Welcome to Great Lakes Energy!

It’s no secret that Great Lakes Energy is a wonderful place to work. Together and with the support of our Board of Directors, we’ve built a supportive, team culture that strives to meet the challenges of an ever-changing utility world.

Our employees are our #1 resource, dedicated to keeping the lights on for our members no matter the hindrance. In return, GLE employees are rewarded with an empowering work culture, ongoing training and support, and with excellent compensation and benefits.

As President & CEO, I believe our staff is made up of the best and the brightest.  I’m proud to lead the Great Lakes Energy team.

Sincerely,

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We believe this mission is a worthy one.

We have a set of core principles which help us carry it out.

Our Guiding Principles

Great Lakes Energy Origins

Where we come from.

Our Story

Our Leadership Team

Bill Scott
Bill ScottPresident and CEO
Bill began his career with Great Lakes Energy in 2002 as a controller. He was promoted to vice president and CFO in 2003. He accepted the position of vice president of IT not long after that. In 2016 Bill accepted a promotion to president & CEO.
Steve Drake
Steve DrakeChief Financial Officer
Steve came on board as CFO in 2016 after spending much of his career in Ohio. His background includes various financial positions, and before joining GLE he most recently served as Director of Finance and Accounting with one of Ohio’s many electric cooperatives. Steve is originally from Traverse City.
Scott Blecke
Scott BleckeVice President – Engineering
Scott began his career with Great Lakes Energy as an electrical engineer. He was promoted in 2014 to director of engineering before becoming vice president of engineering in 2016.
Shari Culver
Shari CulverVice President – Communications & Member Services
Shari started in GLE’s heating and cooling subsidiary in 1997 as a customer service rep. Marketing manager and director of communications and marketing were among her assignments before becoming VP in 2010. Working closely with Member Services over the years, Shari added this challenging lead in 2018.
Shaun Lamp
Shaun LampVice President – Information Technology
Shaun was hired as an applications supervisor in 2001. In 2006 he was promoted to director of IT followed by a promotion to vice president—information technology in 2016.
Brian Melvin
Brian MelvinVice President – Operations
Brian began his career at Great Lakes Energy in 1999 as part of our Line Operations team in Newaygo. He rose through the ranks to become south area operations manager, followed by Operations department head in 2016. Brian accepted an appointment to GLE’s Executive Team and became VP in 2018.
Jennifer Wilson
Jennifer WilsonVice President – Human Resources & Loss Control
Jen joined operations in 1993 and became a supervisor soon after, working with dispatch and member service. She accepted a position in GLE’s new HR department following the merger and was promoted in 2006 to VP, partnering with loss control a few years later.
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Our Compasses

Who we are and what we believe.

Our Culture Drivers

Our History

General Information

How we do things around here.

Working with Great Lakes Energy

Whether you’re brand new to Great Lakes Energy (GLE) or have been with us for a while, we’re confident in saying that this is simply a great place to work, and we look forward to a productive and successful employment relationship.  We hope you feel the same.

This handbook is designed to be a valuable resource for employees, so it will change from time to time.  We’re providing it electronically and we urge you not to print hardcopies.  View it online instead so that every time you look you’ll know you’re referencing the most current, relevant information. This can be done on any computer/tablet/phone with an internet connection.

What you’ll find here are general policies, practices and information offered as a guide for our employer/employee relationship.  It’s not comprehensive and will not address every possible application, or exception. Throughout our handbook you’ll find references to The Wire, which is GLE’s Intranet. It provides lots of supplemental details for employees that aren’t spelled out in the handbook.  We reserve the right to change the items we describe in the handbook or on The Wire, including, but not limited to, leave schedules, benefit offerings and providers, pay practices, etc. If you have questions about what you find (or don’t find) here, you should ask our Human Resources professionals.

Our handbook applies to all employees…full and part-time, hourly and exempt, management, and employees working in positions included in the bargaining unit.  Bargaining unit positions are those covered by the Labor Agreement between GLE and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 876 (IBEW). Many years ago a group of employees voted to be represented by IBEW regarding wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment. So employees who work in bargaining unit positions are bound not only by the policies and practices described in this handbook, but by the terms of the Labor Agreement we have with IBEW, which is located on The Wire. The Labor Agreement has many names, including Union contract, collective bargaining agreement, and CBA to name a few. If there is Labor Agreement language contrary to what is in this handbook, the Labor Agreement language will apply to employees in the bargaining unit.

