A. Employee Benefits

A. Employee Benefits

1.   Definition. The University System of New Hampshire (USNH) benefit program is the sum of the components 
described below. These employer-sponsored benefit plans are available to employees as indicated, unless they are otherwise covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

2.   Authority. The Board of Trustees (BOT) delegates to the designated committee of the Board of Trustees oversight responsibility for the administration of the employee benefits program. Oversight and authority will be described in Trustee Charters, By-Laws, and/or BOT policy.

2.1   The BOT reserves the right to amend or terminate components of USNH's benefits program at any time.

2.2   The BOT delegates to the Chancellor the authority to design USNH's benefits program according to financial and benefit parameters authorized by the BOT. The Chancellor shall report to the designated committee of the BOT at least annually on the effectiveness and suitability of the current program with recommendations for changes to such program, if appropriate.

2.3   The BOT authorizes the Chancellor to produce and/or authorize the production of any materials necessary to accurately describe the terms and conditions of each benefit plan.

2.3.1   USNH Human Resources produces, distributes, and/or posts materials that describe the terms and conditions of each benefit plan.

2.3.2   USNH Human Resources is responsible for determination and selection of benefit vendors and carriers, interpretation of policy and eligibility status, exceptions to policy, and payment and reconciliation of benefit accounts.

2.3.3   As delegated, each institution's Human Resources is responsible for communication and dissemination of benefit information on its campus.

2.4   The component institutions may adopt such institutional policies as are necessary to meet the requirements of USNH's benefits programs.

3.   Benefits Provided to All Employees. Some benefits are provided to all status and adjunct employees and are covered in part through contributions by USNH. 

3.1   Workers' Compensation Benefits

3.1.1   Description. The New Hampshire Workers' Compensation law, RSA 281-A, covers all employees and volunteers. It provides non-taxable payment for loss of earnings and payment of medical expenses due to injury, occupational disease, or death arising out of and in the course of employment. It is not considered compensation under IRS regulations.

3.1.2   Authority and Responsibility. USNH shall comply with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations regarding the administration of the Workers' Compensation program and shall have oversight responsibility for Workers' Compensation policy and budget.

3.1.2.1   Institution. Each component institution shall adopt such institutional policies and practices as are necessary to comply with New Hampshire Workers' Compensation Law, and shall be responsible for the administration for Workers' Compensation. Institutional responsibilities include the following:

3.1.2.1.1   Establish and administer a Work Safety Committee, with a minimum of four members, composed of equal numbers of employer and employee representatives. Employee representatives shall be selected by employee constituency groups or collective bargaining representatives.

3.1.2.1.2   Each year the Campus Work Safety Committees will document their campus safety program, including specific rules and regulations regarding worker safety and references to disciplinary actions for violations of such rules and regulations, and submit it to the Office of Environmental Health & Safety.

3.1.2.2   Supervisors. Supervisors are responsible for compliance with and implementation of institutional policies and practices regarding the Workers' Compensation programs.

3.1.2.2   Employee responsibility. For an injury occurring during working periods, employees are required to promptly submit an accident report to their immediate supervisor, Human Resources, or other appropriate administrator, so the campus can file the First Report of Injury or Illness with the State of New Hampshire's Workers' Compensation Review Commission and/or USNH Workers' Compensation insurance carrier.

3.1.3   Medical documentation is required to support Workers' Compensation claims and concurrent implementation of Family Medical Leave (see USY V.C.19), Earned Time/Sick Pool for status non-exempt employees, and Sick Leave/Interim Disability for status exempt staff. If, after three months of absence, such documentation indicates absence from work will extend six months or longer, the status employee may be eligible to apply for Long Term Disability (see USY V.A.8.1) and should contact USNH Human Resources.

3.1.4   Payment. Workers' Compensation payments are based on federal and state laws.

3.1.4.1   Status employees who have paid leave may supplement the Workers' Compensation benefit by electing to use applicable accumulated paid time/leave; however, the combination of paid leave plans and Workers' Compensation benefits shall not exceed the employee's regular  budgeted salary.

3.1.4.1.1   Employees on the Earned Time (ET) program who choose to supplement Workers' Compensation must use ET for the first five calendar work days before they may supplement with their Sick Pool Leave (see USY V.A.4.9.5). ET will be accrued on that portion of time represented by the Non-Workers' Compensation portion of the payment and is accrued only on the first 15 calendar workdays of Sick Pool usage.

3.1.4.1.2   If using accrued paid leave, exempt staff members will continue to accrue Vacation and Sick Leave on that portion of time represented by the Non-Workers' Compensation portion of the payment.

3.1.5   Position Status. While on approved Workers' Compensation leave, an employee's position will normally be held for 18 months from the date of absence due to the work-related illness/injury. If the disability continues beyond 18 months, the position will not be held for the individual.

3.1.6   Continuation of Benefits. With the exceptions noted below, a status employee will be eligible to continue applicable coverage under the USNH benefits program for up to 18 months by continuing their employee contributions. (See also USY V.A.8.2)

3.1.6.1   Employees will be billed for benefit contributions unless the employee is being paid accrued leave time with enough value to cover the benefit costs. Benefits will terminate if the employee fails to pay their portion of the benefit premiums.

3.1.6.2   If the employee is receiving accrued paid leave with Workers' Compensation payments, retirement contributions can be made only on the leave payment, not the Workers' Compensation payment. The Tuition Benefit will be in effect for spouse and eligible children, but only authorized for the employee's personal use on a case-by-case basis in conjunction with an approved Workers' Compensation program.

3.1.7   Return to Work. Medical documentation supporting the employee's ability to perform the essential functions of the job is required prior to return to work. Reasonable accommodations shall be made consistent with the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

3.1.7.1   Upon written request and medical release, an employee may return to his/her position of employment for up to 18 months from the date of injury.

3.1.7.2   If the position has been eliminated, an employee shall be placed in any other vacant position for which qualified.

3.1.8   Re-hire. If an employee member is able to work following a period of Workers' Compensation which extended beyond 18 months or the position was not held, the individual may apply for positions within USNH. If rehired, a status employee shall receive credit for prior years of service as referenced in USY V.C.11.

