OLPM

USY.V  Personnel Policies
(Note: OLPM sections on this page may be cited following the format of, for example, "USY.V.A.4.1.1". These policies may be amended at any time, do not constitute an employment contract, and are provided here only for ease of reference and without any warranty of accuracy. See OLPM Main Menu for details.)

A. Employee Benefits

4.   Benefits Available to Status Faculty and Staff

4.1   Description. All status USNH employees are eligible to participate in the benefits plans described below. Effective January 1, 2014, status employees of the School of Law shall be eligible to participate in the following System benefit plans as appropriate to their employee category: USY.V.A.4.9, Paid Holiday Leave; USY.V.A.4.10 Earned Time; USY.V.A.4.11 Vacation/Personal Leave; and USY.V.A.4.12, Sick Leave. The percent time of appointment and/or salary may determine the employee contribution amounts. Research and clinical faculty with appointments between 50-75% may be eligible for benefits on a pro-rated basis. Information regarding such appointments is available at the campus Human Resources Office.

4.1.1   Visiting faculty and job exchange.

4.1.1.1   Visiting faculty members who are not eligible to retain their home institution's benefits are eligible to participate in the USNH benefits program if they are appointed 75% time or more.

4.1.1.2   Visiting faculty members appointed at least half-time for the full academic year who are eligible to retain their home institution's benefits are not eligible to participate in the USNH benefits program. However, they and their dependents are eligible for the tuition waiver.

4.1.1.3   In cases where a visiting faculty member retains his/her home institutions benefits but is unable to retain the medical benefits portion of the program, he/she will be provided that coverage (Option B) by USNH. Contributions are outlined in USY V.A.4.3.3.4.

4.1.1.4   Job Exchange. A faculty or staff member on an exchange program at USNH is expected to retain the benefits of his/her home institution. However, his/her spouse and dependent children are eligible for the tuition waiver portion of the benefits program.

4.1.1.4.1   In cases where the medical benefits plan from the home institution is not transferable, the faculty/staff member on the exchange program will be provided Option B medical coverage by USNH. Contributions are outlined in USY V.A.4.3.3.4.

4.2   Eligibility for Benefits. USNH definitions for coverage of spouses and/or dependents are defined in plan summary documents for each benefit. Those documents will include coverage for the spouse or partner (and the dependents of such spouse or partner) of USNH employees who are legally married or legally civil-unioned1, or who have received a hardship exception pursuant to USY V.A.4.2.1, as provided below. Civil union partners and domestic partners who are eligible under the hardship exception are considered equivalent to a legally-recognized spouse for the purposes of USNH policies. The requirements to submit documentation of a civil union or marriage will be administered in the same way. Summary plan documents for medical benefits also include a description of a one-time new hire option for medical coverage for 60 days for those same sex partners who move to NH upon hire from a state which does not have a civil union or civil marriage option.

4.2.1   A benefits-eligible USNH employee may apply for a hardship exception to the above eligibility requirement that compels them to be in a legally-recognized marriage or civil union in order to obtain benefits for their domestic partner. Application for a hardship exception must provide appropriate details and documentation of the circumstances that warrant a hardship exception. Hardship exceptions will be granted only for a set period of time, after which the employee must re-establish that the conditions which give rise to the hardship continue to exist. Hardship exceptions will only be granted where:

4.2.1.1   The USNH employee is legally resident in a jurisdiction that does not allow their marriage or civil union;

4.2.1.2   Marriage or civil union would result in the USNH employee or their domestic partner losing a cognizable legal right or privilege that would not be lost but for the sexual orientation of the partners to the marriage or civil union (e.g., eligibility for military service); or

4.2.1.3   Circumstances exist that constitute an undue hardship to warrant exception to the requirement that the employee enter into a marriage or civil union. The determination as to whether an undue hardship exists under this section will be determined by a three-person committee established for each USNH institution, which will include a member of USNH Human Resources, the institution's Human Resources, and another member of the institution.

4.2.2   Applications for a hardship exception must include an affidavit certifying that the relationship meets the following criteria:

4.2.2.1   The partners have been each other's sole partner for at least six (6) months and plan to remain so indefinitely;

4.2.2.2   Either (a) the employee is legally resident in a jurisdiction that does not allow their marriage or civil union; (b) marriage or civil union would result in the employee or their domestic partner losing a cognizable legal right or privilege that would not be lost but for the sexual orientation of the partners to the marriage or civil union; or (c) circumstances exist that constitute an undue hardship to warrant exception to the requirement that the employee enter into a marriage or civil union. The applicant must provide appropriate details and documentation related to this section.

4.2.2.3   Neither partner is legally married or civil-unioned to another individual, and their relationship is otherwise eligible for recognition as a legal marriage or civil union under the law of the State of New Hampshire (e.g., neither party is a minor nor are the parties related by blood to a degree that would prohibit marriage or civil union);

4.2.2.4   The partners are each at least eighteen (18) years of age and are mentally competent to consent to contract;

4.2.2.5   The partners are responsible for each other's common welfare and financial obligations as defined in the section on procedural requirements.

4.2.3   The USNH Human Resources office shall establish a procedure to register eligible domestic partnerships that have been approved for a hardship exception. This will include a partnership form requiring the signature of both partners which shall be notarized.

4.2.3.1   The affidavit must indicate two (2) forms of evidence of responsibility for each other's common welfare and financial obligations, from the following list (items a-e): a) a legally executed domestic partnership agreement or contract; b) joint mortgage or joint ownership of primary residence; c) two (2) items from the following: (c.1) joint title to a motor vehicle; (c.2) joint banking account; (c.3) joint credit account; (c.4) joint lease; d) designation of the domestic partner as primary beneficiary on the employee's will, retirement contract or life insurance; e) designation of the domestic partner in durable property or health care powers of attorney.

4.2.4   Submission of application and affidavit. The completed application for hardship exception and affidavit will be submitted at the campus Human Resources Office or USNH Human Resources Office.

4.2.4.1   Upon submission, the application and affidavit will be reviewed for accuracy and completeness, compliance with policy, for notarization of the affidavit, and for indication of evidence of hardship pursuant to USY V.A.4.2.1 and of responsibility for common welfare and financial obligations.

