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 of Employment
- Rules of Conduct
- Hope College Drug and Alcohol Policy
- No Smoking Policy
- Non-Discrimination Policy
- Accommodation Policy
- Campus Technology
- Privacy Statement
- Whistleblower Policy
- Animal/Pet Policy
- Distracted Driver Policy
- Key Policy
- Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)/Drone Policy
- Staff Hiring Policy and Procedures
- Background Check Policy
- Immigration Rules for Employment
- Expense and Resource Stewardship Policy
- Staff Procedures and Processes
- College Policies of Employment
- Compensation & Benefits
- Insurance Benefits
- Leave Policies
- Miscellaneous Benefits
- Institutional Services
Hope College adheres to all federal and state civil rights laws and regulations prohibiting discrimination in private institutions of higher education. Hope College affirms the dignity of all persons as made in the image of God. Hope College is committed to being a welcoming, vibrant and caring academic community where academic excellence and the pursuit of knowledge are strengthened by our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and grounded in the historic Christian faith, where the full humanity of all may flourish in an environment in which there is room for different perspectives that bring people together. It is the policy of Hope College not to discriminate on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, familial status, genetic information, height, national origin, race, religion (except in the event of a bona fide occupational qualification), sex (including gender expression, gender identity, pregnancy, sexual orientation), theological perspectives (e.g., conservative, progressive, traditional), veteran status, weight or any other legally protected attribute, status or characteristic.
Our commitment to an equitable and inclusive place of learning, living, and working together, and to prevent discrimination and harassment, is the responsibility of all members of the Hope community. This covers nondiscrimination in all the College’s programs and activities, including employment, admissions, and access to educational opportunities.
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.
It is the employee’s responsibility to read and comply with the policies, processes, and procedures in this handbook and linked documents.
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, 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.
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. When an employee does not observe these standards, counseling or an oral reminder by a supervisor normally results in the employee observing these standards in the future. 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
- Inefficiency or incompetence
- 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, a performance improvement plan (PIP), suspension without pay and/or benefits, demotion and discharge. The appropriateness of the penalty in each case shall be determined by the College.
Hope College is committed to the elimination of drug and/or alcohol misuse and abuse and forbids the use, possession or transfer of illegal drugs and alcohol in the workplace and in all learning environments. In compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act (41 U.S.C.701) and the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act (20 U.S.C. 1145g), the policy lays out appropriate standards of conduct, counseling and treatment options, and appropriate standards of discipline in the event of non-compliance. Read the full policy here.
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.
Hope College adheres to all federal and state civil rights laws and regulations prohibiting dis-crimination in private institutions of higher education. Hope College affirms the dignity of all persons as made in the image of God. Hope College is committed to being a welcoming, vibrant and caring academic community where academic excellence and the pursuit of knowledge are strengthened by our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion; and grounded in the historic Christian faith, where the full humanity of all may flourish in an environment in which there is room for different perspectives that bring people together. It is the policy of Hope College not to discriminate on the basis of age, disability, ethnicity, familial status, genetic information, height, national origin, race, religion (except in the event of a bona fide occupational qualification), sex (including gender expression, gender identity, pregnancy, sexual orientation), theological perspectives (e.g., conservative, progressive, traditional), veteran status, weight or any other legally protected attribute, status or characteristic. Our commitment to an equitable and inclusive place of learning, living, and working together, and to prevent discrimination and harassment, is the responsibility of all members of the Hope community. The Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Non-discrimination Policy covers nondiscrimination in all the College’s programs and activities, including employment, admissions, and access to educational opportunities.
The following individual has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the College’s non-discrimination policies:
Senior Director of Equity and Compliance
Office of Equity and Compliance
Anderson-Werkman Center, Suite 251
Hope College is committed to providing equal access to employment and educational opportunities for persons with disabilities. Hope College recognizes that individuals with disabilities may need reasonable accommodations to ensure equally effective opportunities to participate in or benefit from college educational programs, services, and activities, and to have equal employment opportunities.
This policy is established to clearly define process and procedures around requesting reasonable accommodation(s) on the basis of disability. This policy applies to all Hope College students, employees, applicants and community guests/visitors. View more information about this policy.
The purpose of the Technology Usage Policy is to inform and educate all of us at Hope College of the rights and responsibilities associated with our shared use of College Technology Resources, encouraging transparency and common understanding.
Hope College is committed to providing integrated and comprehensive technologies to enhance teaching and learning and to improve productivity and support a residential student community. Hope provides students, faculty and staff with access to a wide range of computing resources, digital information and communication networks to support the academic, research and administrative functions of the College.
