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Sissy's Log Cabin Policy Manual

CHAPTER 1 – HUMAN RESOURCES / EMPLOYMENT HANDBOOK

1.1 ABOUT SISSY’S LOG CABIN

1.1a WELCOME

On behalf of the Sissy’s Log Cabin Family, we welcome you to Sissy’s Log Cabin and wish you every success.  We believe each employee contributes directly to Sissy’s Log Cabin’s growth and success, and we hope you will take pride in being a member of our team.

This handbook was developed to describe some of the expectations of our employees and to outline the policies, programs, and benefits available to eligible employees.

We hope your experience with Sissy’s Log Cabin will be enjoyable and rewarding.

Again, welcome!

1.1b  MISSION STATEMENT

As a family-owned, Christian-based company, we strive each day to provide exceptional experiences for our clients as we celebrate together life’s special occasions.  Our commitment is to exceed expectations of quality, service, and unsurpassed value by providing the finest products, staff, and service to the communities we serve.

1.1c  OUR CORE VALUES

SERVICE

Recognizing our obligation to find new and better ways to exceed our clients’ expectations on a daily basis

COMMUNICATION

The freedom to make suggestions and the open-mindedness to accept them, providing a potential solution along with your constructive criticism

ENTREPRENEUERSHIP

The ability to think and perform as one who has a stake in the company

TEAMWORK

Recognizing the merit and respecting the dignity of all team members

COMMUNITY

Supporting our Corporate commitment to give back to the communities which, through their support, have allowed us to grow and prosper for nearly half a century

INTEGRITY

Unquestioned honesty and adherence to ethical behavior in business dealings, including proper disclosure and accurate representation of products and information to clients

PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

Professionalism in appearance and conduct – personal responsibility, accountability and courtesy

VALUE

Providing our clients with more than they imagined for less than they anticipate –  No matter what the budget, offer the finest items – well designed, well manufactured, properly presented by a knowledgeable staff

IMPROVEMENT

Continued education of ourselves, our clients, and our community – constantly striving to do better

RELATIONSHIPS

The foundation of a family business, and the basis on which our company has grown – An emphasis on personalization and strong ties to our clients, industry, and communities through personal involvement

1.2 PERFORMANCE STANDARDS

1.2a TOTAL CUSTOMER SATISFACTION

  1. Offer prompt service to each guest
  2. Demonstrate customer care as a top priority
  3. Demonstrate a personal ability to make all guests feel comfortable and welcome
  4. Dedicate attention to and follow up on the details of all customer requests
  5. Maintain and use detailed personal client records
  6. Personally send thank you notes and make follow up satisfaction calls
  7. Demonstrate exemplary telephone and email skills
  8. Demonstrate the ability and desire to exceed customer expectations

1.2b PROFESSIONAL DEMEANOR AND PRESENTATION

  1. Demonstrate understanding of company policy, procedures and systems as demonstrated in the employee handbook and manual
  2. View change as a positive and be instrumental in implementing changes when necessary
  3. Actively seek out information necessary to fulfill job requirements
  4. Demonstrate an ability to handle more than one major assignment at a time
  5. Demonstrate thorough and accurate product and inventory knowledge
  6. Actively pursue personal community service opportunities
  7. Present professional presence and behavior at all times
  8. Dress appropriately and adhere to company dress code policies
  9. Exhibit care in seeing to matters of personal hygiene
  10. Arrive in a timely manner and be ready to participate in the morning meeting

1.2c SALES ACHIEVEMENTS

  1. Personal sales goal achievement for a given period
  2. Personally pursue new business in creative and innovative ways
  3. Personal closing ratio
  4. Competence with repair take-in and counter service
  5. Understanding of repair process and ability to communicate appropriate details to the customer and the shop manager/jeweler as needed
  6. Use of forms and documentation, including the ability to collect and provide complete and accurate information and descriptions

1.2d QUALITY AND SELLING TECHNIQUES

  1. Greeting customers within 3 seconds and giving your name
  2. Relationship building – including the ability to match sales approach to customer needs and behavior
  3. Probing to determine customer needs – including strong listening skills and deductive ability
  4. Proper presentation of merchandise – including the professional use of tools
  5. Overcoming objections
  6. Turn-Overs (timing, quality, effectiveness)
  7. Closing – using effective techniques appropriately
  8. Add-On and suggestive selling
  9. Follow up (thank you notes and phone calls)
  10. Ensure that each guest is presented with the total “Sissy’s Experience.”

1.2e TASK MANAGEMENT

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of and adherence to all security and safety procedures
  2. Ability to handle situations when a security issue arises
  3. Adherence to all policies regarding store opening/closing
  4. Keep showcases locked and secure at all times
  5. Secure handling of jewelry when presenting to customer
  6. Keep merchandise and showroom clean and well maintained
  7. Keep support areas neat and organized
  8. Demonstrate knowledge of basic principles of effective display

1.2f INTERPERSONAL SKILLS

  1. Treat all co-workers with the same respect and courtesy we extend to our customers
  2. Accept feedback in a positive manner
  3. Offer feedback in a positive manner, criticism remains constructive
  4. Willing help others when needed
  5. Discourage gossip, negative comments, and behavior detrimental to a team environment
  6. Communicate ideas and concerns clearly and directly, following a proper chain of command
  7. Remain open minded and listen willingly
  8. Demonstrate flexible and versatile thinking
  9. Recognize and adapt to various communication styles
  10. Demonstrate integrity and maturity in challenging circumstances
  11. Ensure that personal conflicts are kept off the sales floor and away from customers

1.3 EMPLOYMENT

1.3a NATURE OF EMPLOYMENT

Employment with Sissy’s Log Cabin is voluntarily entered into, and the employee is free to resign at will, at any time, with or without cause.  Similarly, Sissy’s Log Cabin may terminate the employment relationship at will, at any time, with or without cause or notice, so long as there is no violation of applicable state or federal law.

Policies set forth in this handbook are not intended to create a contract, nor are they construed to constitute contractual obligations of any kind, or a contract of employment between Sissy’s Log Cabin and any of its employees.  The provisions of the handbook have been developed at the discretion of management and, except for its policy of employment at-will, may be amended or cancelled at any time, at Sissy’s Log Cabin’s sole discretion.

These provisions supersede all existing policies and practices and may not be amended or added to without the express written approval of the Board of Directors of Sissy’s Log Cabin.

1.3b EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

Sissy’s Log Cabin believes that the work conditions, wages, and benefits it offers to its employees are competitive with those offered by other employers in the area and industry.  If employees have concerns about work conditions or compensation, they are strongly encouraged to voice their concerns openly and directly to their manager or immediate supervisor.

Our experience has shown that when employees deal openly and directly with supervisors, the work environment can be excellent, communication can be clear, and attitudes can be positive.  We believe that Sissy’s Log Cabin amply demonstrates its commitment to employees by responding effectively to employee concerns.

1.3c EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

In order to provide equal employment and advancement opportunities to all individuals, employment decisions at Sissy’s Log Cabin will be based on merit, qualifications, and abilities.  Sissy’s Log Cabin does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

This policy governs all aspects of employment, including selection, job assignment, compensation, discipline, termination, and access to benefits and training.

Any employees with any questions or concerns about any type of discrimination in the workplace are encouraged to bring these issues to the attention of their immediate supervisor or the President.  Employees can raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal.  Anyone found to be engaging in any type of unlawful discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

1.3d HIRING OF RELATIVES

The employment of relatives in the same area of an organization may cause serious conflicts and problems with favoritism and employee morale.  In addition to claims of partiality in treatment at work, personal conflicts from outside the work environment can be carried into day to day working relationships.

Although Sissy’s Log Cabin has no prohibition against hiring relatives of existing employees, we are committed to monitoring situations in which relatives work in the same area.  In case of actual or potential problems, Sissy’s Log Cabin will take prompt action.  This can include reassignment or, if necessary, termination of employment of one or both of the individuals involved.

For the purposes of this policy, a relative is any person who is related by blood or marriage, or whose relationship with the employee is similar to that of a person related by blood or marriage.

1.3e CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Employees have an obligation to conduct business within the guidelines that prohibit actual or potential conflicts of interest.  This policy establishes only the framework within which Sissy’s Log Cabin wishes the business to operate.  The purpose of these guidelines is to provide general direction so that employees can seek further clarification on issues related to the subject of acceptable standards of operation.  Contact the President for more information on conflicts of interest.

