Personnel Policies

First Baptist Church
Niceville, Florida

April 27, 2003

First Revision - September 1, 2003 (changes in bold, red)

I.        General.

A.      Purpose. To provide the First Baptist Church of Niceville, hereinafter referred to as the Church or as FBCN, with a manual that describes and defines personnel employment policies and procedures. Any deviation from this manual must be requested in writing to the Personnel Committee, hereinafter to be referred to as the “Committee”.

B.      Effective date. These policies and procedures are effective upon adoption by the Church and supersede previous versions. Subsequent changes will be approved by the Church and incorporated into the manual, as appropriate.

C.    Review.  The manual shall be reviewed at least annually by the Committee, the Pastor, and the Church Administrator to ensure all policies and procedures are current.  Revisions shall be submitted to the Church for approval.

D.    Responsibilities.  It is the responsibility of each employee to be familiar with and abide by policies and procedures contained herein.  Any question concerning the meaning or interpretation of any section herein will be brought to the attention of the employee’s supervisor.  Final interpretation shall lie with the Committee, where necessary.

E.     Distribution.  Copies of this manual shall be retained in the Church office and in the Media Center for Church member perusal. Additionally, copies shall be retained by the Committee members, the Pastor, each Minister, the Chairman of Deacons, the Church Administrator, each supervisor, and each employee.  The master copy shall be retained by the Committee Chair. Additionally, the Personnel Manual may be accessed for review on line on the Church web site at

F.     Administration.  The Pastor, as spiritual and administrative head of the Church, shall be ultimately responsible for the administration of this Manual.  He shall provide servant leadership for the Committee and shall advise the Committee regarding personnel policies and procedures.  The Pastor may, as necessary, delegate a portion of these duties to an appropriate Minister.

II.      Staff.

A.     Behavior.

1.      Inasmuch as the Church is a partnership, high standards of excellence and behavior shall be expected of Church staff at home and at work.  Work performance and personal behavior shall honor God at all times.  Inasmuch as harmonious, interpersonal relationships are vital in conducting the Church’s business, each staff member shall strive to the utmost to keep and maintain harmony.

B.     Pastor.

1.      The Pastor shall be called of God for a full-time, salaried, ordained minister, selected by a special committee for that purpose and approved by the Church, as outlined in the Church Constitution.

2.      As spiritual and administrative head of FBCN, the Pastor shall be held responsible to the Church for any action of Church staff.  Supervision of staff members shall be in accordance with the Church’s organizational chart. (See Exhibit 1.)

3.      In the event the Pastor is unavailable, the senior staff minister present shall assume these responsibilities.

C.    Ministerial Staff.

1.      The Ministerial staff shall, as necessary to meet the needs of the Church, be comprised of:

a.     Associate Pastor - Worship Arts

b.     Associate Pastor - Education

c.      Associate Pastor - Senior Adults

d.     Associate Pastor - Students

2.      The Ministerial staff shall be full-time, salaried positions. Each Minister shall be called by God and shall be elected by a special committee for that purpose and approved by the Church, as outlined in the Church Constitution. Each Minister shall be accountable to the Pastor.

3.      If conflicts arise, the Church Constitution shall be the authority.

D.    Church Administrator.

1.      The Church Administrator shall be a professional, full-time, salaried employee, either ministerial or non-ministerial and be a professing Christian having a Christian lifestyle, one that is consistent with the teachings of the New Testament and that demonstrates a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He shall be held accountable to the Pastor. Duties shall be as outlined in his position description. In the absence of a full-time pastor, the Church Administrator shall coordinate with the Committee for personnel-related responsibilities and with other committees for administration of the Church and for the delegation of business-related responsibilities.

2.      In the absence of the Church Administrator, the Pastor may delegate duties as deemed necessary.

E.     Support Staff.

1.      Support staff may be either salaried or hourly-wage employees, depending upon the requirements of the positions.  Every attempt shall be made to ensure that support staff pay is equitable, i.e., equal pay for equal work.  In this regard, favoritism shall not be tolerated.

III.      Employment Policy and Procedures.

A.     Policy.

1.      Although the Pastor shall have final responsibility regarding all personnel actions, it shall be incumbent upon the Church Administrator, assisted by the Committee, for all preliminary personnel actions with respect to selecting, hiring, disciplining, and discharging Church support staff.  With approval of the Pastor, the Church Administrator shall ensure that support staff position descriptions reflect the needs of the Church, thereby assuring that the Church is properly staffed to carry out its mission.  The Pastor, through the Church Administrator,  shall recommend the creation of new support staff positions to the Committee. The Committee, in coordination with the Stewardship Committee, shall make their recommendations to the Church for approval.