4.2.5   Termination of Domestic Partnership

4.2.5.1   Any employee who is receiving benefits in a domestic partnership pursuant to a hardship exception under USY V.A.4.2.1 will notify the campus Human Resources Office or USNH Human Resources Office of the termination of a domestic partnership by completing the form "Termination of Domestic Partnership" within thirty (30) days of the termination of the partnership.

4.2.5.2   The written termination statement affirms that a copy of the termination statement has been mailed to the other partner.

4.2.5.3   The original is to be filed at the campus Human Resources Office or System Human Resources Office.

4.2.5.4   By USNH policy, a domestic partner is eligible for COBRA medical and dental options upon termination of the domestic partnership.

4.2.6   Taxation. The University System will comply with all state and federal laws regarding the taxation of employee benefits.

4.2.7   Change in Law. In the event that applicable state or federal law (or the law of any other applicable jurisdiction) is changed so as to impede the intent of USY V.A.4.2 to provide access to medical and dental benefits without regard to employees’ sexual orientation, USNH and its component institutions will endeavor to achieve this intent under the existing law.

4.3   Flexible Benefit Plan

4.3.1   Authority. The USNH Human Resources Office shall establish a flexible benefits plan. The plan shall provide eligible faculty/staff members with an opportunity to select coverage and plan features from a variety of medical, dental, life and long-term disability options as well as opportunities for a Flexible Spending Account for medical expenses not covered by the plan and/or for child care expenses.

4.3.1.1   The USNH Human Resources Office shall establish the design, terms and conditions of each plan, the conditions and time frames for open enrollment, plan year dates, and Flexible Benefits coverage options, and shall be responsible for selection and contracting of vendors for the Flexible Benefits Plan.

4.3.1.2   Premium rates are set annually, based on market costs.

4.3.2   Definition. The USNH Flexible Benefits Plan includes options for medical, dental, life, long-term disability insurance and Flexible Spending accounts. Plan details are described in flexible benefit materials. The plan is a 125 plan under IRS regulations which allows employee benefit contributions to be made on a pre-tax basis, and the plan is subject to other federal laws and regulations.

4.3.3   Contributions

4.3.3.1   Each plan shall have a core-coverage "Option B" that represents the standard for USNH's contributions.

4.3.3.2   USNH contributions to other options, (medical options C, D and E, dental option C, life options C and D and disability option C) shall be the same as to the core Option B plan or the actual premium, whichever is less. The employee shall contribute the difference when applicable.

4.3.3.3   Employees may also select medical, dental, life, and long term disability options that provide less coverage than the core benefit plans but require no employee contribution. The medical and dental plans offer the option of no coverage.

4.3.3.4   Employee/employer contribution for medical plans under the flexible benefit plan and any other medical plans with premiums below that of USNH's standard plan, Plan B, are based on the cost sharing formula described below. Any plan with premium or cost in excess of the standard Plan B will have the same contribution percentage as that for Plan B. These are the contribution rates in effect as of January 1, 2009:

USY V.A.4.3.3.4 Plan/Coverage Chart

4.3.3.5   Other Flexible Benefits. There are no employee contributions required for the flexible benefit individual Option B dental, life and long term disability plan.

4.3.3.6   Flexible Spending Accounts.(FSA's). Faculty and staff enrolled in flexible benefit plans may choose a health care and/or dependent care FSA and set aside a fixed amount of their pre-tax wages in a calendar year to an account for reimbursement of qualified expenses, such as uncovered medical expenses or child care.

4.3.3.6.1   The faculty/staff member must make an annual election during benefit open enrollment and/or upon hire or eligibility.

4.3.4   Effective Date of Benefits Coverage for Medical, Dental, Life Insurance, Long Term Disability and Flexible Spending Accounts. Flexible benefits and enrollment in a Flexible Spending Account will be effective the first day of the month following the date of appointment if the faculty/staff member completes enrollment within 30 days of her/his appointment date. If enrollment is completed between the 31st and 60th day, benefits are effective the first day of the month following completion of enrollment.

4.3.4.1   If the faculty/staff member fails to meet the enrollment deadlines as noted above, he/she shall not receive benefit coverage. The faculty/staff member may enroll during the next period of open enrollment.

4.3.4.2   Last Day of Benefits Coverage. When a faculty or staff member terminates, the last day of active service is considered the benefits termination date. Active service is exclusive of any type of paid or unpaid leave (including sick, vacation, or Earned Time) as well as non-work periods for flex-year employees and academic year faculty.

4.3.5   Enrollment. Once each year, faculty and staff members will be given the opportunity to make changes or initially select their plan options for medical, dental, life, long term disability, and Flexible Spending Account selections. This period is called "open enrollment" and lasts approximately 30 days. It occurs in the fall of each year with new coverage effective on January 1 of the following year.

4.3.5.1   Coverage selections made by a faculty/staff member are irrevocable during the plan year and may be changed only during the annual open enrollment, unless the faculty/staff member has a change in family status as noted in section USY V.A.4.3.6.

4.3.6   Change in Family Status. A change in family status is defined by IRS regulations and includes such events as marriage, divorce or legal separation, the addition of a dependent by birth or adoption, gain or loss of spouse's employment, involuntary loss of spouse's medical coverage, death of a spouse or dependent, change in USNH employment status or taking an unpaid leave of absence (see USY V.C.16).

4.3.6.1   Faculty and Staff members must notify USNH of a change in status within 30 days of the qualifying event in order to be eligible to change their coverage selection. Changes in coverage must be consistent with the change in status and, based on proper notification, will be effective on the date of the event.

4.3.7   Leave Status. Employees on a paid or unpaid leave of absence are permitted to maintain their coverage in the Flexible Benefits Plan. When applicable, employees will be billed by the USNH Benefits Office for the appropriate employee/employer premium contributions.

4.4   Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance for Police and Public Safety Officers Killed in the Line of Duty

4.4.1   Description. If a USNH police or public safety officer dies while in the line of duty, a $100,000 death benefit will be paid to the beneficiary designated by the employee. If there is no designated beneficiary at the time of the employee's death for any amounts of benefits payable because of death, that amount will be paid to the employee’s estate. (See summary plan description for additional information.)

4.4.1.1   "Police officer" shall include all status USNH employees classified as Public Safety Officers I, II, III, IV, V or VI as well as Police Captains, Police Sergeants, Police Lieutenants, and Directors/Assistant Directors of Campus Safety and Security.

