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Policies & Procedures

Lockport C.A.R.E.S., Incorporated
Emergency Homeless Shelter and Programs
188 and 192 Genesee Street
PO Box 586
Lockport, New York 14095

Business: 716-438-2273
Shelter House: 716-280-3444
Shelter Intake: 716-939-0926

 

Board and Employee Conduct and Behavior Policy

Standards of Conduct

Lockport C.A.R.E.S. is committed to complying with all Federal, State, and local laws and regulations and are dedicated to promoting honest and trustworthy practices among our employees and volunteers.  We are guided by standards of legal and ethical conduct and will not knowingly take any action that is in violation of any statute, rule or regulation.

Our internal controls and operating procedures are intended to detect and to prevent, or deter improper activities.  However, even the best systems of control cannot provide absolute safeguards against irregularities.  Intentional and unintentional violations of any statute, rule, regulation, policy and/or procedure may occur and may constitute improper activity.  We are dedicated to the investigation of such activity and commit ourselves to appropriate resolution.

Sexual and Other Harassment Policy

Lockport C.A.R.E.S. is committed to creating and maintaining a work environment in which all persons are treated with dignity and mutual respect in accord with Christian principles, the social teachings of the church and is free of harassment and unlawful discrimination.  This policy applies to all Board members, employees, volunteers and persons doing business with Lockport C.A.R.E.S.

Conduct prohibited by this policy includes, but is not limited to, sexual harassment, verbal and nonverbal harassment, and physical harassment.  If you engage in conduct or communication that violates this policy, you will be subject to appropriate corrective action, up to and including termination.  If a non-employee violates this policy, management will intervene as appropriate to the circumstance.

Definition
Harassment  is conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group and exists whenever:

  • Submission to harassing conduct is made, either explicitly or implicitly, a term or condition of an individual's employment.
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct is used as a basis for an adverse employment decision affecting an individual.
  • The conduct unreasonably interferes with an employee's work or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work environment.

In general, harassment means persistent and unwelcome conduct or actions on any of the bases stated above, or certain protected activity under state or local law.  Sexual harassment is one type of harassment and warrants special mention.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature under the above bases.  Sexual harassment can occur intentionally or unintentionally and can be perpetrated by either men or women.  It may be directed at members of the same or opposite sex.

Lockport C.A.R.E.S. will not tolerate sexual misconduct.  In accordance with the teachings of the Christian Church, we expect all employees to live moral lives, respecting the sanctity of every human being.  Sexual misconduct is contrary to Christian morals and the moral strictures of many other belief systems and societal standards and is a violation of law.

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • The repeated making of unsolicited, inappropriate gestures or comments.
  • Repeated unwelcome sexual flirtations, propositions, or invitations to social events.
  • Offensive physical contact or physical closeness.
  • Telling "suggestive" jokes or stories, and conversations about sexual exploits, sexual preferences, and desires.
  • The display of sexually suggestive pictures or objects in any work place location including transmission or display via computer.
  • Direct or indirect suggestions that an employee's job security, job assignment evaluation, wages, shift, opportunities for advancement, or other employment conditions depend in any way on the granting of sexual favors or relations.

Obligations to Report
In order to take appropriate corrective action, Lockport C.A.R.E.S. must be sufficiently aware of the harassment or related retaliation.  Therefore, if you have experienced or witnessed harassment or related retaliation based on any of the protected categories stated above, you must promptly report such behavior.  Employees are required to cooperate in all investigations under this policy.

Complaint Procedure

If you believe you have been subject to sexual, verbal, nonverbal, or physical harassment, you should make your concerns known by:

  • Telling the person engaging in the harassing conduct or communication that the conduct or communication is offensive, against this policy, and must stop: and/or
  • Advising a Supervisor or Management. This option should be used if you do not wish to communicate directly with the person whose conduct or communication is offensive, or if direct communication has been unsuccessful.  If the individual engaging in the offensive conduct or communication is your supervisor,  you should immediately contact the Executive Director of Lockport C.A.R.E.S.
  • Putting the facts surrounding the harassing conduct or communication in writing. Complaints of harassment will be investigated promptly and objectively.

Complaints may be made verbally or in writing. Lockport C.A.R.E.S. will respond promptly to all complaints of harassment and discrimination and act to eliminate the conduct and impose corrective action up to and including immediate termination.

Non-Retaliation

Lockport C.A.R.E.S. will not retaliate against you for filing a complaint and will not knowingly condone retaliation by managers or coworkers nor will retaliatory actions by employees be tolerated.  However, if after investigation, Lockport C.A.R.E.S. determines that the complainant filed a deliberate false claim or provided inaccurate or untruthful information in connection with a harassment investigation, the complainant will face corrective action, up to and including termination.

