. 3:10; Titus 2:12,13).
- We believe in the bodily resurrection of all the dead; of the Believer to everlasting blessedness and joy with his Lord, and of the Unbeliever to judgment and everlasting conscious punishment (1 Cor. 15:22-27; Rev. 20:11-15).
- We believe that the true Church is composed of all such persons who, through faith in Jesus Christ, have been regenerated by the Holy Spirit and are united together in the Body of Christ of which He is the head (1 Cor. 12:12,13; Eph. 5:21-33; Col. 1:18).
- We believe that the works of God are perfect, the sealing of the Holy Spirit is everlasting, and that the intercession and advocacy of God the Son is effective so that every believer redeemed by the Blood of Christ shall be presented faultless before the presence of God in eternity (John 5:24,10:27; Jude 24; Rom. 8:1,38,39; Eph. 4:30).
- We believe that the following behavioral acts are expressly forbidden in Scripture including, but not limited to: premarital/extramarital sex, homosexuality, drunkenness, theft, profanity, occult practices, use of illegal drugs and dishonesty. These are not to be practiced by employees and workers of this Church.
II. Employment Relationship
A. Employment at Will
While we hope that your employment will prove mutually satisfactory, please understand that continued employment cannot be guaranteed for any Staff Member. Employment at the Church is employment at will. This means that you are free to leave your employment at any time, with or without cause or notice, and the Church retains the same right to terminate your employment at any time, with or without cause or notice. Please also understand that no one at the Church has the authority to change this policy of at-will employment. This policy is the sole and entire agreement between you and the Church as to the duration of employment and the circumstances under which employment may be terminated.
With the exception of employment at will, terms and conditions of employment with the Church may be modified at the sole discretion of the Church with or without cause or notice at any time. No implied contract concerning any employment-related decision or term or condition of employment can be established by any other statement, conduct, policy, or practice.
B. Equal Employment Opportunity Employer
BFC is an equal employment opportunity employer and strives to comply with all applicable laws prohibiting discrimination while upholding our statement of faith.
In accordance with applicable federal and state law protecting qualified individuals with known disabilities, the Church will attempt to reasonably accommodate those individuals unless doing so would create an undue hardship on the Church. Any qualified applicant or Staff Member with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to perform the essential functions of the job should contact your Department Head and request an accommodation.
III. Commencing Employment
A. Background Checks
The Church recognizes the importance of maintaining a safe workplace with Staff Members who are honest, trustworthy, qualified, reliable, and nonviolent, and do not present a risk of serious harm to their co-workers or others. For purposes of furthering these concerns and interests, the Church reserves the right to investigate an individual’s prior employment history, personal references, and educational background, as well as other relevant information that is reasonably available to the Church. The Church may review an applicant’s or a Staff Member’s credit report and criminal background, if any. In the event that a background check is conducted, the Church will comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and applicable state laws, including providing the job applicant or Staff Member with any required notices and forms. Consistent with these practices, job applicants or Staff Members may be asked to sign certain authorization and release forms. Consistent with legal requirements, the Church reserves the right to require job applicants or Staff Members to sign the forms as requested as a condition of employment.
B. Employment Status
Staff Members at BFC are classified as full-time non-exempt, part-time nonexempt, temporary, or exempt.
- Full-Time Nonexempt Staff Members
Full-time non-exempt Staff Members are those who are normally scheduled to work and who do work a schedule of 40 hours per week.
- Part-Time Nonexempt Staff Members
Part-time nonexempt Staff Members are those who are scheduled to and do work less than 40 hours per week. Part-time nonexempt Staff Members may be assigned a work schedule in advance or may work on an as-needed basis.
- Temporary Staff Members
Temporary Staff Members are those who are employed for short-term assignments. Short-term assignments will generally be periods of one year or less. Temporary Staff Members are not eligible for benefits, except as required by applicable law, and may be classified as exempt or nonexempt on the basis of job duties and compensation.
- Exempt Staff Members
Exempt Staff Members are those whose job assignments meet the federal and state requirements for overtime exemption. Exempt Staff Members are compensated on a salary basis and are not eligible for overtime pay. Generally, executive, administrative, professional, and certain ministry directors are overtime exempt. Your Department Head will inform you if your status is exempt.
C. Introductory Period
The first three months of continuous employment at BFC will no doubt be a learning experience. You will learn your job duties and responsibilities, get acquainted with your Department Head(s) and fellow Staff Members, and familiarize yourself with the Church in general. We refer to this initial period of employment as your introductory period.
While we understand that you will be learning a lot about your new job, you are still expected to perform satisfactorily and your performance will be reviewed closely. Also, please understand that completion of the introductory period does not guarantee continued employment and does not change the at-will nature of the employment relationship.
D. Job Duties
As part of your initial orientation, you will learn the various duties and responsibilities of your job. You will be provided with a copy of the written job description for your individual position. The Church maintains certain expectations and standards applicable to your job position. Your Department Head should review these with you.
It is expected that Staff Members will perform additional duties and assume additional responsibilities as needed by their Department Head for the efficient operation of the Church.
In order to adjust to changes in our ministry, it may become necessary to modify your job description, add to or remove certain duties and responsibilities, or reassign you to an alternate job position.
A. Working Hours and Schedule
The Church office is normally open for ministry from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday and Fridays 9:00 a.m. to noon. You will be assigned a work schedule and you will be expected to begin and end work according to the schedule. In order to accommodate the needs of our ministry, it may be necessary to change individual work schedules on either a short-term or long- term basis.
Nonexempt Staff Members will be given a 30-minute meal period, to be taken approximately in the middle of the workday. Nonexempt Staff Members may also take a ten-minute rest period for each four hours of work or major portion thereof as scheduled by their Department Head.
At times, emergencies such as power failures, road closings, earthquakes, fires, or severe weather may interfere with the Church’s operations. In such an event, the Church may order a temporary shutdown of part or all of its operations. Depending on the circumstances, time off may or may not be paid.
B. Timekeeping Procedures
Nonexempt Staff Members must record their actual time worked for payroll and benefit purposes. Nonexempt Staff Members should record the time work begins and ends, as well as the beginning and ending time of each meal period. Nonexempt Staff Members must also record any departure from work for any non-work-related reason.
Altering, falsifying, and tampering with time records, or recording time on another Staff Member’s time record is prohibited and subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Exempt Staff Members may also be required to record their time worked and report full days of absence from work for reasons such as leaves of absence, personal days, or personal business.
It is your responsibility to sign your time record to certify the accuracy of all time recorded. Any errors in your timecard should be reported immediately to your Department Head, who will attempt to correct legitimate errors.
When operating requirements or other needs cannot be met during regular working hours, you may be scheduled to work overtime. All overtime work must be authorized in advance by your Department Head. Working overtime without prior authorization may result in disciplinary action. Nonexempt Staff Members will be compensated for all overtime hours worked in accordance with state and federal law. Exempt Staff Members are expected to work as much of each workday as is necessary to complete their job responsibilities. No overtime or additional compensation is provided to exempt Staff Members.
D. Payment of Wages
Paydays are on the 15th and last day of the month, or the last workday before those dates, for the preceding pay periods. If a regular payday falls on a weekend or holiday, Staff Members will be paid on the preceding workday.
