Explore recent Staff Handbook policy updates and changes
During 2023, there have been several Staff Handbook policy enhancements. In case anyone missed them, Human Resources would like to recap the updates and changes below.
Employees are permitted up to five workdays off with pay per occurrence of the death of an immediate family member. The definition here of immediate family members includes spouse, domestic partner, children, parents, and siblings, as well as step-relationships in these categories. A maximum of three workdays off with pay is allowed in the event of the death of a parent-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, guardian, or other family member of the same household. One day is allowed to attend the funeral of another close relative.
Staff are expected to arrange bereavement leave directly with supervisors and may, with permission, augment it with accrued vacation or personal days. Bereavement time must be recorded on the employee’s timecard.
The waiting period for full-time employees has been reduced from five years to three years. In addition, due to import and export changes by the Tuition Exchange Program, the seniority and lottery section of the policy has been removed. All eligible employees and dependents will be allowed to apply for the scholarship. Each school still has their own selection and awarding criteria, so scholarships are not guaranteed.
Tuition benefits have been updated. There is a pilot registration process for graduate-level courses for the 2023-24 academic year. Employees may register on a space-available basis as soon as the registration period is open and the tuition benefit form has been approved by HR and the employee has paid the registration and any course fees. In addition, employees working at least 1,000 hours per calendar year will be eligible for full tuition benefits — with current guidelines – two courses per semester, waiting periods, etc. — and CAGS is no longer excluded for employees and may be counted under the policy as the employee’s “one certificate of graduate studies.”
As of July 1, 2023, a floating holiday will be provided to current, regular full and part-time employees for use during the remainder of 2023. Beginning in 2024, a floating holiday will be provided to eligible employees in January of each year for use through the calendar year.
The floating holiday may be used for religious or cultural holidays, employee birthdays, or other state or federal holidays during which the University remains open. Requests to use a floating holiday must be scheduled and approved in advance by the employee’s immediate supervisor.
The floating holiday may not be used during an employee’s orientation period and may not carry over from one calendar year to the next. Floating holiday hours are not counted towards overtime calculations and staff are not compensated for unused floating holiday hours when they leave the University. Additionally, the University does not advance floating holidays nor allow an employee’s leave account to have a negative balance. Employees are only allowed to utilize earned leave time.
Regular part-time staff who work at least 20-hours per week, and those who work less than 5-days per week, receive a prorated floating holiday hours allocation. Prorated leave allocation is calculated by the number of hours an employee is scheduled to work per week, as defined in their offer letter, divided by 5 days per week. Other part-time employees are not currently eligible for floating holiday hours.
Example: An employee works 25 hours per week. Monday and Tuesday they work 9 hours per day; Thursday, they work 7 hours, totaling 25 hours per week. 25 hours/5 days per week = 5 hours of floating holiday time.
Beginning on July 1, 2023, there will be a new time type available in the timecard system that should be selected when using floating holidays, labeled as “Floating Holiday.” Please refer to the updated staff handbook for additional information.
Alternative Work Arrangements
In support of the University’s commitment to maintaining a healthy work-life balance for all employees, an official alternative work arrangements policy was released in February 2023 making flexible work hours (flex time) and a hybrid work schedule (partial remote work) available to eligible employees.
Other policies also updated this year: