2017 SCAREFEST HANDBOOK
WELCOME TO THE COMPANY
JM Halloween has prepared this handbook to provide you with an overview of the company’s policies and rules. It is intended to familiarize you with the important information about the company, as well as provide guidelines for your experience with us in an effort to foster a safe and healthy work environment. Please understand that this booklet only highlights company policies and practices for your personal understanding. It is intended to provide general information about the policies and regulations governing the workers of the company. The guidelines presented in this handbook are not intended to be a substitute for sound management, judgment and discretion.
It is obviously not possible to anticipate every situation that may arise during daily operations or to provide information that answers every possible question. In addition, circumstances will undoubtedly require that policies and practices described in this handbook change from time to time. Accordingly, JM Halloween reserves the right to modify, supplement, rescind or revise any provision of this handbook as it deems necessary or appropriate in its sole discretion with or without notice to you.
No business is free from day-to-day problems, but we believe our policies and practices will help resolve such problems. All of us must work together to make the company a viable, healthy and profitable organization. This is the only way we can provide a satisfactory environment that promotes genuine concern and respect for others including all workers and our customers. If any statements in this handbook are not clear to you, please contact a company officer for clarification. This handbook supersedes any and all prior policies and procedures of the company.
Open Door Policy
In keeping with the company’s philosophy of open communication, all workers have the right and are encouraged to speak freely with management about their work-related concerns.
We urge you to go directly to your manager to discuss your job-related ideas, recommendations, concerns and other issues which are important to you. If, after talking with your manager, you feel the need for additional discussion, you are encouraged to speak with a company officer.
The most important relationship that you will develop at JM Halloween will be between you and your manager. However, should you need support from someone other than your manager, the entire management team, including the company officers, is committed to resolving your individual concerns in a timely and appropriate manner.
JM Halloween will not tolerate harassment or intimidation of our workers on any basis prohibited by law, including race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, handicap, disability, marital status or veteran status. It is the policy of JM Halloween that any harassment, including acts creating a hostile work environment or any other discriminatory acts directed against our workers, will result in discipline, up to and including discharge.
Workers must bring any violation of this policy to the immediate attention of their manager or a company officer. JM Halloween will thoroughly investigate all such claims with due regard for the privacy of the individuals involved. Any worker who knowingly retaliates against a worker who has reported harassment or discrimination shall be subject to immediate disciplinary action, up to and including discharge.
WORKING AND COMPENSATION
Work on an At-Will Basis
All workers of JM Halloween, regardless of their classification or position are deemed to be working on an at-will basis. This means that each worker contract is terminable at the will of the worker or the company at any time, with or without cause and with or without notice.
Attendance and Reporting to Work
Each worker is important to the overall success of our operation. When you are not here, someone else must do your job. Consequently, you are expected to report on time at the scheduled days that are indicated by you on the actor form which was filled out by you at the inception of your work experience. Reporting to work on time means that you are ready to work, not just arriving on location preparing to start work.
JM Halloween depends on its worker to be at work at the times and locations scheduled. Absence from work for three consecutive days without properly notifying your manager will be considered a voluntary resignation.
If you expect to be absent from the job for longer than three consecutive days, you should notify your manager of your upcoming absence as far in advance as possible. If you unexpectedly need to be absent from or late to work, you must notify your manager prior to the start of your scheduled workday that you will be late or absent and provide the reason for that absence or tardiness. If your manager is not available, you should contact a company officer prior to the start of your scheduled workday. Leave your phone number so that your manager can return your call. Failure to properly contact us will result in an unexcused absence for disciplinary purposes. Your attendance record is part of your overall performance rating.
Workday Hours and Scheduling
The 2017 season workdays are:
September 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30
October 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29
Scarefest Scream Park worksite will be available at noon every workday. A workers’ start time varies each workday depending on their classification. Each workday, the end time is when the last haywagon returns to the dock or as determined by the worker’s manager. This end time will vary depending on customer attendance. These start and end times are only guidelines, however, and workers are required to be present for work during the workday established for them by their manager.
Particularly at jobsites, this regular schedule may vary depending on such factors as weather, materials supply, etc. If you are unsure about expected starting times on any particular job assignment, ask your manager for clarification.
In case of unplanned conditions, such as bad weather, that may force a schedule change at the last minute, you should contact your manager or a company officer.
Recording Hours Worked
All workers must sign in daily with your manager and sign out daily with a company officer located in the ticket booth. Specifically, actors, narrators and security should sign in daily with your manager. All workers who require make-up application should also sign in with the make-up clerk. Make-up artists, wardrobe clerks, and tractor drivers should sign in daily at the ticket booth. Everyone, no matter classification, signs out daily at the end of the evening at the ticket booth.
Payable hours will be kept by a company officer daily. Payable hours begin at dusk, which is when the first haywagon departs the dock area and end when the last haywagon returns to the dock area. All workers begin and end work at the same time unless otherwise noted by their manager.
Pay Periods and Paydates
Pay periods start on Friday and end on Sunday. Paydays are the last day of the working weekend.
Workers who are unable to pick up their paycheck during scheduled paydates will be able to pick up their paycheck any other day of operation at 5:30PM at the ticket booth. NO PAYCHECKS WILL BE DISTRIBUTED DURING TICKET BOOTH OPERATION HOURS. The ticket booth hours of operation are from 6PM to close daily.
Worker Classifications, Job Descriptions and Responsibilities
For the purpose of determining a pay rate, workers are classified as:
- Actors. Actors will be assigned to an area by their manager with a particular job that suits the scene site. Their job is to make the customers experience at Scarefest memorable while still being respectful. Their responsibility is to keep the area that they have been assigned clean. Start time is when the first haywagon departs the dock area. End time is when the last haywagon returns to the dock area.
- Narrators. (Note: Narrators-in-training are considered actors until their training period is over and they are capable of narrating a haywagon solely.) Their job is to follow the Scarefest script and make the hayride a pleasant experience for our customers. One of the biggest concerns on a haywagon is smoking. It is your responsibility to be observant and enforce a “no smoking” rule politely and respectfully. If a customer is uncooperative, it is your responsibility to inform security or a company officer immediately. Start time is when the first haywagon departs the dock area. End time is when the last haywagon returns to the dock area.
- Make-up Artist. Their responsibility is to make sure that supplies are used effectively without waste and to keep their station clean. Start time begins at 5:30PM. End time is when the first haywagon departs the dock area.
- Security. Specific jobs will be designated by their manager. Parking lot attendants are to usher vehicles to parking spots in an orderly manner. Start and end time to be determined by your manager.
- Tractor Driver. Their job is to drive a haywagon safely through the trail so as not to jeopardize the workers or customers. Their responsibility is to check all the tires after each ride. Start and end time to be determined by your manager.
- Maintenance. Specific jobs will be designated by their manager. Start and end time to be determined by your manager.
- Wardrobe Clerk. Their job is to sign in and out all inventoried costumes and props. Their responsibility is to return all costumes and props to their designated areas and tidy the make-up trailer for use the following evening. Start time begins at 5:30PM. End time to be determined by your manager.
- Make-up Clerk. Their job is to sign in those workers who require make-up application and schedule those applications accordingly. Start time begins at 5:30PM and ends when make-up applications are finished.
Maintaining Your Work Records
It is your responsibility to provide current information regarding your address, telephone number and email address. Please contact a company officer to update your information.
Worker files are the property of the company and do not belong to the worker.
JM Halloween, its staff, contractors, agents and/or representatives may take photographs, video, audio recordings or other media and formats of workers, contractors, and vendors (collectively referred to as your “Likeness”) at Scarefest Scream Park activities, events, performances and/or functions for any lawful purpose, including but not limited to publicity, illustration, advertising, marketing, copyrighting, web content and media now known or hereafter devised throughout the universe in perpetuity and to use and license others to use for such purposes, without any compensation.