Paychecks are normally available by 4:00 p.m. on a payday. If there is an error in your check, please report it immediately to your Department Head. No one other than the Staff Member to whom the paycheck is written will be allowed to pick up a paycheck unless written authorization has been given for another person to do so.
E. Salary Pay Policy
Exempt Staff Members will be paid a salary in accordance with applicable law. Although exempt Staff Members are generally entitled to their salary for any week in which work is performed, deductions can and will be made when permitted by law. For example, an exempt Staff Member’s salary may be reduced for complete days of absence for personal reasons and incomplete initial or final weeks of work. There may also be other occasions when an exempt Staff Member’s salary may be reduced. Please contact your Department Head for more information.
A. Open-Door Policy
BFC recognizes that Support Staff Members will have suggestions for improving the workplace, as well as complaints about the workplace. The most satisfactory solution to a job-related problem or concern is usually reached through a prompt discussion with your Department Head. Please feel free to contact your Department Head with any suggestions and/or complaints.
If you do not feel comfortable contacting your Department Head or are not satisfied with your Department Head’s response, please submit your complaint or suggestion in writing to the Executive Pastor. The Executive Pastor will review your written submission and provide you with a resolution. If this resolution is not acceptable, you may appeal to the personnel committee of the Board of Elders. This committee consists of the Chairman of the Board, an additional Elder, the Senior Pastor and the Executive Pastor. Their decision will be final.
While the Church provides you with this opportunity to communicate your views, please understand that not every complaint can be resolved to your satisfaction. Even so, BFC believes that open communication is essential to a successful work environment and all Staff Members should feel free to raise issues of concern without fear of reprisal.
B. Unlawful Harassment
In accordance with applicable law, BFC will not tolerate and prohibits sexual harassment and all other harassment as contrary to our statement of faith and practice.
- Sexual Harassment Defined
Applicable state and federal law defines sexual harassment as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or visual, verbal, or physical conduct of a sexual nature when: (1) submission to the conduct is made a term or condition of employment; or (2) submission to or rejection of the conduct is used as basis for employment decisions affecting the individual; or (3) the conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the Staff Member’s work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working environment. This definition includes many forms of offensive behavior. The following is a partial list:
- Unwanted sexual advances.
- Offering employment benefits in exchange for sexual favors.
- Making or threatening reprisals after a negative response to sexual advances.
- Visual conduct such as leering, making sexual gestures, or displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures, cartoons, or posters.
- Verbal conduct such as making or using derogatory comments, epithets, slurs, sexually explicit jokes, or comments about any Staff Member’s body or dress.
- Verbal sexual advances or propositions.
- Verbal abuse of a sexual nature, graphic verbal commentary about an individual’s body, sexually degrading words to describe an individual, or suggestive or obscene letters, notes, or invitations.
- Physical conduct such as touching, assault, or impeding or blocking movements.
- Retaliation for reporting harassment or threatening to report harassment.
It is unlawful to sexually harass anyone. Sexual harassment on the job is unlawful whether it involves coworker harassment, harassment by a Department Head, or harassment by persons doing business with or for the Church.
- BFC’s Complaint Procedure
BFC’s complaint procedure provides for an immediate, thorough, and objective investigation of any claim of unlawful or prohibited harassment, appropriate disciplinary action against one found to have engaged in prohibited harassment, and appropriate remedies for any victim of harassment. A claim of harassment may exist even if the Staff Member has not lost a job or some economic benefit.
If you believe you have been harassed on the job, or if you are aware of the harassment of others, you should provide a written or verbal complaint to your Department Head or to any other Department Head with the Church or to the Executive Pastor, or the Senior Pastor as soon as possible. Your complaint should be as detailed as possible, including the names of individuals involved, the names of any witnesses, direct quotations when language is relevant, and any documentary evidence (notes, pictures, cartoons, etc.)
Applicable law also prohibits retaliation against any Staff Member by another Staff Member or by the Church for using this complaint procedure or for filing, testifying, assisting, or participating in any manner in any investigation, proceeding, or hearing conducted by a governmental enforcement agency. Additionally, the Church will not knowingly permit any retaliation against any Staff Member who complains of prohibited harassment or who participates in an investigation.
All incidents of prohibited harassment that are reported will be investigated. The Church will immediately undertake or direct an effective, thorough, and objective investigation of the harassment allegations. The investigation will be completed and a determination regarding the reported harassment will be made and communicated to the Staff Member who complained and to the accused harasser(s).
If the Church determines that prohibited harassment has occurred, the Church will take effective remedial action commensurate with the circumstances. Appropriate action will also be taken to deter any future harassment. If a complaint of prohibited harassment is substantiated, appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including discharge, will be taken. Whatever action is taken against the harasser will be communicated to the Staff Member who complained.
- Liability For Harassment
Any Staff Member of BFC, whether a coworker or Department Head, who is found to have engaged in prohibited harassment is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including discharge from employment. Any Staff Member who engages in prohibited harassment, including any Department Head or supervisor who knew about the harassment but took no action to stop it, may be held personally liable for monetary damages. Any Department Head or supervisor who knew about harassment and took no action to stop it or failed to report the harassment to the Executive Pastor, the Department Head, or the Senior Pastor may also be subject to discipline up to and including discharge. The Church does not consider conduct in violation of this policy to be within the course and scope of employment or the direct consequence of the discharge of one’s duties. Accordingly, to the extent permitted by law, the Church reserves the right not to provide a defense or pay damages assessed against Staff Members for conduct in violation of this policy.
C. Prohibited Conduct
In order to assure orderly operations and provide the best possible work environment, BFC expects Staff Members to follow rules of conduct that will protect the interests and safety of personnel. It is not possible to list all the forms of behavior that are considered unacceptable in the workplace, but the following are examples of infractions of rules of conduct that may result in disciplinary action, including suspension, demotion, or termination of employment.
- Falsification of employment records, employment information, or other records.
- Recording the work time of another Staff Member, allowing any other Staff Member to record your work time, or allowing falsification of any time card, whether your own or another Staff Member’s.
- Theft or the deliberate or careless damage of any Church property or the property of any Staff Member or guest.
- Removing or borrowing Church property without prior authorization.
- Unauthorized use of Church equipment, time, materials, or facilities.
- Working under the influence of alcohol.
- Possessing, distributing, selling, transferring, or using—or being under the influence of—alcohol or illegal drugs in the workplace.
- Insubordination, including but not limited to failure or refusal to obey the orders or instructions of any Department Head or member of management, or the use of abusive or threatening language toward any Department Head or member of management.
- Using profane or abusive language at any time during working hours or while on premises owned or occupied by the Church.
- Failing to notify the appropriate Department Head when unable to report to work.
- Unreported absence of three consecutive scheduled workdays.
- Failing to provide a physician’s certificate when requested or required to do so.
- Making or accepting personal telephone calls of more than three minutes in duration during working hours.
- Working overtime without authorization or refusing to work assigned overtime.
- Wearing extreme, unprofessional, or inappropriate styles of dress or hair while working.
- Violating any safety, health, or security policy, rule, or procedure of the Church.
- Committing a fraudulent act or a breach of trust in any circumstances.
The Church does not have a formal progressive discipline policy requiring a set number of warnings or counseling sessions. Instead, each case is considered based on its own facts. In the case of misconduct or violation of the Church’s policies, immediate termination may be appropriate depending on the facts.
