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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Wet Nose Inc. and You
Facts About Your Employment
WELCOME TO WET NOSE INC.
Wet Nose Inc. is a highly regarded manufacturer and retailer of fine pet products, with a tradition of providing excellent client service, while offering quality merchandise at great values. Our success reflects the efforts of a team of dedicated professionals working toward the common goal of placing Wet Nose at the forefront of the pet industry. You are an integral part of this effort. From all of our associates, we look for productivity and enthusiasm to further enhance our tradition of success.
This handbook sets forth the employment policies, rules and regulations of Wet Nose Inc. It is not a contract, but rather a set of guidelines, which provide a reference for your day-to-day activities. The handbook does not in any way alter, amend or modify your status as an associate terminable at the will of the Company. In addition, Wet Nose Inc. reserves the right to change from time to time the guidelines, which appear in the handbook. While we will attempt to keep all associates informed of such changes, certain circumstances may require us to act immediately and without prior notice. In this regard, we appreciate in advance your understanding and cooperation.
WET NOSE MISSION STATEMENT
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
Wet Nose Inc. is an equal opportunity employer with a standing policy of nondiscrimination. This policy applies to terms and conditions of employment in all job classifications without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, disability, sex or age.
Overall responsibility for implementing this policy is assigned to the Director of Human Resources. However, all supervisors are responsible for ensuring that this policy is adhered to in their individual work units.
If you have any questions regarding this policy, please contact the Director of Human Resources.
Rarely is the personal integrity of every associate as essential to the success and reputations of a company as it is with Wet Nose Inc. Any breach of trust among our associates cannot and will not be tolerated. Accordingly, dishonesty of any kind, which includes, but is not limited to, theft of company property or the property of other associates or the property of others entrusted to Wet Nose Inc., misrepresentation in obtaining associate benefits of privileges and misrepresentation or falsification of company records, will not be tolerated and constitutes ground for dismissal and, where the facts warrant, prosecution to the fullest extent of the law.
We will equally and fairly enforce our integrity standards by investigating any and all alleged violations. Annually every associate will be expected to sign the Wet Nose Inc. Code of Conduct indicating their understanding and support of our standards.
Every associate has an obligation to report dishonest acts or any violation of our standards of conduct. If you become aware of a violation, you should report it personally or submit your concerns (anonymously if you wish) in writing to any executive of the company.
Any reports will be investigated promptly and will be kept confidential to the extent possible.
CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Associates are prohibited from engaging in any activity which conflicts with the interests of Wet Nose Inc., or its customers, without first bringing the activity to the attention of an Officer of the Company for approval. For example:
The above are examples and do not constitute a complete list of potential conflicts. Associates should discuss any questions or concerns with any Officer of the Company.
NEW ASSOCIATE PACKET
On your first day of employment, you will be given a new associate packet. Please fill out the forms completely and return this packet to your Manager. Your first paycheck cannot be issued until these forms are processed.
It is essential that you advise your Store Manager of any changes in the following:
Wet Nose Inc. strives for high quality performance from every associate. Continuous evaluation of associate performance is an important part of this effort, and therefore performance reviews may be conducted at any time. Written performance reviews are conducted at least once a year.
The objectives of these annual reviews are to:
When the time arrives for your annual review, your Store Manager will schedule a personal interview to discuss the evaluation. During this meeting, take the opportunity to discuss any difficulties you may be having with your position, as well as any ideas you may have for improving store operations. At the conclusion of the meeting, you will be asked to write your comments on the evaluation and sign the form. Your completed annual evaluation is then included in your associate file.
There are no guaranteed periodic wage increases. Rather, all salary increases are determined by merit. We have established evaluation criteria and procedures to ensure that fair wages are paid to all of our associates commensurate with job performance. In addition to the recommendations of your Store Manager, the following considerations may be used to determine any wage increases:
As an associate of Wet Nose Inc. you are the window through which the skill and professionalism of our company is seen. The public’s opinion of our merchandise and service depends upon their perception of you and your fellow associates. Accordingly, we advocate a professional appearance in dress and manner at all times.
