Those who dare to dream anything on a scale of this magnitude are well-advised to have a guiding philosophy. And while it's a shame that more people are incapable of living up to a philosophy than are in positions of leadership, we've found that having a guiding philosophy helps keep everyone on the same page.
Our philosophy is in three parts: our Mission Statement, our Guiding Principles, and our Policies. All three of these can be found on this page.
Our company mission statement is the chief philosophy of our company, and the cornerstone on which we motivate our efforts.
Our company’s mission is to promote the use of laser technology in ways which are healthy for individuals and the world as a whole, whether directly or indirectly, for the purposes of saving lives, furthering health, and improving the quality of life for everyone.
Our flagship product at present is a laser tag system which is intended to promote bodily health and wellness through encouraging active participation in laser tag games.
For those who want a very brief summary, go to the next heading, below.
We have just a few guiding principles which have been established to be consistent with the existing industrial culture, as well as being studied and promoted by Adam Grant, a professor of business psychology at Wharton. In his book, Give and Take, Grant outlines some philosophies we have chosen to adopt, among others, but we find that his approach has so far produced excellent results. And while Professor Grant has not elected to endorse us in any way, we wholeheartedly endorse his book as a key principle of success.
One of the primary principles touted by Grant's book is that generosity is a success trait, but it has to be tempered by a correct application (rather than simply giving mindlessly, one has to know how and when to give). By training employees in this core philosophy, we create a culture of giving and openness which produces a more productive and positive environment. Additionally, removal of those who would take more than they give is fundamental to a growth-oriented culture, which is vital to the health of any new company. We have discovered that rather than encouraging an adversarial culture, growth occurs more readily in an inclusive and supportive culture, which is the entire point of Professor Grant's book.
This is not to say that kindness reigns supreme in all cases (anyone in business knows that), but rather that our ability to encourage a culture of giving is more likely to influence the decisions and thoughts of employees at all levels in the company, and so a little generosity goes a long way. We should give what is needed at the moment it's needed. Anything more is superfluous; anything less, inadequate. True generosity is a balance.
Another principle of our company is the principle of simplicity. This has taken many forms over the years, from Ockham's razor and Buddhist application to the engineering lessons of World War II and even things like user interface design. Beauty is achieved when utility is balanced with space and form. To this end, our policies will tend to be simple and direct.
A traditional principle of the entire business world which is essentially timeless is that of reliability. When we say we will do something, we pull out all the stops to make it happen. And while it's true that occasionally things crop up that prevent such things from happening, there's a big difference between fully committing your resources to a spectacular failure and giving the "old college try" and failing into obscurity. The main difference is that a spectacular failure can often be used as a gestalt for further success, and it offers valuable insight and lessons for all involved. Commitment to the end result, even in failure, often results in something equal to or greater in value, and we have only to see it and understand its true value. It's like Kevlar®. Without commitment, reliability drops because we aren't looking for the opportunities to succeed.
Another principle in traditional business is the principle of integrity. Though this is largely considered outmoded by many who consider themselves successful, the truth is that integrity is about building and maintaining the trust of everyone involved. Even if we are ruthless, we need to be predictably ruthless, or people start to shy away from doing business. This is because people like predictability. They trust what they can understand. And so in our company, if we say we are going to behave a particular way, we have to continue behaving in that way. Integrity is not about having scruples; it's about consistent application of what we consider the wisest course of action.
A more universal principle is the principle of strength. A lot of people don't seem to really get that strength isn't about how aggressive you are. True strength comes from within, and is demonstrated by the resilience one has in a situation which would crush others. And we embrace strength as a principle, because that resilience for a company flows from its employees, clients, partners, investors, and all other relationships with people. A company is only as good as its people. Therefore, we're selective about the way that those people are included, and are careful to give to those who are capable of giving to the company—investing in the company is how we build that strength.
The last principle that guides our company is the principle of compassion. Lots of people think that by compassion we mean kindness. But in a business context, it's closer in meaning to something along the lines of lateral thinking, because it's the ability to see things from other perspectives, including those we don't necessarily agree with. A company that can't see the way the market is going is going to fail; a company that misunderstands the way the industry is headed is likewise doomed to failure. All successful companies use compassion to allow them to understand these directions and compassion creates opportunities for them to succeed.