2.      The Personnel Committee shall have proximate authority under the Pastor in duties and responsibilities described above.  The Pastor and the  Committee shall seek guidance from the Church Administrator, as necessary.

3.      Regarding the above, when there are major disagreements, the Pastor, the Church Administrator, and the Personnel Committee shall meet for resolution.

B.     Procedures.  For vacancies in the Church staff, (1) ministerial positions shall be filled by search committee, as per the Church Constitution; and (2) non-ministerial staff positions shall be filled using the following procedures:

1.      The Church Administrator shall be responsible to secure applicants for position vacancies.  Position descriptions shall be provided by the supervisor-over-the-position as per the Church organizational chart.  Applicants for the position shall:

a.     Be professing Christians having a Christian lifestyle, one that is consistent with the teachings of the New Testament and that demonstrates a personal relationship with Jesus Christ;

b.     Submit a complete and accurate job application. (See Exhibit 2.)

2.      Other Criteria

a.     Should the position being filled require physical or manual labor, the applicant shall have a pre-employment physical paid for by the Church.

b.     To fulfill State law, drug testing and background checks may be conducted.

3.      Interviews

a.     Ministerial Staff:  Selection of ministerial staff shall be in accordance with the Church Constitution.

b.     Non-Ministerial Staff: The Church Administrator and the applicable supervisor-over-the-position shall conduct interviews of prospective Church staff members and shall recommend to the Committee that the most qualified individual be employed.  To ensure that two individuals conduct pre-employment interviews, when the Church Administrator or the supervisor-over-the position is not available, a member of the Committee shall fill in for the absent individual.  After approval by the Committee, the recommendation shall be forwarded to the Church Administrator who shall conduct background checks of recommended individuals to ensure each is qualified as per 1 and 2 above.  Note: Church staff positions shall be filled on principles of good merit and qualifications with special consideration given to desirability and stability of prospective employee’s Christian life.

4.      Indoctrination. Indoctrination shall be conducted by the Church Administrator. (See Exhibit 3).

5.      Minors.  Minors may be employed if 16 years of age or older. When minors are employed, however, the Child Labor Laws of the State of Florida and Federal Fair Labor Standards shall be strictly adhered to. See the Church Administrator for applicable laws.

6.      All employment shall be considered “at will” (see Definitions).

C.    Employment Work Schedule

1.      Employment work schedule shall be as defined in the employee’s position description.  Work schedule may be altered, if necessary.  (See Exhibit 4)

D.    Office Hours.

1.      The Church Office shall be scheduled to be open for business Monday through Friday from 8:30 A.M. until 4:00 P.M. except, of course, when a holiday falls during the work week. The Church Office shall be closed on Saturdays and Sundays and at other times authorized by the Pastor. In an emergency, the senior Minister present may close the office.

2.      If a funeral for a Church member is held at the Church, the office shall be closed for the funeral.  Office staff will be expected to attend the services.  Attendance at local, off-site funerals by Church staff may be permitted with prior approval of the supervisor-over-the-position. 

E.     Attire.

1.      Attire shall be proper, neat, and clean.  Impeccable personal hygiene shall be required.  The Pastor shall have final word as to the appropriateness of dress and personal hygiene.  Staff shall dress in a manner that is appropriate for each occasion in which they are participating with due consideration for the respect of others.

F.     Misconduct, Harassment, and Discrimination.

1.      Misconduct, harassment, or discrimination of or by employees shall not be tolerated.

2.      This may include, but not be limited to, behaviors such as slurs, jokes, and other forms of written, verbal, or graphic conduct relating to a person’s race, sex, national origin, citizenship, age, handicap, or marital status. In this regard, it is not enough that an individual feels he or she is not engaged in misconduct, harassment, or discrimination, individuals involved must also feel the same.

G.     Conflicts and Disagreements.

1.      Any task that requires interaction between individuals has the potential to create friction, misunderstanding, and conflict.  Therefore, all employees shall strive for perfection in that regard.

2.      Any conflicts or disagreements other than harassment shall be resolved immediately.  Such conflict or disagreement may include, but not be limited to, wages and salaries or paid absences.  The aggrieved party shall bring such issues to his or her supervisor.  If the matter cannot be resolved at that level, it shall be brought to the attention of the Church Administrator.

3.      Any conflict not resolved satisfactorily at the supervisory level or by the Church Administrator shall be forwarded to the Committee, in writing, for resolution. Final resolution shall be made by the Pastor, when necessary.

