The policies in this handbook, as well as other policies subsequently issued from time to time by the President of FAITH Catholic, govern employment with FAITH Catholic. However, this employee handbook is not a contract of employment.
On July 1, 2009, FAITH Catholic became the corporate successor of FAITH Publishing Service and Liturgical Commission Publishings. All employees of FAITH Publishing Service and Liturgical Commission Publishings became employees of FAITH Catholic, with the same wages, benefits, and seniority as they had at FAITH Publishing Service and/or Liturgical Commission Publishings.
FAITH Catholic reserves the right and the discretion to amend or delete benefits, compensation, or policies. Any such change is prospectively effective from the date the change is made unless the announcement of the change states a later date.
Clerics and religious, as well as lay persons holding certain ecclesial positions, have rights, responsibilities, and remedies under Canon Law. This handbook does not enlarge or restrict those rights, responsibilities, or remedies, and does not cause those rights, responsibilities, or remedies to be enforceable in civil law.
As an integral part of these policies, FAITH Catholic retains the right to exercise all administrative and managerial functions related to the operation of FAITH Catholic. No person, in any capacity whatsoever, is authorized to alter the policies in this handbook, except in writing in an individual case and with the written authorization of the President of FAITH Catholic.
FAITH Catholic reserves the right and the discretion to amend or delete benefits, compensation, or policies, except for the 180-day limitation period explained in paragraph I-P. Any such change is prospectively effective from the date the change is made unless the announcement of the change states a later date. This handbook is issued so that employees can understand the policies of the employer. It does not create any third- party beneficiary rights.
FAITH Catholic is a religious institution, and its efforts are directed toward the glory of God and the salvation of souls. The Gospel is to be always and everywhere proclaimed and lived. While employees are asked to serve in a variety of roles, each employee’s duties and responsibilities are primarily religious. That is, by direct action or by indirect example, each employee is involved in spreading the faith and other key works of the Church. Each employee’s position is vital to the spiritual and pastoral mission of the Church, and is inherently religious.
In both personal and professional life, an employee must exemplify the moral teachings of the Catholic Church. The employee must not teach, advocate, model, or in any way encourage beliefs or behaviors that are contrary to the teachings of the Catholic Church.
The employment relationship is “at will” and is terminable at the will of either FAITH Catholic or the employee. This means that, just as any employee may terminate his or her employment with FAITH Catholic at any time, for any reason or for no reason, so may FAITH Catholic terminate an employee at any time, for any reason or for no reason. This employment relationship may not be modified by oral statements of supervisors and can be modified only by a written instrument signed by the President of FAITH Catholic.
FAITH Catholic is fully committed to a policy of equal opportunity in its employment practices. Its personnel decisions will be made without illegal discrimination on the basis of age (40 or older), sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth, or a medical condition related to either), religion, citizenship status, marital status, race, disability unrelated to the ability to do the essential functions of the job, national origin, color, height, weight, , or genetic background.
Because of the nature of FAITH Catholic and its mission, FAITH Catholic may give priority in hiring and other personnel decisions to practicing Catholics who are in good standing with the Catholic Church.
Reasonable accommodation will be made for a disability. A person requiring reasonable accommodation for a disability must notify, in writing, the President of FAITH Catholic within 182 days after the need for the accommodation becomes or should have become known.
Respect and Safety
An employee must treat with respect, courtesy, and charity each person who comes to FAITH Catholic.
Since FAITH Catholic is located on the campus of a school, an employee should be especially mindful of safety in dealing with young people and may not, by action or inaction, allow young people to be endangered. If for any reason an employee needs to enter the school building, he or she must wear a FAITH Catholic identification badge, which will be provided by FAITH Catholic. The employee should enter through the main entrance of the school building only.
Minors may volunteer, be employed or serve as interns at FAITH Catholic. Employees who work with minors need to exercise sound judgment at all times. For obvious reasons, an employee must be particularly sensitive to any actual or perceived risk of sexual impropriety. An employee’s physical contact with a young person must always be limited, appropriate, and public.