Summary of the Above
Our principles of success are actually very narrow in definition, and somewhat different than the typical meanings of these words. The words we've chosen include the following (as defined above):
These principles should be considered inviolate in our company, above and beyond policy, but they should be defined well as above.
Our company's policies are going to be simpler than average, but still effective.
The laws of Utah require that we include certain policies. The required policies include:
- Antidiscrimination & Harassment Policy
- Substance Abuse Policy
- Workplace Safety Policy
Note that Utah law doesn't require employers to provide breaks. But we do offer them anyway. You'll see.
All definitions are provided for clarity of our policies, and are intended to supersede other definitions, where a conflict exists.
- Company: This refers to Laser Outfitters Laboratories.
- Employee: This is an abstract, referring to any employee of the Company.
All definitions are in effect in this document and may or may not apply to other portions of our web site.
Laser Outfitters Labs is firmly committed to ensuring workplace safety.
It's an often-touted line that safety is everyone's job. We disagree: it's one person's job. But that one person changes from day to day. The Shift Safety Officer (SSO) is a regular employee whose regular duties are suspended for a day in order to inspect the entire property for workplace safety issues. This operates on an “open source” philosophy: the more eyes we have on potential problems, the greater the chances we have of ensuring that they're fixed.
We also request an annual inspection from the Utah State Labor Commission to further ensure that there aren't other things that we're missing.
The security of our work environment is intentionally inconvenient, and we actually need the security to remain as interfering as it is. When employees become lazy or complacent, it can cause issues with the security of our company.
We have employees who have had stalkers in their past—stalkers who have threatened the health and safety of the people around these employees. But the problem is that when these people find ways to sneak into the building, it can lead to workplace violence. Therefore, security is something that all employees should be at least mindful about, and accept the inconvenience that a decent level of security brings.
Part of our general health as a company requires that we take security seriously.
Workplace Violence & Weapons
Workplace violence occurs when people believe that negative repercussions are needed but absent. For this reason, we actually ask that employees bring concealed-carry weapons onto the property, within the law. We believe that this will deter employees from committing acts of violence by reminding them that there may be repercussions for committing an act of violence.
Everyone has times when their emotions run high. Everyone has a right to feel whatever they feel. But those feelings need to be expressed appropriately, and listened to when they are expressed appropriately. To marginalize or diminish the importance of anyone's emotions is to tell them that they as people are unimportant to the company. But we also need to point out when the emotional reaction is greater than needed for a particular situation, so if you're told that you're overreacting, examine the level of your reaction. But overreacting doesn't mean something isn't actually a problem.
Cooler heads prevail in a situation like that, but when there's a valid concern, it needs to be addressed. Ignoring it on the basis that someone is overreacting (whether they are or not) is an invitation to workplace violence. Violence usually happens because frustrations run high and nobody's listening. So listen! You don't have to agree to listen; you only have to understand where someone is coming from.
Emotional Integration Training
Everyone in our workplace is taught a process called emotional integration. We practice it as a group during one of the weeks of training. After that, we consider you an expert on the technique, though it requires continued practice to continue receiving results. We don't require anyone to continue doing this, but those who are well-practiced at it can see into the true reactions and motivations of others.
We may have security cameras around the property. These cameras are never intended to violate anyone's privacy, and do not have line-of-sight into areas where employees may find themselves indisposed (such as bathrooms). However, there are both hidden and visible security cameras all over the property. These cameras area for the sole purpose of maintaining safety, and for ensuring that criminal activity is recorded for prosecution.
The security footage is archived nightly and stored off-site in accordance with information security policy.
Employees may not be harassed on any basis. Harassment in the workplace is defined by two basic kinds of action:
- Quid Pro Quo Harassment: Employees who are offered any favor in the workplace in exchange for something unrelated to work is engaging in quid pro quo harassment. This can include things like sexual harassment, personal favors in exchange for work-related perks, and so forth.