This statement of prohibited conduct does not alter or limit the Church’s policy of employment at will. Either you or the Church may terminate the employment relationship at any time for any reason, with or without cause or without notice.
D. Conduct and Employment Outside Work
In general, the Church does not seek to interfere with Staff Member’s off-duty activities. However, the Church cannot tolerate off-duty conduct that impacts negatively on the Church, either in terms of a Staff Member’s individual work performance or the ministry interests of the Church, including its reputation. For example, the Church prohibits any illegal or immoral conduct by an off-duty Staff Member that affects or has the potential to affect the Church.
E. Drug and Alcohol Abuse
The use of alcohol, illegal drugs, intoxicants, and controlled substances, whether on or off duty, can impair Staff Members’ ability to work safely and efficiently. The Church prohibits the use of these substances to the extent that they affect, or have the potential to affect, the workplace. BFC will not jeopardize the safety of the Staff Member, other Staff Members, our guests, the public, and Church operations due to an individual’s poor judgment. Accordingly, the Church prohibits the following:
- Possession, use, or being under the influence of alcohol or an illegal drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance during working hours.
- Operating a vehicle owned or leased by the Church while under the influence of alcohol or an illegal drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance.
- Distribution, sale, manufacture or purchase—or the attempted distribution, sale, manufacture or purchase—of an illegal drug, intoxicant, or controlled substance during working hours or while on premises owned or occupied by the Church.
Any Staff Member suspected of possessing alcohol, an illegal drug, intoxicants, or a controlled substance is subject to inspection and search, with or without notice. Staff Members’ personal belongings, including any bags, purses, briefcases, and clothing, and all Church property, are also subject to inspection and search, with or without notice. Staff Members who violate the Church’s drug and alcohol abuse policy will be removed from the workplace immediately. The Church may also bring the matter to the attention of appropriate law enforcement authorities. Any conviction for criminal conduct involving illegal drugs, intoxicants, or controlled substances, whether on or off duty, or any violation of the Church’s drug and alcohol abuse policy, including having a positive drug test result, may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The use of prescription drugs and/or over-the-counter drugs may also affect Staff Members’ job performance and seriously impair Staff Members’ value to the Church. Any Staff Member who is using prescription or over-the-counter drugs that may impair his or her ability to safely perform the job or may affect the safety or well being of others must submit a physician’s statement that the prescription drug use will not affect job safety. The Staff Member is not required to identify the medication or the underlying illness. Various federal, state, and local laws protect the rights of individuals with disabilities and others with regard to the confidentiality of medical information, medical treatment, and the use of prescription drugs and substances taken under medical supervision. Nothing contained in this policy is intended to interfere with individual rights under, or to violate, these laws.
The Church will attempt to reasonably accommodate Staff Members with chemical dependencies (alcohol or drugs), if they voluntarily wish to seek treatment and/or rehabilitation. Staff Members desiring that assistance should request an unpaid treatment or rehabilitation leave of absence. The Church’s support for treatment and rehabilitation does not obligate the Church to employ any person who violates the Church’s drug and alcohol abuse policy or whose job performance is impaired because of substance abuse. The Church is also not obligated to re-employ any person who has participated in treatment or rehabilitation if that person’s job performance remains impaired as a result of dependency. Staff Members who are given the opportunity to seek treatment and/or rehabilitation and are involved in any further violations of this policy will not be given a second opportunity to seek treatment or rehabilitation.
F. Punctuality and Attendance
BFC expects you to report to work on a reliable and punctual basis. Absenteeism, early departures from work, and late arrivals burden your fellow Staff Members and the Church. If you cannot avoid being late to work or are unable to work as scheduled, you must call your Department Head and the personnel secretary as soon as possible.
Every time you are absent or late, or leave early, you must provide your Department Head with an honest reason or explanation. You must also inform your Department Head of the expected duration of any absence. The Church will comply with applicable laws relating to time off from work, but it is your responsibility to provide sufficient information to enable the Church to make a determination. You must notify your Department Head of any change in your status as soon as possible.
Excessive absenteeism may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment. Six absences in a three-month period or six instances of tardiness in a three-month period constitute unacceptable attendance. Other continuing patterns of absences, early departures, or tardiness—regardless of the exact number of days—may also warrant disciplinary action.
If you fail to report for work without any notification to your Department Head, you may be considered to have abandoned your employment.
Individuals with disabilities may be granted reasonable accommodation in complying with these policies if undue hardship does not result to the Church’s operations. However, regular attendance and promptness are considered part of each Staff Member’s essential job functions.
G. Investigations of Current Employee
The Church may occasionally find it necessary to investigate current Staff Members, where behavior or other relevant circumstances raise questions concerning work performance, reliability, honesty, trustworthiness, or potential threat to the safety of co-workers or others. Staff Member investigations may, where appropriate, include credit reports and investigations of criminal records, including appropriate inquiries about any arrest for which the Staff Member is out on bail. In the event that a background check is conducted, the Church will comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and applicable state laws, including providing the Staff Member with any required notices and forms. Staff Members subject to an investigation are required to cooperate with the Church’s lawful efforts to obtain relevant information, and may be disciplined up to and including termination for failure to do so.
H. Performance Evaluations
Performance evaluations are conducted annually to provide both you and your Department Head with the opportunity to discuss your job tasks, identify and correct weaknesses, encourage and recognize strengths, and discuss methods for improving your performance. However, please understand that a positive performance evaluation does not guarantee an increase in salary, a promotion, or even continued employment. Compensation increases and the terms and conditions of employment, including job assignments, transfers, promotions, and demotions, are determined by and at the discretion of BFC.
In addition to these more formal performance evaluations, the Church encourages you and your Department Head to discuss your job performance on an ongoing basis.
Information about BFC, its Staff Members, guests, suppliers, and vendors is to be kept confidential and divulged only to individuals within the Church with both a need to receive and authorization to receive the information. If in doubt as to whether information should be divulged, err in favor of not divulging information and discuss the situation with your Department Head.
All records and files maintained by the Church are confidential and remain the property of the Church. Records and files are not to be disclosed to any outside party without the express permission of the Department Head. Confidential information includes, but is in no way limited to: financial records; strategic plans; personnel and payroll records regarding current and former Staff Members; the identity of, contact information for, and any other account information on attendees, vendors, and suppliers; and any other documents or information regarding the Church’s operations, procedures, or practices. Confidential information may not be removed from Church premises without express authorization.
Staff Members may be required to enter into written confidentiality agreements confirming their understanding of the Church’s confidentiality policies.
J. Staff Member Dress and Personal Appearance
You are expected to report to work well groomed, clean, and dressed according to the requirements of your position. Some Staff Members may be required to wear uniforms or safety equipment/clothing. Please contact your Department Head for specific information regarding acceptable attire for your position. If you report to work dressed or groomed inappropriately, you may be prevented from working until you return to work well groomed and wearing the proper attire.
BFC recognizes that Staff Members may develop personal relationships in the course of their employment. However, in an effort to prevent favoritism, morale problems, disputes or misunderstandings, and potential sexual harassment claims, Department Leaders are not permitted to date subordinate Staff Members unless first approved by the Personnel Committee of the Board of Elders. Violation of this policy may result in discipline, including termination.