H.      Conflict Resolution and Employee Termination.

1.      Although FBCN is a Christian church having Christian principles, FBCN is also an employer having responsibilities to secular entities. Therefore, it is the Church’s duty to abide by relevant Federal, State, County, and Municipal regulations.

2.      As is true with any employer-employee relationship, it is appropriate for FBCN to clarify its expectations of its employees; to take administrative action to correct deficiencies; and, if necessary, to separate itself from those employees who are unable or unwilling to perform their duties in accordance with the mission of the Church.

3.      Even though the State of Florida is an “at will” state (see Definitions), employees have a right to know that there are certain conditions that may threaten their employment status. These conditions are, but are not limited to:

a.     Failure to exhibit a Christian lifestyle in keeping with the mission of the Church.  A Christian lifestyle is one that is consistent with the teachings of the New Testament and one that demonstrates a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

b.     Patterns of failure in relationships resulting in a negative impact on the achievement of the mission of the Church.

c.      Ongoing failure to adequately perform assigned duties.

d.     Persistent insubordination relative to supervisors; fellow employees, where appropriate; and/or stated policies of the Church.

e.     Persistently advocating doctrinal opinions inconsistent with the Baptist Faith and Message.

f.        Misuse of addictive substances and/or use of mind-altering substances.

g.     Dishonesty in the handling of money or other Church resources.

h.      Immoral or perverted sexual activities.

I.         Sexual Misconduct.

1.      General. The following information is intended to provide Church staff with definitions applicable to sexual misconduct and for a clearly established process for dealing with and responding to a claim of sexual misconduct. Notwithstanding this process, it is not intended to prevent or relieve any person or group of persons from reporting any allegation of sexual misconduct to the proper civil authorities as may be mandated in law.

a.     Adult (any person 18 years of age or over) sexual abuse or molestation. Sexual abuse or molestation of an adult shall include, but shall not be limited to, acts of rape or sexual offense to any degree; sodomy or any other unnatural or perverted sexual practices; lewd or indecent acts or proposals including improper touching or fondling.

b.     Sexual harassment.  Sexual harassment where there is an employment or a volunteer relationship between the persons involved shall include, but shall not limited to, sexually-oriented humor or language; questions or comments about sexual behavior unrelated to employment qualifications; inappropriate comments about clothing or physical appearance; or repeated requests for social engagements.

c.      Minor (any person under the age of 18) sexual abuse. Any act which involves sexual exploitation of a minor shall include, but shall not be limited to, acts of incest, rape, or sexual abuse to any degree; sodomy or any other unnatural or perverted sexual practices; lewd or indecent acts or proposals to include improper touching, fondling, or encouragement of a minor to participate in acts of prostitution or pornography.

2.      Complaints.

a.     Reporting.

(1)       Any complaint alleging sexual misconduct shall be reported immediately or as soon as practicable. The complaint may be oral or in writing. If oral, the written complaint shall be filed as soon as practicable but in no case later than 48 hours after the fact. Complaints, oral and written, shall be made to the Minister having cognizance over the position. This Minister shall report the incident to the Church Administrator and to the Pastor as soon as practicable. This report may be oral. If any individual in the “report to” chain is the alleged perpetrator, hereinafter to be referred to as the respondent, the report shall bypass this individual and shall be reported instead to the next higher level individual in the chain.
(2)       The individual receiving the complaint shall prepare a written narrative regarding the allegations to include:
(a)       the name of the respondent;
(b)       the name of the complainant;
(c)       date, time, and location of the alleged sexual misconduct;
(d)       the setting of the alleged sexual misconduct and the specific nature of the sexual misconduct; and
(e)       the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all persons who may have personal knowledge of the complaint.
(3)       This narrative shall be forwarded to those in the “report to” chain.

b.     Confidentiality.

(1)       All individuals involved in the incident shall make every effort to protect the privacy of the complainant, the respondent, and the witnesses.
(2)       All complaints shall be held in the strictest of confidence. Only those individuals having a “need to know” shall be privy to the specifics of the situation. Individuals not in the “report to” chain shall justify a need to know.

c.      Status of individuals involved.

(1)       The respondent may be placed on administrative leave, with or without pay, pending investigation and disposition of the case. Such decision shall be made by the Pastor with concurrence of the Church Administrator and of the Committee.
(2)       If it appears necessary, for the sake of safety, the complainant and/or witnesses may also be place on administrative leave with pay. This decision shall be made by the Pastor with concurrence of the Church Administrator and of the Committee.

d.     Investigation.