- Hostile Workplace Harassment: Employees who must endure unflattering comments, unwelcomed flattering comments, physical contact or gestures, or other behavior that creates an offensive atmosphere is enduring hostile workplace harassment (also called “hostile work environment”). While we specifically permit brief public displays of affection based on public community standards for the area, we do not permit these to the extent that they should be distracting or interfere with work. This also includes discrimination based on any basis, especially those of heritage, disability, age, religion, culture, gender, or personal preferences.
Harassment in the workplace in all cases will be handled as a policy violation, and it will invoke disciplinary action on that basis. If you believe you are being harassed, the procedure to follow should include the following:
- Say Something: You need to express your offense. Tell the people involved that they're making you uncomfortable, or ask them to please stop doing whatever it is.
- Make it Official: If you are treated as if you're the one with the problem, take it to any executive. We'll make sure that such behavior is discouraged.
- Escalate: If this doesn't resolve the issue, tell another executive. Explain that you have already tried to resolve it with the other executive, but it didn't resolve the situation. It should be resolved within 10 days.
- Give Notice: Report to the President. Tell her about the steps you've already taken, and ask that a final solution be taken. If we feel the complaint is warranted, we will terminate the people involved within 10 days.
- Report: If we are unwilling or unable to resolve the issue, contact the Utah State Labor Commission. A poster with their contact information hangs in the employee lounge.
Respect & Humility
We shouldn't need a policy to explain to our employees that they're not better than another simply because they have a loftier title or more pay. We're all part of the mechanism of company profit. When we start trying to elevate ourselves above others for any reason, we're forgetting that our differences aren't a way to divide us; they're a way to ensure that we all get huge bonuses at the end of the calendar year. Positions have more value; people do not. A higher position that's filled by a complete ass will be lower than the same position filled by someone who's humble.
Our humility is the sign of our greatness. That's a part of our emotional integration training. A humble person has nothing to prove, no axe to grind, no fight to win.
They aren't out to show anyone that they're worthy—they just are. A truly humble person is simply doing their job, and trying to be a human being under it all. And that's true of anyone. Humility is a core virtue at our company.
But false humility—the abasement of the self to others, the idea that you are less valuable than another human being—is actually pride. It's not really humble to try to make yourself less than you actually are, either. True humility is being exactly who you are, but doing the duties your job requires.
When a person is truly humble, they respect other peoples' points of view as being equal in validity to their own, even if they don't agree. Validity and truth are not the same; but to extoll something as truth means you're trying to prove it. It's a sign you're lacking in humility. This is one of the greatest causes of situations that may result in workplace violence.
Lots of people hate a snitch. The culture of secrecy that most companies have is because they want employees to tell them about problems instead of suing them. But this also implies that they have something to hide—as is the case with almost every company in existence.
Nobody likes a taddle-tale. (Especially those who have something to tell a tale about.)
Whistleblowers are often persecuted for the fact that their revelations make life hard for everyone in the company. But the truth is, if an employee can't trust their employer to stand for the right things and uphold the law, they need to have the means to ensure that their working conditions are safe and that they aren't being unfairly exploited.
Our company's policy is to permit (and even encourage) our employees to exercise their rights under the law, and to inform us when we're not holding to our end of the arrangement. But if we don't take it seriously, what's to be done?
Report it. There's a legally-required poster for that in the employee lounge.
How do you report it? Enter it into the company's ticket system. If you tick the “anonymous” box just above the grievance box's upper-right corner, the system will remove all identifying characteristics of the grievance from the database (for example, your employee ID and the computer's IP address you're using), so your anonymity is preserved.
For all whistleblowers, retaliation is not only counter to policy in all cases; it's actually illegal in some cases. So if the ticket system fails to actually resolve the issue, employees can then take it to court. Of course, this doesn't guarantee a result: you still have to be able to convince a judge that your position holds merit.
Touching & Displays of Affection
Many people have different ideas about what's appropriate touching at work. In our case, we try to be more permissive than other environments. This means that we allow things that aren't necessarily permitted by other companies. Some examples of what we permit could include:
- Holding hands with a significant other.
- Brief displays of affection in public (hugs, kissing, etc.) which may or may not be romantic in nature.
- Touching a member of the opposite gender.
Basically, if it's acceptable to do in public according to community standards, we see no reason to limit such behavior in the workplace. But there are some things we specifically don't permit:
- Extended “making out” (kissing, groping, etc.)
