Handbook for Non Contract School Employee






































Catholic Schools of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse


Mission Statement

The Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Syracuse carry out the mission of Jesus Christ, bearing witness while proclaiming the Gospel message.  Together with families and parishes, our schools provide an education rooted in the Gospel that is “living, conscious, and active” including values and ideals that are in accordance with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.  We empower our students to live their faith with compassion, integrity and respect for all life and the diversity of our world.

Our schools are faith-centered communities focused on promoting academic excellence while developing a strong moral conscience and embracing Catholic principles to enable students to meet lifelong challenges and demands in our rapidly changing world.


Approved, August 21, 2013

Most Rev. Robert J. Cunningham

Bishop of Syracuse




The Diocese of Syracuse was established in 1886 under the leadership of its first Bishop, Right Reverend Patrick Anthony Ludden, D. D.  Its services reach the people of seven counties in Central New York covering 5,700 square miles in Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego counties.


Currently there are 22 schools, including 4 Jr./Sr. High Schools with a Diocesan Catholic School Office in Syracuse to support the schools. All persons working within this ministry should be mindful that at all times, their words and actions must reflect the seriousness of this mission to continue employment in the Catholic Schools.











This handbook summarizes the privileges and benefits provided to non-contract employees of the Catholic schools of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse (referred to herein as “Catholic Schools of the Diocese” or “Catholic Schools”) as well as your responsibilities.  If you are a new employee, it will be helpful in acquainting you with our policies.  If you are already a member of the Catholic Schools, this handbook should prove to be a useful reference.  A primary objective of this handbook is to promote consistency, fairness and understanding.


The Diocesan Superintendent is responsible for the interpretation of this handbook’s provisions.  However, each school Administrator has the responsibility to carry out the policies and/or provisions set forth in this handbook.


In order to maintain the necessary flexibility in the administration of policies and procedures, the Catholic Schools reserves the right to change, revise or terminate any of the policies and/or benefits discussed in this handbook with or without advance notice.  After you have read this handbook, please keep it handy for future reference and updating.


We are glad that you have joined us and we hope that you will find working with us to be both challenging and rewarding.








































403(b) PLAN.. 20




















SAFETY POLICIES……………………………………………………………………33












SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY............................................................................................38


CONFIDENTIALITY                     …………………………………………………... 43




FMLA ADDENDUM…………………………………………………………………51



This handbook and its policies are effective September 1, 2015 and supersede all other personnel manuals and personnel policies previously distributed by the Catholic Schools.  To avoid confusion, please discard any copies of previously published employee handbooks.





The Catholic Schools adhere to the principle of employment-at-will which preserves the right of either the employee or the employer to terminate the employment relationship at any time, with or without cause.  Our policy of employment-at-will may not be modified by any written or oral statements except by a written agreement signed by the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.




The Catholic Schools are committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity with respect to all employees and applicants for employment.  The Catholic Schools prohibit discrimination against qualified employees and applicants in all aspects of employment including, but not limited to:  recruitment, hiring, compensation, promotion, job assignments, transfers, demotions, discipline, training, leaves of absence, layoff, benefits, termination and employer-sponsored activities, including social and recreational programs.  This policy prohibits discrimination against all legally protected classes including, but not limited to:  race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, citizenship, national origin, ancestry, military status or veteran status,             marital status, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, and any other status protected by law.


            However, in some cases, ordination, religious belief and practice or promotion of   Roman Catholic principals, is relevant and will be considered a bona fide      occupational qualification (BFOQ).


            Employees who have questions on the administration of this policy or a complaint regarding Equal Employment Opportunity should contact Catholic School Office Human Resources at 315-470-1453.


            If not satisfied with the resolution, appeals will generally follow the steps outlined            in the Open Communication policy.




The Catholic Schools are fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADA Amendments Act (“ADAA”), and New York State Human Rights Law which make it unlawful to discriminate in employment against a qualified individual with a disability.  The Catholic School’s commitment to this policy includes making reasonable accommodations.


            Qualified individuals with disabilities should make the appropriate Administrator aware of the need for an accommodation.  The Administrator will work with each     individual to define their job-related needs and to try to accommodate those    needs.  Employees may not refuse to work alongside co-workers who have             disabilities.


            HIRING PROCESS


            The hiring procedure includes recruitment, interviewing and reference and criminal background checks of all applicants considered for the opening.  In some        cases, ordination or religious belief and practice or promotion of Roman Catholic          principles is relevant to hiring and is a bona fide occupational qualification             (BFOQ).




            The performance of new employees will be evaluated at the end of a ninety (90) day introductory period.  Successful completion of the introductory period does not guarantee employment for any period of time thereafter and it does not affect the employee’s employment-at-will status. During the introductory period you will not accrue vacation or personal time however, you will be granted one paid medical day which will be rolled over into your accruals if it is not used during the introductory period.






Prior to making an offer of employment, the Catholic Schools will conduct a job-related background check. A comprehensive background check may consist of prior employment verification, reference checks, education confirmation, and criminal background check.


            Providing false or misleading information by an applicant on the application form or during the interview process is cause for automatic disqualification of the            applicant from further consideration, or for termination if the knowledge about           false information is discovered after the applicant has been employed by the             Catholic Schools.  




In order to avoid the possibility of conflicts, claims of favoritism and other issues that may arise when family members work for the Catholic Schools, the Principal will approve employment of immediate family members of other employees under specific conditions.


            Immediate family members may be employed only where they are not directly or   indirectly supervised by another immediate family member.  In addition, the             responsibilities of the employed relative may not influence work, salary or other           factors of the immediate family member.


            Immediate family refers to spouses, parents, step-parents, children, step-children,   grandchildren, sisters, step-sisters, brothers, step-brothers, foster children,   parents-in-law, sons/daughters-in-law, or family members residing in the same    household.




All of the institutions of the Diocese are committed to providing a safe environment for children.  All employees must complete Safe Environment training within 60 days of hiring.  To achieve a safe environment all employees and volunteers in Catholic Schools have the following specific obligations:


1.      To conduct themselves at all times as a representative of the Diocese of Syracuse and the Roman Catholic Church;

2.      To participate in all training required by the Safe Environment Program and authorize a criminal background check;

3.      To comply with all of the stipulations of the Safe Environment Program;

4.      To maintain physical and emotional boundaries from children and young people with whom he or she is in contact;

5.      To avoid situations, events or meetings with children and adolescents in venues that are not accessible to the public during any such meeting or event;

6.      To promptly report any suspected abuse of a minor to his or her appropriate supervisor;

7.      To cooperate fully in any investigations regarding any suspected abuse.


This list of obligations does not abrogate or replace any other obligations under an applicable law, guideline, policy or regulation.


A more detailed explanation of the Safe Environment Policy is available in the brochure setting forth the policy.  All employees will receive a copy of this booklet at the time of their training.





            Employees of the Catholic Schools are employed on either a full-time or a part-time schedule based on the needs of the Catholic Schools.  There are multiple Classes of employees (based on hours worked per week and weeks worked per year) as outlined in the chart below.   The offer of employment issued to the employee will contain the respective employment status of the individual. Regardless of what Class an employee falls into, they are entitled to statutory benefits.











Employees who are regularly scheduled for less than 20 hour of work per week. 




Part Time

Employees who are regularly scheduled for a minimum of 20 hours per week, but less than 35 hours per week, during at least seven months of the calendar year

Holiday (will be paid only if a regularly scheduled work day)


Medical (pro rata)



Part Time/

Benefit Eligible

Employees who are regularly scheduled for a minimum of 30 hours per week but less than 35 hours per week during at least seven months of the calendar year

Holiday (will be paid only if it is a regularly scheduled work day)


Medical (pro rata)


Health  (pro rated premium)




Long-Term Disability



Full Time/ School Year

Employees who are regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 35 hours per week, and a maximum of 40 hours per week, during that time when the employee’s respective employing school is in session








Long Term Disability




Full Time Full Year

Employees who are regularly scheduled to work a minimum of 35 hours per week, and a maximum of 40 hours per week, throughout the calendar year. 









Long-Term Disability




Employees  in this category perform a job for a specified period of time






            TEMPORARY/SEASONAL - Employees in this category perform a job for          a specified period of time and their employment is limited due to the nature of the       job or availability of the individual.  These employees receive statutory benefits        only.





            In addition to the above classifications, each position is classified as either exempt             or non-exempt based on the nature of the duties.  The Fair Labor Standards Act     (FLSA) is a federal law which requires that employees be paid at least the federal            minimum wage for all hours worked, and that non-exempt employees receive             overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked        over forty (40) hours in a workweek.


            The FLSA provides an exemption from overtime pay for employees employed as   bona fide executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and certain           computer employees.  To qualify for exemption, positions must meet certain tests        regarding job duties and under most circumstances must be paid on a salary basis    at the minimum rate established by law.  Employees in positions classified as          exempt are not eligible for overtime.




            Orientation begins the first day of employment.  New employees will be     scheduled to meet with the Principal or their designee who will answer   questions and help employees complete the payroll and benefit forms.              Administrators will introduce the new employee to co-workers and begin training them for their new job.


            It is important for employees to read the Employee Handbook.  It will answer        many questions about our policies.


            Throughout the first few weeks, employees will be given on-the-job training by      their Administrator.  During this time, employees should gain a full understanding           of their job responsibilities and our standards for their position.




Work hours will be communicated to the employee by the Administrator of the employee’s respective school.  Time records are kept for all employees showing the hours worked each week.


Because of the nature of our business, workdays and hours may vary with the job.  Our standard workweek consists of seven (7) hours per day, generally Monday through Friday, although there may be times when it is necessary to work on weekends.  For purposes of calculating overtime, the Catholic Schools’s workweek starts on Sunday and ends on Saturday.








Employees are responsible for recording hours worked and/or any absences on a timesheet each week, signing it and submitting it to their Administrator the last day of     each pay period, unless otherwise notified.


            MEAL BREAK


A one half (1/2) hour, unpaid meal break is standard, unless otherwise stated for an employee’s position and/or department.  The noonday meal period extends from  11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Employees who work six (6) or more hours, which extends over the noonday meal period, are required to have an unpaid meal break.  Administrators are responsible for scheduling meal breaks.  Employees who work overtime may be entitled to an additional meal period.  Also, employees who work other schedules maybe entitled to a meal period.  Please see your Administrator for more information.



(for schools whose payroll is processed by the Diocesan Payroll Department)


The Catholic Schools are committed to a policy of fair and equitable compensation for work performed.  The rate of compensation assigned to each job is based on the nature of the position as well as economic conditions within the Catholic Schools and the community. 


Employees are paid biweekly. Your Administrator will tell you which day of the week your school’s payroll is processed.  If the payday falls on a holiday, employees ordinarily will be paid on the day before or the day after the holiday. 


            Employees may elect direct payroll deposit, and should contact Human     Resources for the applicable form.


When an employee fails to make prompt payment of personal debts, a court may order the Catholic Schools to garnish amounts directly from the employee’s paycheck.  The Catholic Schools must withhold the amount indicated in the garnishment   from the employee’s paycheck in accordance with federal and state law.