Transactions with outside firms must be conducted within a framework established and controlled by the executive level of Sissy’s Log Cabin.  Business dealings with outside firms should not result in unusual gains for those firms.  Unusual gain refers to bribes, product bonuses, special fringe benefits, unusual price breaks, and other windfalls designed to ultimately either benefit the employer, the employee, or both.  Promotional plans that could be interpreted to involve unusual gain require specific executive level approval.

An actual or potential conflict of interest occurs when an employee is in a position to influence a decision that may result in a personal gain for that employee or for a relative as a result of Sissy’s Log Cabin’s business dealings.  For the purposes of this policy, a relative is any person who is related by blood or marriage, or whose relationship with the employee is similar to that of persons related by blood or marriage.

No “presumption of guilt” is created by the mere existence of a relationship with outside firms.  However, if employees have any influence on transactions involving purchases, contracts or leases, it is imperative that they disclose to an officer of Sissy’s Log Cabin as soon as possible the existence of any actual or potential conflicts of interest so that safeguards can be established to protect all parties.

Personal gain may result not only in cases where an employee or relative has a significant ownership in a firm with which Sissy’s Log Cabin does business, but also when an employee or relative receives any kickback, bribe, substantial gift, or special consideration as a result of any transaction or business dealings involving Sissy’s Log Cabin.

1.3f OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT

Employees may hold outside jobs as long as they meet the performance standards of their job with Sissy’s Log Cabin.  All employees will be judged by the same performance standards and will be subject to Sissy’s Log Cabin’s scheduling demands, regardless of any outside work requirements.

If Sissy’s Log Cabin determines that an employees’ outside work interferes with performance or the ability to meet the requirements of Sissy’s Log Cabin as they are modified from time to time, the employee may be asked to terminate the outside employment if they wish to remain with Sissy’s Log Cabin.

Outside employment that constitutes a conflict of interest is prohibited.  Employees may not receive any income or material gain from individuals outside of Sissy’s Log Cabin fro materials produced or services rendered while performing their jobs.  This includes buying, selling, performing labor, or designing out of the realms.

1.3g NON-DISCLOSURE

The protection of confidential business information and trade secrets is vital to the interests and the success of Sissy’s Log Cabin.  Such confidential information includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:

Compensation Data                                        Customer Lists

Customer Preferences                                   Financial Information

Labor Relations Strategies                            Marketing Strategies

New Materials Research                               Pending Projects and Proposals

Proprietary Production Processes

All employees will be required to sign a non-disclosure agreement as a condition of employment.  Employees who improperly use or disclose trade secrets or confidential business information will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment and legal action, even if they do not actually benefit from the disclosed information.

1.3h DISABILITY ACCOMMODATION

Sissy’s Log Cabin is committed to complying fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and ensuring equal opportunity in employment for qualified persons with disabilities.  All employment practices and activities are conducted on a non-discriminatory basis.

Hiring procedures have been reviewed and provide persons with disabilities meaningful employment opportunities.  Upon request, job applications are available in alternative, accessible formats, as is assistance in completing the application.  Pre-employment inquiries are made only regarding an applicant’s ability to perform duties of the position.

Post-offer medical examinations are required only for those positions in which there is a bona fide job-related physical requirement.    They are given to all persons entering the position only after conditional job offers.  Medical records will be kept separate and confidential.

Reasonable accommodation is available to all disabled employees, where the disability affects the performance of job functions.  All employment decisions are based on the merits of the situation in accordance with defined criteria, not the disability of the individual.

Sissy’s Log Cabin is also committed to not discriminating against any qualified employees or applicants because they are related to or associated with a person with a disability.  Sissy’s Log Cabin will follow any state or local law that provides individuals with disabilities greater protection than the ADA.

This policy is neither exhaustive nor exclusive.  Sissy’s Log Cabin is committed to taking all other actions necessary to ensure equal employment opportunity for persons with disabilities in accordance with the ADA and all other applicable federal, state, and local laws.

1.4 EMPLOYMENT STATUS AND RECORDS

1.4a EMPLOYMENT CATEGORIES

It is the intent of SLC to clarify the definitions of employment classifications so that employees understand their employment status and benefits eligibility.  These classifications do not guarantee employment for any specified period of time.  Accordingly, the right to terminate the employment relationship at will at any time is retained by both the employee and SLC.

Each employee is designated as either NON-EXEMPT or EXEMPT from federal and state wage and hour laws.  NON-EXEMPT employees are entitled to overtime pay under specific provisions of federal and state wage and hour laws.  EXEMPT employees are excluded from specific provisions of federal and state wage and hour laws.  An employee’s EXEMPT or NON-EXEMPT classification may be changed only upon written notification by SLC management.

In addition to the above categories, each employee will belong to one other employment category.

FULL-TIME employees are those who are not temporary or introductory status and who are regularly scheduled to work a schedule of 30 hours or more.  Generally, they are eligible for SLC’s benefits package, subject to the terms, conditions and limitations of each benefit program.

PART-TIME employees are those who are not assigned to a temporary or introductory status and who are regularly scheduled to work less than 30 hours per week.  While they do receive all legally mandated benefits (such as Social Security and Worker’s Compensation insurance), they are ineligible for all of SLC’s other benefits programs.

INTRODUCTORY employees are those whose performance is being evaluated to determine whether further employment with SLC is appropriate.  Employees who satisfactorily complete the 90 day probationary period will be notified of their employment classification.  There is no accrual of vacation during this time.

TEMPORARY employees are those who are hired as interim replacements, to temporarily supplement the workforce, or to assist in the completion of a specific project.  Employment in this category is of a limited duration.  Employment beyond any initial stated period does not imply a change in employment status.  All legally mandated benefits are provided to temporary employees.  Some other SLC-sponsored benefits may also be available, subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of each benefit program.

1.4b ACCESS TO PERSONNEL FILES

SLC maintains a personnel file on each employee.  The personnel file includes such information as the employee’s job application, resume, records of training, documentation of performance appraisals and salary increases, and other employment records.

Personnel files are the property of SLC, and access to the information they contain is restricted.  Generally, only supervisors and management personnel of SLC who have a legitimate reason to review information in the file are allowed to do so.

Employees who wish to review their file should contact the President.  With reasonable advance notice, employees may view their own personnel files in SLC’s offices and in the presence of an individual appointed by SLC to maintain the files.

1.4c EMPLOYMENT REFERENCE CHECKS

To ensure that individuals who join SLC are well qualified and have a strong potential to be productive and successful, it is the policy of SLC to check the employment references of all applicants.

SLC will respond in writing only to those reference check inquiries that are submitted in writing.  Responses to such inquiries will confirm only dates of employment, wage rates, and position(s) held.  No employment data will be released without written authorization and release signed by the individual who is the subject of the inquiry.

1.4d PERSONNEL DATA CHANGES

It is the responsibility of each employee to promptly notify SLC of any changes in personnel data.  Personal mailing addresses, telephone numbers, names and numbers of dependents, individuals to be contacted in the event of emergency, educational accomplishments, and other such status reports should be accurate and current at all times.  If any personnel data has changed, notify your manager.

1.4e INTRODUCTORY PERIOD

The introductory period is intended to give new employees the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to achieve a satisfactory level of performance and to determine whether the new position meets their expectations.  SLC uses this period to evaluate employee capabilities, work habits, and overall performance.  Either the employee or SLC may end the employment relationship at will at any time during or after the introductory period, with or without cause or advance notice.

All new and rehired employees work on an introductory basis for the first 90 days after their hire date.  Any significant absence will automatically extend the introductory period by the length of the absence.  If SLC determined that the designated introductory period does not allow sufficient time to thoroughly evaluate the employee’s performance, the period may be extended for a specified time.

Upon satisfactory completion of the introductory period, the employee will enter the “regular” employment classification.

During the introductory period new employees are eligible for those benefits that are required by law.  After becoming regular employees, they may also be eligible for other SLC provided benefits, subject to the terms and conditions of each benefit programs.  Employees should read the information for each specific benefits program for the details on the eligibility requirements.

1.4f EMPLOYMENT APPLICATIONS

SLC relies upon the accuracy of the information contained in the employment application, as well as the accuracy of other data presented throughout the hiring process and employment.  Any misrepresentations, falsifications, or material omissions in any of this information or data may result in SLC’s exclusion of the individual from further considerations for employment or, if the person has been hired, termination of employment.

1.4h PERFORMANCE EVALUATION

Supervisors and employees are strongly encouraged to discuss job performance and goals on an informal, daily basis.  A formal written performance evaluation will be conducted at the end of an employee’s initial period of hire, known as the introductory period.  Additional formal performance evaluations are conducted to provide both supervisors and employees the opportunity to discuss job tasks, identify and correct weaknesses, encourage and recognize strengths, and discuss positive, purposeful approaches for meeting goals.