- Groping of gender-specific parts (breasts, genitalia, buttocks, etc.)
- Invasions of personal space which are clearly unwelcome.
There are also activities which are specific to the human condition which are acceptable in our workplace:
- Holding someone to comfort them for an extended period while they grieve over unexpected bad news. This compassionate act should never be construed as a romantic gesture.
- Touching someone to fix a tag which is unintentionally showing (with their permission, of course).
- Accidental contact on the genitalia which is clearly unintentional and brief.
These are not the only situations; all of the examples above are merely examples, and are present to act as a guideline for other situations which may arise involving questions of what is appropriate or not.
Human beings are often defined by their roles & relationships: friend, enemy, parent, lover, sibling, persecutor… these are relationships. But in society we have special rules when the relationship is romantic. The reason for this is that romantic relationships are amazingly complex, in and of themselves. The emotional roller-coaster has loads of things that impact us as individuals—never mind that individual impact translates to company attitudes.
Our employees are free to pursue any relationship in the workplace, with a few limitations:
- Commit to your status. Don't just wonder if you're “a thing”… if you have to ask, you are.
- Be adults. Understand that your relationship issues are nobody's business. If you have to talk about what's going on with it, do it where people aren't likely to overhear.
- Judge. But keep your judgments to yourself. Allow people to be human, and to explore who they are.
- Give people the dignity of handling their own issues. Don't gossip about relationships. It can and does do damage to the workplace.
- Have the dignity of handling your own issues when they arise. But if you need advice, get it at a time when people aren't likely to be listening or overhearing your conversation, such as on a break.
- Accept that some people will be critical of your relationship. But 9 times out of 10, it's only because they want to be in it themselves. The other 1 time, it's usually because of other issues such as moralizing in a way which isn't necessarily productive.
- While we'd rather employees didn't date each other, we recognize human nature and the overwhelming need to be human monkeys instead of emotionless automatons. Striking a balance between these two extremes is the right way to go.
- Be respectful of others. This means both the people in the relationship and the people who aren't.
Employees who enter into a relationship of any length should notify the company via the relationship manager. This also allows for a legal record in case anyone becomes super-creepy, obsessive, etc., and this is more for documentation than it is for any kind of control.
Employees who get married after their 6-month probationary period will receive the company's blessing and some money (whatever the budget will permit) toward a honeymoon. We will also give 2 weeks of paid leave to the newlyweds, so that they can get off on the right foot.
Couples who marry before the probationary period is up will not qualify for any bonus in pay, but may receive 2 weeks off for their nuptials, though without pay.
If both of the couple being married is employees of the company, the bonus does not double; the same deal is extended.
Conflict of Interests
What does “conflict of interests” mean? It's a term that some people toss around without ever really knowing. A conflict of interests is any situation which has the potential to create an undue influence in the carrying out of your business activities while in our employ. The moment that such a potential influence is discovered (whether actual or not), the company has to be notified.
This term also extends to exploitation of our company or one of our partner companies because of any form of economic involvement with ownership, such as stock or alternate employment. If you are negotiating a business deal with a company you have alternate business dealings with, you might accidentally misjudge what they're saying and screw our company over without meaning to (or, possibly meaning to, though that would probably lead to a lawsuit and nobody really wants that, even hypothetically).
Notification of such a conflict of interests, where a known factor, can be handled without incident or punitive action; but where we discover it later, it can (and likely will) result in termination.
Incentivizing & Gifts
Some of our work requires us to be objective. However, we also want to be able to reward our employees for a job well-done. Employees are permitted to receive gifts that are less than the equivalent value of 3 days of their salary. Any gifts above this value require executive approval and a brief reminder that gifts encourage people to do things that are less beneficial for the company.
All of our employees have access to private information from our clients and partners. Such information is kept in the strictest confidence, with the trust that we will handle their data appropriately. We must not divulge this confidential information, whether during or after our time with LOL. You may be terminated, sued, or both, if such information is ever divulged and the leak is traced to you.
This is a part of the Employee Contract, and appears in the non-disclosure agreement. This private information of our clients and partners is to be kept private.
Reporting & Documentation
Document, document, document!