3.1.8.1   Medical documentation concerning a former employee's ability to return to employment following a long-term Workers' Compensation leave will be required. Reasonable accommodations shall be made consistent with the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Temporary Alternative Work Assignments. In an effort to facilitate the employee’s return to work, USNH shall develop temporary alternative work options, when appropriate, for employees on Workers' Compensation who can return to work, but are unable to immediately resume all of the functions of their positions. Temporary alternative work options shall be limited and transitional in nature with job requirements that will increase in capacity as the employee’s work capacity increases. If the employee fails to accept a temporary alternative work assignment, Workers' Compensation may be reduced or terminated.

3.2   Employee Assistance Program (EAP). The EAP provides outside professional counseling, assessments and referrals for employees and their eligible family members to assist in resolving problems such as alcoholism, drug abuse, marital conflicts, and workplace issues (see also USY V.D.5.24).

3.2.1   Eligibility. All status and adjunct employees and their spouses/eligible dependents are eligible to participate in the EAP.  This benefit does not apply to student workers.

3.2.2   Coverage. The employee, their spouse, and dependent children will receive a number of free visits to the EAP for each situation.

4.   Benefits Available to Status Employees

4.1   Description. All status USNH employees are eligible to participate in the benefits plans described below. The percent time of appointment and/or salary may determine the employee contribution amounts.

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. 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 benefit.  In cases where a visiting faculty member retains their home institution's benefits but is unable to retain the medical benefits portion of the program, they will be provided USNH medical benefit options. Job Exchange. An employee on an exchange program at USNH is expected to retain the benefits of their home institution. However, their spouse and dependent children are eligible for the tuition portion of the benefits program. In cases where the medical benefits plan from the home institution is not transferable, the employee on the exchange program will be provided USNH medical benefit options.

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 benefit.

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 (and the dependents of such spouse) of USNH employees who are legally married. 

4.3   Flexible Benefit Plan.

4.3.1   Authority. USNH Human Resources shall establish a Flexible Benefits Plan. The plan shall be 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.

4.3.1.1   Definition. The USNH Flexible Benefits Plan shall provide eligible status employees 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.

4.3.1.2   USNH Human Resources shall establish the design, terms and conditions of each plan, the conditions and time frames for USNH’s annual 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.

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

4.3.2   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 employee completes enrollment within 30 days of their appointment date.

4.3.2.1   If the employee fails to meet the enrollment deadline as noted above, they shall not receive benefit coverage. The employee may enroll during the next annual Open Enrollment.

4.3.3   Open Enrollment. Once each year, employees will be given the opportunity to make changes or initially select their plan options. New coverage is effective on January 1 of the following year.

4.3.3.1   Coverage selections made by an employee are irrevocable during the plan year and may be changed only during the annual Open Enrollment, unless the employee has a qualifying life event change as noted in section USY V.A.4.3.5.

4.3.4   Qualifying Life Event (QLE). A QLE 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   Employees must notify USNH of a QLE 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 QLE and, based on proper notification, will be effective on the date of the event.

4.3.5   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 Campus HR for the appropriate employee/employer benefit 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 their 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. USNH Human Resources may establish insurance benefits in addition to the Flexible Benefit plan. These will have no employer contribution. These optional insurance plans may provide employees with the opportunity to select coverage and plan features for such programs as Long-Term Care Insurance, Vision coverage, Hospital Indemnity, and Short-Term Disability coverage. These programs are normally paid through employee payroll deductions.

4.6   USNH's 403(b) Retirement Plan.

4.6.1   Description. USNH offers its eligible employees the opportunity to participate in a 403(b) voluntary defined contribution retirement plan. 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.

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

4.6.1.2   403(b) Plan Contributions. Both USNH and the participant contribute a percentage of regular budgeted salary. Employee contribution options are outlined in the Retirement Summary Plan provisions along with enrollment and other information. Plan participation and contributions, including changes in contribution level, begin the month following enrollment and/or change in the USNH Retirement Plan.

4.6.1.3   Additional Retirement Contribution (ARC). In 1994 benefits-eligible employees 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 (MCP). 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. Those who chose the MCP receive the regular contribution amounts.

4.6.1.4   Contribution based on Salary over the IRS Permitted Level. USNH does not consider regular budgeted salary in excess of the IRS prescribed limit. 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. Retirement vendor rules regarding personal annuities apply.

4.6.1.5   Vesting of contributions. Employees 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 employee starts contributing to the retirement plan at a level which is matched by a USNH contribution. After participation in the retirement plan for three calendar years, the employee is 100% vested in the employer contributions.

4.7   Tuition Benefit Plan.

4.7.1   Authority. USNH Human Resources shall be responsible for the development and administration of the Tuition Benefit Plan.

4.7.1.1   Campus Human Resources is responsible for determining eligibility for tuition benefits for employees and spouse or dependent children. 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   Employee Tuition Benefits

4.7.2.1   Description. For employees, 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 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.

4.7.2.2   Eligibility. An employee is eligible for the Tuition Benefit following successful completion of the initial introductory period following employment in a status position (see USY V.C.8.1.4). For faculty the completion of the initial introductory period shall mean following two (2) semesters of benefits eligible employment. An employee or faculty member must be employed in a status 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 their 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   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.

4.7.2.2.2   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.4.7.2.2.1.

4.7.2.2.3   The Tuition Benefit Plan does not apply to institutes or courses offered by other educational institutions on campuses of USNH.

4.7.2.2.4   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.

4.7.2.2.5   If an employee chooses to enroll for more courses/credits than those provided for in USY V.A.4.7.2.2.1 above, they will be charged for the additional tuition at the in-state rate.

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

4.7.2.2.7   The employee tuition 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 status employees may enroll in any of the regular credit courses offered by USNH 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 their home institution and also covers administrative fees paid by students in the junior year abroad program.

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 employee for more than half of their financial support.

4.7.3.2.1   This benefit is not cumulative; that is, if both parents are employed by USNH, the benefit is one-half of the current in-state tuition for their dependent child or children.

4.7.4   Employer Paid Tuition Benefits for Children of Deceased Employees. Children of deceased employees who, at time of death, were either a tenured faculty member or had been employed in a status position for at least one year are entitled to the same educational benefit as indicated above.

4.7.5   Termination. An employee 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. USNH will comply with all state and federal laws regarding the taxation of tuition benefits. Graduate Tuition benefits are subject to taxation through the employee’s payroll check and required taxes will be withheld.