Performance evaluations are scheduled to coincide with employee anniversary dates.

Performance evaluations do not automatically mean an adjustment in pay.

Merit-based pay adjustments are awarded by SLC in an effort to recognize truly superior employee performance.  The decision to award such an adjustment is dependent upon numerous factors, including the information documented by this formal performance evaluation process.

As a rule, pay raises will only be considered during the annual review.

1.5 EMPLOYEE BENEFITS PROGRAM

1.5a BENEFITS SUMMARY

Eligible employees at SLC are provided with a wide range of benefits.  A number of the programs (such as Social Security, Worker’s Compensation, state disability, and unemployment insurance) cover all employees in the manner described by law.

Benefits eligibility is dependent upon a variety of factors, including employee classification.  Your supervisor can identify the programs for which you are eligible.  Details of many of these programs can be found elsewhere in the handbook.

The following benefit programs are available to eligible employees, and are covered in subsequent sections:

Vacation/Holiday                                              Major Medical Insurance

Worker’s Compensation Insurance              Sick Leave Benefits

Retirement Plan                                               Bereavement Leave

Jury Duty Leave                                                Benefits Continuation (COBRA)

Educational Assistance                                  Employee Discounts

New Employee Moving Expense

Some benefit programs require contributions from employees, but most are fully paid by SLC.

1.5b VACATION/HOLIDAY PAY

Vacation time off with pay is available to eligible employees to provide opportunities for rest, relaxation, and personal pursuits.  Employees in the following employment classification(s) are eligible to earn and use vacation time as described in this policy.

During the introductory period (first 90 days) of employment, NO vacation will accrue.

Full-Time Employees with 1 thru 10 years of employment are entitled to receive 10 days of vacation.  After 10 years, employee is entitled to receive the number of days of vacation equal to the number of years they have worked – up to a maximum of 5 extra days.

Part-Time Employees are not eligible for paid vacation benefits.

Vacation Accrual begins after the introductory period is completed.  Time accrues as follows:

Full Time (1-10 years)                     3.08 hours per pay period

Full Time (11 years)                         3.38 hours per pay period

Full Time (12 years)                         3.69 hours per pay period

Full Time (13 years)                         4 hours per pay period

Full Time (14 years)                         4.31 hours per pay period

Full Time (15+ years)                      4.62 hours per pay period

To schedule vacation time, complete the Vacation Request form and submit to your immediate supervisor for approval.  Requests should be made a minimum of 3 weeks in advance.  Approvals are granted on a first come – first served basis.  Time off WITHOUT pay must be approved accordingly.

When exempt salaried employees are required to work additional days, the days must be accumulated as comp-time and scheduled as vacation with the approval of the store manager.

Eligible employees who have been employed up to 12 months may borrow up to 2 vacation days.  Eligible employees who have been employed more than 12 months may borrow up to 5 days of vacation time.

Full time employees are eligible for the following PAID HOLIDAYS:

New Year’s Day                                                 July 4th

Thanksgiving Day                                              Christmas Day

For all other holidays falling on regularly scheduled work days, we will be open and employees will work as scheduled.  Vacation taken on these days must be approved by the store manager.

1.5c HEALTH BENEFITS

SLC pays 65% of eligible employee’s premium.  Health insurance becomes active on the first day of the month following the original date of hire.  The employees’ portion of the health insurance premium deduction (pre-tax) begins on the pay period after the coverage start date.

This manual does not contain the complete terms and/or conditions of any of the company’s current insurance benefit plans.  It is intended only to provide general explanations.  If there is any conflict between the manual and any documents issued by one of the company’s insurance carriers, the carrier’s guideline regulations will be regarded as authoritative.   Health insurance will be reviewed annually and has a renewal date of November 1 each year.

1.5d WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE

SLC provides a comprehensive workers’ compensation insurance program at no cost to employees.  This coverage covers any injury or illness sustained in the course of employment that requires medical, surgical, or hospital treatment.  Subject to applicable legal requirements, workers’ compensation insurance provides benefits after a short waiting period or, if the employee is hospitalized, immediately.

Employees who sustain work-related injuries or illnesses should inform their supervisor immediately.  No matter how minor an on-the-job injury may appear, it is important that it be reported immediately.  This will enable an eligible employee to qualify for coverage ass quickly as possible.

Neither SLC nor the insurance carrier will be liable for payment of workers’ compensation benefits for injuries that occur during an employee’s voluntary participation in any off-duty recreational, social, or athletic activity sponsored by SLC.

1.5e SICK LEAVE BENEFITS

SLC provides paid sick leave to all eligible employees for a period of temporary absence due to illness or injury.  Eligible employees will accrue sick leave benefits at the rate of 2 days per year (.08 of a day for every full month of service).  Sick leave benefits are calculated on the basis of a “benefit year,” the 12 month period that begins when the employee becomes eligible for benefits.

Paid sick leave can be used in minimum increments of one day.  Eligible employees may use sick leave benefits for an absence due to their own illness or injury or that of a family member who resides in the employee’s household.

It is the employee’s responsibility to ensure that management is informed when illness or injury results in absence from work.

Employees who will be absent are required to call (or have someone else call) their manager or immediate supervisor within one hour of their scheduled reporting time. The reason for the absence and its expected duration should be described during this initial phone call. Employees who fail to contact or arrange contact with their manager will be considered to be on unauthorized leave. Should an employee be absent for an unauthorized leave of three consecutive working days, it may be grounds for dismissal.

For absences of more than 2 (two) successive days, Sissy’s Log Cabin may, at its discretion, request a physician’s statement.

Sick leave benefits will be calculated based on the employee’s base pay rate at the time of absence and will not include any special forms of compensation, such as incentives, commissions, bonuses, or shift differentials.

As an additional condition of eligibility for sick leave benefits, an employee on an extended absence must apply for any other available compensation and benefits, such as workers’ compensation.  Sick leave benefits will be used to supplement any payments that an employee is eligible to receive from state disability insurance, workers’ compensation or SLC provided disability insurance programs.  The combination of any such disability payments and sick leave benefits cannot exceed the employee’s normal weekly earnings.

Sick days may not be used as vacation days, nor may they be cashed out at any time during employment or at termination of employment.

It is the employee’s responsibility to notify the payroll department that they are using a sick day upon return to work.

1.5f RETIREMENT PLAN

Sissy’s Log Cabin offers a unique opportunity for savings, financial growth, and favorable tax treatment.  The plan, Sissy’s Log Cabin Profit Sharing Plan, is a 401(k) plan which permits participants to make elective deferrals to the plan by having a portion of their salary withheld and contributed to the plan.  Traditional elective deferrals are income tax deductible to the employee and are not subject to state or federal income tax withholding.  However, the 401(k) elective deferrals are subject to the withholding of FICA and unemployment.

Currently the plan includes a “safe harbor” feature where the company contributes the safe harbor matching contribution of 100% of all 401(k) deferrals up to 3% of the participant’s compensation plus 50% of all 401(k) deferrals from 3% to 5% of participant’s compensation.

All employees are eligible to participate except for the following:

Under the age of 18                         Contractor

Works less than 1,000 hours in a 12 month period

Plan entry dates are June 1st and December 1st.

1.5g BEREAVEMENT LEAVE

Employees who wish to take time off due to the death of an immediate family member should notify their supervisor immediately.  Up to two (2) days of paid bereavement leave will be provided to FULL-TIME employees.

Bereavement pay is calculated based on the base pay rate at the time of absence and will not include any special forms of compensation such as incentives, commissions, or bonuses.

Approval of bereavement leave will occur in the absence of unusual operating requirements.  Employees may, with their supervisor’s approval, use any available time off as necessary.

SLC defines “immediate family” as the employee’s spouse, parent, child, grandparent, or sibling.

1.5h JURY DUTY

SLC encourages employees to fulfill their civic responsibilities by serving jury duty when required.  Employees in an eligible classification may request up to two (2) weeks of paid jury duty leave over any two (2) year period.

Jury duty pay will be calculated on the employee’s base pay rate less amount paid by the court.

If employees are required to serve jury duty beyond the period of paid jury duty leave, they may use any available paid time off (for example, vacation benefits) or may request an unpaid jury duty leave of absence.

Employees must show the jury duty summons to their supervisor as soon as possible so that the supervisor may make arrangements to accommodate their absence.  Of course, employees are expected to report for work whenever court schedule permits.

Either SLC or the employee may request an excuse from jury duty if, in SLC’s judgment, they employee’s absence would create serious operational difficulties.

