HANDBOOK

 

Pride Ventures, Inc.
Pride Ventures, Inc.~ Pride Paws has been formed to provide training and transitional workplace experience to individuals with developmental disabilities. It is our goal that with this additional experience our participants will be equipped to secure employment in the mainstream environment.

Participants
Individuals eligible to participate in our program must be between eighteen and twenty-nine years of age.

Volunteers
Pride Ventures, Inc. does not place age restrictions on volunteers. However, each volunteer must be capable of providing assistance to our participants when needed. At no time will an individual under the age of twenty-one be the sole volunteer at our facility.

Attendance
Each participant and volunteer is important to us. The success of our organization’s mission is dependent upon your attendance when you are scheduled to work or volunteer. Every effort will be taken to arrange your schedule in a manner that is most convenient for you and your parent/guardian. Contact us as soon as possible before the start of your shift if you expect to be late or absent.

Safety
Your safety and health is of major importance. An essential part of your participation is to protect the safety of yourself, fellow workers and the public. Please report any potential safety problem or incident to us immediately. Your training period with us will include safety specific to our facility.

Dress
Your appearance should be appropriate for your job. The way you look to your fellow participants/volunteers and the public is as important as the way you act.

Courtesy
The way you communicate with and act toward your fellow participants/volunteers and the public is very important. You should be courteous at all times whether answering the telephone or greeting the public in the store.

Transportation
It is your responsibility or the responsibility of your parent/guardian to provide transportation to and from our location for your scheduled shift.

Conflicts
Despite the best intentions, misunderstandings or disagreements sometimes occur. All issues or complaints should be made immediately to a member of the board of trustees. Every effort will be made to rectify the matter in a way that is equitable to those involved.

Participant Training
Pride Ventures, Inc. will provide training to all individuals. This training will allow you to function in the work place in all aspects of the operation that are appropriate. You will be given explicit training in Pre-Job Skills, On the Job Skills, Work Place Ready Skills, and Community Skills as well as training specific to the function of our store. Demonstrating these skills is essential for participation with Pride Ventures, Inc. or any other professional entity in the community. If these skills need to be refined we will provide you with additional training. The complete training manual will be provided separately. The training program will consist of two hundred hours of classroom education and on the job training The length of the training period, criteria, materials and method may be modified at the discretion of the board of trustees.

Participant Earnings
It is anticipated that a number of our participants will be enrolled in the local high school district. While a participant is in a high school program wages will not be provided. The number of hours a participant accumulates with Pride Ventures, Inc., while in the Community Based Training program offered at the high schools, will be applied to the two hundred hour training program required by Pride Ventures, Inc. Upon successful completion of the training period you will qualify to be paid an hourly rate equal to the New Jersey minimum wage. You will be expected to put forth your best effort for the period of time you are scheduled in order to get paid. Upon your request accommodations will be made, if possible, to allow for the uninterruption of other sources of income such as Social Security.

Leave
Pride Ventures, Inc. does not make provisions for you to receive paid leave time such as vacation time or sick time. We do, however, understand that individuals become ill or take vacations. If you expect to be unavailable for an extended period of time you must notify us so that we may adjust the schedule. Pride Ventures, Inc. adheres to all of the provisions of the State Family Leave Act and the Federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

Health Benefits
Pride Ventures, Inc. does not provide for health insurance.

Equal Opportunity
Pride Ventures, Inc. aims to create conditions where all individuals are treated with respect and are not subjected to unfair discrimination in the workplace. All participants, volunteers and managers will receive fair and equal treatment. Pride Ventures, Inc. does not tolerate discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, age, sex, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, family status, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States or disability.

American Disabilities Act
It is the policy of Pride Ventures, Inc. to provide reasonable accommodation based on the provisions of the New Jersey Law against Discrimination and the American Disabilities Act.

Policy Prohibiting Discrimination in the Workplace

Protected Categories 
Pride Ventures, Inc. is committed to providing every participant and volunteer with a work environment free from prohibited discrimination or harassment. Under this policy, forms of discrimination or harassment based upon the following protected categories are prohibited and will not be tolerated: race, creed, color, national origin, nationality, age, sex, marital status, civil union status, domestic partnership status, family status, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, atypical hereditary cellular or blood trait, genetic information, liability for service in the Armed Forces of the United States or disability.

To achieve the goal of maintaining an environment free from discrimination and harassment, Pride Ventures, Inc. strictly prohibits the conduct that is described in this policy. This is a zero tolerance policy. This means that Pride Ventures, Inc. reserves the right to take either disciplinary action or other corrective measures to address any unacceptable conduct that violates this policy.

Applicability
Pride Ventures, Inc. will not tolerate harassment or discrimination by anyone participating in our program. This policy applies to all participants, volunteers and management associated with Pride Ventures, Inc. This policy applies to both conducts in our facility and conduct that occurs at any location which can be reasonably regarded as an extension of our facility (any off-site location where Pride Ventures, Inc. business is being conducted).

This policy also applies to third party harassment. Third party harassment is unwelcome behavior involving any of the protected categories referred to above that is not directed at an individual but exists in the environment and interferes with an individual’s ability to effectively participate in our program. Third party harassment based upon any one of the protected categories is prohibited by this policy.

Prohibited Conduct

It is a violation of this policy to engage in any practice or procedure that treats an individual less favorably based upon any of the protected categories referred to above.

It is also a violation of this policy to use derogatory or demeaning references regarding a person’s race, gender, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnic background or any other protected category. A violation of this policy can occur even if there was no intent on the part of an individual to harass or demean another.

Examples of prohibited behaviors that may constitute a violation of this policy include:

Discriminating against an individual with regard to terms and conditions of participation because of being in one of the protected categories;

Treating an individual differently because they are in one of the protected categories;

Calling an individual by an unwanted nickname that refers to one or more of the protected categories or telling jokes pertaining to one of the protected categories;

Engaging in threatening, intimidating or hostile acts toward another individual in our facility because that individual is in one of the protected categories;

Displaying or distributing material in our facility that contains derogatory or demeaning language or images pertaining to any of the protected categories.

Sexual Harassment

It is a violation of this policy to engage in sexual or gender based harassment of any kind, including hostile environment harassment or same sex harassment. For the purpose of this policy, sexual harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.

Examples of prohibited behaviors that may constitute sexual harassment and are a violation of this policy include:

Generalized gender based remarks and comments;

Unwanted physical contact such as intentional touching, grabbing, pinching, brushing against another’s body or impeding or blocking movement;

Verbal, written or electronic sexually suggestive or obscene comments, jokes, propositions, gestures or inappropriate comments about a person’s clothing;

Visual contact such as leering or staring at another’s body, gesturing, displaying sexually suggestive objects or pictures;

Explicit or implicit suggestions of a sexual nature by a supervisor or manager in return for favorable participation action;

Continuing to engage in certain behaviors of a sexual nature after an objection has been raised.

Participant/Volunteer Responsibility

Any participant, volunteer or manager who believes that he or she has been subjected to any form of prohibited discrimination or harassment or who witnesses others being subjected to such discrimination is encouraged to promptly report the incident directly to a member of the board of trustees.

Disciplinary Action

Any participant, volunteer or manager found to have violated any portion of this policy may be subject to appropriate administrative or disciplinary action which may include written or verbal reprimand, suspension or termination from the program.