Lygos, Inc. Employee Handbook - a draft

II) Employment Policies

At-Will Employment

While we sincerely hope that your employment here at Lygos will be a positive and rewarding experience, we cannot, for legal reasons, make any guarantees about your continued employment. Your employment here is at will. This means that you are free to quit at any time, for any reason, just as we are free to terminate your employment at any time, for any reason with or without notice, with or without cause. Nothing in this Handbook constitutes a contract or promise of continued employment.


Equal Opportunity Employment

Lygos is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The company supports diversity and inclusion in its core values and does not discriminate against qualified employees or applicants because of race, color, religion, gender identity, sex, sexual preference, sexual identity, pregnancy, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, military status, or any other characteristic protected by federal or state law or local ordinance. When necessary, the company will reasonably accommodate employees and applicants with disabilities if the person is otherwise qualified to safely perform all of the essential functions of the position.


Code of Conduct

Lygos is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, color, sex (with or without sexual conduct and including pregnancy and sexual orientation involving transgender status/gender identity, and sex-stereotyping), national origin, age, disability (physical or mental), genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, parental status, marital status, and political affiliation as well as gender expression, mental illness, socioeconomic status or background, neuro(a)typicality, physical appearance, body size, computing experience, or clothing. Consider that calling attention to differences can feel alienating.

We do not tolerate harassment of community members in any form. Harassment includes offensive verbal comments related to the protected classes above, sexual images in public spaces, deliberate intimidation, stalking, following, photography or audio/video recording against reasonable consent, sustained disruption of talks or other events, inappropriate physical contact, and unwelcome sexual attention. Harassment does not need to be recognized as unwanted or unwelcome by anyone other than the person being harassed.

Be careful in the words that you choose. Remember that sexist, racist, and other exclusionary jokes can be offensive to those around you. Offensive jokes are not appropriate and will not be tolerated under any circumstance.

Participants asked to stop any harassing behavior are expected to comply immediately. If you are being harassed, notice that someone else is being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact Eric Steen, Jeffrey Dietrich, Johan van Walsem, or Nick Ohler immediately.


Sexual Harassment Policy

Defining Sexual Harassment

"Sexual harassment" is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is sufficiently persistent or offensive to unreasonably interfere with an employee's job performance or create an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment. Sexual harassment is defined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when, for example: a) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, b) submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as the basis for employment decisions affecting such individual, or c) such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive working environment.

Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there are two types of sexual harassment: a) quid pro quo and 2) hostile work environment. Sexual harassment can be physical and psychological in nature. An aggregation of a series of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one of the incidents considered on its own would not be harassing. Employees are prohibited from harassing other employees whether or not the incidents of harassment occur on employer premises and whether or not the incidents occur during working hours.

Examples of Prohibited Conduct

Though sexual harassment encompasses a wide range of conduct, some examples of specifically prohibited conduct include the following:

  • Physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as rape, sexual battery, molestation or attempts to commit these assaults, and intentional physical conduct that is sexual in nature, such as touching, pinching, patting, grabbing, brushing against another employee's body or poking another employee's body
  • Unwelcome sexual advances, propositions or other sexual comments, such as sexually oriented gestures, noises, remarks, jokes or comments about a person's sexuality or sexual experience
  • Preferential treatment or promises of preferential treatment to an employee for submitting to sexual conduct, including soliciting or attempting to solicit any employee to engage in sexual activity for compensation or reward
  • Subjecting, or threats of subjecting, an employee to unwelcome sexual attention or conduct or intentionally making performance of the employee's job more difficult because of that employee's sex
  • Sexual or discriminatory displays or publications anywhere in Lygos’ workplace by the Lygos employees
  • Retaliation for sexual harassment complaints

Responding to Conduct in Violation of Policy


If an employee believes that he or she has been subject to sexual harassment or any unwelcome sexual attention, he or she may address the situation directly and immediately to the harasser, if possible. If the inappropriate conduct does not cease, or if the employee is unable to or uncomfortable with addressing the alleged harasser directly, he or she should report the incident to their own manager, directly to Eric Steen, Jeffrey Dietrich, Johan van Walsem, or Nick Ohler, or to the Human Resources (HR officer). It is helpful to record of the date, time and nature of the incident(s) and the names of any witnesses. It is important to report any and all concerns of sexual harassment or inappropriate sexual conduct as soon as possible. Management must be made aware of the situation so that it can conduct an immediate and impartial investigation and take appropriate action to remediate or prevent the prohibited conduct from continuing.