SLC will continue to provide all applicable benefits for the full term of jury duty absence.

Benefit accruals, such as vacation, sick leave, or holiday benefits will be suspended during unpaid jury duty leave and will resume upon return to active employment.

1.5i BENEFITS CONTINUATION (COBRA)

The federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) gives employees and their qualified beneficiaries the opportunity to continue health insurance coverage under SLC’s health plan when a “qualifying event” would normally result in a loss of eligibility.  Some common qualifying events are resignation, termination of employment, or death of an employee; a reduction in an employee’s hours or a leave of absence; an employee’s legal divorce or legal separation; and a dependent child no longer meeting eligibility requirements.

Under COBRA, the employee or beneficiary pays the full cost of the coverage at SLC’s group rates plus an administration fee.  SLC provides each eligible employee with a written notice describing rights granted under COBRA when the employee becomes eligible for coverage under SLC’s health insurance plan.  The notice contains important information about the employee’s rights and obligations.

1.5j EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE

SLC recognizes that the skills and knowledge of its employees are critical to the success of the organization.  The educational assistance program encourages personal development through formal education so that employees can maintain and improve job-related skills or enhance their capability to compete for reasonably attainable jobs within SLC.

At SLC’ discretion, SLC will provide educational assistance to eligible employees who have completed 185 calendar days of service in an eligible employment classification.  To maintain eligibility employees must remain on the active payroll and be performing their job satisfactorily through completion of each course.  Regular full-time employees are eligible for educational assistance.

If approved, SLC will pay half up front and the other half upon completion with contract of repayment if not completed.

Individual courses or courses that are part of a degree, licensing or certification program must be related to the employee’s current job duties or a foreseeable future position.  Employees should contact their manager for more information or questions about educational assistance.

While educational assistance is expected to enhance an employee’s performance and professional abilities, SLC cannot guarantee that participation in formal education will entitle the employee to automatic advancement, a different job assignment, or pay increases.

SLC invests in educational assistance to employees with the expectation that the investment be returned through enhanced job performance.  However, if an employee voluntarily separates from SLC’s employment within one year of the last educational assistance payment, the amount of the payment will be considered only a loan.  Accordingly, the employee will be required to repay up to 100% of the original educational assistance payment.

A date of completion must be set before the educational assistance begins and must be agreed upon by the employee, their immediate supervisor, and the President of SLC.

At the time of approval, a summary of costs, payment arrangements, and expected completion dates will be signed by all parties.

1.5k EMPLOYEE DISCOUNT

After an employee has completed the 3 month probationary period, they will be eligible to purchase merchandise as follows:

Merchandise must be in SLC inventory at least 2 weeks.  Employees may not order directly from any vendor (Special Order) without management approval.  Such special orders will still be subject to the policy as outlined below, unless vendors offer special considerations.

All employee and family purchases must be approved by management.

FULL-TIME:

Cash sales and repairs (paid by cash or check) are cost plus 5% for employees and their spouse on jewelry items, and cost plus 15% on gift items (excluding antique furniture and consignments).  The same would apply if financed through SLC Financing (rate to be determined by credit score).   If paid by employee credit or debit card, or Wells Fargo (see Management for approval) there will be an additional 2% (cost + 7%).  Any SLC Finance financing over $5000 must be approved by Bill Jones.

Charge and layaway sales will be cost plus 30%. – *Rolex and loose diamonds may not be put on charge account or on layaway.*

Grown children of employees – cost plus 25% (cash only)

Direct family members (parents, siblings) – 20% off retail

If the fiancé of an SLC employee wishes to purchase their engagement ring and wedding band from SLC, the may do so at cost plus 20%.

PART-TIME:

Cash sales and repairs – 25% off retail

Layaway – 15% off retail

Discounts for family members must be approved by management.

TEMPORARY:

Cash sales and repairs – 20% off retail 

1.5l EMPLOYEE MOVING EXPENSE

SLC will reimburse employee moving expenses (new employees or transferred employees) up to a maximum of $3,500 after receipts are submitted and verified

1.5m EMPLOYEE TENURE AWARDS

SLC recognizes the importance of relationships and understands that it is our employees who build the relationships that enhance our business on a daily basis.  In addition to the additional vacation time as referenced in section 1.5b, we recognize and honor our tenured full-time employees as follows;

5 years –              $100 and 1 day off with pay

10 years –             $500 and 1 day off with pay

15 years –             $1,000 and 1 day off with pay

20 years –             Stainless Steel and 18k Rolex timepiece

1.5n INCLEMENT WEATHER

SLC is always concerned for the safety of our employees during inclement weather.  During inclement weather situations, decisions will be made that are in the best interest of the business, while also considering the safety of our employees.  In the event that inclement weather dictates the store be closed for business, all employees will be notified by their Manager or designee.

SLC will allow up to 16 hours (2 days) pay per year in the event that a store cannot be opened due to inclement weather.  If you are a full-time or part-time employee who is scheduled to work the day of the closure, you will be paid for the day as per hours scheduled (up to 8 hours).  If you are not scheduled to work that day you will not be paid for the day.  If the store opens and you (the employee) do not feel comfortable or safe coming to work, you will have the option of taking a vacation day for the day missed.

1.6 PAYROLL

1.6a TIMEKEEPING

Accurately recording time worked is the responsibility of every non-exempt employee.  Federal and state law requires SLC to keep an accurate record of time worked in order to calculate employee pay and benefits in accordance with all applicable laws.  Time worked is the time actually spent on the job performing assigned duties.

Employees are expected to accurately record their time worked via SLC computer based TIME CLOCK function.

It is the employee’s responsibility to certify the accuracy of all time recorded.  The supervisor will review and verify time before submitting to payroll for processing.  In addition, if corrections or modifications are made to the time record, both the employee and the supervisor must verify the accuracy of the changes by initialing the time record.

Occasionally, SLC requires employees to work additional at shows or work-related events.  Exempt salaried employees are expected to work these events.  If non-exempt employees are required to work additional hours, they will be compensated accordingly.  When possible, schedules may, at the discretion of SLC management, be adjusted to minimize overtime hours.

Jewelers or watchmakers who work “show duty” will be compensated for 10 hours on a full show day, or 5 hours on a partial day.

1.6b PAY PERIODS

All employees are paid biweekly on every other Friday.  Each paycheck will include earnings for all work performed through the end of the previous payroll period.

In the event that a regularly scheduled payday falls on a day off, employees will receive pay on the last day of work before the regularly scheduled payday.

If a regular payday falls during an employee’s vacation, the employee’s paycheck will be available upon his/her return from vacation.

Employees with direct deposit can expect their paychecks to be deposited on payday, or the working day before (in the event payday falls on a holiday).

1.6c EMPLOYMENT TERMINATION

Termination of employment is an inevitable part of personnel activity within any organization, and many of the reasons are routine.  Below are examples of some of the most common circumstances under which employment is terminated:

RESIGNATION – Voluntary employment termination initiated by an employee.

DISCHARGE – Involuntary employment initiated by the organization.

LAYOFF – Involuntary employment termination initiated by the organization for non-disciplinary reasons.

RETIREMENT – Voluntary employment termination initiated by the employee meeting age, length of service, and any other criteria for retirement from the organization.

SLC will generally schedule exit interviews at the time of employment termination.  The exit interview will afford an opportunity to discuss issues such as employee benefits, conversion privileges, repayment of outstanding debts to SLC, or return of SLC owned property.  Suggestions, complaints, and questions can also be voiced.

Since employment with SLC is based on mutual consent, both the employee and SLC have the right to terminate employment at will, with or without cause, at any time.  Employees will receive their final pay in accordance with applicable state law.  Any earned commission at time of termination will be paid according to normal commission schedule (2 week delay).

Employment benefits will be affected by employment termination in the following manner:  All accrued vested benefits that are due and payable at termination will be paid.  Some benefits may be continued at the employee’s expense if the employee so chooses.  The employee will be notified in writing of the benefits that may be continued and of the terms, conditions, and limitations of such continuance.

1.6d PAY ADVANCES

As a general rule, SLC does not provide pay advances on unearned wages to employees.  Any special exceptions must be approved by Sissy, Bill or Kim.

Employees may get IOU’s up to $200.00 per pay period that will be payroll deducted.

1.6e ADMINISTRATIVE PAY CORRECTIONS

SLC takes all reasonable steps to ensure that employees receive the correct amount of pay in each paycheck and that employees are paid promptly on the scheduled payday.