The Catholic Schools do not permit wage deductions except those permitted under state and federal law.  Employees who believe that they have been subjected to an improper wage deduction should immediately report this information to their Administrator.  Administrators shall immediately advise Human Resources of the alleged improper wage deduction.  Reports of improper wage deductions will be promptly investigated.  If it is determined that an improper wage deduction has occurred, the employee will be promptly reimbursed for that amount.




Occasionally the Catholic Schools may require longer-than-normal hours of its employees in order to meet the needs of the Catholic Schools.  It is necessary and requested that each employee comply with overtime needs so that deadlines established by the Catholic Schools can be met.


            Non-exempt employees are paid one and one-half times their regular hourly rate     of pay for overtime hours worked in excess of forty (40) hours in a workweek.


            All overtime must be authorized in advance by each employee’s Administrator.


            Paid absences, including, but not limited to:  holidays, vacation days, medical        time and personal time, are not counted as hours worked when calculating          overtime.  Only actual hours worked are counted when computing weekly       overtime.


            Violations of this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.





A position description is written for each position at the Catholic Schools and maintained on file with Human Resources and the School.  The purpose of these position descriptions is to identify job standards, essential job functions, as well as other duties, and to define reporting relationships.


Position descriptions are designed to promote a better understanding of the total job for both the employee and the Administrator.  Administrators will refer to position descriptions during the recruitment and hiring process, as well as during performance appraisal discussions.


            Position descriptions are updated periodically to reflect changes in job duties and organizational structure.




To help employees grow in their job, Administrators should evaluate each employee’s performance in writing periodically.  The purpose is to provide a basis for better understanding between employees and their Administrator regarding performance, potential for advancement and development at the Catholic Schools.




Each employee’s position and the work done at the Catholic Schools is important.  It is essential that employees be at work on time and ready to work in order to serve the Catholic Community and operate the Catholic Schools in an efficient manner.


Employees who are going to be late or absent from work must personally call their Administrator within thirty (30) minutes of the start of their workday.  Employees who are absent for more than one (1) day must call back each day they are absent, unless other arrangements have been made with the school and Human Resources for disability or FMLA leave.


Employees who are absent for three (3) days without contacting their Administrator          will be considered to have voluntarily resigned from their position and their employment may be terminated.




We expect our employees to conduct business according to the highest ethical standards of conduct.  Employees are expected to devote their best efforts to the interests of the Catholic Schools and the conduct of its affairs.


Business dealings that represent, or appear to represent, a conflict between the interest of the Catholic Schools and an employee are unacceptable.  Employees should not engage in any activity which is detrimental to the Catholic Schools.  Employees should not improperly use their position in order to benefit themselves, relatives or friends.


Employees should also avoid personal interests, or other investments, which would influence the objectivity and independence of their judgment or conduct in carrying out their duties and responsibilities to the Catholic Schools.  Diocesan related outside business ventures must be approved by the Catholic Schools.


The Catholic Schools encourages involvement in community activities.  It is important to recognize that such activities should not interfere with your work.  If participation in such activities involves time away during your normal workday, you should seek prior approval from your Administrator.




The revised Code of Canon Law, effective November 27, 1983, addresses extensively the responsibilities of Bishops and their delegates as administrators of the Church’s temporal goods.  Ultimately, the Bishop has the duty to ensure that no abuses exist in the administration of Church goods within the Catholic Schools.  This policy is promulgated to support and assist the Bishop in that responsibility.


The Diocesan Finance Council provides review, oversight and counsel to the Bishop at the Diocesan level.  At the local level, the parish finance council is to provide the pastor or administrator with similar advice and counsel.  The Diocesan internal auditors also serve a vital role in the review and monitoring of various internal controls at the parish level.  This document should be made available to all parish and school employees and volunteers and studied together for sound parish stewardship in this matter.


The Catholic Schools of Syracuse is committed to the highest possible standards of accountability in all its affairs.  It is determined to develop a culture of the Gospel, one of honest and accountable stewardship and opposition to fraud and embezzlement.  An environment, which allows any embezzlement or fraud, is not acceptable, and all criminal, civil and canon laws will be strictly enforced and obeyed.


In line with that commitment, this document outlines the principles we are committed to in relation to reporting and investigating fraud and embezzlement.  The principles for preventing fraud and safeguarding assets are outlined in the Catholic Schools of Syracuse Business Administration Best Practices Manual that can be found on http://parishsop.syrdio.org.  This document in no way supersedes those requirements, but is intended to reinforce them.  It will outline the steps that are to be taken in the event of suspicion of fraud or actual fraud and communicate how it will be dealt with.  These actions apply to priests, religious, lay employees, volunteers, parishioners or any person suspected of fraud or embezzlement.


The Catholic Schools encourages all clergy, religious, lay leaders, employees, parishioners and volunteers to come forward on a timely basis and report instances of fraud and embezzlement and provides assurance against recrimination or retaliation.


Fraudulent activities at the parish, school or any other level at the Catholic Schools represent a unique problem which must be responded to in an appropriate manner.  The problem is unique in so far as, an inappropriate or premature response may allow the suspected offender to cover-up or hide the suspected activity.




  1. All suspected or documented fraud or embezzlement should be immediately reported to the office of the Chief Financial Officer. An initial report of the incident must be documented in writing by the complainant and provided to the Director of Internal Audit. All complaints and reports of suspected embezzlement or fraud will be kept confidential, other than the timely reporting by the Catholic Schools of the suspected activity to law enforcement, in order to protect both the complainant and the suspected embezzler.  The complainant will be notified of the action taken by the Catholic Schools within fourteen days.
  2. The Director of Internal Audit will coordinate closely with the Pastor, as necessary, during the investigative process until final resolution.
  3. The suspected embezzler should not be approached or apprehended.  No personnel action shall be taken without prior consultation with legal counsel and the Director of Internal Audit.
  4. The premature approach might jeopardize the gathering of necessary evidence, result in a needless lawsuit or cause physical harm to the persons involved.  The clergy, religious, lay employee or volunteer, reporting the suspected activity to the Catholic Schools, shall not communicate with any other priest, lay person, employee, parishioner, volunteer or finance council member concerning the suspected embezzlement until he/she is notified by the Director of Internal Audit.  All information regarding the incident should remain confidential by the complainant, unless the complainant is contacted by law enforcement, in which case the complainant should cooperate fully.
  5. Neither the pastor, associate pastor, parish finance council nor any person at the parish level has the authority to release the suspected person from liability or agree to terms of restitution.  There should be no attempt to contact law enforcement agencies or a lawyer at the parish level, or to deal with the suspected embezzler at the parish level.  The office of the Director of Internal Audit will coordinate contact with appropriate law enforcement agencies on behalf of the Catholic Schools.
  6. The Director of Internal Audit will consult with the proper Diocesan officials and consultants to discern appropriate actions to pursue in light of canonical, civil and criminal statutes, the nature of the allegation and other significant circumstances.
  7. In order to protect the innocent and secure the evidence, no internal control procedures or other operating controls, or employees, should be changed until requested or instructed by the Director of Internal Audit.  The parish must contact the Director of Internal Audit immediately upon suspicion of fraud or embezzlement.  In all instances the parish shall work in conjunction with the Director of Internal Audit and the Catholic Schools to resolve the fraudulent financial situations.  The matter must not be handled at the parish level in any way.  The parish should not attempt to conduct its own investigation.  This could lead to erroneous information being obtained, improper allegations being leveled or the inability of the Catholic Schools to properly pursue the matter in line with canon, civil and criminal law.
  8. The Director of Risk Management shall notify the appropriate insurers. 




The Bishop, Vicar General, Chief Operating/Chief Financial Officer and Director of Internal Audit, in consultation with the Diocesan Finance Council and any other consultants deemed necessary, will make the determination of how fraud and embezzlement is handled.  This includes decisions regarding when criminal and civil authorities and insurers are to be notified.  All civil, criminal and canon laws will be strictly adhered to.


General guidelines are as follows:


  • Once sufficient facts have been uncovered to determine that a fraudulent activity has occurred, the Director of Internal Audit or his designee shall contact appropriate law enforcement authorities. The Director of Risk Management shall notify the insurers. 
  • In all instances the offender will be removed from the situation in which the fraud occurred.  At the direction of the Director of Internal Audit, administrative leave may be invoked on a temporary basis during the investigative process.
  • As a matter of justice and vigilance in preventing the creation of an environment which allows for fraud, restitution will be sought in all cases, regardless of the amount of the embezzlement, theft or fraud.




The following list includes fraud and embezzlement to be aware of and watch for.  While several types are listed below, others may happen that are not included in the list.




Two or more individuals overriding the control system can collectively perpetrate and conceal actions from detection.  This could include collusion between an employee and a vendor or customer, or another employee.




This is one of the most common types of fraud.  It is the postponement of entries for the collection of receivables to conceal a cash shortage.  The fraud is perpetrated by a person who records cash in the cash receipts journal and the accounts receivable journal.  The employee defers the recording of the cash receipts from one source and covers the shortage with receipts from another source.




Theft is the diversion of cash, checks or other assets before they are recorded by the accounting system of the parish or school.  It can take the form of removing cash from the collections basket or mail, taking cash or goods donated to the parish or school or diverting checks to another bank account.






Occurs when a person passes a false or worthless instrument, such as a check, with the intent to defraud or injure the recipient.


Inappropriate use of Endowed Funds


Occurs when a parish or organization intentional uses endowed/restricted gifts for purposes other than designated by the donor


Accounts Payable


An employee may create payments to false vendors or create phony addresses to which payments are sent.  Invoices could also be overpaid, with the refunds pocketed by the employee. 


Payroll Ghosts


Another common form of fraud is to create false employees.  Paychecks are then issued to the false employee and diverted into a bank account.  Unauthorized pay charges and not recording vacations taken are other frequent forms of fraud.




An employee may take bribes or kickbacks from suppliers or vendors.  This is more difficult to document because they are usually in cash. 


Supplies or Inventory Embezzlement


An employee may purchase, with the parish or school’s funds, supplies or equipment for personal use.  Inventory or supplies may also be stolen from the parish or school.


Other Types of Fraud or Embezzlement


Individuals may come up with other methods of fraud or embezzlement.  These include inflating personal expense reimbursement amounts, using the parish sales tax exemption for personal purchases, stealing stamps or other office supplies, falsifying time cards, misappropriating petty cash, or other theft. 










The Catholic Schools is committed to the principle of open communication between employees and their Administrator concerning any aspect of the employment relationship.


            In every work environment there are honest differences of opinion about working conditions, discipline, policies and other work-related matters.  Employees should             not keep concerns to themselves.


Employees who have a problem, complaint, question or suggestion about any aspect of their work are encouraged to discuss the issue with their Administrator.  Most matters should be satisfactorily resolved by such discussions.


Employees who are not satisfied with the outcome of this first session or are not comfortable raising a particular issue with their Administrator, are welcome to discuss the issue with Catholic Schools Human Resources, who will work with the employee and/or their Administrator and attempt to reach a satisfactory solution.  The resolution to a problem, complaint, question or suggestion may be appealed to the Superintendent, whose decision will be final and binding on all parties.





            Individuals who are not employed at the Catholic Schools may not solicit and/or distribute material to employees or visitors at any time on Catholic Schools property.  Any violation of this policy should be reported to the administration immediately.




