Human Resources

Inclement Weather Policy

Inclement weather is to be expected during the winter months.

Except in cases of severe storms, regular work hours will be observed. Any alteration in the regular schedule will be determined by the Chancellor. If the weather is severe, employees are asked to call into the switchboard for a message regarding office closings. The switchboard message would be on no later than 7am. If the offices close it will also appear as a closure of the Syracuse Diocesan Offices on your local television stations, WSTM3, WTVH5, YNN10 and NewsChannel 9. 

If the Diocese closed, employees will receive regular compensation. If the Diocese is open, absence due to poor weather must be taken as vacation, personal, or unpaid time.

Labor and Wage Laws

NYS Notice of Pay Rate and Payday for New Hires. Following the explanation are the forms that may be used by an employer.

Required Postings

NYS Notice of Postings NYS Dept of Labor notices of required postings.

Federal Required Postings US Dept of Labor notices of required postings.

Employee Handbook

Revised 1993

Revised 2003

Revised 2012

Revised This handbook and its policies are effective July 1, 2013 and supersede all other personnel manuals and personnel policies previously distributed by the Diocese. To avoid confusion, please discard any copies of previously published employee handbooks.


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 7 counties in Central New York: Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga and Oswego counties.

Geographically, the Diocese clusters in four regions each under the pastoral leadership of a Regional Episcopal Vicar.

Each regional vicariate, administrative vicariate, and the judicial department is under the jurisdiction of the Ordinary of the Diocese, Most Reverend Robert J. Cunningham, D.D., J.C.L. with the assistance of the Vicar General, Reverend Monsignor J. Robert Yeazel.

Lay persons, religious sisters and brothers, deacons, and priests serve in and are served through 134 individual parishes and 9 missions, 23 elementary, 5 Jr./Sr. high schools and 1 senior high school, 4 regional offices for religious education, 5 religious education resource centers, and 6 area offices under the direction of Catholic Charities. In addition, chaplains serve on 10 college campuses, in 12 health care facilities, and in several correctional institutions.


We, the members of the Community of the Diocese of Syracuse, in response to our baptismal call and nourished by the Eucharist, seek to continue the mission of Jesus Christ, be welcoming, supporting, and guiding God’s family through prayer, sacramental celebration, service and education.


The church of Syracuse VALUES the continuing mission of Jesus Christ by:

Loving God above all else

Loving our neighbor expressed through service

Imitating Christ in our daily lives

Hearing, sharing, teaching the Good News of the Gospel

Celebrating sacraments, especially Eucharist

Practicing prayer

Strengthening community and family life

Doing justice

Promoting peace and unity while honoring diversity


This handbook summarizes the privileges and benefits provided to employees of the Diocese of Syracuse 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 Diocese team, this handbook should prove to be a useful reference. A primary objective of this handbook is to promote consistency, fairness and understanding.

In order to maintain the necessary flexibility in the administration of policies and procedures, the Diocese 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.


The Diocese adheres 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 Diocese is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity with respect to all employees and applicants for employment. The Diocese prohibits 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 Human Resources.

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


The Diocese is fully compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and New York State Human Rights Law which make it unlawful to discriminate in employment against a qualified individual with a disability. The Diocese’s commitment to this policy includes making reasonable accommodations.

Qualified individuals with disabilities should make the appropriate supervisor aware of the need for an accommodation. The supervisor 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.

“Qualified individuals with disabilities” is defined as persons with disabilities who have the required education, skills and experience for the job and who can perform the essential functions of the job with reasonable accommodation. The term Disability is defined by applicable law.

“Reasonable accommodation” is defined as any change or adjustment to a job, the work environment or the way things usually are done that enables a qualified individual with a disability to perform the essential functions of the job and that does not pose an undue hardship for the Diocese or create a direct threat to health or safety. Frequently, when a qualified individual with a disability requests a reasonable accommodation, the appropriate accommodation is easily agreed upon.


The Diocese recruits and selects individuals for employment on the basis of qualification, competency and salary without regard to all legally protected classes, including, but not limited to: race, color, sex, disability, religion, citizenship, national origin, ancestry, military status or veteran status, marital status, predisposing genetic characteristics, and any other status protected by law. All job offers are contingent upon the applicant providing proof of legal authorization to work in the United States and successful completion of the Diocese of Syracuse Child and Youth Protection program, which includes a mandatory criminal background check.


