Exempt Administrative Staff Handbook
This revised handbook has been designed and written for the administrative staff of Hope College. It is your responsibility take time to review the items in this handbook so that you are familiar with current policies and practices.
This handbook is a guide to our personnel policies and employee benefits, and is not a contract. Nor does it modify the terms and conditions of insurance policies, the flexible benefits plan/HSA plan or the retirement plan.
If you have any questions concerning your employment or this handbook, please contact the Human Resources Office.
Table of Contents
- General Policy Statement
- Conditions of Employment
- College Policies
- Staff Policies
- Staff Hiring Policy and Procedures
- Changes in Employment
- Good Employee / Vendor Practices
- Employee Identification Card Policy
- Absenteeism and Tardiness
- Change of Status
- Work Outside the College
- Performance Evaluations
- Dispute Resolution Procedures
- Involuntary Termination
- Exit Interview
- Breaks in Service
- College Policies
- Compensation & Benefits
- Insurance Benefits
- Leave Policies
- Miscellaneous Benefits
- Institutional Services
Hope College adheres to all federal and state civil rights laws prohibiting discrimination in private institutions of higher education. Hope College is committed to the concept of equal rights, equal opportunities and equal protection under the law. It administers all programs-- admissions, financial aid, employment, instruction and services—without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, height, weight, national origin, marital status, or handicap, except in the event of a bona fide non-disqualifying occupational qualification.
The conduct of College administration, management and operation of its properties and facilities, and the supervision and direction of its work force are vested exclusively in the College. The foregoing functions are recognized to include by way of illustration (but are not limited to): the right to hire, schedule, promote, demote, transfer, release, and layoff employees; to suspend, discipline, and discharge employees; to establish and maintain rules and regulations covering the operation of the College and its employees and to determine and impose penalties for violations thereof; to make judgments as to whether an employee's work performance and/or behavior is necessary, acceptable and/or satisfactory; to determine workloads; to create, eliminate or change job positions, job assignments and operations as the College deems to be in its best interest; to introduce new or improved methods or means of operations and facilities; to maintain order and efficiency, and to the full and exclusive control of the management of the College, the supervision of all operations, the methods, processes and means of performing any and all work, the control of the property and the composition, assignment, direction, and determination of the size of its work forces; and in all respects to carry out the ordinary and customary functions of management.
The College reserves the right to unilaterally modify its personnel policies at any time. Michigan is an “at will” employment state, therefore, all employees covered by this Handbook are free to terminate their employment at any time and likewise are subject to discharge by the College at any time, but will serve the College without contract as long as their performance and behavior are necessary, acceptable and satisfactory, as the College shall, in its sole discretion, determine. No oral representation to the contrary is binding on the College in regard to an employee's terms or conditions of employment, and no supervisor or administrator has the authority to make binding commitments to employees, except the President or Provost of the College, and they can only do so by a written signed commitment. References in this Handbook to words which identify either sex are used only for convenience and apply equally to all sexes.
Certain standards of performance and conduct must be maintained in any work group. Generally, these standards are recognized and observed by individual members of the work group without any need for action by the supervisor. Offenses, which may result in discipline or discharge, include, by way of example, but are not limited to:
- Fraud in securing your job
- Unexcused absences
- Failure to respect confidentiality
- Intoxication on the job or abuse of other drugs or chemical substances
- Willful disobedience
- Failure to wear attire deemed suitable by the College or meet the College’s hygiene and grooming standard
- Discourteous treatment of students, other College employees and/or the public including bullying
- Unsatisfactory work performance
- Unsafe acts
- Misuse of College resources (including technology)
These rules are to be used only as a guideline and are not intended to cover all of the offenses for which disciplinary action could result. The range of disciplinary action may include (but is not limited to) oral or written reprimand, probation, suspension without pay and/or benefits, demotion and discharge. The appropriateness of the penalty in each case shall be determined by the College.
The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires all employers receiving federal contracts and grants to maintain a drug-free workplace. It is the policy of Hope College to prohibit the unlawful manufacture, distribution or use of a controlled substance on College properties. Employees who violate this prohibition are subject to dismissal upon conviction.
Faculty, staff or student employees working on covered contracts must notify the Office of Human Resources within five days of their conviction for violating any criminal drug law by an action in the workplace. Drug abuse in the workplace is a serious threat to the personal safety and well-being of the abuser, as well as co-workers. For that reason, the College strongly supports the humane treatment of drug abusers; while protecting the College community from adverse consequences of drug abuse.
The Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act Amendments of 1989 requires that, as a condition of receiving funds or any other form of financial assistance under any Federal programs, Hope College must certify that we have adopted and implemented a program to prevent the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of illicit drugs and alcohol by students and employees. This statement is issued to inform you of our compliance with the Act.
Standards of Conduct
It is the policy and practice of Hope College to prohibit the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs and alcohol by students and employees on our property or as a part of Hope College sponsored activities.
Legal status under local, State and Federal law provide sanctions as recourse against illicit drugs and alcohol.
Counseling and Treatment Options
Drug and Alcohol abuse in the workplace is a serious threat to the personal safety and well-being of the abuser as well as co-workers. There are a number of agencies offering programs of assistance to employees or students requiring counseling and treatment. The Hope College Counseling Center provides substance abuse counseling for students and referrals for long-term treatment. Employees participating in the Hope College sponsored health insurance plans are eligible to receive substance abuse treatment coverage. Voluntary, self-admission into a drug/alcohol treatment center is promoted as a means of preventing more serious problems, including the possible loss of employment.
It is very important that Hope College provides a safe work environment for our employees and we therefore will take action, as deemed necessary, to protect the College community from adverse consequences of alcohol and drug abuse.