4.8   Paid Holiday Leave.

4.8.1   Authority. The BOT has authorized paid leave for eleven holidays of which eight are designated common holidays. The three additional days designated as floating holidays will be determined by each institution's Chief Executive Officer and communicated to USNH Human Resources.

4.8.2   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; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

4.8.3   Eligibility. To receive paid holiday leave, an employee must hold a status appointment; their  appointment dates must encompass the holiday, and they must not be in a Leave Without Pay situation immediately prior to or following a holiday. If an employee is on paid leave when a designated holiday occurs, they will receive paid holiday leave, and the time will not be charged as Vacation Leave or Earned Time.

4.8.3.1   Percent time appointments. An employee appointed in a status position of at least 75% time earns holiday benefits based on their percent time of appointment, based on the employee's working schedule and when the holidays fall (see USY V.F.5.2).

4.8.3.2   Academic Year Faculty. Holidays for faculty members with academic year appointments are determined by the academic year calendar (see also USY V.A.4.10.1.1).

4.8.4   Holidays occurring on weekends. For those employees 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.

4.8.5   Special considerations for Non-Exempt Employees. When a designated holiday falls on a full-time non-exempt employee's day off, they 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) that they are entitled to at their usual pay rate. (For percent time employees see USY V.F.5.2.2.1)

4.8.6   Special considerations for Exempt Employees. If an exempt employee is required to work on a holiday, they will be granted another day off with pay in lieu of the holiday at a time approved by the supervisor.

4.9   UTime – Paid Time Off for Employees not covered by a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

4.9.1   Eligibility. Status employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) or Postdoctoral Appointments (see UNH V.C.5.16). Employees covered under a CBA should refer to their CBA to determine eligibility for Paid Time Off benefits. Also, refer to specific guidelines and/or USNH policy designations, including applicable “grandfathered” USNH policies.

4.9.2   Accrual. Unless otherwise stated, Paid Time Off benefits are earned from the first day of employment and may be used after they are earned. For the purpose of the following policies, a regular day is considered 8 hours; a bi-weekly work period is 80 hours. Actual accruals, deductions and salary continuation will be based on work schedules and years of service. Paid Time Off benefits will not accrue when an employee is not actively working (except for absences covered by Personal Time, Sick Time or banked Earned Time).

4.9.3   It is the responsibility of each department to maintain accurate records that verify the use of Paid Time Off and Paid Time Off balances. Campus Human Resources staff will assist with the recordkeeping of extended absences, in conjunction with Supervisors and third-party administrators (e.g., for Disability, FMLA, Parental Leave, etc.).

4.9.3.1   Paid Time Off may not be used to pay for hours that are more than the regular bi-weekly work period. Unless otherwise allowed under policy, an employee must use all of their available paid time off balances (including previously accrued Earned Time) before transitioning to unpaid absences.

4.10   Personal Time. The purpose of Personal Time is to provide you with salary continuation for vacation days and to cover or supplement other out-of-office time to address personal needs not covered by other USNH policies.

4.10.1   Personal Time is taken at a time mutually agreeable to you and your supervisor, unless otherwise mandated by policy. Accrued Compensatory Time will be used before accessing Personal Time or going unpaid.

4.10.2   The accrual rate is no more than 18 days per year for the first five years of status employment, and 24 days per year thereafter for a 1.0 FTE assignment. If you are on a flex year schedule or you are less than a 1.0 FTE (40 hours per week), you will accrue time on a pro-rated basis. You can have a maximum of 45 days of Personal Time.

Accrual Conversion Chart - Personal Time (Based on an 80 Hour Pay Period)

 

Days Hours
Service Bi-Weekly Monthly Annual Hourly Bi-Weekly Monthly Annual
Up to 5 Years 0.692 1.5 18 0.069 5.54 12 144
5 Years or More 0.923 2 24 0.092 7.39 16 192

4.10.3   Cash-out. When an employee’s employment with USNH ends (termination or retirement), they will receive up to 30 days of unused personal time in their final paycheck.

4.11 Sick Time. Sick Time is designed to provide salary continuation for absences due to personal medical needs or for designated Family Care. Medical documentation may be required at any time to substantiate an absence and/or to indicate an employee’s ability to return to work after an illness or injury. For any absences that are expected to last more than one week, the employee should contact their Human Resources Office to discuss extended leave options. If an employee doesn’t have a Sick Time balance available, they will use available Compensatory Time, Personal Time or banked Earned Time to cover the absence, before going unpaid.

4.11.1   Accrual. The accrual rate is no more than 15 days per year if an employee is on a 1.0 FTE assignment. Employees can have up to 60 days of accrued sick time.

Accrual Conversion Chart - Sick Time (Based on an 80 Hour Pay Period)

Days Hours
Bi-Weekly Monthly Annual Hourly Bi-Weekly Monthly Annual
0.577 1.25 15 0.058 4.62 10 120

4.11.2   Family Care. An employee may use up to 25 days of accrued Sick Time per fiscal year (July 1 - June 30) for Family Care. This aspect of Sick Time may be used for the medical needs of an immediate family member, including support from an illness, accident or medical appointments. Family Care may also include time for activities related to the administration of long-term care for an immediate family member (such as in a nursing facility or hospice). Individuals considered immediate family include the employee’s spouse, mother, father, stepparents, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepchildren, sister, brother, stepbrother, stepsister, grandparents, grandchildren, and individuals living in your household.

4.12   Parental Leave. The purpose of Parental Leave is to provide employees with salary continuation for up to 4 weeks, to take time off for maternity and paternity, transition of a child through adoption or surrogacy, or long term placement of a child (defined as 30 or more days) as a kindred or private foster care provider. If an employee is also covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, Parental Leave will run at the same time as the FMLA leave.

4.12.1   Parental Leave will be taken in consecutive days, up to 4 weeks, and within 12 weeks of the effective date of the cause for Parental Leave (e.g., birth, placement for adoption). Parental Leave may also be used by an additional, eligible, USNH employee. Future eligibility will be on a rolling 12-month period from the effective date of the last use of Parental Leave. Parental Leave cannot be taken on a partial or intermittent basis or to supplement another leave type.

4.12.2   If an employee is eligible for Parental Leave, a waiting period or elimination period is not required before accessing the Parental Leave benefit.