Whenever possible, job openings will be filled with qualified applicants from within the Diocese. Notices of job vacancies will be posted on bulletin boards and the Diocesan website. Employees should notify Human Resources if they would like to be considered for a different position. Employees must complete at least six (6) months in their current position and must be in good standing in their current position before being eligible to apply for another position.


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.


Prior to making an offer of employment, the Diocese 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 Diocese.


In order to avoid the possibility of conflicts, claims of favoritism and other issues that may arise when family members work for the Diocese, Human Resources 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.


Employees of the Diocese are employed on either a full-time or a part-time schedule based on the needs of the Diocese.


Employees in this category are regularly scheduled to work a minimum of thirty-five (35) hours per week and 52 weeks per year.


BENEFIT ELIGIBLE - Employees falling into the following categories are considered Part-Time, Benefit Eligible:

Work at least 30 hours per week and 52 weeks per year

Non contract parish school employees working at least 30 hours per week but less than 52 weeks per year


Employees falling into the following categories are considered Part-Time and are eligible for statutory benefits only(short term disability, worker’s compensation, social security and unemployment):

Work less than 30 hours per week


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 Human Resources who will explain benefits, answer questions and help employees complete the payroll and benefit forms. Supervisors 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 supervisor. During this time, employees should gain a full understanding of their job responsibilities and our standards for their position.


The Diocese normally observes a thirty-five (35) hour workweek. 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 Diocese’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 supervisor the last day of each pay period, unless otherwise notified.


A one (1) 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. Supervisors are responsible for scheduling meal breaks.


The Diocese is 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 Diocese and the community.

Employees are paid biweekly on Thursday. 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 Diocese to garnish amounts directly from the employee’s paycheck. The Diocese must withhold the amount indicated in the garnishment from the employee’s paycheck in accordance with federal and state law.


The Diocese does 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 supervisor. Supervisors 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 Diocese may require longer-than-normal hours of its employees in order to meet the needs of the Diocese. It is necessary and requested that each employee comply with overtime needs so that deadlines established by the Diocese 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 supervisor.

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.


Employees will be reimbursed for pre-authorized expenses, such as Diocesan- related travel, mileage, hotel expenses, airfare, or other business expenses incurred on behalf of the Diocese. The employee must complete a copy of the Diocese’s Expense Report/Reimbursement Form, attach all receipts, obtain supervisor’s approval and submit the request to Finance.


A position description is written for each position at the Diocese and maintained on file with Human Resources. 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 supervisor. Supervisors 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, supervisors will evaluate each employee’s performance in writing annually. The purpose is to provide a basis for better understanding between employees and their supervisors regarding performance, potential for advancement and development at the Diocese.


Each employee’s position and the work done at the Diocese 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 Diocese in an efficient manner.

Employees who are going to be late or absent from work must personally call their supervisor 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 Human Resources for disability or FMLA leave.

Employees who are absent for three (3) days without contacting their supervisor 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 Diocese and the conduct of its affairs.

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 Diocese. Diocesan related outside business ventures must be approved by the Diocese.

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 Diocese. Diocesan related outside business ventures must be approved by the Diocese.

The Diocese 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 Vicar / Supervisor.


The Diocese is committed to the principle of open communication between employees and their supervisors 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 immediate supervisor. 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 immediate supervisor, are welcome to discuss the issue with Human Resources, who will meet with the employee and/or their supervisor and attempt to reach a satisfactory solution. The resolution to a problem, complaint, question or suggestion may be appealed to the Chancellor, whose decision will be final and binding on all parties.


Soliciting employees or distributing material to employees or visitors on Diocesan property is prohibited.

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


The Diocese maintains official bulletin boards at the Chancery and Chancery Annex 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 Human Resources.


In order for the Diocese 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:


Depending upon the severity of the matter, disciplinary measures may include a verbal warning, written warnings, suspension, or termination of employment. The supervisor and Human Resources will determine the appropriate corrective action. The Diocese does not guarantee that one form of action will necessarily precede another.

The following describes the process for various steps:


A supervisor may find it necessary to take this step if, after appropriate verbal coaching and counseling, a performance or behavior problem continues.