Great Lakes Energy is governed by an elected Board of Directors as a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative.  Our Board is guided by a set of Board Policies, which is located on The Wire for interested employees to view.

The Charge from Our Board of Directors

GLE’s Board of Directors has placed their trust in our management team to run the show, and trust in every employee to put our very best efforts into our work, looking out for our cooperative members. That’s a big responsibility.

They’ve established policies and procedures in this handbook that help us set priorities and guide our efforts to serve members in the way they envision. These are not all-inclusive, but rather illustrative, and all management rights not specified here are reserved to our Board and/or management team.

Their charge to management includes things like:

  • Control, supervise and change methods of operation;
  • Direct our work force, including assignment of duties;
  • Determine job requirements and personnel needs;
  • Decide when to add new jobs or eliminate jobs no longer necessary;
  • Make tough personnel decisions including resourcing (a.k.a. hiring), disciplinary actions, transfers, separations, promotions;
  • Set work schedules including overtime work;
  • Subcontract work to other providers;
  • Set performance standards;
  • Recommend and interpret Board and administrative policies, practices and guidelines; and
  • Resolve any problems related to daily operations.

These are some general expectations of employees, not all-inclusive:

  • Respect the position, dignity, and rights of all other employees and members;
  • Perform your work efficiently and in a way that is in the best interest of the Cooperative;
  • Protect and preserve GLE property to the best of your ability;
  • Hold inviolate confidential information about GLE, our employees and members; and
  • Conduct yourself with members and the general public in a way that reflects favorably on GLE, your coworkers and our Board.

Management, purchasing and other staff who have authority or responsibilities that expose the Cooperative to antitrust liability must comply with GLE Board Policy 6: Antitrust Compliance.  The full set of policies that guide GLE’s Board of Directors is located on The Wire, and any employees are welcome to view them.

Employee Development

We hired you for a reason, and we want to keep you around. We also want to be an industry leader, so we will train you while you work. If you want to further your career, education or job shadow a different position, we do that too.

Planning for Success[ion]

We have a responsibility to our members to ensure GLE remains in highly capable, competent hands.

Succession planning helps us identify and develop potential leaders within GLE who can continue building on our cooperative principles and culture when current leaders move on. Formal plans help us to increase the number of experienced and capable staff ready to take on leadership roles as opportunities arise.

Performance

We expect you to do a good job. Ask your supervisor for feedback and expect feedback from your supervisor.

We work hard to make GLE a great place to work, and we expect a lot from you in return.

Ethics, Behavior and Cooperation…Our Culture

Be a good, hard working person.

We expect ethical conduct, positive behavior and cooperation between employees and your supervisors, coworkers and our members.

Employment Status

Union, non-union, exempt, non-exempt, full time, part time…what’s your status?

Employees have different and important roles to fill in the organization, so we have different types of employment status.

Workplace Conduct and Rules

Remember “The Golden Rule?” Follow that.

We work hard to guide you on a successful path in your career with GLE.  We offer you resources in this handbook, information about our culture, guidance from your supervisor, HR and others in the organization, and of course there’s your own personal work ethic –key to success here and elsewhere in your life.

Your Rights and Responsibilities

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)

We hire based on merit, qualifications and abilities – Period.

Great Lakes Energy is an Equal Opportunity Employer that will recruit, employ, and promote employees in all job classifications without regard to race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, ancestry, disability or handicap, age, height, weight, marital status, veteran status or any other reason prohibited by law.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies:

We won’t tolerate Harassment, Discrimination, or Retaliation.

We don’t harass, discriminate or retaliate, and you shouldn’t either.

Each member of our management team is responsible for creating an atmosphere free of harassment (sexual or otherwise), discrimination and retaliation. Furthermore, you, as a GLE employee, are responsible for respecting the rights of your co-workers.

Safety & Occupational Health

Live long and prosper!  Let’s all go home at the end of the day.