(1)       Investigation team. The Pastor, with recommendations from the Church Administrator and from the Committee, shall appoint a team to investigate the allegations of sexual misconduct. The team normally shall be comprised of no more than three individuals, such being third parties to all involved, i.e., not having either a working relationship or close ties to those involved. Note: The body of deacons just may be the most likely place to seek qualified individuals to make up an investigation team.
(2)       Duties. The duties of the investigation team shall include, but shall not be limited to:
(a)       meet with and interview the complainant in a timely manner after receiving the report of alleged sexual misconduct;
(b)       meet with and interview the respondent in a timely manner after receiving the report of alleged sexual misconduct;
(c)       meet with and interview, individually, all witnesses identified by both the complainant and the respondent as well as other individuals deemed necessary to the investigation (These “others” shall be identified by the investigation team.);
(d)       if evidence warrants, arrange for a clinical evaluation of  the respondent and/or the complainant by a person professionally qualified in and experienced in the evaluation of sexual misconduct; and
(e)       recommend actions to be taken based on their findings.

e.     Disposition.

(1)       Sexual misconduct allegations substantiated.
(a)       The Pastor shall have full authority to decide which actions shall be taken. He shall, however, seek recommendations from the Church Administrator and from the Committee.
(b)       A written statement confirming the disposition shall be placed in the respondent’s personnel file.
(c)       Representatives of the Church, appointed by the Pastor, shall meet with the complainant and the complainant’s family, if appropriate, to express the Church’s regrets and discuss how the Church may assist them in the healing process, i.e., offer of counseling.
(2)       Sexual misconduct allegations not substantiated.
(a)       The Pastor shall begin a process of individual and corporate healing.
(b)       Representatives of the Church, to be appointed by the Pastor, shall meet with the complainant to discuss results of the investigation.
(c)       If requested by the respondent, a statement confirming that the allegations were not substantiated shall be placed in the respondent’s personnel file. Or, the respondent may demand that any reference to sexual misconduct be removed in toto from his or her personnel file. This may include both the report of alleged sexual misconduct by the complainant and the report that such allegations were not substantiated.
(d)       After consulting with the respondent, the Church may exonerate the respondent publicly or privately.
(3)       Sexual misconduct allegations substantiated in part or insufficient evidence available not conclusive as to whether allegations can or cannot be substantiated.
(a)       The Pastor shall have full authority to decide what actions shall be taken. He shall, however, take into consideration recommendations of the Church Administrator, the Committee, and of the Investigation Team.
(b)       The Pastor shall meet with the complainant to discuss the findings and how the Church may assist the complainant and the complainant’s family, if necessary.
(c)       The Pastor shall meet with the respondent to discuss the findings and inform of actions to be taken, if any.
(d)       The Pastor shall, if he deems necessary, begin a process of individual or corporate healing.

f.        Notifications.

(1)       When an employee is terminated because of sexual misconduct, the Church Administrator, with consent of the Pastor,  shall have the authority, but may not deem it appropriate or necessary, to take the following actions:
(a)       Inform persons seeking information about the employee that such employee was terminated for sexual misconduct.
(b)       Notify appropriate civil authorities in the Church’s jurisdiction and /or the jurisdiction where the employee resides that the employee has engaged in sexual misconduct.
(c)       Assist civil authorities in any investigation of the employee for sexual misconduct.
(d)       Notify the Church and other churches with which the employee is known to have a relationship that the employee was terminated because of sexual misconduct.

J.      Personnel File.

1.      A personnel file shall be maintained on all Church employees to assist the supervisor in evaluating employee performance.  This file is to remain confidential. The Church Administrator (in the absence of the Church Administrator, the Pastor) shall ensure that only approved personnel and the Chair of the Personnel Committee have access to an individual’s personnel file.  Each employee may examine his or her file. Such file may not be altered in any manner.

2.      The file shall contain, but shall not be limited to, conditions of employment, including salary/wage agreements, if any,  and/or work hours; a position description; and performance evaluations. Used and accrued vacation leave, sick leave; and other absences to include conferences, funerals of immediate family, training, retreats, and the like shall be maintained in the Church’s automated payroll system.  Suffice it to say the file shall contain all pertinent employment information applicable to the employee.  Additional information to be included in the personnel file shall be determined by the Church Administrator.

3.      The Pastor shall retain the files of the Ministers and of the Church Administrator. The Church Administrator shall retain all other personnel files.  Personnel files of a Minister shall not be accessed by anyone except with the consent of the Pastor or, in the absence of the Pastor, the Chairman of the Deacons.

K.     Salary/Wages/Reimbursements.

1.      Compensation shall be based on the premise of  a fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work.

2.      Salaries and wages shall be commensurate with work performed in accordance with the position description.  Advance pay shall be approved only by the Pastor and as approved by the Committee and the Stewardship Committee.