Your supervisor will discuss the performance problem with you and set a plan of action to correct the problem. At the end of this discussion, it is your responsibility to understand your supervisor’s expectations and the time frames established for meeting those expectations. You will be asked to sign the warning form to show that you have received the warning. You may provide a written response to the warning if you do not agree with it. (A warning creates a 6 month period of time during which you may not transfer to another department, apply for a new job, or receive a promotion.)


If the performance or behavior problem does not sufficiently improve or if another performance problem develops, you may be given a final written warning, again, with a plan of action and time frame to correct the problem.


Under these corrective action guidelines, if your performance or behavior does not improve to an acceptable level or if a new problem develops during the time periods outlined above, your supervisor may recommend to Human Resources that you be dismissed.


Although the Diocese has a corrective action process that may be applied and that may involve some or all of the previous steps, immediate dismissal may occur at any time without any prior warnings if, in the judgment of the Diocese, the situation calls for such action. Examples of behaviors that may call for alternate or abbreviated corrective action or immediate dismissal include insubordination, misconduct, breach of trust, dishonesty and negligence.


The Diocese strives 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. Supervisors have a responsibility to address job-related problems and discuss your situation with you. Your supervisor will review the facts involved, consider any 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 supervisor, you may wish to take the issue to your next level supervisor or to Human Resources. The Diocese 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 Diocesan policy.


The policy of the Diocese 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 status protected by 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 Human Resources. Complaints of harassment will be investigated promptly and confidentiality will be maintained to the highest degree possible, consistent with the Diocese’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 Diocese.

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 Diocese 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 Diocese, 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 last day of the month in which employment terminates. 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 Diocesan issued items, including but not limited to: keys, tools, uniforms, employee handbooks, manuals, computers, cellular phones, computer disks, credit cards issued by the Diocese, access cards and any other Diocesan information.


The following are brief descriptions of benefits offered to eligible employees of the Diocese. Additional information regarding these plans is contained in plan documents that are available from Human Resources / Benefits. 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.

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 re-enrollment period. The re-enrollment period for insurance through the Diocese 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 Diocese 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.

If you are a spouse of an employee covered by the Diocese’s Health Insurance Plan, you have the right to choose continuation coverage for yourself if you lose group health coverage under the plan for any of the following reasons:

In the case of a dependent child of an employee covered by the Diocese’s Health Insurance Plan, he or she has the right to continuation coverage if group health coverage under the plan is lost for any of the following reasons:

It is the employee’s or family member’s responsibility to inform the Diocese Personnel 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 at least sixty (60) days, from the date you would lose coverage because of one of the events described above, to inform the administrator that you want continuation coverage.

If you do not choose continuation coverage, your group health insurance coverage will end.

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. The law requires that you be afforded the opportunity to maintain continuation coverage for 18 months. However, the law also provides that continuation coverage may be cut short for any of the following reasons:

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 the Diocese Benefit Department.


All employees 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. By lowering gross wages, employees end up paying fewer taxes on the money that they earn; however, employees will also pay less in social security tax which may negatively affect future social security benefits.


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.


For employees hired before July 1, 2011, on the first July 1st following 12 months of continuous service to the Diocese 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 Diocese terminates, they may be entitled to vested benefits from the plan. These are explained in more detail in the plan booklet.


The Diocese provides an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to employees and family members who may need help with personal or behavioral problems. Our EAP is available to all employees, family members and others living in the employee’s household.

Through this program, confidential advice and short-term counseling up to a maximum of six visits are provided for any employee or member of an employee’s family who requests it, or for an employee who is referred by his or her supervisor. Common problems addressed through counseling include alcoholism, drug abuse, financial difficulties, family tensions and conflicts with co-workers.

The privacy of employees and their family members is protected at all times. The Diocese is not informed when anyone seeks assistance, unless the Diocese mandates an employee to the program as a requirement of continued employment.

The Diocese pays the full cost of the EAP. Employees are responsible for the cost of outside referrals.

Employees may contact Human Resources for more information.


The Diocese 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 Diocese 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.

Reports of work related accidents or injuries, even if minor, must be reported within twenty-four (24) hours to the employee’s supervisor. Failure to receive medical treatment in a timely manner may result in serious complications and also may jeopardize an employee’s eligibility for medical benefits.

The Diocese 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 Diocese 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 Diocese pays for the cost of these benefits.