The Catholic Schools maintain official bulletin boards at their location for the posting of official notices relating to federal and state regulations.  The official bulletin board is for administration use only.  Employees may not post or remove any items on it without approval from the Administrator.












In order for the Catholic Schools to operate efficiently and safely, it is necessary for all employees to observe the policies and procedures governing our work environment.  If an employee’s conduct interferes with orderly and efficient operations, corrective disciplinary action will be taken.  Corrective discipline may also be used when an employee’s job performance is unacceptable. 


            Grounds for corrective discipline, up to and including immediate termination of     employment, may include, but are not limited to:


·         Where applicable,  behavior contrary to Roman Catholic teachings and/or principles;

·         Violation of School policies or safety rules;

·         Insubordination;

·         Poor performance;

·         Excessive absenteeism and/or tardiness;

·         Possession of firearms or other weapons;

·         Theft or dishonesty;

·         Willful destruction of School property;

·         Physical, verbal or harassment of anyone;

·         Possession, use or sale of illicit drugs on school property or during work time

·         Unauthorized possession, use or sale of alcohol on school property or during work time

·         Reporting to work under the influence of drugs or alcohol; or

·         Any other conduct, which in the sole opinion of management, should warrant discipline based upon a common sense review of the facts.




Depending upon the severity of the matter, disciplinary measures may include a verbal warning, written warnings, suspension, or termination of employment.  The Administrator will determine the appropriate corrective action.  The Catholic Schools do not guarantee that one form of action will necessarily precede another, and the Catholic Schools reserve the right to implement immediate termination in cases deemed appropriate by the Catholic Schools in its sole discretion.




The Catholic Schools strive to maintain a work environment that promotes open communication and provides channels to help you resolve problems on the job.  If you have a concern or a workplace problem, you should discuss your concern with your immediate supervisor or Administrator.  Administrators and supervisors have a responsibility to address job-related problems and discuss your situation with you.  Your Administrator will review the facts involved, consider any school or Diocesan policies and practices that may be applicable, and respond to your concerns.  If your concern is not resolved at this level or if there is some reason you feel the situation cannot be discussed with your immediate Administrator, you may wish to take the issue to Catholic School Human Resources.  The Catholic Schools will not retaliate against an employee who in good faith reports problems such as unlawful activity, serious misconduct, violation of safety practices or activities in violation of school or Diocesan policy.





The policy of the Catholic Schools is to provide employees with a work environment free from all forms of harassment.


Harassment includes, but is not limited to, the creation of an intimidating or hostile working environment, behavior that is not welcome, behavior that is offensive or abusive and behavior that interferes with work effectiveness.  This policy prohibits harassment for any reason based on another’s race, color, sex, age, disability, religion, citizenship, national origin, ancestry, military status or veteran status, marital status, sexual orientation, predisposing genetic characteristics, and any other class, status or activity protected by applicable federal, state or local law.  Specific types of harassment include, but are not limited to:


·         Physical harassment: this may include pushing, hitting or other offensive behavior of a physical nature;


·         Verbal abuse: this may include derogatory or degrading verbal comments regarding or made because of an individual’s membership in one of the categories listed above.  Specific examples include, but are not limited to, unwelcome jokes, gestures, epithets, and teasing.


·         Written harassment: this may include derogatory or degrading written comments including, but not limited to, emails, memos, notes, graffiti or other visual depictions made because of, an individual’s membership in one of the protected categories listed above. 


·         Sexual harassment refers to sexually oriented acts or sex-based conduct.  All employees must refrain from sexual harassment of anyone.  Sexual harassment includes, but is not limited to, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature where submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment, submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work performance or creating an intimidating or hostile environment.  Specific examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to, vulgar remarks, jokes, teasing and uninvited touching.


Employees who believe they have been the subject of harassment should report their charge immediately to their Administrator or Catholic School Human Resources or the Superintendent.  Complaints to Human Resources should be addressed to:  Lynda Pearl, 240 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, New York 13202; (315) 470-1453, lpearl@syrdio.org .  Complaints may also be brought to the attention of William Crist, Superintendent, 240 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, New York 13202; (315) 470-1450; wcrist@syrdio.org.  Complaints of harassment will be investigated promptly and confidentiality will be maintained to the highest degree possible, consistent with the Catholic School’s obligation to thoroughly investigate the allegation.  Employees will not be retaliated against for filing a complaint. 


In cases where a harassment complaint is found to be valid, immediate and appropriate corrective action will be taken.  Any employee who has violated the harassment policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.  This determination will be based on all the facts of the case.




Termination refers to either voluntary resignations initiated by the employee or involuntary terminations initiated by the Catholic Schools.


Employees resigning voluntarily are expected to give a minimum of two (2) weeks advance written notice for non-exempt employees and four (4) weeks for exempt employees, so the proper replacement can be found. 


Employees, whose employment with the Catholic Schools ends, will be paid for earned but unused vacation time. 


Earned but unused personal time and medical time are not paid upon termination.


Diocesan contributions for health insurance will be paid through the last day of the month in which employment terminates.  Employees, who have health and dental insurance through the Catholic Schools, have the option of continuing these benefits for a specified period of time at their own expense.  Dental insurance may be continued only if Health insurance is continued.


Upon termination of employment, life insurance coverage ceases on the day of termination.  Employees may have the option of converting their group insurance policy to an individual policy.  Contact Human Resources for more details.


Upon termination, employees are required to return all School issued items, including but not limited to:  keys, tools, uniforms, employee handbooks, manuals, computers, cellular phones, computer disks, credit cards issued by the school, access cards and any other School information.






The following are brief descriptions of benefits offered to eligible employees of the Catholic Schools.  Additional information regarding these plans is contained in plan documents that are available from Human Resources / Benefits.  If there is an inconsistency between this handbook description and the plan documents, the terms of the plan documents will control. The Diocese reserves the right to modify, revoke, suspend, change or terminate any non-statutory employee benefit, in whole or in part, including contribution levels, at any time within the Diocese’s sole discretion.





All eligible employees may enroll in health insurance coverage from the first of the month following the date of hire. Employees are required to contribute toward the cost of health insurance for single or family coverage.  Contributions toward health insurance are made on a pre-tax basis.


Part Time employees regularly scheduled to work in the Catholic Schools at least 30 hours per week but less than 35 hours per week (part time/benefit eligible)are entitled to health insurance benefits at a prorated premium.  These employees qualify for an equivalent portion of the employer’s contribution for health insurance for single coverage and a maximum of 50% of the employer’s portion toward family health coverage.


Example:  An employee who works hours equivalent to 80% of full time would receive 80% of the employer’s portion of health insurance cost toward single health coverage or 50% of the employer’s portion of health insurance cost for family coverage.


 In accordance with the Affordable Care Act, part time employees may elect single PPO C-4 coverage at the announced premium with no proration.


You must enroll within thirty (30) days of becoming eligible for coverage.  If you do not enroll on a timely basis, you will not be able to enroll until the next open-enrollment period.  The open-enrollment period for insurance through the Catholic Schools of Syracuse is normally held in May.  All changes indicated during Open Enrollment are effective July 1st.




Dental benefits are also available to eligible employees.  Enrollment in the dental plan is offered for two full years.  Premiums for dental coverage are paid for by the employee and are made on a pre-tax basis.




Vision benefits are also available to eligible employees.  Enrollment in the vision plan is offered for two full years.  Premiums for vision coverage are paid for by the employee and are made on a pre-tax basis.




In accordance with applicable provisions of the New York State Insurance Law, if you are an employee of the Catholic Schools covered by the Diocese’s Health Insurance Plan, you have a right to a temporary extension of your health coverage (called “Continuation Coverage”) at group rates in certain instances where coverage under the plan would otherwise end.  Dental coverage may also be continued, but only if health coverage is continued.  Continuation coverage is available if you cease to be in the class or classes eligible for coverage under the plan, or because of termination of your employment.


It is the employee’s or family member’s responsibility to inform the Catholic Schools Human Resources Department of a divorce, legal separation, or a child losing dependent status under the Health Insurance Plan.  The Diocese will assume responsibility to notify the health insurance administrator of the employee’s death, termination of employment or failure to be a member in the class or classes eligible for coverage under the plan, or where Medicare eligibility is established.  When the insurance administrator is notified that one of these events has happened, the administrator will in turn notify you that you have a right to choose continuation coverage.  You will then have sixty (60) days, from the date COBRA notification paperwork is sent, to inform the administrator that you want continuation coverage.


If you do not choose continuation coverage, your group health insurance coverage will end at the end of the month in which the termination occurred.


If you choose continuation coverage, the Diocese is required to give you coverage which, as of the time coverage is being provided, is identical to the coverage provided under the plan to similarly situated employees or family members. 

You do not have to show that you are insurable to choose continuation coverage.  However, as permitted by state law, you are required to pay all the premium for your continuation coverage.


If you have any questions about the right to health insurance continuation coverage, please contact Catholic Schools Human Resources or the Diocese Benefit Department.




All benefit eligible employees, at locations which have elected this benefit, are eligible to participate in the Flexible Spending Account Plan (FSA) upon hire.


The FSA allows employees to save taxes on the money paid toward qualified dependent care expenses, and qualified unreimbursed dental, vision and medical care expenses.  With the FSA, employees may designate how much of their salary will be used to pay for these benefits during the calendar year.  The designated amount is deducted from gross pay before taxes are taken out. 




A group term life insurance policy is provided for eligible employees. Enrollment is required.


The premium for the basic insurance coverage is fully paid by the Diocese.


The amount of life insurance coverage is equal to one times the employee’s annual salary, rounded up to the next highest thousand. The plan also includes an Accidental Death and Dismemberment benefit equal to the same amount.  Employees may elect to enroll in additional life insurance coverage at their own expense.


          403(b) PLAN


The Diocese provides eligible employees with a 403(b) plan that allows tax-deferred savings for retirement.

All employees are eligible to join our 403(b) plan immediately upon hire.

Enrollment can occur at any time during the year.

Plan participants may elect to contribute either a percentage of their compensation or a flat dollar amount on a pre-tax basis through payroll deduction, subject to the terms of the plan and certain established federal limitations.

Once enrolled in the plan, contributions remain the same until an employee elects to stop, increase or decrease savings. Election can be changed at any time.

If an employee is hired before July 1, 2011, they may contribute to the 403(b) on a contributory basis only and will not be eligible for the company match. Employees hired July 1, 2011 and later are eligible for an employer match on their contributions. The employer match is 50% of the first 6% of pay contributed by the employee. To be eligible for the match the employee must complete a year of eligibility service within which they have worked at least 1,000 hours. Ongoing eligibility for the match requires that 1,000 hours be worked within the plan year.

Employees are provided with a significant number of investment options. Contact Human Resources or the Plan Administrator for additional information.