All activities which have any bearing on the company need to be documented. Usually, there doesn't need to be much in the way of notes for anything internal, but extensive notes are required for anything regarding external contact. It's actually considered a policy violation to fail to document. You can face disciplinary action for failing to document anything that might actually be important.
So what's important? Anything that might cause the company to be sued is a blanket example. If a client has a complaint about the trigger mechanism on a laser tag gun having a sharp corner, then that has to be documented. If they complain that the lighting is too dark, document that. If you're talking to someone who makes an offhand comment that the quality of the company is slipping, even if it's just a negotiation tactic, it should be documented (along with your opinions on what that statement means). And if you're talking on the phone to a client who says that Little Timmy fell down a well and it's all the company's fault for teaching him about lasers (even though that has nothing whatsoever to do with the company and a lot to do with mental health issues), type it in!
Documentation takes time. And to make it take less time, it takes practice. The note doesn't have to be anything long or grandiose. And as long as we know what you're talking about, nobody should really complain too hard about grammar or spelling. The important thing is to communicate the things that the company needs to know. About 80% of legitimate lawsuits come about because employees don't document.
Our company isn't special or unique in its need for this information. But we do actually enforce it, especially when we randomly check and discover a glaringly absent detail from a conversation.
To document at the same time that you're conducting business, you have to focus on the client. You have to listen. If you're distracted, you're going to screw up. And if you're talking to someone who's trying to focus, THAT might be what's documented instead, and so it's best to just let people who are dealing with people on the phone to deal with the people on the phone.
Speaking to the media is something that might happen at any point. The first thing you should do is to tell them something similar to:
Company policy at LOL is to refer all media contact to our company spokesperson. Do you have that number?
If the reporter continues to press, they are not interested in the official story. You are not permitted to speak with them on the record as an employee. As a private citizen speaking on the condition of anonymity, we legally can't stop you from revealing what you know. The main issue we need to avoid is your speech being misconstrued as the official company position—which you likely don't fully know unless you've been told.
Please also inform us of your contact with the media person. You will not be retaliated against if your words are published anonymously; but we would like to know what we're up against (if you would be so kind). It's legal to record your conversation in Utah, so long as you're one of the participants in the conversation. You don't need consent. And so presenting us with a recording of the conversation is the best things we could possibly want in such a situation.
Photos & Freedom of Speech
As you are now an employee, there are likely to be a lot of people taking your picture and even video of you while you're working. However, in the case of media, there are four basic guidelines:
- It's a Constitutional right to take photos and video of anything visible to the general public from a public space. It might not be fun or comfortable for you, but it's legal for them.
- The property owner sets the rules about how photos are taken on their private property.
- Police may not confiscate cameras or demand to view images or video without a warrant.
- The right to photograph doesn't give any right to break other laws, such as trespassing.
Knowing these things can help employees maintain positive relations with photographers and videographers.
Those who work for the media might request permission to film the lobby, and all you need to do is to tell them you're not allowed to give them permission. If they try to anyway, you may call the police at your own discretion.
They might ask for the person who can give them permission. That's the spokesperson. On the management station, you can chat with our spokesperson at the click of a button to tell them they're needed. They can be there in as little as 5 minutes, most of the time.
Generally, the spokesperson's job is to be friendly. However, lots of people try to lie about their intent, and so these people generally aren't welcome on the property. If they're making a documentary, we want contact with a legitimate producer who is on one of the registries, or who has a significant resume. If they're with the press, we want press credentials. Other than that, we have no problem with them doing their job, so long as the spokesperson is nearby.
"Be Good" Policy
Google's policy isn't to be good; it's to not be evil. And so we're trying the opposite policy to see if we can actually live up to that end. You know, better than Google has lived up to their policy. Our policy is:
Be good, and a force for good.
We shouldn't do evil things, in other words. It means that we can skillfully select the activities we do as individuals, because everyone is trusted to carry out their duties for the good of everyone involved—not just for themselves or the company, but for the world as a whole, and for one another—and still profit by it.
Grievance Policy & Procedures
Employees who feel that there is any misconduct occurring may file a grievance. Grievances are handled by the online grievance system, which employees will be trained to use. Regular employees may also file a grievance on behalf of contract employees, entering the contractor's information as a part of the grievance. This will not be treated as an agreement on the part of the employee; it's a service that any employee is authorized to do for any contractor.