An employee might learn or receive confidential information. During and after employment, confidential information may not be shared with non- employees except as provided by law or court order, and may be shared with other employees only on the basis of a need to know.
As mandated by statute (MCL 445.81, et seq.), an employee must protect the confidentiality of Social Security numbers to the extent practicable, and must avoid unlawful disclosure of those numbers. An employee may not have access to another person’s Social Security number unless access is necessary to conduct the business of FAITH Catholic, including background checks and payroll functions. Unless authorized by law, an employee may not display, or require the display of, more than four sequential digits of a Social Security number. Unless authorized by law, an employee may not mail or transmit electronically, or require the mailing or electronic transmission of, more than four sequential digits of a Social Security number (“mailing” includes the use of any delivery service that does not require the signature of recipient indicating actual receipt). A document that contains a Social Security number can be disposed only by a method that ensures the privacy and confidentiality of the Social Security number; examples would include shredding or burning the entire document, or removal or obliteration of the Social Security number. Employees should understand that significant civil and criminal penalties are imposed by law for violation of the statute. Likewise, FAITH Catholic is obliged by law to state that discipline, including dismissal, may result from violation of this policy.
An employee agrees that during employment at FAITH Catholic and for two (2) years after termination of employment, whether voluntary or involuntary, the employee will not, directly or indirectly, contact, solicit, attempt to obtain, accept, or engage in any business with any person, business or organization that was a client of FAITH Catholic at the time employment terminates.
An employee acknowledges that FAITH Catholic would incur great loss and irreparable damage if the Employee should breach this provision because of the competitive nature of FAITH Catholic’s business environment and the special knowledge the employee will gain from employment at FAITH Catholic. In the event the employee breaches this provision, the parties agree that FAITH Catholic would not have an adequate remedy at law and, therefore, FAITH Catholic will be entitled to a temporary restraining order and permanent injunction to prevent a breach of any terms contained in this provision, in addition to any other remedy available by law. Any liability incurred as a result of a breach of this agreement shall include monetary damages, costs and expenses sustained by FAITH Catholic, including, without limitation, attorney’s fees. The employee agrees that this non- compete provision will not adversely affect the employee’s livelihood.
It is essential that FAITH Catholic maintain a stable, trusting collaboration with its clients. Therefore, no employee of FAITH Catholic may solicit an employee of a client for an employment opportunity at FAITH Catholic. Such a solicitation may be made only by the President of FAITH Catholic, in consultation with the chief executive of the client. (FAITH Catholic expects its clients to have the same rules with regard to solicitation of employees of FAITH Catholic.)
An employee should not undertake work for which he or she is not qualified. An employee must demonstrate high standards of professionalism, must follow the policies of FAITH Catholic and must follow “best practices” in the employee’s field as described from time to time by FAITH Catholic personnel or by professional organizations that honor sound moral principles. An employee must comply with applicable law, including, without limitation, statutory reporting requirements and legal protections for intellectual property.
An employee must maintain appropriate relationship boundaries with fellow employees and with persons whom FAITH Catholic serves. To that end, an employee should avoid work-related meetings at times or places or in circumstances that could create an ambiguity as to the nature of the relationship.
Sexual harassment, sexual abuse, and improper sexual contact is absolutely forbidden at FAITH Catholic. For a host of reasons, principally the Christian obligation of faithfulness within marriage and celibacy outside marriage, an employee must have no sexual or intimate physical contact with a parishioner, student, client, or other person whom the employee serves or works with in the course of employment.
To protect the safety and welfare of employees and of our whole community, each employee is asked to be watchful of any potential for violence. If an employee is concerned that a fellow employee or any other person in the work environment is exhibiting demeanor or behavior that suggests a risk of violence, the employee should immediately report the situation to the President of FAITH Catholic.