In the unlikely event that there is an error in the amount of pay, the employee should promptly bring the discrepancy to the attention of their immediate supervisor so that corrections can be made as quickly as possible.  These corrections will be made the following pay period.

1.6f PAY DEDUCTIONS AND SETOFFS

The law requires that SLC make certain deductions from every employee’s compensation.  Among these are applicable federal, state and local income taxes.  SLC must also deduct Social Security taxes on each employee’s earnings up to a specified amount that is called the Social Security “wage base.”  SLC matches the amount of Social Security paid by each employee.

SLC offers programs and benefits beyond those required by law.  Eligible employees may voluntarily authorize deductions from their paychecks to cover the costs to participate in these programs.

Pay setoffs are pay deductions taken by SLC, usually to help pay off a debt or obligation to SLC or others.

If you have questions concerning why deductions were made from your paycheck or how they were calculated, your office manager can assist in having your questions answered.

1.7 WORK CONDITIONS AND HOURS

1.7a WORK SCHEDULE

Work schedules for employees vary throughout our organization.  Supervisors will advise employees of their individual work schedules.  Staffing needs and operational demands may necessitate variations in starting and ending times, as well as variations in the total hours that may be scheduled each day and week.

1.7b COMMUNICATION

Personal use of telephones should be kept to a minimum, and calls should be limited to 3 minutes.  Personal long distance calls on company phones are not allowed.

Cell phones should not be used on the sales floor.  If employees use cell phones for business purposes, they should do so off of the sales floor.

To ensure effective telephone communication, employees should always use the approved greeting and speak in a courteous and professional manner.  Incoming calls should be answered by the third ring.

“Good (morning/afternoon), Sissy’s Log Cabin, this is __________.  How may I help you?”

Personal use of internet for non-business purposes is not acceptable.

1.7c TOBACCO USE

In keeping with SLC’s intent to provide a safe and healthful work environment, the use of tobacco products (including smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes) in the workplace is prohibited.  Employees may only use such products in designated areas and must be out of customer view. 

1.7d MEAL PERIODS

All employees receive a 1 hour lunch break.  The employee’s supervisor will designate a lunch schedule when necessary.

As a convenience to employees who do not wish to leave for lunch, there will be a restaurant chosen daily for lunch.  The chosen restaurant and menu (when available) will be posted by 9:30 a.m. or shortly thereafter.  Employees wishing to order lunch should do so by 10:30 a.m.

A designated person will place the lunch order and go get it.  SLC will advance payment for lunches ordered from the designated restaurant each day.  At the end of each pay period, advancements will be payroll deducted.

1.7e COMPANY EQUIPMENT AND VEHICLES

Equipment and vehicles essential in accomplishing job duties are expensive and may be difficult to replace.  When using property, employees are expected to exercise care, perform required maintenance, and follow all operating instructions, safety standards, and guidelines.

Please notify your supervisor if any equipment, machines, tools, or vehicles appear to be damaged, defective, or in need of repair.  Prompt reporting could prevent deterioration of equipment and possible injury to employees or others.  The supervisor can answer any questions about an employee’s responsibility for maintenance of equipment or vehicles used on the job.

The improper, careless, negligent, destructive, or unsafe use or operation of equipment or vehicles, as well as excessive or avoidable traffic and parking violations, can result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

1.7f  BUSINESS TRAVEL EXPENSES

SLC will reimburse employees for reasonable business travel expenses incurred while on assignments away from the normal work location.  All business travel must be approved in advance by the President.

Employees whose travel plans have been approved should make all arrangements through SLC’s designated travel agency.

When approved, the actual costs of travel, meals, lodging, and other expenses directly related to accomplishing business travel objectives will be reimbursed by SLC.  Employees are expected to limit expenses to reasonable amounts.

Expenses that will generally be reimbursed include the following:

Airfare or train fare for travel in coach or economy class or the lowest fare available.

Car rental fees for compact or mid-size cars

Fares for shuttle or airport bus service, where available; cost of public transportation for other ground travel

Taxi fares, only when there is no less expensive alternative

Mileage cost for use of personal cars, only when less expensive alternative is not available

Cost of standard accommodations in low to mid-priced hotels, motels, or similar lodging

Cost of meals, no more lavish than would be eaten at the employee’s own expense

Tips not exceeding 15% or meal or 10% of taxi fare

Charges for telephone, fax, and similar services required for business purposes

Charges for 1 personal call per day

Charges for laundry and valet services, only on trips in excess of 5 days (personal entertainment and personal care items are not reimbursed)

Employees who are involved in an accident while travelling on business must promptly report the incident to their immediate supervisor.  Vehicles owned, leased, or rented by SLC may not be used for personal use without prior approval.

Cash advances to cover reasonable anticipated expenses may be made to employees, after travel has been approved.  Employees should submit a written request to their immediate supervisor when advances are needed.

With prior approval, employees on business travel may be accompanied by a family member or friend, so long as the presence of a companion will not interfere with the successful completion of business objectives.  Generally, employees are also permitted to combine personal travel with business travel, as long as time away from work is approved.  Additional expenses arising from non-business travel are the responsibility of the employee.

When travel is completed, employees should submit completed travel expense reports within two (2) days.  Reports should be accompanied by receipts for all individual expenses.

Abuse, including falsifying expense reports, can be grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.

1.7g VISITORS IN THE WORKPLACE

To provide for the safety and security of employees and the facilities at SLC, only authorized visitors are allowed into certain areas of the workplace.  Restricting unauthorized visitors helps maintain safety standards, protects against theft, ensures security of equipment, protects confidential information, safeguards employee welfare, and avoids potential distractions and disturbances.

All visitors should enter SLC at the main entrance.  Authorized visitors will receive directions or be escorted to their destination.  Employees are responsible for the conduct and safety of their visitors.

If an unauthorized individual is observed on SLC’s premises, employees should immediately notify their supervisor or, if necessary, direct the individual to the main entrance.

1.8 LEAVES OF ABSENCE

1.8a MEDICAL LEAVE

SLC provides medical leaves of absence without pay to eligible employees who are temporarily unable to work due to a serious health condition or disability.  For purposes of this policy, serious health conditions or disabilities include inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility; and continuing treatment by a health care provider.

Full-time and part-time employees are eligible to request medical leave as described in this policy.

Eligible employees may request medical leave only after having completed one year of service.  Exceptions to the service requirement will be considered to accommodate disabilities.

Eligible employees should make requests to their supervisors at least 30 days in advance of foreseeable events, or as soon as possible after unforeseeable events.

A health care provider’s statement must be submitted verifying a need for medical leave and its beginning and ending period.  Any changes in this information should be promptly reported to SLC.  Employees returning from medical leave must submit a health care provider’s verification of their fitness to return to work.

Eligible employees are normally granted leave for the period of disability, up to a maximum of 12 weeks within any 12 month period.  Medical leave may not exceed this maximum limit.  At the discretion of SLC, extensions to this period may be considered.  Employees may be required to first use any accrued paid leave time before taking unpaid medical leave unless approved by management.

Employees who sustain work-related injuries are eligible for medical leave of absence for the period of disability in accordance with all applicable laws covering occupational disabilities.

So that an employee’s return to work can be properly scheduled, an employee on medical leave is requested to contact their manager with at least two weeks advance notice of the date the employee intends to return to work.  When a medical leave ends, the employee will be reinstated to the same position, if it is available, or to an equivalent position for which the employee is qualified.

If an employee fails to report to work promptly at the end of medical leave, SLC will assume that the employee has resigned.

1.8b FAMILY LEAVE

SLC provides family leaves of absence to eligible full-time and part-time employees who wish to take time off from work duties to fulfill family obligations relating directly to childbirth, adoption, or placement of a foster child; or to care for a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition.  A serious health condition means an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential care facility; or continued treatment by a health care provider.

Eligible employees may request family leave only after having completed one year of service.  Eligible employees should make requests for family leave to their supervisor at least 30 days in advance of foreseeable events or as soon as possible after unforeseeable events.

Employees requesting family leave related to serious health condition of a child, spouse, or parent may be required to submit a health care provider’s statement verifying the need for a family leave to provide care, its beginning and expected ending dates, and the estimated time required.

Eligible employees may request up to a maximum of 12 weeks of family leave within any 12 month period.  Any combination of family leave and medical leave may not exceed this maximum limit.  If this initial period of absence proves insufficient, consideration will be given to a written request for a single extension of no more than 60 calendar days.  Employees will be required to first use any accrued paid leave time before taking unpaid family leave.  Married employee couples may be restricted to a combined total of 12 weeks leave within any 12 month period for childbirth, adoption, or placement of a foster child; or to care for a parent with a serious health condition.