4.4.2   Eligibility. This benefit shall be paid in addition to any other benefits (such as Life Insurance and AD&D) the employee elected and enrolled in at USNH including any life insurance benefits provided by collective bargaining contract.

4.4.3   Contributions. There is no employee contribution for this benefit.

4.4.4   Enrollment in this benefit is automatic and begins the first day of appointment.

4.5   Other Insurance Benefits

4.5.1   Authority. The USNH Human Resources Office may establish insurance benefits in addition to the flexible benefit plan. These will have no employer contribution. These optional insurance plans may provide faculty/staff members with the opportunity to select coverage and plan features for such programs as additional life insurance, additional accidental death and dismemberment insurance, long-term care insurance, and short-term disability coverage. These programs are normally paid through employee payroll deductions.

4.6   Voluntary Retirement and Deferred Compensation Plans

4.6.1   USNH's 403(b) and 457 (b) Retirement Plan

4.6.1.1   Description. The University System of New Hampshire offers its eligible faculty and staff members the opportunity to participate in a 403(b) voluntary defined contribution retirement. The Summary of Plan Provisions describes plan information, including, but not limited to eligibility, enrollment, contribution levels, vesting (including breaks in service), beneficiaries, withdrawals, involuntary termination, additional retirement contributions, and annual limits. The Plan is subject to federal laws, such as the Internal Revenue Code (IRS) and other federal and state laws. The provisions of the Plan are subject to revision due to changes in laws or to pronouncement(s) by the IRS.

4.6.1.2   Enrollment. This is a voluntary retirement plan. Retirement contributions begin on the first day of the month following successful enrollment.

4.6.1.3   Contributions. Both the University System and the participant contribute a fixed percentage of regular budgeted salary. Faculty/Staff contribution options are outlined below. Plan participation and contributions, including changes in contribution level; begin the month following enrollment and/or change in the USNH Retirement Plan. Enrollment and other information is in the Retirement Summary Plan Provisions.

4.6.1.3.1   Effective December 1, 2012 contribution levels for those hired or enrolled in retirement on or after July 1, 2011.

4.6.1.3.1.1   Initial Contribution Level. The initial contribution level in the USNH Retirement Plan provides for the University System to contribute 6% and the participant to contribute 6%. After one full year of participation at the Initial Contribution Level, the University System contribution will increase to the Standard Contribution Level of 10%.

4.6.1.3.1.2   Standard Contribution Level. The standard contribution level provides for the University System to contribute 10% and the participant to contribute 6%.

4.6.1.3.1.3   Alternate Contribution Level. The alternate contribution level provides for the University System to contribute 4% and the participant to contribute 2.5%.

4.6.1.3.1.4   Middle Contribution Level. The middle contribution level provides for the University System to contribute 6% and the participant to contribute 4%.

4.6.1.3.2   Effective December 1, 2012 contribution levels for those hired and enrolled in retirement prior to July 1, 2011.

4.6.1.3.2.1   Initial Contribution Level. The initial contribution level in the USNH Retirement Plan provides for the University System to contribute 5% plus ARC (see USY V.A.4.6.1.3.2.5) and the participant to contribute 6%. After one full year of participation at the Initial Contribution Level, the University System contribution will increase to the Standard Contribution Level of 10% plus 1% ARC.

4.6.1.3.2.2   Standard Contribution Level. The standard contribution level provides for the University System to contribute 10% if the participant elected MCP, or 10% plus 1% if the participant elected ARC, and the participant to contribute 6%.

4.6.1.3.2.3   Alternate Contribution Level. The alternate contribution level provides for the University System to contribute 4% if the participant elected MCP or 4% plus 1% if the participant elected ARC, and the participant to contribute 2.5%.

4.6.1.3.2.4   Middle Contribution Level. The middle contribution level provides for the University System of contribute 6% and if the participant elected MCP or 6% plus 1% if the participant elected ARC, and the participant to contribute 4%.

4.6.1.3.2.5   Additional Retirement Contribution (ARC). In 1994 benefits-eligible faculty and staff members hired prior to 6/30/1994 had the opportunity to choose an additional 1% retirement contribution (ARC) made by USNH or the Medicare Complimentary Plan. Those who chose ARC and those hired and enrolled between 1994 and June 30, 2011 receive this additional 1% USNH contribution to their retirement plans.

4.6.1.3.3   Contribution based on Salary over the IRS Permitted Level. The USNH does not consider regular budgeted salary in excess of the IRS prescribed limit (in 2011 this limit was $245,000), the limit is indexed for inflation per IRS Section 401(a)(17)B for the purpose of calculating contributions to the USNH's defined contribution retirement plan. The difference between the amount contributed based on the salary maximum above and the amount the employee is eligible for based on their regular budgeted salary will be contributed into a personal annuity.

4.6.1.3.4   Vesting of contributions. Faculty and staff are fully and immediately vested in the accrued benefits arising from their contributions. For purposes of vesting of employer contributions, years of service begins when a status faculty/staff member starts contributing to the retirement plan at a level, either 6% or 2.5%, which is matched by a USNH contribution. After 3 years or more of service as defined above, the faculty/staff member is 100% vested in the employer contributions.

4.7   Tuition Benefit Plan

4.7.1   Authority. The USNH Human Resources Office shall be responsible for the development of tuition policy and administration of the tuition benefit plan.

4.7.1.1   The campus Human Resources Office is responsible for determining eligibility for tuition benefits for faculty/staff members and spouse or dependent children.

4.7.1.2   The Vice President/Dean of Student Affairs will verify eligibility of campus chaplain and ROTC personnel, spouses, and their dependent children by providing a list of eligible participants to the campus office responsible for personnel administration no later than the Monday preceding the first day of classes.

4.7.2   Faculty/Staff Tuition Benefits

4.7.2.1   Description. For faculty and staff members, the tuition benefit covers enrollment in any regular credit courses offered by USNH institutions with a USNH course identifier, and where the tuition is paid to a USNH entity. This benefit includes full employer paid coverage at the in-state rate of tuition (equals the tuition rate charged to New Hampshire residents and varies by institution and program) for both the courses (at the rate indicated below) and any mandatory fees that all students are assessed as a prerequisite for registration, unless specifically exempt. The costs for food and/or accommodations are not covered.