This policy strives to provide a balanced approach between user rights and responsibilities with appropriate use of College Technology Resources. Students, faculty, staff, and anyone else authorized (see the “Authorized Users” provision below) to use College Technology Resources are responsible for reading, understanding and complying with this Technology Usage Policy.
Hope College respects your privacy and is committed to protecting your personal information.
The privacy statement (“The Statement”) applies solely to identifiable information about you (“Your Information”) collected via hope.edu (“ The Site”). Any data collected or provided outside www.hope.edu is not covered. The Statement will notify you of:
- How Your Information is used and with whom it may be shared;
- What choices are available to you regarding Your Information;
- The security procedures in place to protect Your Information.
By using The Site you acknowledge an understanding of The Statement and all its contents. View the specifics of the policy.
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. View specific details of the whistleblower policy.
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.). View specific information about the Animal Policy.
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 state requirements and guidelines of this policy could jeopardize your ability to use College owned vehicles or involve 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 or driving on college business:
As of June 30, 2023, Michigan is a “Hands Free” state regarding mobile devises. Michigan law prohibits holding or using a cellphone while driving.
Hope College employees may not manually dial a hand-held cell phone while operating a college vehicle while the vehicle is in motion. Additionally, for college vehicles equipped with mobile computers, employees may not make keystrokes on those computers while driving. The college encourages employees to avoid cell phone conversations while the vehicle is in motion, even if hands free, as this can distract a driver from his/her full attention to the road and the surrounding elements.
If a Hope College employee needs to use their hands to take/make a call or to review GPS directions, they should pull over safely to the side of the road or another safe location.
Additional information about the Michigan law, including exceptions for first responders and emergency calls, can be found on the Distracted Driving page of the Michigan State Police website.
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 who will work with the Provost, Dean, Chair or department administrator. They 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 $30 dollars per office key $100 dollars per master key and $30 dollars per lock change 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 or Campus Safety.
To provide a safe and productive environment for such activity, all use or control of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) taking place within or above the boundaries of Hope College shall fully comply with the Small Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS)/Drone Policy.
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. When no internal promotions are evident for an open or new position, the College will engage the Staff Hiring Policy to fill the position.
Developing a Diverse 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 developing a diverse and inclusive community, departments should make every effort to seek candidates from underrepresented backgrounds and historically underrepresented groups.
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 will advance our goal of building a work force of persons committed to the mission of the College.
To facilitate the efficient recruitment of candidates, the following guidelines should be followed:
- A hiring manager will create a requisition (job description) in the applicant system and the necessary approvals will be secured prior to any search.
- An electronic posting of the position will be posted on the Colleges job landing page, accessible via the Human Resources web site.
- Appropriate outside advertising will be coordinated by the Human Resources Office and the hiring manager.
- The hiring manager will select a search committee that includes diverse members (gender, race, age, departments) including an employee trained as an Equity Advisor.
- The search committee will conduct campus and/or virtual interviews and special effort should be made to consider candidates from under-represented groups.
- Reference checks will be conducted on final candidates whom are being considered for a position with the College.
- An oral offer of employment by the hiring department will occur, along with Human Resources conducing a confidential background check of the candidate. Once the background check has successfully been completed, an offer letter will be sent through the applicant system. Hiring managers will be responsible for communicating with those candidates that were interviewed in person but did not receive the job offer.
- The hiring manager will complete a hiring form in the applicant system. This will begin the onboarding process.
- Hiring managers will receive their task list of responsibilities to onboard the new employee prior to the employee’s first day of work.
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, felony charges, 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.
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 within 3 days of beginning work. Accurate documentation as noted by the Immigration and Naturalization Service must be provided.
As trusted stewards of Hope's institutional assets, we use the College’s financial resources to further the mission of the College drawing on our strategic priorities as a guide. We are mindful that the primary sources of revenue come from students, their families, and friends of the College.
We use the College’s resources with integrity, in a manner that is wise, fair, honest, transparent, and ethical. We seek to achieve the highest overall value per dollar, considering financial and nonfinancial aspects of each transaction.
While the policy was developed in the spirit of good practice and good stewardship, we recognize not every situation an employee faces in regards to spending will be covered in detail in this policy. If you encounter decisions or questions around spending or approvals that are not covered directly in this document, please contact Business Services.
The guiding principles, procedures, and policies outlined in this document are applicable to all employees and all fund types (operating, discretionary, professional development, sponsored program, agency, etc.) unless otherwise noted. Read the full Expense and Resource Stewardship Policy.
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 Campus Safety (ext 7770) or the Human Resources Office (ext 7811).