The safety of employees and the general public must never be compromised. Period. It is not acceptable to sacrifice safety for any reason, including speed or efficiency.  Any such behavior or instruction will not be tolerated.

We work hard to provide a safe and healthful working environment for employees, and we’ll promote practices in an effort to eliminate personal injury and occupational disease.

Family and Medical Leave (FML or FMLA)

We love that you care about your family. We care too.

You are eligible for Family and Medical Leave (FML) under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) when you have worked for GLE for at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the 12 months before taking leave. The 12-month period is calculated backward from the first date of leave.

Paid Medical Leave (PML or PMLA)

When life takes a turn.

Qualified non-exempt, non-bargaining-unit employees may use up to forty (40) hours per calendar year of Paid Medical Leave (PML) for any qualifying situation as provided by the Michigan Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA). When used, PML will be paid from your available bank of Paid Time Off (PTO).

Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA)

The Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996 is in place to protect your health information.  We collect data that is necessary to enroll and maintain your coverage in our benefit plans.  This information is securely stored and only accessible by authorized personnel.

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

We work with you; talk to us.

We will strive to make reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with a disability who can otherwise perform the essential functions of a job.  The exception will be if doing so causes a direct threat which cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation and/or if the accommodation creates an undue hardship to GLE.

If, because of a disability, you need accommodation to perform your job you must notify the Human Resources department, in writing, of the need for accommodation.

Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)

First of all…thank you for your service!

GLE is happy to comply with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) and will grant an unpaid military leave of absence if you request such leave in order to perform service in the uniformed services.

Fraud and Whistleblowing

Do what’s right.

This policy is in place to facilitate awareness and develop controls to aid in detecting and preventing fraud against GLE and our members.  We want to promote consistent organizational behavior by providing guidelines and assigning responsibility.

Appearance and Uniform Clothing

Dress for the job you want.

We’re pleased to offer a casual dress environment in many areas. Of course this is a business and we still want you to show up looking neat, clean and appropriate for the workplace, so make sure your outfits are appropriately modest (think workplace, not nightclub), clean and free of tears, stains and the like. Err on the side of caution when in doubt, and ask your supervisor or HR if you’re having trouble.

Attendance, Punctuality and Breaks

And the award for perfect attendance goes to…. Show up and be on time. If you’re sick, let the boss know.

Confidentiality of Information

Loose lips sink ships. Please think before you speak (type, or otherwise communicate).

At times you may become privy to confidential business information that cannot and should not be communicated to others without expressed consent and authorization.  Things like financial or economic information, member information, legal information, Social Security numbers, reorganization plans, competitive strategies, business information, proprietary computer programs… you get the idea.

Conflict of Interest

If something seems shady…it probably is. Consult HR.

You’re expected to avoid situations that may present or appear to be a conflict of interest. If you have this kind of thing going on be sure to let HR staff or our President & CEO know about it.

Technology Systems, Electronic Communications, Social Media and Internet Use

We LOVE tech, don’t you? Buyer beware.

There’s a lot to cover in this section so it seems to go on and on, but as with the rest of GLE’s Employee Handbook it’s important that you read and understand it.  Ask questions if you don’t.  In fact, for insurance purposes we’ll ask you about this every time you log on to one of our computers to be sure you’re up to speed.

Firearms and Weapons

You have the right to bear arms…just not at work, usually.

You may not bring prohibited weapons in or on any GLE facility, including the parking lot and our vehicles, or use prohibited weapons during work or break times.  Prohibited weapons include, but are not limited to: firearms (as defined in the Michigan Penal Code MCL 752.841); switch blade knives; sheath knives; pocket knives with blades more than three inches long; brass knuckles; and belts with protruding studs.

There are two exceptions:

  1. Knives may be allowed if necessary for Company work and approved by your supervisor.
  2. Firearms authorized by state law for hunting may be encased and locked in your vehicle if approved by your supervisor.

Hours of Work

Work with us…and your supervisor.

The hours you work depend on your position and the department you work in.  Know what your supervisor expects, and if you don’t know, ask.  The important thing is that you know your schedule and be here when you are supposed to be here.

Substance Abuse

Seriously unsafe business. Get help. Find out how.