Unacceptable Attire: Excessively revealing clothing, mini skirts or shorts. Athletic wear: sweat pants, jogging suits, bike-type shorts, spandex, stirrups or stretch pants. Casual tee shirts, tank tops, tube tops, bare midriff or backless tops, and sweat shirts. Denim jeans of any color . Carpenter pants or bib overalls (any material). Micro mini skirts or dresses. Caps or beachwear. Shoes: casual sandals, athletic wear, hiking boots or house slippers are not acceptable.
Clothes should be neat and pressed at all times. If what you have selected to wear is questionable, DON’T WEAR IT.
Body Piercing: the only visible body piercing that can be worn will be earrings (limit 4 per ear). NOT ALLOWED are any other visible piercing including but not limited to: nose piercing, tongue piercing, and more than four earrings per ear, eyebrow piercing, lip piercing or any other facial piercing.
MEAL PERIOD REQUIREMENTS
When an associate is scheduled for 6 hours or more, a ½ hour unpaid break must be taken. This ½ hour break is normally to be taken after five hours of work. The associate must be relieved from all duties for the ½ hour and must punch in and out.
Hourly associates who work more than 40 hours per week will receive overtime pay. Overtime pay is calculated at 1.5 times the hourly rate.
WORK RELATED INJURIES
Work related injuries must be reported to your immediate supervisor immediately so that any required Workers Compensation forms may be processed in a timely manner.
INTERNET, EMAIL & ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION POLICY
Wet Nose Inc. has established the following policy that governs the use of Wet Nose Inc.’s computer equipment, systems and networks, its electronic communication equipment, systems and networks (including E-mail) and its telephone communication equipment, systems and networks. An employee’s use of Wet Nose Inc.’s telephone, internet, E-mail and other electronic and communication software or hardware systems and networks constitutes the employee’s agreement to abide by Wet Nose Inc.’s policies governing such systems as set forth below, or as modified in the future.
An employee’s right to publish Internet or electronic postings through any social network is also governed, to the extent permissible, in the policy set forth below.
Wet Nose Inc. reserves the right to alter or amend these policies as necessary in its sole discretion.
Business Use: Wet Nose Inc.’s computer, electronic and telephone communication equipment, systems and networks are to be used primarily for legitimate business purposes, meaning that such use should be job-related.
Business Form: E-mail and voice-mail messages reflect Wet Nose Inc.’s image. They should be composed in a professional manner that is similar to messages sent on Wet Nose Inc. letterhead. Employees should keep in mind that electronic files are subject to discovery and may subsequently be used in litigation involving Wet Nose Inc. or the employee. Any salutation or closing must be professional and related to a business purpose.
Company Property: In addition to Wet Nose Inc.’s computer, electronic and telephone communication equipment, systems and networks, all electronic files and electronic messages are the property of Wet Nose Inc., whether composed, received or sent by the employee through Wet Nose Inc.’s systems. E-mail messages and other electronic files constitute business records belonging to Wet Nose Inc.
Privacy and Passwords: Because Wet Nose Inc.’s computer, electronic and telephone communication equipment, systems and networks are the property of Wet Nose Inc., employees should not expect that the use of such equipment, systems and networks are private. In addition, employees should be aware that deleted files may be retrieved and read by Wet Nose Inc. Wet Nose Inc. reserves the right to retrieve, monitor, or review any activity through such equipment, systems and networks, and may disclose such activity for any business purpose without notice to the employee and without seeking permission of the employee. All passwords must be disclosed to the appropriate Company officer upon request.
Solicitation Prohibited: Employees may not use Wet Nose Inc.’s computer, electronic and telephone communication equipment, systems and networks to solicit for charitable or commercial ventures, or in any way that violates Wet Nose Inc.’s no solicitation policy. Employees may not use the systems to further religious, political or other causes.
