GPCA Personnel Policy (March 4, 2013)

Personnel Policy for the Green Party of California (as adopted by the General Assembly in May 2003 in Sacramento, and amended by the Coordinating Committee on January 29, 2012, February 4, 2013 and March 4, 2013)

Article 1 Authority

1-1 In May 2003, the Green Party of California (GPCA) General Assembly delegated responsibility implementing and revising the Personnel Policy to the Coordinating Committee. The Coordinating Committee has since delegated responsibility for implementing the Personnel Policy to the Personnel Committee, while retaining the authority to amend the Personnel Policy with the Coordinating Committee.

1-2 Amendments to the Personnel Policy shall be made by the Coordinating Committee. The Personnel Committee shall be primarily responsible for recommending amendments to the Personnel Policy, but other Coordinating Committee members may also initiate amendments.

Article II Objectives

The Personnel Policy exists to codify the relationship between the GPCA and its independent contractors and employees, and provide all involved with a written record of policies and expectations. Each independent contractor and employee shall be given a physical copy of this policy and be informed of any change in policy.

Article III Personnel Committee

3-1 The Personnel Committee is a sub-committee of the Coordinating Committee, charged with implementing the GPCA Personnel Policy and with proposing amendments to the Personnel Policy.

3-2 The Personnel Committee shall be composed of six members appointed by the Coordinating Committee, each serving two year terms, with three members appointed annually and with appointments to occur in January of each year.

Article IV Eligibility

4-1 Party Membership

Membership of GPCA shall be made a condition of employment as an independent contractor and/or as an employee, except where the GPCA is already protected by attorney-client privilege and/or accountant-client privilege, in which case GPCA membership shall not be a condition of employment, or in the case where the GPCA is contracting for logistical or food services for an event.

4-2 Conflicts of Interest

No person may apply for a position who is, or has been within the three prior months, a member of the Personnel Committee. When a committee or working group member applies for a position that will be supervised by that committee, that member may not participate in the committee's decision-making process, including any consensus-seeking, voting or participating in the committee's discussion of the hire; nor may they participate in any of the committee's management of the position once hired, unless as requested by the committee as part its regular evaluation process as defined in this Personnel Policy. No employee will be selected for a position in which a relative (by blood, adoption, marriage, or legal partnership) has supervisory or direct administrative authority over her or him.

Article V Job Announcement/Notification/Applications

5-1 Once funds are allocated for an independent contractor or employee in the GPCA's annual budget, the Committee or Working Group from whose budget line the funds are allocated, shall prepare a draft job description and project description, for review and approval by the Personnel Committee. Job descriptions will be approved for all positions prior to hiring.

5-2 Once a job description is available, notices of available job positions shall be made broadly available on the GPCA's web site, email lists, social media outlets and other venues, and with consideration to the GPCA's affirmative action policy. Each job announcement shall include a description of the position offered, its key responsibilities and specific tasks, and its qualifications and pay; and a clear place to send the application.

5-3 Job applications shall include a summary of experience and other qualifications, samples of relevant previous work product and three references. All references shall be verified by the Committee or Working Group, and if the employee is hired, become part of the employee's permanent record.

5-4 Each applicant shall demonstrate familiarity with with the GPCA's platform, Ten Key Values and positions on public policy; its candidates, campaigns and officeholders; and its general means of operation.

Article VI Hiring

6-1 The Committee or Working Group shall review all applications and determine what follow up actions, including interviews, are necessary to conduct to make its recommendations.  The Committee or Working Group shall base its recommendations upon the applicant's resume/application, skills and abilities, history, interviews and ability to perform the work within the budgeted amount, as well as upon the general body of the GPCA's platform, policies and practices. The Committee or Working Group shall submit its hiring recommendations and draft contract to the Personnel Committee for approval. 

6-2 The Personnel Committee shall make the final decision on hiring, in keeping with the procedures provided for in the Personnel Policy. All applicable national, state and local laws shall be followed in hiring and employment.

6-3 The Personnel Committee shall base its decisions upon the recommendation of the Committee and Working Group, the applicant's resume/application, history and upon the general body of the GPCA's platform, policies and practices. The Committee or Working Group may appeal the decision of the Personnel Committee regarding the project description, job description and/or hire to the Coordinating Committee. It shall require a 2/3 vote of the Coordinating Committee to overturn the decision of the Personnel Committee.

