Frequently Asked Questions about Employment

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No, Southwest Alabama Behavioral Health Care Systems is not a state agency. We are a public, non-profit community mental health center governed by a locally appointed board of directors.

Conditional employment is the phase of employment when a potential individual's employment with the Center is based on certain conditions being met. For example, a drug screen, a motor vehicle check, a criminal record check, etc.

The in-service training an employee must have before starting work depends on the position for which the person has been hired. Human Resources will provide you with information about in-service training that is required for the position for which you have been employed.

Relief employees are individuals who work for the agency on a PRN basis (as needed). They do not usually work a regular schedule. Relief workers are limited in the number of hours they may work in any given pay period.  Relief workers are not eligible for employee benefits.

Exempt employees are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act. These are individuals in a professional, executive, or administrative position. Non-exempt employees are not exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Certain rules regarding overtime apply to these individuals.

Health/dental insurance and term life/disability coverage is effective the first day of the second full month of an employee's regular employment (conditional employment criteria have been satisfied). Long term disability and life insurance coverage is effective the date of hire for full-time employees working more than 30 hours per week.

Residential program directors are responsible for scheduling staff to work in their programs. A schedule is made as far in advance as possible. Staff may be scheduled to work either a variable or set schedule. However, staff may be required to work hours that are different from their regular scheduled hours when program needs require a change in staff coverage.

Exempt and non-exempt employees are paid every two weeks on Friday.

The Center offers employees an opportunity to advance as such positions are open and the employee is qualified. However, these positions are limited. Opportunities for increasing one's pay are available through licensure, salary supplements, etc.

Non-exempt employees who work over 40 hours in any given standard work week (Sunday 12 am - Sunday 12 am) are paid one and one-half their regular hourly rate of pay.

Yes. The Center emphasizes staff training and professional development.

The Center offers assistance with continuing education with supervisory approval. The amount is limited and pro-rated according to the employee's full-time equivalency. The continuing education must be related to the position for which the employee is employed. Licensure fees may also be paid by the Center with supervisory approval and when the license is required for the position for which the employee is employed.

Employees interested in a transfer to another program or position within the Center should submit a letter of request to Human Resources.

The Center does not guarantee raises. However, cost of living increases may be given annually when the Center is financially able to cover the costs of such raises.

Southwest pays employees by direct deposit. Your check stub will be provided to you in the program location where you work.

The date a person begins working in a regular position with the Center.

The Center is a professional organization and staff are expected to dress accordingly. However, in residential and day programs staff dress may be casual when consumer activities dictate such. For example, if a day program is going on a picnic, staff may dress accordingly.

No, but the Mental Health Center is certified by the Alabama Department of Mental Health-Mental Retardation.