Policy manual for Lakewood Company

POLICY MANUAL FOR LAKEWOOD COMPANY 17

Policymanual for Lakewood Company

Definitionand introduction

Anemployee’s policy manual is the statement of policies of a businessand the way that business will be conducted. A company employee’spolicy manual is one of most vital communication tools betweenemployees and the company. The employee’s policy manual set outexpectations for employees, and define what employees may expect froma company. It is important for a company to one policy manual and itshould be clear and as unmistakable as possible. Misstatements ormisunderstanding can create legitimate liabilities for the company.In a legal dispute, the court considers employee’s policy manual asa contractual obligation. The policy manual and related personnelpolicies must be one of initial formal communications, which acompany should have with employees after hiring employees (Guerin &ampDelPo, 2013).

Thepolicy should have a good impression. In the event of a dispute orbad performance review, employee’s policy manual will be theprimary place that employees turn. Therefore, it should containsufficient details to avoid confusion, although not too much tooverwhelm. For example, in case there are documents such asretirement plan documents, and group insurance handbook, whichappropriately provide details, there is no need of recreatinginformation in the employee’s policy manual. When making employee’spolicy manual one should ensure that, he or she is familiar withmyriad of regulations and laws for employment. Actual policies in amanual vary from business to another based on the size of business,benefits offered, and number of employees. Regardless of size orcomplexity of the business, once a company hire first employee it isgood to take time to think through policies for the company, at leasta minimum list of the policies for the employees (Wright et al.,1995).

IntroductoryStatement

Thispolicy manual is developed to acquaint the employee with LakewoodCompany and provide employee with information concerning Nature ofEmployment, Employee Relations, Equal Employment Opportunity, andBusiness Ethics and Conduct. The employee’s policy manual is notcontracted between employee and company, and it is not anticipated tocreate any legal or contractual obligations. Employee should read,understand, as well as comply with provisions of employee’s manual.It defines most of employee’s responsibilities as well as outlineprograms develop by Lakewood Company for the benefit of employees.One of company objectives is to offer a working environment, which isconducive to professional and personal growth (Guerin &amp DelPo,2013).

Thereis no manual can expect every question or circumstance concerning thepolicy. As Lakewood Company continues to grow, needs may emerge andLakewood Company reserves right to supplement, revise, or rescind anypolicies and portion of employee’s manual in different time as thecompany finds it necessary, in its absolute and sole discretion.However, the only exception is Lakewood employment at will policy,which permits the company or employee to end the employmentrelationship because of any reason at their time. Employment at willpolicy may not change except in a written agreement signed bycompany’s President and the employee. Employees will be notified incase of changes to the employee’s policy manual as they happen(Wright et al., 1995).

Customersare part of the company most valuable assets. Each employeerepresents Lakewood Company to its customers as well as public. Theway employees do their jobs presents an image of the entireorganization. The customers judge Lakewood Company according to theway employees treat them. Nothing is more crucial than beingfriendly, courteous, prompt, and helpful in attention the employeesprovide to customers. Lakewood Company will provide services trainingto employees and customer relations with broad customer contact. Thecompany personal contact with public, ways of handling telephone, andcommunications send to customers reflects not only employees but alsoprofessionalism of Lakewood Company. The positive customer relationswill not only improve public’s image or perception of LakewoodCompany, but it will also pay off in customer loyalty as well asincreased profit and sales (Arthur, 2001).

Thefour policies

Natureof Employment

Thework with Lakewood Company is willingly entered into, which meansthat employee can resign at his or her own will and anytime, withoutor with cause or notice. Similarly, Lakewood Company can terminateemployment relationship whenever the company finds it appropriate,without or with cause or notice, as long as no violation of validstate or federal law. No employee has the authority to make oralstatements that can change the nature of work. At the same time, anemployment relationship will not be modified or changed for anyemployee without a written agreement signed by President of LakewoodCompany and employee (Armstrong, 2007).

Policiesestablished in this employee’s policy manual are not anticipated tocreate any contract or to constitute or construed any contractualobligations or the contract of employment between any employee andLakewood Company. Provisions of employee’s policy manual have beencreated at discretion of the management, and only the employment atwill policy may be cancelled or amended at will and the company’ssole discretion. The provisions supersede existing practices andpolicies and cannot be added or amended without express writtenapproval of Chief Executive Officer or any person designated by ChiefExecutive Officer (Arthur, 2001).

