All the HR Stuff

Hours and Pay Policies


Full time employees work 40 hours per week, and part time employees work something less than that. We hope you love the work you do, but we want you to have a healthy work/life balance. Working too much is unsustainable -- we'd prefer you work at Optimism for a long time rather than a short time.

We impose a 40 hour work week limit for quality of life, as well as safety at the brewery. The more you work, the more tired you become and the more prone to mistakes you are. This is one of the reasons why the federal government requires that we track the hours work and pay additional overtime rates.

For this reason, we have set our work weeks to run from Wednesday to Tuesday. If someone ends up working late on the weekend, we have time to let them leave early later to make up for it.

Hey, if you feel that you cannot get all of your work done within a 40-hour week, we need to talkk. Please contact Troy or Gay.


Always work with your fellow team members to ensure that your break is appropriatly scheduled so our visitors' still get great service and team safety is maintained, but be sure to take them. It may seem silly to have to clock in and out for them, but it is important.

You are welcome to take your breaks in the tasting room, the office, or to leave the building, but remember no smoking is allowed by employees within a one block radius of the building. Smoking leaves a smell, we don't want around our building.

Paid Rest Breaks

Take 10 minutes of paid rest every 4 hours of work. Legally, each rest needs to happen at least by the 3rd hour of the shift, but you are welcome to take a series of mini breaks totaling 10 minutes.

Unpaid Meal Breaks

Take at least 30 minutes of meal break every shift longer than 5 hours of work. Meal breaks can happen at least 2 hours into the shift and not later than 5 hours into a shift.


We don't allow overtime, unless it has been approved in advance. It is your responsibility to be aware of your hours worked and to inform the appropriate person if you are close to your 40 hour a week limit.

The Schedule

HomeBase is our scheduling lifeline. Use it to:

  • view your weekly schedule
  • get automatic notifications when a new schedule is posted
  • set your availability
  • request time off
  • trade shifts with fellow employees
  • view your hours worked for the current pay period
  • get reminders of your upcoming shifts
  • import your work calendar onto your personal calendar automatically
  • clock in and out when you are working

Scheduled Duties

Optimism is a very different environment than most work places. Everyone is a brewery worker, and there is no regimented hierarchy or walled off gardens of specialization. We believe everyone should know how to do every job at the brewery, so if you see a need, you can fill it. To that end, we don't have specific job titles or assignments. You may be scheduled to brew a beer or to do cellar work or to work in the Tasting Room, but we all have to be ready to switch roles as needed.

The team working in the tasting room will need to self-organize to pull off service. During the day, we need (it is a guess at this point) two to three people to pour beer, run the cash register and do bussing/washing of glassware. During the busiest nights we plan to have two people pouring beer, one person working the register, and one person bussing and washing glassware. The team assigned to do this work can switch off as needed so no one is bored.

Time Clock

Team members can use their own phone or the iPad at the counter to clock in and out for shifts, rest and meal breaks. We trust you to record your time worked. If you ever need assistance with your time card or feel that there was an error in your paycheck please see Gerene or Gay.

Sick Days

It is pretty simple: don't work if you are sick. It isn't good for you, the brewery team, or our visitors. Please let the appropriate people know asap that you will not be able to work your scheduled shift. We ask that you help find a fellow team member to work your scheduled shift, if you are physically able to. You can view who is available and their contact information through HomeBase.

You can use your Flex time to be paid for shifts when you are sick. If you are able to swap shifts, you don't need to. Use of your Flex time is up to you.


All team members will be paid on a bi-weekly basis via direct deposit only. Pay periods run from Wednesday through the following Tuesday, with pay checks being issued the Friday after the close of the pay period. It is your responsibility to make sure that your timesheet in HomeBase is accurate. If you find an error, please let Gerene or Gay know asap.

Leave Benefits

Flex Time

Time away from work, spent with your friends and family is a great thing. Time away from work that you get paid for is even better! All employees accrue Flex time starting their first day of employment. For full time employees in their first year of service this will amount to 15 paid days off per year.