4.13   Short-Term Disability. The purpose of Short-Term Disability (STD) is to provide an employee with salary continuation for a total disability due to a non-occupational accident or illness, for up to 26 weeks. Short-Term Disability cannot be taken on a partial or intermittent basis or to supplement another leave type.

4.13.1   Waiting Period. An employee must be employed for a minimum of two months (60 calendar days) to be eligible for STD benefits.

4.13.2   Elimination period. Benefits begin the first day of total disability following a non-work-related accident, or on the eighth day of total disability due to illness (including medical maternity).

4.13.3   Salary continuation. After the elimination period and through week 8 (calendar day 56), approved STD benefits will be 100% of an employee’s current salary. From week 9 through week 26 (calendar day 182), the benefit will be 60% of the employee’s salary. An employee can supplement the 40% salary gap by using accrued Sick Time. (If Sick Time is not available, the employee may choose to use Compensatory Time, Personal Time or banked Earned Time.)

4.14   Bereavement Leave. An employee is entitled to five days of Bereavement Leave if an immediate family member dies, and one day of Bereavement Leave if other relatives (noted below) die.

4.14.1   Individuals considered immediate family include the employee’s spouse, mother, father, stepparents, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, stepchildren, sister, brother, stepbrother, stepsister, grandparents, grandchildren, and individuals living in the employee’s household.

4.14.2   Other relatives include the employee’s brother-in-law, sister-in-law, 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 and spouse’s first cousin.

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

4.14.4   Documentation. An employee’s immediate supervisor or Human Resources may request supporting documentation to confirm Bereavement Leave.

4.15   Community Service. USNH encourages employees to become involved in our community—to provide voluntary support of programs that positively impact the quality of life within our employees’ community. The following guidelines apply to community service through a non-profit community program of a personal interest, or as part of a campus-sponsored activity.

4.15.1   An employee may take up to one day per fiscal year (up to 8 hours) of paid time to participate in a volunteer program. Supervisors must approve Community Service program participation at least 15 days before the program begins, to allow for the coordination of work-related responsibilities.

Volunteer time should not conflict with peak work schedules, result in cancellation of classes, create a need for overtime, cause conflicts with other employee’s schedules or otherwise run counter to Conflict of Interest (USY V.D.7) or Political Activity Regulations (USY V.D.8). If a conflict arises, or the requested activity does not fall within established guidelines, the request may be denied.

4.15.1.1   Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Volunteering with a non-profit, charitable organization, such as United Way, Habitat for Humanity, humane shelters, family assistance services, etc.
  • Assistance with grade school activities, such as reading or writing assistance, or chaperoning field trips
  • Staffing or donating to a blood drive, such as those sponsored by the Red Cross.
  • Providing support to a campus-specific community service event (such as those shown under www.unh.edu/serve).

4.16   Military Leave. Employees on temporary military active duty leave will be paid the difference between their regular salary and military pay if the latter is less than regular pay. Regular military pay does not include any allowances for dependents or reimbursement for expenses. In cases whereby temporary military pay is more than the individual's regular budgeted salary for the same period of time, the employee will not receive any USNH salary. Military leave will not count against Vacation Leave. Sick and Vacation Leave will continue to accumulate during temporary military leave.

4.17   Time off Benefits for Non-Exempt Employees covered by CBA.

4.17.1   Description. Status non-exempt employees may cover absences with Earned Time (ET).  ET covers absences for Vacation, Sick Leave, Interim Disability, Bereavement Leave, Maternity Leave, and Short-Term military Leave. Unused ET may also be received as a payment in cash at the time of voluntary termination or retirement. ET is available as soon as it is "earned." The exact amount of ET accrued each year will depend on the years of service to USNH.

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

4.17.3   Accrual Rate. Non-exempt employees accumulate ET based on the number of hours they work in their budgeted position and their number of years of status employment within USNH.

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

4.17.4   Earned Time Use. ET may be used any time after the pay period in which it is earned, including during the employee's introductory period. All planned absences will be mutually agreed upon by the employee and their supervisor prior to the date of absence. ET may be used without prior approval when personal emergencies prevent prior approval. In such cases, the employee is responsible for notifying the supervisor of the absence due to a personal emergency. If the employee’s ET includes an approved holiday, they will receive the holiday pay, and the time will not be charged as ET.

4.17.4.1   Increments. ET should be used in units of one-quarter hour or more.

4.17.4.2   When ET 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). This may also indicate the need for use of the Family Medical Leave Act and the need to contact Campus Human Resources for information concerning Long-Term Disability (see USY V.A.8.1)

4.17.4.3   Minimum Usage. Minimum usage is calculated each pay period at 45% of the ET accrued for that pay period. The total number of minimum usage hours derived from this calculation is compared to the total number of ET 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 employee's ET balance prior to its being carried forward into the new fiscal year. New non-exempt employees 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. 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. Hours converted into the Sick Leave Pool do not count toward minimum usage requirements.

4.17.5   Sick Pool.

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

4.17.5.2   Sick Pool hours is used for extended periods of illness or injury and are not eligible for pay out at retirement or termination. ET benefits accrue only during the initial three weeks (15 working days) of each separate use of the Sick Pool.

4.17.5.3   Usage of Sick Pool commences with the sixth consecutive day of absence from work due to illness or injury. ET may be used to cover the initial 5 day period. A physician's report must accompany the request to use Sick Pool. Periodic updates from the employee’s physician may be required. The use of the Sick Pool may indicate the need for FMLA. After three months of absence from work, the employee should contact the USNH Human Resources Office for information concerning Long-Term Disability (see USY V.A.8.1).

4.17.5.3.1   Campus Human Resources may grant an exception to the policy that requires the usage of the equivalent of five (5) ET 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 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.

4.17.5.4   The maximum Sick Pool an employee may accumulate is the equivalent of 150 days (1,125 hours for those on a 37.5 hour work week and 1,200 hours for those on a 40-hour work week). An employee may add to their Sick Pool once each fiscal year according to the procedures adopted by each individual institution.

4.17.5.5   Exhaustion of ET/Sick Pool. An employee on an approved absence who has used all ET and Sick Pool will be placed on Leave Without Pay. If the illness/injury qualifies for FMLA leave (see USY V.C.19), benefits will continue for the period of the FMLA (see USY V.C.19). Other continuance of benefits during a leave without pay is set forth in USY V.C.16.