While this policy sets forth our goals or promoting a workplace that is free of prohibited harassment, the policy is not designed or intended to limit our authority to discipline or take remedial action for workplace conduct that we deem unacceptable, regardless of whether that conduct satisfies the definition of prohibited harassment.

Any questions regarding your obligations and those of others under this policy should be directed to your supervisor.

Behavior Toward Minors

Lockport C.A.R.E.S. is committed maintaining a work environment in which all minors (children) are treated with respect and dignity, which is free from abuse.  Abusive talk or offensive or harassing behavior will not be tolerated against any minor.  This policy covers all minors who enter the premises of Lockport C.A.R.E.S. as guests, volunteers, students, and or visitors.

Abuse is defined as:

  • Employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or any simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing any visual depiction of such conduct; or
  • rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children.

All professionals and institutions are required to report suspected child abuse, including health care providers and facilities of all types, mental health care providers of all types, teachers and other school personnel, social workers, day care providers and law enforcement personnel.  In fact "any person" may file a report.  When an employee of Lockport C.A.R.E.S. observes or over-hears abuse the employee is to engage in the following:

  • Immediately notify the Shelter Manager.
  • Document what you saw and/or heard. Be specific as to date, time, occurrence (includes name of persons involved, address, ages, and specific behaviors or interactions).
  • Call in a report (phone number will be posted or provided by management).

Professional Guidelines

People who work together have an impact on each other's performance, productivity and personal satisfaction in their jobs.  In addition, how our employees act toward guests, vendors and coworkers influence whether those relationships are successful.  Because your conduct influences many people beside yourself, we expect you to behave in a professional manner and follow proper guidelines of conduct.

While impossible to provide an exhaustive list of everything that professional conduct covers, at a minimum it is based on the simple, common-sense principles of courtesy, mutual respect and cooperative teamwork including:

  • Following all the rules in the Lockport C.A.R.E.S. Guidelines and Shift Responsibilities.
  • Refraining from rude, offensive or outrageous behavior.
  • Refraining from ridicule and hostile jokes.
  • Treating coworkers, guests and vendors with patience and consideration.
  • Being courteous and helpful to others.
  • Communicating openly with managers and coworkers.

Christian Behavior Expectations - Christian Code of Conduct

In addition to conduct on the job, employees and Board Members of Lockport CARES, Inc. (“CARES”) should hold to the highest possible standards of Christian conduct in all areas of our lives. We are ambassadors of Christ and of CARES wherever we are.  We should be living examples of what we teach and avoid hypocrisy.  The appearance, conduct and activities of CARES employees and Board Members should reflect sensitivity to the Christian community and the people we serve.  

 

In areas of Christian liberty, where the Bible is silent or does not provide specific instruction, such as movies, music, television, or reading material, CARES strongly encourages all employees and Board Members to consider I Corinthians 8:23-24, “All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable.  All things are lawful, but not all things edify.  Let no one seek to his own good, but that of his neighbor.” 

 

In Romans 14:13b Paul encourages us “…make up your mind not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.”  We must be careful that in exercising our freedoms in Christ, we do not hurt or hinder those whom we are, in fact, trying to help.  As a guideline, the following are lifestyle principles that employees should affirm:

  • I will make a hearty attempt to live out the Christian faith according to the Word of God, maintaining a vertical relationship with Him through regular quiet time and a horizontal relationship with others according to 1 Peter 3:8-9.
  • I will be committed to be a team player striving for unity. I will respect the authority and leadership over me and serve as a servant-leader to those under me.
  • I declare that I will whole-heartedly support, with loyalty, the ministry of Lockport CARES as a servant with my time, money and energy.
  • I will hold with the highest regard my personal family and marriage responsibilities.
  • I will live a life free from drug and alcohol addictions, realizing that my body is the temple of His Holy Spirit bought by God. I will also be careful to consider how my behavior might impact my own, a coworker’s, or guest's well-being.
  • I will make every effort to live within my means and practice financial integrity.
  • I will be careful to be selective of the entertainment I choose, that it might be God-honoring.
  • I will be an active participant in a Christian church.
  • I will abstain from sexual immorality (sexual relations before or outside of marriage).
  • I will not allow myself to be a gossip. I will not discuss concerns with other staff until I have first gone to the supervisor or administrator who has the appropriate authority.

Work Rules

Rules for acceptable conduct of employees are necessary for the orderly operation of any business and for the benefit, protection, and safety of persons and property.  No single set of rules can address in advance every possible situation that may arise or every aspect of employees' conduct on the job.

