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Introduction and Application

This handbook is designed to help employees get acquainted with ABC Publishing. It describes some of our philosophies and the basic terms and conditions of employment with ABC Publishing. Employees are expected to read this handbook carefully and to know and understand its contents.

ABC Publishing reserves the right to make changes to this handbook (see Handbook Revisions below). Employees are responsible for knowing about and understanding those changes once they have been disseminated. ABC Publishing also reserves the right to interpret the provisions of this handbook. For this reason, employees should check with the Personnel Manager to obtain information regarding specific employment guidelines, practices, policies, or procedures.

Because employment at ABC Publishing is "at will" (see Employment at Will below), employees should not interpret anything in this handbook as creating a contract or guarantee of continued employment.
This handbook is the property of ABC Publishing, and it is intended for the personal use and reference by employees of ABC Publishing. Circulation of this handbook outside of ABC Publishing requires the prior written approval of the Personnel Manager.

  • Handbook Revisions

    • ABC Publishing reserves the right to make changes to this handbook and to any employment policy, practice, work rule, or benefit, at any time without prior notice.   However, any such change is effective only if it is in writing or available on the intranet, and is signed or authorized by the Human Resource Director. Except as otherwise provided in this handbook, no one has the authority to make any promise or commitment contrary to what is in this handbook.

      This handbook replaces all earlier handbooks and supersedes all prior policies, practices, and procedures.

  • Handbook Acknowledgement

    • Employees should print and sign the acknowledgement form at the end of this handbook and return it to the Personnel Department (see Handbook Acknowledgmentbelow). This will provide ABC Publishing with a record that each employee has received this handbook.

  • Disciplinary Action

    • A violation of any one of these policies may result in disciplinary action, the severity of which may range up to and including termination of employment.

  • Supervisor’s Responsibilities

    • Each employee in a supervisory position is responsible for maintaining his or her subordinates’ awareness of these policies and the importance of complying with them.  As with all employees, if a supervisor becomes aware of any violation or potential violation of these policies, he or she is responsible for reporting it.

  • Application, Implementation, and Compliance

    • These policies apply to all employees of ABC Publishing, including all subsidiaries, operating divisions, and affiliated legal entities. To the extent local law in a jurisdiction in which ABC Publishing operates may be inconsistent with any of these policies, requirements of law take precedence. Any changes to these policies that may be required to comply with requirements of law may be made only with the advance approval of the Legal Department. These policies are in addition to, and not in substitution of, any other policies and procedures of ABC Publishing and its subsidiaries.  Copies of these policies are to be distributed to all employees upon their joining ABC Publishing. To promote awareness and understanding, corporate officers, department heads, and managing directors will assure that the contents of these policies are the subject of periodic discussion among their subordinates, no less frequently than on an annual basis. Top

Employment at Will

All employment at ABC Publishing is "at-will." This means that both employees and ABC Publishing have the right to terminate employment at any time, with or without advance notice, and with or without cause.  Employees also may be demoted or disciplined and the terms of their employment may be altered at any time, with or without cause, at the discretion of ABC Publishing.  No one other than an officer of ABC Publishing has the authority to alter this arrangement, to enter into an agreement for employment for a specified period of time, or to make any agreement contrary to this at-will status. Any such agreement must be in writing, must be signed by an officer of ABC Publishing and by the affected employee, and must express a clear and unambiguous intent to alter the at-will nature of the employment relationship. Top

Confidentiality of Consumer Usernames, Passwords, and Credit Card Information

ABC Publishing wants consumer personal information to remain as secure as reasonably possible. Therefore, ABC Publishing has a two-tier system that combines leading technical safeguards and a code of conduct for those employees permitted to access its consumers' personal information. On the technical side, ABC Publishing uses SSL to help ensure the integrity and privacy of the personal information consumers provide to us via the Internet. As an additional security measure, consumer personal information is kept physically separate on a separate server where their passwords are encrypted and stored on a database. Only authorized employees are permitted to access consumers' personal information. All employees must abide by our Privacy Policy and those who violate our Privacy Policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. See ABC Publishing's current Privacy Policy at http://www.unc.edu/~zachh/privacy.html.