4.17.5.6   Position Status. When there is supporting medical documentation of an employee's absence due to illness or injury, USNH will normally not terminate an individual from their 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 Workers' Compensation.

4.17.5.7   Return to Work. Following a period of absence due to illness/injury, medical documentation supporting the employee's ability to perform the essential functions of the job is required prior to returning to work (see USY V.C.12.2).

4.17.5.8   Use of Sick Pool for Family Leave. Non-exempt employees with at least one year of status service may use up to a maximum of 10 days of accrued Sick Pool time per fiscal year (75 hours for those on a 37.5 hour work week and 80 hours for those on a 40 hour work week prorated for employees 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 ET days.

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

4.17.5.8.2   Bereavement Leave. After supervisory notification, an employee may use Family Leave for Bereavement Leave. Use of Family Leave for Bereavement Leave follows the same parameters described in USY V.A.4.13.

4.17.6   Record keeping. The institution is responsible for maintaining accurate records that verify the usage and current ET/Sick Pool leave balances of each employee.

4.17.7   Cash-out of ET Hours. Eligible non-exempt employees who have completed their introductory period have the opportunity during a predesignated month each calendar year to cash-out up to a maximum of 40 hours of ET, based on their work week. The cash-out hours will be paid at the hourly rate in effect at the time of the cash-out. Any hours cashed-out do not count towards the ET minimum usage requirement.

4.17.7.1   Conditions. Each USNH institution shall maintain records of all cash-outs and subsequent adjustments of accrued ET. Cash-out payments are subject to taxation. The employee must have a minimum of 24 hours of Earned Time remaining following the cash-out.

4.17.8   Pay out at Termination, including Retirement. ET may not be used to extend employment beyond the last day of work unless an employee will be a USNH Retiree (as defined in USY V.C.9.2.1) in which case up to (10) ET days may be used to extend employment from the last day of active service to the effective date of retirement (USY V.C.9.1.1.1). ET is paid off at the base rate of pay at time of termination. The value of Longevity, if applicable, is not calculated in the payment of ET. All unused ET, less any ET needed to meet the minimum usage requirement (see USY V.A.4.9.4.3), will occur by the pay date for the pay period in which the final date of employment occurs or the end of the next scheduled pay period, depending on the amount of notice provided if the termination occurs under normal circumstances and does not involve an act of gross misconduct such as theft or immoral conduct. Employees laid off may leave ET intact pending recall.

4.17.9   Conversion from ET to Vacation and Sick Leave as a result of change from non-exempt to exempt (For conversion from Vacation Leave and Sick Leave to ET see USY V.A.4.10.7)

4.17.9.1   When an employee transfers, is promoted, or reclassified into an exempt status position, ET benefits are converted using the following procedure:

4.17.9.1.1   If the employee has a total ET accumulation of the equivalent of twenty (20) or fewer days (160 hours), the total amount accumulated will be converted to Vacation  Leave and transferred with employee.

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

4.17.9.1.3   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.

4.18   Time off Benefits for Exempt Employees covered by CBA.

4.18.1   Eligibility. All members of the fiscal year faculty and exempt employees who are employed in a status position are eligible for Vacation Leave. Vacation Leave is earned from the first day of employment and may be used after it is earned. Vacation Leave is taken at a time mutually agreeable to the employee and the supervisor.

4.18.1.1   Faculty. Time off Benefits 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.4.10.2 for accrual rate.

4.18.2   Accrual Rate.

4.18.2.1   The accrual rate for eligible Exempt employees 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.

4.18.2.1.1   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.

4.18.3   Flex Year Appointments. Employees with flex year status appointments earn Vacation Leave on a prorated basis.

4.18.4   Maximum Balance. The maximum balance at the end of each month is 45 days. The maximum number of days for payout at termination will be 30 days.

4.18.4.1   Employees promoted or transferred into a new employee classification, i.e., Exempt and Non-Exempt 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 Leave, i.e., an academic year faculty position, the employee will be paid for their accumulated Vacation Leave/ET prior to reporting to the new position. (For conversion of ET to Vacation Leave, see USY V.A.4.9.9)

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

4.18.5.1   Leave Usage. Supervisors are required to grant, at times mutually agreeable, a minimum of nine days of Vacation/Personal Leave per year for employees with less than five years of service from date of hire/rehire and twelve days of Vacation Leave per year for the employees with five or more years of service. Vacation Leave usage is calculated on a fiscal year basis, July 1 through June 30.

4.18.6   Vacation Leave Pay out at Termination including Retirement. Vacation Leave days may not be used to extend employment beyond the last day of work unless an employee or fiscal year faculty member will be a USNH Retiree (as defined in USY V.C.9.2.1) in which case up to ten Vacation Leave days may be used to extend employment from the last day of active service to the effective date of retirement (USY V.C.9.1.1.1). All unused Vacation days up to thirty days will occur by the pay date for the pay period in which the final date of employment occurs or the end of the next scheduled pay period depending on the amount of notice provided, and will be paid to the employee or fiscal year faculty member (or their estate in the case of the individual's death) if the termination occurs under normal circumstances and does not involve an act that demonstrates unfitness for continued employment within USNH, such as theft or immoral conduct. Employees or fiscal year faculty members laid off may leave Vacation Leave intact pending recall.

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

4.18.8   Conversion from Vacation Leave and Sick Leave to Earned Time (ET). When an employee transfers, is promoted or reclassified into a non-exempt position, Vacation and Sick Leave are converted using the following procedure:

  • Vacation Leave: Ratio 1 full-time day to 8 hours of ET
  • Sick Leave (conversion pro-rated depending on years of service)

4.18.8.1   Conversion Table for Transfer of Existing Sick Leave into ET/Sick Pool Days

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

*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.

4.18.8.2   If the Vacation Leave conversion exceeds 480 ET 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 an employee has a total conversion of 110 days or more, the employee will begin the ET program with 480 ET hours and either 1,125 or 1,200 Sick Pool hours.

4.18.8.3   Pay Schedule Bridge. Prior to converting Vacation Leave days to ET hours, an exempt employee may cash out up to five (5) Vacation Leave days at the pre-conversion salary rate to bridge the gap between exempt and non-exempt pay schedules.