The Hope College Department of Campus Safety will investigate and prosecute violations in accordance with the requirements of the legal statutes. The College reserves the right to require an employee to submit to drug or alcohol testing when the College reasonably believes that the employee may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Employees who violate our alcohol and drug-free workplace rules are subject to College penalties ranging from unpaid suspension, with a requirement to successfully complete an alcohol or drug rehabilitation program, to dismissal. Employee conviction for sale or delivery of illicit drugs, drug related violence toward other members of the campus community or refusal to participate in an appropriate rehabilitation program shall result in dismissal proceedings.
The Ottawa County Smoke-Free Indoor Air Regulation became effective on January 1, 2008. This regulation requires all public and private employers to prohibit smoking in all enclosed areas and within twenty-five feet of any entrance, operable window, and ventilation system. Hope College became a smoke free campus on January 1, 2008.
Smoking (including e-cigarettes) will not be permitted in any campus owned or leased building; in any residence hall, apartment, or cottage; on any campus walkway or green space; or outside in college parking lots.
Smoking (including e-cigarettes) is permitted in private vehicles (including those parked in college lots) and on public right-of- ways away from building entrances. Please adhere to the twenty-five foot distance and dispose of your smoking materials appropriately before reentering the campus area.
The college is supportive of smoking cessation programs and will work with faculty and staff seeking help with their smoking habit. For more information contact the Human Resources Office.
One of the most important aspects of everyone's job is the practice of safety. All members of the Hope College Community are required to notify Campus Safety (ext 7770) of any situation or incident on campus that involves a significant emergency or dangerous situation that may involve an immediate or ongoing threat to the health and safety of students and/or employees on campus. We also welcome suggestions for improving safety of the campus. These suggestions should be directed to your immediate supervisor or the Health and Fire Safety Office (ext 7999). All injuries incurred during the course of performing ones duties are to be reported immediately to the Health and Safety Office (ext 7999) or to Human Resources Office (ext 7811).
Hope College is committed to the concept of equal rights, equal opportunities and equal protection under the law. It administers all programs-admissions, financial aid, employment, instruction and services-without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, height, weight, national origin, marital status, or handicap, except in the event of a bona fide non-disqualifying occupational qualification.
The Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Non-discrimination Policy covers non-discrimination in employment and in access to educational opportunities. Therefore, any member of the campus community who acts to deny, deprive or limit the educational, employment, residential and/or social access, benefits and/or opportunities of any member of the campus community, guest, or visitor on the basis of their actual or perceived membership in the protected classes listed above is in violation of the Hope College policy on non-discrimination. Details about your rights and responsibilities under this policy can be found at: hope.edu/titleix
The following person has been designated to respond to inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policy, including inquiries regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and Title IX:
Sara Dorer, Title IX Coordinator/Compliance Officer
141 East 12th Street (220 DeWitt)
PO Box 9000
Holland, MI 49422-9000
Or for further information, you can contact the local Office of Civil Rights at:
Office for Civil Rights (Cleveland Office), US Department of Education
1350 Euclid Avenue, Suite 325
Cleveland, OH 44115-1812
Hope College is required to comply with rules issued by the Immigration and Naturalization Service in 1987. All employees are required to file an I-9 form with the Human Resources Office. Accurate documentation as noted by the Immigration and Naturalization Service must be provided.
Certain standards of performance and conduct are expected from Hope College employees when using College owned computers, telephones, and other electronic equipment. The College has no tolerance for use of College resources, including technology, for pornography and violators of this will be subject to discipline action, up to and including immediate termination.
- Personal Communication: The usage of cell phones, social media, email, and texting for personal communications should be kept to a minimum and in some circumstances, will not be allowed. Employees should engage in personal communications during approved break periods if at all possible. Excessive usage of electronic equipment will be cause for discipline.
- Network Use: Employees are encouraged to use the College network resources for College business only. In the event that network use is deemed inappropriate, employees may be subject to disciplinary action. The appropriateness of the penalty in each case shall be determined by the College. Network use by non-employees, including family members is prohibited.
- E-mail Names: While C.I.T. strives to honor the wishes of employees in selecting e-mail name and addresses, it is the sole discretion of C.I.T. to determine these names and addresses.
Additional information regarding technology usage can be found at the following link: https://hope.edu/resources/cit/policies/rescomp.html.
Hope College requires all employees to observe very high standards of business and personal ethics in the conduct of their duties and responsibilities. Internal controls and operating procedures are intended to detect, prevent or deter violations of law, governmental rules and regulations, and/or College policies. The College also provides various mechanisms to assist and encourage employees to come forward in good faith with reports of violations or suspected violations. Normally, these instances should be reported to an immediate supervisor. However, there may be times when it is necessary for an employee to report a violation outside of the normal chain of command. Therefore the College has adopted a Whistleblower Policy. Specific details of this policy can be found at hope.edu/offices/human-resources/resources/whistleblower-policy.pdf.
In creating a healthy, safe, and respectful environment, animals/pets should not be a part of the campus community unless part of a service animal program or identified in the exclusions clause of the policy. Pets can pose various health and safety concerns to the campus community including allergic reactions to animal dander, excessive noise, animal bites, and disease transmission (i.e., fleas, ticks, parasites, viruses, bacteria, etc.). Specific information on this policy can be found at hope.edu/offices/human-resources/employee/handbooks-policies/policies/animal-pet-policy.html.