3.      Compensation for each employee shall be reviewed at least annually by the  supervisor-over-the-position for possible adjustment based on performance and assigned tasks.  Any employee may discuss salary/wage issues with his or her supervisor at any time.  If a salary/ wage adjustment is deemed appropriate, the matter shall be brought to the attention of the Pastor, to the Committee, and to the Church Administrator for consideration.  Final salary/wage increases shall be dependent upon a statement from the Stewardship Committee that funds are available.  

4.      Annual cost of living adjustments shall be as recommended by the Personnel Committee. Any adjustment shall be based on the present salary/wage of the employee and the availability of funds.

5.      Reimbursements.

a.     Pastor and Ministers.  Pastors and Ministers shall be reimbursed for authorized expenses using funds from their respective expense accounts that appear in the current annual budget approved by the Church.  Expenses incurred by the Pastor and Ministers over and above budgeted amounts may be reimbursed with statement from the Stewardship Committee that funds are available.

b.     Church Administrator and Support Staff.  The Church Administrator and support staff may be reimbursed for expenses incurred for Church-related activities to include, but not be limited to, training, conventions, conferences, and the like.  Where possible, prior approval for such activities shall be obtained from the Church Administrator, from the supervisor-over-the-position, and from the Stewardship Committee.  Such requests shall, where possible, be submitted 90 days in advance and shall delineate projected expenditures.

c.      Expense vouchers.  Expense vouchers shall be submitted in accordance with current financial management procedures.

L.      Salary Administration Program.

1.      The main objective of such program is to attract and retain high level individuals who will contribute positively in attaining the mission of the Church. Accordingly, a minimum quality performance shall warrant only a minimum salary/wage. The employee performance report (See Exhibit 5.) shall be used when any salary/wage adjustment is contemplated.

a.     The employee performance report shall be reviewed at least annually by the supervisor-over-the-position.  For newly-hires, the performance report may be reviewed after 90 days.

b.     Any employee that does not agree with any evaluation of his or her performance may request a review of the evaluation with the supervisor-over-the-position and in the presence of the Church Administrator.

2.      Payday will be weekly, normally on the Wednesday following completion of the prior work period.  The work period shall be from Friday through Thursday of the following week.

3.      It must be iterated here that salary/wage adjustments may not be summarily ordered by any supervisor or Minister.  Above procedures shall be adhered to.

M.    Insurance.

1.      Health.

a.     It is the policy of the Church to provide a core health plan at no cost to eligible employees.  This, however, is subject to the availability of funds.  If funding of the above is not available, an employer/employee cost-sharing plan may be made available. Eligible employees may request dependent coverage at their expense.

b.     Additional, optional insurance coverage is available at the employee’s expense..  This additional plan will be administered by the Church to permit employees to select various insurance options that may be beneficial to employees needs, such as, dental insurance, un-reimbursed medical expenses, and child care provisions. 

c.      If an employee is insured under another group health plan and does not choose to be insured under the Church group health program, then he or she may be reimbursed for the amount of premium providing: (1) the premium is less than the premium under the Church group health insurance and (2) the Church’s group health insurance program is not affected by exclusion of the employee.Should an employee still not desire to be included as a consequence of having a non-group health insurance plan, then the request will be denied and the employee will be required to be included in the   Church group health insurance program.

2.      Life.  Life Insurance shall be provided to full-time staff with coverage equivalent to one year’s salary/wages or as limited by law .

3.      Workers Compensation procedures shall be as specified by Florida Law.

4.      Review.  Insurance coverage is reviewed regularly by the Insurance Committee to ensure adequate coverage at a competitive cost. 


IMPORTANT NOTE:            Because of the nature of the Church’s insurance programs that may be up-dated or modified by the carrier from time to time, current Church employee health and life insurance programs shall be explained to new hires during orientation. Other employees desiring to obtain the current status of Church employee insurance programs may obtain such information from the Church Administrator.


N.     Work Absences.

1.      General.  Absences from an employee’s normal work schedule shall be as per the following instructions.  Each absence, except in an emergency, must be cleared in advance by the employee’s supervisor.

2.      Death in the Family.

a.      For an absence necessitated by a death in the immediate family, the employee shall receive full pay for such absence up to 3 days.  Any absence beyond the 3 days shall be charged to paid vacation leave or leave of absence without pay.

b.     For absence necessitated by the death of a relative not in the immediate family, the employee shall be required to take either paid vacation leave or a leave of absence.  In such cases, the Pastor or the Church Administrator may grant a leave of absence without pay for up to two work weeks.