It’s a serious and complex topic, but our position on substance abuse is simple: It is incompatible with the health and safety of our employees and members, and we don’t permit it.  You are not allowed to use, to be under the influence of, or to be involved with illegal or unauthorized controlled substances or to use or be under the influence of intoxicating beverages on GLE premises, property or time.  You are also prohibited from using or having marijuana, and illegal or unauthorized controlled substances, in your system while employed by GLE.  If we believe your actions, appearance or conduct on duty indicate you are in violation of this policy (based on reasonable suspicion) you will be required to undergo a test for use of alcohol, marijuana and controlled substances.  Employees who maintain a Commercial Driver’s License through employment are subject to random screenings as required by law.  Employment candidates are subject to screenings prior to hire.

Who Talks to the Media?

Probably not you.

While we’d love to have Melissa McCarthy run a press conference for us, unfortunately she’s booked. So, if you receive calls from the media/press please zip it, lock it and put it in your pocket, then direct the call to our Communications and Marketing department. They’re our official spokespeople (along with our President/CEO) and almost as cool as Melissa McCarthy, we promise.

We’re a Smoke-Free Work Environment

Help us help you.

Well, mostly smoke free anyway. Smoking stinks, and you’re not allowed to do it in any enclosed area of the worksite or near entrances, windows and ventilation systems (and neither are the visitors, consultants, contractors, etc. who stop by). This includes GLE-sponsored off-site conferences and meetings and applies to vehicles and equipment we own or lease. And by the way it’s also the law.

Scent Restrictions

Let’s clear the air!

Great Lakes Energy is a mild scent employer.  Just like other types of allergies, some people suffer from fragrance sensitivities.  This may sound mild, but it can be a really big deal.   

Visitors in the Workplace

How did your kids get so big? Surely I haven’t aged that much.

There may come a time when you have a professional visitor or perhaps you want to show off the latest addition to your family (whether it’s Junior or Fido).

Please have visitors (except Fido) who enter the building during business hours sign in and out with the building receptionist if there is one at your worksite.  Escort your visitors while on site and remember that you are responsible for them should there be a need to evacuate the building or to take other emergency action.

Oh, and if it’s Fido who drops in for a quick hello, please make sure he’s well-mannered, housebroken and supervised.

Record Retention

We keep just about everything…for a certain amount of time. Find out how long.

As a business, GLE has record retention requirements (what to keep and when to delete, toss, recycle or shred) for pretty much any type of paper or electronic document you might use.  We actually have a Record Retention Manual containing guidelines for this stuff.  Please check with your supervisor and make sure you know what to retain, how to retain it, and for how long.

Sometimes there’s a need to retain records longer than usual.  Maybe it’s a legal requirement, concerns possible litigation or an official investigation of some sort.  When this is the case you will be promptly notified by our Record Retention Coordinator.

Need to know more?  Talk to one of our administrative professionals.

Federal Trade Commission Red Flags Rule

An African Prince wants to give you money… Don’t do it.

We have a responsibility to our members and the community to appropriately safeguard sensitive information and identities. If we fall short we could be faced with fines, fees, civil lawsuits, and loss of our good reputation.  As a result we’ll operate under the Red Flags Rule and those of our Identity Theft Prevention Program, which can be found on The Wire.  These resources detail the procedures some of you need to know for responding to the Red Flags, notices of address discrepancies, reports of suspected identity theft, and inquiries for medical records, as well as data safeguarding, and conducting IT system audits.

We’ll also provide appropriate training if you have these kinds of responsibilities through your job.

Layoff or Reduction in Force

The force is strong…but just in case.

Because we’re quite conservative when it comes to staff levels, the need for layoffs or a reduction in force is unlikely.  In fact we haven’t seen one in more than a quarter century.  Unforeseen things happen though, like changes in the economy, advances in technology, or discontinuation of certain functions, so we do have a basic plan to follow if layoffs or a reduction in force were to become necessary.

Resourcing at GLE

We want the best and brightest. Here is how we get that.

Who we bring into our organization is very important to us.  Whether new hire or promotion, we’re looking for the best match of skills and abilities, education and experience, culture compatibility…we want it all!  When we decide it’s time to hire or promote, we do so according to relevant federal and state laws, and we put candidates through the paces.

