Personnel Policies and Practices

Revised June 18, 2013.  Rescinds previous editions.

Amended January 20, 2015

MISSION:  Second Presbyterian Church (“SPC,” “Church”) is a vibrant downtown church in Richmond, Virginia that seeks to know Christ and make Christ known throughout the world.


1.    Equal Employment Opportunity

·      Second Presbyterian Church will recruit, hire, call, train and promote all persons in all job classifications without regard to race; creed; color; national origin; sexual orientation; gender; age; marital status; religious affiliation (except for those engaged in leading worship, preaching, or teaching in the Church School where a commitment to the Christian faith and the Presbyterian Church are necessary); or non-disqualifying disability.

2.    Process of Employment

·      A written position description that accurately reflects the job functions will be developed for job applicants by the Pastor Nominating Committee, Pastor, or Personnel Council, as appropriate.

·      Successful completion of a substance screen and background check (including a criminal check, credit and personal/professional references) is a condition of employment that must be met before an offer of employment may be made.  Confidentiality of substance screen results is assured and the test results will be used for hiring purposes only.

3.   Exempt and Non-Exempt Categories

·      The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) defines positions as exempt and non-exempt.  SPC will pay minimum wage and will pay overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 hour in a seven-day work week, in accordance with the FLSA. 

·       “Exempt” employees are paid a salary and are not eligible for overtime pay.

4.    Classification of Staff

The Church staff shall be classified as follows:

Group A:  Ordained Personnel (exempt)

Group B:  Professional Personnel (exempt)

Group C:  Other Salaried Personnel (exempt)

Group D:  Hourly employees (non-exempt)

5.   Work Week

·      The work week for non-exempt staff is 40 hours, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

·      If the normal work week for a non-exempt position is less than 40 hours, all hours worked up to 40 hours per week will be paid at the regular hourly rate.

·      Required attendance at meetings for non-exempt staff outside of the 40- hour work week shall be considered overtime and paid accordingly.

6.    At Will Status of Employment

·      The nature of the employment relationship between the Church and the employee is “at will.”  This means that at the sole discretion of either the Church or the employee, the relationship may be terminated with or without cause.  (An exception to this relationship exists with employees in Group A who may be terminated only according to the provisions of the Book of Order.) 

7.    Termination of Employment

·      Termination of Group A employees must take place according to the provision of the Book of Order.  Termination of Group B employees require at least one month’s notice from the employee to the Church or from the Church to the employee.  Termination of Group C and Group D employees requires at least two week’s notice from the employee to the Church or from the Church to the employee. 

·      Terminated employees will receive the cash equivalent of their earned and unused vacation.

·      Employees may be separated due to a reorganization, retrenchment of program, or other circumstances not arising from the fault of the employee.  An involuntary separation is at the discretion of the Session upon recommendation of the Session Personnel Council.  A severance allowance may be granted in relation to the employee’s length of service.

·      Employees who are separated must return keys and all other property of the Church upon termination of employment.


1.    Performance Reviews

·      Every employee shall have regular performance reviews with the participation of the employee, his/her supervisor, a member of the appropriate Council and the Session Personnel Council.

2.   Annual Compensation Review

·      The Session Personnel Council is responsible for recommending to the Session all salary increases.  Salary levels will be maintained so that they are consistent internally, responsive to changes in the cost of living, and in keeping with the Church’s budget constraints.

·      Compensation for Group A employees is the responsibility of the Congregation with the approval of the Presbytery of the James.


1.    Pension:  Second Presbyterian Church through the PCUSA provides for a retirement benefit for all full-time employees. Full time employees in Groups A and B will be enrolled on their date of employment.  Full time employees in Groups C and D will be enrolled upon the completion of their second full year of full-time employment. 

2.    Health Insurance:  Major Medical protection for eligible employees and dependents is provided to participants in the health insurance program of the Board of Pensions, according to the terms of that Plan.

3.     Workers’ Compensation Insurance: All employees shall be covered by the Workers’ Compensation Law of the Commonwealth of Virginia for illness and injuries related to an employee’s occupation.

4.    Unemployment Insurance: The Church does not participate in the Federal Unemployment Insurance program.

5.    Life Insurance:  Eligible employees may participate in the life insurance program provided by the Board of Pensions according to the terms of that plan.

6.    Parking:  Free parking will be provided to all employees



1.      Vacation

·      Vacation and study leave will be given to Group A and B employees as provided in the terms of their Call or contract.  Group C and D employees will accumulate vacation according to the following schedule:

Completion of:                                          Paid Vacation Time

7 months                                                 5 working days

8 – 12 months                                          1 add’l working day per month

2 years                                                     10 working days

3 years                                                     11 working days

4-12 years                                                1 add’l working day per year

13 years and beyond                                 21 working days

·      Vacations must be scheduled at least one month in advance and approved by the employee’s supervisor.  When an authorized paid holiday falls within the vacation period, the vacation will be extended by one day.

·      Nonexempt employees who work on a regularly scheduled holiday will receive an additional personal day.

·      Vacation days may not be carried over from one calendar year to the next. 

·      If an employee resigns without giving the required notice, or before he or she has worked 12 months, accrued vacation is not paid.

2.    Holidays

·      The following paid holidays will be observed:  New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday, President’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day, the Friday following Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

3.   Sick Leave/Personal Time Off

·      Full time employees accumulate sick leave/personal days at the rate of one day per month to a total of 12 days per calendar year. 

·      The Personnel Council may grant additional sick leave/personal time off based on the merits of the case. 

·      Unused sick leave/personal time off accumulates from year to year to a maximum of 60 days. 

·      At the time of termination of employment (either voluntary of involuntary) an employee shall have no claim for pay in lieu of unused sick leave/personal time. 