EmployeeRelations

LakewoodCompany believes that wages, benefits, and working conditions offeredto employees are competitive with what other employers offer in thatregion and their industry. In case employees have concerns about theworking conditions or compensation, employees are encouraged to givetheir concerns directly and openly to supervisors. The companyexperience indicates that when employees relate directly and openlywith supervisors, communication is clear, work environment becomesexcellent, and employee’s attitudes are positive. Lakewood Companybelieves that it has demonstrated its commitment to employees throughresponding effectively to the employee concerns (Armstrong, 2007).

EqualEmployment Opportunity

Fora company to provide equal employment as well as advancementopportunities to employees, employment decisions at Lakewood Companywill be made on the basis of qualifications, merit, and company’sneeds. Lakewood Company does not illegally discriminate in theemployment practices or opportunities on the basis of color, race,sex, national origin, religion, disability, age, medical conditions,sexual orientation, ancestry, family care status, or other basisbanned by law (Lawson et al., 1990).

LakewoodCompany will take reasonable accommodations for the qualifiedemployees with known disabilities unless by doing that the resultwill be undue hardship to the extent required by the law. Theemployee’s policy manual governs aspects of employment, whichinclude job assignment, selection, discipline, compensation,termination, as well as access to education and benefits. Anyemployee with concerns or question concerning any discrimination atworkplace is encouraged to bring those concerns or questions to theattention of immediate supervisor or Human Resources Department.Company allows employees to make reports and raise concerns withoutfear of the reprisal. Any employee found engaging in any unlawfuldiscrimination will face disciplinary actions including terminationof the employment contract (Lawson et al., 1990).

BusinessConduct and Ethics

Successfulbusiness reputation and operation of Lakewood Company are built onthe principle of fair dealing as well as ethical conduct ofemployees. Company reputation for integrity, as well as excellence,requires careful observance of spirit and letter of applicableregulations and laws, as well as the scrupulous respect for higheststandards of personal and conduct integrity. In order to continuegrowing Lakewood Company will depend on its customers’ trust, andthe company is committed to preserving that trust. Employees mustfulfill their duties to the company, shareholders, customers, and actin a manner that merit constant confidence and trust of the public(Ford et al., 2000).

LakewoodCompany have accepted to comply with applicable regulations and laws,and it expects its officers, employees, and directors to conductbusiness in line with the spirit, letter, and intention of relevantlaws, and refrain from any dishonest, illegal, and unethical conduct.Use of good judgment because of high ethical standards will guideemployees with respect to the lines of suitable conduct. In the case,a situation emerges where it is hard to know the best action, andsuch issue should be discussed with a supervisor, and, in fact,necessary with Human Resources Department for consultation and advice(Flynn, 2001).

Compliancewith the policy of business conduct and ethics is the responsibilityof each employee in Lakewood Company. Failing or disregarding tocomply with the standards of business conduct and ethics may lead todisciplinary actions including possible termination of the employmentcontract (Ford et al., 2000).

Part2 – The Research Paper

Reasoningor rationale for inclusion of four policy elements in the employee’spolicy manual

EmployeeRelations

Manypeople have understated that employment relationship has been broadlydiscussed as well as analyzed in academic literatures for a longperiod. Employment relationship has offered a constant focus forpsychologists, historians, sociologists, and economists. In recenthistory, an employment relationship has provided an important elementof studies in the industrial relations, employment relations, andhuman resource management. Although all these disciplinary sectionshave provided understanding of the nature of an employmentrelationship, only few have sought to define its core nature andfactors determining its existence (Flynn, 2001).

However,despite the difficulties there is a need to develop and improveunderstanding of the nature of the employment relationship. Profoundchanges in the manner work have been organized in recent decades hascaused international call for an employment relationship to be fullyand accurately defined to protect rights of people engaged in work.Decline in the full-time continuous employment and rise of theshort-term contract-based workplace relationship has led most peopleto question whether the traditional legal definitions of theemployment relationship are sufficient. During this time ofincreasing numbers of individuals who provides services to others,but do not agree with traditional legal definitions of relationshipthus, are not authorized to associated protections and rights (Fordet al, 2000).

Societaldemand for workers in different contexts to be responsible to a broadbase of societal stakeholders has further challenged the traditionalunderstandings of an employment relationship. Employers who offerjobs in the private sector have experienced increasing demands fromvarious stakeholders, which challenges any idea of employees beingresponsible only to employers. The needs emerging from stakeholdersoutside immediate relationship are competing with an employer as asource of control over actions of employees. Some of these demandsare not new like employee legal obligations according to OH&ampSlegislation. However, some are more current including those comingfrom what many may call an area of corporate responsibility. Within apublic sector, need to develop better understanding of the nature ofan employment relationship is best illustrated by evidence of publicconcerns, concerning accountability and the feared politicization ofan employment relationship of the senior civil servants (Flynn,2001).