4.18.9   Record Keeping. It is the responsibility of each department to maintain accurate
records that verify the usage and current Vacation/Sick Leave balances of each employee.

4.19   Sick Leave for those covered by CBA.

4.19.1   Eligibility. Faculty and exempt employees with status appointments are eligible for Sick Leave.

4.19.2   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.4.11.2.2. 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.12.2).

4.19.2.1   If documentation indicates the potential for an illness or injury to last more than six months, the employee should contact Campus Human Resources for information concerning Long-Term Disability (see USY V.A.8.1).

4.19.2.2   Use of Sick Leave for Family Leave. Full-time employees 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.4.11.2.2.2) and/or Crime Victim Leave (see USY V.C.20.2).

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

4.19.2.2.2   Extended Bereavement Leave. After supervisory notification and the use of Bereavement Leave, an employee 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.4.13.

4.19.3   Accumulation. Sick Leave accumulates 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.

4.19.3.1   Introductory Period. Sick Leave is accumulated during an individual's introductory period and may be used the month after it is accumulated.

4.19.4   Record keeping. Each department is responsible for maintaining accurate records that verify the usage and current Sick Leave balances of each employee.

4.19.4.1   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 FMLA (see USY V.C.19).

4.19.5   Position Status. When there is supporting medical documentation of an absence due to illness or injury, USNH will normally not terminate an employee from their 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.

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

4.20   Interim Disability Leave for those covered by CBA.

4.20.1   Eligibility. Faculty and Exempt employees with status appointments are eligible for Interim Disability benefits.

4.20.2   Description. In situations where medical documentation concerning an employee's inability to work indicates that the duration of the illness/injury will cause an absence from work of more than six months, 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.

4.20.2.1   During the period of Sick Leave/Interim Disability, the employee will be placed on FMLA as outlined in USY V.C.19 and should apply, through USNH Human Resources, for Long-Term Disability which may provide income and continuance of benefits following the expiration of Interim Disability.

4.20.2.2   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.4.12.2.1 will apply.

4.20.2.3   Should an employee'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.

4.20.3   Compensation. If accrued Sick Leave is exhausted, and medical documentation states that the employee is unable to return to work, salary is continued for the period of disability through paid Interim Disability Leave up to a total of six months' absence from work inclusive of Sick Leave.

4.20.4   Continuation of Benefits. Benefits shall continue during the period of Interim Disability, with the exception of the accrual of Vacation Leave and Sick Leave and personal use of the Tuition Benefit.

4.20.5   Position Status. A position will be held during the period of Sick Leave/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 Workers' Compensation (see USY V.A.8.2).

4.20.6   Interim Disability - Pregnancy

4.20.6.1   When medical documentation indicates that an employee (for eligibility see USY V.A.4.12.1) is unable to perform their duties and responsibilities because of medical conditions related to pregnancy and/or childbirth, the employee who plans to return to their position may use accrued Sick Leave/Interim Disability Leave/Family Medical Leave, and their position will be held (see USY V.C.19).

4.20.6.2   The period of leave is determined on a case-by-case basis from medical documentation. As with all leaves for Interim Disability, the period of leave shall first include the use of accumulated Sick Leave.

4.20.6.3   When the employee's medical condition no longer requires absence from work, they are expected to return to work. However, FMLA provides the option of up to a total of 12 weeks of leave from their position for child rearing purposes. Continuance of salary under FMLA is contingent on use of their accrued Vacation Leave (see USY V.C.19).

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

4.21   Bereavement Leave for those covered by CBA

4.21.1   Description. Faculty and Exempt employees 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.

4.21.1.1   Non-Exempt employees covered by ET may use five days of Sick Pool Leave for the death of an immediate family member and one day for the death of other relatives following the parameters of USY V.A.4.13.

4.21.2   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, grandparents, grandchildren, and individuals living within the faculty/staff member's household.

4.21.3   Other relatives include brother-in-law, sister-in-law, 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.

4.21.4   Additional Time Off. If additional time off is necessary due to the death of a family member, arrangements may be made to permit the employee to use Vacation Leave/ET or take time off without pay.

4.21.5   Documentation supporting the use of Bereavement Leave may be requested by the immediate supervisor or Human Resources.

5.   Benefits Available to Adjunct Faculty and Staff. Adjunct employees are eligible to enroll in the benefit plans outlined below.

5.1   USNH's 403(b) and 457(b) Retirement Plans (Adjunct). Adjunct employees may make contributions to one or both of USNH's defined contribution plans on a tax-deferred basis through payroll deductions. There is no employer contribution.

5.2   Medical Insurance Coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), adjunct employees, except work study students, who work an average of 30 or more hours per week per year are eligible to enroll in the adjunct medical plan.  The USNH adjunct medical option is a cost-shared high deductible health plan. 

5.2.1   Eligibility.  Those adjuncts hired for 30 or more hours per week for a continuous period of three months or more are eligible for immediate enrollment with coverage beginning the month following enrollment. For other adjuncts, coverage is determined through a measurement period which is used to evaluate how many hours employees worked in a given time period as defined by the ACA.  For USNH, those who worked an average of 30 hours or more per week from mid-October of one calendar year through mid-October of the following calendar year are eligible to enroll in the fall of that calendar year for medical coverage which would take effect the first day of the next calendar year.

5.2.2   Enrollment.  USNH HR will notify eligible employees regarding enrollment details following the measurement period.  Campus HR are responsible for notifying eligible employees regarding enrollment status throughout the year.

6.   Benefits Following Termination.

6.1   Last Day of Benefits Coverage. At termination, the last day of active service is considered the benefits termination date (with the exception of Medical, Dental and Vision coverage which continue through the end of the month of the termination) . Active service is exclusive of any type of paid or unpaid leave (including Sick Leave, Vacation Leave, or ET) as well as non-work periods for flex-year employees and academic year faculty, unless the employee will be a USNH Retiree (as defined in USY V.C.9.1.1) in which up 10 days of accrued ET/Vacation days may be used to extend employment from the last day of active service to the effective date of retirement.