4.7.2.1.1   Non-credit Course Benefit. The plan also provides a 50% tuition benefit for non-credit courses for employees only. Mandatory fees for non-credit courses that all students are assessed as a prerequisite for registration, unless specifically exempt, will be paid under this benefit. The costs for food and/or accommodations are not covered. The benefit is included with the total number of courses permitted and outlined in USY V.A.4.7.2.1.3. (Effective 6/1/93)

4.7.2.1.2   The tuition plan does not apply to institutes or courses offered by other educational institutions on campuses of the University System of New Hampshire.

4.7.2.1.3   Coverage. The level of coverage for the tuition benefit (payment for courses - credit and/or noncredit) is up to five (5) courses in a fiscal year. Part-time Clinical Faculty with status appointments of at least 50% are eligible for the tuition benefit.

4.7.2.1.4   The basic measure of the tuition benefit is by course rather than by credit hour. For example, both a two-hour course and a four-hour course will count as one (1) course.

4.7.2.1.5   If a faculty/staff member chooses to enroll for more courses/credits than those provided for in USY V.A.4.7.2.1.3 above, he/she will be charged for the additional tuition at the in-state rate.

4.7.2.2   Eligibility. A faculty/staff member is eligible for the tuition benefit following successful completion of the initial introductory period following employment in a benefits eligible position (see USY V.C.8.1.4). For faculty, for purposes of this policy, the completion of the initial introductory period shall mean following two (2) semesters of benefits eligible employment. A faculty or staff member must be employed in a benefits eligible position for one year on or before the first day of classes in the semester for which application is made for a tuition benefit for his/her spouse/dependents (see USY V.A.4.7.3). Flex-year employees remain eligible for tuition benefits during periods of non-active service.

4.7.2.2.1   Approval by the employee's supervisor is required in order for a staff member to enroll in a course that is scheduled to meet during the staff member's normal work hours.

4.7.2.2.2   The employee tuition benefits and/or family tuition benefits are also available to campus chaplains and ROTC personnel, spouses, and their dependent children in accordance with the terms and conditions as outlined in this policy.

4.7.3   Spouse and Dependent Children Tuition Benefit

4.7.3.1   Description. The spouse and dependent children of full-time status faculty/staff members may enroll in any of the regular credit courses offered by the University System of New Hampshire at one-half of the current in-state tuition rate. The tuition benefit policy applies to official student exchange programs (has a USNH course identifier, and the tuition is paid to a USNH entity), in which the student remains fully registered at his/her home institution and also covers administrative fees paid by students in the junior year abroad program.

4.7.3.1.1   This benefit is not cumulative; that is, if both father and mother are employed by USNH, one-half of the current in-state tuition for their dependent child or children must be paid.

4.7.3.1.2   The tuition paid by the employer is prorated for the spouse and dependent children of flex year employees and is equal to the faculty/staff member's percent time of appointment. Example: The spouse of a faculty/staff member with a 75% time appointment is eligible for a tuition payment by the employer equal to 75% of one-half of the in state tuition rate.

4.7.3.2   Eligibility -- Children. For the purposes of this benefit, children are considered dependent if, at the time of class registration, they are unmarried, have not reached the age of 24, and are dependent on the faculty/staff member for more than half of their financial support.

4.7.3.3   Eligibility -- Spouse. For the purpose of this benefit, a spouse is any person who is legally defined as a "spouse" by the State of New Hampshire or domestic partner as defined by USNH policy.

4.7.4   Employer Paid Tuition Benefits for Children of Deceased Faculty/Staff Members. Children of deceased faculty/staff members who, at time of death, were either a tenured faculty member or had been employed in a status position for at least five (5) years are entitled to the same educational benefit as indicated above.

4.7.5   Termination. A faculty or staff member who terminates during a semester, in which the educational benefit is being used, shall be responsible for a pro-rated portion of the benefit provided to the employee, spouse and/or dependent children (see USY V.F.10.4.12).

4.7.6   Taxability. The University System will comply with all state and federal laws regarding the taxation of tuition benefits.

4.8   Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP provides counseling, assessments and referrals to outside professional resources for faculty/staff members and their eligible family members to assist in resolving problems such as alcoholism, drug abuse, marital conflicts, and job performance issues (see also USY V.D.5.4).

4.8.1   Contributions. The University System of New Hampshire assumes the cost of the EAP.

4.8.2   Eligibility. All status faculty and staff, their spouses, civil union partners or domestic partners who have received a hardship exception are eligible to participate in the Employee Assistance Program.

4.8.3   Coverage. The faculty or staff member, her/his spouse, civil union partner or domestic partner, and dependent children will receive a number of free visits to the EAP for each situation.

4.9   Paid Holiday Leave

4.9.1   Authority. The Board of Trustees has authorized paid leave for 11 holidays and designated eight common holidays. The three additional days designated as floating holidays will be determined by each institution's Chief Executive Officer and communicated to the USNH Director of Human Resources by September 1 for the following calendar year.

4.9.2   Designated paid holidays. The following days are designated as common holidays, and all facilities will be closed except for essential operations: New Year's Day; Martin Luther King Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Veteran's Day; Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

4.9.3   Eligibility. To receive paid holiday leave, a faculty/staff member must hold a status appointment; her/his appointment dates must encompass the holiday, and s/he must not be in a leave without pay situation immediately prior to or following a holiday. If a faculty/staff member is on paid leave when a designated holiday occurs, he or she will receive paid holiday leave, and the time will not be charged as vacation leave or earned time.

4.9.3.1   Percent time appointments. A faculty/staff member appointed in a status position of at least 75% time earns holiday benefits based on his/her percent time of appointment, based on the staff member's working schedule and when the holidays fall (see USY V.F.5.2).

4.9.3.2   Academic Year Faculty. Holidays for faculty members with academic year appointments are determined by the academic year calendar (see also USY V.A.4.11.1.1).

4.9.4   Holidays occurring on weekends. For those faculty and staff members who normally work from Monday through Friday, the following applies: when a common holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday is the official holiday, and when a common holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is the official holiday.