Flex time may be used for any reason including, vacations, personal time, sick and safe time, family leave, etc. Flex time use (other than unexpected sick time) requires advance approval through HomeBase. Please request your Flex time use at least two weeks in advance.

You may accrue and carry a maximum of 2 years worth of Flex time. The time won't expire, but we will make you take it. You need a vacation sometime.

Your Birthday Holiday

Happy Birthday! As a gift to you from Optimism, all employees will receive their birthday off and be paid for it. Relax and celebrate you!

In the event that we are not open on your birthday day, you will simply be paid as if you worked (bonus!) or you can request to take a different scheduled shift off during the week of your birthday to celebrate instead, just work with your team to schedule it two weeks in advance.


Go be with your family and friends and drink beer. We are not open this day, but we pay you for a full day.

Parental Leave

We love kids, but we know from experience they are very difficult, especially the first few months. You will be tired from interrupted sleep, so we offer 4 weeks of paid leave and up to 8 weeks additional unpaid leave, to care for a newborn, adopted or foster child. This benefit will go into effect 12 months after your hire date. If you would like to take advantage of this benefit please talk to the appropriate person on your team as far in advance as possible, because scheduling a long leave will take effort.



Jury Duty

Brewery Workers who are selected for jury duty should let Gerene and Gay know as soon as they receive their jury summons. Time off for jury duty is unpaid, but with notice, we should be able to rearrange your schedule to accommidate jury duty, so you could work evening and weekend hours. You can also use your Flex time.

Other Benefits

Health Insurance


  • we will provide Health Insurance to our all of our full time workers
  • We will ask everyone to pay a nominal amount to be covered, e.g. $25/pay period, so that everyone has a stake in the coverage.
  • Workers may buy covereage for their dependents

It will most likely be a HSA plan. We prefer HSAs for a lot of reasons:

  • HSAs allow you to use any contributions for many medical needs that regular heath insurance does not cover, e.g. over the counter medicines or vision.
  • All contributions to an HSA are pre-tax, rollover year to year, and can be used on any member of the family.
  • HSAs put you in control of your health benefits and can accrue to a year when you really need to use them.

Cheap (not free) Beer

It is illegal to give away beer for free in the State of Washington. Thank you Prohibition-era laws. Even giving away samples is actually illegal, though most breweries and bars still do it. We have a different outlook though. As a policy, we want to have respect for the product that we all make and be conscious of the fact that every glass is made of ingredients which cost money and made by the labor of our team. So you are welcome to buy as much Optimism beer as you want and you will always pay our cost to make it. Take a keg home, at cost. Your friends and family pay your discount rate whenever they are accompanied by you.


Other Policies

Dress code

Our dress code is simple: Wear any Optimism logo apparel or an Optimism nametag when you are working. We want our visitors to be able to easily identify the people who work here. We take pride in the product that we make and serve, and we reflect that to ourselves and our visitors by the way we dress and act. We are a team like any sports team, so we dress up for the game. It sets us apart from the other team and shows our pride in what we do.

We trust you to know what is appropriate clothing for working in a brewery. We don't want to set rules like khakis and white shirts, but there are some safety guidelines for the kind of clothing you should wear when brewing and packaging in particular, e.g. denim or canvas pants, ASTM2314 shoes (that means steel-toed, non-slip, etc.), nothing with straps or pieces that could get caught in machinery, etc. Please refer to the section on Safety. [GAY NEED LINK HERE]


Optimism is a smoke- and tobacco-free workplace. If you would like to smoke during your break, please find a location that is off of Optimism property and not within view of our Visitors. Please also wash your hands before returning to work.


Hey everyone lives on their phones, but please not at work (unless it is for work), and especially not when you are working the Tasting Room. Taking a call or reading a text or browsing the internet in front of a visitor communicates that Optimism doesn't care about its guests. Set your phone on vibrate -- visitors should never have a ringing phone interupt their service. Our visitors should always come first.