Subject to the terms, conditions, and limitations of applicable plans, SLC will continue to provide health insurance benefits for the full period of the approved family leave.

1.8c PREGNANCY RELATED ABSENCES

SLC will not discriminate against any employee who requests an excused absence for medical disabilities associated with pregnancy.  Such leave requests will be evaluated according to the medical leave policy provisions outlined in this handbook and all applicable federal and state laws.

Requests for time off associated with pregnancy and/or childbirth, such as bonding and child care, not related to medical disabilities for those conditions will be considered in the same manner as other requests for unpaid family leave.  SLC will allow for up to nine (9) weeks for leave (unpaid).

Refer to Family Medical Leave Act Policy

1.9 EMPLOYEE CONDUCT AND DISCIPLINARY ACTION

1.9a EMPLOYEE CONDUCT AND WORK RULES

To ensure orderly operations and provide the best possible work environment, SLC expects employees to follow rules of conduct that will protect the interests and safety of all employees and the organization.

It is not possible to list all the forms of behavior that are considered unacceptable in the workplace.  The following are examples of infractions of rules of conduct that may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment:

  • Theft or inappropriate removal or possession of property
  • Falsification of timekeeping records
  • Working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
  • Possession, distribution, sale, transfer, or use of alcohol or illegal drugs in the workplace, while on duty, or while operating company owned equipment
  • Fighting or threatening violence in the workplace
  • Boisterous or disruptive activity in the workplace
  • Negligence or improper conduct leading to damage of company owned or customer owned property
  • Insubordination or other disrespectful conduct
  • Violation of safety or health rules
  • Smoking in prohibited areas
  • Sexual or other unlawful or unwelcome harassment
  • Possession of dangerous or unauthorized materials, such as explosives
  • Excessive absenteeism or absence without notice
  • Unauthorized disclosure of confidential business or client information
  • Violation of personnel policies

Employment with SLC is at the mutual consent of SLC and the employee, and either party may terminate that relationship at any time, with or without cause, and with or without advance notice.

1.9b DRUG AND ALCOHOL USE

It is SLC’s desire to provide a drug-free, healthful and safe workplace.  To promote this goal, employees are required to report to work in appropriate mental and physical condition to perform their jobs in a satisfactory manner.

While on SLC premises and while conducting business related activities off SLC premises, no employee may use, possess, distribute, sell, or be under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs.  The legal use of prescribed drugs is permitted on the job only if it does not impair an employee’s ability to perform the essential functions of the job effectively and in a safe manner that does not endanger other individuals in the workplace.

Violations of this policy may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including immediate termination of employment, and/or required participation in a substance abuse rehabilitation or treatment program.  Such violations may also have legal consequences.

To inform employees about important provisions of this policy, SLC has established a drug-free awareness program.  The program provides information of the dangers and effects of substance abuse in the workplace, resources available to the employees and consequences for violations of this policy.

Employees with questions on this policy or issues related to drug or alcohol use in the workplace should raise their concerns with their supervisor or the President, without fear of reprisal.

Sissy’s Log Cabin reserves the right to randomly drug test.

1.9c SEXUAL AND OTHER UNLAWFUL HARASSMENT

SLC is committed to providing an environment that is free of discrimination and unlawful harassment.  Actions, words, jokes, or comments based on an individual’s sex, race, ethnicity, age, religion, or any other legally protected characteristic will not be tolerated.  As an example, sexual harassment (both overt and subtle) is a form of employee misconduct that is demeaning to another person, undermines the integrity of the employee relationship, and is strictly prohibited.

Any employee who wants to report an incident of sexual or other unlawful harassment should promptly report the matter to his or her supervisor.  If the supervisor is unavailable or the employee believes it would be inappropriate to contact that person, the employee should immediately contact the President or any other member of management.

Any supervisor or manager who becomes aware of possible sexual or other unlawful harassment should promptly advise the President or any member of management who will handle the manner in a timely and confidential manner.

Anyone engaging in sexual or other unlawful harassment will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

1.9d ATTENDANCE AND PUNCTUALITY

To maintain a safe and productive work environment, SLC expects employees to be reliable and to be punctual in reporting for scheduled work.  Absenteeism and tardiness place a burden on other employees and on SLC.  In the rare instances when employees cannot avoid being late for work or are unable to work as scheduled, they should notify their supervisor as soon as possible in advance of the anticipated tardiness or absence.

Poor attendance and excessive tardiness are disruptive and may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.

1.9e PERSONAL APPEARANCE

Sissy’s Log Cabin employees are expected to wear appropriate business attire.  Employees are expected to dress neatly and to exercise common sense in selecting clothing and footwear appropriate for a business environment.  Jeans are not acceptable for men or women.

It is suggested that men wear a suit or dress slacks, coat and tie at all times on the sales floor.  However, at manager’s discretion employees may opt to not wear a tie.  Coats must be worn at all times on the sales floor.  Full button up shirts should be clean and pressed.

Ladies may wear dress pants or skirts and modest blouse, or dresses.  Shoulders and at least 50% of the upper arm must be covered (short sleeved).  Sleeveless blouses or dresses are not appropriate.  Dresses or skirts should be no shorter than 3” above the knees.

Leggings are not appropriate as outerwear.  Leggings may be worn under a dress or tunic that is no shorter than 3” above the knee.

Shoes should be appropriate for business attire. Athletic shoes, flip flops, crocs may not be worn on the sales floor.

Jewelers and watchmakers should dress neatly in attire appropriate for a shop environment.  When coming to the sales floor, a clean apron or lab coat should be worn.  A clean SLC Polo shirt is acceptable at manager discretion.

Management will have discretion in all personal appearance related matters in determining appropriateness.

1.9f RETURN OF PROPERTY

Employees are responsible for all property, materials, or written information issued to them or in their possession or control.  Client files and information remain the property of SLC.  Employees must return all SLC property immediately upon request or termination of employment. 

1.9g RESIGNATION

Resignation is a voluntary act initiated by the employee to terminate employment with SLC.  SLC requests at least a 2 week written notice from employees.

Prior to the employee’s departure, an exit interview will be scheduled to discuss the reasons for resignation and the effect of resignation on benefits.  Employees will be required to return all company property as stated in section 1.9f of this manual.

If an employee does not provide advanced notice as requested, the employee will be considered ineligible for rehire.

1.9h PROGRESSIVE DISCIPLINE

The purpose of this policy is to state SLC’s position on administering equitable and consistent discipline for unsatisfactory conduct or performance in the workplace.  The best disciplinary measure is the one that does not have to be enforced and comes from good leadership and fair supervision at all employment levels.

SLC’s own best interest lies in ensuring fair treatment of all employees and making certain that disciplinary actions are prompt, uniform, and impartial.  The major purpose of any disciplinary action is to correct the problem, prevent recurrence, and prepare the employee for satisfactory service in the future.

Although employment with SLC is based on mutual consent and both the employee and SLC have the right to terminate employment at will, with or without cause or advance notice, SLC may use progressive disciplinary action at its discretion.

Disciplinary action may call for any of four steps – verbal warning, written warning, suspension with or without pay, or termination of employment – depending on the severity of the problem and the number of occurrences.  There may be circumstances when one or more steps are bypassed.

Progressive discipline means that, with respect to most disciplinary problems, these steps will normally be followed: a first offense may call for a verbal warning; a next offense may call for a written warning; another offense may lead to a suspension; and, still another offense may then lead to termination of employment.  If more than six months have passed since the last disciplinary action, the process will normally start over.

SLC recognizes that there are certain types of employee problems that are serious enough to justify either a suspension, or, in extreme situations, termination of employment, without going through the usual progressive discipline steps.

While it is impossible to list every type of behavior that may be deemed a serious offense, the EMPLOYEE CONDUCT AND WORK RULES (section 1.9a) policy includes examples of problems that may result in immediate suspension or termination of employment.  However, the problems listed are not all necessarily serious offenses, but may be examples of unsatisfactory conduct that will trigger progressive discipline.

By using progressive discipline, we hope that most employee problems can be corrected at an early stage, benefiting both the employee and SLC.

CHAPTER 2 – SECURITY (RISK MANAGEMENT)

2.1 INVENTORY CONTROL

2.1a        CASE COUNTS

Proper accounting for all SLC inventory is crucial and necessary.  SLC has identified certain inventory categories that must be counted and balanced against inventory records on a daily basis.

