*Attached below is the full pdf.
This is a continuation of the Employee Handbook
Military Caregiver Leave
Unpaid Military Caregiver Leave is designed to allow eligible employees to care for certain family members who have sustained serious injuries or illnesses in t h e line of duty while on active duty. Military Caregiver Leave is a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered service member during a single 12-month period.
To be “eligible” for Military Caregiver Leave, the employee must be a spouse, son, daughter, parent, or next of kin of the covered service member. “Next of kin” means the nearest blood relative of the service member, other than the service member’s spouse, parent, son, or daughter, in the following order of priority: blood relatives who have been granted legal custody of the service member by court decree or statutory provisions; brothers and sisters; grandparents; aunts and uncles; and first cousins; unless the service member has specifically designated in writing another blood relative as his or her nearest blood relative for purposes of Military Caregiver Leave. The employee must also meet all other eligibility standards as set forth within the FMLA Leave policy.
An eligible employee may take up to 26 workweeks of Military Caregiver Leave to care for a covered service member in a “single 12-month period.” The “single 12- month period” begins on the first day leave is taken to care for a covered service member and ends 12 months thereafter, regardless of the method used to determine leave availability for other FMLA-qualifying reasons. If an employee does not exhaust his or her 26 workweeks of Military Caregiver Leave during this “single 12- month period,” the remainder is forfeited.
Military Caregiver Leave applies on a per-injury basis for each service member. Consequently, an eligible employee may take separate periods of caregiver leave for each and every covered service member, and/or for each and every serious injury or illness of the same covered service member. A total of no more than 26 workweeks of Military Caregiver Leave, however, may be taken within any “single 12-month period.”
Within the “single 12-month period” described above, an eligible employee may take a combined total of 26 weeks of FMLA leave including up to 12 weeks of leave for any other FMLA-qualifying reason (i.e., birth or adoption of a child, serious health condition of the employee or close family member, or a qualifying exigency). For example, during the “single 12-month period,” an eligible employee may take up to 16 weeks of FMLA leave to care for a covered service member when combined with up to 10 weeks of FMLA leave to care for a newborn child.
An employee seeking Military Caregiver Leave may be required to provide appropriate certification from the employee and/or covered service member and completed by an authorized health care provider within 15 days. Military Caregiver Leave is subject to the other provisions in our FMLA Leave Policy (requirements regarding employee eligibility, appropriate notice of the need for leave, use of accrued paid leave, etc.). Military Caregiver Leave will be governed by, and handled in accordance with, the FMLA and applicable regulations, and nothing within this policy should be construed to be inconsistent with those regulations.
Qualifying Exigency Leave
Eligible employees may take unpaid “Qualifying Exigency Leave” to tend to certain “exigencies” arising out of the duty under a call or order to active duty of a “military member” (i.e. the employee's spouse, son, daughter, or parent). Up to 12 weeks of Qualifying Exigency Leave is available in any 12-month period, as measured by the same method that governs measurement of other forms of FMLA leave within the FMLA policy (with the exception of Military Caregiver Leave, which is subject to a maximum of 26 weeks of leave in a “single 12-month period”). Although Qualifying Exigency Leave may be combined with leave for other FMLA- qualifying reasons, under no circumstances may the combined total exceed 12 weeks in any 12-month period (with the exception of Military Caregiver Leave as set forth above). The employee must meet all other eligibility standards as set forth within the FMLA policy.
Persons who can be ordered to active duty include active and retired members of the Regular Armed Forces, certain members of the retired Reserve, and various other Reserve members including the Ready Reserve, the Selected Reserve, the Individual Ready Reserve, the National Guard, state military, Army Reserve, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps Reserve, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, and Coast Guard Reserve.
A call to active duty refers to a federal call to active duty, and state calls to active duty are not covered unless under order of the President of the United States pursuant to certain laws.
Qualifying Exigency Leave is available under the following circumstances:
- Short-notice deployment. To address any issue that arises out of short notice (within seven days or less) of an impending call or order to active
- Military events and related activities. To attend any official military ceremony, program, or event related to active duty or call to covered active duty status or to attend certain family support or assistance programs and informational
- Childcare and school To arrange for alternative childcare; to provide childcare on an urgent, immediate need basis; to enroll in or transfer to a new school or daycare facility; or to attend meetings with staff at a school or daycare facility.
- Financial and legal To make or update various financial or legal arrangements; or to act as the covered military member’s representative before a federal, state, or local agency in connection with service benefits.