Our Human Resources team is responsible for the whole enchilada.  Applications of any type must be forwarded to our HR group no matter who at GLE receives them.

Looking at a Transfer?

Up, sideways, down. We want you to have the right fit.

Up would seem the obvious choice, but depending on your goals and ambitions and GLE’s needs, sometimes your career path could include a sideways move or even stepping into a lower paying position.

In any case if a transfer is in order, management will determine your new rate of pay, which may be commensurately reduced to fit the new position.

Physical Exams – here’s how they work…

If you’re healthy, we’re healthy.

There are a few situations where you’ll be required to submit to a physical examination with a healthcare provider.

All newbies have to get a physical exam before reporting for work.  Go to the Resourcing section of this Handbook to learn more.

Regarding Nepotism

Employees like working here, they often recommend jobs to family members.

Nepotism is favoritism based on family relationships…it’s messy, complicated and distracting from our focus on members.  We generally try to avoid hiring or contracting with our relatives. Electric cooperatives are about rural America after all, so sometimes it’s difficult.

Employee Privacy Rights and Confidentiality of Employment/Personnel Files

Remember that permanent record? It’s a real thing.

To maintain the security of our workplace and property, employees, and visitors to our workplace, we may need to use surveillance, including video surveillance. We may also need to search or inspect the contents of offices, lockers, storage areas, file cabinets, desks, boxes, workstations or personal property like packages, backpacks, bags, etc. We reserve the right to do these things at any time.

You need to let our HR team know ASAP if you have changes to your name, address, marital or tax status, dependent information, emergency contacts or other sorts of important information.

Personnel files are the confidential property of the Cooperative, and access is limited, though you still have the right to inspect yours, and to insert statements concerning the information we keep there.

Driver Qualifications and Responsibilities

The Rules of the Road- According to GLE.

Employee drivers have certain responsibilities and must qualify to drive our vehicles.

Cooperative Vehicles

We have them. You can sometimes use them. Respect them.

Our business requires reasonable diligence to provide adequate and dependable electric service, so we have requirements regarding your use of, care of and responsibility for assigned vehicles.

Business Travel

Ready. Set. Go.

Here’s a good rule of thumb for most people: spend Cooperative money like you’d spend your own.  You’ll need to get approval in advance regarding travel expenses, but we don’t establish set spending limits because every situation is different. Instead we trust you to use good judgement.

Meals

I’m sorry for the things I said when I was hungry.

If you’re either called back after your regular schedule or required to work beyond your regular schedule, we’ll cover a reasonable amount for meal expenses.

Workplace Injury

Dad may have said ‘rub some dirt on it’ – good thing we aren’t your dad.

If you’re injured on the job, report it to your supervisor within a reasonable time period after you discover it, no matter how minor it may seem.  If your work-related injury interferes with your ability to work you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits.  Contact HR to learn more about state-mandated Workers’ Compensation insurance, benefits and requirements.

Your Pay

If you’re represented by IBEW Local 876, your pay and relevant pay practices are noted in the Labor Agreement, found on The Wire.

Salary Administration

Show me the money

GLE has a market-based compensation program in place and we want you to understand how it works, so we have a booklet on The Wire that explains it all.  It’s simply called the Compensation Plan, and we contract with EleCo Solutions to help us develop and maintain it.

Getting Paid

Pay periods are bi-weekly, starting at midnight on Monday and ending at 11:59PM on Sunday two weeks following.  You may have your earnings direct-deposited electronically into the account(s) of your choice, and “pay day” is on Thursday for the prior pay period.

Your Benefits

We’re proud to provide a top notch benefits package.  Keep in mind that official plan documents will rule if there are any discrepancies between this information and the official benefit plan documents.  Be aware that we retain sole discretion to amend, modify or terminate employee benefit programs as permitted by law, at any time and for any reason.

If you’re represented by IBEW Local 876, your benefits are noted in the Labor Agreement, found on The Wire.

Health Insurance

Medical and Dental and Vision…oh my!

We’ve drafted very basic information about our plans below.  For those inquiring minds that want to know more, we encourage you to explore benefit info on The Wire or reach out to HR for more details or to request plan documents.