TopEmployee Conduct

  • Electronic and Telephonic Communications

    • All electronic and telephonic communication systems and all communications and information transmitted by, received from, or stored in these systems are the property of ABC Publishing and as such are to be used solely for job-related purposes. The use of any software and business equipment, including, but not limited to, facsimiles, computers, ABC Publishing's e-mail system, the Internet, mobile phones or other wireless devices, instant messaging systems, and copy machines are to be used for business purposes only and are not available for personal use, except where authorized in advance by appropriate managerial personnel.

      Personal use includes, but is not limited to, opening or sending personal mail, paying personal bills, sending or receiving personal e-mail, cashing personal checks, or using personal cell phones and/or ABC Publishing telephones for personal calls.

      Employees using this equipment for personal purposes do so at their own risk. Further, employees are not permitted to use a code, access a file, or retrieve any stored communication unless authorized to do so or unless they have received prior clearance from an authorized ABC Publishing representative. All pass codes are the property of ABC Publishing. No employee may use a pass code or voice-mail access code that has not been issued to that employee or that is unknown to ABC Publishing, without authorization. Moreover, improper use of the e-mail system (e.g., transmitting or spreading sexually, racially, or other discriminatory or harassing jokes or remarks, abusive or profane language, threatening others, etc.), including via the Internet or any other equipment, will not be tolerated.

      To ensure that the use of electronic and telephonic communications systems and business equipment is consistent with ABC Publishing's legitimate business interests, authorized representatives of ABC Publishing may monitor the use of such equipment from time to time. This includes monitoring Internet usage of any kind. This may also include listening to stored voice-mail messages (see Employee Privacy).

      ABC Publishing provides access to the Internet. The Internet represents a useful tool for ABC Publishing in conducting its business, but like any other tool, it must be used properly. For purposes of this policy, Internet includes any public electronic data communications network.

      Just as ABC Publishing has an official Internet Web site, so do other organizations. Most public Web sites are "read only," meaning that they permit a person who visits the site to read material posted on the Web site but not to leave a message. Other Web sites permit visitors to establish continuing contact by leaving a message (the electronic equivalent of leaving your business card or a telephone message). The owner or operator of a Web site may record the information that a connection was made from ABC Publishing.

      As a general rule, employees may not forward, distribute, or incorporate into another work, material retrieved from a Web site or other external system. Very limited or "fair use" may be permitted in certain circumstances. Any employee desiring to reproduce or store the contents of a screen or Web site should contact the Legal Department to ascertain whether the intended use is permissible.

      Use of the World Wide Web includes all restrictions which apply generally to the use of ABC Publishing's e-mail and other electronic and telephonic equipment, as noted above. In addition, the following rules apply with respect to Internet usage:

      • No Browsing of Restricted Content Web sites

        ABC Publishing has blocked access to Web sites that contain pornographic material. However, the World Wide Web changes on a daily basis. In this connection, users who find new sites which ABC Publishing has not yet blocked are required to report such sites to the appropriate individuals in ABC Publishing's Technology Department.

      • No Accessing Pornography or Other Offensive Images

        It is unlawful to use the Internet for any purpose which violates a federal or state law.  Employees are strictly prohibited from use for access to or distribution of indecent or obscene material, adult entertainment/pornography, or child pornography.  See 18 U.S.C.A. § 2251 et seq.  In the event that child pornography is found on an employee’s work computer, ABC Publishing will terminate the employee and report him/her to the authorities.

      • No Downloading of Non-Business Related Data

        ABC Publishing allows the download of files from the Internet. However, downloading files should be limited to those which relate directly to ABC Publishing business.

      • No Use of Subscription-based Services Without Prior Approval

        Some Internet sites require that users subscribe before being able to use them. Users should not subscribe to such services without the express approval of management.

      • No Violation of Copyright

        Many of the materials on the Internet are protected by copyright. Even though they may seem to be freely accessible, many of the intellectual property laws which apply to print media still apply to software and material published on the Internet. Employees are permitted to print out Web pages and to download material from the Internet for informational purposes as long as the purpose for such copying falls into the category of "fair use." Please do not copy or disseminate material which is copyrighted. Employees having any questions regarding such materials should contact the Legal Department for guidance.