- Counseling To attend counseling (by someone other than a health care provider) for the employee, for the military member, or for a child or dependent when necessary as a result of duty under a call or order to covered active duty.
- Temporary rest and recuperation. To spend time with a military member who is on short- term, temporary rest and recuperation leave during the period of Eligible employees may take up to 15 days of leave for each instance of rest and recuperation.
- Post-deployment To attend arrival ceremonies, reintegration briefings and events, and any other official ceremony or program sponsored by the military for a period of up to 90 days following termination of the military member’s active duty status. This also encompasses leave to address issues that arise from the death of a military member while on active duty status.
- Parental care. To care for the military member’s parent who is incapable of self-care. The parent must be the military member’s biological, adoptive, step, or foster father or mother, or any other individual who stood in loco parentis to the military member when the member was under 18 years of age.
- Mutually agreed Other events that arise from the military member’s duty under a call or order to active duty, provided that the company and the employee agree that such leave shall qualify as an exigency and agree to both the timing and duration of such leave.
An employee seeking Qualifying Exigency Leave may be required to submit appropriate supporting documentation in the form of a copy of the military member’s active duty orders or rest and recuperation orders or other military documentation indicating the appropriate military status and the dates of active duty status, along with a statement setting forth the nature and details of the specific exigency, the amount of leave needed and the employee's relationship to the military member, within 15 days. Qualifying Exigency Leave will be governed by, and handled in accordance with, the FMLA and applicable regulations, and nothing within this policy should be construed to be inconsistent with those regulations.
Limited Nature of This Policy
This Policy should not be construed to confer any express or implied contractual relationship or rights to any employee not expressly provided for by FMLA. The company reserves the right to modify this or any other policy as necessary, in its sole discretion to the extent permitted by law. State or local leave laws may also apply.
Employees who are required to fulfill military obligations in any branch of the Armed Forces of the United States or in state military service will be given the necessary time off and reinstated in accordance with federal and state law.
The time off will be unpaid, except where state law dictates otherwise. Exempt employees may be provided time off with pay when necessary to comply with state and federal wage and hour laws.
Accrued paid time off (PTO) (if any) may be used for this leave if the employee chooses, but the company will not require the employee to use paid time off (PTO). Military orders should be presented to the HR Department and arrangements for leave made as early as possible before departure. Employees are required to give advance notice of their service obligations to the company unless military necessity makes this impossible. You must notify the HR Department of your intent to return to employment based on requirements of the law. Your benefits may continue to accrue during the period of leave in accordance with state and federal law.
Additional information regarding military leaves may be obtained from the HR Department.
Unpaid Personal Leave
Gold Star recognizes that team members may have exhausted all leaves, including PTO/Sick, provided by the Company and required by law. Therefore, Gold Star, in its sole discretion, may grant eligible team members with an unpaid personal leave of absence.
Under special circumstances, and at the Company’s sole discretion, a full-time team member working 30 hours or more per week and who has exhausted all leaves, including PTO/Sick, may be granted an unpaid personal leave of absence. The granting of this type of leave is normally for compelling reasons and is dependent upon the written approval of the team member’s Manager and Human Resources (HR).
Unpaid personal leave must be requested in writing at least two (2) weeks before the anticipated start of the leave. The request must be submitted to the team member’s Manager and HR and indicate the reason(s) for the leave and the anticipated beginning and ending dates of the leave. If the leave is requested for an injury or illness, the team member will be required to provide the Company with a medical statement signed by the team member’s health care provider, which clarifies that the team member is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her job due to an injury or illness. The statement must also include an estimate of when the team member will be able to return to work. The medical statement must be provided at least seven (7) calendar days before the commencement of leave. HR will ask the team member and his/her Manager to complete the unpaid personal leave of absence request form.
All personal leaves of absence will be unpaid. Once a team member’s PTO and/or Sick Time has been exhausted, the leave will be unpaid. During any personal leave, the team member will not accrue any PTO. The team member’s health insurance will be continued in the same manner as received prior to the leave if the leave is for four (4) weeks or less. The team member will be expected to remit payment for the team member’s portion of the health insurance premium prior to departing for unpaid personal leave, and in an amount equivalent to the expected period of absence. Unpaid personal leaves are limited to one (1) per year. A request for an unpaid personal leave of absence will be considered in light of its effect on Gold Star and its work requirements, as determined by Gold Star management, who reserves the right to approve or deny such requests in its sole discretion, unless otherwise required by law.