6.1.1   Academic Year Faculty. The last day of Medical and Dental benefits coverage for academic year faculty may be extended up to the start of the next official USNH institution’s academic year, in circumstances when the faculty member performs service to the institution outside the established academic year dates. This service may be paid adjunct work, or may be unpaid work associated with completion of teaching or research responsibilities. This extension is normally recommended by the Dean or Institute Director with final approval by the institution's Provost's Office and written notification to the USNH Benefits Office 30 days prior to the end of the academic year. Unless the faculty member is eligible for Medicare, this extension is done through COBRA and provides the approved continued coverage at the employee rate.

6.2   Medical and Dental Benefit Continuation. The Consolidated Omnibus Benefits Reconciliation Act (COBRA) is the federal law that provides employees who lose their Medical and/or Dental coverage the opportunity to purchase that coverage.

6.2.1   Eligibility. All employees covered by USNH's Medical and/or Dental plan are entitled to elect to remain covered by the plan(s) at their own expense and without proof of good health after coverage would otherwise terminate. Note: Medicare eligibility will affect eligibility for COBRA.

6.2.2   Description. Coverage may be continued for up to 18 months following a qualifying event such as voluntary or involuntary loss of employment and for up to 36 months following death, divorce or legal separation from a covered employee. Coverage may also be continued for a dependent child no longer eligible under the terms of the plan(s).

6.2.3   Employee's Responsibility. In order to continue coverage, the employee must notify USNH, or its designee, as soon as possible, but in no case may it be later than 60 days from the date of the qualifying event. Specific details regarding COBRA's terms and conditions are outlined in the medical and dental plan descriptions.

6.2.4   Survivors of Deceased Employees. If enrolled under the employee's plans, the spouse and dependent children of a deceased employee will be provided with continuation of USNH's contribution to the Medical and Dental plan for up to six months from the date of death. After the six months have expired, the surviving spouse and dependent children will be offered the opportunity to continue coverage through COBRA at the standard rates.

6.3   Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA). The deadline to incur FSA expenses is the last day of employment, and the deadline to submit claims is 90 days from the termination date.

6.4   Tuition Benefit. An employee 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.A.6.1 and USY V.F.10.4.12.

6.5   Life Insurance. An employee may convert USNH’s Group Life Insurance to an Individual Life Insurance policy within 31 days of termination. The conversion notice and request form will be furnished by the life insurance vendor.

6.6   Unemployment Compensation Benefits.

6.6.1   Definition. Unemployment Compensation is administered by the State of New Hampshire and provides partial income replacement to employees who lose their jobs through no fault of their own.

6.6.2   Contributions. USNH assumes the cost of the Workers' Compensation insurance.

6.6.3   Eligibility. This benefit applies to all employees who receive wages from USNH. It does not apply to student workers.

7.   Benefits Following Retirement.

7.1   Normal Retirement Age. The USNH considers age 65 as the "normal retirement age" in accordance with the retention of this age by the Social Security Administration as the age for retirement. Its only purpose is to provide a reference point for employees in their retirement considerations. USNH employees may be considered to be "retirees" as defined in employment policy (USY V.C.9.2). In addition any police officer who retires at age 45 or older with 20 years of service as a full-time certified law enforcement officer or at age 60 or older with three years of such service will be considered a "retiree."

7.2   Social Security.

7.2.1   Full benefits under the federal Social Security Program vary based on one's year of birth, but may begin on a reduced basis as early as age 62. Medicare eligibility remains at age 65.

7.2.2   Eligibility.  Employees should contact the Social Security Office at least two to three months prior to retirement to discuss benefits and make arrangements to receive them.

7.3   Income from USNH 403(b) and 457(b) Retirement Accounts. An employee must contact the vendor(s) to discuss options for retirement account fund distribution.

7.3.1   Retirement Income from USNH Sponsored Retirement Plans. Retirement income benefits are subject to IRS regulations. Benefits may begin any time after the employee fully retires or terminates  employment or as described in USY V.C.9.

7.3.2   Income from Operating Staff Retirement Plan (frozen). USNH maintains a defined benefit plan called the Operating Staff Retirement Plan for those employees who joined the plan prior to January 1, 1987.

7.3.3   Retirees with Additional Retiree Contribution Guarantee.

7.3.3.1   Eligibility. In 1994 status employees hired prior to 6/30/1994 had an opportunity to choose an Additional 1% Retirement Contribution (ARC) or the Medicare Complementary Plan (MCP). Those who chose no retiree medical coverage (MCP) had a guarantee of a minimum of $10,000 in their ARC account at retirement. Campus Human Resources has information concerning the individual application of this ARC guarantee.

7.4   Medical Coverage for Retirees Age 62 through age 65 and for Full-time Certified Police Officers.

7.4.1   All employees who meet the qualifications of a USNH Retiree (see USY V.C.9.2) and are enrolled in a USNH Medical Plan prior to retirement and retire, may continue coverage per USNH guidelines until they are eligible for Medicare coverage at age 65.

7.4.2   In order to maintain medical coverage per USNH guidelines retiring employees will pay the same premium contributions as active employees up to a maximum period of three years.

7.4.2.1   Coverage for Spouse and/or Dependents. Employees must be covering a spouse and/or dependents under their USNH Medical Plan at retirement in order for the spouse and/or dependents to be eligible for continued coverage. Coverage for family members ends on the same date as coverage for the employee ends. (See USY V.A.7.5 and USY V.A.7.6 below.)

7.4.3   USNH police officers may be eligible for medical coverage between the ages of 45 and 62 as defined and approved by the BOT. Officers retiring at age 62 or after will be eligible to select the same medical plan, coverage and contributions as all other employees retiring at age 62 or later, as per their collective bargaining agreement.

7.5   Medical Coverage for Retirees Over Age 65 with the Additional Retiree Contribution (ARC). The ARC contribution was implemented to provide funds for retirees to purchase a medical plan to supplement Medicare, which generally takes effect the first of the month in which a Retiree attains age 65. There is no option for USNH medical coverage for employees under ARC, except for those subject to COBRA provisions.

7.5.1   Coverage for family members ends on the same date as coverage for an employee ends.

7.6   Medical Coverage for Retirees Over Age 65 with the Medicare Complementary Plan.

7.6.1   Eligibility. In 1994 status employees hired prior to 6/30/1994 had the opportunity to choose an Additional 1% Retirement Contribution (ARC) or the Medicare Complementary Plan (MCP). Only those who selected the MCP at that time are eligible for the plan at retirement. In order to meet the USNH definition of a Retiree, an employee began accumulating years of service toward this benefit starting at age 52. Employees must meet all of the criteria of a Retiree as defined in USY V.C.9.2 and be an active participant in a USNH Medical Plan prior to retirement.