L. Meetings with the Opposite Sex
In today’s world we cannot be too cautious in protecting your reputation and that of our ministry.
No staff member is to travel alone or meet off campus alone with anyone of the opposite sex (spouses excepted, of course). When on campus, if you need to meet, you must meet in a room with either the door open or a window that allows you to be easily seen.
M. Publicity/Statements to the Media
All media inquiries regarding the Church and its operations must be referred to the Executive Pastor. Only the Executive Pastor is authorized to make or approve public statements pertaining to the Church or its operations. No Staff Members, unless specifically designated by the Executive Pastor, are authorized to make those statements. Any Staff Member wishing to write and/or publish an article, paper, or other publication on behalf of the Church must obtain approval from the Executive Pastor before publication.
VI. BFC Facilities
A. Operation of Vehicles
The use of Church-owned or Church-leased vehicles and rental of vehicles for Church business are limited to authorized Staff Members. These vehicles must only be used in work-related activities and may not be used for personal business or activities without the express prior approval of management.
All Staff Members authorized to drive Church-owned or Church-leased vehicles or to rent vehicles for use in conducting Church business, must possess a current, valid driver’s license and an acceptable driving record. Staff Members must obtain any specific, state-required permits or licenses necessary to operate Church-owned or Church-leased vehicles. Any change in license status or driving record must be reported to management immediately. From time to time, the Church or its insurance carrier will request reports from the Department of Motor Vehicles regarding the license status and driving record of Staff Members whose job responsibilities include driving.
A valid driver’s license must be in your possession while operating a vehicle off or on Church property. It is the responsibility of every Staff Member to drive safely and obey all traffic, vehicle safety, and parking laws or regulations. Drivers should demonstrate safe driving habits and not drive too fast or recklessly.
Certain Staff Members may drive their own personal vehicles while conducting Church business. These Staff Members must maintain adequate personal automobile liability insurance. Staff Members doing so should promptly submit an expense report detailing the number of miles driven on Church business. The Church will pay mileage reimbursement in accordance with applicable reimbursement rates. Staff Members are expected to observe the above policies while on Church business, even if driving their own personal vehicles.
B. Use of Equipment
All Church property—including desks, storage areas, work areas, lockers, file cabinets, credenzas, computer systems, office telephones, cellular telephones, modems, facsimile machines, duplicating machines, and vehicles—must be used properly and maintained in good working order. Staff Members who lose, steal, or misuse Church property may be personally liable for replacing or fixing the item and may be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.
Staff Members are otherwise permitted to use the Church’s equipment for occasional, non-work purposes with permission from their direct Department Head. Nevertheless, Staff Members have no right of privacy as to any information or file maintained in or on Church property or transmitted through the Church. For purposes of inspecting, investigating, or searching Staff Members’ files or documents, the Church may override any applicable passwords, codes, or locks in accordance with the best interests of the Church, its Staff Members, or its guests or visitors. All bills and other documentation related to the use of Church equipment or property are the property of the Church and may be reviewed and used for purposes that the Church considers appropriate.
Staff Members may access only files or documents that they have permission to enter. Unauthorized review, duplication, dissemination, removal, damage, or alteration of files, or other property of the Church, or improper use of information obtained by unauthorized means, may be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.
C. Use of Technology and the Internet
The Church’s technical resources—including desktop and portable computer systems, fax machines, internet access, voice mail, email, electronic bulletin boards, and its intranet—enable Staff Members quickly and efficiently to access and exchange information throughout the Church and around the world. When used properly, we believe these resources greatly enhance Staff Member productivity and knowledge. In many respects, these new tools are similar to other Church tools, such as stationery, file cabinets, photocopiers, and telephones. Because these technologies are both new and rapidly changing, it is important to explain how they fit within the Church and within your responsibilities as a Staff Member.
This policy applies to all technical resources that are owned or leased by the Church, that are used on or accessed from Church premises, or that are used on Church business. This policy also applies to all activities using any Church-paid accounts, subscriptions, or other technical services, such as internet access, voice mail, and email, whether or not the activities are conducted from Church premises.
Note: As you use the Church’s technical resources, it is important to remember the nature of the information created and stored there. Because they seem informal, email messages are sometimes offhand, like a conversation, and not as carefully thought out as a letter or memorandum. Like any other document, an email message or other computer information can later be used to indicate what a Staff Member knew or felt. You should keep this in mind when creating email messages and other documents. Even after you delete an email message or close a computer session, it may still be recoverable and may even remain on the system.
- Acceptable Uses
The Church’s technical resources are provided for the benefit of the Church and its guests, vendors, and suppliers. These resources are provided for use in the pursuit of Church ministry and are to be reviewed, monitored, and used only in that pursuit, except as otherwise provided in this policy.
Staff Members may post notices on the Church’s intranet and electronic bulletin board provided they obtain advance approval from their Department Head. Staff Members are otherwise permitted to use the Church’s technical resources for occasional, non-work purposes with permission from their direct Department Head. Nevertheless, Staff Members have no right of privacy as to any information or file maintained in or on the Church’s property or transmitted or stored through the Church’s computer, voice mail, email, or telephone systems.
- Unacceptable Uses
The Church’s technical resources should not be used for personal gain or the advancement of individual views. Staff Members who wish to express personal opinions on the internet are encouraged to obtain a personal account with a commercial internet service provider and to access the internet without using Church resources.
Solicitation for any non-Church business or activities using Church resources is strictly prohibited. Your use of the Church’s technical resources must not interfere with your productivity, the productivity of any other Staff Member, or the operation of the Church’s technical resources. Staff Members may not play games on the Church’s computers and other technical resources during work time.
You should not send email or other communications that either mask your identity or indicate that someone else sent them. You should never access any technical resources using another Staff Member’s password.
Sending, saving, or viewing offensive material is prohibited. Messages stored and/or transmitted by computer, voice mail, email, or telephone systems must not contain content that may reasonably be considered offensive to any Staff Member. Any use of the internet, intranet, or electronic bulletin board to harass or discriminate is unlawful and strictly prohibited by the Church. Violators will be subject to discipline, up to and including discharge.
BFC does not consider conduct in violation of this policy to be within the course and scope of employment or the direct consequence of the discharge of one’s duties. Accordingly, to the extent permitted by law, the Church reserves the right not to provide a defense or pay damages assessed against Staff Members for conduct in violation of this policy.
- Access to Information
The Church asks you to keep in mind that when you are using the Church’s computers you are creating Church documents using a Church asset. The Church respects the individual privacy of its Staff Members. However, that privacy does not extend to a Staff Member’s work-related conduct or to the use of Church-provided technical resources or supplies.
Electronic information created and/or communicated by a Staff Member using Church tools, such as software, internet access, voice mail, telephones, email, electronic bulletin boards, and its intranet, will generally not be monitored by the Church. Please keep in mind the following:
- The Church monitors the performance, usage, and cost-effectiveness of its technical resources and periodically gathers information such as the number, frequency, time of day, and duration of calls or internet site visits.
- The Church may, in its discretion, review any Staff Member’s electronic files and messages as well as the volume and content of usage.Remember that your electronic communications and files are neither private nor confidential. They may be read by others within the Church and outside it without first obtaining your permission. If there is information that you do not want to be available to others, you should send that information in other ways.