          PENSION PLAN


For employees hired before July 1, 2011, on the first July 1st following 12 months of continuous service to the Catholic Schools of Syracuse, Lay employees who regularly work 1,000 hours or more during a fiscal year, may be eligible for participation in the Diocesan Pension Plan. The plan booklet contains further details regarding plan eligibility provisions. Normal retirement age for the plan is 65, and you may elect an early retirement if you have attained age 55 and have completed 20 or more years of continuous service. If you become totally disabled while still working, the benefits which you have earned to date are frozen. If you remain totally disabled, these benefits will be payable to you starting at your normal retirement date. If a participant’s employment with the Catholic Schools terminates, they may be entitled to vested benefits from the plan.






The Catholic Schools of Syracuse provides disability benefits to lay employees.  Benefits are payable according to New York State Disability regulations.  They are available for up to 26 weeks for non-work related disability within any 52 week period.  Weekly benefits are 50% of the average weekly earnings up to the maximum weekly benefit as provided by law.


Disability benefits and full weekly salary may not be collected at the same time.  However, partial accrued medical days are paid on a weekly basis, to supplement the weekly disability in order to provide full pay for as long as medical days last.




The Catholic Schools provides Workers’ Compensation coverage which covers all employees in the event that they are injured or become disabled due to occupational illness or injury while on the job.  Benefits are paid for lost wages and medical expenses.


Benefits for lost earnings begin after the seventh day of disability.  If the disability continues beyond two (2) weeks, the benefits will also be paid for the first week of disability.  Payment of medical expenses begins on the first day of disability.


Work related accidents or injuries, even if minor, must be reported within twenty-four (24) hours to the employee’s Administrator, who will report the injury to Risk Management Department. 


The Catholic Schools strictly prohibits discrimination of any kind against employees who apply for or receive workers’ compensation benefits or who are otherwise protected under the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law.  If any employee believes that they have been subjected to such discrimination, they should immediately contact Human Resources who will promptly conduct an investigation and take corrective action as needed.




During your employment, you and the Catholic Schools both contribute funds to the Federal government to support the Social Security program.  This program is intended to provide you with monthly benefits and medical coverage once you reach retirement age.  Benefits may also be available in the event you become disabled or die.  If you would like to receive an estimate of what you will receive, you can contact the Social Security Administration.






This program covers all employees and provides weekly benefits if you become unemployed through no fault of your own or due to circumstances described in the law.  The Catholic Schools pays for the cost of these benefits.




            The Catholic Schools observes the following paid holidays each year:


New Year’s Day

Martin Luther King, Jr.

President’s Day

Good Friday

Memorial Day

Independence Day * available only to full time, full year employees

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Veteran’s Day

Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day


If an employee is not regularly scheduled to work on the holiday, the employee does not receive holiday pay for that day.  Eligible employees will receive payment at their regular rate of pay and regularly scheduled hours.


If your Administrator finds it necessary to maintain regular office hours on any of the above holidays, you are required to work at your normal rate of pay during the holiday(s);  and  you will be given a paid  day off within that same biweekly pay period.


Any employee who works less than 20 hours per week (hourly) is not eligible to receive a paid holiday. 




Following their initial employment period of three months, full time/full year employees, accrue one vacation day per month in the first fiscal year (July 1st through June 30th) of employment up to a maximum of five days.   Following the beginning of the next fiscal year after the initial period, vacation benefits are as follows:


·         Employed up to 5 years as of July 1st: 5 working days per fiscal year;

·         Employed 5 or more years as of July 1st:  10 working days per fiscal year.


Any arrangements outside of the above vacation allotment must be authorized by the Principal in writing and kept on file in the employee’s file at the school and with payroll. 


Employees hired for less than a 12 month position do not earn vacation time.


Employees hired prior to to July 1, 2007, who were previously given vacation time are “grandfathered” with the schedule under which they were hired.  This vacation allotment should be on file in the employee’s file at the school and with payroll.


Vacation days are earned through the fiscal year and may be taken at any time after they have been earned, subject to Administrator approval, which shall not be unreasonably withheld, subject to coordination of vacation day requests from other employees and school needs.


All vacation days must be taken by December 31st following the close of the fiscal year during which they have been earned.  Unused vacation days may not be carried over from year to year, nor is payment made for vacation days not taken.  Vacation should be scheduled in one week increments, but vacations of less than five days or more than two weeks may be granted at the discretion of the school Administrator or supervisor.  Ordinarily vacations are not taken at times when school is in session.


Requests for vacation must be submitted to the school principal/supervisor at least one month prior to the commencement date of the requested vacation period, unless an emergency arises prohibiting a month’s notice.


Should a holiday fall within the vacation period of an employee, the employee will not be charged for a vacation day. 


If employment with the Catholic Schools terminates prior to the end of the fiscal year, employees will be paid at their regular rate of pay for the vacation days given based on the amount of time actually worked during the fiscal year, unless the employee’s employment ends because the employee has:  (1) breached his/her fiduciary duty; (2) breached his/her duty of loyalty; (3) committed a crime against the Catholic Schools; (4) committed fraud involving the Catholic Schools; or (5) was terminated for inappropriate conduct.  In addition, an employee will not be paid if he/she fails to give proper notice, or fails to serve their notice period.


An employee’s vacation pay is based on the number of hours they are regularly scheduled to work at their straight time hourly rate.


Employees may not receive pay in lieu of taking the actual time off.





Following the introductory period of ninety (90) days, all full-time/school year and full time/full year and eligible part-time/school year and part time/full year employees (on a pro rata basis) accrue one (1) paid medical day per month, up to a total of eight (8) days, for the first fiscal year of employment.  During each fiscal year following the introductory employment, eight (8) paid medical days are allowed for legitimate illness for full-time and part-time eligible employees.  The Catholic Schools reserves the right to request a physician’s statement verifying an employee’s inability to perform job duties.  If the employee fails to submit sufficient proof of illness when required to do so, such absence may be considered time off without pay.


Unused accrued medical days may be carried over from year to year up to a maximum of sixty (60) days. 


Medical leave, using accrued medical days, is a benefit to lay employees. An accurate record of medical days must be kept, and it is the responsibility of your Administrator to see that this record is kept on a weekly basis.  Employees are required to submit applicable forms to your Administrator for approval.

Accrued medical days are to be used on a partial basis in combination with disability insurance, for medical leave due to illness or injury.  The purpose of using partial medical days is to provide a level of full pay to the employee as long as the medical days last.


Medical days must be used by an employee who is on an approved Family Medical Leave for their own medical condition.  Unused medical days are not paid to an employee at year end or when employment terminates regardless of the reason for termination nor may they be used as extra vacation time.





Each regular, full-time full year and full time school year employee is entitled to five (5) personal days during each fiscal year (July 1st through June 30th) after completion of their ninety (90) day introductory period.  Ordinarily, they are to be used as necessary for personal or family needs which cannot be dealt with on non-working time. 


Personal days are paid and are normally taken in increments of ½ day or more.  Time less than ½ day may be taken with the permission of, and at the discretion of the appropriate Administrator.  All time taken will be kept track of in your personnel file by your Administrator.  Requests for personal days should be submitted to the Principal no later than one week prior to the requested time off in order to properly cover for personnel.


Personal days are not carried over from year to year.  Unused personal days are not paid to an employee upon termination of employment.


No class of part-time employees are entitled to personal days.







In the event of a death in an employee’s immediate family, full time/full year, full time/school year and part time and part time/benefit eligible employees may take a leave immediately following the death for the purpose of making arrangements and attending the funeral.


Employees will receive up to five days off with pay in the event of the death of an immediate family member.  For the purposes of this policy, members of the immediate family include spouse, parents, grandparents, children, stepchildren, sisters, brothers, parents-in-law, sons/daughters-in-law, brother/sister-in-law, stepparents and stepparents-in-law.


The Catholic Schools reserves the right to request documentation verifying the need for bereavement leave. 




An employee must notify his Administrator no later than the first scheduled work day following receipt of notice of selection for jury duty or examination.  The Catholic Schools may request that the employee be excused, exempted or rescheduled from such jury duty if, in the opinion of the Catholic Schools, the employee’s absence for the purpose of jury duty would create an operational hardship for the Catholic Schools.


Any employee who is absent from work due to jury duty or jury examination shall be paid at their normal straight time hourly rate or salary (less any monies paid by the Court) for each day they are regularly scheduled to work but have jury duty or jury examination for a maximum of 10 days per fiscal year.  Such time shall not exceed eight (8) hours in any one day, or forty (40) hours in one (1) week or ten (10) days in a fiscal year.


Employees are expected to work all available, reasonable hours outside of those actually required for jury duty or jury examination.  This shall include “on-call” time. 


The Catholic Schools reserves the right to request documentation verifying jury duty leave, and/or payments received from the Court.




The Catholic Schools recognizes the obligation of those employees serving in any branch of the military or other uniformed services of the United States.  Employment status at the Catholic Schools is protected by the Uniform Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 and state military leave provisions.


Employees who serve on active or reserve duty will be granted an unpaid leave of absence up to the maximum time required by law.


Employees will receive one (1) paid day if they need time off for a health physical related to military duty.  Employees will be paid the difference between their normal weekly compensation (base rate) and total military duty pay for two (2) weeks if they are called to serve on military duty.  After two (2) weeks of paid military service, employees will receive unpaid time off for military service.  Employees on unpaid military leave may choose to apply vacation or personal time benefits to their absence.


Employees on military leave can continue health insurance for up to the number of months permitted by law if they choose to pay the full premium for the coverage.  For more information on health care continuation contact Human Resources.


Employees are expected to inform their Administrator of military leave as far in advance as possible.  Prior to taking paid or unpaid leave under this policy employees must submit a copy of the military orders to their Administrator.  To receive paid military leave, employees must provide Human Resources with a complete copy of the most recent Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) so that the Catholic Schools may properly determine the amount, if any, owed to the employee under this policy.







Eligible employees must apply for a leave of absence, by completing and returning a FMLA-1 form (Request for Family Medical Leave) available at your School Office, preferably at least 30 days before the commencement of the leave.  When it may not be practical for an employee to apply for a leave of absence in advance, the employee must apply for a leave as soon as possible. 


Employees who request leaves of absence will be advised of the conditions upon which the leave will be granted prior to the commencement of the leave, including any requirement to provide medical certification to support the leave request.


The Catholic Schools will notify the employee when a requested leave of absence from normal duties is covered by the Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”).


A leave of absence may be immediately terminated if the employee engages in any conduct which is inconsistent with the purpose of the leave (e.g. working for other employers while on a medical leave of absence).  


Except in the case where an employee is receiving disability or workers’ compensation benefits while on leave, the Catholic Schools shall require an employee to use his/her accrued medical time, personal days and vacation days during any and all leaves of absence under this policy.  The balance of the leave shall be unpaid.




Although the Catholic Schools reserves the right to grant or deny a request for a leave of absence, as well as require medical certification and/or military certification demonstrating eligibility for a leave of absence, a request for a leave of absence generally will be approved based upon the following:


1.                  Medical Leave - An employee who has worked for the Catholic Schools for a minimum of one (1) year and 1,250 hours in the preceding twelve (12) months is entitled to Medical Leave if he/she is unable to perform the essential functions of his/her regular position because of a serious health condition and is under the care of a health care provider. 


An employee who is granted a Medical Leave must return to active employment when able to perform the essential functions of his/her regular position or at the expiration of the leave of absence, whichever is earlier.  Subject to applicable law, failure to so return will result in termination of employment and the termination or reduction of benefits in accordance with applicable policies or plan provisions.