In order to increase employee safety and eliminate unnecessary risks while driving, the College has enacted a Distracted Driving Policy for those driving while performing College business. Disregarding the guidelines of this policy could jeopardize your ability to use College owned vehicles, or disciplinary action. We are committed to avoiding the perils of distracted driving and have created the following policy which applies to any employee operating a Hope College vehicle:
- Hope College employees may not manually dial a hand-held cell phone while operating a college vehicle while the vehicle is in motion. The college also encourages employees to avoid cell phone conversations while the vehicle is in motion as this can distract a driver from his/her full attention to the road and the surrounding elements.
- If Hope College employees need to use their phones, they should pull over safely to the side of the road or another safe location.
- Michigan state law prohibits texting while driving.
- Additionally, Hope College employees should:
- Consider hands free dialing, walkie talkie, or radio to radio communications to avoid the need to divert one’s eyes from the road.
- Inform clients, associates and business partners of this policy as an explanation of why calls may not be answered or returned immediately.
- Failure to abide by this policy could jeopardize your ability to use a college owned vehicle. Due to the potential of personal injury to yourself and others, the college could consider disciplinary action as well.
In order to maintain the security of college buildings and the safety of students, faculty, and staff; requests for keys shall be directed to the Department of Campus Safety. The department will determine the need and justification for the request and respond accordingly. Any individual who, without authorization, reproduces keys to any college building, office, room or equipment, or who has such keys in their possession shall be subject to disciplinary action by the college.
Upon leaving the employment of the college (either voluntary or involuntary), an employee is required to turn in all keys issued to them. If the employee does not have in their possession the key(s) listed, the employee's department may be charged a fee of $10 dollars per office key and $100 dollars per master key to help offset the cost of reissuing and rekeying college property and/or facilities. Keys are required to be turned in to the Human Resources Department.
Hope College Hiring Philosophy
Within the context and framework of the published mission of Hope College, we continue to seek to employ the best-qualified personnel in all areas of our operation. This philosophy is currently adhered to and will continue to serve as the basic guideline for all hiring practices. Initial employment, employee compensation, training/development and subsequent promotion opportunities are extended to all persons regardless of race, color, national and ethnic origin, sex, age, or handicap. The College will diligently seek qualified minority persons to fill job openings and thus expand the multicultural presence of our campus.
General Recruitment and Hiring Procedures
The College will engage in an open recruitment process for filling new positions and locating replacement personnel. Our recruitment and hiring practices utilize the online applicant system Neogov. Departments hiring should contact the Human Resources Office for information on accessing and completing the steps below in the Neogov system.
To facilitate the efficient recruitment of candidates, the following guidelines should be followed:
A "Personnel Requisition Form" will be created in Neogov and the necessary authorizations will be secured prior to the search.
An electronic posting of the position will be posted on the Human Resources web site.
Appropriate outside advertising will be coordinated by the Human Resources Office, including postings with the veterans organizations, and state unemployment agencies.
The hiring department will conduct campus interviews and special effort should be made to consider candidates from under-represented groups.
Reference and background checks will be conducted on final candidates whom are being considered for a position with the College.
The oral offer of employment by the hiring department should be followed up by a written confirmation.
Rejected candidates will be promptly contacted and the communication process should be coordinated with the Human Resources Office.
The hiring supervisor will complete an electronic hiring form to authorize placing the new employee on the payroll system.
Developing a Multicultural Community
College departments should demonstrate their support of the College hiring philosophy and follow the published recruitment/hiring procedures. To facilitate the College goal of increasing the multicultural presence, departments should make efforts to locate minority applicants for openings. The College makes special efforts to invite members of the local minority community to become more familiar with our campus and encourage their consideration of Hope College as a potential employer when openings become available.
It is the policy of Hope College to conduct a background check before making an offer of employment. This will be limited to checking criminal convictions, state and national sex offender lists, and terrorist watch lists. In the event a particular position involves access to large sums of money, a credit check will also be required. The background check information will be ordered and reviewed by a person designated at the College. The designee will share this information with the hiring supervisor only when it is relevant to the job performance. All candidates will be informed of their right to review the check for accuracy. If the background check uncovers information that is potentially disqualifying, the candidate will be informed and given the opportunity to respond. Results of this check will remain confidential unless essential for the College’s legal defense in a lawsuit involving the candidate.
All volunteers who will be interacting with students in a private setting or spending time individually with a single student are required to receive a background check. Please contact the Human Resources Office for more information.
All new employees hired into permanent positions are expected to participate in an Orientation Program. Led by Human Resources this program introduces key policies, explores the history and culture of the College, and allows you to participate in an online assessment program. You will be contacted by the Employee Development Manager as to dates and times for your Orientation.
Job openings will be announced, when necessary in the College's judgment, by postings and/or advertisements. You may be required to complete an application for a job opening you are interested in, and the College may consider your previous performance, performance evaluations and job counseling statements in addition to other factors in reviewing your application. The College reserves the right to transfer, lay off and recall employees at its discretion.
The College expects all employees to refrain from the acceptance of personal gifts, services, and discounts offered by vendors to the College which may be interpreted as creating a “conflict of interest” in the conduct of College business. Favored treatment of a vendor in exchange for personal employee reward is strongly discouraged. The selection of a vendor must be based upon the best interests of the College. Normal lunch/dinner business meetings paid by vendors are considered to be acceptable business practice. Questions for policy interpretations should be addressed to the Human Resource Office.
The College recognizes that an I.D. card provides employees and their families with many valued benefits. These benefits include: use of the Dow Physical Education Center, free general admission to College athletic events, discount fees for numerous cultural activities, use of other College facilities including parking and a discount on bookstore purchases. It has therefore become necessary to establish policies governing the issue and use of cards.