      • Remote Access
      • If users are provided with a remote access facility, they must not log-in to a remote access service from a public internet access device (e.g., airport computer terminal, or Internet café). This is due to the possibility of sensitive information being monitored by video or computer surveillance in public areas.

      • Files of Others

        Employees are prohibited from reading, modifying, copying, or deleting files of others without permission.

      • File-Sharing

      Employees shall not illegally share copyrighted material over ABC Publishing’s network, including through the use of e-mail, web pages, and peer-to-peer file sharing software. This applies to allow of ABC Publishing owned computers as well as personally owned computers if accessing the company’s network. If making available anything on the network, employee must ensure they have the rights for the materials that allow them to do so.  Unauthorized distribution of copyrighted material will subject the employee to termination as well as civil and criminal liabilities. These liabilities for violation of the copyright law include but are not limited to damages and profits, attorneys’ fees and court costs, and/or jail.  ABC Publishing will not be held liable for the actions of any employee who shares copyrighted information illegally and they will immediately report the employee to the appropriate authorities.

  • Blogging, Social Networking, or Other Online Discussion Group Participation

    ABC Publishing provides employees with access to the Internet for work-related purposes. The Internet represents a useful tool for ABC Publishing in conducting its business, but like any other tool, employees must use it for the purposes intended and not for their own private or personal purposes while in the workplace. ABC Publishing recognizes that participating in online discussion is a personal activity, but seeks to regulate such activity when it impacts the company, company employees or third parties who deal with ABC Publishing.

    During an employee's working time, or while using any company-provided equipment or systems at any time, employees are prohibited from writing, posting or otherwise contributing to: blogs, personal websites or webpages, listservs or mailing lists; social or other networking sites (such as Facebook, MySpace, Xanga, or Friendster); audio or video-sharing websites (such as YouTube, Google Video or Metacafe); or other user-generated electronic media, unless such activity is directly related to, and necessary, for an employee's performance of his or her job responsibilities.

    With regard to their activities outside of work, employees should remember that information placed on any electronic medium, and data sent via other electronic methods (e.g., e-mail and text messages) may become public. Specifically, other employees, potential employees, vendors, and customers of the Company and third parties may use electronic media to obtain information about ABC Publishing and its business activities. As such, all employees must consider the impression they create about themselves and ABC Publishing when they place information relating to or identifying the Company or its employees on any electronic medium. ABC Publishing expects that its employees will act responsibly and exercise good judgment and the highest degree of professionalism and confidentiality, as outlined below, when communicating any information that concerns or identifies the Company or any of its employees. If an employee fails to act responsibly in that regard, the information that he or she communicates may have a detrimental effect on ABC Publishing, its employees, or others. Accordingly, if you choose to blog or participate in other electronic media when you are not working, on your own time and equipment, ABC Publishing asks that you observe the following guidelines:

    First, should you discuss ABC Publishing or your position at ABC Publishing online, you must take care to follow ABC Publishing employee conduct policies, including, but not limited to, its policies regarding confidentiality of information, and its policies against workplace harassment, discrimination, and retaliation. You should not discuss ABC Publishing, its authors, its management, or your supervisors or co-workers in a manner that is false, defames any individual or their reputation, or disparages ABC Publishing's products or services.

    Second, you may not disseminate any information about ABC Publishing or its personnel that could be considered proprietary, confidential, or intellectual property, and you may not use ABC Publishing's logo, graphics, trademarks, trade names, or corporate slogans. Remember that blogs and other media may be public and accessible to third parties, including the ABC Publishing's competitors, vendors, and customers. Thus, it is critical that you maintain the confidentiality of non-public company information and abide by the terms of any confidentiality agreement that you have signed as well as ABC Publishing's confidentiality policy.

    Third, you should not discuss information you have obtained at work regarding the Company's customers, suppliers or vendors.

    Fourth, you should respect all copyright laws. As a general rule, you should not distribute or incorporate material that you have retrieved or copied from another web site or publication, unless your usage of such material meets the legal definition of “fair use.” Any employee who wishes to reproduce the contents of another web site or publication for job-related purposes should contact the Legal Department to determine whether such use is permissible.