Grievances are typically filed to notify company executives and policy makers of an issue. This is useful when the flow of information needs to go directly to the source instead of following a chain of authority. Grievances are also the primary means of reporting policy violations. As such, they are considered a legal document, and are retained as a part of our company's legal history.
Filing “test” grievances is permissible with authorization. On these, the topic should always be “Test” so that the staff knows that it's not a higher priority than any real grievances they're working on.
If and when the procedure for filing a grievance changes, employees will be apprised of these changes within 30 days and trained (if needed) for the filing process.
Grievances are reviewed by both the Operations Lead and the President. If either one feels there is a reason to pursue a hearing, the hearing is convened (if both agree that it's reasonable, it's the same as if one agrees).
The following are guidelines as to handle grievances:
- Grievances are added automatically to an employee's record. They stay for as long as the employee is employed.
- Grievances that warrant formal proceedings should be investigated.
- Grievances which are filed for separate incidents are always handled as separate cases, even if the same people are involved.
- Grievances filed for the same incident by the same employee are simply added to the case file.
- Employees who file malicious grievances may also face disciplinary action.
- Filing frivolous or “joke” grievances is considered an abuse of the system. Don't do it, folks.
- Grievances filed due to discovery of new information may re-open an old case.
- Grievances which are incomplete may be returned to the employee for completion, with specific information about what's needed.
- Grievances that appear to include an attachment which isn't present are not to be considered invalid. Rather, consider the possibility that the attachment was removed for some reason. Refer to the employee in person and attempt to secure a copy of the attachment firsthand.
Grievances are considered a serious matter, always. While employees are free to mock the system (free speech, after all), they may not directly take action that burdens it unnecessarily.
Equal Opportunity Employment
The following are protected by law against being sources of hiring or job discrimination.
- Familial responsibilities
- Gender identification
- Heritage (“race”)
- Marital status
- National origin
- Past or present military status
- Personal appearance (not “grooming”)
- Political affiliation or beliefs
- Religious affiliation or beliefs
- Sexual preference
- Social standing
- Veteran status
In addition, we extend through our company policy these same rights for the following conditions:
- Academic registration or matriculation
- Concurrent employment (with exceptions)
- Non-disabling mental health conditions
- Non-disabling physical health conditions
- Past criminal status (with exceptions)
- Political activism (past or present)
As these last six are sometimes politically volatile, we ask that they be avoided as topics of conversation while at work.
We will not discriminate during the hiring process or after hire for any of the preceding conditions. Each person is evaluated based on merit and personal skill.
In consideration for hiring, we have only five criteria that are each scored from 1 to 100:
- Emotional maturity
- Enthusiasm for the job
- Interpersonal skill demonstrated during interview
- Personality compatibility (based on MBI) with current team.
- Technical skill
These results are then weighted (on a per-job basis) and a composite score is produced. This composite score then adds the following items as they are known to apply:
- Current employee (+10 pts)
- Engineer (+5 pts)
- Family orientation (+5 pts)
- LGBTQ or supporter (+5 pts)
- Obvious or presented disability (+10 pts)
- Outstanding interview (+5 pts)
- Previous applicant for another job (+5 pts)
- Veteran status (+10 pts)
The highest composite score is selected for hire.
In consideration for promotions, we have created a merit system which tracks employee performance and other measurable factors that we use to evaluate promotions. Identity information of all kinds (except a randomly-assigned code) is removed, and a scoring system is in its place. This scoring system is what is used to evaluate promotions and advancement after hire.
Laser Outfitters Laboratories will not tolerate any form of unlawful discrimination, nor that which is against policy. Individuals who feel they have been discriminated against, or who witness any form of discrimination against any employee or applicant, should report the incident to the Operations Lead.
If the Operations Lead determines that a violation of this policy has occurred, appropriate disciplinary action will occur involving those who violated the policy, which might require counseling, warnings, suspensions and termination.
We also make every effort to conform to or exceed the minimum standards of law in whatever way is most reasonable to us. If any policy is considered unreasonable, the Ops Lead welcomes feedback as to why.
