This is a continuation of the Employee Handbook. Attached below is the full PDF
Here are the other parts of the Handbook linked below
CONTACT WITH THE MEDIA
All media inquiries regarding the company and its operations must be referred to the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer. Only the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer are authorized to make or approve public statements on behalf of the company. No employees, unless specifically designated by the Chief Legal and Compliance Officer, are authorized to make statements on behalf of or as a representative of the company.
ON THE JOB TRAINING
An employee’s manager is responsible for initiating all on- the-job training within a department. This may include safety training, participation in offsite training, participation in Gold Star’s internal required course trainings, and continuing education when necessary for job performance and mortgage lending compliance. Training will be conducted during regular working hours whenever possible.
The company will pay for any required training programs. Employees may be tested from time to time to evaluate the effectiveness of the training program. If you have any questions regarding training, please contact your manager.
CERTIFICATION, LICENSING, AND OTHER REQUIREMENTS
You will be informed by your manager if there are any licensing, certifications, or testing requirements for your job. Failure to qualify or to maintain a certification or license may be sufficient cause for separation.
Safety can only be achieved through teamwork at Gold Star. Each employee, supervisor, and manager must practice safety awareness by thinking defensively, anticipating unsafe situations and reporting unsafe conditions immediately.
Please observe the following precautions:
- Notify your manager of any emergency situation. If you are injured or become sick at work, no matter how slight it is, you must inform your manager
- Only use, adjust, and repair machines and equipment if you are trained and qualified
- Know and use the proper lifting procedures. Get help when lifting or pushing heavy objects
- Understand your job and follow instructions. If you are not sure of the safety procedure(s), do not guess - ask your manager.
- Know the locations and contents of the first aid kit and firefighting equipment
- Comply with all OSHA standards and/or applicable state job safety and health standards as illustrated on the Federal and State Labor Poster in the employee common area
A violation of a safety precaution is in itself an unsafe act and will not be tolerated in the workplace. A violation may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including separation.
Violence by an employee or anyone else against a Gold Star employee, supervisor, or member of management will not be tolerated. The purpose of this policy is to minimize the potential risk of personal injuries to employees at work and to reduce the possibility of damage to company property in the event someone, for whatever reason, may be unhappy with a company decision or action by an employee or member of management.
If you receive or overhear any threatening communications from an employee or outside third party, please report it to your manager or Human Resources at once. Do not engage in either physical or verbal confrontation with a potentially violent individual. If you encounter an individual who is threatening immediate harm to an employee or visitor to our premises, contact an emergency agency (such as 911) immediately.
To protect the property and to ensure the safety of all employees, clients and the company, Gold Star reserves the right to conduct personal searches in compliance with state law, and to inspect any packages, parcels, purses, handbags, brief cases, lunch boxes or any other possessions or articles carried to and from the company's property. In addition, Gold Star reserves the right to search any employee's office, desk, files, locker, equipment or any other area or article on our premises. In this regard, it should be noted that all offices, desks, files, lockers, equipment, etc. are the property of the company, and are issued for the use of employees only during their employment. Inspection may be conducted at any time at the discretion of the company.
SMOKING IN THE WORKPLACE
For Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Utah, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin Employees
Gold Star is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for employees and visitors. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas outside of the building.
All Other Employees
Gold Star is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment for employees and visitors. Smoking is allowed only in designated areas.
Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action, up to and including separation.
NO WEAPONS IN THE WORKPLACE
Possession, use or sale of weapons, firearms or explosives on work premises, while operating company machinery, equipment or vehicles for work-related purposes or while engaged in company business off premises is forbidden except where permitted by state and local laws. This policy applies to all employees, including but not limited to, those who have a valid permit to carry a firearm.
If you are aware of violations or threats of violations of this policy, you are required to report such violations or threats of violations to your manager immediately.
Violations of this policy will result in disciplinary action up to and including separation.
IN AN EMERGENCY
Your manager should be notified immediately when an emergency arises. Emergencies include all accidents, medical situations, bomb threats, other threats of violence, and the smell of smoke. If your manager is unavailable, contact the nearest company official.
Should an emergency result in the need to communicate information to employees outside of business hours, your manager will contact you. Therefore, it is important that employees keep their personal emergency contact information up to date. Notify your manager when this information changes.
When events warrant an evacuation of the building, you should follow the instructions of your manager or any other member of management. You should leave the building in a quick and orderly manner. You should assemble at the pre- determined location as communicated to you by your manager to await further instructions or information.
Please direct any questions you may have about the company's emergency procedures to your manager.
Severe weather is to be expected during certain months of the year. Although driving may at times be difficult, when caution is exercised the roads are normally passable. Except in cases of severe storms, we are all expected to work our regular hours. Time taken off due to poor weather conditions while the business remains open is unpaid.