Photo I.D. cards are issued at no cost to all regular non-student employees who are paid through the College payroll. The Human Resources Office is responsible for authorizing the distribution and annual validation of cards. The following I.D. card categories and guidelines are followed:
- Staff Card: ID’s are validated with a sticker for a twelve (12) month period for all regular
employees. The card provides full benefits to the employee and his or her dependents.
Dependents desiring a Dow Card need to contact the Dow Center. Single employees are
given a guest privilege that allows them to attend College activities and use College
facilities with a guest at no charge. New validation stickers for cards are issued
each fall semester.
- Retired Employee Card: Employees who retire from active service at the College on or after the age of 65 (or age 60 with 10 years of Hope College service) or through a College Early Retirement Plan are eligible to receive an honorary lifetime I.D. that will provide the same benefits described above for regular, active employees. Spouses of deceased retirees shall become eligible for an honorary activity card providing a continuation of benefits. Should the spouse remarry, the card shall expire on the date of the remarriage.
The normal workday for office employees is 8:00 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Physical Plant employees have some shift variations but normally begin their work day earlier and finish earlier. Variations in work schedules may occur for special shifts, part-time and temporary employees depending on their particular job.
Employees will be scheduled to work such hours as are required by the job assignment. At peak times, it may be necessary to work more hours than originally agreed upon. These hours will be assigned by the direct supervisor. Lunch/meal breaks are required for all employees working more than 4 hours per day and are not considered “hours worked” for compensation or overtime purposes. Full-time employees should not regularly work without a scheduled lunch break in order to modify their normal schedule.
All employees are normally expected to work the full amount of their scheduled assigned daily work shift. Employees are not required to punch in at a time clock, but are expected to observe normal working hours as indicated.
If for any reason you will be late or absent from work, it is your responsibility to notify your immediate supervisor before the workday begins. It is also your responsibility to accurately report any absences or tardiness on your weekly time card. Failure to report such instances in a manner deemed accurate by the College, or absences and/or tardiness which, in the College’s opinion, is excessive, may result in discipline or discharge. Should the absence be for more than one day, the employee is expected to continue to apprise his/her supervisor of the situation.
It is very important that the Human Resources Office and your immediate supervisor be kept informed of your correct address and telephone number. This can be changed on your plus.hope.edu account. It is also essential that the Human Resources Office be immediately notified when there is a change in your marital and dependency allowance status. This information is very important as it has a direct bearing on the health and life insurance program as well as withholding for income tax purposes.
Work outside Hope College while employed as a regular full-time employee is discouraged but not prohibited. If additional work is performed, it must not detract from the performance of your regular duties at the College nor may it create a conflict of interest.
Good practice is for supervisors and employees to be in dialogue throughout the year regarding performance expectations. Frequent dialogue will allow for recognition and problem resolution to occur. Annually, your supervisor will submit an evaluation to the Human Resources Office for your personnel file. If you disagree with this evaluation, you have the option to submit, in writing, a statement that is placed in your personnel file.
Throughout the year employees are encouraged to engage in professional development activities. Some of these activities will be required as part of your being a College employee while others are required based on your position. Every employee should also take the opportunity to explore other learning opportunities in order to further both career and individual goals.
Employees are to give, in writing, a minimum of 2 week notice of their intent to terminate. Such notice will allow the immediate supervisor adequate time to seek a replacement or determine how the activities of the position will be handled.
When a supervisor receives notice of an impending resignation, he/she must immediately contact the Human Resources Office. This will ensure that all employee matters regarding payroll and benefits are properly handled.
An exit interview should be scheduled with the Human Resources Office during the final week of employment. All College property, including but not limited to, keys, library cards, Dow Center cards, identification cards, credit cards, office equipment must be returned at this meeting.
In the event of layoff, all benefits will be terminated at midnight on the day of layoff. Benefit eligible employees with College provided health insurance will be eligible for COBRA benefits.
Problems should be discussed first with the immediate supervisor. The second step to be taken, if no resolution has occurred, is to refer the matter to the next higher level of supervision. If dissatisfied with these results, the employee should present his/her problem in writing to the Human Resources Office and ask for a meeting with the Director of Human Resources. If there is still no employee satisfaction at this level, the Human Resources Office will take the employee's problem to the appropriate Vice President or the President for a final decision.
In addition to the situations previously described, an employee will be subject to discharge if his/her work or behavior is, in the College's sole judgment, unnecessary, unacceptable or unsatisfactory. Any severance pay is at the discretion of the College. Pay for wages earned to date of termination will be granted and added to the final paycheck.
There may be times when conditions at the College no longer require the continuation of a particular position. If this happens, an attempt will be made to find another suitable position for the employee. If no other suitable position is available, two weeks’ notice will be given. Pay for two weeks may be given in lieu of notice if the College prefers.
In case of termination or involuntary separation (discharge), or if there is a permanent reduction in our work force, insurance will be affected as follows:
Medical and dental insurance will continue until the last day of your employment. Extension is possible under group rates according to terms of the federally mandated COBRA rules. See the Human Resources Office for full details.
Life Insurance and Long term disability insurance will cease on the final day of active employment.
All employees leaving the employ of Hope College for any reason should schedule an exit interview with the Human Resources Office. The exit interview is normally held during the last week of employment. Insurance, retirement, and other arrangements for the final paycheck are made during this interview. All College property, including College ID, keys, and equipment must be returned by the last day of employment. If this is not possible, two options will be available. First, you may sign a consent form which allows the College to deduct the value (which shall be determined by the College) of the property from your paycheck to the extent the law allows. Or, you may sign a promissory note for this amount (or the balance of the amount which remains after your payroll deduction outlined in Option 1 has been made). The College reserves the right to take other lawful means (including filing a lawsuit) to recover the value of the property or the property itself, should neither option be taken, or should a balance remain after either option (or both) is/are taken.