Proprietary Information Restrictions: Receiving or downloading, or sending or uploading of proprietary information is prohibited without prior authorization. Such information includes copyrighted materials, trade secrets, proprietary financial information, or similar materials.
Anti-harassment Policies Applicable: Wet Nose Inc. policies prohibiting bullying, or sexual or other forms of harassment are applicable to E-mail, voice mail systems, and the Internet. Messages or images that contain foul, inappropriate, or offensive language, or those containing racial or ethnic slurs, or sexual innuendo, are prohibited.
Internet Postings: Employees must receive permission from their supervisor before posting messages to electronic bulletin boards, list-serves or similar public posting forums on the Internet through the use of Wet Nose Inc.’s computer, electronic and telephone communication equipment, systems and networks. When posted, or when posted independent of Wet Nose Inc.’s computer, electronic and telephone communication equipment, systems and networks, such messages must recognize the following standards:
Understand that employees have the right to voice or post dissatisfaction with Wet Nose Inc. or its management or one’s supervision. However, Wet Nose Inc. encourages everyone to discuss any such dissatisfaction with management at any time in the simple hope to address such concerns directly.
Notice of Violations: Employees who observe violations of this policy shall notify their immediate supervisor or shall report the violation to the Human Resources Manager or representative.
Discipline: Employees who violate this policy are subject to discipline, up to and including immediate termination of employment.
Policy Changes: Wet Nose Inc. reserves the right to modify or change the provisions set forth above (or anywhere else in this Handbook) to comply with applicable law, to meet changing circumstances or for any other lawful reason.
By signing the Receipt of Employee Handbook page, the employee acknowledges that he/she has read this Internet, e-mail and electronic communication policy and agrees to abide by its terms.
Disclaimer: Nothing stated in this policy is intended to interfere with an employee’s rights to engage in lawful protected concerted activities under the National Labor Relations Act.
One of the extra benefits of working for Wet Nose Inc. is the opportunity to purchase merchandise at substantial discounts. Items may be purchased for your own personal use or as a gift from you to family and friends.
If there is a purchase you wish to make, please see your Store Manager.
GROUP INSURANCE PLANS
Health Insurance: Associates who work 35 hours or more per week are eligible. Wet Nose’s Health Insurance provider is Humana. Premiums are determined on an individual basis by receiving a quote directly from Humana; please consult Human Resources for this quote. Insurance premiums are deducted from the associate’s bi-weekly paycheck. Currently the associate is responsible for 50% of the premium.
Dental Insurance: Associates who work 35 hours or more per week are eligible. Wet Nose’s Dental Insurance provider is Humana. Premiums are determined on an individual basis by receiving a quote directly from Humana; please consult Human Resources for this quote. Insurance premiums are deducted from the associate’s bi-weekly paycheck. Currently the associate is responsible for 75% of the premium.
Vision Insurance: Associates who work 35 hours or more per week are eligible. Wet Nose’s Vision Insurance provider is Humana. Premiums are determined on an individual basis by receiving a quote directly from Humana; please consult Human Resources for this quote. Insurance premiums are deducted from the associate’s bi-weekly paycheck. Currently the associate is responsible for 75% of the premium.
Flexible Benefits Plan: Through the utilization of Section 125 of the Internal Revenue Code, your medical and dental premiums can be paid with pre-tax dollars. This plan is a convenient way to minimize the impact of your insurance premiums and increase your take home pay.
Life Insurance: Currently not available.
Disability Insurance: Currently not available.
INCENTIVE SAVINGS PLAN
After the initial 180-day employment period, associates are eligible to participate in Wet Nose Inc’s Retirement Savings Plan. Associates may contribute pre-tax dollars to a Simple Plan currently managed by Merrill Lynch. Please see Human Resources for current contribution limits and Company matches.