An employee must comply with any law that requires that misconduct be reported to civil authorities. Additionally, physical, sexual, or financial misconduct must be promptly reported to the President of FAITH Catholic. If an employee is uncertain to whom such a report should be given or if misconduct is suspected of the President of FAITH Catholic, the employee should notify the Chairman and Editor of FAITH Catholic.
E-mail and Other Electronic Communication
All electronic and telephonic communications systems and all communications transmitted by, received from, or stored in these systems are the property of FAITH Catholic. This includes telephone, voice-mail, e- mail, text message (SMS), Facebook, Twitter, and any and every past, present, or future form of electronic media. As such, these systems are to be used solely for job-related purposes as identified and described in the policy on electronic communication distributed separately to employees. Employees are otherwise permitted to use the technical resources of FAITH Catholic for occasional, non-work purposes. Any personal use must be kept to a minimum and may only be conducted during non-work time.
An employee has no right of privacy as to any information or file maintained in or on the property of FAITH Catholic or transmitted or stored through any FAITH Catholic computer, voice-mail, e-mail, or telephone systems. Improper use of e-mail or similar communication systems (e.g., spreading offensive jokes or remarks) will not be tolerated. Improper use of any communication system will not be tolerated.
Improper use includes downloading of sending material that is unlawful, threatening, harassing, defamatory, offensive, or sexually explicit. Improper use also includes any use that violates any law or contract that protects intellectual property or proprietary rights in software. Employees may not use technology in a way that is likely to cause network congestion or put the network at risk of viruses.
A person who is communicating on behalf of FAITH Catholic should communicate in a professional manner and provide accurate contact information. Employees may not establish a social media webpage for their work without the approval of the President of FAITH Catholic.
To ensure that the use of electronic and telephonic communication systems and business equipment is consistent with FAITH Catholic’s legitimate business interests, FAITH Catholic may monitor the use of such equipment at any time for any reason or no reason. This may include examining stored e-mail messages and listening to stored voice-mail messages and e- mail, text message (SMS), Facebook, Twitter, and any and every past, present, or future form of electronic media.
Weapons and Contraband
On property occupied by FAITH Catholic or while conducting the business of FAITH Catholic, no employee may possess (a) a firearm, (b) a knife other than a kitchen knife or cutting instrument for imminent proper use in the course of business, (c) a controlled substance other than a prescribed medication, or (d) alcohol other than for Mass, or a suitably licensed and approved social activity.
Any employee who properly possesses a registry identification card for medical marijuana may exercise the right to smoke marijuana to the extent granted by the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA). Such an employee may not perform any task under the influence of medical marijuana when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice, or would adversely affect the employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the employee’s job. Such an employee also may not possess marijuana on the grounds of FAITH Catholic, may not smoke marijuana in a public place, may not ingest marijuana in any workplace, and may not otherwise violate the provisions of the MMMA.
Intellectual property that relates to an employee’s job and that is generated by the employee in the course of work is the sole property of FAITH Catholic. Such intellectual property includes ideas, concepts, improvements, trade secrets, discoveries, inventions, and material that is subject to the copyright laws. Any writings, drawings, charts, files, models, or other record of such intellectual property, whether kept on paper, electronically, or in any other medium, is the sole property of FAITH Catholic. While it is likely that FAITH Catholic would grant a request to use its intellectual property for non-commercial purposes related to the spread of the Gospel, such permission may be granted only in writing by the President of FAITH Catholic, or a person authorized by him or her to do so.
Smoking and use of Nicotine Products
Smoking and/or the use of nicotine products, including electronic cigarettes or vaporizers, is not permitted inside the offices of FAITH Catholic or on the grounds where FAITH Catholic is located.
An employee is obliged to bring any demand, claim, or suit within the shorter of the following two deadlines: (1) the applicable statute of limitations, or (2) 180 calendar days after the occurrence of the event precipitating the demand, claim or suit. Any time limit to the contrary, including any longer time limit, is waived. This paragraph is an absolute bar to demands, claims or suits asserted after the shorter of the two deadlines stated in the first sentence of this paragraph.