6-4 The GPCA is committed to equality of opportunity for all employees and job applicants. The GPCA will not discriminate against employees or job applicants because of race, color, national origin, age, religion, union affiliation, marital status, gender, sexual orientation, or any factor unrelated to the job requirements. We are committed to employing a gender-balanced, diverse work force, and taking the necessary steps in hiring to achieve that goal. We will comply fully with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

6-5 Once a decision is made by the Personnel Committee, the recommending Committee or Working Group shall notify all applicants in writing of the results.

Article VII Supervision and Evaluation

Section 7-1 Supervision

Independent Contractors and Employees are supervised by the committee or working group from whose budget line they are retained. Communication should be sufficient to be clear about about work objectives and job performance. Supervising committees and working groups may designate someone, including another employee under their supervision, to act as a direct supervisor. Committees and working groups are expected to know and understand this Personnel Policy and are expected to play the roles intended for them in this policy.

Section 7-2 Evaluation

7-2.1 Probationary Period

All employees will be on probation for their first three months of employment. The probationary period is designed to allow the employee and GPCA to determine if they are a good fit for each other. During the probationary period GPCA may terminate employment if it wishes to re-open the hiring process. Changes of positions for current employees will not be subject to a probationary period.

7-2.2 Evaluation of Employees

Employees will be evaluated two weeks before the end of their probationary period, annually thereafter, and at such times as their supervisors may find necessary. Evaluations may result in employee termination or in a specific set of changes required to achieve a satisfactory evaluation. Employees are to evaluated solely on the basis of their work. However, drug or alcohol use will not serve as an excuse for poor work. All evaluations will become part of the employee's personnel records.

Section 7-3 Disciplinary Action, Unsatisfactory Job Performance, Dismissal

Employees may be dismissed by their supervisors, subject to confirmation by the Personnel Committee. During the three month probationary period described in 3.2.1, dismissal may be due to any unsatisfactory work or behavior by the employee. An unsatisfactory job performance evaluation is also a basis for dismissal. Employees evaluated as having unsatisfactory performance or requiring disciplinary action will receive written warning stipulating a reasonable length of time to rectify the problem(s). This can be followed by termination if the problem(s) are not corrected. In addition to any specific job requirements, employees may be dismissed for the reasons stated in Section 9.5 Malfeasance and Dismissal.

Article VIII Conditions of Employment - Independent Contractors

Section 8-1 Status

8-1.1 Independent Contractors (Contractors) are not GPCA employees. IRS rules will be followed to determine whether to classify a position as employee or contractor. When Contractors are hired, a contract must be signed, stating services to be rendered and payment.

8-1.2 Contractors have the right to perform services for others during the term of their Agreement with the GPCA, except if otherwise provided in that Agreement in the case of specific individuals, groups or organizations that may be in a competitive relationship with the GPCA.

8-1.3 Contractors have the right to hire assistants as subcontractors, or to use employees to provide the services required by this Agreement with their own personal funds.

8-1.4 Neither Contractor nor Contractor’s employees nor subcontractors are eligible to participate in any employee pension, health, vacation pay, sick pay or other fringe benefit plan of GPCA.

Section 8-2 Local, State and Federal Taxes

8-2.1 The Contractor shall pay all income taxes and FICA (Social Security and Medicare taxes) incurred while performing services under this Agreement. Contractors are responsible for their own benefits.

8-2.2 The GPCA will not withhold FICA from Contractor’s payments or make FICA payments on Contractor’s behalf.

8-2.3 The GPCA will not make state or federal unemployment compensation contributions on Contractor’s behalf.

8-2.4 The GPCA will not withhold state or federal income tax from Contractor’s payments.

Article IX Conditions of Employment - Part-Time and Temporary Employees

9-1 Status

Part-time permanent positions and temporary positions will be subject to the general rules of this Personnel Policy, with the following exceptions:

9-1.1 Part-time permanent positions will receive no benefits if the position is for less than 18 hours per week. Employees working 20 hours or more will be eligible for pro-rated medical benefits. Benefits, including vacations, will be pro-rated to a 40 hour work week for employees working 18 or more hours per week.

9-1.2 Temporary positions can be established for periods of up to 6 months. Full-time temporary employees will receive the same benefits as full-time employees. Part-time temporary employees will receive the same benefits as part-time permanent employees.

Article X Conditions of Employment - All Contractors and Employees

Section 10-1 Hours

10-1.1 Hours for all contractors and employees are to be established on a per-position basis. No position will have regular hours of more than 40 hours per week.