Health insurance conversion privileges may be available to employees and their dependents upon written application and payment. Contact KorthaseFlinn Insurance and Financial Services for information and assistance.

Medical

Our medical plan is a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.  It’s offered for eligible employees and their dependents, and paired with a Health Savings Account (HSA).  This HDHP/HSA combination is designed to make you a responsible consumer of your own health care.


Dental & Vision

We offer dental benefits through Blue Cross Blue Shield as well, and vision through VSP.  These are separate from the medical plan regarding your medical annual deductible.

Health Savings Account (HSA) 

Eligible employees enrolled in our medical plan receive an HSA contribution from GLE as well.  The HSA’s purpose is for you to be able to save pre-tax dollars for use towards your annual deductible and other IRS approved expenses.  This account belongs to you, and you may contribute to it through payroll deduction.

Opt Out

You may opt out of our group medical, dental and vision plans and receive an opt-out payment instead if you have group coverage from another source.  Contact HR to learn more.

COBRA

If you or your beneficiary become ineligible for our various group insurance plans, continuation of coverage may be available for a period of time in compliance with the federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and state law.

The cost of coverage under COBRA is your responsibility unless otherwise provided.

Retiree Health Insurance

Young at heart…slightly older in other places.

We value loyalty and are pleased to offer some retirement health benefits to eligible employees at this time.  Keep in mind that all plan options and benefits, plan availability, Cooperative contributions and retiree costs under retiree health plans are subject to change or cancellation in the future, even after you retire. We retain sole discretion to amend, modify or terminate employee benefit programs, including those offered to existing and future retirees, at any time and for any reason. Whew!  Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what we have for eligible retirees:

Retirement Savings Plans

A Pension plan and 401(k) options? Yes please!

Your future is important to us. We have two retirement savings plans for eligible employees.

Other Benefits

But wait, there’s more!

Short Term Disability (STD)
When approved by the group benefit provider, STD insurance pays a benefit in the amount of 2/3 of your base wages.  The benefit period begins when a covered illness or injury keeps you from working for more than seven consecutive calendars days, up to a maximum of 12 weeks.  You may supplement STD benefits with any PTO leave you have available, to replace up to 100 percent of your base wages during this leave.

Long Term Disability (LTD)
When approved by the group benefit provider, LTD insurance pays a benefit in the amount of 2/3 of your base wages.  The benefit period begins when a covered illness or injury keeps you from working for more than 90 consecutive calendar days.

Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D)
We don’t like to think about terrible misfortunes or untimely death, but should the unthinkable happen, our group policy provides a benefit to you or to your beneficiary if you suffer a covered dismemberment or even death.  The life benefit is 2x your annual base wages.  If your death results from an accident it provides another 2x your annual base wages.  These events need not be work-related.

We aren’t your parents but we’d like to offer some advice regardless.  Though you are provided life insurance benefits through your employment with us, remember that if you leave employment for any reason, these benefits may not be portable or may be cost prohibitive due to age or health challenges by the time you leave.  If you have loved ones to provide for, consider purchasing an additional life insurance policy separate from any employment benefits.  It’s the responsible thing to do.

Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Help is here when you need it.  GLE offers two EAP resources that provide confidential services and referrals for you and your family via phone, Internet, or in-person professional services. Free of charge through your employment, the programs can help you manage personal issues at work or at home. Consultants are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year through links on The Wire (Our People/Benefits/Employee Assistance Program (EAP)). You’ll be provided access to a national network of experienced, professional counselors who can help you, no matter where you are or what kind of situation you’re facing. From helping aging parents to raising safe and responsible kids, from dealing with stress to relationships and staying healthy.  No issue is too big. No question is too small.

The New Directions EAP, through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, can also be accessed at www.ndbh.com.  Select “For Individual and Family Members”, EAP, and enter code “GLenergy”. New Directions also offers a mobile app and phone access at 800-624-5544.  In-person consultations are included for up to six face-to-face or online sessions per issue.

The Unum EAP can also be found at www.unum.com/lifebalance or at 800-854-1446. When accessing the site online, the username and password are both “lifebalance”. Unlimited access to online/phone support is available, along with up to three (3) visits with a licensed professional counselor per issue.