4.9.5   Special considerations for non-exempt operating staff. When a designated holiday falls on a full-time operating staff member's regularly scheduled day off, he/she may take the same number of holiday hours off with pay during the same or following week; or, if approved by the supervisor, be paid for the holiday hours (see USY V.F.7.3.6) to which s/he is entitled at his/her usual pay rate. (For percent time staff see USY V.F.5.2.2.1)

4.9.6   Special considerations for exempt faculty/staff. If an exempt faculty or staff member is required to work on a holiday, s/he will be granted another day off with pay in lieu of the holiday at a time approved by the supervisor.

4.10   Earned Time

4.10.1   Description. Earned Time is an alternative approach to the traditional manner of covering absences for vacation, sick leave, interim disability, maternity leave, and short term military leave by combining all these plans into one program. It provides for the pay off at termination or retirement of all unused hours. Instead of dividing benefits into a specific number of hours for each benefit, Earned Time puts these hours together into a single benefit. Earned Time can be used for a variety of purposes, including a payment in cash at the time of voluntary termination. Earned Time is available as soon as it is "earned." The exact amount of Earned Time accrued each year will depend on the years of service to the University System of New Hampshire.

4.10.2   Eligibility. All non-exempt employees who are employed in a status position.

4.10.3   Accrual Rate. Non-exempt staff members accumulate Earned Time based on the number of hours they work in their budgeted position and their number of years of status employment within the University System.

For the purpose of this policy, one year of employment will equal 12 consecutive months of employment from date of hire. Non-exempt staff members accumulate Earned Time based on pay status hours up to those hours budgeted, and worked for the position, and years of employment to the University System. There is no maximum accumulation of Earned Time.

Accrual Rate for those with current status employment start dates effective July 1, 2011 or later:

Years of Employment
Rate Earned Per Hour
Approx.  Days Per Month
At Least
Up To
Hire Date
12
.092
2.000
12 and over 12
.125
2.718

Accrual Rate for those with status employment start dates prior to July 1, 2011:

Years of Employment
Rate Earned Per Hour
Approx.  Days Per Month
At Least
Up To
Hire Date
6
.092
2.000
6
12
.111
2.416
12
18
.130
2.833
18 and Over
 
.149
3.250

For the purpose of this policy, one year of employment will equal 12 consecutive months of employment from date of hire in a status position. There is no maximum accumulation of Earned Time.

4.10.4   Usage. Earned Time may be used any time after being earned, including during the staff member's introductory period. It is expected that all planned absences will be mutually agreed upon by the staff member and his/her supervisor prior to the date of absence.

4.10.4.1   Increments. Earned Time may be used in units of one-quarter hour or more.

4.10.4.2   When Earned Time is used to cover work time lost due to illness or injury, medical documentation may be required at any time to substantiate an absence and/or to indicate the ability of the individual to return to work following an illness or injury (see USY V.C.12.2.1).

4.10.4.3   The use of Earned Time for extended illness or injury requires medical documentation and may indicate the need for use of the Family Medical Leave Act and the need to contact the System Human Resource Office for information concerning long-term disability (see USY V.A.8.1).

4.10.4.4   Minimum Usage. Minimum usage is calculated each pay period at 45% of the earned time accrued for that pay period. The total number of minimum usage hours derived from this calculation is compared to the total number of earned time hours used at the end of the fiscal year. If the minimum usage requirement has not been met by June 30, remaining minimum usage hours will be subtracted from the staff member's Earned Time balance prior to its being carried forward into the new fiscal year.

4.10.4.5   New Operating Staff hired prior to January 1 will be required to satisfy the minimum usage requirement by June 30 of the end of their first partial year of employment.

4.10.4.6   Computation of minimum usage will occur as of June 30 of each year. Employees with less than six months of service are exempt from minimum usage requirements.

4.10.4.7   Hours converted into the Sick Leave Pool do not count toward minimum usage requirements.

4.10.5   Sick Leave Pool

4.10.5.1   Description. The Sick Leave Pool is intended to provide additional security by allowing staff members the opportunity to exchange Earned Time hours for Sick Pool hours at the equivalent rate of three Sick Pool hours for each hour of Earned Time. Each institution establishes a one-month period each year for "open enrollment" in the Sick Leave Pool. In addition, an employee who completes her/his initial introductory period will then be allowed a 30 day period to convert accrued Earned Time hours to Sick Pool Time.

4.10.5.2   Sick Pool time is used for extended periods of illness or injury and is not eligible for pay off at retirement or termination. Earned Time benefits accrue only during the initial three weeks (15 working days) of each separate use of the Sick Leave Pool.

4.10.5.3   Usage of Sick Pool days commences with the sixth consecutive day of absence from work due to illness or injury. A physician's report must accompany the request to use Sick Pool time. Periodic updates from the staff member's physician may be required.

4.10.5.3.1   The Human Resources Office may grant an exception to the policy that requires the usage of the equivalent of five (5) Earned Time days before being permitted access to the Sick Pool when either of the following circumstances occur: (1) when an employee returns to work after using Sick Pool time but is disabled again within 10 working days, or (2) when the disability is certified by a physician to be the same as for the original use or from the same cause as the original Sick Pool usage.

4.10.5.4   It is not necessary to use up all Earned Time days before using Sick Pool time. The staff member may continue to use Sick Pool time until her/his accrued Sick Pool time is exhausted or until s/he is no longer disabled.

4.10.5.5   The maximum Sick Pool time a staff member may accumulate is the equivalent of 150 days (1,125 hours for staff on a 37.5 hour work week and 1,200 hours for those on a 40-hour work week). A staff member may add to her/his Sick Pool time once each fiscal year according to the procedures adopted by each individual institution.

4.10.5.6   The use of the Sick Pool may indicate the need for Family Medical Leave. After three months of absence from work, the staff member should contact the System Human Resources Office for information concerning long-term disability (see USY V.A.8.1).

4.10.5.7   Exhaustion of Earned Time/Sick Pool. A staff member on an approved absence who has used all Earned Time and Sick Pool time will be placed on leave without pay. If the illness/injury qualifies for FMLA leave, benefits will continue for the period of the family medical leave (see USY V.C.19). Other continuance of benefits during a leave without pay is set forth in USY V.C.16.

4.10.5.8   Position Status. When there is supporting medical documentation of a staff member's absence due to illness or injury, the University System will normally not terminate an individual from her/his position for six months from the first date of absence. For those individuals in their initial introductory period, the position will not be held unless the disability is due to pregnancy or covered by worker's compensation.