4. Copyrighted Materials
You should not copy and distribute copyrighted material (e.g., software, database files, documentation, articles, graphics files, and downloaded information) through the email system or by any other means unless you have confirmed in advance from appropriate sources that the Church has the right to copy or distribute the material. Failure to observe a copyright may result in disciplinary action by the Church as well as legal action by the copyright owner. Any questions concerning these rights should be directed to your Department Head.
- Confidential Information
Email and internet/web access are not entirely secure. Others outside the Church may also be able to monitor your email and internet/web access. For example, internet sites maintain logs of visits from users; these logs identify which company, and even which particular person, accessed the service. If your work using these resources requires a higher level of security, please ask your Department Head or the network manager for guidance on securely exchanging email or gathering information from sources such as the internet or web.
All Staff Members should safeguard the Church’s confidential information, as well as that of guests and others, from disclosure. Do not access new voice mail or email messages with others present. Messages containing confidential information should not be left visible while you are away from your work area.
Email messages containing confidential information should include the following statement, in all capital letters, at the top of the message: CONFIDENTIAL: UNAUTHORIZED USE OR DISCLOSURE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
- Security of Information
Although you may have passwords to access computer, voice mail, and email systems, these technical resources belong to the Church, are to be accessible at all times by the Church, and are subject to inspections by the Church with or without notice. The Church may override any applicable passwords or codes to inspect, investigate, or search a Staff Member’s files and messages. All passwords must be made available to the network manager upon request. You should not provide a password to other Staff Members or to anyone outside the Church and should never access any technical resources using another Staff Member’s password.
In order to facilitate the Church’s access to information on its technical resources, you may not encrypt or encode any voice mail or email communication or any other files or data stored or exchanged on Church systems without the express prior written permission from the MIS Department and your Department Head.
As part of this approval, the MIS Department will indicate a procedure for you to deposit any password, encryption key or code, or software with the MIS Department so that the encrypted or encoded information can be accessed in your absence.
- BFC’s Software Policy
If you want to install software on Church computers, you must contact the Network Manager and request to have the software installed. Staff Members are prohibited from installing any software on any Church technical resource without the express prior written permission from the Network Manager.
Involving the Network Manager ensures that the Church can manage the software on Church systems, prevent the introduction of computer viruses, and meet its obligations under any applicable software licenses and copyright laws. Computer software is protected from unauthorized copying and use by federal and state law; unauthorized copying or use of computer software exposes the Church and the individual Staff Member to substantial fines and exposes the individual Staff Member to imprisonment. Therefore, Staff Members may not load personal software onto the Church’s computer system and may not copy software from the Church for personal use.
- Your Responsibilities
Each Staff Member is responsible for the content of all text, audio, or images that they place or send over the Church’s technical resources. Staff Members may access only files or programs, whether computerized or not, that they have permission to enter.
Violations of any guidelines in this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. In addition, the Church may advise appropriate legal officials of any illegal violations.
D. Staff Member Property
Staff Members should not bring valuables to work. If necessary to do so, all valuables should be kept in a secure location. The Church assumes no responsibility for the loss, theft, or damage of Staff Members’ personal property.
E. Solicitation and Distribution of Literature
- The distribution of written materials that promote any organization, ministry or business not already supported by BFC must be approved by your Department Head.
- No Staff Members shall distribute any materials promoting a personal business among the staff or on the Church property.
- Under no circumstances will non-Staff Members be permitted to solicit or to distribute written material for any purpose on Church property without the written permission of the Executive Director.
While you are at work, you are expected to perform your job duties and responsibilities. Personal calls, both incoming and outgoing, must be kept to a minimum and must not interfere with your duties and responsibilities or the Church policies. Staff Members should limit their use of Church telephones for personal long-distance calls. In the event it is necessary to make a personal long-distance call, you will be asked to reimburse the Church for the cost. Abuse of the long-distance telephone call policy may result in discipline, up to and including termination.
All Staff Members are expected to maintain their desks and/or work areas in an orderly fashion. Also, please pick up after yourself when you use the microwaves, sinks, kitchenettes, or restrooms.
H. Smoking Policy
Staff Members, guests, vendors, and other guests are not allowed to smoke in Church facilities at any time. Smoking is not allowed in guest areas, Church vehicles, or in restrooms. In addition, Staff Members are not permitted to smoke within 50 feet of any building entrance.
I. Health and Safety
The health and safety of Staff Members and others on Church property are of critical concern to BFC. We strive to attain the highest possible level of safety in all activities and operations. The Church also intends to comply with all health and safety laws applicable to our ministry.
To this end, the Church must rely upon Staff Members to ensure that work areas are kept safe and free of hazardous conditions. Staff Members should be conscientious about workplace safety, including proper operating methods and known dangerous conditions or hazards. You should report any unsafe conditions or potential hazards to your Department Head immediately, even if you believe you have corrected the problem. If you suspect a concealed danger is present on the Church’s premises, or in a product, facility, piece of equipment, process, or business practice for which the Church is responsible, bring it to the attention of your Department Head or the Director of Operations immediately. Department Heads should arrange for the correction of any unsafe condition or concealed danger immediately and should contact the Director of Operations regarding the problem.
Periodically, the Church may issue rules and guidelines governing workplace safety and health. All Staff Members should familiarize themselves with these rules and guidelines, as strict compliance will be expected. Contact your Department Head for copies of current rules and guidelines. Failure to comply strictly with rules and guidelines regarding health and safety or negligent work performance that endangers health and safety will not be tolerated.
Any workplace injury, accident, or illness must be reported to your Department Head as soon as possible, regardless of the severity of the injury or accident. If medical attention is required immediately, Department Heads will assist Staff Members in obtaining medical care, after which the details of the injury or accident must be reported.
The safety of children is of special importance. Staff members who must bring their children to the church campus during office hours must keep them under constant supervision, make the visit as short as possible especially where other staff are working. Children are not to be brought into the printing/copy room or support service offices at any time. Please see your Department Head if you need further clarification.
BFC observes the following paid holidays: New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and the week days between Christmas and New Years. If a holiday falls on a weekend day, it is usually observed on the preceding Friday or the following Monday. Holiday observance will be announced in advance.
Temporary Staff Members are not eligible for holiday pay. Holiday pay will be calculated based on your straight time pay rate (as of the date of the holiday) times the number of hours you would have otherwise worked on that day. Holiday pay is not counted for the purpose of calculating a Staff Member’s overtime hours of work or overtime premiums.
If you are non-exempt and required to work on a designated holiday, you will receive time and one-half. If a holiday occurs during your vacation period, you will be granted one additional day of vacation period, to be taken at a time approved in advance by your Department Head.
Staff Members working 20 hours or more per week accrue paid vacations in accordance with the schedule below. Temporary Staff Members do not accrue paid vacation time.
