A confidential file will be maintained on each employee containing all employment-related documents such as the employment application, résumé, job and salary history, performance appraisals, disciplinary action, general correspondence, and other documents that pertain to employment at Baby Yale Academy. To comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, BYA keeps all medically related information in a separate confidential file.
Any false statements made by employees on their employment applications or personnel records will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
An employee may have SUPERVISED access to her or his file during normal business hours upon request to the Director. Personnel files may not be removed from the office. Employees are prohibited from removing any documents from their personnel file. Employees may only add documentation to their personnel file with the permission of the Director.
Employee requests for copies of the documents contained in the personnel file must be made in writing to the Director. Employees will be charged $1.00 per page for photocopying.
This Confidentiality Policy has been adopted to insure the confidentiality and protection of individual rights of privacy for children, families, and employees of Baby Yale Academy. The individual dignity of children, families, and employees shall be respected and protected always in accordance with all applicable laws.
Information about children, families, or employees will not be divulged to anyone other than persons who are authorized to receive such information. This policy extends to both internal and external disclosure of information.
An employee’s responsibility to maintain confidentiality regarding information learned about children, their parents/guardians, families, and other employees applies 24 hours per day, 7 days per week regardless of how or where the information was obtained. Employees must be diligent in their efforts to maintain confidentiality and should be aware that there are job-related consequences for violations of confidentiality and rights of privacy, and that there is the potential for civil liability against the individual employee and the Center.
Confidentiality of Children’s and Families’ Information
- All children’s private records (home address, medical file, etc.) must be locked in a secure file.
- Classroom binders are not considered private records but will only contain information specific and necessary to the care of each individual child. Access to classroom binders is restricted to staff members who work in that specific classroom or the Director.
- Access to children’s records is limited to employees with a “need to know.”
- Children’s records must not be removed from the Center.
- Children’s records must never be left out on desks, tables, etc. where others may have access to them.
- Children’s or families’ private information must never be discussed among employees except on a “need to know” basis. Employees must be particularly aware of their surroundings when discussing this information. Special caution must be taken to ensure other children, families, or employees do not overhear information that is confidential.
- Discussion of children’s or families’ information with volunteers, other families, friends, or community members is prohibited.
- Information and documents which are confidential include, but are not limited to, medical records, educational records, special needs records, family records, financial records, and any other private information about the children or their families.
- All requests for release of information shall be made to the Director.
- Information will only be released to persons outside of BYA with the express written consent of the child’s parent or legal guardian.
Confidentiality of Employee’s Information
- All employee records must be locked in a secure file.
- General access to an employee’s records is limited to the Directors and Assistant Director.
- Employees must never attempt to gain access to another employee’s records whether it is a “paper” file or computer file.
- An employee’s records must not be removed from the Center.
- An employee’s records must never be left out on desks, tables, etc. where other people may have access to them.
- An employee’s private information will never be discussed among employees except on a “need to know” basis. Employees must be particularly aware of their surroundings when discussing this information. Special caution must be taken to
ensure children, families, or employees do not overhear information that is confidential.
- Discussion of an employee’s information with volunteers, families, friends, or community members is prohibited.
- Information and documents which are confidential include, but are not limited to, medical records, educational records, employment records, financial or pay records, and any other private information about the employee.
- All requests for release of information to persons outside of BYA shall be made to the Director.
- Information will only be released to persons outside BYA with the express written consent of the employee.
Confidentiality Related to Proprietary Information
Baby Yale Academy has developed unique techniques, curricula, and tools for evaluation which make our program more competitive in the industry and are not to be revealed to sources outside of the company. Anything which the company designs, produces, implements, and markets is treated as proprietary information. This includes, but is not be limited to, the Center’s family list, employee list, curriculum, philosophy, mission statement, personnel policies, and employee/parent handbooks.
No employee should discuss proprietary information with other employees in any public place where such information could be overheard. Employees should also not provide others with any documents relating to this propriety information. Employees must understand that it is not only their duty to protect Baby Yale Academy’s proprietary information during their term of employment, but that this legal obligation continues even after separation from employment. Employees are required to return all documentation that contains proprietary information at the time of separation. This obligation may be enforced through court action, if necessary.
Violation of Confidentiality Policy
Any employee/volunteer who violates the Confidentiality Policy will be subject to disciplinary action including termination. In addition to job-related consequences, the employee/volunteer may face possible civil liability for their actions.
Conflicts can arise between employees, employees and families, and the like. If two or more parties find themselves in a situation where conflict is inevitable or has already occurred, has affected or will affect the Center and its operation, and can be potentially resolved through the actions of the Center, procedures have been established to ensure that all parties to any conflict receive fair and equal hearing to help resolve the circumstances surrounding the issue. This process is described in the Appendix of this handbook.
Terminated/Former Employees are not eligible to participate in the Conflict Resolution process.
If an employee is found to be in violation of one or more policies outlined in this handbook or other procedures and policies, the disciplinary process may be initiated. While this is generally a process of escalating actions, certain violations may be more egregious in their severity, frequency of occurrence, and/or scope, and thus could warrant a disciplinary action higher on the list, up to and including termination of duties. The determination of the specific disciplinary action to be undertaken is at the discretion of the Director and authorized by the Owner and will be appropriate to the nature of the offense.