·      Employees must notify their supervisor when using sick leave or personal time.   A doctor’s certificate may be required at any time.

4.   Medically Certified Disability Leave

·      Full time employees who are, according to certification by a licensed physician, temporarily disabled and who are not covered by a state disability plan, shall receive full salary and benefits for a period of such disability not to exceed 90 days, at which time if disability continues, application may be made for disability benefits from the Board of Pensions for members of the Pension Plan.

5.   Maternity Leave

·      Female employees who desire leave related to the birth of their child, shall receive full salary and benefits for a period of eight to ten calendar weeks.

6.   Leaves of Absence With Pay

·      For regular training period in the U.S. Armed Forces (up to two weeks annually; pay reduced by amount paid by Armed Forces)

·      Jury duty (up to two weeks annually; pay reduced by amount paid by the Court

·      Funerals for immediate family [who are defined as: spouse, child, step-child, step-parents, parents, sister or brother.]

7.   Study Leaves:

·      Study leave will be provided to employees in Group A and Group B as provided for in the terms of their Call or contract.

8.   Sabbaticals

·      Group A employees are entitled to a sabbatical leave of up to eight weeks every six years for a Session-approved study program.  Study leave will not be given on a Sabbatical year.

9.   Leaves Without Pay

·      Leave without pay must be approved by the employee’s supervisor and the Personnel Council. 


1.    Use of Computers and Other Electronic Equipment

·      Computers and networking systems, including e-mail, internet and all other Church resources and equipment are considered Church property. The use of these systems, networks and equipment is limited to Church purposes only, except as specifically set forth below.

·      Infrequent and limited use of Church resources is permitted so long as it does not interfere with the employee’s performance, is not disruptive to the Church, and is not potentially disruptive or offensive to others.

·      Employees should have no expectation of privacy in e-mail or voicemail communications.  Even if an e-mail is deleted from an employee’s screen, it is not deleted from the system. 

2.    Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace

·      It is the policy of SPC to maintain a drug free work environment for employees.  SPC reserves the right to require employees to submit to a substance screen by urine or blood sample when requested.

·      No employee shall possess, consume or carry with them alcoholic beverages of any kind, controlled substances not prescribed by a physician, or illegal drugs on SPC property.

·      No employee shall report to work after consuming alcoholic beverages, controlled substances or illegal drugs in a condition that makes him/her unfit for full and reliable performance of his/her job responsibilities.

3.      Smoking:  SPC is designated as smoke-free. Smoking is limited to the designated area outside the building during employees’ breaks or lunch periods.

4.   Dress Code

·      Employees are expected to maintain high standards of neatness, cleanliness and personal hygiene.  All employees should arrive for work in modest, neat and clean clothing appropriate for the work at hand. 

·      Professional staff are expected to wear appropriate business casual attire during business hours, including onsite and offsite church meetings and related events.

5.  Sexual Misconduct

·      It is the policy of Second Presbyterian Church to maintain a workplace free from any form of sexual misconduct or sexual harassment, by any employee, member or friend of the congregation.  This policy is based on the Sexual Misconduct Policy adopted by the 203rd General Assembly (1991) and as that policy may be amended. 

·      The scope of this policy is not limited to the church building.  It includes all contacts in carrying out this congregation’s responsibilities and relationships with employees, volunteers, and others.

·      Any form of sexual misconduct or harassment is unacceptable behavior.

·      All allegations will be taken seriously, investigated and appropriate corrective or disciplinary action taken as warranted.

5.    Grievances

·      Problems arising from employment or conditions of employment are to be directed to the employee’s immediate supervisor, and if not resolved, to the Pastor as head of staff.  In those cases when a solution to a problem has not been worked out in discussion with the Pastor, the employee may appeal to the Session Personnel Council.  If the matter is still not resolved, the employee may appeal to the Session in writing.

·      If the above steps fail to provide an acceptable remedy, the employee may file a written complaint with the appropriate Presbytery committee.  The Presbytery committee becomes the mediator between the Pastor, Session and the employee and will work out a solution to the issue. 

6.   Travel  

·      Travel in the employee’s personal automobile on Church business will be reimbursed at the prevailing per-mile rate as published by the Internal Revenue Service.  This does not include travel to and from work.  Employees using their personal vehicle on Church business must have the required minimum liability insurance. 

7.   Confidentiality of Information

·      Employees have access to a wide range of confidential information.  “Confidential information” is information which is not generally known and which the employee obtained as a result of his or her employment.  It includes, but is not limited to, written records and lists, financial condition, personnel files, and personal information about members of the congregation.

·      Employees should only share or discuss confidential information with other Employees on a need to know basis.

·      Employees should never discuss confidential information with anyone outside of the Church.

·      If an employee has questions concerning what is or is not confidential and what their duties are with regard to confidential information, he or she should not hesitate to discuss those questions with the Pastor.

8.   Safety

·      The Church makes every effort to maintain a safe work environment and safety is the shared responsibility of every employee.

·      If an accident involving an employee, member of the congregation or visitor should occur, employees must report it immediately to the appropriate supervisor.

9.   Authority to Enter Contracts

·      The Pastor is the only employee with the authority to enter into contracts on behalf of SPC.  No other employee has signing authority of the Church, and contracts entered into by other employees are not valid.


·      Temporary employees, such as Youth Ministers, are those who are scheduled to work for a short period of time.  

·      Temporary employees are not paid for holidays, sick leave or other leaves and do not earn vacation.  These employees are not eligible for the pension plan or other health benefit plans. 

·      Non-exempt temporary employees are eligible for overtime pay for hours worked in excess of the 40-hour work week.  If a temporary employee joins the regular staff, his/her temporary employment is not considered as credited service in computing vacation and other benefits.