Support Staff (Non Exempt) Accrual Rate Per Year
First through second year 2 budgeted workweek’s hrs/year
Third through seventh year 3 budgeted workweek’s hrs/year
Eight years or more 4 budgeted workweek’s hrs/year
Part-Time Ministry Staff (Exempt) Accrual Rate Per Year
First through second year 4.2 hours per month (2 weeks)
Third through seventh year 6.3 hours per month (3 weeks)
Eight years or more 8.3 hours per month (4 weeks)
Full-time Ministers (Exempt) Accrual Rate Per Year
First year 8.4 hours per month (2 weeks)
Second through four years 12.5 hours per month (3 weeks)
Five years through nine years 16.7 hours per month (4 weeks)
Ten years or more 20.8 hours per month (5 weeks)
No vacation time may be taken until after completion of the first three months of employment. Earned vacation time accrues to a maximum of five weeks. Once the maximum accrual amount has been reached, no additional vacation will be earned until previously accrued vacation time is used. You will not be given retroactive credit for any period of time in which you did not accrue vacation because you were at the maximum. At the anniversary of the employment date, unused vacation at or below the maximum accrual amount will carry over to the subsequent year. Only earned vacation time can be used. No vacation deficit is allowed.
Staff Members are encouraged to take their accrued vacation each year. You must request vacation as far in advance as possible. Vacations will be scheduled so as to provide adequate coverage of job and Staff Member requirements. The Department Head will make the final determination in this regard. If a holiday occurs during your vacation period, you will be granted one additional day of vacation to be taken at a time approved in advance by your Department Head.
Exempt Staff Members must use vacation for otherwise unexcused absences from work for a day or more unless personal days are used. Nonexempt Staff Members must use vacation for otherwise unexcused time away from work during their regularly scheduled hours unless personal day benefits are used. Vacation does not accrue during unpaid leaves of absence or other periods of inactive service.
C. Insurance Benefits
- Medical Insurance
Full-time Staff Members may be eligible for medical insurance coverage under the Church’s policy. Currently, the Church pays one hundred percent (100%) of the medical insurance premium. Medical insurance coverage is a benefit provided by the Church. Staff Members should consult the Summary Plan Description for more complete information about eligibility and the details of the Church’s medical insurance plan. Copies of the Plan Document and Summary Plan Description are available from the Executive Office Secretary. The Plan Document is controlling.
- Disability Insurance
Eligible Staff Members are covered by State Disability Insurance pursuant to the Unemployment Insurance Code. Disability insurance is payable when you cannot work because of illness or injury unrelated to your employment at the Church or when you are entitled to temporary workers’ compensation at a rate less than the daily disability benefit amount.
- Social Security
The Church matches each Staff Member’s Social Security contribution dollar for dollar if they are not a licensed minister. You may be eligible to receive these benefits upon your retirement and/or perhaps in other circumstances in accordance with the Social Security laws. Licensed ministers are self-employed for Social Security purposes and pay their full contribution unless they have opted out of the program as allowed by law.
- Workers’ Compensation
If you are injured or become ill on the job, then you may receive, at no cost to you, workers’ compensation insurance benefits, which may include medical care, compensation, and vocational rehabilitation. To receive workers’ compensation benefits, you must:
- Report any work-related injury to your Department Head immediately.
- Complete a written claim form and return it to the Department Head.
- Seek medical treatment and follow-up care if required. The law requires that the Church notify the workers’ compensation insurance company of any concerns of false or fraudulent claims. Any person who makes or causes to be made any knowingly false or fraudulent material statement or material misrepresentation for the purpose of obtaining or denying workers’ compensation benefits or payments is guilty of a felony. A violation of this law is punishable by imprisonment for one to five years, or by a fine not exceeding $50,000.00 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or both. Additional civil penalties may be in order.
D. Personal days and sick leave
BFC provides paid accrued personal days to all eligible Staff Members working 20 hours or more for periods of temporary absence due to illness or injury or other personal reasons. Personal Days taken to care for a parent, current spouse, or child is limited to an amount equal to one half of the Staff Member’s annual accrual of Personal Days. Personal Days are the only allowance made by the Church for sickness. No other sick days are provided.
Eligible Staff Members accrue personal days in accordance with the schedule below. Temporary Staff Members do not accrue personal days.
Eligible exempt part-time Staff accrue personal days at 2.1 hours per month. Full-time exempt Staff accrue 4.2 hours per month. Non-exempt Staff Members accrue personal days at a rate of one week’s hours per year. Personal days accrue to a maximum of two week’s hours. Once the maximum amount has been accrued, no further personal days will accrue until the amount of accrued personal days has been reduced below the maximum amount. Unlike vacation time, unused personal days are not compensated at the end of a Staff Member’s employment at BFC.
It is your responsibility to apply for any disability benefits for which you may be eligible as a result of illness or disability, including workers’ compensation insurance, and/or any other disability insurance benefits for which you qualify.
Exempt Staff Members must use personal or vacation days for otherwise unexcused absences from work for a day or more. Non-exempt Staff Members must use personal days or vacation for otherwise unexcused time away from work during their regularly scheduled duties. Your personal days benefits will be fully integrated with other benefits available to you so that at no time will you be paid more than your regular compensation. Staff Members will not accrue personal days during unpaid leaves of absence.
E. Leaves of Absence
1. General Provisions
BFC may grant a leave of absence in certain circumstances. You should notify your Department Head and/or the Executive Director in writing as soon as you become aware that you may need a leave of absence. The Church will consider your request in accordance with applicable law and the Church’s leave policies. You will be notified whether your leave request is granted or denied. If you are granted leave, you must comply with the terms and conditions of the leave, including keeping in touch with your Department Head or the Executive Director during your leave, and giving prompt notice if there is any change in your return date.
You must not accept other employment or apply for unemployment insurance while you are on a leave of absence. Acceptance of other employment while on leave will be treated as a voluntary resignation from employment at the Church. Benefits, such as vacation and holidays, will not accrue while you are on a leave of absence. Upon return from a leave of absence, you will be credited with the full employment status that existed prior to the start of the leave.
The Church may hold in abeyance or proceed with any counseling, performance review, or disciplinary action, including discharge, that was contemplated prior to any Staff Member’s request for or receipt of a leave of absence or that has come to the Church’s attention during the leave. If any action is held in abeyance during the leave of absence, the Church reserves the right to proceed with the action upon the Staff Member’s return. Requesting or receiving a leave of absence in no way relieves Staff Members of their obligation while on the job to perform their job responsibilities capably and up to the Church’s expectations and to observe all the Church policies, rules, and procedures.
- Federal Family and Medical Leave Act
The Church will grant family and medical leave in accordance with the requirements of applicable state and federal law in effect at the time the leave is granted. No greater or lesser leave benefits will be granted than those set forth in the relevant state or federal laws. In certain situations, the federal law requires that provisions of state law apply. In any case, Staff Members will be eligible for the most generous benefits available under either law.
Please contact your Department Head as soon as you become aware of the need for a family and medical leave. The following is a summary of the relevant provisions.
a. Staff Member Eligibility
To be eligible for family and medical leave benefits, you must: (1) have worked for the Church for a total of at least 12 months; (2) have worked at least 1,250 hours over the previous 12 months; and (3) work at a location where at least 50 Staff Members are employed by the Church within 75 miles.
b. Leave Available
Eligible Staff Members may receive up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during a 12-month period. A 12-month period begins on the date of the Staff Member’s first use of federal family and medical leave. Successive 12-month periods commence on the date of a Staff Member’s first use of family and medical leave after the preceding 12-month period has ended.
Leave may be used for one or more of the following reasons: (1) for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care; (2) to care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition; or (3) to take medical leave when the Staff Member is unable to work because of a serious health condition. Under some circumstances, Staff Members may take family and medical leave intermittently—which means taking leave in blocks of time, or by reducing their normal weekly or daily work schedule. If you are pregnant, you may have the right to take a pregnancy disability leave in addition to a family and medical leave. Please review the pregnancy disability leave policy below and notify your Department Head or the Executive Director if you need leave due to your pregnancy.
