Employer Retaliatory Action, Protected Employee Actions and Employee Responsibilities
New Jersey law prohibits an employer from taking any retaliatory action against an employee because the employee does any of the following:
Discloses or threatens to disclose, to a supervisor or to a public body, an activity, policy or practice of the employer or another employer, with whom there is a business relationship, that the employee reasonably believes is in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation issued under the law, or, in the case of an employee who is a licensed or certified health care professional, reasonably believes constitutes improper quality of patient care
Provides information to or testifies before any public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into any violation of law, or a rule or regulation issued under the law by the employer or another employer, with whom there is a business relationship, or, in the case of an employee who is a licensed or certified health care professional, provides information to or testifies before any public body conducting an investigation, hearing or inquiry into quality of patient care
Provides information involving deception of, or misrepresentation to, any shareholder, investor, client, patient, customer, employee, former employee, retiree or pensioner of the employer or any governmental entity
Provides information regarding any perceived criminal or fraudulent activity, policy or practice of deception or misrepresentation which the employee reasonably believes may defraud any shareholder, investor, client, patient, customer, employee, former employee, retiree or pensioner of the employer or any governmental entity
Objects to or refuses to participate in any activity, policy or practice which the employee reasonably believes:
Is in violation of a law, or a rule or regulation issued under the law or, if the employee is a licensed or certified health care professional, constitutes improper quality of patient care
Is fraudulent or criminal
Is incompatible with a clear mandate of public policy concerning the public health, safety or welfare or protection of the environment. N.J.S.A. 34:19-3.
The protection against retaliation, when a disclosure is made to a public body, does not apply unless the employee has brought the activity, policy or practice to the attention of a supervisor of the employee by written notice and given the employer a reasonable opportunity to correct the activity, policy or practice. However, disclosure is not required where the employee reasonably believes that the activity, policy or practice is known to one or more supervisors of the employer or where the employee fears physical harm as a result of the disclosure, provided that the situation is an emergency in nature.
Conscientious Employee Protection Act
Email and Internet Policy
As a public company, SilverSun trades on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the stock symbol “SSNT.” Because it is public, the Company is subject to certain rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Among the most important of these rules is that no investor should be able to profit from information that is not available to all investors. This puts a special burden and responsibility on the employees of SilverSun and SWK Technologies, who might have access to information other investors do not have.
SilverSun is required to file quarterly reports (10-Qs) forty-five days following completion of each quarter each year. Typically, these reports are filed on-or-about May 15, August 15, and November 15. SilverSun is further required to file an annual report (10-K) for the preceding year, on-or-about March 31 of the following year. There may be occasions when SilverSun files earlier than required and may file up to five days later than required for a quarterly report and up to fifteen days later than required for its annual report. Following the filing of each report listed above, the Company will issue a press release the same day as this filing or the day after.
Employees of SilverSun and its affiliated companies may purchase or sell shares of SilverSun stock in the thirty-day period following the time that one of the above reports has been filed and a press release has been issued. The period in which an employee may properly buy or sell SilverSun common stock under this policy is called the “Window Period.” For example, if a quarterly report was filed on May 15 and the Company filed a press release announcing these financial results on May 16, employees may buy or sell shares during the Window Period of May 17 to June 16.
However, if there is a pending special event such as the acquisition of another company, no purchases or sales may be made until news of the pending event is released in the form of a current report (8-K) filed with the SEC or a press release. For example, if SilverSun filed its quarterly report (10-Q) with the SEC on May 15, filed its press release announcing these financial results on May 16 and was further due to close (and subsequently did close) on an acquisition of ABC Company on June 1, employees should not buy or sell SilverSun common stock prior to June 2, but would be able to buy or sell SilverSun common stock through July 1.
Employee Stock Trading
The following is the Internet and email access and use policy for employees of SWK Technologies, Inc. (the “Company”). The purpose of this policy is to inform employees of the potential risks to the Company associated with connecting to the Internet and communicating via email, and to minimize such risks without unduly limiting the potential benefits offered by convenient access to global information and technology. Employees must comply with this policy to have Internet and email access through the Company network. Company employees who do not comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Internet and email access through the Company network is limited to employees. Employees must not disclose their own individual network access passwords to any other employees or third parties, regardless of conditions or circumstances.