BONUS DAYS FOR NEW HIRES
Upon the completion of your first year of employment, associates working an average of at least 35 hours per week in the prior year will be entitled to a bonus of paid time off. (Note that vacation is not earned nor paid during your first year of employment.) The bonus will be calculated based on your start date according to the following schedule:
Start Date # of Days
This paid time off must be taken in the calendar year that includes your first anniversary date with the company.
Wet Nose Inc. vacation policy is structured on a calendar year basis (January 1 through December 31). Associates working an average of at least 35 hours per week are eligible for a vacation benefit after completion of their first year of employment. The amount of vacation for which you are eligible increases with seniority. The vacation schedule is as follows:
Amount of Vacation - Vacation Eligibility
Two weeks - Associates who have completed one year of service as of January 1st are eligible for two weeks vacation with pay.
Three weeks - Associates who have completed five years of service as of January 1st are eligible for three weeks vacation with pay.
Associates who average 35 hours or more per week will be paid vacation based on a 40-hour workweek. Vacation must be requested and approved by your Store Manager.
Vacations are provided to allow associates rest and relaxation away from the job. Unless there is a bona fide management need that would prevent an associate from taking a scheduled vacation, eligible associates are required to take their vacation each year. Accordingly, vacation pay will not be paid in lieu of time off. Unused vacation time cannot be carried over into the next calendar year, nor will any associate be paid for unused vacation remaining at the end of the year. Prepayments of vacation pay are not allowed.
The following three examples help demonstrate how our vacation plan will apply to you as an associate of Wet Nose Inc.:
1) If your start date is in the month of January, during your first calendar year no vacation time is earned or paid. On your one-year anniversary date, you are eligible for 10 paid bonus days off to be taken by the end of the calendar year. On January 1st of the next year, you are eligible for 10 paid vacation days.
2) If your start date is in the month of May, during your first calendar year no vacation time is earned or paid. On your one-year anniversary date, you are eligible for six paid bonus days off to be taken by the end of the calendar year. On January 1st of the next year, you are eligible for 10 paid vacation days.
3) If your start date is in the month of September, during your first calendar year no vacation time is earned or paid. On your one-year anniversary date, you are eligible for two paid bonus days off to be taken by the end of the calendar year. On January 1st of the next year, you are eligible for 10 paid vacation days.
The following days are recognized as Company paid holidays:
After the initial 90 day employment period, associates who work 35 hours or more per week are eligible. Holiday pay is based on average hours worked per week, as shown below:
Average Hours = 35 or more
Hours Paid = 8
All associates who are eligible for holiday pay must work their scheduled days before and after a holiday to qualify for a paid holiday.
Currently not available.
DEATH IN THE FAMILY
In the event of a death in the immediate family, associates who have completed their initial 90-day employment period will be excused from work for a maximum of three consecutive paid working days. Associates will be paid for the scheduled work time that is missed.
For the purpose of this policy, “immediate family” refers to an associate’s spouse, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, brother, sister, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, or any relative, guardian or ward residing with the associate.
Wet Nose Inc. regards a notice to serve on jury duty as an important civic responsibility. Should you be called for jury duty, you will be excused from work and paid the difference between the scheduled work time that you missed, and the reimbursement check you received for your jury duty.
A copy of the jury duty reimbursement check that you received along with a copy of the scheduled work time missed, must be given to your Store Manager in order to calculate your jury pay benefit.
LEAVES OF ABSENCE
Wet Nose Inc. recognizes that at times associates may require time away from the job for a variety of reasons. Therefore, at the Company’s discretion, the following types of unpaid leave may be granted:
Associates should submit a written request for leave to the Human Resources Department, as far in advance of the dates requested as possible.
The Company will make every effort to reinstate associates returning from leave to their previous job or a similar job. However, unless legally required, reinstatement is not guaranteed. While on a leave of absence, any associate who accepts employment with another employer, or goes into business for themselves is subject to discharge.
Further information about the various types of leave available is shown below.
