July 13, 2008
Last Revised: May 23, 2012 4:50 PM
Vibrant Life (full time only) Staff Members are entitled, by Company Policy, to a standard allowance of "Vacation Time," with pay.
Staff Members, however, are NOT entitled to take off for vacation at times not approved, or which cause great inconvenience to the Company.
In other words, an approved CSW as the date of departure and return must be received before the Vacation will be governed by the Company Policy on Vacation time with pay for lengths of service.
The Company Policy that covers this issue is partly HERE.
The most basic agreement on vacation is stated in Terms Of Employment, and in "Normal Employment Rules."
Quotes from those long-existing Company Policies are here:
Our paid vacation system is that you get "one week" (5 work days) of paid vacation after completing one year of full time on the job. After two years you get two weeks (10 work days) and after five years you get three weeks of paid vacation. There is no further increase in vacation time beyond three weeks of paid vacation. While most time-off, including vacation time, must be approved in advance, and the time made up not only in the same week, but at a time that allows for useful interchange with our public, either by phone, FAX, eMail or other, it is also possible to take time off, without pay, for some approved reason. We would consider this to be rare, reserved for things like pregnancy or such.
Vacation time is provided at one week (five business days) after one year of full time employment. This allowance is increased to two such weeks after two years of employment and three weeks after five years.
Each Staff Member, as a condition of employment with Vibrant Life, must sign an "At Will" agreement. That agreement is HERE and mentions vacation as not a legally required benefit. A published Company Policy that grants Vacation time, however, is legally binding on the Company.
A more detailed explanation of "time off" is here, where the following is written.
Vacation Policy is presented HERE, and not repeated here other than this excerpt from the long-standing Company Policy on terms of employment:
Our paid vacation system is that you get "one week" (5 work days) of paid vacation after completing one year of full time on the job. After two years you get two weeks (10 work days) and after five years you get three weeks of paid vacation. There is no further increase in vacation time beyond three weeks of paid vacation. Time-off, including vacation time, must be approved in advance, but time off other than vacation time must be made up not only in the same week, but at a time that allows for useful interchange with our public, either by phone, FAX, eMail or other, it is also possible to take time off, without pay, for some approved reason. We would consider this to be rare, reserved for things like pregnancy, illness or such. (source)
The text in the above paragraph, in red, has been revised as of the date of this Policy and this Policy has been found necessary just because of that change in the long-standing Policy. The original Policy was casual about taking time off and I have found that the casual nature of that Policy has led to unwanted situations.
Part of the reason these unwanted situations have come about was that for some years Vibrant Life had as an employee and then as Executive Director, the daughter of the founders. She was not only the ED but was the publicly named heir to inherit the business upon the death of Loren and Bonnie.
Karl Loren erred in his efforts to guide his daughter into the responsibilities of being the ED and eventually becoming the owner. Karl allowed her a variety of perquisites which both he and Bonnie had been enjoying -- as owners.
She exhibited many of the qualities of an excellent employee but did not ultimately develop the "owner's attitude" that, in Karl's view, would have made the Company's future secure in her hands. This was the subject of a written analysis of the situation and a long period leading up to her announcement that she was quitting.
During the time she was exhibiting this lack of an "owner's attitude" and then quit, some of the staff who remained with the Company, in fact, became senior executives in the Company.
It appears that the casual nature of "days off" and her attitude may have influenced others to take somewhat similar positions and behavior. In fact one person who had been hired as a senior executive used the Company Credit Card to charge Christmas gifts for her family, promised to pay Vibrant Life back, was fired and still owes some thousands of dollars.
This Company Policy is now written to formalize what had been a too-loose and casual policy for "days off."
When all the staff are working together in a cooperative effort to improve the statistics of the Company, it should be easy for any one of them to "take off" a day or some time, for some personal reason and make arrangements such that there is no reduction in any statistic, nor any impairment of service to our public.