    Fifth, while online, you should follow all applicable financial disclosure or securities laws and regulations, as well as any agreements that you may have with ABC Publishing.

    Please remember that ABC Publishing may monitor blogs or other electronic media. If you fail to abide by the above guidelines while online, you may be subject to legal or disciplinary action by ABC Publishing up to and including an unpaid suspension or termination. If you have any questions or concerns about any aspect of this Policy, please contact the Human Resources Department.
  • Anti-virus Policy for E-mails and Communications

    All computers (clients and servers) connected to the ABC Publishing computer network or networked resources shall have IT-supported antivirus software (preferably the most current version) correctly installed, configured, activated, and updated with the latest version of virus definitions before or immediately upon connecting to the network.  If deemed necessary to prevent viral propagation to other networked devices or detrimental effects to the network, computers infected with viruses or other forms of malicious code (herein collectively referred to as “malware”) shall be disconnected from the network until the infection has been removed.  Directions for procurement, installation, configuration, and use of antivirus software are located at 

    When an enterprise-wide virus attack is in progress, IT shall notify ABC Publishing’s computing community via the best available method and all files on all hard drives should be scanned immediately using the newest virus definitions available. 

    Other operating systems or computing platforms shall have comparable protection, if available.  In the event that no antivirus protection is available for a particular operating system or platform, anyone using or accessing these unprotected systems shall apply all prudent security practices to prevent infection, including the application of all security patches as soon as they become available.  When antivirus software becomes available for an operating system or platform previously lacking antivirus software, it shall be installed on all applicable devices connected to the network.

    Any exceptions to this policy must be explicitly approved by the IT Information Technology Security Department.
  • Use of Mobile Telephones and Related Devices

    • ABC Publishing is aware that many employees use mobile telephones and other wireless communication devices ("mobile phones") in carrying out their daily duties and responsibilities. ABC Publishing is also aware of the potential distractions that may arise when mobile phones are used by employees while operating a moving vehicle, such as a van, automobile or truck ("moving vehicle"). In keeping with its obligations under federal and state occupational health and safety laws, to maintain a safe and healthful workplace and to minimize the safety risks for our employees, customers, and passengers in such moving vehicles and the public at large, ABC Publishing has adopted the following policy with respect to the use by employees of mobile telephones while operating a moving vehicle. This policy applies regardless of whether the employee is operating a company-owned vehicle or the employee's own vehicle in the course of employment.

      • Employees are required to familiarize themselves and comply at all times with the laws of the state/locality in which they work with respect to the use of mobile phones. For example, where a local law prohibits the use of a mobile phone by anyone operating a moving vehicle, employees are also prohibited by this policy from using a mobile phone.

      • No employee is to engage in the use of a mobile phone while operating a motor vehicle that is in motion, unless such mobile phone is equipped and used with a hands-free device. (The only exception to this policy is where a phone call us made in a bona fide emergency, such as to call "911" or a similar emergency number—e.g., to call an ambulance or the fire department.)

      • Even with a hands-free device, mobile phone use should be kept to a minimum; conversations should be as brief as possible and, again, even with a hands-free device, mobile phones calls should be made when the vehicle an employee is operating is not in motion. Employees using mobile phones should always remember not to discuss confidential issues with others present who do not have a "need to know" such information, and that mobile phone "courtesy" should be practiced at all times (i.e when others are present, do not talk loud or in a manner that could be offensive to others).

      ABC Publishing is also aware that many employees operate other vehicles in the course of their employment, including golf and other shuttle carts, forklift trucks and the like. While this policy does not expressly prohibit the use of mobile phones while operating such equipment, ABC Publishing discourages such use, except where essential for the employee to perform his or her job duties.

      Reimbursement for mobile phone and hands-free device purchases shall be handled in accordance with ABC Publishing's normal expense reimbursement policies. Employees should consult their supervisor or local human resources representative for details. Questions regarding this policy should be directed by employees to their supervisors, human resources representative or risk manager.