4.10.5.9   Return to Work. Following a period of absence due to illness/injury, medical documentation supporting the staff member's ability to perform the essential functions of the job is required prior to returning to work (see USY V.C.12.2.1).

4.10.5.10   Use of Sick Pool for family leave. Operating Staff with at least one year of benefits eligible service may use up to a maximum of 10 days of accrued Sick Pool time per fiscal year (75 hours for staff on a 37.5 hour work week and 80 hours for staff on a 40 hour work week prorated for staff working part-time) for family leave. This leave may be used for medical appointments, illness, or medical needs of an immediate family member; prenatal or postnatal care; or for purposes of caring for a new baby or adoptive/foster child after placement and/or for crime victim leave (see USY V.C.20.2). Access to the Sick Pool for the use of family or crime victim leave does not require the prior use of five earned time days.

4.10.5.10.1   Immediate family member is defined as spouse, parent, legally dependent child, or any person living in the staff member's household.

4.10.5.10.2   Bereavement leave. After supervisory notification, a staff member may use family leave for bereavement leave in the event of the death of an immediate family member. Bereavement leave follows the same parameters described in USY V.A.4.14, USY V.A.4.14.4 and USY V.A.4.14.5.

4.10.6   Record keeping. The institution is responsible for maintaining accurate records that verify the usage and current Earned Time/Sick Pool leave balances of each staff member.

4.10.7   Cash-out of Earned Time Hours. Cash-out of Earned Time Hours. Operating staff have the opportunity during a predesignated month once a fiscal year to cash-out up to a maximum of 40 hours of earned time, based on the Operating Staff member's work week base. The Operating Staff member's cash out hours will be paid at the hourly rate in effect for her/him at the time of the cash-out. Any hours cashed-out do not count towards the Earned Time minimum usage requirement.

4.10.7.1   Eligibility. Operating Staff who have completed their initial introductory period will be eligible to participate in the annual cash-out option.

4.10.7.2   Conditions.

4.10.7.2.1   Each USNH institution shall determine what month in the fiscal year the cash-out option will be available to its Operating Staff, will pay within 60 days of a cash-out request, and will maintain records of all cash-outs and subsequent adjustments of accrued earned time.

4.10.7.2.2   Cash-out payments must be made in the same calendar year they are requested.

4.10.7.2.3   Cash-out payments are subject to taxation. (See USNH Financial Procedures for specifics regarding payments and taxes, http://finadmin.usnh.edu/pol_proc/chapter_08/pro08-008.aspx)

4.10.7.2.4   The staff member must have a minimum of 24 hours of Earned Time remaining following the cash-out.

4.10.8   Payoff at Termination, including Retirement. In no instance shall Earned Time be used to extend employment beyond the last day of work. Earned Time is paid off at the base rate of pay at time of termination. The value of longevity is not calculated in the payment of Earned Time. All unused Earned Time, less any earned time needed to meet the minimum usage requirement (see USY V.A.4.10.4.4), will be paid off at the time of termination or retirement if the termination occurs under normal circumstances and does not involve an act of gross misconduct such as theft or immoral conduct. Staff members laid off may leave Earned Time intact pending recall.

4.10.9   Conversion from Earned Time to Vacation/Personal & Sick Time (For conversion from Vacation/Personal Leave & Sick Time to Earned Time see USY V.A.4.11.7)

4.10.9.1   When a staff member transfers, is promoted, or reclassified into an exempt status position, Earned Time benefits are converted using the following procedure:

4.10.9.1.1   If the staff member has a total Earned Time accumulation of the equivalent of twenty (20) or fewer days (160 hours), the total amount accumulated would be converted to Vacation/Personal Leave and transferred with the staff member.

4.10.9.1.2   For any Earned Time credit in excess of the equivalent of 20 days, an option allowing the remaining accumulation to be either transferred to Sick Leave or Vacation/Personal Leave or paid to the staff member is provided. In the event a staff member is promoted or transferred into a position that does not accumulate vacation, i.e., an AY faculty position, the staff member will be paid accumulated Earned Time.

4.10.9.1.3   Sick Pool Hours may be converted to the traditional Sick Leave program at the rate of the equivalent of three (3) Sick Pool Days (24 hours) for one Sick Leave Day.

4.11   Vacation/Personal Time

4.11.1   Eligibility. All members of the fiscal year faculty and exempt staff who are employed in a status position are eligible for vacation/personal time. Vacation/personal time is earned from the first day of employment and may be used after it is earned. Vacation/personal time is taken at a time mutually agreeable to the faculty or staff member and the supervisor.

4.11.1.1   Faculty. Vacations and holidays for faculty members with academic year appointments are determined by the academic year calendar. For those faculty members appointed on a fiscal year basis (12 months) reference USY V.A.4.11.2 for accrual rate.

4.11.2   Accrual Rate

4.11.2.1   The accrual rate for eligible Exempt Staff is one and a half (1.5) days per month for the first five years of status employment and two (2) days per month thereafter.

4.11.2.1.1   Exception. For those with a current status employment start date prior to July 1, 2011, the accrual rate will be two (2) days per month, including the first five years of status employment (see USY V.C.11 for Breaks in Service policy.)

4.11.3   Flex Year Appointments. Staff members with flex year status appointments earn vacation on a prorated basis.

4.11.4   Maximum Balance. The maximum balance at the end of each month is 45 days year, but the days accumulated over 30 days will have no cash value. The maximum number of days for payout at termination, including retirement, will be 30 days.

4.11.4.1   Staff members promoted or transferred into a new employee classification, i.e., Operating staff, PAT staff or Faculty are entitled to carry their accumulated vacation leave with them to the new position. In the event an employee is promoted or transferred into a position that does not accumulate vacation, i.e., an academic year faculty position, the employee will be paid off for their accumulated vacation/Earned Time prior to reporting to the new position. (For conversion of Earned Time to Vacation/Personal Leave, see USY V.A.4.10.8)

4.11.5   Vacation/Personal Leave Use. Exempt staff members may use vacation leave in increments of one-half day or more. Planned use of vacation/personal leave must have the approval of the supervisor prior to taking the leave. Vacation/personal leave time may be used without prior approval when personal emergencies prevent prior approval. In such cases, the staff member is responsible for notifying the supervisor of the absence due to a personal emergency. If the staff member's vacation/personal time includes an approved holiday, he/she will receive holiday pay, and the time will not be charged as vacation/personal leave.