Exempt employees may be provided time off with pay when necessary to comply with state and federal wage and hour laws.
If extreme weather conditions require closing of the building, you will be notified by your manager.
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA) are federal laws that require employers with 15 or more employees to not discriminate against applicants and individuals with disabilities and, when needed, to provide reasonable accommodations to applicants and employees who are qualified for a job, with or without reasonable accommodations, so that they may perform the essential job duties of the position.
It is the policy of Gold Star to comply with all federal and state laws concerning the employment of persons with disabilities and to act in accordance with regulations and guidance issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Furthermore, it is Gold Star’s policy not to discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities in regard to application procedures, hiring, advancement, discharge, compensation, training or other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.
When an individual with a disability requests accommodation and can be reasonably accommodated without creating an undue hardship or causing a direct threat to workplace safety, he or she will be given the same consideration for employment as any other applicant. Applicants who pose a direct threat to the health, safety and well-being of themselves or others in the workplace when the threat cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation will not be hired.
Gold Star will reasonably accommodate qualified individuals with a disability so that they can perform the essential functions of a job unless doing so causes a direct threat to these individuals or others in the workplace and the threat cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation or if the accommodation creates an undue hardship to Gold Star. Contact Human Resources (HR) with any questions or requests for accommodation.
All team members are required to comply with Gold Star’s safety standards. Current team members who pose a direct threat to the health or safety of themselves or other individuals in the workplace will be placed on leave until an organizational decision has been made in regard to the team members immediate employment situation.
Individuals who are currently using illegal drugs are excluded from coverage under Gold Star’s ADA policy.
The HR department is responsible for implementing this policy, including the resolution of reasonable accommodation, safety/direct threat, and undue hardship issues.
Team members or applicants with disabilities may request reasonable accommodations of the employer, regardless of title, salary, or employment status. This request should be made by the employee in writing to their supervisor or to the HR department. The reasonable accommodation does not have to be requested at the beginning of employment. However, a reasonable accommodation request will not cancel out any prior performance improvement or disciplinary actions.
Upon receiving the reasonable accommodation request form, HR will meet with the team member to conduct an informal, interactive discussion. The discussion will include the following steps:
- A review of the team members job description and the essential functions of the
- A determination of how the team members disability limits their ability to perform the essential functions of their job in order to identify the employee as a qualified individual with a
- Identify potential accommodations and assessment of the effectiveness of such accommodations on the team members job
- Identification of the type of accommodation
- The team member’s preference of accommodation will be considered.
- Gold Star has the right to select among the alternatives available, as long as they are
- Selection and implementation of the effective reasonable accommodation by Gold Star will occur as soon as possible. The HR department will continue to communicate with the team member to discuss timelines for obtaining the accommodation and any possible delays.
Medical Documentation and Confidentiality
If the disability is not obvious and there is no other medical information already on record for the team member, Gold Star may require the team member to provide documentation from a physician or other medical professional concerning the existence and extent of the disability.
The team member’s medical information will be maintained in a separate confidential file. Any information regarding the team member’s condition will only be made available on a need-to- know basis.
After meeting and reviewing medical documentation, Gold Star’s HR department will determine whether the team member is a qualified individual with a disability and develop a reasonable accommodation plan for the team member.
The plan will:
- Provide a written letter stating whether the team member is a “qualified individual with a disability” as defined by the
- Outline the team members essential job functions needing accommodation.
- Recommend types of
- Determine whether any accommodations causes and undue hardship or poses a direct
Types of Reasonable Accommodation
Accommodation will be determined on a case-by-case basis. The HR department will work closely with the team member and his or her supervisor to ensure that reasonable accommodation is provided and effective.
Some accommodations cost little or no money. Changes may include support from supervisor, additional time to complete assignments, or small changes in worksite setup.
Some accommodations are technologically simple and easily achieved in most offices. Examples include: accessible door handle, magnifier, additional lighting.
Accommodations requiring advanced or sophisticated devices may take more time and expense to achieve. Examples include: screen reading software, CCTV, speech synthesizer.
Within 90 days after the accommodations have been provided, the HR department will assess the effectiveness of the accommodations in enabling the team member to perform the essential functions of the job. Additional accommodations or changes to the existing accommodations may be considered.
Full-time employees are eligible for unpaid disability leave after completing their introductory employment period. Disability leave due to non-occupational illness, injury or pregnancy related disability is not to exceed six weeks.
Granting this leave prior to the completion of the eligibility period and/or beyond the maximum period stated above may be required as a reasonable accommodation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act or due to state law or other requirements.
Employees requesting leave must provide written notice of the disability, including a doctor's certificate stating the nature of the disability and the expected date of return to work to Human Resources. All medical information received by the company in connection with a request for leave under this policy will be treated as confidential.