An employee who is granted a Medical Leave must not engage in activities during the leave that the Catholic Schools considers unreasonable under the circumstances (e.g., engaging in other employment) or that might prolong the disability.  If so, the Catholic Schools reserves the right to end the leave and terminate the employee.


2.                  Child Care Leave - An employee who has worked for the Catholic Schools for a minimum of one (1) year and 1,250 hours in the preceding twelve (12) months is entitled to Child Care Leave to care for his or her newborn child or a child placed with him or her for adoption or foster care if the employee intends to return to the Catholic Schools at the expiration of the leave.


Child Care Leave is only available and must be completed within twelve (12) months of the birth or placement.


3.                  Family Medical Leave - An employee who has worked for the Catholic Schools for a minimum of one (1) year and 1,250 hours in the preceding twelve (12) months is entitled to Family Medical Leave to care for his or her child, spouse or parent who has a serious health condition if the employee intends to return to the Catholic Schools at the expiration of the leave.


4.                  Servicemember Exigency Leave - An employee who has worked for the Catholic Schools for a minimum of one (1) year and 1,250 hours in the preceding twelve (12) months  is entitled to Servicemember Exigency Leave to address a qualifying exigency (emergency) arising out of the fact that his or her child, spouse or parent who is on active duty or called to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation, if the employee intends to return to the Catholic Schools at the expiration of the leave. 


5.                  Military Caregiver Leave - An employee who has worked for the Catholic Schools for a minimum of one (1) year and 1,250 hours in the preceding twelve (12) months is entitled to Military Caregiver Leave to care for a covered servicemember with a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty while on active military duty with a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States if the employee intends to return to the Catholic Schools at the expiration of the leave.


6.                  Military Leave - The employee must be inducted (either voluntarily or involuntarily) into the Armed Forces of the United States and ordered to active duty or the employee is a member of the National Guard or Reserves and ordered to active duty.


Length of Leave


1.                  The Catholic Schools calculates employees’ entitlement to any leave of absence that is covered by Family and Medical Leave Act by using a “rolling” twelve month period.  In that regard, an employee’s entitlement to such a leave will be determined by a review of the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the requested leave.


2.                  An eligible employee may be granted a Medical, Child Care, Family Medical, Service member Exigency, or Military Caregiver Leave of Absence as follows:


a.                   Medical Leave – may be approved up to a maximum of twelve (12) weeks, less any Child Care, Family Medical, Servicemember Exigency, or Military Caregiver Leave taken during the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the requested leave.  Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 below, an approved Medical Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule.


b.                  Child Care Leave - may be approved up to a maximum of twelve (12) weeks, less any Medical, Family Medical, Servicemember Exigency, or Military Caregiver Leave taken during the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the requested leave.  Child Care Leave may not be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis.


c.                   Family Medical Leave - may be approved up to a maximum of twelve (12) weeks, less any Medical, Child Care, Servicemember Exigency, or Military Caregiver Leave taken during the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the requested leave.  Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 below, an approved Family Medical Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis.


d.                  Servicemember Exigency Leave - may be approved up to a maximum of twelve (12) weeks, less any Medical, Child Care, Family Medical, or Military Caregiver Leave taken during the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the requested leave.  Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 below, an approved Servicemember Exigency Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis.


e.                   Military Caregiver Leave - may be approved up to a maximum of twenty-six (26) weeks, less any Medical, Child Care, Family Medical, or Servicemember Exigency Leave taken during the twelve (12) month period immediately preceding the requested leave.  Subject to the provisions of paragraph 3 below: an approved Military Caregiver Leave may be taken intermittently or on a reduced schedule basis.                      


3.                  An employee may take Medical, Family Medical, Servicemember Exigency, or Military Caregiver Leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule as determined by the Catholic Schools, only under the following circumstances, unless otherwise agreed to by the Catholic Schools:                                


a.                   The employee has a disability, which substantially limits him or her in a major life activity, and intermittent Medical Leave is necessary to accommodate such employee in the performance of the essential functions of his or her position.


b.                  The employee has a serious health condition, which, because of medical necessity, requires intermittent Medical Leave.


c.                   The employee has a child, spouse, or parent with a serious health condition that, because of medical necessity, requires intermittent Family Medical Leave.


d.                  The employee has a qualifying exigency (emergency) arising out of the fact that his or her child, spouse or parent who is on active duty or called to active duty status in the National Guard or Reserves in support of a contingency operation, which requires intermittent Servicemember Exigency Leave.


e.                   The employee has a child, spouse, parent, or next of kin who is recovering from a serious illness or injury sustained in the line of duty while on active military duty with a branch of the Armed Forces of the United States, which, because of medical necessity, requires intermittent Military Caregiver Leave.



4.                  If an eligible instructional employee needs Medical, Family Medical, Servicemember Exigency, or Military Caregiver Leave intermittently or on a reduced schedule, which is foreseeable based on planned medical treatment, and the employee would be on leave for more than 20 percent of the total number of working days over the period the leave would extend, the Catholic Schools of the Diocese may require the employee to choose either to:


a.                   Take leave for a period or periods of a particular duration, not greater than the duration of the planned treatment; or


b.                  Transfer temporarily to an available alternative position for which the employee is qualified, which has equivalent pay and benefits and which better accommodates recurring periods of leave than does the employee’s regular position.


5.                  Special rules apply in the case of leaves of absence which are scheduled to commence or end near the end of an academic term.  In such circumstances, the Catholic Schools reserves the right to require employees to continue taking such leaves until the end of the term in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act and regulations thereto.


6.                  Military Leaves will be approved for the period of active duty.


7.                  It is the policy of the Catholic Schools to comply with applicable statutory leave requirements.  A leave of absence granted under this policy shall run concurrently with statutorily required leaves of absence.



Effective Date


The effective date of a leave is the first working day of absence, regardless of approval date.


End of the Leave


         A leave of absence may end in one of the following ways:


1.                  The employee returns to work.  If an employee returns to work prior to the expiration of the leave, and the employee would not have been affected by a layoff or a change in the Catholic Schools’s organization while on leave, the employee will be reinstated to the same position or a position of similar status and pay.


While an employee is on an approved leave, the Catholic Schools will take such steps as it considers reasonable (e.g., leaving a position temporarily vacant, filling a position temporarily, etc.), with the objective of reinstating the employee in the position vacated when the leave began.  However, there is no guarantee that an employee who is granted a leave will always be reinstated in the original position.


Prior to returning from a Medical Leave, the employee must present a release signed by the health care provider permitting him/her to return to the job.


Two weeks prior to the date of return to work or expiration of the leave, the employee must report to his/her Administrator to give notice of his/her intention of returning to his/her job.  Failure to return to work at the end of the leave will be considered a voluntary resignation.


Returning from a Military Leave entitles the employee to the veteran’s re-employment rights as prescribed by law.


2.                  The employee does not return to work and is terminated.  The employee may fail to return by the established expiration date, may resign, retire, violate the conditions of the leave or may have been affected by a layoff or a change in the Catholic School’s organization.


The effective date of termination will be: 1) the expiration date established for the leave, or 2) the date the employee notifies the Catholic Schools that he/she will not be returning, or 3) the notification date provided by the employer when there is a layoff, a change in the Catholic School’s organization or when the employee has violated the conditions of the leave, whichever occurs first.  The employee will be notified of his/her options relative to the conversion of certain insurance benefits as in the case of any termination.




Eligible employees who have a spouse serving in the military, who is on leave from deployment, may request an unpaid leave of absence for up to ten (10) days. The Catholic Schools reserves the right to request documentation verifying entitlement to military spouse leave, which would include at the minimum a request for the applicable leave orders. 




Employees who work an average of twenty (20) hours or more each week may request unpaid leave of up to 24 hours per year to seek or undergo a medical procedure to donate bone marrow.  Employees must provide Human Resources with written verification by a physician confirming that the purpose of the requested leave is to donate bone marrow and stating the length of the requested leave.  When possible, employees should provide reasonable notice of their desire  to take leave for this purpose.  Additional information regarding this policy is available from Human Resources.




Employees who work an average of twenty (20) hours or more per week may request unpaid leave of up to 3 hours in a calendar year to donate blood.  The Catholic Schools requests a minimum of three (3) working days’ notice from the employee.  Notice should be provided to the Administrator.  In some instances the Catholic Schools may require a longer notice period not to exceed ten (10) working days.  In the case where an employee experiences an emergency requiring that he/she donate blood for his or her own surgery or that of a family member, the Catholic Schools shall provide a reasonable accommodation for a shorter notice period.  Additional information regarding this policy is available from Human Resources.






Eligible employees may request unpaid time to appear as a witness, consult with the District Attorney, or exercise other legal rights in connection with criminal procedure law or Family Court.




Reasonable unpaid break time or meal time will be provided each day to allow an employee to express breast milk for her nursing child for up to three years following childbirth.  The Catholic Schools will make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, in close proximity to the work area, where an employee can express milk in privacy.  Questions regarding this policy and additional information regarding New York State requirements may be obtained from Human Resources.  Employees who have a need to use this policy should notify their Administrator or Human Resources.




The Catholic Schools believes that each employee should have the opportunity to exercise the right to vote in elections.  If an employee does not have sufficient time outside of regular working hours within which to vote at any election they may request time off which will enable them to vote.  The time off, up to a maximum of two (2) hours, will be paid.  Any additional time off needed to vote is without pay.  Generally, the time off shall be granted either at the start or end of the employee’s regularly scheduled work day.  Employees anticipating a need for time off to vote must submit a time off request to their Administrator at least ten (10) working days in advance.




Safety is a high priority at the Catholic Schools.  The Catholic Schools accepts responsibility for providing employees with a safe working environment and expects employees to take responsibility for performing their work in accordance with established safety standards and practices.  Everyone is responsible for promoting safety and taking every reasonable measure to assure safe working conditions exist throughout the Catholic Schools.


Employees who notice an unsafe condition must notify their Administrator.  If warranted, immediate action will be taken to correct the situation.


Employees must report any injury received at work to their Administrator immediately, even if it appears minor, and explain how the injury occurred. 


An unsafe worker is a danger to the worker and co-workers.  Attention to all safety procedures is essential, not only to prevent injury, which is paramount, but also to protect property and the tremendous investment that it represents.


Each employee is responsible for safety.  To accomplish this, employees should:


·         Know and apply safety measures at all times;

·         Know the locations, contents and use of first aid and firefighting equipment;

·         Understand their job fully;

·         Seek guidance from their Administrator when unfamiliar conditions are encountered;

·         Report any accident to their Administrator promptly;

·         Cooperate in the application of improved work measures;

·         Report any damaged or defective equipment or other unsafe condition to their Administrator promptly; and

·         Be aware of the location of Material Safety Data Sheets as they may apply to treatment of contact with chemicals, if any.


Violation of a safety measure is in itself an unsafe act.  A violation will be grounds for disciplinary action, the extent of which will be determined by the nature of the violation.




As a condition of employment with the Catholic Schools, all employees are required to fully comply with the provisions of this policy.


