2. The Participant




2.1 Nature of trainee and volunteer

Registration of a participant with Therapeutic Dog Services is voluntarily entered, and the trainee/volunteer is free to resign at any time, with or without cause. Similarly, Therapeutic Dog Services may terminate the relationship at will at any time, with or without notice or cause, so long as there is no violation of applicable federal or provincial law.

Policies set forth in this handbook are not intended to create a contract, nor are they to be construed to constitute contractual obligations of any kind or a contract of employment between Therapeutic Dog Services and any of its trainees/volunteers. The provisions of the handbook have been developed at the discretion of management and, except for its policy of employment-at-will, may be amended or cancelled at any time, at Therapeutic Dog Services sole discretion.

These provisions supersede all existing policies and practices and may not be amended or added to without the express written approval of the Therapeutic Dog Services Incorporated Board Members.

2.2 Relations

Therapeutic Dog Services believes that the work conditions, and benefits it offers to its employees/ trainees/volunteers are competitive with those offered by other organisations in this area and in this industry. If participants have concerns about work conditions, they are strongly encouraged to voice these concerns openly and directly to their supervisors.

Our experience has shown that when members deal openly and directly with supervisors, the work environment can be excellent, communications can be clear, and attitudes can be positive. We believe that Therapeutic Dog Services amply demonstrates its commitment to members by responding effectively to members concerns.

To protect and maintain direct communications, we will do anything we can to protect the right of our members to speak for themselves.

2.3 Equal Employment Opportunity

To provide equal participant and advancement opportunities to all individuals, membership registration and employment decisions at Therapeutic Dog Services will be based on merit, qualifications, and abilities. Therapeutic Dog Services does not discriminate in opportunities or practices based on race, colour, religion, sex, national origin, age, or any other characteristic protected by law.

This policy governs all aspects of employment, including selection, job assignment, discipline, termination, and access to benefits and training.

Any member with questions or concerns about any type of discrimination in the workplace are encouraged to bring these issues to the attention of their immediate supervisor or the human resources department. Raise concerns and make reports without fear of reprisal. Anyone found to be engaging in any type of unlawful discrimination will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, membership, or volunteering.

2.4 Business Ethics and Conduct

The successful business operation and reputation of Therapeutic Dog Services is built upon the principles of fair dealing and ethical conduct of our employees/members/volunteers. Our reputation for integrity and excellence requires careful observance of the spirit and letter of all applicable laws and regulations, as well as a scrupulous regard for the highest standards of conduct and personal integrity.

The continued success of Therapeutic Dog Services is dependent upon our customers' trust and we are dedicated to preserving that trust. Employees/Members/Volunteers owe a duty to Therapeutic Dog Services, its customers, and shareholders to act in a way that will merit the continued trust and confidence of the public.

Therapeutic Dog Services will comply with all applicable laws and regulations and expects its directors, officers, and employees/members/volunteers to conduct business in accordance with the letter, spirit, and intent of all relevant laws and to refrain from any illegal, dishonest, or unethical conduct.

In general, the use of good judgment, based on high ethical principles, will guide you with respect to lines of acceptable conduct. If a situation arises where it is difficult to determine the proper course of action, the matter should be discussed openly with your immediate supervisor and, if necessary, with the Therapeutic Dog Services Board Member, for advice and consultation.

Compliance with this policy of business ethics and conduct is the responsibility of every Therapeutic Dog Service employee/member/volunteer. Disregarding or failing to comply with this standard of business ethics and conduct could lead to disciplinary action, up to and including possible termination of employment, membership, or volunteering.

2.5 Personal Relationships in the workplace

The employment of relatives or individuals involved in a dating relationship in the same area of an organisation may cause serious conflicts and problems with favouritism and employee morale. In addition to claims of partiality in treatment at work, personal conflicts from outside the work environment can be carried over into day-to-day working relationships.

For purposes of this policy, a relative is any person who is related by blood or marriage, or whose relationship with the employee/volunteer is like that of persons who are related by blood or marriage. A dating relationship is defined as a relationship that may be reasonably expected to lead to the formation of a consensual "romantic" or sexual relationship. This policy applies to all employee/volunteers without regard to the gender or sexual orientation of the individuals involved.

Although Therapeutic Dog Services has no prohibition against employing relatives of current employees/volunteers or individuals involved in a dating relationship with current employees, we are committed to monitoring situations in which such relationships exist in the same area. In case of actual or potential problems, Therapeutic Dog Services will take prompt action, and this can include reassignment. Employees/Volunteers in a close personal relationship should refrain from public workplace displays of affection or excessive personal conversation.

2.6 CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Participants have an obligation to conduct business within guidelines that prohibit actual or potential conflicts of interest. This policy establishes only the framework within which Therapeutic Dog Services wishes the business to operate. The purpose of these guidelines is to provide general direction so that employee/member/volunteer can seek further clarification on issues related to the subject of acceptable standards of operation. Contact the Board for more information or questions about conflicts of interest.

  • Transactions with outside firms must be conducted within a framework established and controlled by the executive level of Therapeutic Dog Services. Business dealings with outside firms should not result in unusual gains for those firms. Unusual gain refers to bribes, product bonuses, special fringe benefits, unusual price breaks, and other windfalls designed to ultimately benefit the employer, the employee/member/volunteer, or both. Promotional plans that could be interpreted to involve unusual gain require specific executive-level approval.

  • An actual or potential conflict of interest occurs when a participant can influence a decision that may result in a personal gain for themselves or for a relative because of Therapeutic Dog Services business dealings. For the purposes of this policy, a relative is any person who is related by blood or marriage, or whose relationship with the participant is like that of persons who are related by blood or marriage.