Any and/or all present, past, or future materials that include your likeness will become the property of JM Halloween and may be edited, altered, copied, electronically transferred, exhibited, published or distributed without the right to inspect or approve the finished product.
STANDARDS AND EXPECTATIONS FOR THE WORKPLACE
JM Halloween believes in maintaining safe and healthy working conditions for our workers. However, to achieve our goal of providing a safe workplace, each worker must be safety conscious. We have established the following policies and procedures that allow us to provide safe and healthy work conditions. We expect each worker to follow these policies and procedures, to act safely, and to report unsafe conditions to his or her manager in a timely manner.
Reporting Unsafe Conditions or Practices
Workers are expected to continually be on the lookout for unsafe working conditions or practices. If you observe an unsafe condition, you should warn others, if possible, and report that condition to your manager immediately.
If you observe a worker using an unsafe practice, you are expected to mention this to your manager.
Maintaining a Safe Worksite
We expect workers to establish and maintain a safe worksite. This includes but is not limited to the following applications:
- Maintaining proper fall-protection systems.
- Properly lifting and lowering heavy objects.
- Inspecting props for defects before use.
- Keeping walkways clear of debris.
- Keeping your assigned work area clean and free of trash.
Using safety equipment
Where needed, JM Halloween provides its workers with appropriate safety equipment and devices. You are required to use the equipment provided in the manner designated as proper and safe by the manufacturer. Failure to properly use safety equipment may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
If you require safety equipment that has not been provided, contact your manager before performing the job duty for which you need the safety equipment.
Reporting an Injury
Workers are required to report any injury, accident or safety hazard immediately to their manager or a security worker. Minor cuts or abrasions must be treated on the spot. More serious injuries or accidents will be treated accordingly. Serious injuries must be reported on the accident report form available in the ticket booth.
Care of Equipment and Supplies
All workers are expected to take care of all equipment, costumes and props provided to them. You are responsible for maintaining this material in proper working condition and for promptly reporting any unsafe or improper functioning of this material to your manager. You are responsible for returning any costumes and/or props to the wardrobe clerk.
Neglect, theft and/or destruction of the company’s materials are grounds for disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
Smoking at the Workplace
The company’s policy is to provide smoke-free environments for our workers, customers and the general public. Smoking of any kind is prohibited inside the Castle and on the haywagons. Workers may smoke on breaks as long as they do so outside the worksite. Preferred area for workers to smoke is the actors area.
Violence and Weapons
JM Halloween believes in maintaining a safe and healthy workplace, in part by promoting open, friendly and supportive working relationships among all workers. Violence or threats of violence have no place in our business. Violence is not an effective solution to any problem. Workers are strictly prohibited from bringing any weapons, including knives, pistols, rifles, stun guns, Mace, etc to the worksite. Neither threats of violence or fighting will be tolerated. Furthermore, if you have a problem that is creating stress or otherwise making you agitated, you are encouraged to discuss it with your manager or a company officer.
You are expected to immediately report to your manager any violation of this policy. Any worker found threatening another worker, fighting, and/or carrying weapons to the worksite will be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The company reserves the right to spot check personal belongings brought onsite by any worker.
The company does not tolerate the presence of illegal drugs, the illegal use of legal drugs or alcohol in our workplace, The use, possession, distribution or sale of controlled substances such as drugs or alcohol, or being under the influence of such controlled substances is strictly prohibited while working, while on the company’s premises or worksites or while operating the company’s equipment or vehicles. The use of illegal drugs as well as the illegal use of legal drugs is a threat to us all because it promotes problems with safety, customer service, productivity and our ability to survive and prosper as a business. If you need to take a prescription drug that affects your ability to perform your job duties, you are required to discuss possible accommodations with a company officer. Violation of this policy will result in immediate termination.
The company reserves the right to spot check personal belongings brought onsite by any worker.
Responding to Customer Inquiries and Problems
At JM Halloween, customer satisfaction is the measure of our success. It is the responsibility of each worker, within reason, to interact with the customers to achieve this goal.