Upon returning to work from an unpaid personal leave, the team member must provide his/her Manager and HR notice of his/her intent to return to work at least one (1) week prior to the return date. Upon returning to work from an unpaid personal leave due to an injury or illness, the team member must furnish to HR a return-to-duty statement from the team member’s health care provider. The statement must indicate that the team member has been released to return to work. It must also specify any physical or other limitation on the team member’s ability to perform regular or other duties and the duration of those limitations. If the team member does not provide a return-to-duty statement upon returning to work, then reinstatement may be delayed until the team member submits a statement. If the team member fails to submit a statement within a reasonable time, the team member may be terminated.
A team member will normally be reinstated to the same position that he/she held when the unpaid leave of absence began if the position is available and the team member can perform the essential functions of the position, with or without reasonable accommodation as may be required by law. If the team
member is not reinstated to the position he/she held when the leave began, his/her employment may be terminated. If, during a personal leave, a team member accepts another job offer, engages in other employment, or applies for unemployment insurance benefits, the team member will be considered to have voluntarily resigned from employment with Gold Star as of the last work day prior to his/her leave. If a team member fails to return to work after an unpaid leave of absence, the team member will be considered to have resigned his/her employment.
If a team member is found to have provided a false reason(s) for an unpaid personal leave of absence, the team member will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Change to Policy
Gold Star reserves the full right and discretion to unilaterally add, modify, delete, or otherwise change this policy at any time and without advance notice or other consideration.
Regular full-time employees that are summoned for jury duty are paid the difference between their normal rate of pay and the jury duty pay for up to five days. Thereafter, the leave is unpaid. All other employees are granted an unpaid leave in order to serve.
Employees must provide the company with a copy of the court payment records in order to be compensated.
Exempt employees may be provided time off with pay when necessary to comply with state and federal wage and hour laws.
We reserve the right to request proof of jury service issued by the Court upon return. Make arrangements with your manager as soon as you receive your summons.
When permitted by state law, we expect you to return to your job if you are excused from jury duty during your regular working hours.
Gold Star has developed a comprehensive set of employee benefit programs to supplement our employees' regular wages. Our benefits represent a hidden value of additional income to our employees.
This Employee Handbook describes the current benefit plans maintained by the company. Please refer to the actual plan documents and summary plan descriptions if you have specific questions regarding the benefit plan. Those documents supersede this handbook.
The company reserves the right to modify and/or terminate its benefits at any time. We will keep you informed of any changes.
On-the-job injuries are covered by our Workers’ Compensation insurance policy. This insurance is provided at no cost to you. If you are injured on the job, no matter how slightly, report the incident immediately to your manager. Consistent with applicable state law, failure to report an injury within a reasonable period of time could jeopardize your claim. We ask for your assistance in alerting management to any condition that could lead to or contribute to an employee accident.
MEDICAL, DENTAL, AND VISION INSURANCE
Eligible regular full-time employees working 30 or more hours per week may enroll in these benefits on the first of the month following 60 days of employment. Eligibility may be defined by state law and/or by the insurance contract.
Information and enrollment forms may be obtained from the HR Department.
Employees are responsible for the cost of their insurance through payroll deduction.
Participating employees are also covered under the medical insurance plan’s prescription drug program.
A booklet containing the details of the plan and eligibility requirements may be obtained from the HR Department.
Refer to the actual plan document and summary plan description if you have specific questions regarding your eligibility for coverage or other aspects of this benefit plan. Those documents are controlling.
At the end of employment you may be entitled to continuation coverage of the group medical insurance plan in accordance with the terms of the policy and/or applicable state and federal law. For more information, contact the HR Department.
Eligible regular full-time employees working 30 or more hours per week are automatically enrolled in Basic Life and Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance coverage on the first of the month following 60 days of employment. The company pays 100% of the cost for Basic Life and AD&D benefits.
Eligible employees may also enroll in and purchase Supplemental Life Insurance benefits on the first of the month following 60 days of employment. The employee is responsible for 100% of the cost of Supplemental Life benefits.
You must complete an insurance form and designate your beneficiary when enrolling in our Supplemental Life plans.
Complete details of this plan may be obtained from the Human Resources Department.
During your employment, you and the company both contribute funds to the federal government to support the Social Security program. This program is intended to provide you with retirement benefit payments and medical coverage once you reach retirement age.
CHANGES IN PERSONAL DATA
To aid you and/or your family members in matters of personal emergency, we need to maintain up-to-date information.
