Water Well Journal

July 2016

Water Well Journal

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/692787

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Page 54 of 87

Note that separate legal documents (such as a summary plan description) may also be required for employee benefit plans. 8. Safety and Security Describe your business' policy for creating a safe and se- cure workplace, including compliance with applicable Occu- pational Safety and Health Administration laws requiring employees to report all accidents, injuries, potential safety hazards, safety suggestions, and health and safety related issues to management. Safety policies should also include your company's policy regarding bad weather and hazardous community conditions. Additional Considerations Consider including an at-will employment statement—for example, to prevent a court from finding you entered into an employment contract with an employee and breached the con- tract by terminating the employee. If your employees are to be employed "at-will," you should clearly state that fact and include a conspicuous disclaimer in the front of your handbook that the handbook is not an em- ployment contract and should not be construed as a contract. It is advisable to speak with an attorney when drafting lan- guage related to at-will employment, as such clauses recently have come under scrutiny by the National Labor Relations Board. Also consider including a harassment policy covering all types of illegal harassment. Many employers mistak- enly associate "harassment" with only sexual harassment. Unlawful harass- ment, however, can occur when an employer creates an intolerable work environment based on an employee's protected class. This means there can be race-based, national origin-based, or religion-based harassment because all those character- istics are protected by law. Double- check your manual to be sure you haven't limited your harassment policy only to harassment based on gender. Additionally, a harassment policy must include a clear, step-by-step guide for employees to report any harassing behavior. The policy should include actions that will be taken in response to a complaint as well as consequences for employees and managers who fail to report harassment. There should be a zero-tolerance policy for managers who fail to properly respond to a complaint. You will also want to include in the handbook a written acknowledgement by the employee that he or she has received and read the handbook, to be signed and placed in the employee's personnel file. While the policies outlined in your employee handbook will reflect your company's own unique culture, it is impor- tant to consider federal, state, and local laws and regulations that may affect your business when drafting the handbook. You may want to create multiple handbooks if you have exempt and non-exempt employees or unionized employees. The employee handbook is the single most important inter- nal document laying out the policies of your company to each and every one of your employees. DACUM Codes To help meet your professional needs, this article covers skills and competencies found in DACUM charts for drillers and pump installers. DO refers to the drilling chart and PI refers to the pumps chart. The letter and number immediately following is the skill on the chart covered by the article. This article covers: DOK-2, 8, 14; PIG-2, 3 More information on DACUM and the charts are available at www.NGWA.org. WWJ Alexandra Walsh is the vice president of Association Vision, a Washington, D.C.–area communications company. She has extensive experience in management positions with a range of organizations. Get Business Tools in the NGWA Bookstore Head to the NGWA Online Bookstore at the website of the National Ground Water Association when you're looking for your next business tool to aid your business. You can find cost calculators, contracts, best suggested practices, and more. The calculators are for water well drilling, pump installation, and geothermal drilling. Visit the Online Bookstore at www.NGWA.org when it's time to get your next business tool. The Groundwater NGWA Association WWJ July 2016 53 Twitter @WaterWellJournl

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