Flexible Spending Account (FSA)
An FSA allows you to set aside pre-tax earnings each year to pay for daycare expenses incurred in that same calendar year.  When estimating your expenses for the year, keep in mind that you can’t change your election until the following year and if you don’t use it, you lose it!

Workers’ Compensation
Worker’s compensation is the state-mandated system that provides wage replacement, medical and rehabilitation benefits to workers who are injured on the job. Contact HR to learn more about Workers’ Compensation insurance and benefits.

Business Travel Accident
For eligible employees this provides a benefit to your beneficiary for loss of life during business travel.

Adoption Assistance
Growing your family through adoption?  You’re awesome! We may be able to help you with related expenses.  Please contact our Benefits Manager to learn about GLE’s Adoption Assistance Plan, which provides eligible employees with reimbursement of qualified expenses up to $2,000.

Contact our Benefits Manager to learn more about these benefits.

Leave with Pay

Spend time doing…

Any leave will work in conjunction with our Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA or FML) and/or Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA or PML) policies when applicable. Nothing in this policy will interfere with your rights under FML or PML.

Paid Time Off (PTO)
We expect you to work hard, so your compensation package includes Paid Time Off (PTO). Work/life balance is important, and we encourage you to take time for yourself and enjoy it.

PTO is yours, and for the most part, you use it in a way that works best for you.  GLE’s PTO structure is well aligned with our culture and philosophy of treating employees as the responsible adults you are.  It puts you in the driver’s seat with your time off, providing a generous bank of available paid leave to use however you need it.  But as the ghostly knight advised Indiana Jones, “choose wisely”.  Use planning and good judgement regarding your PTO.  It’s intended to cover play like that dream vacation, AND other personal needs, including personal business, illness or a loved one’s illness (think PML).

Speaking of illness, between PTO, STD and LTD benefits, we’ve got you covered, so don’t spread your illness around the workplace.  If you’re feeling under the weather, stay home!

Parental Leave
Parental leave benefits provide two weeks of family-friendly paid leave for moms and dads to bond and care for growing families. Parental leave covers 100 percent of your base wages for up 80 hours (40 hours for part-time), which is in addition to any STD benefit for mothers giving birth.  Parental leave may be taken intermittently within 12 months following the birth or placement of a new child through adoption or foster care.

Paid Holidays
We observe nine holidays with paid time off when you’re eligible.

Bereavement Leave
We recognize that losing a loved one can be a very emotional time.  We want to make sure you have time to grieve and to make arrangements for your loved one.  Notify your supervisor as soon as possible when you need to take bereavement leave.

Jury Duty
Many don’t enjoy it, but we know it’s our civic duty to serve as a juror when called upon to do so.

Leave without Pay

When the unexpected happens.

Requests for leave of absence without pay must be made in writing whenever possible, and far enough in advance to adjust work schedules except in the event of an emergency. With the exception of 40 hours of Paid Time Off (PTO) that may be reserved at your discretion, employees must use all available paid time off before unpaid leave requests may be granted. Nothing in this policy will interfere with your rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA or FML).  Any approved leave will be counted as FML when applicable.

The Rest of the Story

Remote Work

My commute is 15 paces, which I make in my slippers.

Few silver linings come from a pandemic, but we count GLE’s Remote Work Program among them.  Born of necessity, our plan description and required agreement for this privilege can be found on The Wire, under Programs. Remote work isn’t for every job or every person, but if it sounds like a fit for you, check out the details and follow up with your supervisor.

Wellbeing

Better Health Through Better Living.

Now that you’re here, we want you to stay here and be healthy!  We believe healthy employees are happy employees. And honestly, encouraging a healthy lifestyle at work and at home helps our bottom line – we’ll pay less in healthcare costs, you’ll be more productive, and you’ll enjoy coming to work!

To this end we have many available programs designed to promote and support your overall wellbeing (physical, emotional and financial).

Employee Assistance Program – 100% confidential assistance for employees (and sometimes other family members) with personal or work-related issues that may impact job performance, health, mental, or emotional wellbeing.