Specific situations may always be handles on a case-by-case basis and at Lockport C.A.R.E.S.' sole discretion, whether addressed by the following rules or not.  Similarly, Lockport C.A.R.E.S. reserves the right to impose the level of disciplinary action it deems to be appropriate in any situation, up to and including termination of employment.

Any conduct that is detrimental to Lockport C.A.R.E.S.' interests or the security or safety and welfare of the employees may result in corrective action or termination.  To help you understand our performance and conduct expectations, we have listed some examples of behavior that may result in corrective action up to and including termination.  This list is general in nature and is not intended to be all-inclusive:

  • Immorality or violation of any Lockport C.A.R.E.S. policies and/or expectations regarding faith or behavior.
  • Fraud in securing employment.
  • Insubordination including refusal or failure to follow directives from a supervisor, manager or officer of Lockport C.A.R.E.S.
  • Theft, alteration, damage to, or destruction of property or records, or the inappropriate removal of such property - whether of Lockport C.A.R.E.S. or coworker.
  • Dishonesty or providing false, inaccurate or misleading information including control documents, employment applications, benefit forms, timecards, expense reimbursement forms or other work documents.
  • Harassment or discrimination of any type.
  • Fighting or engaging in disorderly or threatening conduct on work related premises.
  • Conduct or performance issues of a serious nature.
  • Unable to remain alert enough to meet guest and shelter needs.
  • Unexcused or excessive absenteeism or tardiness, abuse of sick leave privileges and/or leaving/entering the premises without authorization.
  • Possession, use or sale of alcohol, controlled substances or illegal drugs on the Lockport C.A.R.E.S. premises, or reporting to work under said influence, or failure of a drug/alcohol test.
  • Use of abusive language or habitual disrespect toward coworkers, Lockport C.A.R.E.S. or its guests.
  • Making false and malicious statements concerning employees or the organization.
  • Unauthorized disclosure of confidential information.
  • Refusal or failure to complete job assignments in a timely or accurate manner.
  • Viewing, reading or listening to inappropriate material.

Appropriate Boundaries

In ministry settings, it is important to establish, understand and follow appropriate boundaries for ministry and guest relationships.  Some of our volunteers and guests are new Christians and, as such, can easily misinterpret spiritual intimacy and the openness, honesty, and bonding that accompany a relationship with Christ and His family.  These boundaries are guidelines that will 1) provide a consistent and healthy environment, 2) protect employees and others involved with Lockport C.A.R.E.S. and 3) provide confidentiality.  We are committed to providing an emotionally and physically safe workplace.  We want to be consistent with other members of our team so that no one's safety, reputation or relationship is compromised.  Boundaries may vary from ministry to ministry, but here are some that apply to all:

  • I will treat every guest with respect as a creation of God and as my brother or sister. This will mean no harassment, intimidation or provocation.  Correction and discipline whenever possible, will be done in private.
  • I will not loan/give money, personal property such as a vehicle, personal gifts, or other favors to guests, donors, or vendor representatives that could be interpreted as expecting a return. Likewise, I will not receive any of the above for the same reason.
  • I will not invite guests to my home except by approval of the Executive Director or Director of that ministry. Any and all contact with guests out of the normal routine of ministry must be reported to and approved by my Supervisor or the Executive Director.
  • I will not employ or allow a guest to volunteer for some service that will benefit me or my family. This would include the surroundings of my home and service to my vehicles.
  • I will not use Lockport C.A.R.E.S. equipment or materials for personal use, nor loan the same to guests, other individuals or organizations.
  • I will not give out personal information like my home phone number to guests. I will conduct interactions with one of the opposite sex in view and/or hearing of another or I will involve a third party as appropriate.
  • I will not place myself in situations that may increase risk to my well-being.
  • I will use discretion and whenever practical, to avoid driving alone with a guest of the opposite sex while on Lockport C.A.R.E.S. business by having another employee or volunteer ride alone.
  • I will maintain confidentiality and will not share information regarding former or current guests, employees, donors, or volunteers with those outside of my appropriate and designated channels of communication.

I will document and file guest assessment information according to Lockport C.A.R.E.S. policy and will not disclose medical information and/or contagious disease information told to me by a guest, to a volunteer, physician, nurse or staff without first having the guest sign a Release Obtain Information form.

Corrective Action

The involuntary termination of an employee is taken as a serious matter for both the individual and Lockport C.A.R.E.S.  Therefore, each termination is considered carefully.  While either the employee or Lockport C.A.R.E.S. may end an individual's employment "at will" and without cause, Lockport C.A.R.E.S. may exercise its discretion to utilize forms of discipline that are less severe than termination, depending on the circumstances.