4.11.5.1   Minimum usage. Staff members are required to take, and supervisors are required to grant, a minimum of 9 days of vacation/personal leave per year for staff with less than five years of service from date of hire/rehire and 12 days of vacation/personal leave per year for the staff with five or more years of service at times mutually agreeable. Minimum usage is calculated on a fiscal year basis, July 1 through June 30. If the minimum usage requirement has not been met by the end of the fiscal year, remaining minimum usage days will be subtracted from the staff member's vacation/personal leave balance prior to its being carried forward into the new fiscal year.

4.11.5.1.1   New staff members hired prior to January 1 will be required to satisfy the minimum usage requirement by June 30 of the end of their first partial year of employment. The minimum usage amount is calculated by counting .75 days of minimum usage for each month of employment prior to June 30. For the purpose of calculating minimum usage, a month is counted as a full month of employment if the staff member's date of hire is on or before the 15th of the month, or if the staff member terminates on or after the 16th of the month. If the minimum usage requirement has not been met by June 30, remaining minimum usage days will be subtracted from the staff member's vacation/personal leave balance prior to its being carried forward into the new fiscal year.

For example, a new staff member hired October 2 would need to use a minimum of 6 days by the following June 30. An employee hired July 5 would need to use a minimum of 12 days of vacation/personal leave. If the minimum usage requirement has not been met by June 30, remaining minimum usage days will be subtracted from the staff member's vacation/personal leave balance prior to its being carried forward into the new fiscal year. If the staff member hired October 2 used 4 days as of June 30, two days would be subtracted from the carry-forward leave balance into the next fiscal year.

Note: Employees with six months or less of service are exempt from minimum usage requirements for the fiscal year in which they were hired.

4.11.5.1.2   The minimum usage requirement is prorated for percent time staff members.

4.11.5.1.3   For the purpose of calculating the amount of vacation pay off at termination, minimum usage will be prorated through the date of termination, and any remaining minimum usage days will be subtracted from the staff member's vacation/personal leave balance.

4.11.5.2   Exempt staff members are encouraged to use vacation leave in increments of one-half day or more. Non-exempt staff shall use vacation in increments of one hour or more.

4.11.5.3   Vacation/Personal time may be used without prior approval when personal emergencies prevent prior approval. However, the employee is responsible for notifying the supervisor of the absence due to a personal emergency and any planned vacation time must be approved.

4.11.5.4   If the staff member's vacation/personal time includes an approved holiday, he/she will receive holiday pay and the time will not be charged as vacation/personal or Earned Time.

4.11.6   Vacation Pay off at Termination. In no instance shall vacation time be used to extend employment beyond the last day of work. All unused vacation time up to thirty days will be paid to the staff member or fiscal year faculty member (or his/her estate in the case of the individual's death) at the time of termination or retirement, if the termination occurs under normal circumstances and does not involve an act that demonstrates unfitness for continued employment within the University System, such as theft or immoral conduct.

4.11.7   Vacation at Layoff or Leave. Staff members may leave accumulated vacation intact pending recall if the nature of their absence from employment is layoff. In cases of unpaid leaves of absence, unused vacation will be carried forward through the period of the leave. If the staff member does not return to work any unused vacation will be paid at termination.

4.11.8   Conversion from vacation/personal and sick time to Earned Time. When a staff member transfers, is promoted or reclassified into a non-exempt position, vacation and sick leave are converted using the following procedure:

   •   Vacation/personal leave: Ratio 1 full-time day to 8 hours of Earned Time
   •   Sick leave (conversion pro-rated depending on years of service)

4.11.8.1   Conversion Table for Transfer of Existing Sick Leave into Earned Time/Sick Pool Days

Accumulated Sick Leave Years of Full-Time Service
  0-6 6-12 12-18 18+ Yrs.
0-50 days 1 day/8 hrs .75/8 hrs .50/8 hrs .25/8 hrs
51-99 days 1 day/8 hrs* .80/8 hrs .65/8 hrs .55/8 hrs
100+ days --- 1 day/8 hrs 1/8 hrs 1/8 hrs

*A special appeal will be allowed for employees whose sick leave converts at less than the 1:1 ratio. Where medical evidence exists to support high usage of sick leave, the 1:1 conversion may be authorized by the Campus Human Resources Director.

4.11.8.2   If the vacation/personal leave conversion exceeds 480 Earned Time hours, the additional hours will be automatically converted to Sick Pool hours. The maximum Sick Pool time is the equivalent of 150 days (1,125 hours for staff on a 37.5 hour work week and 1,200 hours for those on a 40-hour work week).Thus, if a staff member has a total conversion of 110 days or more, the staff member will begin the Earned Time program with 480 Earned Time hours and either 1,125 or 1,200 Sick Pool hours.

4.11.8.3   Prior to converting vacation/personal days to Earned Time hours, an exempt staff member may cash out up to five (5) vacation/personal days at the pre-conversion salary rate to bridge the gap between exempt and non-exempt pay schedules.

4.11.9   Record Keeping. It is the responsibility of each department to maintain accurate records that verify the usage and current vacation/sick time balances of each staff member. That information will be sent to the campus Human Resources department on a regular basis.

4.12   Sick Leave

4.12.1   Eligibility. Faculty and staff members with status appointments who are not covered by the Earned Time program (see USY V.A.4.10) are eligible for sick leave.

4.12.2   Description. Sick leave is designed to provide salary continuation for absences due to personal illness and injury or family leave as described below in USY V.A.4.12.2.2. Medical documentation may be required at any time to substantiate an absence and/or to indicate the ability of the individual to return to work following an illness or injury (see USY V.C.12).

4.12.2.1   If documentation indicates the potential for an illness or injury of the faculty/staff member to last more than six months, the faculty/staff member should contact the System Human Resources Office for information concerning long-term disability (see USY V.A.8.1).

4.12.2.2   Use of sick leave for family leave. Full-time staff with at least one year of benefits-eligible service may use up to a maximum of 10 days of accrued sick leave per fiscal year (prorated for percent time staff) for family leave. This leave may be used for medical appointments, illness, or medical needs of an immediate family member; prenatal or postnatal care; or for purposes of caring for a new baby or adoptive/foster child after placement. It may also be used for extended bereavement leave (see USY V.A.4.12.2.2.2) and/or crime victim leave (see USY V.C.20.2).