Businessconduct and ethics

Thevision of Lakewood Company is to the leader in its industry. Topursue this vision, the company is committed to high standards of theethical business practice as well as conduct. Lakewood has made thiscommitment to its shareholders, customers, employees, partners andcommunities. The objective of business conduct and ethics policy isto achieve the vision of Lakewood Company, through ensuring thatemployees conduct themselves in accordance with principles and valuesembodied in the code of business ethics and conduct. This codeapplies to officers, employees, directors, and an extent tocontractors, representatives, and consultants of Lakewood Company. Itdescribes specific principle of ethical business conduct and practiceexpected from the employees. However, the law does not cover eachaction or situation that an employee can encounter. If an employeehas doubt about correct ethical or legal action in a situation, he orshe should ask for guidance from supervisor or senior managementmember (Heyel &amp Menkus, 1996).

Employeesare required to ensure that all relationships with business partners,customers, suppliers, potential business partners, governmentofficials, public, regulators, competitors and other stakeholders arefair, honest, respectful, courteous, and are conducted with integrityand due regard for the protection of interests involved. Employeesshould not offer kickbacks or bribes nor promise improper benefit fora purpose of influencing suppliers, customers, or public official.All employees have personal responsibility of protecting companyassets including and without limitation of tangible assets andintangible assets from misappropriation or misuse. No employee shoulddivert, use, or obtain Lakewood property for own benefit or use, oruse a company name or it purchasing power to get personal benefits(Wilkinson, 2014).

Employeesare required not to disclose any proprietary or confidentialinformation concerning the company, to an organization or individualwhom the company has the potential or current business relationship.They must disclose any improvement, invention, trademark, design, orconcept developed or prepared in relation with their employment atLakewood. Employees should comply with company’s policy, privacy,or any appropriate privacy policy set out by Lakewood (Heyel &ampMenkus, 1996).

Thecompany communication resources like computers, phone systems, mobiledevices, and faxes, must be used for the purposes of company.However, an employee can use these resources only when permitted andsuch use should not negatively influence productivity, contraveneapplicable policy or law, or compromise system capacity.Communication resources will not be used for illegal or improperactivities like communication of pornographic, defamatory, demeaningor obscene material, inappropriate blogging, hate literature,harassment, copyright infringement, or obtaining illegal software.Lakewood Company will own all communication resources, audit, andmonitor them for improper usage, network management, and securitypurposes. Employees should take appropriate security precautions whenusing communication resources to receive or transmit confidential,proprietary, or sensitive information (Wilkinson, 2014).

Employeesare expected to comply with general accepted accounting standards andinternal controls at all time. Lakewood records, books of accountsand other documents should be accurately accounted for, and allliabilities, transactions, and assets should be reported. Any inquiryreceived by an employee from financial analysts, as well as othersassociated with investment and financial communities must be directedto Investor Relations Manager or Chief Financial Officer. Employeesshould report a violation of the code of business conduct and ethics,including any suspected or potential violations of accountingprinciples or securities regulations and laws in accordance withcompany’s policy on the Reporting Allegations of the SuspectedImproper Wrongdoing and Conduct (Heyel &amp Menkus, 1996).

EqualEmployment Opportunity

Theidea of equal employment came during civil rights period to makewomen and minorities equal to male counterparts. Equal employmentopportunity policy was developed to address issues related to unequalemployment practices and discrimination. The practices of equalemployment are significant to both organizations and individuals. Ona personal basis, equal employment opportunity laws accomplishnumerous things. First, equal employment opportunity help employeesestablish baseline for the acceptable behavior, which is crucialconsidering the wide array of values, attitudes, and lifestyles manypeople practice. Secondly, equal employment opportunity practiceshelp people to feel they are treated equally and fairly thus,increasing personal satisfaction, loyalty, and commitment to anemployer. Third reason involves the person’s mental mindset, aswell as sense of well-being and personal worth. An individual whofeels confident in different situations, even where she or he is aminor will have a sense of the entire value as well as ability tocontribute (Wilkinson, 2014).

