Employee Handbook

Welcome to PEEC! We’re so glad to have you as part of our team. Our employees are our most important resource, and we strive to keep you happy at work. Thanks to you, we’ll be able to connect people to nature.

This handbook will hopefully answer questions you might have about how we operate. If you have additional questions, or see items that are incorrect, should be added, or have any other changes or suggestions, please contact Katie at director@peecnature.org.

Employment with PEEC is at-will, which means you or PEEC may terminate your employment any time, for any reason, with or without notice. The policies and practices described here are provided for your guidance and do not represent a contract for employment. Neither this handbook, nor any other documents circulated to employees, nor any other verbal representations, are contracts.  No supervisor or employee except the Executive Director or the President of the Board of Directors has the authority to enter into employment agreements, expressed or implied, with any employee. These policies supersede any materials previously distributed.  These policies are subject to change with notice at any time by PEEC.

Introduction and PEEC Background

PEEC’s mission is enriching people’s lives by strengthening their connections with our canyons, mesas, mountains, and skies.

History: PEEC was founded in 2000 by a small group of people who wanted to bring a nature center to Los Alamos. You can read more about PEEC’s history in this booklet which was produced for the grand opening of the Los Alamos County Nature Center in April 2015. You can also look at past editions of our annual report to get an idea of what we do and who we serve.

Governance: PEEC is governed by a board of directors. The board sets policy and approves our budget. They also hire, fire, and supervise the Executive Director. The size of the board is set by our bylaws, and is between 8-11 members. They meet every other month (generally) to review reports from the staff and make any high-level decisions needed. The executive committee of the board is made up of the president, vice-president, treasurer, and secretary, and meets monthly. The executive committee has some powers to make decisions; otherwise, it makes recommendations to the board. Other board committees include finance, risk, nominating, and landscape.

Important information for employees

This section of the handbook covers the following topics:

  • Expectations for PEEC employees, including
    • Child protection
    • Code of conduct
    • Confidentiality
    • Required training
    • Communications and technology
  • Employee benefits, including
    • SIMPLE IRA plan
    • Reimbursement for travel and related expenses
  • Supervision and evaluation
  • Grievance procedures, dispute resolution and non-retaliation
  • Emergency action plan
  • Incident reporting

Other policies and procedures can be found at the PEEC Handbooks page.

PEEC Employee Expectations

PEEC employees strive to treat our volunteers, donors, members, visitors, and program participants with kindness and respect. We require all employees and volunteers to sign our code of conduct, which is an important part of our child protection policy.

We do not share any contact or other information about our staff or volunteers without their permission, nor do we share any information from our customer relationship management database, NEON. This is covered in our confidentiality policy.

All employees are required to have current CPR and First Aid training, and to review our child protection policy annually. We also train annually on our emergency action plan, and schedule other trainings for staff throughout the year. The staff onboarding checklist will be useful for you when you are beginning work at PEEC.

The communications and technology policy states that the executive director and/or the president of the board of directors are the official spokespersons for PEEC. It is important to remember that PEEC is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization and does not endorse any political party or candidate. Information technology must be used sensibly, lawfully, and consistently.

We have no dress code; please dress appropriately for the work you will be doing that day.

Employee Benefits

PEEC offers paid time off, medical insurance, discounts, and other benefits under certain conditions. You can read the full employee benefits policy here.

We also have a SIMPLE IRA plan for qualified employees. The details are in our SIMPLE IRA policy.

We reimburse employees traveling on official PEEC business for approved expenses incurred, according to the details spelled out in the travel and mileage reimbursement policy.

Supervision and Evaluation: The executive director supervises staff, though certain staff have a direct supervisor who is not the executive director. Each direct supervisor performs a yearly evaluation with each direct report, which includes a self-evaluation on the part of the staff member and goal-setting. The staff member and their supervisor review these goals quarterly. Your supervisor is also the person you will report your time worked to monthly, and they will tell you how to do that so you can get paid each month. If you see something at PEEC that’s not right, you can consult our whistle blower policy to see what steps you can take.

What do do in an emergency or crisis: Please review our emergency action plan. We’ll train on it every year, and discuss various scenarios, as well. We also have a crisis management plan, which you should be familiar with. If an incident occurs during a time period or program for which you are the responsible person, you’ll need to fill out an incident report. You are also a mandatory reporter under state law, so you’ll need to know what steps to follow in case you suspect any kind of child abuse or neglect.

Employee benefits and travel: These policies spell out the benefits that regular PEEC staff receive, and how you will be compensated for work-related travel expenses.

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