The unauthorized use, sale, purchase, possession, distribution, dispensation, formulation, manufacture or transfer of controlled or illegal substances or alcohol on Catholic Schools property, in Catholic Schools vehicles or while on Catholic Schools business is strictly prohibited.  Likewise, employees are strictly prohibited from arriving to work under the influence or otherwise being under the influence at any time during working hours, of alcohol or any controlled or illegal substance.  Employees who are taking drugs prescribed by a physician, dentist or other licensed practitioner which may affect their ability to safely perform their job must obtain a written statement from their attending physician.  This statement must specify any work restrictions and must be given to Human Resources prior to starting work under the influence of the drug(s).


Further prohibited is the unauthorized use, sale, possession, distribution, dispensation, formulation, manufacture or transfer of controlled or illegal substances on non-working time off of Catholic Schools premises to the extent such actions impair an employee’s ability to perform his or her job or otherwise adversely affects the Catholic Schools.


Employees who violate this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.




The security of the Catholic Schools property, our employees and students is of the utmost importance.  To control building security, all visitors who require access to our facilities must be clearly identified and allowed access to the school building according to the written school policy. Visitors should only have access to the areas/offices within the building needed to conduct business.



The following articles may not be brought onto Catholic Schools premises:


·         Firearms, weapons, explosives; or

·         Narcotics and/or alcoholic beverages.




Employees who regularly drive Catholic School owned vehicles must be provided with a copy of the Motor Vehicles Policy and must be aware of and adhere to the policy requirements.


Catholic School property may not be removed from the premises and may not be used for personal use without the approval of the employee’s Administrator.




In accordance with New York State law, smoking, including electronic cigarettes, is not permitted in any Catholic Schools building or in any Catholic Schools-owned vehicles.  In addition, employees should refrain from smoking any closer than fifty (50) feet from School buildings or near any building entrance or parking lot where other employees and/or visitors would be exposed to second-hand smoke.


Employees and visitors are required to comply with this smoking policy while on Catholic School’s premises.  Violations of this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.




Blood borne pathogens are microorganisms that in human blood can cause disease in humans.  They include, but are not limited to:  the hepatitis B virus and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  The OSHA standards mandate work practices, controls and personal protective equipment that, combined with training, will reduce the risks for all employees who may be exposed to blood.


The following precautions should be followed:


·         Gloves should be worn whenever there is a possibility of contact with blood or body fluids.

·         Hands should be washed immediately if they come in contact with blood or other body fluids.

·         Spills of blood or body fluids should be cleaned with a solution of household bleach and water in a 1:100 solution for smooth surfaces and 1:10 for porous surfaces.





Communication with news reporters and other journalists is, at times, sensitive in nature.  Therefore, contact with the media may be handled only by the Diocesan Director of Communication or a designee.


Any telephone calls or visits from members of the media should be directed to the Diocesan Director of Communications/Chancellor, Danielle Cummings, 240 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, New York 13202; (315) 422-7203; dcummings@syrdio.org.  Employees must not represent themselves as an agent of the Catholic Schools in public communication venues such as letters to the editor, blogs or social media networks. 




It is important that our telephone lines be free during working hours for Catholic Schools-related calls.


Our telephone lines are maintained for business purposes only.  The Catholic Schools recognizes that employees may occasionally need to use business telephones for non-business related matters.  Employees are requested to limit these calls to an absolute minimum and place calls only during non-working periods.  The abuse of this privilege would negatively impact the already heavy demand on our telephone lines and interfere with the efficiency of our operations.


The Catholic Schools’ telephones may not be used to make non-business long distance calls.


Personal cellular phones may be used for personal use only during non-working periods.




Employees are responsible for keeping their own work area neat and orderly.


Employees are encouraged to make their work space an organized, comfortable and professional place to work.  This needs to balance common sense and teamwork to maintain the building in a neat and clean state at all times.  Offices should be neat and free from clutter.  The Catholic Schools reserves the right to exercise judgment as to what is or is not acceptable.


Since all visitors pass through the reception area, it must present a professional impression of orderliness.  The reception area should not be used for employee gatherings.


The Catholic Schools provides kitchen facilities for refrigeration.  Beverage cans and bottles should be disposed of in recycling containers and not left to accumulate.




The impression that employees make at the Catholic Schools is important.


Employees are asked to wear clothing that is appropriate for their position and the work that they do.  Generally business casual attire is appropriate.  Clothing should be neat, clean, and in good taste.


The following are examples of what is considered to be inappropriate.  This list is not all-inclusive:


·         Any clothing displaying logos, pictures or words that are distasteful.

·         Shorts, athletic, exercise or gym-wear including sweatpants and sweatshirts.

·         Revealing clothing i.e. see through blouses, plunging necklines, crop tops, etc.

·         Torn, tattered or soiled clothing.

·         Excessive colognes or heavy perfumes.





Employees are responsible for notifying Human Resources when there is a change in personal data.  This information needs to be kept up-to-date so benefit plans and payroll withholdings are properly administered.


Notify Catholic School Human Resources in writing of any of the following changes:


·         Name

·         Address

·         Telephone Number

·         Number of Dependents

·         Change in familial status and/or beneficiaries

·         Emergency Contact





When normal operations of the school are suspended due to snow or for any other reason, non-exempt employees are paid only if they are required to work.  When normal school operations are maintained and employees are unable to travel into work, non-exempt employees will not be paid for time not worked.  Employees responsible for the facilities are to maintain the parking lots and sidewalks so that they are kept clear of snow and ice.  Employees may be required to report to work on inclement weather days at the discretion of the Administrator, in which case, they will be compensated for such work.




            At the Catholic Schools, we understand that social media can be a fun and rewarding way to share your life and opinions with family, friends and co-workers around the world. However, use of social media also presents certain risks and carries with it certain responsibilities. To assist you in making responsible decisions about your use of social media, we have established these guidelines for appropriate use of social media.


            This policy applies to all employees who work for the Catholic Schools.




            In the rapidly expanding world of electronic communication, social media can mean many things. Social media includes all means of communicating or posting information or content of any sort on the Internet, including to your own or someone else's web log or blog, journal or diary, personal web site, social networking or affinity web site, web bulletin board or a chat room, whether or not associated or affiliated with the Catholic Schools, as well as any other form of electronic communication.


            The same principles and guidelines found in the Catholic Schools policies and three basic beliefs apply to your activities online. Ultimately, you are solely responsible for what you post online. Before creating online content, consider some of the risks and rewards that are involved. Keep in mind that any of your conduct that adversely affects your job performance, the performance of fellow employees or otherwise adversely affects members, customers, suppliers, people who work on behalf of the Catholic Schools or the Catholic Schools's legitimate business interests may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.



Know and follow the rules


            Carefully read these guidelines and the Catholic School’s Non Contract Employee Handbook, and ensure your postings are consistent with these policies.  Inappropriate postings that may include discriminatory remarks, harassment, and threats of violence or similar inappropriate or unlawful conduct will not be tolerated and may subject you to disciplinary action up to and including termination.


Be Respectful


            Always be fair and courteous to fellow employees, customers, members, suppliers or people who work on behalf of the Catholic Schools. Also, keep in mind that you are more likely to resolved work-related complaints by speaking directly with your co-workers or by utilizing our Open Door Policy than by posting complaints to a social media outlet. Nevertheless, if you decide to post complaints or criticism, avoid using statements, photographs, video or audio that reasonably could be viewed as malicious, obscene, threatening or intimidating, that disparage customers, members, employees or suppliers, or that might constitute harassment or bullying. Examples of such conduct might include offensive posts meant to intentionally harm someone's reputation or posts that could contribute to a hostile work environment on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion or any other class, status or activity protected by law or company policy.


Be Honest and Accurate


            Make sure you are always honest and accurate when posting information or news, and if you make a mistake, correct it quickly. Be open about any previous posts you have altered. Remember that the Internet archives almost everything; therefore, even deleted postings can be searched. Never post any information or rumors that you know to be false about the Catholic Schools, fellow employees, members, customers, suppliers, people working on behalf of the Catholic Schools or competitors.


Post Only Appropriate and Respectful Content


·                     Maintain the confidentiality of the Catholic Schools trade secrets and private or confidential information. Trades secrets may include information regarding the development of systems, processes, products, know-how and technology. Do not post internal reports, policies, procedures or other internal business-related confidential communications.


·                     Respect financial disclosure laws. It is illegal to communicate or give a "tip" on inside information to others so that they may buy or sell stocks or securities. Such online conduct may also violate the Insider Trading Policy. 


·                     Do not create a link from your blog, website or other social networking site to the school or Diocese website without identifying yourself as a Catholic Schools employee.


·                     Express only your personal opinions.  Never represent yourself as a spokesperson for the Catholic Schools. If the Catholic Schools is a subject of the content you are creating, be clear and open about the fact that you are an employee and make it clear that your views do not represent those of the Catholic Schools, fellow employees, members, customers, suppliers or people working on behalf of the Catholic Schools. If you do publish a blog or post online related to the work you do or subjects associated with the Catholic Schools, make it clear that you are not speaking on behalf of the Catholic Schools. It is best to include a disclaimer such as "The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Catholic Schools."


Using Social Media at Work


            Refrain from using social media while on work time or on equipment we provide, unless it is work-related as authorized by your manager or consistent with the Company Equipment Policy. Do not use the Diocese email addresses to register on social networks, blogs or other online tools utilized for personal use.



Retaliation is Prohibited


            The Catholic Schools prohibits taking negative action against any employee for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation. Any employee who retaliates against another employee for reporting a possible deviation from this policy or for cooperating in an investigation will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.


Media Contacts


Employees should not speak to the media on the Catholic Schools’s behalf without contacting the Diocesan Director of Communications/Chancellor, Danielle Cummings, 240 East Onondaga Street, Syracuse, New York 13202; (315) 422-7203; dcummings@syrdio.org. All media inquiries to the Catholic Schools should be directed to the Director of Communications/Chancellor .


For more information


If you have questions or need further guidance, please contact the Catholic School Office









The Diocesan telephone and computer systems permit employees to receive, send and transfer voice mail messages and email messages.  The purpose of these systems is to facilitate business communications.  The Catholic Schools reserve the right to access, retrieve, read, and/or delete any communication or other document that is created, received, or sent via the Catholic Schools’s computers, computer network, telephones, voice mail machines or services, or any other communication or electronic systems owned, operated or maintained by the Catholic Schools.  Use of said systems or communication tools by the employee constitutes consent to this accessing and monitoring. 


Employee communication on Catholic Schools computers, computer networks, telephones, voice mail machines or services, or email is not private or confidential.  Security codes utilized on computers, electronic accounts and voicemail do not alter, limit or waive any of the Catholic Schools’s rights under this policy.


Computer and phone systems are maintained for school business purposes.  Employees should not use the Catholic Schools systems to maintain personal files.


As with all Diocesan communications, messages of a discriminatory or harassing nature may not be transmitted on Diocesan/school networking systems.  Employees are expected to use professional and respectful language when communicating over Diocesan/school computer or phone systems.


Employees are prohibited from downloading any software from the internet.  Employees must respect copyright and license agreements for software, digital artwork and other forms of data.  Employees may not use other employee’s passwords to access Diocesan/school data.