Inspection or Loss/Damage of Personal and Company Property
The workers use the property and equipment the company owns and provides and many also use the company’s materials and other supplies. The company reserves the right to search any company property at any time. The company also reserves the right to inspect personal property (knapsacks, purses, backpacks, etc) during the workday or as workers leave their worksites. Refusal to allow inspection may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination.
The company reserves the right to replace any lost or damaged company property at the expense of the worker who lost or damaged the property by willful neglect.
The company is not responsible for the loss or damage of workers’ personal items if not properly secured by the worker.
Rules of Conduct and Progressive Disciplinary Procedure
There are reasonable rules of conduct which must be followed in any organization to help a group of people work together effectively. JM Halloween expects each worker to present himself or herself in a professional manner. If a worker is not considerate of others and does not observe reasonable work rules, disciplinary action will be taken. It is within the company’s sole discretion to select the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken. Notwithstanding the availability of the various disciplinary options, the company reserves the right to discharge a worker at its discretion, with or without notice.
The following is not a complete list of offenses for which a worker may be subject to discipline, but it is illustrative of those offenses that may result in immediate discipline, up to and including dismissal, for a single offense:
- Fighting, disorderly conduct or any other behavior which is dangerous or disruptive.
- Possession of, consumption of, or being under the influence of alcoholic beverages while on company premises.
- Illegal manufacture, distribution, dispensation, sale, possession or use of illegal drugs or unprescribed controlled substances.
- Reporting for work with illegal drugs or unprescribed controlled substances in your body.
- Possession of weapons, firearms, ammunition, explosives or fireworks on company premises.
- Failure to promptly report a workplace injury or accident involving any of the company’s workers, customers, equipment or property.
- Willful neglect of safety practices, rules and policies.
- Use of profane language during hours of operation.
- Stealing, misappropriating or intentionally damaging property belonging to the company or its customers.
- Insubordination, including failure to comply with any work assignments or instructions given by any manager or officer with the authority to do so.
- Interference with the work performance of other workers.
- Failure to cooperate with an internal investigation, including, but not limited to, investigations of violations of these work rules.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What does it mean to be an independent contractor?
If you are an independent contractor, you are self-employed. The general rule is that an individual is an independent contractor if the payer has the right to control or direct only the result of the work. As an independent contractor/self-employed individual, you are responsible for reporting your earnings. Your earnings are subject to income tax, both federal and state, and self-employment tax (Medicare and Social Security).
- How do I submit my tax information?
Any income received as an independent contractor should be reported when filing your annual tax returns. In most cases, the earnings are reported on a federal schedule C form for self-employed individuals.
- What is the earning threshold before I have to report my income?
There is no threshold. If you are earning money as an independent contractor, all of it should be reported. It is the responsibility of the company who contracts you to report to the Internal Revenue Service if that income exceeds $600 in one calendar year. This is reported on a form 1099MISC. The company issues one to you, one to the IRS and retains one for themselves. NOTE: Not all of you will be receiving form 1099MISC. You will only receive a form if your earnings exceed $600. Form 1099MISC is required to be issued and sent to you by January 31, 2018.
- If I do not receive form 1099MISC, must I report the income?
Yes. In most cases, you would report the earnings as “other income” on page 1 of a federal tax return instead of reporting on schedule C. Please consult with a tax advisor.
- How does this affect my taxes?
When calculating your income tax return, all your earned income is reported, both from Scarefest and other sources (your job). The income from your job which is reported on a W-2 form is listed on an income tax form in a different area than the income received from Scarefest. Please consult with a tax advisor to correctly fill out an income tax form.
- Can I write-off purchases for my job at Scarefest?
Yes. In most cases, the write-offs appear on a federal schedule C form. Examples of items that may be written off are: costumes, masks, props, make-up and mileage attributable to those purchases. Mileage to and from Scarefest Scream Park is not deductible unless you are coming directly from another job. Please seek the advice of a tax consultant.
- When do I have to submit my tax information?
Federal and state tax returns are due by April 17, 2018 unless you have filed for an extension.