We do not engage in affirmative action practices, as we find them to be racially-motivated and actually counter to the aims of a well-adjusted workplace. However, coloration and ancestry have little bearing (if any) on an individual's ability to perform any job.
Even if it wasn't a law, we would be proud to accept those who defend our rights back into the workforce. Where at all possible, we will re-employ any person who takes part in national service. We need any one of the following to activate USERRA status in our system:
- A copy of the first page of your activation orders.
- If military necessity requires immediate activation or there is protected information on the first page of your orders, a phone call or voice mail that tells us the name of whom to contact to verify your activation status.
- If the first two aren't possible or available for any reason, a letter within 90 days after the fact (keeping in mind the slowness of the US Postal Service in delivering mail to and from active theaters) will be used retroactively to activate USERRA status.
This policy applies to all uniformed services:
- US Army
- US Navy
- US Air Force
- US Marine Corps
- US Coast Guard
- Utah National Guard
Any discriminatory behaviors should be reported to the Operations Lead with haste. This policy does not extend to the Civil Air Patrol, US Postal Service, or private, noncommissioned militias.
Family Care Policy
Employees work to support themselves, and those in their households. This is a primary motivator to work, and we recognize that this is really at the core of why employees show up to work day after day. All of the negative repercussions in the world will not motivate an employee to seek employment the same way that love of family does.
We would be remiss if we didn't recognize the necessity of community support in helping our employees and understanding that family care needs to come before the company in priority. However, as the company also has a need and legal requirement to show a profit, employees should be taught correct principles of family management, and be well-supported in helping to care for family.
Employees may need the first 6 months of work to deal with issues that arise as family members adjust to the new job. In such cases, it's acceptable to give support to other employees, with both documentation and giving notice to the company that you are giving time for family adjustment. We have calculated and expect such issues to increase sharply during the first three months of employment—it's a cost we simply have to endure in order to retain great employees. After this, a gradual decrease should occur.
As we care for one another and form the social bonds as any community does, people will understand how the system works, and that it's not some sterile pond of data and mechanisms; it's a pool of people who live and breathe, and we should maintain those social bonds as important and integral parts of what makes us successful as a company.
Utah State law requires that all children under age 14 be cared for by someone responsible.
Employees who require child care may qualify in certain cases for a state grant to cover some or all of the costs associated with child care facilities or licensed independent providers. While we simply can't afford to cover child care or provide licensed care in-house, we're willing to help with what we can, which is assisting our employees who ask in locating qualified people to help. We also can't have newborns in the office due to our zoning, as it's considered hazardous (whether it is or not is debatable, but the law is clear).
We currently don't outsource and have no plans to. Though this may change in the future, we will always discuss the in-house options before resorting to an outsourced solution.
Cell Phone Use
Employees whose duties require the use of a telephone will be issued a company cell phone after completing the training test. The cell phone will be a low-end Android-based smartphone which employees are expected to use for their work duties. While on duty, we would prefer that employees use this company cell phone for all tasks, and reserve their personal cell phones for off-duty use.
When leaving the property, we ask that all cell phones are placed on the recharging docks so that they can recharge. When entering the property, we ask that all personal cell phones are placed in silent (non-vibrating) mode or turned off.
As we have purchased unlimited no-contract phones, employees may use personal time on their company cell phone, so long as it doesn't interfere with work duties.
Employees who require a laptop for their work will have one provided by the company; other than that, employees should use the computer workstations provided, which will be upgraded every 3-5 years, depending on the needs of business and the availability of funds.
Employees should not bring personal laptops to work without prior authorization, and should not work on their projects outside of the workplace.
Legally-required posters that notify employees of their rights are hung up in the employee lounge, and should not be obscured or removed.
One of the biggest issues we have in our society is the abuse of drugs. We test for drugs if we have a documented situation that warrants one. This includes situations such as:
- Accidents which we consider avoidable, especially those which resulted in loss of life, significant injury, or significant damage to property.
- Actions that endanger any client's health or safety.
- Recent (within 6 months) and known history of drug abuse.
- A random test for no apparent reason, to establish that we are still a drug-free workplace.