A reprimand may be given to any employee when a minor violation of Center policies or procedures has occurred. A reprimand may be either verbal or written. Verbal reprimands will be documented by the Center Director, and the documentation will be placed in the employee’s personnel file. Written reprimands will include brief documentation of the incident and the date on which it occurred. Written reprimands require that a copy of the written reprimand be given to the employee, and a copy of the reprimand signed by the employee to acknowledge receipt of the document must be placed in the employee’s file.
For more serious violations of policies and procedures, or repeated minor violations, an employee may be given a written warning. The written warning will clearly describe the deficiency in the performance or conduct, and will cite the policy, licensing regulation, or procedure violated. The written warning will contain a corrective action plan, outlining the necessary action(s) to correct the deficiency and a timetable in which the corrective action must occur.
A copy of the written warning and the corrective action plan will be given to the employee. Employees are required to sign a copy of the written warning, acknowledging its receipt, which will then be placed in the employee’s personnel file. Signing the written warning does not indicate that the employee agrees with the contents; it simply indicates receipt of a copy of the written warning. Failure or refusal to sign the written warning will be considered insubordination and will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Copies of all documentation regarding corrective action plans will be retained by the Director.
For suspected severe, but unconfirmed allegations of policy and procedure or safety violations, the Director may initiate an Investigatory Suspension of the employee. During this time, the employee is suspended without pay. The outcome of an investigatory suspension is generally either full reinstatement (if the employee is found not to be in violation of the policies) or further disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Examples of situations which would warrant use of Investigatory suspension include, but are not limited to:
- Charges of driving while intoxicated
- Report of child abuse or neglect
- Accusations of theft
- Violation of the Substance Abuse Policy
- Other similar situations
Investigatory suspension may not exceed 5 working days without the approval of the Owner.
Suspension of an employee may occur at the discretion of the Center Director and Owner for specific, major infractions of the Personnel Policies. Suspension of an employee will not require prior verbal or written disciplinary action. Suspension may be used in circumstances where a confirmed violation of policies is not considered severe enough to warrant termination of employment, and where the employee can be successfully rehabilitated to effectively discharge the duties of the position. Possible violations are like those on both the list for Investigatory Suspension and Termination, though certain violations are still subject to immediate termination of employment, without recourse to an initial suspension. Each situation is different and will be treated as such.
Suspension will be without pay. The employee will be notified in writing of the specific charges and the length of the suspension and will be provided with a copy of this notice. The employee is required to sign a copy of the suspension notification to acknowledge receipt of same. Failure to sign the suspension notification will be considered insubordination and will result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
When circumstances permit, an employee will be suspended upon receipt of the suspension notification. However, an employee may be suspended verbally if immediate suspension is in the best interest of Baby Yale Academy, its employees, or the children under the Center’s care. Written notification in these circumstances will promptly follow via certified mail. Suspension by verbal notice may be given by the Center Director, followed immediately by written approval of the Director.
Involuntary termination does not necessarily require prior verbal or written disciplinary action. Baby Yale Academy, in accordance with California law, is an “at-will” employer and may terminate the employment relationship at any time with or without cause and without notice. This policy is to be used as a guide for employees but is not inclusive of all possible reasons or causes for termination from employment. Termination is an action which must be approved by the Director and authorized by the Owner only. Notification of Termination can be verbal and followed up in written form.
Causes for involuntary termination include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Unsatisfactory provisional period
- Falsifying or misusing records, including application
- Violation of confidentiality rules
- Theft or misuse of Baby Yale Academy funds, equipment, or property
- Absence from work without notification and/or approval as per related policies
- Discourteous treatment of the public, families, or co-workers
- Inappropriate behavior
- Non-performance of duties resulting in injury to the Center, its children, families, or employees.
- Being abusive or neglectful to children, parents, or employees
- Violation of the Substance Abuse Policy
- Failure to submit required documentation within mandated time frame
- Neglect of duty or refusal to comply with directives of Center Director
- Misuse of leave policies
- Child Safety infraction
- Center Safety infraction
- Receipt of 2 suspensions for the same infraction during any 12-month period.
- Failure to implement job specifics
- Receipt of 3 written warnings for any violations during any 12-month period; the date of the third warning will be the employee’s last day of employment
- Failure to return to work following a leave of absence
- Failure to meet deadlines as presented by Center Director
Once employment has been terminated under this action, the employee is expected to return any keys and other property of the Center to the Director and leave the Center at that time. The former employee will be escorted out of the building and is no longer permitted on Baby Yale Academy property without the written approval of the Director. Any of the former employee’s personal property or effects which remain at Center will be packed and shipped to the former employee’s home address. The former employee’s final paycheck(s) will be mailed to that address as well and may not be picked up at the Center. All final paychecks will be sent on the scheduled paydays for the pay period applicable for the hours worked.
Although we want every employee to stay with us for as long as possible, sometimes new opportunities arise that an employee may wish to explore. While we do not wish to hinder our employees from pursuing these endeavors, we also ask that our employees provide ample opportunity for us to seek suitable replacements for the departing employee. As such, employees are required to give two (2) weeks’ notice of the intention to terminate employment. Notice must be given in writing to the Director. If submitted by any other method other than directly to the Director, the two-week period begins upon receipt of the notice by the Director, not when the notice was mailed or otherwise sent. As noted in the Benefits section, unused vacation time may not be used as part of the required two weeks’ notice.
In general, an employee’s final paycheck(s) will be sent to the home address listed in the employee’s file on the regularly scheduled pay dates for the hours worked.