Permitted Purposes and Interference with Work
Employees' access to the Internet and their sending and receiving of email through the Company network must be primarily for the purpose of conducting Company business. Employees may occasionally use the Company network's Internet and email systems for personal use, provided that such use does not interfere with job performance and does not involve more than a minimal amount of time. Employees are expected to not regularly browse the web for their own entertainment or amusement on Company time. This constitutes a violation of our ethical work standards and is not in the best interests of the Company.
The Internet is notorious for the spread of viruses. Files should not be downloaded from the Internet except for authorized business purposes. Virus software running on employee workstations must be current. Employees must report exceptions to the Network Services department immediately.
All systems issued by SWK employees must have the remote agent software running without interference of any kind. Uninstallation or tampering of this application can result in disciplinary action. Should network services request the re-installation of this application it must be performed within the same business day.
The use of any unauthorized software found on any SWK-deployed system could result in disciplinary actions, up to termination, in addition to fines set forth by such software violations. Please check with the Network Services department before downloading any additional software to your computer.
No Expectation of Privacy
The Company reserves the right to access and may disclose to third parties the contents of Internet communications, browsing, instant messaging, emails and attachments (including those of a personal nature), conducted through the Company network or using any equipment owned or controlled by the Company. ALL EMPLOYEES WAIVE ANY RIGHT TO PRIVACY IN EMAIL, INSTANT MESSAGING AND INTERNET COMMUNICATIONS, AND ALL EMPLOYEES CONSENT TO THE COMPANY'S ACCESS AND DISCLOSURE (INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, TO THIRD PARTIES) OF THEIR EMAIL AND INTERNET COMMUNICATIONS. The Company reserves the right to monitor employees' use of the Internet, including the Internet web sites visited and Internet communications transmitted using the Company network. Employees should keep this in mind when accessing the Internet and sending and receiving email using the Company network.
Employees must not use the Company network to create, transmit, print, save, download or forward sexually-explicit or offensive messages, cartoons, jokes, ethnic or religious slurs, racial epithets or any other statement or image that might be construed as harassment or disparagement on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or any other status protected by law.
Email communications can be recovered long after they are composed, sent, received and even deleted. Further, they can have the same legal impact as formal written reports, letters or memoranda. Therefore, it is important that email messages be as carefully thought-out as any other written communication. Employees should re-read, spell check, and review the list of recipients of an email message before sending the message, and consider the possibility that the email will be forwarded on to others. Although it is easy to send an email to many recipients, employees should be careful not to "over distribute" their messages.
Since all Internet transactions conducted from the Company network could be perceived as authorized Company activities, employees must follow all applicable laws, regulations and policies, and must exercise care and responsibility when accessing the Internet, browsing the Web, downloading and uploading files, and using other applications on the Company network. Employees should not use the Company network to access the Internet for personal reasons for more than a minimal amount of time, and must not access, view, copy, upload, download, print, save, send, post or otherwise transfer material that contains derogatory, abusive or objectionable language, that defames or libels others, that infringes the privacy rights of others or that is illegal or obscene. The Company may at any time monitor and log all Internet web browsing activity, limit the download of media files and block access to sites containing inappropriate content.
The Company is the owner, lessee or licensee of certain proprietary and confidential information, including work produced by the employee. It is the responsibility of all employees to maintain the strict confidentiality of such information. Employees shall not place any information, materials or trademarks relating to the Company or Company clients on the Internet or any other publicly accessible electronic information system, either via email, uploading, or otherwise, without the express, written permission from an appropriate Company supervisor. The applicable proprietary notices should appear, where appropriate, on materials that are properly authorized to be posted, sent or made available to third parties over the Internet.
Social Media Policy
With the rise of new media and next-generation communication tools, the way in which SWK employees can communicate internally and externally continues to evolve. While this creates new opportunities for communication, collaboration and marketing, it also creates new responsibilities for our employees. This social media policy applies to employees when using the following:
Multi-media and social networking websites such as but not limited to: LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and many others
Blogs (SWK blogs and blogs external to SWK)
Wikis such as Wikipedia and any and all other sites where information and communications can be posted
For the purpose of this policy, all of these activities are referred to as “Internet postings.” Please be aware that violation of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination. Common sense is the best guide if you decide to post information in any way relating to SWK or its parent company, SilverSun Technologies, Inc. Together, SilverSun and SWK are collectively referred to in this policy as the “Company.” If you are unsure about any particular posting, please contact senior management
When posting your point of view, you should neither claim nor imply you are speaking on the Company’s behalf, unless you are authorized in writing by the VP of Marketing to do so. Your Internet postings should not include any of the Company’s logos or trademarks, and should respect copyright, privacy, fair use, financial disclosure and other applicable laws. Company blogs are blogs requiring corporate approval in which employees may blog about the Company and our industries. Only Company blogs and websites may include the Company’s logos.