Employees may not disclose their passwords or allow others to use their access to Diocesan/school systems.  Employees must protect data from unauthorized use or disclosure and respect the integrity of computing systems.  Employees must take care not to introduce viruses into Diocesan/school systems by not opening messages or documents sent by unknown users.



            Upon hiring, the Catholic Schools will provide a diocesan email address to all employees where relevant and useful to their jobs. Email is now a standard way to communicate in business. Like any technology, email can cause difficulties if used incorrectly or inappropriately. This policy applies no matter where email activity takes place: on company premises or company-provided technology, while traveling for business purposes, while working remotely, and while sending work-related emails from a personal device, such as a smartphone or tablet.

            Only authorized employees are permitted to access diocesan/school email accounts. Any unauthorized use of the Catholic Schools of Syracuse email system is prohibited. Employees who allow someone to access their diocesan email address without obtaining prior consent from a manager or representative of the IT Department may have disciplinary action taken against them.

            All email transmissions from a diocesan account are considered confidential and intended solely for the individual to whom the email is addressed.

Email Security

·                     Do not open attachments from unknown sources as they may contain viruses or malware

·                     Do not install security or email scanning software without consent from the IT Department

·                     Do not send confidential email messages pertaining to your work from a personal email account

·                     Do not access another user’s diocesan email account. If someone requires access to a specific message (i.e. an employee is out of the office with an illness but needs to share an email message with a co-worker) approach the IT Department for assistance

Inappropriate Use

Users must not:

·                     Write or send emails that might be defamatory or incur liability for the Catholic Schools of Syracuse

·                     Create or distribute inappropriate content or material via diocesan email, including but not limited to: pornography, racial or religious slurs, gender-specific comments, information encouraging criminal skills or terrorism, or materials relating to gambling or illegal drug use. This includes text, images, video and any media that might be considered offensive on the basis of race, age, sex, religious or political beliefs, national origin, disability, or any other characteristic protected by Law.

·         Use email for illegal or criminal activities      


Email Etiquette

            Because email is the preferred method of communication between employees and business contacts, it is important to understand how to follow the rules of good email etiquette.

            Users must:

·                     Not forward chain emails from diocesan email accounts as they distract from work-related communications

·                     Use a meaningful and explicit subject line

·                     Be thoughtful and appropriate when copying and/or blind copying other people on email messages

·                     Avoid choosing the ‘Reply All’ option if you receive an email that was sent to all diocesan employees (i.e. do not ‘Reply All’ to the weekly Wednesday email; instead reply solely to the sender)

            Internal Email

      Email is an excellent way to communicate with colleagues; however, in some cases, a telephone call or face-to-face discussion may be the best way to conduct an internal business-related conversation.

Monitoring Email Use

            The Catholic Schools reserves the right to examine or monitor employee email use at any time, whether email accounts are accessible on a company-provided device or a personal device.

Email Communication with Minors

·                     Employees of the Catholic Schools are discouraged from contacting minors via email unless required by your position. If you must communicate with a minor using email, remember to:

·                     Use your Diocesan-provided email account

·                     Copy (do not blind copy) another adult, such as a co-worker or teacher

·                     Copy the minor’s parent or guardian

·                     Save the email message – do not delete it

The Catholic Schools systems utilize anti-virus software and The Information Technology Department should be notified immediately if there is reason to believe a virus has been introduced into our computer system or that any person may have accessed data which they were not authorized to view.


Employees are responsible for maintaining files and messages on these systems.  Messages should be accessed, acted upon, filed or deleted on a regular basis.




All Catholic Schools and their employees shall treat student educational and health records as confidential records, and are prohibited from providing such records, or disclosing their contents to third parties and/or school or Diocesan employees, except to the extent that such employees require access to the information in order to discharge their job duties, and except as previously authorized in a written consent to such disclosure, signed by a parent, or (in the case of a student who is at least 18 years of age) the student, as mandated by sufficient legal process.  An employee’s violation of this policy may result in the imposition of discipline, up to and including termination.






Information technology is essential to the day to day operations of the Roman Catholic Schools of Syracuse.  It is the policy of the Catholic Schools to provide its employees and volunteers with access to information technology including various communication systems and/or equipment for purposes of fulfilling job responsibilities and School related ministry or business.  The Catholic School’s information technology, communication systems and equipment include, but are not limited to, telephones, voice mail system, cell phones, fax machines, in coming/outgoing mail, e-mail and computer systems (e.g., computer networks, laptops, hardware, software, intranet, Internet, and computer files).

The Catholic Schools encourages its employees and volunteers to utilize Diocesan information technology, communication systems and equipment to conduct research, contact others in School related ministry, and explore educational topics relevant to their work. The Catholic Schools anticipates that access to these resources will both expedite and enhance the performance of these tasks. 

This Policy applies to all users of Diocesan information technology, communication systems and/or equipment including employees, volunteers, as well as other authorized individuals in Catholic Schools (collectively referred to herein as “Users”).

Information technology, communication systems and equipment are the property of the Catholic Schools and are to be used only for School purposes consistent with the mission and goals of the School.  As such, Users should have no expectation of privacy with respect to their use of any form of Diocesan information technology, communication systems and/or equipment.

This Policy authorizes the Diocesan Office of Information Technology to issue additional guidelines, consistent with this Policy, regarding the use of information technology, communication systems and/or equipment.  All Users must abide by the terms of this

Policy as well as any guidelines developed hereunder.  All questions regarding this Policy or related guidelines should be addressed to the Diocesan Director of Information Technology.


The following provisions will direct the use of School information technology, computer systems and/or equipment.

1.                  School Property:       In addition to the above, all electronic files and storage areas shall also be deemed School property.  This includes, but is not limited to, the messages and images created, transmitted, stored, and downloaded on such IT communication systems and equipment.  Users must consider such electronic files and storage areas to be School property and expressly waive any right of privacy in anything created, stored, sent or received using the Catholic School’s information technology, communication systems and/or equipment. Users further consent that all communications via e-mail and the Internet/intranet are subject to access, review, and random audit by any officer of the Catholic Schools, or the designee of any officer, subject only to considerations of corporate confidentiality.  This Policy also extends to privately-owned communications and computer equipment used in any office, parish, agency or other entity sponsored by the Catholic Schools which either engages with or otherwise utilizes the Catholic School’s information technology, communication systems and/or equipment.

2.                  Standards of Conduct:     The same standards of acceptable conduct that apply to any aspect of job performance shall apply to the use of School information technology, communication systems and/or equipment.  Employees, volunteers, and other authorized users will communicate in a professional manner consistent with School policy, (i.e., not contrary to or detrimental to the religious and/or professional character of the Catholic Schools).

Because e-mail and the Internet/Intranet are business tools, all communication should be businesslike and professional in tone and content. Obscene, offensive, illegal, or unprofessional communication through e­-mail or the Internet/intranet is forbidden. This list is meant to be illustrative and not exhaustive and includes, but is not limited to, the following:


·         Transmitting confidential or proprietary information or trade secrets;

·         Any form of slander or defamation;

·         Verbal or written obscenities, profanities, or vulgarities, including graphic   representations;

·         Verbal or written remarks that are discriminatory, offensive, demeaning,     intimidating, insulting, threatening, or harassing;

·         Statements or graphic representations that may be construed as discriminatory or offensive to race, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or other legally protected criteria;

·         Displaying, writing, transferring, e-mailing, or storing obscene or sexually suggestive messages or graphic images;

·         Jokes of any nature;

·         Communications that violate the personal privacy of, or are disrespectful of, any co-workers or students; and

·         Communications in furtherance of any illegal activity, including, but not limited to, “football pools” and other forms of illegal gambling.

Users may not send e-mail to non-authorized recipients that may contain sensitive or confidential information such as social security numbers, or financial data.

3.                  Copyright and Licensing:     School employees, volunteers and authorized users shall adhere to the laws, policies and rules governing computers, including but not limited to copyright law and license agreements, rights of software publishers, and rights of privacy created by federal and state law. Software for School-wide usage will be purchased and licensed through the Diocesan Information Technology Department.  Software for departmental use, parishes, agencies and other entities sponsored by the Catholic Schools will be purchased and licensed by the respective department, parish, agency or entity, upon review for system compatibility by the Diocesan Information Technology Department. Copyright materials may not be placed on any individual computer or any computer connected to a School computer with the exception of IT staff specifically authorized by the Department Head/Vicar who may upload copyrighted material to Diocesan/School computer systems.

The Catholic Schools respects and operates within copyright laws.  Users may not use company email to share copyrighted software, media or other materials owned by third parties unless permitted.  Do not use Diocesan/school email to perform any tasks that may involve breach of copyright law.

4.                  Monitoring of Computer and Internet Use:     The Catholic Schools encourages the exploration and research on the Internet for business related or professional activities.  Users should not “browse the web” during work time to access sites and communications unrelated to business or professional activities.  The Catholic Schools reserves the right to define and/or limit specific categories of Internet access of Users in conjunction with the appropriate Department Head and/or designee.  The Catholic Schools reserves the right to monitor, log, record, and/or conduct random audits of any and all aspects of its information technology, communication systems and/or equipment.  This includes, but is not limited to, all Internet activity, chat rooms, newsgroups, file downloads, and all communications sent and received by users.  Access to traffic logs may only be reviewed at the discretion of the Bishop, Vicar General and/or Pastor.

5.                  Social Media or Social Networking Internet Sites.     The School can use social media to encourage respect, dialogue, and honest relationships—in other words, "true friendship. To do so requires us to approach social media as a powerful means of evangelization and to consider the School's role in providing a Christian perspective on digital literacy.


Websites or social networking profile pages (also called accounts, fan pages, or group pages) are the centerpiece of any social media activity.  The following are recommended guidelines for the establishment of a site. Site administrators should be adults.


·         There should be at least two site administrators (preferably more) for each site, to allow rapid response and continuous monitoring of the site.

·         Do not use personal sites for diocesan or school programs. Create separate sites for these. This includes Facebook.

·         Passwords and names of sites should be registered in a central location, and more than one adult should have access to this information.

·         Abide by diocesan/school guidelines.

·         Know that even personal communication by School personnel reflects the School. Practice what you preach.

·         Write in first person. Do not claim to represent the official position of the organization or the teachings of the Church, unless authorized to do so.

·         Identify yourself. Do not use pseudonyms or the name of the parish, program, etc., as your identity, unless authorized to do so.

·         Abide by copyright, fair use and IRS financial disclosure regulations.

·         Do not divulge confidential information about others. Nothing posted on the Internet is private.

·         Don't cite others, post photos or videos of them, link to their material, etc., without their approval.

·         Practice Christian charity.

Social Networking with Minors

·         Be sure to have permission from a minor’s parent or guardian before contacting the minor via social media or before posting pictures, video, and other information that may identify that minor.

·         Parents must have access to everything provided to their children. For example, parents should be made aware of how social media are being used, be told how to access the sites, and be given the opportunity to be copied on all material sent to their children via social networking (including text messages). While parents should be provided with the same material as their children, it does not have to be via the same technology (that is, if children receive a reminder via Twitter, parents can receive it in a printed form or by an e-mail list).

·         School personnel should be encouraged to save copies of conversations whenever possible, especially those that concern the personal sharing of a teen or young adult. (This may be especially important with text messaging.)