The Diocese observes the following paid holidays each year:

New Years Day

Martin Luther King, Jr.

President’s Day

Good Friday

Memorial Day

Independence Day

Labor Day

Columbus Day

Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving

Christmas Eve

Christmas Day

A holiday falling on a Saturday will be observed on the previous Friday; a holiday falling on a Sunday will be observed on the following Monday. If an employee is not regularly scheduled to work on the holiday, the employee does not receive holiday pay for that day.

If your department supervisor 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); however, you will be given a compensatory day off within that same biweekly pay period.


The Diocese provides eligible employees with an annual paid vacation to give time for rest and relaxation. Following the introductory period, of ninety (90) days, all full-time employees accrue one vacation day per month in the first fiscal year, (July 1 through June 30) of employment; not to exceed 10 days. At the beginning of the next fiscal year, after the introductory period, the vacation benefits are as follows:

Employed up to 3 years as of July 1st: 10 working days per fiscal year;

Employed 3 to 9 years as of July 1st: 15 working days per fiscal year;

Employed 10 years or more as of July 1st: 20 working days per fiscal year;

Employed 11 years or more as of July 1st: 21 working days per fiscal year;

Employed 12 years or more as July 1st: 22 working days per fiscal year;

Employed 13 years or more as of July 1st: 23 working days per fiscal year;

Employed 14 years or more as of July 1st: 24 working days per fiscal year;

Employed 15 years or more as of July 1st: 25 working days per fiscal year;

Part-time employees, who have completed 10 months of employment, are entitled to the equivalent of one week’s hours paid vacation and one week’s hours without pay each fiscal year. Following 5 fiscal years of employment, part-time employees are entitled to the equivalent of two weeks’ hours of paid vacation.

Vacation days are earned through the fiscal year and may be taken at any time they have been earned but should be scheduled so as to avoid conflicts and to maintain sufficient staff at all times to carry on the operation of the organization. However, all vacation days must be taken by the December 31st following the close of the fiscal year during which they were earned or they are forfeited. Unused vacation days are not accrued from year to year nor is payment made for unused vacation days except as explained below.

Should a holiday fall within the vacation period of an employee, the employee will not be charged for a vacation day. If an employee is eligible for disability benefits due to illness or injury during vacation, Human Resources should be notified and vacation benefits will be handled on an individual basis. If the disability occurs prior to scheduled vacation and is expected to last into the vacation period, the vacation may be rescheduled.

Every effort will be made to permit employees to take their vacation as requested. However, due to the nature of our work, coordination within and between departments is essential. All vacations are subject to approval by the employee’s supervisor.

Employees who change their vacation request must receive approval from their supervisor. Approval will depend on workload and the number of people who are scheduled for vacation at that time.

If employment with the Diocese terminates prior to the end of the fiscal year, employees will be paid at their regular salary for those days earned but not taken on a pro-rata basis. If the employee has taken current year vacation days not earned, the Diocese will require reimbursement of those used but not earned days. If an employee is absent from work within a fiscal year for a period of time in excess of one month, vacation time will not be accrued for the period of that absence.

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 and part-time employees 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 employees. The Diocese 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. In case of frequent absence or prolonged illness, you may be asked to present a physician’s statement.

The use of medical days for an extended medical leave should be for the purpose of serious illness, maternity or paternity leave, or for family emergency due to serious illness. If an employee adopts a child, maternity or paternity leave is also granted upon request for a time mutually agreed upon with the supervisor.

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 for your immediate supervisor to see that this record is kept on a weekly basis. This record is then submitted to Human Resources and maintained in your personnel file. A statement of your accrued medical days is readily available from this file.

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 employee is entitled to 21 hours (3 days) 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 supervisor. All time taken will be kept track of in your personnel file by your supervisor.

If, in extraordinary situations due to family crisis or death in an employee’s family, personal leave is needed beyond 3 days, the employee will discuss necessary arrangements, when each need occurs, with your department supervisor who will determine if paid or unpaid leave is to be granted. Personal days are not carried over from year to year. Unused personal days are not paid to an employee upon termination of employment.

Part-time employees are not entitled to personal days. In the case of personal or family emergency, arrangements are to be discussed with the department supervisor, who will determine if paid or unpaid leave is to be granted.