If you qualify for a leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act, we will continue to maintain health benefits under the same terms and conditions applicable to employees not on leave during the FMLA period. You may continue your medical insurance coverage by making arrangements with the Payroll Department to pay the entire monthly premium in advance each month.
When you are able to return to work, give us at least one week’s advance written notice. Include a doctor's certificate stating that you are medically able to return to your normal duties. We reserve the right to require a physical examination by a physician of our own choosing prior to your resumption of duties, as allowed by state law.
If your leave is covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, we will return you to the same or an equivalent position, consistent with our policy. Otherwise, we will return you to the same or similar position you held prior to the disability leave, subject to our staffing and business requirements. Your continued absence from work beyond your disability (as determined by your physician) will be deemed a voluntary separation of your employment.
This leave may run concurrently with the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act and/or any other leave where permitted by state and federal law.
FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE ACT (FMLA)
The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) provides eligible employees the opportunity to take unpaid job- protected leave for certain specific reasons. The maximum amount of leave an employee may use is either 12 or 26 weeks within a 12-month period depending on the reasons for the leave.
To be eligible for FMLA leave, an employee must meet the following:
- have worked at least 12 months for the company in the preceding seven years;
- have worked at least 1,250 hours for the company over the preceding 12 months; and
- currently work at a location where there are at least 50 employees within 75
All periods of absence from work due to or necessitated by service in the uniformed services are counted in determining FMLA eligibility.
Conditions Triggering Leave
FMLA leave may be taken for the following reasons:
- birth of a child, or to care for a newly-born child (up to 12 weeks); adoption or foster care placement of a child (up to 12 weeks);
- to care for an immediate family member(employee's spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition (up to 12 weeks);
- because of the employee's serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee's job (up to 12 weeks);
- to care for a Covered Service member with a serious injury or illness related to certain types of military service (up to 26 weeks) (see Military- Related FMLA Leave for more details); or
- to handle certain qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status in the Uniformed Services (up to 12 weeks) (see Military-Related FMLA Leave for more details).
The maximum amount of leave that may be taken in a 12- month period for all reasons combined is 12 weeks, with one exception. For leave to care for a Covered Service member, the maximum combined leave entitlement is 26 weeks, with leaves for all other reasons constituting no more than 12 of those 26 weeks.
Serious Health Condition Definition
A “Serious Health Condition” is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee's job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities. Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement includes incapacity of more than three full calendars days and two visits to a health care provider or one visit to a health care provider and a continuing regimen of care; an incapacity caused by pregnancy or prenatal visits, a chronic condition, or permanent or long-term conditions; or absences due to multiple treatments. Other situations may meet the definition of continuing treatment.
Identifying the 12 Month Period
The 12-month period in which 12 weeks of leave may be taken is a rolling backward 12-month period from the date an employee uses any FMLA. For leave to care for a covered service member, the company calculates the 12-month period beginning on the first day the eligible employee takes FMLA leave to care for a covered service member and ends
12 months after that date. FMLA leave for the birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care must be concluded within 12 months of the birth or placement.
Eligible employees may take FMLA leave in a single block of time, intermittently (in separate blocks of time), or by reducing the normal work schedule when medically necessary for the serious health condition of the employee or immediate family member, or in the case of a covered service member, his or her injury or illness. Eligible employees may also take intermittent or reduced-scheduled leave for military qualifying exigencies. Intermittent leave is not permitted for birth of a child, to care for a newly-born child, or for placement of a child for adoption or foster care. Employees who require intermittent or reduced-schedule leave must try to schedule their leave so that it will not unduly disrupt the company's operations.
Use of Accrued Paid Leave
Depending on the purpose of your leave request, you may choose (or the company may require you) to use accrued paid leave (such as sick leave, vacation, or PTO), concurrently with some or all of your FMLA leave. In order to substitute paid leave for FMLA leave, an eligible employee must comply with the company's normal procedures for the applicable paid-leave policy (e.g., call-in procedures, advance notice, etc.).
Maintenance of Health Benefits
If you and/or your family participate in our group health plan, the company will maintain coverage during your FMLA leave on the same terms as if you had continued to work. If applicable, you must make arrangements to pay your share of health plan premiums while on leave. In some instances, the company may recover premiums it paid to maintain health coverage or other benefits for you and your family. Use of FMLA leave will not result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of your leave.