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 and DeVos Fieldhouse, free general admission to College athletic events (with some limitations), discount fees for numerous cultural activities, use of other College facilities including parking and a discount on bookstore purchases.
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 issuance of cards by Campus Safety. The following I.D. card categories and guidelines are followed:
- Staff Card — 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. .
- Retired Employee Card — Employees who retire from active service at the College on or after the age of 65 or through a College Early Retirement Plan are eligible to keep their I.D. that will provide the same benefits described in paragraph one for regular, active employees.
As a community that serves a student population, many of our positions require being present on campus during set times of specific days to complete daily work. Hope College does recognize that at times it is possible to alter how and when work is performed. The College will consider the following possibilities:
- Remote Work — Different departments and positions will have varying levels of remote work as a possibility (1-day, 2-day, ½ day). If you are interested in remote work, please work with your supervisor to discern what options are possible for your specific position and contact Human Resources. Remote work options will typically not be available during the first weeks or months of employment due to job training.
- Revised Work Week — Some positions allow for a revised work week based on days (other than M-F) or start and end times. If you believe your work is suited for this type of consideration, please work with your supervisor to discuss options.
- Reduced Hours (FTE) — If you find your workload is changing over time and would like to consider reduced work hours, please work with your supervisor to discuss what options might be available.
A request for one of the altered work arrangements does not guarantee it will be approved. Decisions will be made in conjunction with the supervisor, divisional leader, and human resources.
Part time employees have a varied work day schedule based on the needs of the College department where they are working. 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.
All employees are normally expected to work the full amount of their scheduled assigned daily work shift. Hourly employees are not required to punch in at a time clock, but are expected to truthfully report their hours on their timesheets.
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. 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 good for all employees to leave their work area during the day and take a break from their positions’ tasks. Hope College recognizes this and allows employees several opportunities throughout the week. Employees may elect:
- Chapel — Employees are welcome to attend the student Chapel services on Monday, Wednesday, Friday.
- Breaks — Employees may take a 20-minute break during any 4 hour work period. If work shifts are less than 4 hours, breaks are not allowed. The 20 minutes allowed includes the time going to and from the break area. Failure to take a break period may not be used to modify the normal work schedule (arrive late or leave early).
- Wellness Classes/Exercise — Employees who are full time (.75 FTE or greater) may take a ½ hour paid time to exercise with their supervisor’s approval. This may be to participate in a wellness activity, work out in one of the campus facilities, or attend an off campus exercise program/facility. Each department will determine the best approach for allowing employees time to exercise.
Employees may not utilize more than one of these in any given work shift. Example: If an employee attends Chapel, they will not take a break during their morning shift. If they utilize the one-half-hour for exercise, they will not receive a break during that 4-hour shift. If an employee takes a morning break, they will not attend Chapel or get the extra paid time for exercise.
All options must be approved by the department supervisor and during peak workloads, it is possible employees will not be granted permission to participate in the above programs.
It is very important that the Human Resources Office and your immediate supervisor be kept informed of your correct address and telephone number. All changes to addresses/phone numbers can be made 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/or dependency allowance status.
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.
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 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.
If the dispute is something that is covered in the protections outlined in the Equal Opportunity, Harassment and Nondiscrimination Policy, the Compliance Office will work in conjunction with other appropriate offices.
Employees are asked 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.
All College property, including I.D.s, keys, college credit cards and laptops must be returned to the supervisor on the last day of employment.
In the event of layoff, the employment relationship will be terminated at midnight on the day of layoff.
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. In the event no other position is available, the employee will be permanently laid off and eligible for unemployment.
Upon the Human Resources Office receiving notification of your leaving, you will receive an email outlining the steps that need to be taken. All employees leaving the employ of the College will be expected to return all College property including College ID, keys, and equipment by the last day of employment. If property is not returned in a timely matter, 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. If you wish to speak privately with someone regarding your decision to leave the College, you can request a meeting with the Employee Development Manager to schedule an exit interview.
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.
Exempt staff is paid on a semi-monthly basis. Pay dates will be the 15th of each month and the last day of each month. If a pay date falls on either a Saturday or Sunday, the pay date will be the Friday prior.
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. Find Direct Deposit forms online or access them at your plus.hope.edu 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 deductions 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.
Salaried employees who do not meet the required salary test will be asked to complete a Google timesheet. Additional reviews of exempt status take place regularly.
All employees who have completed one year of service at Hope College and who worked at least 1,000 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 benefits website.
Hope College employees are allowed to take advantage of tax exempt premiums for health insurance, dental and vision. 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 the employee benefits page.
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 the employee benefits page.