If you wish to also speak privately with someone regarding your decision to leave the College please contact either the Director of Human Resources or the Employee Development Manager to schedule an appointment.
When an employee leaves his/her employment at the College but later is re-hired, prior years of service will be added to the employee's total years of service if the break in service is less than one (1) calendar year. Total years of service are important elements in the determination of rates for sick pay/vacation pay accumulation, service award qualification, and any other benefits with a longevity factor. Retirement program requirements for breaks in service will supersede any policy stated here.
The hourly, non-exempt staff will be paid bi-weekly on Friday every other week for the previous two weeks work. For those not electing automatic deposit, paychecks will be put into the mailbox of the department for which you work. If a holiday occurs on Friday, paychecks will be distributed on Thursday afternoon if the College deems it practical to do so.
Hope College's flexible payroll system allows an employee a variety of automatic checking and savings deposit options. It is possible to have your check split between several kinds of accounts or have it all deposited into one. Direct Deposit forms can be found online https://hope.edu/admin/hr/payroll/forms/direct_deposit.pdf or can be accessed online at your KnowHopePlus account.
Under Federal law, the College deducts Social Security taxes from your paycheck. This deduction is made according to the prevailing percentage rate up to a specified yearly amount as set by the Federal government. The amount is matched by College funds and deposited at regular intervals with the government.
Federal and State Income Taxes
Federal and State taxes are also withheld from your earnings and deposited with Federal and State governments at regular intervals. Deductions for these taxes are based on your gross salary in relationship to your marital status and the number of exemptions you claim.
The College is also required to participate in the Unemployment Compensation insurance program. This cost is entirely that of Hope College.
All college employees are covered by the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act. The FLSA categorizes employees into “Exempt” and “Non-exempt” classifications. Exempt employees are paid on a salaried basis and must meet certain job duties and minimum salary tests. Exempt employees are not subject to overtime regulations of the FLSA and generally have more flexibility in their work schedule.
All employees who have completed one year of service at Hope College and who worked at least 1000 hours during the previous benefit year and are expected by the College to do so during the existing benefit year will be eligible to participate in the retirement program. The College contributes 10.5% of salary in a 403(b) defined contribution plan (INVEST plan). The amount received at the time of retirement is based on the amount of money accumulated in the individual's account. Information regarding current investment vehicles is available in Human Resources. All employees are eligible to participate in a voluntary contribution program by setting aside tax deferred dollars. Details are available at the Human Resources Office.
Hope College employees are allowed to take advantage of tax exempt premiums for health insurance, and dental. The college automatically sets up these payments as tax exempt unless directed otherwise by the employee. The College also offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) and a Health Spending Account (HSA) depending on which type of health insurance the employee and/or family is enrolled in. Additionally the College offers a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for child care expenses. For specific eligibility rules, list of covered expenses, and details on each program please see https://hope.edu/admin/hr/benefits
Active Employees Eligibility
All employees with regular assignments scheduled to work 1560+ hours per benefit year (.75 FTE) are eligible to participate in the College group health insurance plans. Selection of a plan option is made upon enrollment and changes may be made annually during the open enrollment period. Eligibility is the first day of employment. Employees contribute, on a pre-tax basis, to the cost based on salary and type of coverage elected. Details of current plans, cost, eligibility, special enrollment options, auto exclusion provision, and other information can be found in the Employee Benefit Plan Document and Summary Plan Description as well as at https://hope.edu/admin/hr/benefits/health.html.
Coordination of Coverage
Michigan law specifies which insurance carrier has primary responsibility for payment of claims for dependents when both husband and wife have insurance coverage. The insured employee with the birth date earliest in the calendar year has the primary responsibility for dependents. Our plan will provide secondary coverage in those cases where another plan is primary.
Coverage Limits when both Spouses are Employed at the College
When both husband and wife work at Hope College in positions eligible for full benefits, the College will not approve the duplicate expense of providing dependent coverage for both. Couples with no children are requested to take single coverage for each employee since the insurance rates for two single contracts are normally less expensive than for one contract as a couple. For those staff with children, it is normally most cost effective for one employee to take the full family coverage contract and the other waives coverage (since they would be covered under their spouse's contract). Coordination of married employee couple's coverage can reduce cost without any loss of medical insurance protection. Premiums will be based on the higher salary of the two spouse’s salaries.
Health Insurance Continuation
- Employee Death - The family of employees who die while in active service to the College will be given
the option to continue coverage by paying the premium share required of active employees.
The length of coverage will be limited to one year. Dependent child coverage ends
at the end of the calendar month the child turns 26 years of age or the one year provision, whichever
is less. Spouse coverage will terminate upon remarriage and coverage will not apply
to step-children by another marriage. The College insurance coverage will also terminate
in the event that surviving family members become eligible for health insurance coverage
from any other source.
Employee Disability - Employees who become disabled under the Long Term Disability Policy, while employed at the College will be eligible for medical insurance continuation for a period of one year by paying the premium share required of active employees. Dependent child coverage ends at the end of the calendar month the child turns 26 years of age or the one year provision, whichever is less. Other medical insurance received in connection with the disability will be considered primary for purposes of payment coordination. The College will be responsible for only those expenses normally covered by our plan and not funded by another plan.