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

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 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.

Commencing on the fourth day of the jury duty, the employee will be paid the difference between any amount paid by the court and their normal, straight time rate or salary. 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 Diocese 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 Diocese 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 supervisor 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 supervisor. 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 Diocese may properly determine the amount, if any, owed to the employee under this policy.


The Diocese of Syracuse (“Diocese”) complies with the provisions of The Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) which was initially effective on August 5, 1993, amended on April 6, 1995 and then again in 2008 and 2010 by the National Defense Authorization Act (“NDAA”). The following is the Diocese’s policy with respect to the Family and Medical Leave Act.


FMLA gives eligible employees of the Diocese the right to a maximum of twelve (12) workweeks (defined by the employee’s normal week) of job protected unpaid leave, based on a rolling twelve (12) month period measured forward from the first date the leave is used.

Eligible employees will, subject to final approval from the Diocese, be afforded leave of up to a maximum of twelve (12) workweeks under FMLA under the following circumstances:

In addition, FMLA provides eligible employees who are the spouse, son, daughter, parent or next of kin of a “covered service member” up to a total of twenty-six (26) workweeks of special job-protected leave during a single rolling 12-month period to care for the service member (“military caregiver leave”).

At the conclusion of any of the FMLA leave periods described above, the employee, provided that he or she returns to work immediately following such leave, will be restored to the position he or she held when the leave began, or an equivalent position with equivalent benefits, pay and working conditions.



Serious health condition 

Military Caregiver Leave 

Serious Injury or Illness 

Military Caregiver leave is available to care for either 1) a member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard or Reserves) who sustained a serious injury or illness in the line of duty on active duty, or that existed before the beginning of the member’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty, which renders the service member medically unfit to perform the duties of his or her office, grade, rank or rating; or 2) a veteran who was a member of the Armed Forces (including the National Guard or Reserves) at any time during the five (5) years before the date on which the veteran undergoes medical treatment, recuperation or therapy, who sustained a qualifying injury or illness (as defined by the Secretary of Labor) in the line of duty on active duty, or that existed before the beginning of the veteran’s active duty and was aggravated by service in the line of duty, and that manifested itself before or after becoming a veteran.

Eligible Employee 

An employee who meets the normal service requirements to be eligible for FMLA leave and is the spouse, parent, son, daughter or next of kin of a covered service member is eligible for leave for this purpose. The regulations define next of kin of a covered service member as the nearest blood relative other than the covered service member’s spouse, parent, son or daughter in the following priority: blood relatives who have been granted legal custody, bothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and first cousins, unless the service member has specifically designated in writing another blood relative for purposes of military caregiver leave under the FMLA.

Amount of Leave to be Granted 

Eligible employees are entitled to up to 26 weeks of leave in a single 12- month period per covered service member per injury. Additional periods of up to 26 weeks of leave may be taken in subsequent 12-month periods to care for a difference service member or to care for the same service member who has a subsequent serious illness or injury.

To determine the single 12-month period, the regulations require that the 12-month period must be measured forward from the date an employee’s first covered service member leave begins.

During the designated 12-month period, employees are limited to a combined total of 26 weeks of military caregiver leave and other FMLA leave for any qualifying reason. Employees continue to be limited to 12 weeks of FMLA leave per calendar year for reasons other than to care for a covered service member. A husband and wife employed by the same employer are limited to a combined 26 week military caregiver leave in a single 12-month period per service member per injury.

Leave that qualifies as both covered military caregiver leave and leave to care for a family member with a serious health condition should be designed as covered military caregiver leave in the first instance.

Leave is available in a continuous block of time or on an intermittent or reduced schedule basis as required.

Qualifying Exigency Leave 

A covered employer must grant an eligible employee up to a total of 12 workweeks of leave during the normal 12-month period established by the employer for FMLA leave for qualifying exigencies arising out of the fact that the employee’s spouse, son, daughter or parent is on covered active duty. “Covered Active Duty” includes means 1) in the case of a member of the regular Armed Forces, duty during the deployment of the member of the Armed Forces to a foreign country; and 2) in the case of a member of the National Guard or Reserves, duty during the deployment of the member with the Armed Forces to a foreign country under a call or order to active duty.