Certain restrictions on these benefits may apply.
c. Notice and Certification
If you need family and medical leave, you may be required to provide:
1. 30-day advance notice when the need for the leave is foreseeable;
2. Medical certification from a health care provider (both prior to the leave and prior to reinstatement);
3. Periodic recertification; and
4. Periodic reports during the leave.
When leave is needed to care for an immediate family member or your own serious health condition, and is for planned medical treatment, you must try to schedule treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the Church’s operation.
d. Compensation During Leave
Family and medical leave is unpaid. The Church may require you to use accrued personal time paid leave (such as vacation leave) to cover some or all of the family and medical leave. The use of paid time off will not extend the length of a family and medical leave.
e. Benefits During Leave
The Church will maintain, for up to a maximum of 12 workweeks of family and medical leave, any group health insurance coverage that you were provided before the leave on the same terms as if you had continued to work. In some instances, the Church may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage if you do not return to work following family or medical leave.
If you are on family and medical leave but you are not entitled to continued paid coverage, you may continue your group health insurance coverage through the Church in conjunction with federal COBRA guidelines by making monthly payments to the Church for the amount of the relevant premium. Please contact the Accounting Department for further information.
f. Job Reinstatement
Under most circumstances, upon return from family and medical leave, you will be reinstated to your previous position, or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions. However, upon return from a family and medical leave, you have no greater right to reinstatement than if you had been continuously employed rather than on leave. For example, if you would have been laid off had you not gone on family and medical leave, or if your position has been eliminated during the leave, then you will not be entitled to reinstatement.
If you are returning from family and medical leave taken for your own serious health condition, but you are unable to perform the essential functions of your job because of a physical or mental disability, the Church will attempt to accommodate you. Your use of family and medical leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that you earned or were entitled to before using family and medical leave.
g. Unlawful Acts
It is unlawful for the Church to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided by state or federal family and medical leave law. It is also unlawful for the Church to refuse to hire or to discharge or discriminate against any individual for being involved in any proceedings related to family and medical leave.
3. Temporary Disability Leave
- Staff Member Eligibility
Temporary disability leave is available to those qualified Staff Members who are not eligible for leave under the federal or state family and medical leave laws upon completion of six months of employment. You must be a Department Head or a full-time employee to qualify.
b. Leave Available
After six months of employment, temporary disability leave with pay for a maximum of three months may, at the church’s discretion, be granted if you are unable to perform the duties of your position as a result of a disability not related to your employment. You must be a full time employee to qualify.
c. Notice and Certification
Requests for leave should be made in writing as far in advance as possible. All requests must be accompanied by a health care provider’s statement indicating the nature of the disability, the last day you can work, and the expected duration of your leave. A written health care provider’s release is required before you can return to work. BFC reserves the right to have you examined by a health care provider of its choice prior to your return to work.
d. Compensation During Leave
Temporary disability leave is paid for full time Staff. If you are granted a temporary disability leave, the Church will pay you personal days pay for the period of time equivalent to your accrued personal days pay. Once you have exhausted your paid personal days, you will be paid so that there is no loss of income. All of those payments, however, will be coordinated with any state disability or other wage reimbursement benefits for which you may be eligible so that at no time will you receive a greater total payment than your regular salary. Use of paid time off will not extend the length of a temporary disability leave.
e. Benefits During Leave
Your medical and other benefits will continue to be paid during the temporary disability leave.
Staff Members returning from a temporary disability leave will be offered the same position held at the time of leaving, if available. If this position is not available, a comparable position will be offered. If neither the same nor a comparable position is available, your return to work will depend on job openings existing at the time of your scheduled return. There are no guarantees of reinstatement and your return will depend on your qualifications for existing openings. If any Staff Member returning from temporary disability leave is unable to perform the essential functions of the job because of a physical or mental condition, the Church will attempt to accommodate the Staff Member.
4. Pregnancy Disability Leave
- Staff Member Eligibility
The Church will grant an unpaid pregnancy disability leave if you are disabled because of your pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition.
b. Leave Available
If you are disabled due to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition, you may take up to a maximum of four months leave. As an alternative, the Church may transfer you to a less strenuous or hazardous position if you so request, with the advice of your physician, and if the transfer can be reasonably accommodated.
Leave taken under the pregnancy disability policy runs concurrently with family and medical leave under federal law, but not with family and medical leave under state law.
c. Notice and Certification Requirements
You must provide the Church with reasonable advance notice of your need for a pregnancy disability leave. In addition, you must provide the Church with a health care provider’s statement certifying the last day you can work and the expected duration of your leave.
d. Compensation During Leave
Pregnancy disability leaves are with pay for three months if you are a Department Head or work full time. However, you must utilize any accrued paid personal time off during the leave. All of those payments will be integrated with any state disability or other wage reimbursement benefits that you may receive. At no time will you receive a greater total payment than your regular compensation.
e. Benefits During Leave
If you are also eligible for federal or state family and medical leave, the Church will maintain, for up to a maximum of 12 workweeks, any group health insurance coverage that you were provided before the leave on the same terms as if you had continued to work. In some instances, the Church may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage if you do not return to work following pregnancy disability leave.
If you are not eligible for family and medical leave, you will receive continued paid coverage on the same basis as Staff Members taking other leaves.
Upon the submission of a medical certification from a health care provider that you are able to return to work, you will, in most circumstances, be offered the same position held at the time of the leave or an equivalent position. However, you will not be entitled to any greater right to reinstatement than if you had been employed continuously rather than on leave. For example, if you would have been laid off if you had not gone on leave, then you will not be entitled to reinstatement. Similarly, if your position has been filled in order to avoid undermining the Church’s ability to operate safely and efficiently while you were on leave, and there is no equivalent position available, then reinstatement will be denied.
If upon return from a pregnancy disability leave you are unable to perform the essential functions of the job because of a physical or mental disability, the Church will attempt to accommodate you.
5. Workers’ Compensation Disability Leave
- Staff Member Eligibility
The Church will grant you a workers’ compensation disability leave in accordance with state law if you incur an occupational illness or injury. As an alternative, the Church may offer you modified work. Leave taken under the workers’ compensation disability policy runs concurrently with family and medical leave under both federal and state law.
b. Notice and Certification Requirements
You must report all accidents, injuries, and illnesses, no matter how minor, to your immediate Department Head. You must also provide the Church with a health care provider’s statement certifying your work-related illness or injury, your inability to work, and the expected duration of your leave.
c. Compensation During Leave
Workers’ compensation disability leaves are with pay if you are a full time employee. However, you may utilize accrued vacation time and any other accrued paid time off during the leave. All of those payments will be coordinated with any state disability, workers’ compensation, or other wage reimbursement benefits for which you may be eligible. At no time will you receive a greater total payment than your regular compensation.
d. Benefits During Leave
If you are eligible for family and medical leave under the federal or state family and medical leave laws, the Church will maintain, for up to a maximum of 12 workweeks, any group health insurance coverage that you were provided before the leave on the same terms as if you had continued to work. In some instances, the Church may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage if you do not return to work following your workers’ compensation disability leave. If you are not eligible for family and medical leave, you will receive continued coverage on the same basis as Staff Members taking other leaves.