Continuation of Health Insurance: Federal Rules - COBRA - All employees who lose medical insurance coverage as a result of a reduction of hours of employment or termination of employment (for reasons other than gross misconduct) are eligible for group health insurance continuation coverage at the employee's expense. In addition, spouses or dependents of employees who become ineligible for benefits (divorce, no longer dependent, etc.) may choose to participate, at their own expense, in a continuation of group health insurance coverage; according to the guidelines set by COBRA for a period of time not greater than 18 months for employee and not greater than 36 months for dependents. Full information about the details of COBRA coverage is available by contacting the Hope College Human Resources Office.
Early Retiree Coverage
Should an employee retiree prior to Medicare eligible age (currently age 65), you may remain on the College Health Insurance Plan by paying 100% of the premium costs if you have met the minimum service requirement of 10 years and are at least 60 years of age. Upon becoming eligible for Medicare, you can then participate in Hope College’s Retiree Health Insurance plan according to the terms described in “Retiree Coverage”.
Faculty and staff who retire from Hope College with at least ten years of continuous service at the time of their retirement are eligible to participate in one of Hope College’s Retiree Health Insurance plans. The participant will be billed monthly for their share of the premium due based on eligibility guidelines. Details on eligibility and premium sharing can be found at the following link: https://hope.edu/admin/hr/benefits/health.html. Hope College will have the right to cancel insurance coverage if payment is more than 60 days delinquent.
Health Plan Revision Option
The College reserves the right to modify the terms, conditions, and coverages in the Health Insurance and Retiree Health Insurance Plan(s).
In addition to health insurance coverage, employees receive term life insurance coverage for themselves at no charge. The life insurance is valued at $12,000 plus one and one-half the amount of the employee's annual base wage. "Annual wage" for hourly employees will be calculated at the regular hourly pay rate times 2080 hours, or the scheduled hours, if less than 2080. The employee will also have the opportunity to purchase Supplemental Life Insurance. Details on the Life Insurance Plan are available at https://hope.edu/admin/hr/benefits/life.html.
Should the face value of your life insurance exceed $50,000, IRS requires that the premium cost for coverage in excess of $50,000 be considered a taxable benefit. The value coverage above $50,000 will be treated as "other income" to you and listed on your year-end W-2 form.
The College provides AD&D insurance on the lives of all benefit eligible employees at the same face value as the term life insurance. The terms and conditions of the benefit are outlined in the plan booklet.
Hope College has adopted a Long-Term Disability (LTD) Insurance program for all employees who meet the standard 1560 work hours test described previously. The benefits of this program provide for payments of 60% of your normal monthly earning up to a maximum of $6,000 per month. Employees will have the option to purchase an additional 10% in coverage. Plan documents are available at https://hope.edu/admin/hr/benefits/ltd.html. During the first year of LTD, the employee will be considered on “leave status” and the employee’s department can request the position be filled by a temporary or permanent employee. During this first year, if the employee returns from LTD, every effort will be made to find the employee a position on the campus. If no position exists, the employee shall be moved to layoff status. If an employee remains on LTD their employee status will expire after one year of continuous long term disability. The employee's position assignment will be terminated at that time unless extraordinary circumstances exist. Any future Hope College employment will be contingent upon available positions and qualifications. The College pays the LTD premiums and the benefits received are taxable.
Reporting an Accident
Hope College carries Worker's Compensation Insurance for all College personnel. If an employee is injured while performing duties on his/her job, they must promptly report the injury prior to securing treatment (unless the injury is serious). The College uses the services of Holland MediCenter, 335 N. 120 th Ave, Holland, for treatment and assessment of most workplace injuries. Severe injuries would require treatment at a Hospital Emergency Room. Injuries should be reported promptly to Director of Occupational Health and Safety. If the Director is unavailable, then the Physical Plant Operations Manager should be contacted for Physical Plant staff or Human Resources Office Assistant for other staff. Treatment at the MediCenter requires pre-authorization by one of the three staff members indicated. The MediCenter also conducts return to work evaluations for the College. Use of an employee's personal physician is allowed for continued treatment or follow-up after 10 days of filing an injury claim.
It is very important to promptly notify your supervisor, the Department of Health and Fire Safety and secure the necessary claim form from the Office Assistant in the Human Resources Office. All bills resulting from the injury must be submitted to the Human Resources Office. Hope College uses the services of an outside company to coordinate the claims. Payments are made directly by them to the doctor and/or the hospital involved.
The Health and Safety Department will investigate all incidents for possible health or safety hazards, make a written report and take corrective action when necessary.
Payment for Lost Wages
Payments for lost wages are paid from the Worker's Compensation fund and are sent directly to the employee. Earned sick pay benefits may be used to supplement Worker's Compensation Benefit payments -- not to exceed 100% of the employee's current base wages. All Hope College disability benefits will be suspended while Worker's Compensation Benefits are being paid. The College will continue to make retirement contributions and pay employer life, AD&D, and LTD premiums based on what would have been the employee’s normal base wage. Any applicable contributions for benefits will be billed to the employee or collected from pay upon return-to- work. Any outside income replacement benefits received will be coordinated with College sick pay or Short Term Disability payments - combined total cannot exceed 100% of normal earnings. Leave accruals will not be calculated on workers compensation earnings.
Salaried employees will be entitled to regular pay for work missed due to illness. For benefit eligible staff, amounts beyond 8 days (immediate for surgery or accident) will be coordinated with short and long term disability policies. Excessive absences resulting in work performance or departmental issues will be addressed by the supervisor and can be basis for disciplinary action including up to termination. The College also reserves the right to secure a second medical opinion. Paid leave will be used to reduce the 12-week entitlement for unpaid leave allowed by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993.
