A. HEALTH AND SAFETY
Kokua is required by WAC and contract to maintain staffing levels which are adequate to implement the goals of the clients’ service plans and which assure basic health and safety needs are met.
B. STAFFING FLEXIBILITY
All new employees will be given a hiring letter designating their part-time or full-time status and a description of their official schedule. Because the needs of our clients change, staff schedules may need to be adjusted from time to time. Kokua cannot guarantee that employees will always retain the same team membership or the same schedules that they were assigned on the date of hire. Working a temporary schedule does not signify a change to the employee’s official schedule. Employees will revert to their official schedule when staffing is stabilized. Employee benefit eligibility is determined by the number of hours on an employee’s official staff schedule.
C. MANDATORY SHIFT CHANGES
While it is Kokua’s practice to try to fill staff shortages through voluntary means, when critical staffing shortages occur, Kokua employees may be required to work additional hours, including overtime hours, in order to assure the health and safety of our clients. The following individuals have the authority to require an employee to work over and above their regular schedule: Team Leaders, Service Coordinators, the Director of Client Services, the Independent Living Program Coordinator and the Executive Director. If possible, mandatory fill-in should be limited to 12 hour shifts. In cases of extreme staff shortages, e.g. an event of severe weather, natural disaster or pandemic illness, employees may be required to work longer shifts.
D. OVERTIME APPROVAL
All overtime hours need pre-approval. On-Call Team Leaders or Service Coordinators may authorize short-term, emergency overtime to cover staff shortages occurring after business hours or on weekends. All other overtime must be approved by the Director of Client Services, the Independent Living Program Coordinator or the Executive Director.
E. STAFFING SCHEDULES
Each team is assigned a set number of direct service hours. This is the team’s scheduling budget. The team has the responsibility to create staffing schedules which reflect actual client needs and preferences. (Full-time employee schedules should consist of 38-40 hours per week wherever possible.) Regularly scheduled shifts should not exceed 10 hours in length. All working schedules must be approved by the Director of Client Services or the Independent Living Program Coordinator. If a Client Services Coordinator feels that the number of hours assigned to one of their teams is not adequate to meet client needs, the Client Services Coordinator should submit a written request to the Executive Director. The request should outline the client needs involved and should recommend the number of hours required to correct the understaffing. The Executive Director may initiate a request to DDD for temporary staff add-on or for review of the client’s assessment. In order to assure that the agency remains within budget, final approval of official staff schedules will be given in writing by the Executive Director.
E. STAFFING SHORTAGES
When an individual is unable to work their scheduled shift due to illness or injury, a staffing shortage may occur. All employees are expected to find fill-in staff when they need to take time off from work. Employees are expected to complete a Schedule Change Request form to document that a fill-in person is assuming the scheduled shift. In cases of extreme emergency (death in the family, serious illness, etc) an employee may contact the Kokua On-Call System for help in locating someone to fill their shift. An employee may face disciplinary action, even termination from employment, if the employee deliberately “no shows” a scheduled shift without arranging for replacement staff. Routine staffing shortages are the responsibility of individual teams. Teams are expected to proactively recruit and train fill-in staff so that they have resources available to deal with staffing shortages. All team members are expected to share the responsibility of covering unexpected staff shortages. Teams are also expected to keep overtime usage to a minimum. Team members can use a variety of short-term strategies to assure that basic health and safety needs are covered: i.e. split open shifts into 3 or 4 hour blocks to share the burden, shift secondary staff to cover openings.
If a team has exhausted its available resources and is not able to provide adequate coverage, they should ask their Client Services Coordinator for assistance.
F. EMPLOYEE EMERGENCIES
If an employee has a bona fide emergency (i.e. death of a family member, life threatening situation, is admitted to the hospital, etc.) it may not be possible for that individual to find coverage for their regularly scheduled shift. In case of an emergency, employees should use the On-Call system to notify Kokua emergency staff that there is an open shift. If an employee has an emergency during business hours, page the Director of Client Services 413-2428. If an employee has an emergency after business hours, call the On-Call Team Leader at 790-5892. It is not acceptable to leave a message on the agency voice mail. You must pass off responsibility for your shift directly to on-call personnel.
G. REQUEST FOR A CHANGE OF SCHEDULE
When an employee desires to change to a different shift or to work in a different location, the employee must fill out a Position Change Request form. A supply of these forms is kept in the office. The completed form should be turned in to the Human Resources Coordinator.
H. JOB OPENINGS
Open job positions will be posted on a bulletin board in the office. While memos may be circulated regarding some openings, it is the responsibility of the individual employee to check the job postings board for job openings. Any employee who meets the minimum qualifications for an open position may apply.
Revised June, 2012