7.6.2   Spouse and/or Dependent Coverage. Employees must be covering a spouse and/or dependents under their Medical Plan at retirement in order for them to be eligible for continued coverage.

7.6.2.1   If a spouse is age 65 or older, they will be transitioned to the USNH MCP.

7.6.2.2   If the spouse and/or dependents of retirees are less than age 65 and are eligible for coverage after an employee reaches age 65, the employee will pay the same premium as active employees for a maximum of three years after the employee's retirement date. Following the three years, the employee will contribute 50% of the total cost of the coverage.

7.6.2.3   In the event the Retiree dies, the spouse may continue in the MCP for the rest of their life or until remarriage.

7.6.2.4   If the employee who chose the MCP is over age 52 and has at least 10 years of service and dies either while on active service or while on an approved Early Retirement Plan, Long-Term Disability, or chronic Workers’ Compensation, their spouse, and/or disabled dependent is still eligible for the MCP at age 65, unless made ineligible by remarriage.

7.6.2.5   In the event a spouse of a Retiree covered by the MCP dies, the Retiree is not permitted to add a new spouse to the plan.

8.   Benefits Following End of Service Due to Disability.

8.1   Long-Term Disability Insurance.  This insurance provides monthly disability income benefits to an approved employee (see USY.V.8.1.2) who is unable to work for more than six months due to an illness or injury.

8.1.1   Eligibility. All status employees who enroll in the Long-Term Disability plan are eligible to apply for the benefit (see USY V.A.4.3). An individual may not receive Long-Term Disability income concurrently with income from a USNH Retirement Plan, Separation Incentive Plan or a USNH Early Retirement Plan.

8.1.2   Description. If an employee is approved for Long-Term Disability, the plan provides income, as described in the flexible benefit plan choices and coordinated with Social Security and Workers' Compensation payments as applicable, and continues certain benefits as outlined in USY V.A.8.1.4. An employee who is unable to work their regular schedule for an extended period (more than six months) due to an illness or injury may apply through USNH Human Resources to the disability insurance carrier for the benefit. The carrier makes the determination whether medical documentation supports an individual's inability to work, based on the plan's provisions.

8.1.2.1   Waiting period. There is a six-month waiting period from the onset of a disabling illness or injury that requires the individual's absence from work until the beginning of Long-Term Disability income. After a three-month absence from work, an employee must apply to USNH Human Resources for the Long-Term Disability benefit. During the waiting period, salary continuance is dependent on applicable leave policies. (See Earned Time/Sick Pool, USY V.A.4.9; Sick Leave, USY V.A.4.11; Interim Disability Leave, USY V.A.4.12).

8.1.3   Position Status. An employee's position is held for a time period not to exceed the six-month waiting period, except in cases of Workers' Compensation. When an employee is placed on Long-Term Disability, the individual's position is no longer held. While employment is terminated, certain benefits may continue as outlined below.

8.1.4   Continuation of Benefits. According to the schedule below, USNH will continue its contributions toward the employee's Medical, Dental and Group Life Insurance plans (subject to vendor approval) and continue Tuition Benefits for the spouse and/or eligible children; however, the Tuition Benefit will not continue for the employee's personal use. (Note: Campus Human Resources has the continuation of benefits schedule applicable to individuals employed in status positions prior to 9/1/2002.)

8.1.4.1   Schedule.

Years of Service Continuation Period for Benefits
 
Less than 5 Applicable COBRA provisions (18 months; 29 months if determined to be disabled under Title II or XVI of the Social Security Act)
5 up to 10 1 year, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for Long-Term Disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first
10 up to 20 5 years, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for Long-Term Disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first
20 up to 25 10 years, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for Long-Term Disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first
25+ Continuation until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for Long-Term Disability or reaches retirement age, whichever comes first

8.1.4.1.1   If eligible the disability plan may contribute both the employer and employee contributions toward the regular retirement in which the former employee is enrolled. 

Note: All continuation periods of coverage for medical and/or dental run concurrently with COBRA provisions. Employees with less than five years of service are required to pay the full COBRA rate for continued coverage. Employees with five or more years of service are required to pay contributions at the same level as active employees and such contributions are subject to change.

8.1.4.2   If the individual meets the requirements for a USNH Retiree, they receive either retiree MCP coverage through USNH or ARC (see USY V.A.6.2).

8.1.5   Reinstatement. If an employee is able to work following a period of Long-Term Disability, the individual may apply for positions within USNH; and if re-hired, the individual shall receive credit for prior years of service as referenced in USY V.C.11.

8.1.6   End of Disability Payments. When Long-Term Disability income ends, the former employee may elect to receive income according to their retirement plan.

8.1.6.1   If the individual has reached at least age 62, they may be considered a USNH Retiree, if eligible, as defined in USY V.C.9.

8.2   Workers' Compensation while Disabled.

8.2.1   Continuation of Benefits. A status employee will be eligible to continue applicable coverage under the USNH benefits program after 18 months of a qualified disability absence according to the schedule below. (Note: Campus Human Resources Office has the continuation of benefits schedule applicable to individuals employed in status positions prior to 9/1/2002.)

8.2.1.1   Schedule.

Years of Service

Continuation Period for Benefits
 

Less than 5 Applicable COBRA provisions (18 months; 29 months if determined to be disabled under Title II or XVI of the Social Security Act)
5 up to 10 1 year, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for Long-Term Disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first
10 up to 20 5 years, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for Long-Term Disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first
20 up to 25 10 years, or until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for Long-Term Disability or reaches retirement age whichever comes first
25+ Continuation until no longer disabled, no longer eligible for Long-Term Disability or reaches retirement age, whichever comes first

Note: All continuation periods of coverage for medical and/or dental run concurrently with COBRA provisions. Employees with less than five years of service are required to pay the full COBRA rate for continued coverage. Employees with five or more years of service are required to pay contributions at the same level as active employees and are subject to change.

This page last updated Wednesday, November 13, 2019. For information on the adoption and effective dates of policies please see explanation on the OLPM Main Menu.