For non-work related disabilities, a Short Term Disability benefit of 100% of the normal pay rate is available for up to a maximum of 26 weeks of coverage. Coverage begins on the 1st missed work day for an accident/non-elective surgery or 8th consecutive calendar day for an illness or elective surgery (elective cosmetic surgery is not covered by this benefit). The elimination period starts with the first work-day missed. (Accident/Non-elective Surgery is defined as an event that results in a loss of a minimum of 8 calendar days – benefit eligibility will then be retroactive to the first missed workday.) Recurrence of a prior disability within 6 months will result in the waiver of the elimination period. Returning to work on a restriction or part-time basis after a period of disability and as part of the recovery period for employee may be allowed if physician approved and work team is able to accommodate. In this situation, benefit will be paid on the un-worked hours required to meet the employee’s regular work schedule.
In the case of auto-related accidents, the STD benefit and the automobile policy benefit should not exceed 100% of the employee’s normal pay.
In the event of an extended illness or medical condition, the STD 26-week maximum benefit period will coordinate with the Long-Term Disability elimination period. Employees’ supervisor must be properly informed of your progress on a regular basis. The College reserves the right to request medical information from your doctor regarding any illness or medical condition and its relationship to your work. Excessive absences can represent a very real problem for the efficient operation of College and may result in replacement personnel being hired.
Paid vacations are available to those exempt, salaried staff who have position assignments that are based on work of 1560 or more hours per benefit year. Employees whom the College, at its discretion, estimates will work more than 1560 hours but less than full-time in the year in which the vacation is requested, will be awarded vacation time on a pro-rated basis using 2,080 hours as the normal full-time standard. Employees hired on the basis of working less than 1560 hours per benefit year will not be permitted to take paid vacation time until the College, at its discretion, estimates the employee will work 1560 hours per benefit year on a regular basis.
Full-time exempt, salaried staff with 40 hour per week, 12-month assignments will be eligible for twenty (20) days (160 hours) of paid vacation in a calendar year. Employees who work a partial year will have the twenty days pro-rated*. All twenty days are not available immediately upon hire but should be scheduled on the basis of a normal accrual schedule (40 hours earned after 3 months, 80 hours earned after 6 months, etc.). The vacation time is calculated at eight hours per day (unless the employee works less than full time and has work days less than 8 hours - then the use of vacation time should be calculated at the hourly use level). Earned vacation time should normally be used within the calendar year but 80 hours of unused paid vacation time can be carried forward to the next calendar year with a written record clearly indicating the carry over amount. No more than 80 unused hours can ever be carried forward. Up to a maximum of 160 hours of unused accrued vacation time can be taken immediately prior to separation, or paid out upon separation from employment. Hours over 160 hours will be forfeited. This time will only be paid if adequate records have been regularly filed with the Human Resources Office documenting the unused vacation days remaining. Each calendar year all exempt, salaried staff are encouraged to complete a vacation use form (signed also by the supervisor) and on that form any unused hours carried over from a prior employment year must be documented.
In order to assist in the coordination of vacation schedules, each employee is required to submit his or her choice of vacation time to the supervisor for approval. Employees working during the academic year only must take their vacation time during the period of their assignment.
*Occasionally employees are hired to fill academic year staff positions. These positions typically work during the same schedule as student classes. In these instances, vacation is not earned but will be given during the same break schedule as the student schedule. The employee will be notified at time of hire if this applies to their position.
Hope College officially observes five (5) national holidays each year:
|New Year's Day||Memorial Day||Fourth of July||Thanksgiving Day||Christmas Day|
As an additional benefit to you, the College will also grant the following four (4) paid days off:
|Day after Thanksgiving||Day before Christmas||Floating Holiday||Good Friday|
Ordinarily, employees will not be expected to work on a holiday that falls on Monday through Friday. Should a holiday fall on Sunday, it will usually be celebrated on the following Monday. For the purpose of computing holiday compensation, these Mondays will be treated as holidays. When a holiday falls on Saturday, the College will normally designate the Friday before the holiday as a non-work day with pay. To view the annual college holiday calendar, please visit the Human Resources website.
The College closes the facilities from Christmas Eve through New Years Day. Salary continuation occurs during this time.
Eligible employees will be excused, with supervisor notification, with pay, to make necessary funeral arrangements for a death in the immediate family. Immediate family and the corresponding amount of paid time is as follows:
From one day up to a maximum of five days paid leave will be available for the death of a spouse, child, step-child, parents, parents-in- law, or step-parents.
From ½ day up to a maximum of three days paid leave will be available for the death of grandparents, grandparents-in- law, brother or sister, brother or sister-in- law, step brother or sister, grandchild.
From ½ day up to a maximum of one day paid leave is available for the death of an aunt, uncle, niece, or nephew.
The rights of workers to take leaves-of- absence to serve in the military are governed by federal laws. Reservist on active duty will be eligible for College pay equal to the difference between their military salary and their current College salary.
Employees who are called to serve on jury duty during their normal work schedule will be compensated for the difference between pay for the jury duty and their regular College pay. Normally the College will issue regular pay for the time absent and employees will be responsible for assigning payment received for jury duty to the College (via Payroll Office) as a reimbursement for time already paid. An employee is expected to report for regular College work when temporarily excused from attendance at court. The employee's supervisor must be advised of any absences due to jury duty and the employee’s timecard must accurately report the time taken for jury duty.
Hope College complies with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. This law requires employers to extend unpaid leave of up to a total of 12 weeks each 12 months to eligible employees to care for a newly born or adopted child, and/or to attend to the medical needs of an immediate family member, and/or due to an employee’s own illness. Specific details on FMLA, including eligibility, reason for leave, coordination of other leave, i.e., can be found at https://hope.edu/offices/human-resources/resources/fmla_policy.pdf
Requests for an unpaid leave not covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 are not subject to automatic approval by the College. The individual circumstances of the employee (years of service, past record of absences, job responsibilities, etc.) plus the needs of the office/department must be carefully considered. Such approvals are necessary since replacement personnel may be necessary.