Employees selected for drug testing will be placed in a computer pool and will be selected by the computer using a sufficiently-random means.
Per company policy, employees may refuse a random drug test if more than 3 tests have been given in any 12-month period.
“Zero tolerance” is another term for “it's not my problem” and so is rejection of societal responsibility. We can't in good conscience enact any zero-tolerance policy, and so we will take measures to aid employees in cessation from their substance abuse.
People who stop trying or have no interest in a solution are problematic. These are the people we fire.
Those who really are trying to overcome addictive issues are helped in-house, with referrals to qualified addiction therapy programs and leads on civil and criminal defense attorneys (where needed). However, it is not our policy to hold a job open for those who are incarcerated; this doesn't mean we won't re-hire them on their return if they left on good terms.
Drug testing is unpleasant. But needed.
Our drug tests are lab-conducted and medically confirmed. If people don't want to pee in a cup, we also have blood testing and now hair follicle testing which is affordable by the company.
We screen for the substances recommended by NIDA (US National Institute on Drug Abuse). This includes the following substances, in addition to others:
- Amphetamines (incl. meth)
- Anabolic steroids
- Cocaine (all forms)
- Commonly-abused prescriptions
- LSD (yes, it actually does show up in pee)
- Marijuana (Cannabinoids and THC)
- Marijuana substitutes/Spice
- MDMA (X/Molly)
- MDPV (“Bath Salts”)
- Nitrites (e.g., amyl nitrite)
- Opiates & Opioids
- SSRI Antidepressants
- Others as lab recommends
Presence of any of these is a sign that we need to help the employee find an appropriate treatment program. But for those who refuse all attempts at help, we still have to manage the health and safety of our other employees, and so state law requires that we terminate employees who continually test positive for illicit substances, or substances for which they don't have a legitimate reason to be taking.
We test for prescription substances and tobacco as controls. They are not used for decisions about hiring or firing unless there is a compelling interest (such as prescription abuse).
Before we fire anyone, we always offer contacts for treatment programs. If employees are found to be using illicit substances, the law also requires us to report it (and counts us as accessories to crime if we fail to). Therefore, all results are subject to police scrutiny.
Employees are permitted to smoke in designated outdoor areas only. The lounge on the roof is covered and has a heater specifically for cold and severe weather conditions that are inherent to Utah.
Smoking within 25 feet of any entrance is prohibited. This limit is marked. Designated smoking areas are well outside this limit.
Employees who want to stop smoking are encouraged to do so. We will facilitate smoking cessation classes.
Employees who use chewing tobacco or other “smokeless” tobacco products may not create a health hazard to others for their use.
Employees who use e-Cigarettes must still comply to the requirement to smoke outside, for the reason that the smoke from these devices can still trigger symptoms in people who are very sensitive, such as those who have asthma.
There is alcohol on the property which is available to our business guests. It is not permitted for employee consumption except as required by European business etiquette (and is optional in such cases). However, for business clients from Europe, it's considered rude not to offer.
The alcohol in the bar is high-priced spirits, except for the imported selection of beers. We have carefully selected these alcohols for their specific characteristics, with input from an expert on the selection we should offer. They are expensive, and so is the bar itself.
Employees who consume alcohol while on duty may not exceed a single drink during a business meeting with a foreign national. At all other times, it is reserved for authorized use only. Executives may authorize its use.
Employees who have alcoholism or a history of alcohol addiction are encouraged to steer clear of the bar, and may be terminated for unauthorized use. Any employee who is intoxicated on the property will be asked to leave.
Employees are prohibited from engaging in commercial or political solicitation anywhere on the property. However, soliciting for a charitable purpose (especially if it's an employee or their family members) is acceptable, so long as executives are consulted regarding the methods of collection.
Physical collection jars may be used, but may not exceed about one gallon in liquid volume. Virtual collection jars will utilize a “donate” button from PayPal or a similar organization.
Employees who wish to distribute literature of any kind must first gain approval from the President. Such literature may not be of any obviously religious, political or commercial nature, or in any way defaming any individual or group. Distribution extends also to electronic formats, as the result is the same.
For policy, distribution also counts if it's posting or in any way elevating visibility of the literature, which may or may not be electronic in nature.