(Revised 10/2014)


Kokua is an equal opportunity employer. We will not discriminate in any employment actions based upon the employee’s race, religion, marital status, age, gender, sexual orientation, color, creed, national origin, veteran or Vietnam era veteran status, use of a trained guide dog or service animal by a person with a disability or a handicapping condition, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, including communicable diseases and HIV/Aids. Kokua expects employees to treat both clients and other employees in a non-discriminatory manner. Discriminatory behavior may be cause for discipline.


In order to maintain the staffing flexibility that is essential to the successful management of our agency, as well as to protect the options of each employee, it is understood that the employment relationship with Kokua is “At Will”. It can be terminated, with or without cause, at any time by either the employer or employee. No agreement to the contrary is valid. No other provision in these policies is intended in any way to alter the at-will nature of employee’s employment.


Employees who voluntarily terminate are expected to give 2 weeks written notice. Exceptions may be made for emergencies. Employees who resign their employment by giving proper written notice or are laid off are eligible for rehire based upon the same terms or conditions as other applicants. Employees who do not give proper notice are considered ineligible for rehire.


There are certain times when it becomes necessary to lay off employees as a result of changes in client need or decrease in funding. Should it ever become necessary to lay an employee off, Kokua will try to give at least two weeks notice if budgetary conditions permit.

If an employee’s position is being eliminated due to a reduction in force or a change in agency structure, an employee has the right to apply for any other open position for which they may be qualified.  The employee needs to go through the regular competitive interview process and along with the other applicants for the open position.  Should the laid off employee be selected for the open position, that employee would be paid at the rate applicable to the new position for which they are hired.


All employees leaving employment will be notified of any rights to continue benefits coverage. The employee’s final paycheck will be available on the next regularly scheduled pay day.


All employment candidates  and volunteer applicants will complete a DSHS background check application as a part of the application process. The DSHS background process must be completed prior to hire. Applicants found to have a disqualifying offense per WAC 388-06-0170 or 388-06-0180 will not be hired.

An applicant with a conviction for an offense that does not result in a disqualification may still be considered for hiring provided:

  • The offense committed did not involve children or vulnerable adults,
  • The offense committed does not pose a significant risk to Kokua clients, and
  • Three individuals who have know the applicant at least three years are willing to attest to the character, competence and suitability of the applicant to work unsupervised with vulnerable adults.

Final approval to hire any individual with a criminal conviction must be given in writing by the Executive Director or Human Resources Coordinator.


If an employment candidate has not lived in Washington State continuously for three years prior to the date of application, the applicant must also complete a FBI background application, including fingerprints. The applicant will be responsible for the cost of the fingerprinting.

An applicant who requires a FBI background check may be considered for provisional hire provided:

  • The DSHS background inquiry has been submitted, and
  • Three individuals who have known the applicant for at least three years are willing to attest to the character, competence and suitability of the applicant to work unsupervised with vulnerable adults.

The Human Resources Coordinator will review the applicant’s full application packet and completed references to determine the applicant’s suitability for hiring. The Human Resources Coordinator will also determine whether or not the individual would be cleared to work unsupervised with clients.

If the FBI background inquiry reveals that an individual who is a provisional hire has a disqualifying offense or does not meet the criteria listed in the preceding section, that individual will be terminated.

Any individual who is found to have given false or misleading information during the application process will be terminated.


Employees and volunteers must submit a new background check application every three years. Employees will be terminated if, since the date of hire, they are found to have:

  • Committed a disqualifying offense per WAC 399-06-0170 or WAC 388-06-0180, or
  • They have committed an offense deemed by the Executive Director to pose a potential risk to the clients or which raises a question as to the employee’s suitability for working with vulnerable adults.



All applicants for employment are requested to submit proof of motor vehicle insurance coverage, a copy of a valid driver’s license and a copy of their Motor Vehicle Record from the Department of Licensing. In order to drive any vehicle as a part of their work duties, employees must:

  1. Possess a valid driver’s license, and
  2. Have their DOL driving abstract reviewed and approved by the Executive Director.

Employees are not allowed to transport clients in their private vehicles. In the event of an emergency, the Executive Director or designee may grant one time exceptions to this rule when needed to ensure client health and safety.

Some work shifts require an employee to drive their own vehicle to run errands or to work in different work sites in a single shift. In order for an employee to use their private vehicle as a part of their work day, the employee must:

  1. Carry motor vehicle insurance coverage and notify their insurer that they are using their car for work purposes;
  2. Give Kokua written authorization to secure a Department of Licensing employer’s driving abstract at least yearly, or more often if deemed necessary by the Executive Director or designee;

Any employee who is cited for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs must notify the Executive Director, or the Human Resources Coordinator of the infraction within one working day. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action up to or including termination.

Employees will be asked to submit up-to-date copies of their driver’s license, insurance coverage and their Motor Vehicle Record at least annually. A written reminder will be sent to the employee as a courtesy.  If the employee fails to turn in the documentation by the date requested on the reminder letter, the matter will be forwarded to the Human Resources Coordinator for possible disciplinary action. Employees who are scheduled to work shifts where driving may be required may be suspended from work until the motor vehicle requirements listed above have been met.


The following violations or series of incidents on an employee’s Driving Abstract would disqualify an employee or prospective employee from any position involving the transportation of residents.

  1. Driving while intoxicated. (any citation within the last 3 years)
  2. Driving while under the influence of drugs.
  3. Negligent homicide.
  4. Operating a vehicle during a period of suspension or revocation that relates to unsafe driving.
  5. Using a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony.
  6. Aggravated assault with a motor vehicle.
  7. Operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s permission.
  8. Permitting an unlicensed person to drive.
  9. Reckless driving.
  10. Racing.
  11. Hit and run.

Kokua reserves the right to remove an employee’s work driving privileges if an employee’s driver’s license is suspended, an employee is arrested for Driving under the Influence, an employee has three or more safety-related driving infractions in a three-year period; uses a cell phone while driving or any other circumstances deemed to present a safety hazard by the Executive Director or designee.


Employees must complete all required training within the specified time limits. Required training will include New Employee Orientation, a client specific orientation, CPR/First Aid, Bloodborne Pathogens and Nurse Delegation. All staff must also receive at least 12 hours of training in the first six weeks of employment. Kokua employees will receive a minimum of 20 hours of training during the subsequent five months of employment. Other required training may include but is not limited to staff meetings and on-the-job training.


All staff must have current First Aid, CPR and Blood Borne Pathogens Training. Each staff member is responsible to keep certificates current. Failure to remain current on certifications will result in suspension until the certifications are brought up to date. The notification system is a courtesy of Kokua. Responsibility for maintaining all certifications remains the responsibility of the employee.


Staff are expected to attend all team meetings to stay abreast of the events and plans in the home they work in. The Team Leader will be notified if a meeting cannot be attended.