3.      Leave of absence.  Any employee may apply for a leave of absence without pay for the above and for:

a.     A prolonged personal illness upon presentation of a physician’s statement stating the illness and the projected period of absence.  Any absence for illness greater than three months shall require an updated statement.  The Pastor or Church Administrator, however, may request a physician’s statement at any time.

b.     A work -related injury.  The conditions in (a) above shall apply.  Worker’s compensation laws shall also apply.

c.       Leave of absence for any other reason, other than military, shall not exceed 3 months.

4.      Personal leave.  A maximum of two work weeks without pay may be granted by the Pastor.

5.      Paid Vacation Leave.  For full-time employees, those scheduled to work 35-40 hours per week, paid vacation leave will be based on a full day’s pay. For part-time employees, employees scheduled to work at least 20 hours but less than 25 hours per week, paid vacation leave shall be prorated on a 50% basis. Employees scheduled to work less than 20 hours per week shall not receive paid vacation leave.

a.     Ministerial Staff.

(1)        Paid vacation leave shall be recommended by the search committee with concurrence of the Pastor, or senior minister when the Pastor is the subject of the search, and approval by the Church.

b.     Support Staff.

(1)       Paid vacation leave shall be based on one week for the first year of employment. Paid vacation leave shall accrue for the first 6 months but may not be used during that period. After 6 months, the employee may use accrued leave.
(2)       After two years of employment, each employee shall be eligible for two weeks of paid vacation leave per year.
(3)       After five years of employment, each employee shall be eligible for 3 weeks of paid vacation leave per year.
(4)       After 10 years of employment, each employee shall be eligible for 4 weeks of paid vacation leave per year.
(5)       Paragraphs 5. b. 2 and 3 above apply to new hires. Present support staff shall be grand-fathered.

c.      Vacation Leave Schedule. Professional and support staff shall make every effort to arrange paid vacation leave schedules for the upcoming year by the end of January each year. After that, paid vacation leave shall be on a first-come, first served basis subject to office workload requirements.

d.     Holidays During Vacation. Paid holidays that occur during an employee’s paid vacation leave shall not be charged as paid vacation leave.

e.     Non-Accumulation of Vacation Leave. Employees shall not receive pay for vacation leave not taken.  Paid vacation leave shall not be accumulated from year to year.  In extraordinary circumstances, deferral may be granted by the Pastor.

f.        Division of Paid Vacation Leave Days. Paid vacation leave days may be divided but in not less than ½-day increments.

g.     Paid Vacation Leave and Resignation.  Although employees shall not receive pay for vacation leave not taken, the employee shall receive prorated vacation pay for the accrued leave when such employee gives two weeks notice of resignation.

h.      Deviation from Paid Vacation Leave Policy. With approval of the Committee, only the Pastor, where Ministers are concerned, and the Church Administrator, where support staff is concerned, shall authorize any deviation from the above policy.

6.      Paid Sick Leave.

a.     Ministerial, other professional staff,  and full-time support staff shall be authorized annually paid sick leave equal to two times the number of hours employees are scheduled to work each week.  Part-time employees paid sick leave shall be prorated on a 50% basis. A new employees sick leave shall be prorated from time of hire.

b.     Paid sick leave is authorized when the employee is incapacitated for work because of illness or injury.  Such leave is also authorized to care for a member of the immediate family.

c.      Any employee absent from work for five or more working days may be required to provide a medical doctor’s certificate stating the nature of the illness/injury and that such illness/injury was such that the employee should not or could not report for work.  In the absence of such certificate, paid sick leave shall not be authorized.

d.     Employees having no accrued paid sick leave or paid vacation leave may be granted sick leave in advance if it is necessary that the involved employee not report for work.  Such advanced paid sick leave shall be approved by the Church Administrator or by the Pastor.  This also applies where it is necessary for an employee to care for a member of the immediate family.  Regarding this, other employees may, as a humanitarian gesture, donate accrued paid sick leave to the involved employee on hour for hour basis without regard to pay.

e.     Paid sick leave may be accumulated from one year to the next for up to 6 times the number of hours the employee is scheduled to work per week.  Paid sick leave shall be authorized for illness/injury only and not for remuneration.  Supervisors shall be made aware when employees are absent from work due to illness/injury.  If the absence is over a protracted period of time, the Pastor and the Committee shall be notified.

f.        Employees, upon ending employment, shall not be paid for any accrued sick leave. Additionally, an employee ending employment with the Church and having a negative sick leave balance, shall reimburse the Church for that amount.