If you are not entitled to continued paid coverage, you may continue your group health insurance coverage through the Church in conjunction with federal COBRA guidelines by making monthly payments to the Church for the amount of the relevant premium. You should contact your Department Head for further information.
Upon the submission of a medical certification that you are able to return to work, you will be reinstated in accordance with applicable law. If you are disabled due to an industrial injury, the Church will attempt to accommodate you. If you are returning from a workers’ compensation disability leave that runs concurrently with a family and medical leave, then the provisions of the family and medical leave policy will also apply.
F. Other time off
1. Personal Leaves of Absence
After six months of employment, a personal leave of absence without pay for up to one month may be granted at the discretion of the Church. Requests for personal leave should be limited to unusual circumstances requiring an extended absence.
Staff Members are hereby notified that the Church does not guarantee reinstatement following a personal leave. However, the Church will offer Staff Members returning from a personal leave of absence the same position, or a comparable position that the individual is qualified to perform, if either position is available.
- Funeral or Bereavement Time Off
Any Staff Member may take up to five consecutive workdays off with pay following the death of the Staff Member’s current spouse, parent, child, sister, brother, grandparent, grandchild, mother-in-law, father-in-law, or a person that fulfilled the role of a significant person. The Department Head may also approve additional unpaid time off.
- Civic Duty Time Off
BFC encourages Staff Members to serve on jury or witness duty when called. It also understands that, if a Staff Member is the unfortunate victim of domestic violence, that Staff Member may need to take time from work to appear in court in an effort to obtain relief from such violence. You must notify your Department Head of the need for time off for jury or witness duty as soon as a notice or summons from the court or a subpoena is received. If you need time off to obtain relief from domestic violence, you must give your Department Head reasonable notice that you are required to appear in court. If the appearance in court is unscheduled or an emergency appearance, advance notice is not required, but you may be required to provide evidence from the court within a reasonable time after your appearance that shows you appeared in court.
Non-exempt Staff Members will receive full pay while serving up to five days of jury or witness duty or for taking up to five days off to appear in court in an effort to obtain relief from domestic violence. Exempt Staff Members will receive pay for one entire week of absence due to jury or witness duty or due to appearing in court to obtain relief from domestic violence. Exempt Staff Members will not incur any reduction in pay for a partial week of absence due to jury or witness duty or due to appearing in court to obtain relief from domestic violence. Any additional time off will be without pay. Verification from the court clerk of having served may be required. On the days you take off from work to perform jury duty, witness duty, or to obtain relief from domestic violence, you will be expected to return to work for the remainder of your work schedule if time permits.
- Voting Time Off
If you cannot vote in a statewide public election before or after working hours, then you will be allowed sufficient time off to go to the polls. The Church will pay you for up to the first two hours of absence from regularly scheduled work that is necessary to vote in a statewide public election. Any additional time off will be without pay. You must give reasonable notice to the Department Head of the need to have time off to vote and must give at least three (3) days notice when three days notice is possible.
G. Training Programs and Seminars
During your employment at BFC, you may be required or you may request to attend a training seminar, conference, etc.. When the Church requires your attendance at one of these functions, you will be reimbursed for any expenses you incur for attending the function and you will be compensated at your regular rate. You must obtain your Department Head’s written approval prior to attending one of these functions. You must also estimate your expenses for attending the function and submit them to your Department Head for approval. You will not be reimbursed for expenses without prior written approval from your Department Head. Please note that Staff Members’ voluntary attendance at seminars or other educational forums is not subject to this policy. You will not be compensated for time spent in voluntary attendance in seminars and other programs that are conducted outside of normal business hours or that are not directly related to your current job.
H. 403(b) Plan and IRA Plan
BFC has adopted a 403(b) Plan for certain eligible Staff Members. Under the Plan, an eligible Staff Member may elect to contribute up to a certain percentage of his or her pre-tax total compensation, not to exceed the annual limits established by the Internal Revenue Service.
Church retirement contributions will be made according to the BFC Retirement Plan.
Department Heads who qualify for retirement benefits are required to direct the accounting office to begin contributions to their designated retirement plan within (15) fifteen days of starting employment or they will be enrolled in the church 403(b) plan. All other qualified Staff will automatically be enrolled in the church adopted 403(b) plan.
A. Voluntary Terminations
If you decide to leave your employment with BFC, we ask that you give us at least two week’s written notice. This will give us the opportunity to make the necessary adjustments in our operation. Please return all property owned by the Church (e.g., vehicles, computers, keys, uniforms, identification badges, credit cards) prior to your departure.
B. Involuntary Terminations
While the decision to commence employment is consensual, the same is not always true when the time comes to terminate the employment relationship. As an at-will employer, the Church reserves the right to end the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause or notice. In the event your employment is terminated, please return all property owned by the Church to the Department Head prior to your departure.
C. Reductions in Force
While the Church hopes to continue growing and providing employment opportunities, ministry conditions, and other factors are unpredictable. Changes or downturns in any of these or other areas could create a need to restructure or reduce the number of people employed. In light of these uncertainties, please be advised that it may become necessary to conduct layoffs at some point in the future.
In the event that the Church determines to lay off any Staff Member or a number of Staff Members, the Church retains full discretion to select which Staff Member(s) will be laid off.
Many BFC policies and Staff Member benefits have been treated only briefly in this Employee Handbook. If you have any questions or want more information, your Department Head will be glad to fill in the details for you. The Department Head will also be happy to help you with questions or problems.
Employee Handbook Acknowledgement and Agreement
This is to acknowledge that I have received a copy of the Bible Fellowship Church (“BFC” or “the Church”) Employee Handbook and understand that it sets forth the terms and conditions of my employment as well as the duties, responsibilities, and obligations of employment with BFC. I understand and agree that it is my responsibility to read the Employee Handbook and to abide by the rules, policies, and standards set forth in the Employee Handbook.
I also acknowledge that my employment with BFC is not for a specified period of time and can be terminated at any time for any reason, with or without cause or notice, by me or by the Church. I acknowledge that no oral or written statements or representations regarding my employment can alter the foregoing. I also acknowledge that no Department Head or Staff Member has the authority to enter into an employment agreement—express or implied—providing for employment other than at will.
I also acknowledge that, except for the policy of at-will employment, the Church reserves the right to revise, delete, and add to the provisions of this Employee Handbook. All such revisions, deletions, or additions must be in writing and must be signed by the Executive Pastor of the Church. No oral statements or representations can change the provisions of this Employee Handbook. I also acknowledge that, except for the policy of at-will employment, terms and conditions of employment with the Church may be modified at the sole discretion of the Church with or without cause or notice at any time. No implied contract concerning any employment-related decision, term of employment, or condition of employment can be established by any other statement, conduct, policy, or practice.
I understand that the foregoing agreement concerning my at-will employment status and the Church’s right to determine and modify the terms and conditions of employment is the sole and entire agreement between me and BFC concerning the duration of my employment, the circumstances under which my employment may be terminated, and the circumstances under which the terms and conditions of my employment may change. I further understand that this agreement supersedes all prior agreements, understandings, and representations concerning my employment with BFC.
______________________________ Staff Member Signature
______________________________ Staff Member Name