10-1.2 The GPCA is primarily a volunteer organization. Contractors and employees will not be required to work without pay. Contractors and employees who are required to attend a GPCA State Meeting or other official party function as part of their job description shall be paid for their work. Expenses incurred as a result of job requirements shall be reimbursed.

10-1.3 However, when a contractor or employee does work outside of their paid position, on their own initiative, they may not expect or request payment for such efforts. Any question about what work is paid and what is unpaid should be brought to the employee's supervisor and upon appeal to the Personnel Committee. GPCA facilities, premises, equipment and supplies shall not be used by any contractors or employees for non-GPCA activities without authorization by the Coordinating Committee.

Section 10-2 Outside Earnings and Conflicts of Interest

Contractors and Employees may hold jobs or run businesses in addition to their employment by the GPCA. They must report those outside earnings sources (but not actual amounts earned) to their supervisors to determine if there is any conflict of interest. Employees may not represent themselves as working for GPCA when engaged in outside activities and/or in party activities not related to their job description.

Section 10-3 Procedures

Grievances should be brought to the employee's supervising committee. Grievance decisions can be appealed to the Personnel Committee, whose decisions shall be final.

Section 10-4 Safety and Health

10-4.1 The safety of contractors, employees and volunteers is of great importance to GPCA. Employees will follow all safety rules established for GPCA premises and work off-premises. Employees will be given a written copy of these rules during their orientation. All Federal, State, and local occupational safety and health laws and regulations will be complied with.

10-4.2 Workplace injuries are to be reported immediately. Employees who require treatment due to a workplace injury will be referred to a Workers Compensation doctor. A written report will be made and signed both by the employee and the employee's supervisor. An evaluation should be made as to whether a review of safety procedures needs to be made.

10-4.3 Each employee will provide a person to contact in case of medical emergencies.

10-4.4 Smoking tobacco or burning any substance that may effect the health of employees or volunteers will not be allowed on GPCA premises, except in outdoor areas designated for the purpose to avoid affecting non-smokers.

Section 10-5 Resignations

Contractors and employees who voluntarily leave positions shall provide written notice to the supervising committee or working group and the Personnel Committee. The GPCA requests a minimum of two weeks notice in advance of departure.

Section 10-6 Malfeasance and Dismissal

The following actions shall make contractors and employees subject to immediate dismissal, without any requirement of prior written warning or opportunity to address the issue; or they may lead to other disciplinary actions:

10-6.1 Theft or embezzlement of GPCA funds; theft or deliberate destruction of GPCA property.

10-6.2 Falsification of application for employment.

10-6.3 False reporting about one's work to a supervisor.

10-6.4 Giving proprietary GPCA information to an unauthorized person or entity.

10-6.5 Possession of weapons, explosives, or other hazardous substances while working for GPCA or on GPCA premises, unless needed to perform one's work.

10-6.6 Physical assault and/or battery, on or off the job.

10-6.7 Sexual harassment

10-6.8 Threatening, intimidating, or coercing other GPCA contractors and/or employees.

10-6.9 Serious violations of safety rules or practices.

Article XI Conditions of Employment - All Employees

Section 11-1 Resignations

Contractors and employees who voluntarily leave positions shall provide written notice to the supervising committee or working group and the Personnel Committee. The GPCA requests a minimum of two weeks notice in advance of departure.

Section 11-1 Right to Unionize

Employees have a right to unionize.

Section 11-2 Breaks and Lunch

California state law will be followed for minimum breaks and meal periods. Breaks will be paid, meal periods will be unpaid.

Section 11-3 Promotions

Employees are encouraged to apply for more responsible positions when such openings occur.

Section 11-4 Layoff

At times GPCA may be forced to lay off employees. Such workers will receive all earned salary and vacation pay. GPCA will provide a minimum of 2 weeks notice prior to a lay off.

Section 11-5 Final Pay

When an employee leaves for whatever reason, final pay will be provided no later than the next regularly scheduled payday.

Section 11-6 Exit Interview

The Personnel Committee or its designee will conduct an exit interview of the terminating employee and place the notes of the interview in the employee's personnel file.

Section 11-7 Release of Information/Confidentiality

Current and past employee records are confidential. Unless an employee specifies otherwise in writing, the only information to be given out to a potential employer is the employee's job title and description and dates of employment.

Article 12 Pay and Benefits

Section 12-1 Wages and Salary

Wages for non-exempt workers and salaries for exempt workers are to be established based on approved budgets. Reasonable annual pay increases for continuing employees should be included in budgets.