7.      Unscheduled Absences.  Any employee unable to report for work because of personal illness/injury or emergency shall notify his or her supervisor as soon as possible.

8.      Pregnancy, Maternity, and Parenting Leave.

a.     There are two types of leave referred to as pregnancy or maternity leave.

(1)       Disability or medical leave which exists from the time a woman is unable to perform work because of pregnancy, childbirth, and their aftermaths.
(2)       Child caring or child rearing leave, which exists from the time of birth or adoption during which a parent, male or female, cares for the child.

b.     Two Federal laws prohibit discrimination and provide for disability and parenting leave. They are Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which includes the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978,  and The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) of 1993.

(1)       Title VII.   This act prohibits employers from treating pregnant women or temporarily physically disabled new mothers differently from other temporarily sick, injured, or disabled employees including discriminatory leave practices.  Conversely, employers are not required to treat pregnancy more favorably than other temporary disabilities.  Title VII applies to employers having 15 or more employees.
(2)       FMLA.  This Act applies to employers having 50 or more employees.  Inasmuch as FBCN does employ more than 50 persons, FMLA does apply.
(a)       Certain rights are due to any employee who has worked for FBCN for at least 12 months in the past and who has worked at least 1,250 hours in the preceding 12 months.  Some employees who have worked for less than full-time shall be eligible to enjoy benefits of the Act.  In brief, FMLA benefits apply as follows:
(b)       Any employee, male or female, who meets eligibility requirements is entitled to take up to 12 work weeks of leave during a 12 month period when (a) a son or daughter is born; (b) a son or daughter is placed for adoption or foster care; (c) a son, daughter, spouse, or parent experiences a serious health condition; or (d) the employee’s own serious health condition prevents that employee from working.  Further, in situations where it is “medically necessary,” the employee has the right to leave “intermittently” or on a “reduced leave schedule.”
(c)       The act specifies that such leave shall be on an unpaid basis.  And, when the employee returns from leave, the employee is guaranteed the right to return to the former job or to an “equivalent” position.  For more on FMLA, see the Church Administrator.

9.      Military Orders.  Under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Rights Act (UNERRA) of 1994, it is unlawful for an employer to refuse an employee’s military leave of absence or to discriminate in employment and re-employment because of military service. This right extends for up to 5 years to those individuals who have taken a leave of absence from a position of employment because of military service. Further, the employer cannot require the employee to use accrued leave.

10.  Jury Duty.

a.     When an employee is summoned for jury or witness duty, that employee shall be paid the regular rate of pay.

b.     Payment received from jury or witness duty by an employee shall be signed over to the Church. This does not include mileage or meal expenses.

11.  Conventions/Conferences/ Missions/Church Camps/etc.

a.     Ministerial staff may be permitted up to 14 days paid absence each year to lead a camp(s), participate in missions, or to attend conventions, conferences, training, etc. The 14 days may be used in combination with any of the above. Every effort shall be made to avoid being absent over two consecutive Sundays.

b.     Support staff shall be permitted to participate in conventions, conferences, and mission trips, etc., if it falls within the parameters of vacation time. Special training seminars and conferences designed to improve work proficiency shall be considered work related and, as such, shall be considered hours worked. Such training must be approved in advance by the supervisor-over-the position.

12.  Revivals.

a.     The Pastor and Ministers shall be permitted to participate in two non-FBCN revivals per year.  For Ministers, such absences shall be approved by the Pastor.  Timeliness shall be considered.

b.     Absence for revival over two consecutive Sundays is not authorized.

13.  Paid Holidays.

a.     Employees are to be granted 12 paid holidays each year.  Paid holidays shall be as follows:

(1)       New Years Day.... January 1
(2)       Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.... 3rd Monday in January
(3)       Presidents Day.... 3rd Monday in February
(4)       Good Friday.... Friday before Easter
(5)       Memorial Day.... Last Monday in May
(6)       Independence Day.... July 4
(7)       Labor Day.... First Monday in September
(8)       Columbus Day.... 2nd Monday in October
(9)       Veterans Day.... November 11
(10)      Thanksgiving Day.... 4th Thursday in November
(11)      Day after Thanksgiving.... Day after Thanksgiving
(12)      Christmas Day.... December 25.

b.     Employees desiring to make extended weekends when paid holidays  fall during the work week shall use paid vacation leave.

c.      A paid holiday that falls on a Saturday shall be observed on the previous Friday.  A paid holiday that falls on a Sunday shall be observed on the following Monday.  In the event a paid holiday falls during an employees paid vacation leave or on an employee’s regular day off, that employee shall be given an extra day off.  Full-time employees shall receive holiday pay based on a full day’s pay, while part-time employee’s holiday pay shall be prorated on a 50% basis.