·         Reference the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act for further guidelines: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/privacy-and-security/children%27s-privacy

6.                  Inappropriate Web Sites and Computer Files.  If a User of the Catholic Schools’s information technology, communication systems and/or equipment unintentionally becomes connected to an inappropriate or sexually explicit web site, the employee, volunteer and/or authorized user should disconnect from the web site immediately and contact his/her Administrator and the Diocesan Office of Information Technology to report the incident.

6.                  Blocking Sites with Inappropriate Content.  The Catholic Schools has the right to utilize software that makes it possible to identify and block access to Internet sites containing sexually explicit or other material deemed inappropriate.  Following Diocesan approval, the Diocesan service provider shall be responsible for installation and management related to any firewall programs.


7.                  Investigative Protocols Relating to Misuse.  Information technology, communication systems, and/or equipment may be subject to search and/or seizure as well as internal and/or external IT reviews by the Catholic Schools or its designee under the following circumstances:

·         Upon the receipt of technology related complaints involving child pornography, pornography, or copyright violations;

·         Technology which contains evidence of other misconduct complaints, including but not limited to improper relationships and/or theft; or

·         In circumstances where a professional assessment has suggested or directed such a search.

8.                  Right of Inspection/Process for Investigation.     The Roman Catholic Schools of Syracuse reserves the unqualified right to inspect and examine any Diocesan owned or operated communication system, computing resources and/or files or information, including computers, cell phones, listservs, networks, applications, and electronic communications, including e-mail, contained therein at any time.  Users possess no privacy right to any data, information or documents received or disseminated on the network or through e-mail.  By utilizing Diocesan information technology, communication systems and/or equipment, Users consent to the Catholic School’s right to inspect and examine all data, information, documents and e-mail.  When a User acts inappropriately through the information technology, communication system, or equipment, the Catholic Schools reserves the right to report such actions to any outside authorities and/or take appropriate internal Diocesan disciplinary action.

When sources outside the Catholic Schools request an inspection and/or examination of any Diocesan owned or operated information technology or communication systems or

equipment, computing resource and/or files or information contained therein, the Catholic Schools will treat the information as confidential unless any one or more of the following conditions exist:  When approved by the appropriate Diocesan official(s); when authorized by the owner(s) of information; when required by federal, state or local law; or when required by a valid subpoena or court order.

Note:  When notice is required to be provided by law, court order or subpoena, Users will be notified accordingly.

9.                  Virus-Free Network:                 Each file server and individual computer in the Catholic Schools will run virus-free software to ensure a virus-free system. Individuals who introduce software (via disk or download) to any Diocesan system, (in accordance with  #3 stated above), are required to have all disks checked for viruses that may contaminate the system. Anyone who intentionally introduces such viruses into the system or distributes infected e-mail messages will be subject to disciplinary procedures in accordance with Diocesan policy or any applicable law.

10.              Password Protection:     Some users of Diocesan information technology and computer networks will be assigned a password to allow access to the system. Allowing other individuals access to a user’s password is a violation of Diocesan policy and may be subject to disciplinary measures as well as possible legal recourse.

11.              Portable Computers:     Some employees, volunteers and/or authorized individuals may be issued a portable computer (laptop, notebook, PDA). All of the above policies apply to these devices as well. Users are required to exercise due diligence to protect such devices against damage and theft when off premises. This includes but is not limited to: not leaving said equipment in a car for extended periods, transporting in an appropriate protective case, and ensuring that the equipment is either locked away or safely checked when traveling. Any malfunction or software problem on such devices should be reported to Diocesan IT staff immediately. It is the responsibility of the user of such device to ensure that any information contained on it is secure and backed up.

12.              Violations.  This Policy applies to all Users of Diocesan information technology, communication systems and/or equipment regardless of the nature of the personal or employment relationship to the Catholic Schools.  Use of these resources constitutes acceptance of this Policy.  Violations of this Policy may result in actions ranging from denial of access to Diocesan information technology resources to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, as well as refusal or withdrawal of volunteer status.  Violations may further include civil and/or criminal penalties under state and federal laws.  Illegal use of computers and information technology shall be reported to pertinent law enforcement agencies.




The Catholic Schools maintains an official personnel file and medical file for each employee that contains necessary job-related and personal information.  These files are confidential.


As an active employee, you may see information which is kept in your own personnel and medical files, except for confidential materials such as job references or information relating to other employees.  Employees may review their personnel file by making an appointment with Human Resources.


Internal availability and access to personnel files is limited to those with proper authorization and a business need to know.


All inquiries or requests for information about employees (active or inactive) from people outside the Catholic Schools should be referred to Human Resources.  This applies to all requests, whether written or verbal.





In some instances, employees may be required to drive their own personal vehicle for the purposes of conducting school business.  Employees must maintain adequate personal automobile liability insurance as outlined in the Diocesan Motor Vehicle Policy and Procedures manual, found online under the Risk Management section of the employee portal.  The Catholic Schools are not responsible for any damages or fines incurred while conducting official business in a personal vehicle.


Catholic Schools vehicles may not be removed from the premises and may not be used for personal use without the approval of the employee’s Administrator.


School Vehicles are intended to be used for business only. The only                                           exception is when there is an established written arrangement such as the religious compensation packages or other approved personal use agreements.   Vehicles are to be used by employees only and not by family members.


School Vehicles are not to be loaned to anyone under any circumstances.  The only exception is the loaning of vehicles to other participants of the Catholic Schools of Syracuse Self-Insurance Program.





Basic Leave Entitlement

FMLA requires covered employers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the following reasons:

          for incapacity due to pregnancy, prenatal medical care or child birth;

          to care for the employee’s child after birth, or placement for adoption or foster care;

          to care for the employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent, who has a serious health condition; or

          for a serious health condition that makes the employee unable to perform the employee’s job.


Military Family Leave Entitlements

Eligible employees whose spouse, son, daughter or parent is on covered active duty or call to covered active duty status may use their 12-week leave entitlement to address certain qualifying exigencies. Qualifying exigencies may include attending certain military events, arranging for alternative childcare, addressing certain financial and legal arrangements, attending certain counseling sessions, and attending post-deployment reintegration briefings. FMLA also includes a special leave entitlement that permits eligible employees to take up to 26 weeks of leave to care for a covered servicemember during a single 12-month period. A covered servicemember is: (1) a current member of the Armed Forces, including a member of the National Guard or Reserves, who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, is otherwise in outpatient status, or is otherwise on the temporary disability retired list, for a serious injury or illness*; or (2) a veteran who was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable at any time during the five-year period prior to the first date the eligible employee takes FMLA leave to care for the covered veteran, and who is undergoing medical treatment, recuperation, or therapy for a serious injury or illness.*

*The FMLA definitions of “serious injury or illness” for current servicemembers and veterans are distinct from the FMLA definition of “serious health condition”.


Benefits and Protections

During FMLA leave, the employer must maintain the employee’s health coverage under any “group health plan” on the same terms as if the employee had continued to work. Upon return from FMLA leave, most employees must be restored to their original or equivalent positions with equivalent pay, benefits, and other employment terms. Use of FMLA leave cannot result in the loss of any employment benefit that accrued prior to the start of an employee’s leave.


Eligibility Requirements

Employees are eligible if they have worked for a covered employer for at least 12 months, have 1,250 hours of service in the previous 12 months*, and if at least 50 employees are employed by the employer within 75 miles.

*Special hours of service eligibility requirements apply to airline flight crew employees.


Definition of Serious Health Condition

A serious health condition is an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves either an overnight stay in a medical care facility, or continuing treatment by a health care provider for a condition that either prevents the employee from performing the functions of the employee’s job, or prevents the qualified family member from participating in school or other daily activities. Subject to certain conditions, the continuing treatment requirement may be met by a period of incapacity of more than 3 consecutive calendar days

combined with at least two visits to a health care provider or one visit and a regimen of continuing treatment, or incapacity due to pregnancy, or incapacity due to a chronic condition. Other conditions may meet the definition of continuing treatment.


Use of Leave

An employee does not need to use this leave entitlement in one block. Leave can be taken intermittently or on a reduced leave schedule when medically necessary. Employees must make reasonable efforts to schedule leave for planned medical treatment so as not to unduly disrupt the employer’s operations. Leave due to qualifying exigencies may also be taken on an intermittent basis.



Substitution of Paid Leave for Unpaid Leave

Employees may choose or employers may require use of accrued paid leave while taking FMLA leave. In order to use paid leave for FMLA leave, employees must comply with the employer’s normal paid leave policies.


Employee Responsibilities

Employees must provide 30 days advance notice of the need to take FMLA leave when the need is foreseeable. When 30 days notice is not possible, the employee must provide notice as soon as practicable and generally must comply with an employer’s normal call-in procedures. Employees must provide sufficient information for the employer to determine if the leave may qualify for FMLA protection and the anticipated timing and duration of the leave. Sufficient information may include that the employee is unable to perform job functions, the family member is unable to perform daily activities, the need for hospitalization or continuing treatment by a health care provider, or circumstances supporting the need for military family leave. Employees also must inform the employer if the requested leave is for a reason for which FMLA leave was previously taken or certified.  Employees also may be required to provide a certification and periodic recertification supporting the need for leave.


Employer Responsibilities

Covered employers must inform employees requesting leave whether they are eligible under FMLA.  If they are, the notice must specify any additional information required as well as the employees’ rights and responsibilities. If they are not eligible, the employer must provide a

reason for the ineligibility. Covered employers must inform employees if leave will be designated as FMLA-protected and the amount of leave counted against the employee’s leave entitlement.  If the employer determines that the leave is not FMLA-protected, the employer must notify the employee.


Unlawful Acts by Employers

FMLA makes it unlawful for any employer to:

          interfere with, restrain, or deny the exercise of any right provided under FMLA; and

          discharge or discriminate against any person for opposing any practice made unlawful by FMLA or for involvement in any proceeding under or relating to FMLA.



An employee may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Labor or may bring a private lawsuit against an employer.  FMLA does not affect any Federal or State law prohibiting discrimination, or supersede any State or local law or collective bargaining agreement which provides greater family or medical leave rights.


FMLA section 109 (29 U.S.C. § 2619) requires FMLA covered employers to post the text of this notice. Regulation 29 C.F.R. § 825.300(a) may require additional disclosures.





I acknowledge receipt of the Employee Handbook for the Non Contract Employees of the Catholic Schools of Syracuse which describes Catholic Schools policies, current employee benefits and my obligations as an employee. 


I understand that the policies contained in this handbook are not intended to create a contract of employment nor is any other communication by a Diocesan representative, either expressed or implied, intended to be a contract, unless explicitly stated otherwise in a written agreement signed by the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse.


I understand that this handbook is not a guarantee of employment for any set period and that employment with the Catholic Schools is at-will.  Either the School or I may terminate my employment at any time, with or without cause.  Furthermore, I understand that the policies and benefits described in this handbook may be added to, revised or deleted at any time by the Catholic Schools.


I agree to read and study the contents of this handbook.  It is understood that the Catholic Schools retains the right to make decisions involving employment as needed in order to conduct its work in a manner that is beneficial to the employees and the Catholic Schools.







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