Section 12-2 Overtime/Compensatory (Comp) Time

12-2.1 Non-exempt employees must be paid at a rate of one and one-half of their regular hourly rate for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week or 8 hours per day.

12-2.2 Exempt employees are those who supervise others or exercise discretionary decision making powers. They are sometimes expected to work additional hours to fulfill their missions. Exempt employees are not paid overtime, as they are paid on an annual rather than hourly basis.

12-2.3 No employee will work overtime without prior authorization.

Section 12-3 Payment

Contractors and employees are to be paid on a schedule defined in their contract, established in consultation with the GPCA Treasurer.

Section 12-4 Medical Insurance (This clause - or a duly approved revision - will go into effect only after GPCA has enough employees to qualify for a group medical plan.)

12-4.1 There is a 30-day waiting period for medical benefits which commences on an employee's first day of employment. Full time employees and their spouses or domestic partners and/or children will be covered by a medical plan paid for by the GPCA starting the first full month following the 30-day waiting period. Part-time employees in positions scheduled for 20 or more hours per week and their spouses or domestic partners and/or children can receive coverage pro-rated to a 40 hour work week; that is, GPCA will pay towards the same medical coverage of a full-time employee an amount equal to the stated hours-per week of the position, divided by forty, with a deduction from the employee's pay for the rest of the premium necessary for coverage. Part-time employees may also elect to not take such coverage, or if less-expensive plans are available than the regular plan, may elect a less-expensive (higher-deductible) plan.

12-4.1 Upon termination, employees will be informed of their eligibility for insurance under COBRA or Cal-COBRA, in accordance with federal and state law. In the event GPCA hires 50 or more employees, the appropriate provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) will be followed.

Section 12-5 Unemployment Insurance

Unemployment insurance is supported by a payroll tax and shall be administered according to all applicable laws. No employee who voluntarily leaves a position will be allowed to defraud the system by claiming to be laid off.

Section 12-6 Workers Compensation

GPCA will carry a workers compensation policy.

Section 12-7 Retirement (Social Security)

GPCA will participate in the Social Security and Medicare system, paying into it in accordance to law so that future retirees will have their appropriate benefits.

Section 12-8 Vacations, Holidays, Leaves of Absense

12-8.1 Vacation

Each full-time permanent employee will earn 10 days of paid vacation during their first year of employment and 15 days of paid vacation starting with the second year of employment.

12-8.2 Paid Holidays

Federal holidays will be paid holidays. Part-time employees will receive this holiday pay in proportion to their work week.

12-8.3 Personal Leave

Employees may take paid vacation days as personal leave days or may take up to 5 unpaid personal leave days per year.

12-8.4 Sick Leave

Employees may take 5 paid sick leave days per year.

12-8.5 Leave of Absence

Employees may request up to 4 weeks (20 work days) unpaid leave of absence per year. Such leaves of absence will be granted only with written permission of the employees' supervisor.

12-8.6 Parental Leave

Parents expecting or having newborn or adopted children may request an unpaid leave of absence of up to 4 weeks (20 work days). Such leaves of absence will be granted only with written permission of the employee's supervisor.

12-8.7 Voting Leave

Each election day employees may take one hour of paid voting leave.

12-8.8 Jury Leave

Jury leave will be paid, but employees who are jurors must report to work when released from jury duty temporarily.

Section 12-9 Child Care/Children at Workplace

Children may be brought to the workplace provided the employee is able to maintain his/her duties and the children do not disrupt other workers. For workplace and public health reasons, children with contagious illnesses may not be brought into the workplace. When there are enough employees with children needing child care to warrant it, GPCA will look into establishing a child-care facility at or near its workplace(s).

Article 13 Record Keeping

Section 13-1 Timesheets

All contractors and employees are to keep time sheets both to record their payable hours and to help determine how they are spending their time.

Section 13-2 Leave, Record of

Records are to be kept of employees' paid and unpaid leave.

Section 13-3 Payroll Records

The Treasurer of GPCA will establish a system to keep payroll records.

Section 13-4 Personnel Records

Personnel records are confidential. Access to such records will be limited to persons supervising an employee and the Personnel Committee or their designee(s). Each employee has the right to review her/his record upon request. An employee has the right to request the correction or deletion of inaccurate information; if such a request is denied, the employee may include a note of disagreement in the file.

Section 13-5 Payroll Taxes

Payroll taxes will be paid to the federal or CA state governments according to law.