Personal Leaves of Absence: Associates who work 35 hours or more per week will be eligible for a personal leave of absence after completion of one year of service. Personal leaves may not exceed 30 days. However, at its discretion, Wet Nose Inc. may extend a personal leave for an addition 30 days. All available vacation time must be taken before the start of a personal leave of absence.
Family Leaves of Absence: Associates who work 35 hours or more per week will be eligible for a family leave of absence after completion of one year of service. Family leaves will be available for associates to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, or for a seriously ill child, spouse or parent. Family leaves may not exceed 12 weeks, and all available vacation time must be taken before the start of the leave.
Medical Leaves of Absence: Medical leaves of absence will be available for those associates unable to work because of an illness or disability, including pregnancy. Medical leave requests must be accompanied by a note from your doctor which details the reason for you not being able to work, and if possible, includes the date of your return to work. Before approving the medical leave request, Wet Nose Inc. may require a second medical opinion.
In cases of continued disability, associates may be required to furnish additional medical statements on a periodic basis. Before you can return from medical leave, you must furnish a note from your doctor indicating that you are able to return to work. If the medical leave exceeds six months, the associate’s employment will be terminated.
Since our success depends upon a foundation of professional teamwork, Wet Nose Inc. regards promptness and dependability to be essential. Work schedules are pre-arranged and when one associate is absent, the results are detrimental not only to the Company, but to the other associates as well. Therefore, excessive absenteeism, even if properly reported, may subject an associate to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Associates who are unable to report to work due to an illness or injury should notify their supervisor before the scheduled start of the day, if possible. The supervisor should also be contacted each additional day of absence. If an associate is absent for five or more consecutive days due to illness or injury, the associate must furnish a note from their doctor indicating that the associate may return to work.
It is the policy of Wet Nose Inc. to provide a work environment free of sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is defined as any unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual or otherwise offensive nature when:
If an associate believes they have been a victim of sexual or other harassment, they should immediately report the matter to the Director of Human Resources, their Supervisor, or any other Officer of the Company. Any retaliation against an associate who reports sexual harassment will not be tolerated.
Complaints will be investigated promptly and will be kept confidential to the extent possible. Appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, will be taken against any associate found to have engaged in harassment or in retaliation against an associate who reports harassment.
DRUGS AND ALCOHOL
It is the policy of Wet Nose Inc. to provide a safe and productive work environment that is free from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse.
No associate shall report to work while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Likewise, the use, sale, transfer or possession of alcohol, illegal drugs or controlled substances on the job, on Company property or in Company vehicles is prohibited.
An associate may be asked or required to submit to testing procedures designed to detect the presence of drugs and/or alcohol at any time. A request for testing does not necessarily mean or imply that an associate is under the influence of any improper substance or has violated Company policy. However, such testing may be requested or required when the Company determines that it is appropriate to promote the interest of this policy. A positive test result or refusing to participate with the testing procedure will constitute a violation of this policy and the associate may be subject of further disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Smoking is not permitted.
Resignation is a voluntary act initiated by the associate to terminate employment with Wet Nose Inc. Associates will be expected to make arrangements to pay in full all debts owed to the Company, as well as return on or before their last day of work all property, materials or written information that is the property of Wet Nose Inc. and that has been issued to them or is in their possession or control. Wet Nose Inc. reserves the right to take all action deemed appropriate to recover or protect its property.
Associates who resign are not entitled to any severance pay or unused sick days.
Wet Nose Inc. is interested in hiring only the most qualified and capable associates. Regrettably, for one reason or another, there are situations where employment must be terminated.
Wet Nose Inc. has the right to terminate your employment at will, for any reason, and at any time.
RELEASE OF PERSONNEL INFORMATION
All requests for personnel information from third parties regarding current or past associates must be referred to the Human Resources Department. It is our policy to release to prospective employers only information on dates of employment, job title and duties.
Associates may request that additional information be furnished for loan approval or other purposes. A signed release must be submitted to the Human Resources Department in order for the Company to comply with such a request.
Associates may request to review their personnel files by making arrangements with the Human Resources Department.