14.  Compensatory Time/Overtime.

a.     Non-salaried employees shall be recompensed for hours worked overtime. Overtime is defined as time worked in excess of 40 hours per week.  For the extra time worked above scheduled hours, but less than 40 hours per week, employees shall be recompensed with equal time off.  Overtime shall be paid only for actual hours worked, but not on vacation days, sick days, or holidays.

b.     Compensatory time shall not accrue.  It must be taken during the pay period earned.  Exceptions may be allowed as circumstances warrant.  The supervisor-over-the-position shall be authorized to approve such exceptions.

c.      The employee’s supervisor shall approve overtime worked and compensatory time.  Such overtime and compensatory time shall be annotated on the employee’s time card.

15.  Personal Time.

a.     There are times when an employee must take time off from work for personal reasons.  Such absences, if for more than 4 hours, shall be counted as paid vacation leave.  Absences for less than 4 hours shall be made up during the week of such absence by reporting to work early or by staying late.

b.     The employee’s supervisor shall approve personal time in advance.  Time taken and time made up shall be annotated on the employee’s time card.

IV. Service Award Recognition Program.

A.     General. All full-time and part-time employees of the Church shall be honored and recognized for their faithfulness in employment. An award for such faithfulness shall be given to each employee as determined by the Personnel Committee and by the Stewardship Committee using the below guidelines.

1.      The Church Administrator shall annotate each employee’s anniversary date on the Church calendar in January of each year, for the following calendar year, to remind the staff of the employee’s anniversary date and to inform the Personnel Committee and the Stewardship Committee to budget an appropriate amount for a service award.

2.      Ministerial staff and each full-time employee shall receive recognition on their 5-, 10-, 15-, 20-, etc., year anniversary in the following manner:

a.     Be recognized in the Banner and during each Sunday morning service closest to the anniversary.

b.     Be presented with a framed Certificate of Service delineating the number of years of service.

c.      Be presented with a gift of $50 per year presented at 5 year intervals of service, i.e., 5 years-$250, 10 years-$500, etc.

d.     Additionally, for ministerial staff, a fellowship social shall be accorded following the Sunday evening service.

3.      Each part-time employee shall be recognized on each of his or her 5-year anniversary as follows:

a.     Be  recognized in the Banner and during each Sunday morning service closest to the anniversary.

b.     Be presented with a framed Certificate of Service delineating the number of years of service.

c.      Be presented with a gift of $50.

B.     Special recognition not for years of service shall be determined by the Personnel Committee, i.e., retirement, separation, etc.

C.    Love offerings for special recognition shall be as per the Church Constitution.

V.      Definitions.

A.     At Will.  Florida is an “at will” state.  Meaning that the church’s relationship with its employees is not a guarantee of employment, but that the employee may be terminated at any time with or without cause or notice.

B.     Church staff.  Individuals employed by FBCN in any capacity, both salaried and waged employees.

C.    Fee-for-service employee.  Individuals compensated by FBCN for a specified task. Benefits shall not accrue.

D.    Full time employees.  An individual who is scheduled to perform Church related duties from 35 to 40 hours per week.  Such employees shall be eligible for FBCN’s benefit package from date of hire (DOH).

E.     Immediate Family.  Immediate family shall include mother, father, spouse, son, daughter, brother, or sister.

F.     Insurance Eligibility.  For full-time employees, health and life insurance shall be effective on DOH.  “According to Florida Insurance Laws governing small group insurance plans, a full-time employee is defined as an employee who is scheduled to work 25 hours or more in a work period.”

G.    Intermittent Employee.  An individual employed from time to time on a call-in basis.  Intermittent employment is always temporary and does not qualify an employee for benefits.

H.     Organizational chart.  This chart shall depict the relationship of FBCN staff members to each other including supervisors over each position.

I.         Part time employees.  An individual scheduled to perform Church-related duties 20 or more hours per week but less than 25 hours per week.   Such employees shall be eligible to receive both paid vacation leave and paid sick leave on a reduced basis.

J.      Professional Staff.  Shall include the Pastor, Ministers, and the Church Administrator.

K.     Temporary employees.  Any individual who is employed for a limited period of time, specified or unspecified, with the understanding between FBCN and the individual that such employment is indeed temporary.  Duties and length of employment shall be provided to the employee.  Additionally, it must be understood that such employment may be terminated any time prior to the projected employment period without prior notification.  Temporary employees are not eligible for any FBCN benefits.