Qualifying exigencies 

Issues arising from a covered service member’s short notice deployment (i.e., deployment on seven (7) or less days of notice) for a period of seven (7) days from the date of notification;

Military events and related activities, such as official ceremonies, programs, or events sponsored by the military or family support or assistance programs and informational briefings sponsored or promoted by the military, military service organizations, or the American Red Cross that are related to the active duty or call to active duty status of a covered military member;

Certain childcare and related activities arising from the active duty or call to active duty status of a covered service member, such as arranging for alternative childcare, providing childcare on a non-routine, urgent, immediate need basis, enrolling or transferring a child in a new school or day care facility, and attending certain meetings at a school or a day care facility if they are necessary due to circumstances arising from the active duty or call to active duty of the covered military member;

Making or updating financial and legal arrangements to address a covered military member’s absence;

Attending counseling provided by someone other than a health care provider for oneself, the covered military member, or the child of the covered military member, the need for which arises from the active duty or call to active duty status of the covered military member;

Taking up to five (5) days of leave to spend time with a covered military member who is on short-term temporary, rest and recuperation leave during deployment;

Attending to certain post-deployment activities, including attending arrival ceremonies, reintegration briefings and events, and other official ceremonies or programs sponsored by the military for a period of 90 days following the termination of the covered military member’s active duty status, and addressing issues arising from the death of a covered military member;

Any other additional event that the employee and the Diocese agree is a qualifying exigency.

FMLA leave also may be taken intermittently for a qualifying exigency arising out of the active duty status or call to active duty of a covered military member.

Health Care Provider 

is defined by FMLA regulations as

Family Member – is defined by FMLA regulations as


When the need for leave is not foreseeable, the employee must provide notice to the Diocese as soon as practicable under the facts and circumstances of the particular case. Absent unusual circumstances, employees must comply with the Diocese’s usual and customary notice and procedural requirements for requesting leave.

Employee Notice (Covered Military Related FMLA Leave)

Certification (Non-Military Related Leave) Requirements



An employee may not be employed by another employer during the same hours that he or she was normally scheduled to work for the Diocese while on an approved FMLA leave.



An employee may request a leave of absence without pay for the following reasons:

Leaves of absence must be approved by both your Department Director and your Administrative Vicar. At the time of approval, an agreement is formulated as to the length of time your particular job may be held for you or your eligibility for a similar position if available, as well as other issues related to your Diocesan employment.

During leaves of absence which do not extend beyond 6 months, certain Diocesan benefit plans will be continued provided you are not covered by any other similar benefit plan and provided you pay the monthly premium. For further information about these plans and which benefits you may be entitled to continued coverage under, consult with Human Resources / Benefits.

Depending upon staffing needs and business requirements, the Diocese will make reasonable attempts to place an employee who returns from an authorized personal leave of absence in the same or equivalent job. However, the Diocese does not guarantee the position or any other position will be available upon an employee’s return from a personal leave of absence.


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.


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 Diocese requests a minimum of three (3) working days notice from the employee. Notice should be provided to the supervisor. In some instances the Diocese 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 Diocese 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 Diocese 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 supervisor or Human Resources.


The Diocese 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 supervisor at least ten (10) working days in advance.


The Diocese has a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination or harassment towards, or discouragement of a covered employee’s ability to take leave under the provisions of the above policies. Should anyone believe or if anyone observes, harassment, discrimination or retaliation against an employee who has, or wishes to utilize this policy, please bring the complaint immediately to the attention of Human Resources.


Safety is a high priority at the Diocese. The Diocese 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 Diocese.

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

Employees must report any injury received at work to their supervisor 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

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 Diocese, 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 Diocese property, in Diocese vehicles or while on Diocese 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 staring 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 Diocese premises to the extent such actions impair an employee’s ability to perform his or her job or otherwise adversely affects the Diocese.

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


The security of the Diocese property and our employees is of the utmost importance. To control building security, all visitors who require access to our facilities must be clearly identified and accompanied by an authorized employee.

Visitors requiring access to the Diocese offices are to be met in the reception area by an authorized employee, escorted while in the building and accompanied back to the reception area when leaving the building. Visitors should only have access to the areas/offices within the building needed to conduct business.