In any and all postings regarding any aspect of the Company’s business, products, services or any Company-related issue, you must clearly identify yourself as an SWK employee in your postings or blog site(s). Your Internet posting should reflect your personal point of view, not necessarily the point of view of SWK. All postings related to the Company, products and/or services or linking to the Company websites should have a clear and prominent disclaimer such as: “The views expressed here are my own and not necessarily those of SWK.”
Your Internet postings should not disclose any information that is confidential or proprietary to the Company, client or to any third party that has disclosed information to SWK.
Because you are legally responsible for your postings, you may be subject to liability if your posts are found defamatory, harassing or in violation of any other applicable law. You may also be liable if you make postings that include confidential or copyrighted information (music, videos, text, etc.) belonging to third parties. All of the above-mentioned postings are prohibited under this policy.
Use good judgment when posting over the Internet.
Be mindful that you are representing the Company. As a Company representative, it is important that your posts convey the same positive, optimistic spirit that the Company instills in all of its communications. Be respectful of all individuals, races, religions and cultures; how you conduct yourself in the online social media space not only reflects on you, it is a direct reflection on the Company.
Know that the Internet is permanent. Once information is published online, it is essentially part of a permanent record, even if you “remove/delete” it later or attempt to make it anonymous. If your complete thought, along with its context, cannot be squeezed into a character‐restricted space (such as Twitter), provide a link to an online space where the message can be expressed completely and accurately.
Be responsible at work. The Company understands that associates engage in online social media activities at work for legitimate purposes and that these activities may be helpful for Company affairs. However, the Company encourages all associates to exercise sound judgment and common sense to prevent online social media sites from becoming a distraction at work.
What you say on your Internet postings should not violate any other applicable policy of SWK, including those set forth in the employee handbook. You agree that the Company shall not be liable, under any circumstances, for any errors, omissions, loss or damages claimed or incurred due to any of your Internet postings. If you are found to be in violation of this policy, please note that you will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
Finally, here are some policies you should keep in mind whenever you are communicating about or on behalf of the Company:
Email and Internet Policy
Use of Company Equipment
Confidential Nature of Work
Non-discrimination and Anti-harassment
The intent of this policy is to ensure that all property maintained by SWK is kept in the best possible working condition and to ensure proper utilization. Property shall be defined as any piece of equipment, furnishing, computers, vehicle, building or supply leased, owned, donated or otherwise in the custodial care of SWK or any person acting as its agent.
It is the responsibility of each employee to maintain his work environment in an orderly fashion and follow all company guidelines to ensure its proper use and maintenance. Should any employee have knowledge of any misuse, he must notify his manager immediately.
Any employee found to neglect or misuse company property will be sanctioned under the disciplinary policies. This may include termination. If the neglect is determined to be gross, the Company will expect remuneration for part or all of the replacement cost.
No employee shall use Company property for personal use unless specific permission has been granted by the senior management. This includes, but is not limited to computers, telephones, cellular phones, copiers, faxes, Internet, printers, etc. Should permission be granted, the employee is responsible for the return and care of the loaned property. Special care should be taken to identify any concerns regarding its condition before the property is removed and/or used.
Use of Company Equipment and Computer Systems
To ensure orderly operations and provide the best possible work environment, SWK expects employees to follow rules of conduct that will protect the interests and safety of all employees and the organization.
It is not possible to list all the forms of behavior that are considered unacceptable in the workplace. The following are some examples of infractions of rules of conduct that my result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
Excessive or loud profanity
Theft or inappropriate removal or possession of property
Falsification of timekeeping records or not properly entering time off in Paylocity.
Working under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs
Possession, distribution, sale, transfer or use of alcohol or illegal drugs in the workplace, while on duty, or while operating employer-owned or customer-owned property
Sexual or other unlawful or unwelcome harassment
Excessive absenteeism or any absence without notice
Unauthorized disclosure of business “secrets” or confidential information
Unsatisfactory performance or conduct
Employment with SWK is at the mutual consent of SWK and the employee, and either party may terminate that relationship at any time, with or without cause, and with or without advance notice.