This same Policy would also apply to regular "vacation time taken off" also. That is, while it is a "right" to take vacation time, it is a right that should be exercised within the senior Policy that you are responsible for your staff position and hat whether you are present or absent from your post.
So, a person wanting to take time off, either vacation, or other, should be able to ensure that some other person is able and willing to cover the job done by that person.
Particularly a "manager" is always responsible for training any subordinates to be willing and able to replace that manager as needed.
I found abuse of the casual and vague earlier policy when someone might take time off and feel that they could "make up the time" on a schedule of convenience to them with no expectation that some senior or owner could feel differently about it.
So, we had some staff coming to work early, building up hours of "extra time" and then "taking time off," with little or no notice and when there was no other staff member to cover the post, or only a junior person.
A few instances of this can easily be overlooked, but when no person shows up at the warehouse to answer phone calls it is time to formalize this.
If a staff member has an assigned post that includes any interaction with the public, by phone, eMail or orders, that staff member should never be absent from post during our "open hours" without advance approval and must also have, himself or herself, assured that some named and trained person has promised to take over that post for that time. Failure of that junior to show up or to properly hold that temporary position is a failure of the MANAGER, not the junior who might appear responsible.
When you have read all the above, and allow the links to additional references, there STILL needs to be something said about "vacations."
A "vacation" is not allowed at a time of inconvenience to the Company.
Any vacation, and every vacation, starts with the first glimmer of thought and planning by the Staff Member.
It might be that that first moment is when some other person (family or otherwise) first suggests a vacation period, and even announces that plans have already been made.
At THAT exact moment, when the Staff Member first thinks of the vacation or hears of one planned or partly planned by another person, if the Staff Member thinks ONLY of his own pleasure and legally binding allowances, then that thought can flow through all sort of conversations with friends and family, planning all sorts of trips and setting initial dates, then finalized dates, even making reservations before any thought of communication with Vibrant Life.
The above would be an indication of "no loyalty" to the Company; no recognition or acknowledgment of any support from Vibrant Life with salary and a place to improve and prosper.
Even a part time staff member, not entitled to paid vacation, may, still, want to take vacation time off "to be with the family." However if that part time staff member is, despite the part time nature of the employment, earning a senior rate of pay and holding a senior management position, for that person to take time off without regard to staff members who may have already planned and announced a paid vacation that conflicts with this suddenly announce part time person's absence, there is something wrong with the loyalty of that part time person. They would very probably NOT feel there was something wrong, and that is the problem for the manager to be in such good communication with all his juniors, even part time staff, that they WOULD think of loyalty to HIM if not to the Company, and plan a "time off vacation" that does not conflict -- in other words, follow this Company Policy "anyway."
The expected thing is that any person "entitled" to vacation time will, or even without the entitlement, is expecting to take time off for vacation, at the first glimmer of that thought, put Vibrant Life and all the Policies referenced in THIS Company Policy, into those thought processes, AND:
In other words, the Golden Rule about Vacations is that the person taking the vacation is the one MOST RESPONSIBLE for finding another Staff Member who can do the work of the vacationing Staff Member, and will do it, and even get his own regular work done.
If there is no possible replacement who has the skill, "work it out" with the manager. Company Policy cannot be written in such tiny detail as to handle everything.
This type of planning for a FUTURE vacation could easily be done a full year in advance for the type of vacation which might be planned by a family, for instance, as a "regular" thing "every second week in August," or some such.
Therefore, to remedy this situation, when an executive is being knocked about by his lines, bad news, disasters, etc., and he feels PTS, he must apply this formula mercilessly:
A. MAKE THE PENALTIES FOR NONCOMPLIANCE AND FALSE REPORTS TOO GRUESOME TO BE FACED AND ENFORCE THEM. (source)
Quotes from L. Ron Hubbard are copyright 1994 © by the L. Ron Hubbard Library. All rights reserved.