  • Reporting Obligations

    • sensitive or confidential information is lost, disclosed to unauthorized parties or suspected of being lost or disclosed to unauthorized parties;

    • unauthorized use of Computing Resources has taken place or is suspected of taking place;

    • passwords or other system access control mechanisms are lost, stolen, or disclosed, or are suspected of being lost, stolen or disclosed; or

    • there is any unusual systems behavior, such as missing files, frequent system crashes or misrouted messages.

    As a condition of employment and continued employment, employees are required to sign a acknowledgment form (see Handbook Acknowledgment below). Applicants are required to sign this form on acceptance of an employment offer by ABC Publishing. Employees who violate this policy are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including an unpaid suspension or termination. Top
Employee Privacy

Except as the law may otherwise provide, employees do not have a right to privacy while working on ABC Publishing's premises; engaged in business off premises; using any materials, equipment, space, or systems provided by or owned by ABC Publishing. Additionally, ABC Publishing reserves the right to monitor an employee's work or work product as well as all means of communication—internal or external—including telephonic, voice mail, intra-Company paper mail, and mail processing through the Company's facilities and electronic systems, including the Internet. Top

Confidentiality of Authors' Works

In the course of working for ABC Publishing, individuals, including employees, authors, and vendors, will become aware of information which is confidential to ABC Publishing's business. Individuals who act in breach of this obligation may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including an unpaid suspension or termination of employment or engagement and may also face civil and/or criminal sanctions.

“Confidential Information” is information developed, created, discovered or otherwise owned by or on behalf of ABC Publishing, which is not publicly known and has commercial value. This may include, but is not limited to all documents, books, legal documents, papers, drawings, models, sketches, and other data of any kind and description, including electronic data recorded or retrieved by any means, that have been or will be provided to any employee by an author as well as written or verbal instructions or comments and confidential information acquired by ABC Publishing from another company, individual or entity subject to a secrecy and proprietary rights agreement.

During the course of working for or with ABC Publishing, and thereafter when the relationship with ABC Publishing has come to an end, employees and relevant non-employees must not disclose to any person or persons, any Confidential Information unless s/he is properly authorized do so in writing by someone with the appropriate authority to give that authorization.

  • Terminations

    Upon termination of employment or the conclusion of an engagement, employees and non-employees (who had access to or possessed Confidential Information) are responsible for returning or procuring the return of all Confidential Information and other company property. They must inform management as to which access codes and information resources they had access to. Management is responsible for ensuring that all keys, identification cards, programs, data and documentation have been returned and are reassigned only after the appropriate access codes are changed.
  • Incident Reporting

    Employees are responsible for reporting any actual or suspected breach of this policy.  Any employee or non-employee with possession of or access to Confidential Information, who breaches this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including an unpaid suspension or termination of employment or engagement, and may also face civil and/or criminal sanctions.

    ABC Publishing reserves the right to add to, revise or delete any part or all of this policy as permitted by law.

Defamation Policy

In the course of working for ABC Publishing, individuals, including employees, authors, and vendors, will become aware of information which is confidential to ABC Publishing's business. Individuals who act in breach of this obligation may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including an unpaid suspension or termination of employment or engagement and may also face civil and/or criminal sanctions.

  • Scope

    This policy covers any content posted on any ABC Publishing website or any statements made by supervisors, managers, or employees inside our outside the scope of their employment with ABC Publishing which may be considered defamatory.

    The policy expressed here should be interpreted in a manner compatible with legislation concerning freedom of expression, but employees are reminded that the right to freedom of expression attaches only to lawful conduct.  ABC Publishing expects that contributors to the website and its employees will always exercise the right to freedom of expression with due consideration for the rights of others.

    • What is a defamatory statement?

      A defamatory statement is one which tends to lower the complainant in the estimation of right-thinking members of society generally. A defamatory statement must identify or refer to the complainant and be published by the offender to a third party. This includes written material posted on the ABC Publishing website.

      • Examples of potentially defamatory statements

        There is a difference between general abusive and insulting statements and defamatory statements. As such, the use of expletives to describe a person will not necessarily give rise to a claim in defamation.