Managers must deal expeditiously and fairly with allegations of sexual harassment within their departments whether or not there has been a written or verbal complaint. They must:

  • Take all complaints or concerns of alleged or possible harassment or discrimination seriously no matter how minor or who is involved
  • Ensure that harassment or inappropriate sexually oriented conduct is immediately reported to the HR officer so that a prompt investigation can occur
  • Take any appropriate action to prevent retaliation or prohibited conduct from recurring during and after any investigations or complaints

Managers who knowingly allow or tolerate sexual harassment or retaliation, including the failure to immediately report such misconduct to the HR officer, are in violation of this policy and subject to discipline.

Human Resources

The HR officer is responsible for:

  1. Ensuring that both the individual filing the complaint (hereafter referred to as the "complainant") and the accused individual (hereafter referred to as the "respondent") are aware of the seriousness of a sexual harassment complaint.
  2. Explaining Lygos' sexual harassment policy and investigation procedures to the complainant and the respondent.
  3. Exploring informal means of resolving sexual harassment complaints.
  4. Notifying the police if criminal activities are alleged.
  5. Arranging for an investigation of the alleged harassment and the preparation of a written report.
  6. Submitting a written report summarizing the results of the investigation and making recommendations to designated company officials.
  7. Notifying the complainant and the respondent of the corrective actions to be taken, if any, and administering those actions.

Complaint Resolution Procedures

Individuals should report complaints of conduct believed to violate Lygos' sexual harassment policy according to the policy's complaint procedures. To initiate a formal investigation into an alleged violation of this policy, employees may be asked to provide a written statement about the alleged misconduct to the HR officer. Complaints should be submitted as soon as possible after an incident has occurred. The HR officer may assist the complainant in completing the statement.

To ensure the prompt and thorough investigation of a sexual harassment complaint, the complainant should provide as much of the following information as is possible:

  1. The name, department and position of the person or persons allegedly causing the harassment.
  2. A description of the incident(s), including the date(s), location(s) and the presence of any witnesses.
  3. The effect of the incident(s) on the complainant's ability to perform his or her job, or on other terms or conditions of his or her employment.
  4. The names of other individuals who might have been subject to the same or similar harassment.
  5. What, if any, steps the complainant has taken to try to stop the harassment.
  6. Any other information the complainant believes to be relevant to the harassment complaint.


Employees who violate this policy are subject to appropriate discipline. If an investigation results in a finding that this policy has been violated, the mandatory minimum discipline is a written reprimand. The discipline for very serious or repeat violations is termination of employment. Persons who violate this policy may also be subject to civil damages or criminal penalties.


All inquiries, complaints and investigations are treated confidentially. Information is revealed strictly on a need-to-know basis. Information contained in a formal complaint is kept as confidential as possible. However, the identity of the complainant is usually revealed to the respondent and witnesses. The HR officer takes adequate steps to ensure that the complainant is protected from retaliation during the period of the investigation. All information pertaining to a sexual harassment complaint or investigation is maintained by the HR officer in secure files. The HR officer can answer any questions relating to the procedures for handling information related to sexual harassment complaints and investigations to complainants and respondents.

Other Available Procedures

The procedures available under this policy do not preempt or supersede any legal procedures or remedies otherwise available to a victim of sexual harassment under local, state or federal law.



Paychecks issued every two weeks Fridays. You can access payroll information by logging into your Paychex account. You were assigned a Paychex account on your first day. Please contact Ann Nguyen for additional information.