Notice and Medical Certification
When seeking FMLA leave, you are required to provide:
- Sufficient information for us to determine if the requested leave may qualify for FMLA protection and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Sufficient information may include that you are unable to perform job functions; a family member is unable to perform daily activities, the need for hospitalization or continuing treatment by a health care provider, or circumstances supporting the need for military family leave. You must also inform the company if the requested leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or
- If the need for leave is foreseeable, this information must be provided 30 days in advance of the anticipated beginning date of the leave. If the need for leave is not foreseeable, this information must be provided as soon as is practicable and in compliance with the company normal call-in procedures, absent unusual circumstances.
- medical certification supporting the need for leave due to a serious health condition affecting you or an immediate family member within 15 calendar days of the company request to provide the certification (additional time may be permitted in some circumstances). If you fail to do so, we may delay the commencement of your leave, withdraw any designation of FMLA leave or deny the leave, in which case your leave of absence would be treated in accordance with our standard leave of absence and attendance policies, subjecting you to discipline up to and including termination. Second or third medical opinions and periodic re-certifications may also be required;
- periodic reports as deemed appropriate during the leave regarding your status and intent to return to work
- medical certification of fitness for duty before returning to work, if the leave was due to your serious health The company will require this certification to address whether you can perform the essential functions of your position.
Failure to comply with the foregoing requirements may result in delay or denial of leave, or disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
To the extent required by law, the company will inform employees whether they are eligible under the FMLA. Should an employee be eligible for FMLA leave, the company will provide him or her with a notice that specifies any additional information required as well as the employee's rights and responsibilities. If employees are not eligible, the company will provide a reason for the ineligibility. The company will also inform employees if leave will be designated as FMLA- protected and, to the extent possible, note the amount of leave counted against the employee's leave entitlement. If the company determines that the leave is not FMLA- protected, the company will notify the employee.
Upon returning from FMLA leave, eligible employees will typically be restored to their original job or to an equivalent job with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms and conditions.
Failure to Return after FMLA Leave
Any employee who fails to return to work as scheduled after FMLA leave or exceeds the 12-week FMLA entitlement (or in the case of military caregiver leave, the 26-week FMLA entitlement), will be subject to the company's standard leave of absence and attendance policies. This may result in termination if you have no other company-provided leave available to you that applies to your continued absence. Likewise, following the conclusion of your FMLA leave, the company's obligation to maintain your group health plan benefits ends (subject to any applicable COBRA rights).
The company generally prohibits employees from holding other employment. This policy remains in force during all leaves of absence including FMLA leave and may result in disciplinary action, up to and including immediate separation.
Providing false or misleading information or omitting material information in connection with an FMLA leave will result in disciplinary action, up to and including immediate separation.
Employer’s Compliance with FMLA and Employee's
FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA, or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.
While the company encourages employees to bring any concerns or complaints about compliance with FMLA to the attention of the HR Specialist, FMLA regulations require employers to advise employees that they may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or bring a private lawsuit against an employer.
MILITARY-RELATED FMLA LEAVE
FMLA leave may also be available to eligible employees in connection with certain service-related medical and non- medical needs of family members. There are two forms of such leave. The first is Military Caregiver Leave, and the second is Qualifying Exigency Leave. Each of these leaves is detailed below.
A “covered service member” is either: (1) a current service member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, with a serious injury or illness incurred in the line of duty for which the service member is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list; or (2) a “covered veteran” who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness.
A “covered veteran” is an individual who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable during the five- year period prior to the first date the eligible employee takes FMLA leave to care for the covered veteran. The period between October 28, 2009 and March 8, 2013 is excluded in determining this five-year period.
The FMLA definitions of “serious injury or illness” for current service members and veterans are distinct from the FMLA definition of “serious health condition.” For current service members, the term “serious injury or illness” means an injury or illness that was incurred by the member in the line of duty while on active duty in the Armed Forces or that existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by such service, that may render them medically unfit to perform the duties of their office, grade, rank or rating.
For covered veterans, this term means a serious injury or illness that was incurred in the line of duty while on active duty in the Armed Forces or that existed before the beginning of active duty and was aggravated by such service and manifested itself before or after the individual assumed veteran status, and is: (1) a continuation of a serious injury or illness that was incurred or aggravated when they were a member of the Armed Forces and rendered them unable to perform the duties of their office, grade, rank or rating; (2) a physical or mental condition for which the covered veteran has received a VA Service Related Disability Rating (VASRD) of 50 percent or greater and such VASRD rating is based, in whole or in part, on the condition precipitating the need for caregiver leave; (3) a physical or mental condition that substantially impairs the veteran’s ability to secure or follow a substantially gainful occupation by reason of a disability or disabilities related to military service or would be so absent treatment; or
(4) an injury, including a psychological injury, on the basis of which the covered veteran has been enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.
“Qualifying exigencies” include activities such as short- notice deployment, military events, arranging alternative childcare, making financial and legal arrangements related to the deployment, rest and recuperation, counseling, parental care, and post-deployment debriefings.