Each morning, prior to opening, cases will be counted and counts will be matched to the official showcase count in JCS.  In the event that there is a discrepancy, every effort will be made to correct the discrepancy.  If the case cannot be balanced, the missing item will be moved to the missing items showcase, and the President and Regional Manager will be notified

2.1b       MONTHLY INVENTORY SCAN

To further enhance our ability to account for inventory, all inventory item should be scanned on a monthly basis by a designated employee.  Stores should have a rolling schedule of cases/categories that are physically inventoried during each monthly cycle.  Any items not accounted for in the physical inventory will be transferred to the missing items case until located, and the President and Regional Manager will be notified.

2.2 SUSPICIOUS CUSTOMER AWARENESS

2.2a  ANDERSON APPRAISAL

Sissy’s Log Cabin is committed to the safety and security of our employees and our customers.  To create a greater sense of awareness in the event of an uncomfortable situation in the store, SLC has implemented a system whereby all personnel may be notified.  Should an employee feel uncomfortable with a customer or situation, they should immediately use the words “Anderson Appraisal” in a manner for other employees to hear.

This is not intended to amplify the situation.

2.2b SAVAGE APPRAISAL

In the event that the previous mentioned system elevates to critical, the same procedure would be followed using the words “Savage Appraisal.”  This would indicate that an event is eminent or is occurring.

It is the policy of Sissy’s Log Cabin that employees use extreme care not to put themselves in a dangerous position.  Every effort should be taken to get out of harm’s way wherever possible.

2.2c ALARM DURESS CODE

In the event of an after-hours incident or an incident that requires an employee to enter the store after the alarm has been set, each Sissy’s Log Cabin location has set an alarm code that will immediately alert the police that help is needed, without further compromising the safety of the employee.  Your store Manager will supply that code.

2.3 INTERNAL INVESTIGATIONS AND/OR SEARCHES

It is Sissy’s Log Cabin’s desire to provide a safe and comfortable environment for all.  When a situation arises where a complaint, an accusation, alleged employee misconduct, or a rumor of something amiss arises, the company will complete a thorough investigation to gather facts, sort out details, and reach a decision to appropriate action.  Investigations will be conducted in full compliance with all applicable laws.  Whenever necessary, local law enforcement may be involved to assist with interviews and investigations.  During the investigation, SLC reserves the right to place employee on temporary unpaid leave.

2.4 BUILDING SECURITY

During business hours, all doors should be accessible according to law.  All rear entry doors should be inaccessible from the outside.  During non-business times, the vault should be securely locked, all exterior leading doors should be secured and locked, and security alarms should be armed.

2.5 KEYS

At the manager’s discretion, keys may be assigned to certain employees.  These keys may not be duplicated without the company’s permission.  All keys remain the property of Sissy’s Log Cabin and must be returned upon termination of employment.

CHAPTER 3 – INTERNET AND SOCIAL MEDIA

3.1 EMAIL

Sissy’s Log Cabin provides employees with company email accounts.  These accounts are solely for the purpose of conducting Company business.  Personal email access should not take place on company computers or devices.

Keep in mind that the Company owns any communication sent via email or that is stored on company equipment. Management and other authorized staff have the right to access any material in your email or on your computer at any time. Please do not consider your electronic communication, storage or access to be private if it is created or stored on work systems.

3.2 COMPUTER AND INTERNET ACCESS

Internet use, on Company time, is authorized to conduct Company business only.

Internet use brings the possibility of breaches to the security of confidential Company information. Internet use also creates the possibility of contamination to our system via viruses or spyware. Spyware allows unauthorized people, outside of the Company, potential access to Company passwords and other confidential information.

Removing such programs from the Company network requires IT staff to invest time and attention that is better devoted to progress. For this reason, and to assure the use of work time appropriately for work, we ask staff members to limit Internet use.

Additionally, under no circumstances may Company owned computers or other electronic equipment, including devices owned by the employee, be used on Company time, to obtain, view, or reach any pornographic, or otherwise immoral, unethical, or non-business-related Internet sites. Doing so can lead to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.

3.3 USE OF PERSONAL SOCIAL MEDIA FOR BUSINESS PURPOSES

Sissy’s Log Cabin understands that part of what you do in social media is outreach that enhances our Company brand.  With Company approval, some employees may choose to set up a personalized social media account for business purposes.

SLC also understands that the relationship of our employees to an online world that you spend time in 24/7 can lead to the blurring of work time and off work time.

We strongly encourage you to limit the use of social media to work-related content and outreach during work hours.

Additionally, you are prohibited from sharing any confidential or protected information that belongs to or is about the Company. You are strongly encouraged not to share disparaging information that places Sissy’s Log Cabin or coworkers in an unfavorable light.

The Company’s reputation and brand should be protected by all employees. The lives and actions of your coworkers should never be shared online. Please note the preferences of fellow employees who are parents before you use the name of their children online.

In social media participation from work devices or during working hours, social media content that discriminates against any protected classification including age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or genetic information is prohibited.  Any employee, who participates in social media, who violates this policy will be dealt with according to the harassment policy.

CHAPTER 4 – INVENTORY

4.1 PURCHASING

4.1a General Merchandise Purchasing

Maintaining proper inventory mix and levels is very important to the overall health of Sissy’s Log Cabin’s business.  After careful analysis, efforts are made to properly inventory each location based on a needs of each individual location as well as that of the company as a whole.

All inventory purchases over $500 will be made by Sissy, Bill and/or the Merchandising Manager.  Orders less than $500 may be approved by the store manager.  Whenever possible, similar items should be sought from other store’s inventory prior to placing an order.

4.1b Quick Turn Re-Order

Items sold within 3 months of purchase will be designated as “quick turn.”  These will be reviewed and reordered weekly by the Merchandising Manager.  Special Order merchandise will not factor in this reorder until a pattern of sell through has been established.

4.1c Special Order Merchandise

Special Orders may be placed with Manager’s approval, based on individual store needs.  Customers should pay a significant non-refundable deposit or payment in full prior to the order being placed.

4.2 CUSTOM DESIGN

One of the things that sets Sissy’s Log Cabin apart is our ability to custom design that perfect jewelry item for our customers.  This process requires clear communication throughout several steps.  Once a clear understanding is received from the customer, the associate will submit the concept for pricing.  A minimum 20%, non-refundable down payment must be collected prior to commencement of a custom design.

On complicated designs, we may ask the customer to come back and approve a wax rendering.  If the wax is not made to the specs submitted, SLC will make 1 re-design at no additional charge.

NOTE – If the custom jeweler creates a finished product that is not in line with the concept, drawing or wax approved by the customer, it will be re-made at no cost to the customer and the jeweler will not be paid for the remake.

4.3 MEMO PROGRAMS

Sissy’s Log Cabin maintains strategic relationships with many vendors who supply merchandise to us through a managed memo program.  This allows us to have a broader selection of merchandise and maximize our inventory investment.

Memo programs may only be entered into after receiving approval from Sissy, Bill, or the Merchandising Manager.  It is imperative that all vendor tags remain on inventory received as a part of a memo program unless permission is specifically communicated from the vendor or the Merchandising Manager.

4.4 MERCHANDISE ON APPROVAL

On occasion, customers may be offered the option to take a piece of merchandise on approval or to wear to a significant community event, without paying.  The following steps should always be followed:

  • A sales ticket should be written and approved by the Manager
  • Customer must sign the indemnity agreement before taking the merchandise
  • Customer must understand that they are liable for the full market value in the event of loss or damage

Employees may, with Manager approval, wear Sissy’s Log Cabin jewelry to a store sponsored event.  If said merchandise is lost, stolen or damaged, the employee could be liable for the off premises deductible up to $1,000.  It should be noted that many vendors will not allow their tags to be removed from merchandise that is on memo.  You should check with the manager prior to removing tags.

4.5 CONSIGNMENT MERCHANDISE

When it can be mutually beneficial to our customer and Sissy’s Log Cabin, we may consider taking customer owned merchandise on a consignment basis.  Merchandise taken on consignment must be carefully evaluated to ensure that it meets the criteria of merchandise that would be sold at SLC.

Depending on the condition, there may be an upfront fee of $100 to refurbish the item to like new condition.  If we are taking in a timepiece, the consignee will be responsible for the charge to refurbish the timepiece to like-new condition.

Items that were not originally purchased from SLC will be taken in at wholesale.  Items that were originally purchased from SLC will be consigned with 1/3 of the selling price to the company and 2/3 to the consignee.

A consignment contract must be fully completed and signed by the consignee.  A copy will be given to the consignee.  Upon sale of the merchandise, the consignee will be paid the agreed upon amount after our 30 day return period.