Measures may include a progressive series of corrective actions including:

  • Counseling or verbal warning
  • Written warnings
  • Suspensions

Lockport C.A.R.E.S. does not guarantee that one form of action will necessarily precede another action and reserves the right to take any corrective action it considers appropriate, including termination, at any time.  Prior warning is not a requirement for termination.

Performance Development

The management recognizes that your growth and progress are essential to your success and ours.  Lockport CARES management will work with each employee independently on goals - for development and learning opportunities.  While you may receive a formal appraisal on an annual basis, we believe that feedback is a continuous process.  As such, we encourage routine communication on progress toward goals, mutual expectations, obstacles and achievements.

Conflict of Interest

Lockport C.A.R.E.S. has a particular interest in preserving our reputation and the reputation of our employees for the utmost honesty and integrity.  Thus, Lockport C.A.R.E.S. holds itself and its employees to the highest standards of lawful and ethical conduct.

Therefore, you must be very careful to refrain from engaging in any activity that could be in conflict with your status as an employee.  This includes the use of your position for personal profit or advantage or entering into transactions or relationships where it may appear you have a conflict of interest, are improperly benefiting from your affiliation with Lockport C.A.R.E.S., or are violating laws governing fiduciary relationships.

Non-Solicitation

Our guests must receive our undivided attention.  Therefore, we believe that workplace distractions should be eliminated.  With that in mind, the following rule concerning non-work related solicitation and distribution of material must be applied:

  1. No employee should engage in solicitation of any kind or distribution of material that interferes with the work of that employee or any other employee.

Conflict Resolution

The fair and prompt resolution of an employee's job-related conflicts and concerns is essential to the preservation of a positive working environment.  The following employee conflict resolution guidelines are designed to help the employees and their supervisors work together to resolve job-related problems and conflicts.

Employees should follow these guidelines as soon as possible after the conflict arises:

  • If a conflict or problem arises, the employee will discuss it directly with the person with whom there is a conflict with a Christian-like commitment to restoring the relationship. The two individuals will discuss the problem and decide on a mutually acceptable resolution.  This applies to conflicts among employees or with a supervisor.
  • If the conflict (with another individual) is not satisfactorily resolved, the employee will dicuss the problem with his/her supervisor. They will discuss the conflict and work on constructive steps to solve the conflict together.
  • If the problem is not satisfactorily resolved, the employee and the supervisor will discuss the conflict with the Executive Director and their efforts to resolve it. The Executive Director will work with the individuals to agree on a mutually acceptable resolution within a reasonable period of time.
  • The employee may submit a written statement to the Executive Director if the previous steps have not resolved the conflict. The Executive Director may include employees with knowledge of the conflict in the discussion regarding the problems outlined in the written statement.  After any further discussion and reviewing the facts, the Executive Director will make a determination and work out a mutually acceptable resolution where appropriate.

It is the intent of Lockport C.A.R.E.S. to resolve conflict in a Biblical manner with full acknowledgement that the ministry of Lockport C.A.R.E.S. belongs to the Lord and it is He whom we serve. 

Whistleblower Protection

We are strongly committed to protecting employees from interference with, or retaliation against, a disclosure of improper, fraudulent or illegal activity.  This includes prohibiting employees, contractors, subcontractors or other agents from discriminating in the terms of conditions of employment with respect to any employee who provides information to or assists with an investigation conducted by management, regulatory or law enforcement agencies.  You may anonymously and confidentially communicate issues and concerns associated with unethical or illegal activities to any member of our Leadership Team (aka the Board or Executive Director).

Outside Activities

No employee may engage in work or work related activities for profit or personal interest during Lockport C.A.R.E.S. working hours other than for and on behalf of Lockport C.A.R.E.S.  Additionally, no employee may engage in income-generating activities during periods of sick or disability leaves without the prior written approval of their supervisor.

Employees seeking or accepting a civic, political or governmental office or appointment should ensure that holding that position will not create a conflict of interest for the employee or compromise Lockport C.A.R.E.S.' normal business activities.

Law Enforcement Involvement

Lockport C.A.R.E.S. does not notify law enforcement if an employee or volunteer is found to be guilty of a discrimination or harassment incident.  Exception may apply in the case of harassment of a minor/child.

Amendments

  • Amendments to this Policy can and will occur at any time.  All changes will be posted on the Notice boards and communicated via email from the Executive Director’s mail account to all employees and volunteers.
  • Your thoughts and ideas are encouraged at all times regarding Lockport C.A.R.E.S. procedures and policies.  Your comments can be made confidentially and/or anonymously.  Please feel free to write down your suggestions/complaints and turn it into your Supervisor so your thoughts and ideas may be considered.

Copyright

  • This Policy has been setup for the explicit use of Lockport C.A.R.E.S. employees and should not be copied, duplicated or transferred without prior permission from the Executive Director via postage mail.