Staff Manual Introduction

About This Handbook

This handbook provides general information you need to know about human resource policies, practices, responsibilities, and benefits that are a part of working for Dwell Community Church. Throughout the handbook "Dwell" refers to Dwell Community Church, Inc. and its affiliate organizations including Xenos Christian Schools, Inc. (although that organization also has additional policies that take precedent over this manual) and Urban Concern, Inc, unless otherwise noted.

This handbook supersedes all previous employer statements, including any previous handbooks, manuals, memorandums, and oral or written statements pertaining to Dwell policies described here. It is effective immediately and applicable to all employees regardless of their date of employment.

The provisions of this handbook are only general guidelines. Nothing in this handbook establishes a contract or promise of employment; or any particular terms, conditions or duration of employment between you and Dwell. Because Dwell is a dynamic organization, this handbook is not the full and complete official statement of Dwell's policies. When appropriate, Dwell may deviate from or make exceptions to particular provisions stated here. This handbook and the policies described within will be changed or appended from time to time as the fellowship deems necessary. Any changes will typically be communicated in memorandum, posted and/or distributed to you, in as timely a fashion as possible.

All employees are expected to read and become familiar with the policies and procedures described in this handbook. Handbooks should be kept close at hand for ready reference. If there are points that are not clear or questions arise, employees should first seek their supervisors and then the Human Resources Department for assistance.

Employment At Will

Except for employees who have a written employment agreement signed by a senior elder or designated authority, employment at Dwell is "at-will," meaning that either the employee or the fellowship may terminate the employment relationship for any reason, at any time, with or without cause or notice. This handbook is not a contract of employment. Dwell disclaims any implied contractual obligation of continuing employment.

Only the senior elders may change the above or enter into any agreement of employment for a period of time or for permanent or continuing employment contrary to the at-will employment relationship. In any such instance, such agreements must be in writing. Any oral or written statements to the contrary are expressly renounced and should not be relied on by any employee.

This policy will not be modified by any statements contained elsewhere in this handbook, or in employment applications, recruiting materials, memorandums, or other materials provided to employees in connection with their employment. Also, those documents will not create an expressed or implied contract of employment for any period of time.

To the extent any representations are made by any person other than a senior elder which are inconsistent with any portion of this handbook, they are invalid, and the terms and conditions of this policy shall govern and control.

Equal Employment Opportunity

It is the policy of Dwell to provide equal opportunity in employment to all applicants and employees regardless of race, color, age, sex, national origin, ancestry, or disability.

Dwell Community Church, Inc. reserves the right to limit employment opportunities to those who have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, who manifest a basic Christian character as described in the Bible, and who personally hold the doctrinal convictions described in the Dwell Statement of Faith. We expect all Dwell staff to be involved in normative Christian living as taught and practiced within Dwell. Additionally, Dwell Community Church, Inc. reserves the right to limit certain offices to those meeting qualifications described in the Bible.

This policy reaffirms Dwell's commitment to the Biblical principles of equality and fair consideration and treatment of individuals. All aspects of Dwell human resource management (including recruitment, selection, advancement and compensation) will be administered in accordance with this policy.

Employees are expected to cooperate with this policy by refraining from actions or statements which may be interpreted as discriminatory. Employees who engage in such actions or statements may be subject to discipline.

Employment Classifications

It is the policy of Dwell to staff and supplement its paid work force with full-time, part- time, or temporary employees as determined necessary by the Management Team.

A regular full-time employee is an individual hired to work at least 32 hours per week throughout the year with no defined end date to the assignment.

A regular part-time employee is an individual hired to work less than 32 hours per week throughout the year with no defined end date to the assignment.

A contract employee is an individual hired for Dwell according to terms defined in a written employment agreement signed by a senior elder or designated authority.

A temporary employee is an individual hired either on a part-time or full-time basis for a specified, limited period of time.

Work Hours

Each work week begins at 12:01 a.m. on Monday and ends at 12:00 p.m. (midnight) the following Sunday. Unless on an approved non-standard schedule, full-time employees work a regularly scheduled eight (8) hour day with unpaid lunches. Supervisors of part- time staff are responsible for establishing hours of work for their staffs.

Employees are permitted reasonable amounts of time away from their work areas, during working hours for the purpose of using bathrooms, getting refreshments, and similar incidental reasons. Formal rest break periods of up to 15 minutes each may be established for employees in non-exempt positions, as defined herein. This period is considered as time worked for compensation purposes. Employees who choose to work through rest breaks are not eligible to leave before the scheduled end of the workday and will not receive additional pay for the time worked.

Employees in nonexempt positions are required to accurately record the amount of time worked on a time sheet indicating hours worked during a month, which is broken into pay days on the 1st day of the month through the 15th day, and the 16th day through the (variable) last day of the month, covering work done and reported from the 9th to the 23rd and the 24th to the 8th of each period, respectively. An employee may not be paid on a current basis if a required time sheet is not produced and given to the Accounting Department for input on a timely basis. Any such pay will be added to the next pay-check after receipt of the appropriate time sheet.

Retirement Guidelines

Age 67 is our assumed date of retirement for all staff positions. Employment past the age of 67 would be an exception at the request of the church.

Human Resource Department and Personnel Records

The Human Resources function at Dwell is largely decentralized in that the church's divisions are responsible for ensuring the HR policies established by the church are carried out as intended. The HR Department and its director are responsible for maintaining this manual and performing functions defined/described within this document. The HR Director will provide consultation on specific policy implementation, and as requested on any related personnel activities (e.g., hiring, compensation, termination, etc.). The HR Director will be involved in review of all disciplinary actions.

It is the policy of Dwell to establish human resource records for each employee and maintain within that file the documents and records relevant to the employee's employment and performance at Dwell. All human resource records are and will remain the property of Dwell.

The records contain items such as:

  • Employee's resume
  • Completed employment application
  • Offer letter from Dwell stating position title and salary, and employee's letter of acceptance if available
  • Required tax information
  • Benefit enrollment and change forms
  • Performance plans, appraisals and documentation
  • Any other information relevant to the employee's relationship with Dwell (acknowledgment receipts, test results, letters of commendation, disciplinary action memorandum, and so on).

Employees are responsible for keeping their human resource records accurate and current with respect to personal information and are expected to notify human resources of any changes in the following:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Marital status
  • Number of dependents
  • Beneficiary designations for any benefit plans
  • Persons to be notified in case of an emergency

Employees who have a change in the number of dependents or marital status must complete a new Form W-4 for federal income tax withholding purposes within ten (10) days of the change if the change results in a decrease in the number of dependents.

Unless required by law, information regarding an employee will not be released to any public or private agencies and/or persons without prior written authorization from the employee, in accordance with the Privacy Act. Upon request of a third party, however, the company may verify dates of employment, positions held, and salary information as shown in company records, without written authorization.

Dwell will provide requested information in compliance with requests from governmental and law enforcement agencies if they have furnished proper identification, proven their legal authority and right to access the requested information.

Within Dwell, access to human resource records is restricted to those employees who have bona fide business reasons for access to this information. Generally, access will be allowed only to human resource staff, the Management Team and employees with a current or potential supervisory relationship to the employee.

Current employees may review their own human resource records. A request to do so should be directed to a human resource representative, who will schedule a time for review. The record will not be removed from the area where it is kept.

Employees are to refer all external requests for human resource information concerning applicants, employees and past employees to a human resource or payroll representative. Dwell will only provide the following types of reference information on former employees: factual information such as dates of employment, position held, and salary information. References and basis for detachment (such as termination versus quitting) will only be provided upon receipt of the former employee's written consent.