Whenconsidering important of the fair employment practices for companies,it is necessary to consider benefits of equal employment opportunitylaws. First, a company that can positively state that it practicesequal employment has a greater advantage of attracting dedicated andqualified candidates. Secondly, a company with equal employmentopportunity complaint decreases chances of facing wrongful dischargelawsuit and discrimination. Finally, the company that guaranteesequal employment for all people increases chances of having diverseworkforce, with several positive implications for departments, teams,creativity, as well as entire organizational productivity (Hayes &ampNinemeier, 2009).

Howto ensure compliance with Equal Employment Opportunity laws

Businessesthat assess their employment practices in line with followingguidelines may ensure development as well as implementation ofethical, legal, justified, and fair employment standards. The list isnot supposed to be inclusive, but a guideline of sections that needevaluation to guarantee compliance with equal employment opportunitylaws. When recruiting candidates for a position, the company shouldsubmit advertisements in different advert sources such as newspaper,flyers, web, and job board. When a company use a variety of sourceswide range of candidates are reached and have a chance to ask(Arthur, 2001).

Duringthe selection of qualified candidates from the huge applicant pool,it is important to standardize the selection processes. Standardizedand objective process helps managers to ensure the accuracy of thescreening results as well as increases retention. When implementingthe formal grievance process, company should enforce firmconfidentiality clause. Without the confidence in anonymity,employees may be intimidated by though of retaliation, mostly thoseof threatened classes. Moreover, utilizing the third-party mediatorgreatly increases the likelihood of fair and positive dispute result(Hayes &amp Ninemeier, 2009).

Inthe case, the position is vacant and the employer desire to promotefrom the company, formal steps should be considered to make sure thatcandidates have equal opportunity to get information and apply forthat job. The steps include placing notice of vacancy in the highlypopulated regions, posting that position for a certain period. Thecompany can also put an advert in modern communication modes developstandardized screening tests, as well as techniques to promote mostqualified employees. When making compensation decisions, the companyshould ensure that compensation strategy is properly documented, andample evidence is available to support fact that the company complieswith through written policy (Armstrong, 2007).

Natureof Employment

Thebasis of the employment relationship in business is a contract ofemployment, which reveals the nature of work. Contract of employmentcovers all conditions of employment. In determining whether acontract of employment is in place, some elements should exist. Thelaw provides that before a contract is enforceable it should includevarious elements, which includes (Hayes &amp Ninemeier, 2009).

Interactionwith company instrument

Thecompany must ensure that no automatic unification of relevant companydevice provisions in the employment contract without individualsexpressing intention that the company instrument should be part of acontract. Minimum conditions of company instrument should be compliedwith through employer and the reference to a relevant instrument mayassist in clarifying the position for the employee. Contract ofemployment can include company instrument although there areconditions that may form part of personal contract of employment(Armstrong, 2007).

Differentcontract after hours

Incase, the employee is required to work outside the regular workinghours, and another award different from the one covering averageemployment covers the work, it is vital to know whether an employeewas instructed employer. It is also necessary to know whether thework was overtime work or employee as separate and new engagementundertook it voluntarily. Where the after-hours work is done throughemployee voluntarily, the arrangement is considered as new engagementand is allowed to payment at ordinary rate under grant covering workof that nature, unless award require payment of the overtime ratebecause of the time the work was performed (Guerin &amp DelPo,2013).

Terminationof employment

Thetermination of employment means termination of the employmentcontract. Therefore, no termination of employee’s employment shouldhappen without careful examination of terms of the employee’semployment contract. This is important in ensuring that contract doesnot forbid a termination through invalid reason. Moreover, it isvital to ensure that the proposed way of the effecting termination isdone without involving some breach of contract terms. The agreementapplies jointly therefore, where employee initiates termination, theemployee is obligated to ensure compliance with contract ofemployment. For instance, where an employee fail to provide propernotice of the resignation as required by contract that involves thebreach in respect that employee can be entitled to compensations(Wright et al., 1995).

Frustration

Thestandard involved is that the contract will automatically terminatein case the circumstances change after formation of a contract to theextent that one party is disadvantaged of benefit of other’sperformance. In any employment relationship, there is an obligationon parties to co-operate as well as act faithfully towards oneanother. Nevertheless, industrial courts consider the idea of‘frustration’ in the employment law as hard to prove. When anemployer is faced with long-term employee absence from work, shouldemployer terminate the contract of employment, or choose to depend on‘frustration’ argument at later date. Examples of frustration caninclude fire that destroys workplace, death of employee, refusal ofthe employee to conduct the duties as defined in the contract,imprisonment of the employee, or loss of the license essential to theperformance of job for instance, security employee’s license ordriver’s license (Guerin &amp DelPo, 2013).

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