Fit Funds – reimbursements for cool fitness and wellness-related products and services like gym memberships, tennis shoes, weight management programs, race entry fees, and much more.

Livongo – combining advanced technology with coaching to help you manage diabetes.

New Directions – Help at your convenience!  100% confidential therapy services available 24/7 in an online platform.

Omada – Start your life changing journey with positive behavior change that lasts!  Participants are surrounded with personalized support and digital tools you need to succeed in preventing diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions.

SmartDollar – Do you wonder where your money goes every month?  Through a step-by-step approach to managing your money, SmartDollar will help you develop a plan to tell your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.

Wellness “Warrior” Challenges – incentivized challenges offered throughout the year to keep you engaged in your own health. Think fun, motivation, and  healthy competition.

Please visit The Wire for detailed information on each of these programs.

Personal Use of Cooperative Equipment and Facilities

Mi Casa es Su Casa…

We’ll try to accommodate employees and members in the use of our facilities for personal or the community good. However, because of general and workers’ compensation liability, restrictions are placed on the use of equipment, vehicles and facilities.

Severe Weather

We shine brightest when the sun doesn’t!

We provide an essential service to our members, so when Mother Nature gives us her worst, we’re often called to be at our best.

GLE is a 24/7/365 utility operation, and we never really “close” in a traditional sense.  With that said, we value safety above all else.  We want you to use your best judgement about getting to work if you believe conditions are so bad that you cannot safely do so.  We’re talking about Michigan, so “bad” road conditions are relative.  It’s vitally important to discuss your individual circumstances with your supervisor.  Perhaps remote work is an option for this challenge when it’s otherwise not a good fit, especially attending meetings by conference call and that sort of thing.  Speak with your supervisor about any flexibility in this area.

When you determine you can’t make it in and remote work isn’t an option, we offer Paid Time Off (PTO) to cover lost time.  Plan for the unexpected and leave yourself some wiggle room with available PTO when you’re scheduling that much-deserved family vacay. When necessary, time off without pay may be an option as well.

There may be rare occasions when our Executive Team determines that some of us should either stay home or go home early.  Maybe it’s a regional disaster, or conditions are deteriorating fast, affecting your ability to travel home safely.  If we “close”, you will be notified by the management team and provided instructions to account for your time.  When applicable, employees will be permitted to use paid leave to cover lost work time according to the terms of Michigan’s Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA).  (See PML under Your Rights and Responsibilities above).

Outside Employment

Ding Dong…Avon Calling.

We’re all for “live and let live”, but do check in with us for pre-approval before engaging in outside employment or other paid work activity, including self-employment.  Remember that you must refrain from any activity or having any financial interest that is inconsistent with GLE’s best interest and also must refrain from activities, investments, or associations that compete with GLE or exploit your position with GLE for personal gains. You may not solicit or conduct any outside business during paid working hours.

Life Threatening Illness and Contagious Diseases

Stay focused. Stay positive. Stay strong. You’ve got this.

It is our policy that employees with infectious, long-term, life-threatening or other serious diseases or illnesses may work as long as they are able to perform the duties of their job, with or without reasonable accommodation, and are not a direct threat to the safety and/or health to themselves, other employees, members, or the public. All determinations will be made using ADA criteria.

Purchasing

Department heads may request additional purchasing authorization for employees by written request to the Accounts Payable department, including approval amount and the reason for the request.

General guidelines for the approval of expenditures will be as follows:

  • Up to $1,000 – Supervisors
  • Up to $2,500 – Area Supervisors
  • Up to $5,000 – Department Managers
  • Over $5,000 – See purchase authorization list

Purchasing Credit Card

A Cooperative commercial credit card is issued to management and certain employees as needed and designated by their department head.

Public Safety

Members and the general public should never come into contact with electrical power lines. Anyone observing potentially hazardous conditions should immediately alert us.

If it’s Time to Call it Quits

Riding off into the sunset…

In most cases when you leave we’d like you to participate in an exit interview with the Human Resources department so that we can understand your reasons for leaving.

We’ll provide information about retirement benefits, payout of accrued PTO, and any other benefit or plan related to your tenure of employment with us.

If you’ve decided to resign from GLE you’re expected to give us a minimum of two weeks advance notice.