4.12.2.2.1   Immediate family member is defined as spouse, parent, legally dependent child, or any person living in the staff member's household.

4.12.2.2.2   Extended bereavement leave. After supervisory notification and the use of bereavement leave, a staff member may use family leave for extended bereavement leave in the event of the death of an immediate family member. Bereavement leave follows the same parameters described in USY V.A.4.14.

4.12.3   Accumulation. Faculty and staff accumulate sick leave at the rate of 1 1/4 days each month based on a full-time appointment; flex-year appointments accumulate sick leave based on their percent time of appointment. The maximum accumulation of sick leave is 130 (working) days.

4.12.3.1   Introductory Period. Sick leave is accumulated during an individual's introductory period and may be used after it is accumulated.

4.12.4   Record keeping. Each department is responsible for maintaining accurate records that verify the usage and current sick leave balances of each staff member. That information will be sent to the campus Human Resources Office on a regular basis.

4.12.4.1   Faculty records. When faculty members are absent from their duties because of illness, and other faculty members assume their responsibilities on a temporary basis, no formal report of absence is required unless the absence exceeds one month or is of a serious nature as defined by the Family Medical Leave Act (see USY V.C.19). If the absence exceeds one month, the illness may qualify for interim disability (see USY V.A.4.13).

4.12.5   Position Status. When there is supporting medical documentation of a faculty/staff member's absence due to illness or injury, the University System will normally not terminate a faculty/staff member from his/her position for up to six months from the first date of absence. For those individuals in their initial introductory period, the position will not be held unless the disability is due to pregnancy or is covered by worker's compensation.

4.12.6   Return to Work. Medical documentation supporting the faculty or staff member's ability to perform the essential functions of the job is required prior to return to work (see USY V.C.12).

4.13   Interim Disability Leave

4.13.1   Eligibility. Faculty and staff members with status appointments who are not covered by the Earned Time program (see USY V.A.4.10) are eligible for interim disability benefits.

4.13.2   Description. In situations where medical documentation concerning a faculty or staff member's inability to work indicates that the duration of the illness/injury will cause an absence from work of six months or more, interim disability provides the continuation of the individual's salary and benefits up to a total of six months absence from work inclusive of sick leave.

4.13.2.1   During the period of sick leave/interim disability, the faculty or staff member will be placed on Family Medical Leave as outlined in USY V.C.19 and should apply, through the System Human Resources Office, for long term disability which may provide income and continuance of benefits following the expiration of interim disability.

4.13.2.2   If there is a subsequent period of disability after use of all or part of the interim disability benefit provided above and if the subsequent disability is unrelated to the first, the policy set forth in USY V.A.4.13.2.1 will apply.

4.13.2.3   Should a faculty or staff member's repetitive disabilities create an inability to perform the essential functions of the position, appropriate action shall be considered, i.e., application for long-term disability (see USY V.A.8.1) or an accommodation as outlined in USY V.C.4.5.

4.13.3   Compensation. If accrued sick leave is exhausted, and medical documentation states that the faculty/staff member is unable to return to work, salary is continued through paid interim disability leave up to a total of six months' absence from work inclusive of sick leave.

4.13.4   Continuation of Benefits. Faculty and staff members' benefits shall continue during the period of interim disability, with the exception of vacation/personal leave time and sick leave accrual and personal use of the tuition waiver.

4.13.5   Position Status. A faculty/staff member's position will be held during the period of sick leave/paid interim disability leave for a maximum of six months from the first date of absence from work. For those individuals in their initial introductory period, the position will not be held unless the disability is due to pregnancy or is covered by worker's compensation (see USY V.A.8.2).

4.13.6   Pregnancy-related

4.13.6.1   When medical documentation indicates that a faculty or staff member (for eligibility see USY V.A.4.13.1) is unable to perform her duties and responsibilities because of medical conditions related to pregnancy and/or childbirth, the woman who plans to return to work may use accrued sick leave/interim disability leave/Family Medical Leave, and her position will be held for her return (see USY V.C.19).

4.13.6.2   The period of leave is determined on a case-by-case basis from medical documentation. Such leaves usually extend for the period from childbirth through six weeks. As with all leaves for interim disability, the period of leave shall first include the use of accumulated sick leave.

4.13.6.3   When the woman's medical condition no longer requires absence from work, she is expected to return to work. However, the Family Medical Leave Act provides the option of up to a total of 12 weeks of leave from her position for child rearing purposes. Continuance of salary under FMLA is contingent on use of her accrued vacation/personal leave time (see USY V.C.19).

4.13.6.4   Return to Work. Medical documentation supporting the faculty/staff member's ability to perform the essential functions of the job is required prior to return to work (see USY V.C.12).

4.14   Bereavement Leave

4.14.1   Description. Faculty and exempt staff members are entitled to five days of bereavement leave for the death of an immediate family member and one day for the death of other relatives.

4.14.1.1   Staff members in the Earned Time Program may use Family Leave for the death of an immediate family member. See USY V.A.4.10.1 Earned Time.

4.14.2   Those individuals considered immediate family include spouse, mother, father, stepparents, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepchildren, sister, brother, stepbrother, stepsister, and individuals living within the faculty/staff member's household.

4.14.3   Other relatives include grandfather, grandfather-in-law, grandmother, grandmother-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, grandson, granddaughter, uncle, spouse's uncle, aunt, spouse's aunt, nephew, spouse's nephew, niece, spouse's niece, great uncle, spouse's great uncle, great aunt, spouse's great aunt, first cousin, spouse's first cousin.

4.14.4   Additional Time Off. If additional time off is necessary due to the death of a family member, special arrangements may be made to permit the employee to use vacation leave/Earned Time or take time off without pay.

4.14.5   Documentation supporting the use of bereavement leave may be requested by the immediate supervisor or Human Resources Office.

1Civil union is the legal term currently used in New Hampshire to designate a civil relationship between same-sex parties that is equivalent to marriage. For purposes of this policy, civil union refers to any civil "marriage-equivalent" relationship between same-sex partners that is recognized by law, by whatever name designated. Civil union and marriage are not intended to include common law marriage, even if such relationship is recognized by law in the jurisdiction of the employee's residence.

 

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