MLA from the mountains to the prairies

Employee, Independent Contractor & Volunteer Policy

Effective management of human resources is essential for achieving successful organizational success. The Montana Library Association (MLA) adopts and follows fair and equitable human resource and volunteer management practices to attract and retain qualified individuals. MLA must adhere to all legal employment practices and provide a safe work environment. MLA establishes specific policies and practices that promote mutual cooperation to advance the organization’s interests and which reflect appropriate industry standards for remuneration.


Recruitment, Retention, and Succession

  1. MLA must comply with all local, state, and federal employment laws in hiring and employing personnel.
  2. MLA and its board of directors must establish and abide by an encompassing equal opportunity employment policy.
  3. MLA aspires to expand these protections to reflect an inclusive environment for employees, volunteers, and members to deliberately reflect the diversity of the community. MLA upholds the inherent dignity of all individuals and sets a tone for all individuals to be treated fairly and with respect.
  4. MLA’s Board of Directors or its designees must set reasonable compensation for the organization’s employees, and independent contractors; such compensation may include salary, raises, bonuses, and other benefits.
  5. MLA’s Board of Directors determines that the compensation is reasonable based on comparable data and reflects employee’s and independent contractor’s qualifications and performance prior to approving and paying the compensation. Any board members with a conflict of interest in the decision recuse themselves. The basis for the board’s determination, the recusals, and approval should be promptly documented in board minutes.
  6. MLA must establish its compensation structure to ensure all individuals are given equal pay for equal work.
  7. MLA must determine the status of any individual providing services in return for compensation (employee or independent contractor as defined by federal and state law), and timely pay and withhold all applicable state and federal employment taxes.
  8. MLA uses the skills of individuals—employees, independent contractors or volunteers—who are suited for the positions they occupy and who are committed to the goals, values, and objectives of the organization.
  9. MLA strives to employ employees, independent contractors and volunteers who reflect the diversity of the community and the constituents it serves and aspires to serve, as appropriate, to advance program effectiveness.
  10. MLA has a formal orientation program for new employees. It includes, at a minimum, the history and mission of the organization, personnel policies and procedures, criteria for standards of performance, and all state and federally mandated employee training programs. Similar practices are implemented for volunteers.
  11. MLA also supports the education and professional development of personnel and provides employees with opportunities for growth and advancement.
  12. MLA encourages and provides opportunities for professional development training on cultural competency, diversity, and inclusion for employees, volunteers, and board members; provides mentoring that affirms individuality; and manages toward inclusion.
  13. MLA provides employees with clear, current job descriptions and the tools needed to produce quality work. Similar practices are implemented for independent contractors and volunteers. These position descriptions reflect and state the nondiscrimination policy of the organization.
  14. In addition to ongoing consistent dialogue with employees and independent contractors, MLA annually evaluates the job performance of employees and independent contractors, provides guidance, and articulates goals, objectives and expectations; it also provides clear and equitable procedures for taking disciplinary action.
  15. MLA has a system in place for the succession of employees or independent contractors, separate from a transition plan, most notably for the executive director and key board leadership.

Human Resources Policies

  1. MLA adopts a set of specific policies and procedures for employees and another for volunteers.
  2. MLA maintains a personnel file with a separate secure file with any medical information for each employee.
  3. MLA must establish employee record(s) retention policies and procedures that are consistent with applicable laws.
  4. MLA also establishes employee record(s) retention policies and procedures that are consistent with best industry and subsectors practices.
  5. When required, MLA must conduct and use background checks for certain positions in compliance with state and federal law.
  6. In addition, MLA conducts background checks on employees and volunteers who come in contact with vulnerable populations, who perform financial duties, or who serve in other sensitive areas in addition to what is required by law.
  7. MLA must provide a safe work environment that is free from illegal discrimination and harassment.
  8. MLA provides a healthy and affirming work environment as well.
  9. MLA defines employment as “at-will” during the defined probationary period. If an employer does not establish a specific probationary period or provide that there is no probationary period prior to or at the time of hire, there is a probationary period of 6 months from the date of hire. Upon completion of the defined probationary period, a nonprofit must demonstrate “good cause,” as outlined in state law, to legally terminate employment.

Adopted: January 20, 2018

Montana Library Association is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. PO Box 823, Arlee, MT 59821

2024 Montana Library Association

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