  • No "presumption of guilt" is created by the mere existence of a relationship with outside firms. However, if participants have any influence on transactions involving purchases, contracts, or leases, it is imperative that they disclose to an officer of Therapeutic Dog Services as soon as possible the existence of any actual or potential conflict of interest so that safeguards can be established to protect all parties.

  • Personal gain may result not only in cases where an participant or relative has a significant ownership in a firm with which Therapeutic Dog Services does business, but also when a participant or relative receives any kickback, bribe, substantial gift, or special consideration as a result of any transaction or business dealings involving Therapeutic Dog Services Incorporated.

2.7 Outside Employment

Employee/members/volunteers may hold outside jobs as long as they meet the performance standards of their job with Therapeutic Dog Services Incorporated. All employee/members/volunteers will be judged by the same performance standards and will be subject to Therapeutic Dog Services scheduling demands, regardless of any existing outside work requirements.

If Therapeutic Dog Services determines that outside work interferes with performance or the ability to meet the requirements of Therapeutic Dog Services as they are modified from time to time, participant may be asked to terminate their current role and consider another role if he or she wishes to remain with Therapeutic Dog Services.

Outside employment that constitutes a conflict of interest is prohibited. Employee/members/volunteers may not receive any income or material gain from individuals outside Therapeutic Dog Services for materials produced or services rendered while performing their jobs.

2.8 Non-Disclosure

The protection of confidential business information and trade secrets is vital to the interests and the success of Therapeutic Dog Services Incorporated. Such confidential information includes, but is not limited to, the following examples:

Common examples of confidential information are:

  • Unpublished financial information

  • Data of Customers/Partners/Vendors

  • Patents, formulas, or new technologies

  • Customer lists (existing and prospective)

  • Data entrusted to our company by external parties

  • Pricing/marketing and other undisclosed strategies

  • Documents and processes explicitly marked as confidential

  • Unpublished goals, forecasts and initiatives marked as confidential

  • Trade secrets

All employee/members/volunteers are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement as a condition of participation. Employee/member/volunteer who improperly use or disclose trade secrets or confidential business information will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment, membership or volunteering and legal action, even if they do not actually benefit from the disclosed information.

2.9 Disability Accommodation

Therapeutic Dog Services is ensuring equal opportunity in participation for qualified persons with disabilities. All practices and activities are conducted on a non-discriminatory basis.

Hiring procedures have been reviewed and provide persons with disabilities meaningful employment, training, and volunteering opportunities. Upon request, job applications are available in alternative, accessible formats, as is assistance in completing the application.

Pre-employment, training or volunteering inquiries are made only regarding an applicant's ability to perform the duties of the position role.

Reasonable accommodation is available to all disabled participants, where their disability affects the performance of job functions. All participant decisions are based on the merits of the situation in accordance with defined criteria, not the disability of the individual.

Qualified individuals with disabilities are entitled to volunteer as well as in job assignments, classifications, organisational structures, position descriptions, lines of progression, and seniority lists. Support of all types will be available to all participants on an equal basis.

Therapeutic Dog Services is also committed to not discriminating against any qualified employee/volunteer or applicants because they are related to or associated with a person with a disability. Therapeutic Dog Services will follow any provincial or local law that provides individuals with disabilities greater protection.

This policy is neither exhaustive nor exclusive. Therapeutic Dog Services is committed to taking all other actions necessary to ensure equal opportunity for persons with disabilities in accordance with all applicable federal, provincial, and local laws.

2.10 Job Posting and Employee referrals

Therapeutic Dog Services provides employees/members/volunteers an opportunity to indicate their interest in open positions and advance (volunteer or paid employment) within the organisation according to their skills and experience. In general, notices of all regular, volunteer, or paid job openings are posted, although Therapeutic Dog Services reserves its discretionary right to not post an opening.

Job openings will be posted on the Therapeutic Dog Services bulletin board, this website and/or in the email system, and normally remain open for 15 days. Each job posting notice will include the dates of the posting period, job title, department, location, grade level, job summary, essential duties, and qualifications (required skills and abilities).

  • To be eligible to apply for a posted job, employees must have performed competently for at least 90 calendar days in their current position.

  • Employees/members/volunteers who have a written warning on file or are on probation or suspension are not eligible to apply for posted jobs.

  • Eligible members can only apply for those posted jobs for which they possess the required skills, competencies, and qualifications.

  • To apply for an open position, members should submit a job posting application to the specified department and person, listing job-related skills and accomplishments. It should also describe how their current experience with Therapeutic Dog Services and prior work experience and/or education qualifies them for the position.

  • Therapeutic Dog Services recognises the benefit of developmental experiences and encourages members to talk with their supervisors about their career plans. Supervisors are encouraged to support members efforts to gain experience and advance within the organisation.

  • An applicant's supervisor may be contacted to verify performance, skills, and attendance. Any staffing limitations or other circumstances that might affect a prospective transfer may also be discussed.

  • Job posting is a way to inform members of openings and to identify qualified and interested applicants who might not otherwise be known to the hiring manager. Other recruiting sources may also be used to fill open positions in the best interest of the organisation.

  • Therapeutic Dog Services also encourages members to identify friends or acquaintances that are interested in employment opportunities and refer qualified outside applicants for posted jobs. Members should obtain permission from the individual before making a referral, share their knowledge of the organisation, and not make commitments or oral promises of employment.

  • A member should submit the referral's resume and/or completed application form to the specified department and person for a posted job. If the referral is interviewed, the referring member will be notified of the initial interview and the final selection decision.

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