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, within the year, 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 on the retiree benefits page. 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 one and one-half the amount of the employee's annual base wage. The employee will also have the opportunity to purchase Supplemental Life Insurance. Find details of the Life Insurance Plan.
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 the employee benefits page. 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.
Hope College complies with the Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) of 2018. Benefit-eligible exempt staff have 100% salary continuation during the first 26 weeks of an illness. In addition to illness, paid leave will be allowed for:
- Physical or mental illness, injury or health condition of the employee or his or her family member
- Medical diagnosis, care or treatment of the employee or family member
- Peventive care of the employee or family member
- Closure of the employee’s primary workplace by order of the public official due to a public health emergency (can be limited to 40 hours in a calendar year)
- Your or your family member’s exposure by order of a public official due to a public health emergency
- For domestic violence and sexual assault situation, including counseling, receiving services, obtaining legal services, and attending civil or criminal proceedings
The College reserves the right to secure a second medical opinion. Paid leave will be used to reduce the 12-week/480 hours entitlement for unpaid leave allowed by the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993. Eligibility for long-term disability benefits (at 60% of salary) begins after 26 weeks of disability.
Excessive absences, in the College's sole judgment, may result in disapproval of paid time off. Employee absences of greater than five work days normally require a written statement from an attending physician.
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.
The College recognizes the importance of the family, which the Parental Leave policy is designed to support. Therefore, the College not only complies with the requirements of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, but also provides additional support to the parents of a newborn or newly-adopted child. The College will provide paid leave of absence to eligible staff for the purpose of caring for their newborn or newly-adopted child or children on the following basis:
- For the birth of a child, the mother of the child is entitled to paid leave according
to the Short Term Disability Policy. This is typically six (6) weeks for normal delivery
but can be longer based on medical necessity. Following the approved disability period,
an additional two (2) weeks of leave with full pay is allowed. All disability leave
should be coordinated with the Human Resources Office.
Fathers are allowed a paid paternity leave of up to 2 weeks following the birth of a child and should coordinate this leave with their supervisor and notify Human Resources of intended dates for this leave. This leave can be utilized within the first month of a child’s birth.
- For the adoption of a child, the parent who is the primary caregiver of the child is entitled to leave with full pay for up to four (4) weeks without question. The secondary parent (not the primary caregiver) is allowed two (2) weeks leave with pay, to be used within the first month of a child being adopted.
- For the purposes of caregiving, the designated caregiver may request additional leave, without pay, subject to the limit of twelve (12) weeks within each twelve-month period for any of the purposes specified in the first paragraph.
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 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 the month 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. Unused holiday time should be added to your vacation planner for the year.
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:
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.
Up to a maximum of three days paid leave will be available for the death of grandparents, grandparents-in- law, step-grandparents, brother or sister, brother or sister-in- law, step brother or sister, grandchild.
Up to a maximum of one day paid leave is available for the death of an aunt, uncle, aunt-in-law, uncle-in-law, 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 in certain circumstances. 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.
Ulliance Life Advisor EAP 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 visits with a counselor at no cost to the employee. Details can be found on the employee benefits page.
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/.
Hope College will assist benefit eligible (>.75 FTE) employees who desire to adopt children in reimbursement of costs associated with the adoption process. The Plan covers adoption expenses associated with the adoption of a minor, non-relative under the age of sixteen (16) up to $7,500 per adoption or the actual cost, whichever is less. If two or more children are adopted at the same time, the benefit is limited to $11,250 or the cost of the adoption, whichever is less. For purposes of reimbursement, "adoption" is defined as the process of adopting. This "process" begins with application procedures with an agency or agencies, including submission of application fees and the scheduling of a home study, that are intended to result in the adoption of a child. A process ends with the adoption of a child or children or, should no children be adopted, by official termination with all agencies involved. A new process must be separated from an unsuccessful process by a one-year period to be identified as a separate adoption process. Expenses can be reimbursed as they occur by completing the “Adoption Benefit Payment Request” form and submitting proof of payment to the Human Resources Office.
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.
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 on the employee benefits page.
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 the Expence and Resource Stewardship Policy.
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 the employee benefits page for specific policy details and information regarding the application and purchase process.
Hope College employees have full access to the collections of the Van Wylen Library, including the Digital Media Lab, DVDs and streaming video content, children's books, new arrivals, browsing materials, and access to electronic materials from off-campus. Employees also have access to the Cook Library at Western Theological Seminary. Circulating materials at Cook may be borrowed by Hope students, staff, and faculty. Information regarding Van Wylen Library, including services provided can be found at https://hope.edu/library/.
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
Anderson-Werkman Center100 East 8th StreetSuite 210Holland, MI 49423