SLC will keep the merchandise on consignment for a period of 90 days from the date of the contract.  After that time, the price will be re-negotiated or the item(s) will be returned.  Any merchandise left on consignment during the month of May will be discounted 15% off the price (as stated in the consignment contract).

4.6 TRADE-IN MERCHANDISE

4.6a Diamond Trade In

A customer’s diamond may not always be forever.  We offer a lifetime diamond trade in policy on diamonds purchased from Sissy’s Log Cabin.  Customers will receive 100% credit* of the original purchase price when they purchase a diamond of greater value.

If the trade in diamond was not originally purchased at SLC, the manager will evaluate the diamond and assign a fair market trade in value.

*The diamond being upgraded must be in its original condition, free of any damage, and accompanied by the original GIA, EGL, or AGS lab report.  If the report is not returned with the trade, we will deduct $100 from the original price.

Other jewelry and watch items may be taken for trade-in credit at the discretion of the Manager.  Items will be evaluated at wholesale price.

*See addendum on next page

4.6b Assigning a Trade-In Value

A cost factor will be assigned to a trade in item that corresponds to the cost factor of the new item.  For example, if the new item has a retail price of $1,000, and the cost is $600, then the cost factor is .60 (or 60%).  Therefore the amount given for the trade in will be multiplied by that same factor (.60) to determine the cost.  An appropriate retail value will then be established based on that cost.

4.6c Employee Purchase of Trade-In Merchandise

Employees may purchase merchandise that has been traded in.  This does not fall under the same policy as new merchandise.  Pricing for employee purchase of trade-in merchandise will be given by Bill.

4.7 AGED ROLEX

Any Rolex that has been in inventory for more than 3 years, and is not part of our basic stock requirement will be identified as “aged.”  Aged Rolex will be discounted at -20%.  After 4 years the discount will go to -30%.  Commission will be paid at 2%.

If a store has a basic stock piece that reaches 4 years, a photo should be taken and circulated to the other stores to see if they have a need for the piece.

4.8 CLEARANCE MERCHANDISE

From time to time, Sissy’s Log Cabin will identify certain merchandise as “Clearance.”  This will be done by Bill or the Merchandising Manager only.  This merchandise will be clearly marked and the clearance price will be communicated to the stores.  Commissions on clearance items will be paid at full rate as long as it is not discounted beyond the communicated discount percentage.

4.9 MILITARY / FIRST RESPONDER DISCOUNT

Sissy’s Log Cabin appreciates the service of our military and first responder personnel.  As a show of our appreciation, all active military personnel and active first responders will receive 10% (no exceptions).  Commissions will be paid at 2%.

CHAPTER 5 – FINANCING / CREDIT

5.1 LAY AWAY

As a service to our customers, the company offers a generous layaway option.  Customers may place items in layaway for a period up to 12 months.  A down payment in the amount of 15% of the total purchase is required, and the customer is expected to make a monthly payment.

Monthly statements will not be sent UNLESS payment is not received.  If payment is not received within 60 days, the customer will be contacted by telephone.  After 90 days without payment, the item will be returned to stock and the layaway will be cancelled.  A 10% re-stocking fee will be assessed on all layaways cancelled for non-payment.

Any exceptions must be approved by management and clearly noted.

5.2 IN-HOUSE CHARGE (A/R)

From time to time, certain customers may be extended the privilege of in-house financing on a 30-60-90 basis, with an interest rate of 9.5%.  These should be carefully monitored and offered only to select customers.  It is important to clearly explain to the customer the terms and rate of the charge, and that the customers sign the charge ticket.  A list will be maintained with the names of customers who are approved for in-house financing, and will be updated monthly.

All charge items over $5,000 should have an Arkansas security lien completed.

Managers can approve in house charges up to $30,000 with 3 equal payments.  New customers are required to complete a credit application, and sign the sales ticket.  A separate security agreement will also be required.  Managers may also, in certain instances, approve a charge with no interest.  Sales commissions will not be paid on any charge that is not approved by a manager.

Any in-house charge that does not fit into the above mentioned criteria will be considered a “wild card.”  These can only be approved by a manager.  In the event that a wild card is used, an email should be sent to Bill, Kim, and William with the terms and the reason for the transaction.

All charges will incur 9.5% interest unless clearly noted on sales ticket.  A minimum monthly payment is also required.

5.3 BANK FINANCING

5.3a Wells Fargo

Sissy’s Log Cabin has partnered with Wells Fargo to offer an array of no interest and low interest financing.  Since these offerings may change from time to time, sales staff should check with the manager or office to ensure that current options are being presented.

Approvals and credit limits are determined via an online internet processing system based on the information obtained from the credit application.

5.3b Relyance Bank

Sissy’s Log Cabin has partnered with Relyance Bank to offer low interest financing for jewelry purchases.  Credit applications are required.  Once applications are processed, all pertinent information is submitted to Kim (or designated employee) for approval.

CHAPTER 6 – SHIPPING / RECEIVING

6.1 PACKAGING FOR SHIPPING

When shipping merchandise, care should be taken that items are wrapped in protective wrapping to avoid scratching and/or damage during the shipping process.  Items should then be double boxed for additional protection and security.

Shipping labels should have generic names that do not indicate the contents of the package.  For example, a package going to Jewelry World might be addressed to J.W. instead.

6.2 INSURANCE

Sissy’s Log Cabin spends a great amount of money on shipping.  One way to reduce this expense is to limit the insurance amount on packages.  It is not necessary to insure packages for full value.  Our blanket policy covers this.  We should insure only to cover deductibles.  The following schedule should be used.

Up to $1500 value             –              no insurance

$1501 – $5,000                   –              $500

$5,000 – $50,000              –              $1,500

$50,000 – $100,000         –              $2,500

6.3 DAILY SHIPPING LIMITS

Each location may ship up to $100,000 in value per carrier (i.e. $100K via FedEx and $100K via UPS), per address, per business day.  Care should be taken to not exceed these limits.  If possible, larger shipments may need to be split between carriers, or broken up and shipped on consecutive days.  When this is not possible, Malca Amit should be used.  If this is necessary, Kim should be notified.

6.4 NO SALES TAX COLLECTED

Occasionally, we may sell items to customers who live out of state.  In the event that this happens, the following must be followed:

  • The out of state address must be written on the sales ticket
  • The Shipping Out Of State form must be signed and attached to the sales ticket
  • A shipping charge must be collected from the customer – if this is not collected, an appropriate amount will be deducted from the selling price of the item and it will be shown as a discount

The Shipping Out Of State form reads as follows:

The undersigned represents the item(s) of merchandise purchased on this invoice and to be shipped by Sissy’s Log Cabin to the address before any use of the item(s) by the undersigned occurs within the state of Arkansas/Tennessee.  The undersigned realizes that based on such representation Sissy’s Log Cabin will not be collecting any Arkansas/Tennessee sales or use tax or the sales tax of any other jurisdiction.  The undersigned acknowledges they may be liable for sales and/or use tax in the state in which the item(s) are being delivered.  The undersigned acknowledges that Sissy’s Log Cabin and its employees have made no representation concerning sales or use tax other than contained herein and the Sissy’s Log Cabin has indicated the undersigned should check with their state’s Department of Revenue concerning any questions about sales or use tax,

________________________________________________ 

Sign for acceptance/acknowledgement of terms stated above

Some customers may have a tax exempt certificate.  If we do not collect sales tax for this reason, the following must happen:

  • A copy of the valid Tax Resale Certificate must be on file
  • The resale certificate number must be listed in the customer information field (bottom comment line) in JCS

*If sales tax is not collected – the item MUST be shipped on the day of the sale (or the following day), and a copy of the FedEx, UPS, or USPS shipping manifest must be attached to the sales ticket.  It is the responsibility of the Office Manager/Manager to audit this on a monthly basis.  Customers MAY NOT take this jewelry from the store without Manager’s approval.  In such instance, if the piece is not returned all commissions will be forfeited.

6.5 SHIPPING AND RECEIVING LOG

For security and accountability purposes, a log is to be kept of all incoming and outgoing packages.  This log should include the following information.

  • Date package was shipped/received
  • Carrier and tracking number
  • Name of sender or recipient
  • Contents of package
  • To whom (or where) were the contents given

6.6 RECEIVING

All packages should be opened in a designated area, free from clutter and in clear view of a security camera.  Because of the high value and possibility for loss, Sissy’s Log Cabin has placed the following safeguards to minimize potential issues:

  • The receiving area should be clear of clutter, including trash can
  • Package contents should be documented
  • Distribution should be well noted
  • Packaging should be double and triple checked to ensure that all contents have been removed and accounted for.
  • Items should not be left unattended