Leaves beyond 20 work days are considered to be exceptional and will normally not be approved. Approved leaves will carry no salary but certain benefits may be available for those with a minimum of three years of service to the college. For more information, contact the Human Resources Office.
If an employee is denied a leave of absence (and elects to leave anyway) or the time of the approved leave elapses without returning to work on the same basis as before the leave was granted, the employee shall be considered to have vacated his/her job with the College. Replacement personnel will then be hired to fill the vacancy. Should the individual desire re-employment with the College at a future date, the College will give consideration on the basis of his/her qualifications for any openings that might exist.
The Employee Assistance Center (EAC) provides Hope College employees with an Employee Assistance Program (EAP). This benefit is designed to offer CONFIDENTIAL assistance to you, your immediate family members, and significant others whose personal problems are affecting your quality of life and/or job performance. The program provides up to 6 visits with a counselor at no cost to the employee. Details can be found at: https://hope.edu/admin/hr/benefits/eac.html.
Faculty, staff and their dependent (IRS definition) family members can use the Dow Center and DeWitt Tennis Center, provided that the area desired is not scheduled with a Kinesiology class or a sport activity. DeVos Fieldhouse is for employees only and limited to the weight room. There is no charge to the employee for Dow Center or DeVos Fieldhouse usage. DeWitt Tennis Center does require some costs. Each family member must show his/her faculty/staff ID card or Dow card to gain admittance. Employees must follow the guidelines and policies of each facility. Information can be found on the Dow Center website at https://hope.edu/resources/dow. The DeWitt Tennis Center club hours and general information (including rates) can be found on their website, http://hopecollege.gotennissource.com. Information on DeVos Fieldhouse hours can be found at http://hope.edu/resources/devos/.
The benefit is available to all employees who are eligible for the College's health insurance program and who have a desire to have children through the adoption process. Information on this benefit can be found at https://hope.edu/admin/hr/benefits/forms/adoptionben.pdf.
Hourly and administrative staff are eligible to participate in the Service Award Program. Years of service are calculated annually with gifts given to benefit eligible staff at five-year intervals and upon retirement. We use the services of a nationally recognized supplier of service awards and employees have a variety of gifts to select in recognition of their milestone.
Employees who retiree from the college will be invited to select a gift from the gift category closest to their actual service years. Employees retiring with 25 or more years of service also have the option to select a Hope College Hitchcock chair, if desired. At the Annual Service Award Luncheon, employees and retirees are honored with a certificate and the gift selected. Part-time non-benefit eligible staff also attend the luncheon and receive a certificate in recognition of their service.
Hope College provides as a benefit to full time personnel and their families a tuition waiver plan that will assist children, spouses, and employees. Benefits are available through the Hope College Employee Tuition Waiver Plan or the GLCA Tuition Remission Program. For a complete summary of both plans, including eligibility requirements, information can be found at the following: https://hope.edu/admin/hr/benefits/tuitionwaivers.htm
A Travel Policy and Procedure for using Corporate Credit Cards have been designed to enable staff members to provide accountability of travel expenses. Guidelines are general and are not expected to cover every situation. Some College divisions/departments also have internal policies which may include per diems, travel maximums, etc. For exact information please contact your department supervisor. More general information and guidelines, can be found at https://hope.edu/admin/business/policies/travel_policy.pdf
A stable core-city neighborhood is vital to the mission of Hope College and to the Holland Community. The ""Walk to Work Program" has been established to combat neighborhood deterioration, to improve the quality of life for members of the community, to serve as a catalyst for further efforts to improve core city neighborhoods, and to assist employees in building equity with home ownership.
The "Walk to Work Program" provides financial purchase and renovation incentives for benefit eligible Hope College and Creative Dining Services employees desiring to live in these targeted neighborhoods surrounding the College. Employees interested in this benefit are encouraged to visit https://hope.edu/admin/hr/benefits/index.htm for specific policy details and information regarding the application and purchase process.
Members of the Hope College community have full access to the collections of the Van Wylen Library, including the Tech Lab. Employees also have access to the Beardslee Library at Western Seminary through the library's on-line catalog. Circulating materials at Beardslee may be borrowed by Hope students, staff and faculty. Information regarding Van Wylen Library, including services provided can be found at http://hope.edu/lib/.
Any regular staff member with a current staff ID card may maintain a charge account at the Bookstore subject to store policies regarding such accounts. This service is a convenience to be used only for the personal purchases of staff members and their immediate families. The Bookstore also grants a 15% discount to staff members on cash as well as charge sales. (Some sale and low-margin items are not discounted.) Please be ready to present your staff card to ensure getting this discount.
Employees are welcome to utilize the full mail services of the Hope College Print and Mail Services, located on the main floor of the DeWitt Center. Specifics can be found at http://hope.edu/print-mail.
A number of College-owned vehicles are available for use by staff members while on official College business only. Online vehicle requests can be made at http://events.hope.edu/VirtualEMS/Login.aspx
The Department Campus Safety is responsible for the enforcement of the College’s motor vehicle regulations as they apply to faculty, staff and students, and for the use of parking areas on campus.
In order to park on College property all students, faculty and staff of the College must register their vehicle(s) they own or operate while they on campus and must obtain the proper parking permit. The current parking regulations and parking map can also be found at: https://hope.edu/admin/campsafe/services.html#MotorVehicleRegulations