If your wife is having a baby or have a real emergency and need to immediately take a call, please try to get out of sight of our visitors before taking the call. Otherwise, you may find that it is simply easier to leave your phone in the staff area in order to not be distracted by it. Catch up on your break times, that is what they are for.

Socializing at Optimism

We like to think that Optimism is a pretty great place not only to work but to socialize as well! Optimism team members are welcome to have beers in the Tasting Room after their shift ends or on days off. We have a few very simple guidelines to ensure a welcoming environment for everyone: * All beers have to go through our register * All beers are poured by another Optimism team member that is clocked in. That is the law, you should never pour your own beer, even if you think you are saving someone else the time. * If you have Optimism logo wear on, visitors might assume you are still working. The answer should never be "I'm not on duty right now." Be gracious and use common sense.

Drugs and Alcohol

Don't do drugs at work. Even though marijuana is legal to possess, don't bring it to or be on it at work. Same goes for every illegal drug.

We make beer, and there will be times you need to taste beer at work or drink beer at company events, but otherwise don't drink beer while you are working. Obviously alcohol can impair your ability to do your job well, and we work with dangerous chemicals and equipment. And, do we even need to say this: don't get drunk when you are representing the Optimism. Have fun, but not too much fun.

Internet Use

You will be given an Optimism email address to use for work communications and our internet service while you are at work. You should know that we can read all of your email at this address, and keep your personal email on a different account. Don't use the internet at work to do illegal or dumb stuff. Do that at home.

Talking about Optimism

If you love your job or our products, please shout it to the rooftops. ;) If you don't like something at work, come talk to the people that are in the position to help fix it. You have free speech, but don't expect to keep your job if you are libeling the company. This is just not how good sports teams work. If someone on the team has a problem they work it out with the coaches and managers, not by airing dirty laundry.

Talking about Competitors, Customers or Our Partners

There will be times when you are on social media or in real life when your responses will be seen as representing the company. Just ask yourself if what you saying is in line with Optimism's core values and standard of service.

We are not out to control what you say about your cat or your mom or your politics or whatever. The place where this gets sticky is if you say something negative about or are inconsiderate to a competitor, customer or an industry partner. Optimism brewery workers never talk negatively about others. If you dislike another brewery or their beers, keep your opinion to yourself. Bashing other breweries or customers is unprofessional and bad for the industry. Just find something positive to say, if you are asked -- remember we are "glass-half-full" people.

Accepting Gifts

Should you accept a T-shirt or a mug? Sure. Should you accept a free trip to Belgium from a distributor that wants our business? No. Even if you knew it wouldn't influence your decision to work with them, if they were selectd, it would seem to have. Any easy bright line is: do not except gifts from customers or partners over $100 in value.

When it comes to beer from other breweries and bars or restaurants, there is a "trade alike" commraderie that exists in the industry. We buy them beers and they give us beers. If you are at another brewery and they offer you a free beer, you should make every effort to pay for that beer. If there is anyone that knows what the value of effort and dollars that went into that product it is a fellow brewer. As a fellow brewer we show our respect for our colleagues and their products by paying for it. If they insist, be gracious and accept the gift, but be sure to tip -- in fact, over tip -- the staff for their efforts.


Your training as an Optimism team member will stretch from your first day with the company to your last. In addition to the new hire training program you will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational opportunities throughout your employment at Optimism Brewing Company.

There are a couple of requirements:

Cicerone Beer Server Certification

All brewery workers must be Ciccerone Certified Beer Servers. We feel this base level of beer knowledge is critical for our staff and shows our commitment to respecting how we serve. We will help you train for the exam and pay for it. We expect everyone to have passed the test within the first month of employement.

Washington Mast Certification

All employees of Optimism Brewing Co must successfully complete their obtain their MAST permit to serve alcohol before they start working in the brewery.

Open Door Policy

At Optimism Brewing Company we value each team member and strive to provide a positive work experience for everyone. We have an open door policy and take all employee concerns and problems seriously. Team members are encouraged to bring any workplace concerns or problems they might have or know about to Troy, Gay or Gerene.