        In addition, a potentially defamatory statement need not explicitly refer to a person. Sometimes, it may be obvious who the statement refers to from the context of the content.

        Some simple examples of defamatory statements are:

        • “Author A is a liar”
        • “Author B is racist”
        • “Authors C and D did not write any of their textbooks. They copied all of the contents from an internet source”
        • “Author E gets paid in cash and doesn’t pay any tax."

  • Policy

    ABC Publishing deplores all forms of defamatory statements made about its authors, staff, and any other person. Any defamatory statements made on the ABC Publishing website will be regarded as extremely serious. Contributors to the website and ABC Publishing employees are required to comply with the procedures below.

    • ABC Publishing will not actively monitor content placed on its website for potentially defamatory material.
    • If material of a defamatory nature comes to its attention, ABC Publishing can remove this without notice.
    • Any person who believes a statement may be defamatory of them or of others must inform the Legal Department as soon as possible in accordance with the procedures set out below (see Complaints Procedure below).  The Legal Department will use reasonable endeavors to remove the content as soon as practicable thereafter, pending further investigation.
    • Each complaint made will be considered by the Legal Department. If after the investigation, the content is deemed by the Legal Department not to be defamatory, it may be reinstated at the Legal Department’s discretion. The Legal Department is also empowered to remove potentially defamatory content which comes to its attention other than through the complaints procedure.
    • Defamatory statements made by supervisors, managers, and other employees do not reflect the views of ABC Publishing.

  • Complaints Procedure

    ABC Publishing recognizes the sensitive nature of complaints of defamation. No one should be deterred from reporting potentially defamatory statements put on the ABC Publishing website which causes them distress because of embarrassment or fear of intimidation or concerns about publicity.

    Any person who wishes to complain about content placed on the ABC Publishing website which may be defamatory of them or of others should contact the Legal Department as soon as possible after becoming aware of the potentially defamatory statement at:

    Legal Department
    ABC Publishing, Inc.
    160 Ridge Road
    Chapel Hill, NC  27599

    If any person delays in informing ABC Publishing of the potentially defamatory statement, it is understood that this may increase the damage to their reputation, and the number of people who see the content and may believe the statement is true.

    Any person offended should make a complaint in writing and, where possible, state:

    • the name of the person offended by the content
    • the name of the person that posted the content. If this is not known provide any other relevant information
    • the precise nature of the offending content e.g. details of the statement made, where the statement features on the website, how the statement is potentially offensive
    • date(s) and time(s) when content was posted (if known)
    • names of any parties known to have seen the content
    • any action already taken by the complainant in relation to the offensive content.

    The Legal Department will remove a statement they consider to be actually or potentially defamatory as soon as practicable and will make such further investigation as is needed to determine: 1) whether the statement is or is not defamatory, and 2) whether it should remain removed or may be re-instated on the website.

    Where it is not possible for the complainant to inform the Legal Department in writing, the complainant can inform the Legal Department of his or her complaint verbally. However, the complainant must enough detail for ABC Publishing to be able to locate and remove the relevant statement. The complainant must then put the complaint in writing as soon as possible.

    If the complaint is not the person allegedly defamed, the Legal Department may at their discretion refrain from removing content unless any such notice is followed up by a complaint directly from the person offended.

    By ABC Publishing removing potentially defamatory material from its website following a complaint, ABC Publishing makes no comment as to whether or not it considers that material to be actually defamatory.

Handbook Acknowledgment

I understand that all electronic communication systems and all information transmitted by, received from, or stored in these systems are the property of ABC Publishing. I also understand that these systems, including the Internet, are to be used solely for job-related purposes and not for personal purposes, and that I have no expectation of privacy in connection with the use of this equipment or with the transmission, receipt, or storage of information in this equipment.

I agree not to use a code, access a file, or retrieve any stored communication unless authorized. I acknowledge and consent to ABC Publishing monitoring my use of this equipment at any time at its discretion. Such monitoring may include printing up and reading all e-mail entering, leaving, or stored in these systems as well as listening to my voice mail messages in the ordinary course of business. Top


Please print out .pdf and sign Handbook Acknowlegment Form if you have not already done so.