The following articles may not be brought onto Diocese premises:


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

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


In accordance with New York State law, smoking is not permitted in any Diocese buildings or in any Diocese-owned vehicles. In addition, employees should refrain from smoking any closer than fifty (50) feet from Diocese 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 Diocese 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:


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. Employees may not discuss any Diocesan-related matters with the media without approval from the Diocesan Director of Communications. Employees must not represent themselves as an agent of the Diocese in public communication venues such as letters to the editor, blogs or social media networks. The Diocese will not tolerate negative comments made by an employee regarding the Diocese.


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

Our telephone lines are maintained for business purposes only. The Diocese 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.

Diocesan 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 Diocese 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 Diocese 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 Diocese 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:


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 Human Resources in writing of any of the following changes:


Inclement weather is to be expected during the winter months.

Except in cases of severe storms, regular work hours will be observed. Any alteration in the regular schedule will be determined by the Chancellor. If the weather is severe, employees are asked to call into the switchboard for a message regarding office closings. The switchboard message would be on no later than 7 a.m. If the offices close, it will also appear as a closure of the Syracuse Diocesan Offices on your local television stations, WSTM, WTVH5, YNN and NewsChannel 9.

If the Diocese closed, employees will receive regular compensation.

If the Diocese is open, absence due to poor weather must be taken as vacation, personal, or unpaid time.


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 Diocese reserves the right to access, retrieve, read, and/or delete any communication or other document that is created, received, or sent via the Diocese’s computers, computer network, telephones, voice mail machines or services, or any other communication or electronic systems owned, operated or maintained by the Diocese. Use of said systems or communication tools by the employee constitutes consent to this accessing and monitoring.

Employee communication on Diocese 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 Diocese’s rights under this policy.

Computer and phone systems are maintained for Diocesan business purposes. Employees should not use the Diocese systems to conduct personal business or maintain personal files.

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

Employees may not disclose their passwords or allow others to use their access to Diocesan 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 systems by not opening messages or documents sent by unknown users.

The Diocese 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.


It is the policy of the Diocese of Syracuse to provide employees with access to various computerized information resources through Diocesan computer systems. These systems consist of software, hardware, computer networks and electronic communication systems including cell phones or equivalent technology. Electronic communication systems may include, but are not limited to, electronic mail, on-line services, intranet, internet and cell phones or equivalent technology.

Diocesan computer systems will be used for Diocesan purposes consistent with the mission and goals of the Church.

The Diocese encourages staff to utilize Diocesan computer systems to conduct research, contact others in Church related ministry and business, and explore educational topics relevant to their work. The Diocese anticipates that staff access to these information resources will both expedite and enhance the performance of tasks associated with their positions.

The following regulations will direct the use of Diocesan computer systems:

Because email 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 email or the internet/intranet is forbidden. This includes, but is not limited to:


The Diocese maintains an official personnel 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 file, 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 Diocese should be referred to Human Resources. This applies to all requests, whether written or verbal.


The use of Diocesan vehicles is limited to authorized employees. It is the responsibility of every employee operating a Diocesan vehicle or operating their own vehicle for official business, to drive safely and obey all traffic, vehicle safety and parking laws or regulations. Under no circumstances may an employee drive, or permit another to drive, a Diocesan vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance. Employees are obligated to immediately report any violations, or potential violations, of this policy to Human Resources.

All employees authorized to drive Diocesan or personal vehicles for use in conducting official business must possess a current, valid driver’s license and their driving record must meet the qualifications set by the Diocese’s insurance carrier. A log of mileage for the vehicle is required to be kept by employees using the vehicle.

Diocesan vehicles must only be used in work-related activities and may not be used for personal business or activities without the approval of management. In accordance with New York State law, smoking is not allowed in Diocesan-owned vehicles. Employees may not use cellular telephones, without a hands-free device while operating a Diocesan vehicle. Cell phone use, texting, or any use of a handheld computer or any handheld communication device is prohibited while driving. All state and local laws in this regard are to be followed.

In some instances, employees may be required to drive their own personal vehicle for the purposes of conducting Diocesan business. Employees must maintain adequate personal automobile liability insurance. The Diocese is not responsible for any damages or fines incurred while conducting official business in a personal vehicle.


I acknowledge receipt of the Employee Handbook for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse (Diocese) which describes Diocesan 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 either the Diocese 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 Diocese.

I agree to read and study the contents of this handbook. It is understood that the Diocese 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 Diocese.