Changes in name, address, telephone number, marital status, number of dependents or changes in next of kin and/or beneficiaries should be given to the HR Department as soon as reasonably possible.
Gold Star maintains a formal document retention policy and procedure. Your manager will explain how that policy applies to you and the work that you perform. You must retain all work products in the manner required and for the time period required by our policy. Never destroy or delete any work product until the retention periods specified by the company's policy have been satisfied. Failure to comply with the company document retention policy and procedure may result in discipline up to and including separation.
CONFIDENTIALITY OF CLIENT MATTERS
Our professional ethics and values require that each employee maintain the highest degree of confidentiality when handling client matters.
To maintain Gold Star’s ethics and values, no employee shall disclose any client information to other clients, friends, or members of their own family.
Questions concerning client confidentiality may be addressed with your manager.
Gold Star believes employees should have a work environment free from interruptions of a non-work related nature, as work time is for work. When you are to be working you should focus on your duties and not engage in activities that would interfere with your own work or the work of others. For the purpose of this policy, solicitation includes, but is not limited to, for collection of any debt or obligation, for raffles of any kind or chance taking, or for the sale of merchandise or business services, the attempt to sell any product or service (e.g. selling or collecting for Tupperware®, Avon® products, churches, schools, Girl Scout cookies, etc.).
Such interruptions can be both detrimental to the quality of work and efficiency, and may not be respectful of others job responsibilities and right not to be interrupted.
Employees may not engage in solicitation for any purpose during his/her work time, which includes the working time of the employee who seeks to solicit and the employee who is being solicited. Although solicitation is not encouraged, it is permitted as long as it is limited to the employee's break and lunch time and kept out of active working areas.
Nothing in this policy is intended to restrict an employee's statutory rights.
CODE OF ETHICS
Gold Star depends on its reputation for quality, service and integrity. The way we deal with the sources of our investments, opportunities, and our investors molds our reputation, builds trust and ultimately determines our success. We must never take unfair advantage of others through manipulation, concealment, affirmative misrepresentation of material facts or any other unfair dealing practice.
All new hires are supplied a copy of Gold Star’s Code of Ethics policy upon hire.
Our company complies with the many laws, regulations and ethical standards affecting its business, which is why each employee must become familiar with and conduct themselves according to the Code of Ethics. The Code cannot answer all questions that may arise, so in the event you are unsure or in doubt, you should consult Gold Star’s Legal Department (i.e. the General Counsel), the Accounting Department, or the Human Resources Department.
Distribution of any type (materials, goods, etc.) is prohibited in work areas at any time, whether or not the employees are on working time. Non-employees are prohibited from distributing materials to employees on company premises at any time. Inappropriate literature is prohibited, such as literature that violates the company's non-harassment and discrimination policies; items of a defamatory nature, items that include threats of violence, unprotected literature of a political nature that is highly inflammatory and likely to disrupt facility discipline and order or safety. Nothing in this policy is intended to restrict an employee's statute or rights.
RECYCLING AND WASTE PREVENTION
Gold Star is committed to the environment and its future. Therefore, recycling containers are located throughout the building for the collection of recyclable materials. Waste of time, materials and utilities is costly to the company. If you have any waste prevention ideas, please advise your manager inwriting.
Gold Star maintains a stock of basic office supplies such as pens, paper clips, staples, note pads, etc. used on a day-to-day basis by employees. All office supplies will be provided to you by your manager.
If you need additional items not regularly stocked, please speak to your manager to place a special order.
All office supplies are for business use only and should not be removed from the office for non-business use. Violations of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including separation.
IF YOU MUST LEAVE US
Should you decide to leave your employment with us, we ask that you contact Human Resources for your exit interview. Additionally, all resigning employees should complete a brief exit interview prior to leaving
Employees who are rehired following a break in service in excess of six months, other than an approved leave of absence, will serve a new initial introductory period whether or not such a period was previously completed. Such employees are considered new employees from the effective date of their re- employment for all purposes, including the purposes of measuring benefits.
Gold Star does not provide a "letter of reference" to former employees. Generally, we will confirm upon request our employees' dates of employment, salary history, and job title.
All company property must be returned no later than your last day of employment to your direct manager. Otherwise, the company may take action to recoup any replacement costs and/or seek the return of company property through appropriate legal recourse.
You should notify the company if your address changes during the calendar year in which separation occurs so that your tax information will be sent to the proper address.